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help me with an itinerary for New York!

(37 Posts)
sassytheFIRST Wed 30-Dec-15 18:36:34

Just starting to plan a big trip next summer, as part of it we will have a few days (5?6?) in NYC. I know Massachusetts pretty well but NY is a mystery to me so tell me what is a must see and what to avoid please. Where is good to stay as well? It'll be me, Dh and 2 girls, 11 and 13. Tia.

mouldycheesefan Sat 02-Jan-16 08:56:34

Took my seven year olds this year.
Stay in Manhattan so you are right in the heart of it.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a must, it's a whole day really, if you book in advance you can get tickets to go up to the crown. Tickets are cheap it's a national park and it includes the ferry.
Central Park, horse and carriage ride
Shopping whether it be Bloomingdales, Tiffany, toys r us or whatever
One or two of the 90 museums, we did Intrepid air sea and space museum to see the shuttle and the natural history museum
Top of the rock or Empire State Building, both have great views you only need to do one
Boat trip down the river
Lots of great restaurants really good food
Times Square at night
In our family we each get to pick a days itinerary.
Read the guide books and prioritise!
We didn't see a show as most of the family ones were same as London for double the price.
Have a great time
It's bloody brilliant even with kids

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 02-Jan-16 09:51:00

Would visit the One World Observatory particularly if you get a clear and sunny day as the views from the top are wonderful to behold. You can purchase a flex ticket that covers a week online from their website.

Would certainly look into purchasing a New York City pass as this will get you into many of the city's attractions for less cost.

Look for a suite based hotel in Midtown Manhattan; you will have more space. Some NYC hotel rooms can be very small indeed.

Times Square is worth a visit but can be crowded at virtually any time of day.

InanimateCarbonRod Sat 02-Jan-16 09:53:26

Get yourself a citypass! It's $114 per adult nd you'll save tons. The Hayden Planetarium in the Natural History museum is a must. It's an amazing experience. We did the Intrepid air and space museum. It's an aircraft carrier and the kids loved it.

Caprinihahahaha Sat 02-Jan-16 09:57:19

I went in September .
I loved the Musesum of Modern Art. The building is beautiful and the outdoor exhibition was especially lovely with exhibits like a 50 foot high rose.
We did a lunch cruise around the Statue of Liberty which was fun.
Also took in American in Paris on Broadway.
Central Park is lovely too. I wanted tea at the Plaza but we didn't have time.

SkibadeeDoodle Sat 02-Jan-16 10:01:39

Ah, love NYC so much. Jealous.

If you're going in July/August, pace yourself - its going to be very hot. Aim for one or two things a day that are easily commutable to, because you'll definitely be wanting to stop off for leisurely cold drinks and to get a blast of aircon from somewhere grin.

The usual touristy things are all really lovely and well worth doing.
Empire State at night is pretty great (and queues tend to be a bit better). Th view from Top of the Rock is just as good, but I think the Empire State is worth it as its so iconic.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis island are interesting (although you can just get the Staten island ferry if you want to see the statue without doing the whole shebang - quicker, cheaper, more relaxing tbh).

Central Park. The High Line for a stroll (love this!).

Time Square is a must see, but to be honest, its mobbed and highly touristy - think leicester Sq with bells on - so personally, I'd go at night (to see all the crazy lit up billboards) and then avoid - but kids might like it more! There is huge cinema not far (thinks its W 42nd) - always think a film in NY is good fun, lovely air con too grin

Get a copy of Time Out or the Village Voice while you're there, as I think half the fun of NY is finding out whats on while you're there. You'll also get up to date info on restaurants and bars, as NY is like London - stuff changes so much.

I could bore on for ages about it - great city, lucky you!

SkibadeeDoodle Sat 02-Jan-16 10:05:19

Oh, and midtown is definitely the touristy bit for staying in, but I'd also check out other areas of Manhattan. Manhattan is small, walkable (and easily navigated by the subway or cabs), so dont get too hung up on the bit you end up in if you can find a good hotel deal.

