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NYC - 4 days with 8YO - must see/dos?

(8 Posts)
DropZoneOne Tue 27-Dec-16 22:56:12

We're travelling to NYC on 31 December for 4 days. DH last went over 20 years ago, DD and I have never been (as a family, this will be our first city break). We're staying in Tribeca.

Whilst I don't necessarily want to create a minute-by-minute itinerary, I would like to know what attractions are highly recommended and whether it's worth pre-buying tickets in the UK or not? DD needs time to burn off energy each day, so she'll put up with museums for a couple of hours as long as she can then run wild in a playground somewhere. There looks to be a few of those in Central Park so we should be ok.

Suggestions for family restaurants that won't break the bank would be great too.

TIA

TheFurryMenace Mon 23-Jan-17 17:33:14

Hi OP, I've just come across your thread and wondered how you got on in NY? Me and DH and DD8 are going in a few months and wondered if you have any tips you wouldnt mind sharing please?

Thanks

randomthoughts Mon 23-Jan-17 22:31:31

Walk the highline is a must. Also we did the sunset cruise, intrepid museum, Central Park, top of the rock, natural history museum. All we're great with our 7 and 3 year old!

TheFurryMenace Mon 23-Jan-17 23:32:31

Thanks for your recommendations, sounds like you had a great time.

DropZoneOne Fri 27-Jan-17 23:12:20

@TheFurryMenace

We had a great time! The weather was mixed, I'd love to go back in the summer, but we still managed the main things.

Empire State Building - great, they are brilliant at keeping the lines moving. Download the app in advance and take headphones. Book in advance, it's cheaper than walk up tickets.

Big Bus - we did this for 48 hours, so red route on our first day, got off at High Line (lovely to walk through, really peaceful - there's a sort of play area but it was closed as it was icy on our day) and Statue of Liberty cruise (this was the free one with the bus but it wasn't good as no commentary). Blue route round Central Park on our second day as it was tipping down with rain! If you have good weather, 1 day is probably enough but it was helpful to get our bearings.

Madame Tussauds - not as good as the one in London IMO, we were in and out in an hour!

We were staying in Tribeca so walked down to 9/11 memorial (didn't do the museum, DD was freaked out by the idea that planes crashed into tall buildings), and then onto battery park. We passed a play park on the way too.

Central Park - we spent a lot of time here! Ice skating, walking around, finding the statues, playing in the playparks - there are several! DD doesn't like museums which is a shame, especially in wet weather, so we spent as much time outdoors as possible.

Hard Rock Cafe - I'd never been to one, it was great fun, and I was expecting the bill to be really expensive, but it was similar to other places where we'd eaten/drunk a lot less.

It was an expensive trip, the exchange rate was about 1.2 so things that would have been good value a year ago really weren't. I also got caught out several times but the fact that prices are quoted before tax - so worked out how much I thought something would be, and then the bill was 10% higher.

Food wise, we ate at the hotel for breakfast each morning as although we were on RO basis, a quick reccie made it clear that the hotel was a decent priced option for us to fill up! Lunches tended to be burgers or Starbucks. Dinners we struggled with but I may not have been looking in the right places. We did a couple of 'cafes' which serve hot food like pasta but fast food style, and ate at the hotel restaurant which was stupidly expensive.

The subway is great, buy a metro card as you can load it up with enough for your family, then swipe it to let each person through the turnstile i.e. person 1 swipes and goes through, hands card to person 2 who swipes and goes through, hands to person 3 etc. I found it so strange to be able to hear the trains under the pavements as it's not deep underground like London, just one or two flights of steps down.

Have a great time!

chipsandpeas Fri 27-Jan-17 23:15:22

did you go to the intrepid, i could have stayed in the NASA bit all day but shopping had to be done
when i go back i would deffo spend more time there, i saw the space shuttle and concorde and at the time that was enough for me

TheFurryMenace Fri 27-Jan-17 23:22:13

Thank you so much for coming back on the thread OP, I really appreciate all your tips. We are going end of May, staying near Times Sq. I'm keen to do the bus tour, the High Line, ferry, Central Park and Top of the Rock, and Ground Zero. I am expecting it to be expensive to eat and drink. Thanks for the tip re hotel Breakast!

DropZoneOne Fri 27-Jan-17 23:32:52

We were staying in a Hilton Garden Inn, so DDs breakfast was free which was why it worked out so much better value than eating elsewhere. Check your hotel, as I believe quite a few of the chain hotels have a similar deal. It meant we could have cereals, waffles, pancakes, pastries, fruit, juice and coffee all for about $40 total, where just pancakes would have been $10 in a diner.

We loved Times Square too - a big section is pedestrianised now so was safe to stand and look up at the billboards and just take in the atmosphere.

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