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NYC in January with kids/budget/birthday??

(19 Posts)
tigerlilly0404 Sun 14-Aug-16 15:19:40

Right! Please forgive me for some many questions!
We have booked to take our kids to NYC in Jan age 13, 8 and 7. I understand the weather is going to be very cold/snow this isn't a problem for us.
basically I'm trying to worth out a food budget per day for the 5 of us, breakfast is included at the hotel and we could make sandwiches at the hotel for lunch so really just snacks/dinner, we won't be eating in any fancy restaurants just cheap easy meals, what would u advise??

also my daughter turns 13 while we are over there is there anywhere in mid town area that do birthday cakes ready made rather then to order??

also opinions on New York Explorer card?? worth it of not??

many thanks for any info.

swooosh Sun 14-Aug-16 15:23:13

You probably won't need lunch if you eat a big enough breakfast. You can get snacks such as hotdogs/pretzels/cupcakes out and about. is a great website where you can search certain areas/types of food and it shows the full menu with prices. This will help give you an idea of pricing. Most places serve massive portions and will happily let you split meals.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Aug-16 16:37:30

Making sandwiches at the hotel for lunch may well not turn out to be practical (particularly if you have no kitchenette area). I would eat out instead at lunchtime rather than making sandwiches.

A New York City Pass (you will each need one) is worth purchasing online in advance.

mouldycheesefan Mon 15-Aug-16 08:21:37

Hi I took my seven year olds to New York we had a great time. I am personally wary of January as it can be bitterly cold, snow can cause airport closures and you will want to be inside which rules out quite a lot of free attractions such as Central Park.
We had a large breakfast at the hotel. At lunchtime we just had a cupcake, ice cream, fries or a snack. So lunch was a few dollars. We went out for dinner in the evening. I wouldn't have been making sandwiches as we didn't have a kitchen in our accommodation. Dinner can be done cheaply e.g large pizzas to share. I used London prices as a guide.

MinnowAndTheBear Mon 15-Aug-16 08:33:02

If it's freezing you won't want to be stood on a street corner eating sandwiches. I agree eating out for lunch is more practical.
We did McDonalds a few times because it was quick and very cheap.

swooosh Mon 15-Aug-16 16:48:28

Yes January will be freezing. I've been 5 times between October-early March and it's always been very very cold bar March this year when we actually had a t-shirt day!! Take ear muffs, gloves, scarves etc. The wind is painful.

tigerlilly0404 Tue 16-Aug-16 09:04:27

thank you guys! we have a wedding to go to so we are making it a extended trip as we have never been to the US so would be silly not too! don't worry I've got us all some snow boots/ski coats ect! im preparing for the cold! thank you for the website with menus on VERY helpful!!!! is there tax I have to apply on top of the bill? also how do I find out what I will or won't pay tax on over there??

trafalgargal Mon 29-Aug-16 08:33:55

New York in January is great. The city doesn't stop for the snow but just continues business as normal.
Lots of deli type places for lunches. We found the sandwiches were so big we'd share one between two and have soup and be absolutely stuffed. It will be very cold so unless you want to trek back to your hotel to eat every day self made lunch doesn't work. Walk a block from the tourist areas to find the smaller owner run places the locals eat at for better food and better prices.

trafalgargal Mon 29-Aug-16 08:35:29

Expect to pay tax on everything and remember tipping too

EachandEveryone Mon 29-Aug-16 08:38:55

Although it's cold out side it is boiling in so be prepared for lots of coat holding.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Mon 29-Aug-16 08:57:41

I second ear muffs. A sister got married in NY in December and the wind was so bitterly cold - it really hurt my ears.

NicknameUsed Mon 29-Aug-16 09:07:24

"Expect to pay tax on everything and remember tipping too"

This ^^

I would try to eat at self service style places rather than places where you are waited on at table. You won't need to tip then. They put tip suggestions on the bill now - anything between 15 and 20%.

I hate that tax is added on at tills because everything costs more than you think it will, so you can't get the right money ready beforehand.

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 30-Aug-16 12:50:15

We are just back from New York , eating out was expensive meals were generally between $100 and $150 for 5 . My older 2 were too old for kids menus though.
Drinks can add on a lot but most places bring you iced water as you sit down.
Portions can be big and we realised quite late in they were happy for 2 to share.
Take out in the evening can be a cheap option and they all give out cutlery etc .
One thing to watch is sometimes kids menus can be more expensive than an adult option and they don't offer up the free drinks and desserts as a matter of course you have to ask.
We found 2 meals a day enough with a few snacks and we varied when those meals were .
Tax is just over 8% and tipping us at least twice tax , we found most places put 18,20 and 23% tax amounts on the bottom of the bill to help you but it means food is 25% more than you expect.

tigerlilly0404 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:08:16


Thank you for this info!!!!!! honestly do u think u can do new York on a budget??

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:29:14

You can , we didn't !
There are lots of places that do slices a pizza for $1 and I'm sure hot dogs and things are cheap .also fruit seller were selling 3 bananas for $1
There are places where you can buy different foods on a buffet style take out and they weigh them but sometimes it's hard to know how much it will cost . However with take out you avoid the 20% tip
It's probably worth having a few meals out and mixing in a few super cheap eats .
It is an amazing place though you will love it !!

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:30:27

Also it depends on what you call a budget and how fussy you are as regards food ! Often my DH would order sides and extra drinks to the value of his original meal !

Kate555578 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:53:51

I went to NYC for Christmas last year, it didn't snow and was really mild. We didn't bother with the pass as when we worked out the cost it wasn't worth it for us, it really depends on which attractions you wish to visit.

We found that some food places could be really expensive, but like someone else said theirs loads of places to get pizza slices, which are massive and other bits and bobs to eat for dinner. Portion sizes are massive too and we made the mistake of ordering too much when really we could of shared.

We did all tHe sites during our week there so if you want any specific information feel free to message me smile

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 30-Aug-16 14:15:43

I agree we didn't get the pass as it seemed really expensive and only gave you a discount .

EachandEveryone Tue 30-Aug-16 23:43:12

Did. You watch the bbc programme tonight on bbc1?

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