(NY hotels are expensive and you dont get much for your money - like London - but doubt you'll be spending much time indoors anyway grin)

Debsmumof3 Sat 02-Jan-16 10:05:27

Echo all the suggestions here. Would add to do the night tour using your city pass. There are a number of companies offering city pass deals and one has wifi on board which sadly pleased my teenager. But all similar. We stay in a two bed suite with balcony in a fab location (also Midtown) called Kimberley Suites. Our view was unobstructed of the Chrysler building. Well worth it especially in summer. It has the only open top roof bar. No kids but they're safe in their room. Very romantic. Free coffee and pastries in bar in morning so they get to see view. And great fish tank. Staff were a delight. Are you flying from Heathrow.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 02-Jan-16 10:45:35

Never been with kids but the staircase thing in Times Square is something they'd love. You queue for ages and when you get to the top you appear on the ginormous billboard opposite. Shallow but memorable!
I mainly do art galleries when I go, but the Highline is lovely. Used to be an overhead railway which has been turned into a planted walkway with great views of the city and river. Plus the fabulous new Witney is at one end, with loads of ace Minimist sculpture.
MOMA sometimes has family-friendly exhibitions, so it's worth having a look at what's on - in fact, I've seen massive queues of families outside an exclusive-looking. Chelsea gallery. 'Twas an installation of a totally white room and coloured spot stickers were given to people as they went in. Interactive art, innit?

sassytheFIRST Sat 02-Jan-16 17:40:10

Brilliant ideas here, have taken many notes.

budgiegirl Mon 04-Jan-16 10:30:59

If you or your kids are/have been Winnie the Pooh fans, the original toys are on display at the Public Library on 5th Avenue, they are definitely worth popping in to see - I got strangely emotional over them !!

The kids might enjoy a trip on the Roosevelt Tramway (cable car) over the river from the Upper East Side, great views for the price of a subway ticket.

The Federal Reserve on Wall Street is a great tour, they take you 6 floors underground to see the hugs stack of gold bars in the vault. It's free, but you do have to pre-book as the numbers are very limited.

Take a subway to Brooklyn, have pizza at Grimaldi's, ice cream at Fulton Street on the riverfront, then work it off by walking the Brooklyn Bridge, with great views of the Manhatten skyline.

Ellens Stardust Diner is fun, with singing waitresses.

We enjoyed Roosevelts Birthplace which is a brownstone builiding restored as it was at the turn of the century, and also the NY Fire Department museum, where there were restored early fire engines, and we got to dress up like firemen (and that was just me and DH!)

The kids would probably also like the M&Ms shop and the Hershey's shop at Times Square.

There's so much to do, you'll have a blast !

lavenderdoilly Mon 04-Jan-16 15:33:58

The High Line and Chelsea Market.

Thethingswedoforlove Wed 13-Jan-16 09:38:12

Has anyone stayed in an Airbnb place in New York with kids? Any recommendations? It seems like you get much more space for a similar price to a cramped hotel room?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 13-Jan-16 10:26:18

Avoid all sites offering apartment rentals in NYC; this is because short term lets in the five boroughs are illegal. Many are also scams and such sites do not also check the veracity of listings.

You would be better off in either an aparthotel or a suite based hotel; chains like the Embassy Suites and Sofitel to name but two can offer larger rooms for families.

Thethingswedoforlove Wed 13-Jan-16 16:23:48

Oh, really? Ok. So Airbnb doesn't have to take responsibility for this? Why is it illegal? That is a v big deal and am v glad for your warning.

NewBallsPlease00 Tue 19-Jan-16 06:04:29

Another one saying avoid rentals!
High line
Central Park
Walking tours- many free (tips) Google eg sex and the city tour, star homes tour, architectural tour etc
If a day of pure shopping is consider going to a jersey mall for day so it's cool and air con then just pop in the ny stores you fancy as and when
All big dept stores offer a visitor card often saving 10% equivilent to the tax - see guest relations
We love Broadway soho and the village, Chelsea etc to wander around and see the smaller stores
If you've not already booked flights look at flight plus hotel deals

Thethingswedoforlove Tue 19-Jan-16 06:34:45

Haven't booked flights. Thanks newballs. Is it poss to get to jersey outlets without a car? And why are rentals a problem? Wd we be breaking the law by staying in one or is it the person renting it out that is committing the crime?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-16 06:47:45

Wd we be breaking the law by staying in one or is it the person renting it out that is committing the crime?

From tripadvisor:-

"Many of the situations are scams (the apartment may not exist, or “bait-and-switch” tactics may be used), because of safety concerns (your ability to leave the building in case of fire, for example) and because of the possibility of eviction during your stay. Anyone can put photos and an ad on the internet. Keep in mind that "brownstone townhouses" are not like townhouses in the suburbs. They are usually over 100 years old and look it. Older buildings up to 5 stories high were not required to have elevators. Typical apartments in Manhattan are small, do not have much closet space and usually have very small bathrooms. That "open plan kitchen" in a "loft space" could mean that it's just a 450-square-foot (42 square-meter) one-room studio with a kitchen against the wall.

BUILDING RULES: Aside from local laws, many large apartment buildings in NYC are condominiums or co-operatives (co-ops), and they are governed by rules about what their residents can and can not do. Most likely, their rules prohibit renting apartments to tourists on a weekly or daily basis. If the neighbours are fed up with a resident who has tourists coming in and out on a weekly basis, and if they don't want strangers to have copies of keys to the building, they will check with the super or management company to find out what's going on.

LOCAL LAWS: Short-term (less than a month) rentals of apartments in New York City violate various laws and building regulations. In general, renting an apartment to someone without a lease for less than 30 days at a time is illegal. The current local laws are confusing and often do not get enforced, but revised laws that are clearer take effect May 2011. Are there exceptions? Yes, especially for OWNER OCCUPIED buildings with 4 or fewer apartments, including the owner's apartment. But odds are the apartment vacation rental you're considering is NOT an exception. Check the DOB website above for building info, don't waste your time researching the internet until 3 in the morning trying to find that needle in NYC's housing haystack. Hosted stays in apartments or bed-and-breakfast accommodations present a different legal and regulatory situation. In Manhattan, though, these may cost about the same as hotel accommodations.

TYING UP THE HOUSING MARKET: Housing is already a hot commodity in NYC, and affordable housing in Manhattan is an endangered species. In the pursuit of higher rents and better income, some landlords illegally convert buildings into hotels. One can also make the argument that locals who hold leases on apartments they don't use creates an artificial real estate shortage and drives up rental prices. There are 3 million households in NYC. If even one half of one percent decides to rent out their lodging to tourists, that would take 15,000 living spaces off the market. Some might say you're helping the economy, but for whom? There are lots of issues that follow in the wake of such rentals".

IMPACT ON LOCAL RESIDENTS: Most locals don't like having strangers coming and going in their place of residence. Even worse, some residents are innocently used as pawns in apartment scams, unbeknownst to them!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Jan-16 06:49:40

Century 21 in Manhattan is worth a visit.

You can visit the Jersey Gardens mall by public transport:-

New Jersey Transit Bus #111 and #115 from New York:
•Local public transportation is provided by NJ Transit bus #40 and Coach USA bus #24. Fare and Schedule information can be found on and, respectively.
•Port Authority Bus Terminal to Jersey Garden Outlet Mall
•Visit for updated schedules and rates

If you would like a 10% visitors discount card in a store like Macys you will also need to provide photo id like a driving licence or passport.

ScarlettDarling Tue 19-Jan-16 19:01:18

Sorry to thread hijack but we're also going to NYC soon with our dc, 12 and 9. We've booked flights but can't decide where would be best to stay...Times square? Central Park? Any ideas on the best area as a base for exploring? Any hotel recommendations! We just need a family room, don't care if it's small, we'll just be sleeping there!

ijustwanttobeme Tue 19-Jan-16 19:28:24

Another thread hijacker here.

I'm going next week and can't wait!

Have bought a city pass like a pp has suggested.

Federal reserve tour sounds good.

Going with 2 friends, one who has not been before, so doing all the usual sights, plus going to to the Tenements Tour, cocktails at the Waldorf (if can afford it), wandering around the smaller village areas. Plus plan to see a show- DD saw Aladdin back in the summer and said it was amazing.

Thinking of doing Woodbury Coomon outlet, but not essential. Another friend said about celebrity spotting in the Rainbow Rooms.

We're staying in the Ameritania on Times Square. For our budget it wasn't so bad - staying for four nights, plus friend no 1 has arthritis so wanted somewhere fairly close to main sights to avoid much walking.

Can anyone please recommend good places to eat, and also where to have bagels, brunch, pizza etc, that New Yorkers would eat, not the overpriced tourist stuff.

Thethingswedoforlove Tue 19-Jan-16 19:28:51

Thanks so much Attila. I had read the trip advisor stuff but the laws and regulations are more convincing for me than the risk of scam. Thank you. A hotel it is. And for the tips re outlet place - will def do that!

Tram10 Thu 21-Jan-16 15:13:40

For the kids, try the Math Museum, we passed it by chance and the kids wanted to have a look, it was AMAZING surprise. We all loved it, couldn't get the kids out of there, it is fully interactive, lower floor is more for older kids and adults.

Thethingswedoforlove Thu 21-Jan-16 20:50:53

Oooh thanks tram! We will!

Tutt Thu 21-Jan-16 21:06:46

We've booked and paid for an apartment in NY for a week in August before we go down the coast and after reading this I'm worried sad

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