New York City, New York
Updated: Jan 25
Start preading the news........ you are going to love New York!!
I grew up going here every summer and it always will hold a big place in my heart!
This post is based on informartion from all my trips. The last one was in April and June of 2018, so pre-covid. I know things are different there from what my friends tell me who live there. I think eating inside is up to 25 percent now. Please check here the current covid regulations before you go,
My son and I spent 10 magical days in NY City. My husband came for some, my brother for some and friends for some of it. I love to travel and love sharing it with my son. I grew up spending summers going to NY and as we got older magically at Christmas. I had not been in 10 years so it was fun to revisit all my favorites and find new ones. When you visit New York, I suggest you do places in the same area it is in New York if you can. I have divided our trips into Dumbo,Brooklyn, Wall Street/911/Battery Park, Central Park, Time Square,5th Ave, Coney Island, and a few other random places. You save a lot of time and money not running around back and forth around New York if you can. The tourist buses with the hop on/hop off also get you from one area to the next. If you fly from Atlanta on Delta (our favorite airline) to LGA, fly on the left side on the way up and the right side on the way back to get great views out the window. Transportation: Bus
The city buses are another great way to get around, but do take a while. There are a few express buses if you are going far. Use your map app on an iphone and hit transit and it will tell you which buses to take.
It is cheap $3.00 one way and easy to use and we had no issues with it. It was for the most part clean. People always seemed helpful to tell us which train to catch. Use your map app on an iphone and hit transit and it will tell you which subways to take. Great above ground subway ride. Take the J train from Queens to Manhattan.
They are everywhere and you just lift two fingers to let them know you need a taxi. Tip: make sure you are on the street going the direction you want to go or you could pay a few dollars to circle the block to go the right direction. I always had my son get in first and scoot all the way over as it was quicker but I also always made sure to tell him which side to get out as it may be a different way where there may be traffic. Tourist Buses
This is another fun way to get around and most have day or 2 day passes. Get a map of where the stops are, usually near a tourist attraction. Make sure you are in the right bus line as many buses stop at the same spot and the lines can get mixed up. They have night tours that are more a ride around for 1.5 hours and gives you an audio tour of places. If you do a night tour and use the head phones, they are cheap ones that fell out a lot so you may want to bring your normal ones if you have them. They will give you a rain poncho if it rains.
Uber and Lyft
are used by apps and can give you the price before you order a car. Some Ubers will try to pick you up if you have your taxi fingers out and say they can do cash, do not do it unless you booked it in the app. If you use an iphone use the maps app, then calculate where you want to go hit ride and it will tell you how much the different uber and lyfts are. Sightseeing Pass They have different companies that have different passes for NY. We chose Graylines sightseeing pass with 4 attractions. We had 30 days to use them after the first use. We used ours for a hop on hop ff bus which that ticket lasted 72 hours($50 value) , NFL experience($37value ) Luna Park ($69 value) and forgot to use the last one. I paid $89 for mine on sale and $47 for my sons on sale so we defiantly got our money’s worth. They have specials online a lot so check it out. I will say the Grayline buses were longer to wait for it seemed then the Big Bus. If you redeem a pass they just scan your phone qr that is emailed to you or I printed ours out as my phone would die sometimes. For the bus we redeemed it at the Empire State Building as they had an office here as I heard some people had problems redeeming it on the bus. They gave us printed out bus tickets to carry around and show each time. Here is a great sight to compare the passes and find which one is right for you. Broadway Tickets: If you want to see a show for sure, I suggest you buy them on line ahead of time. If you want to risk not seeing it here is a great way to buy tickets cheaper when in NY. Most of NY is laid out in a grid. Avenues run from the north to the south, streets are east to west. 5th Ave separates the east and the west. Broadway cuts through the city in a diagonal. There are 12 Aves which are vertical that go from North to South and most are numbered with one being the far east and 12 west. There are a few with names in between. Streets ae numbered 1 to 200 are horizontal. 1 is South and 200 is North. 5ht Avenue divides the city from East to West.
Central Park Area
Central Park is a fun way to spend a day, especially with kids. Did you know the street lamps have a white number on them to coordinate with the closest street number so you always know where you are?
Central Park has so much to offer. One day we took a taxi from our hotel to the Palze. We then walked across the street and hired a carriage ride. We then went to the Victoria Amusement Park and walked around the park till we ended up at Tavern on the Green.
Another time we started at E 72 Street Park, then went to the Alicein Wonderland Statue and sailed a boat with Sail the Park. From there we walked to Loebs Boathouse for lunch and then rented a rowboat for an hour and saw the city from a differnt point of view. After that we walked to the zoo. Central Park Zoo We went to the Central Park zoo and the Children's zoo. The one ticket gets you into both and you can buy online or at either one. You can ad for a few dollars more a 4d movie. We did not do this as we did not have time to go to it. They have specials online for 10 percent off online tickets so maybe google that and get them online to save a few dollars Right now the code is savecpz for 10 percent off. Even if you do both parts, it will not take you long. It is small compared to a normal city zoo. It is 6.5 acres total. At the time we went tickets were $12 for adult, which is 13 years and older, children age 3-7 are $7 and children 2 and under are free and seniors are $9. The movie is basically 6 dollars more. In the children's area, there are animals to feed between the hours of 10-2. They will close off the machines for food after 2:00 ( bring quarters encase the change machine does not work.) They also have a penny machine here to make pressed pennies. The other part has seals, penguins, bears and a few other animals. They have a cafeteria and a gift shop across from the main entrance. Other fun things in the area: Central Park zoo
Central Park Tisch Children's Zoo
Loeb Boathouse We went here for lunch one day after we did the Sail the Park remote controlled boat. It is very close to it. You can make a reservation on the OpenTable app or on line. The day we tried they had no reservations, but we got there right when they opened and luckily they could accommodate us. While we could not get a table right next to the water, we did get the next row of tables and still enjoyed the scenery and watch people in the row boats. See the link below for renting one. A man will come around with a yummy bread basket. We loved the pretzel bread the most. The meals were delicious and service was amazing!. I got the crab cake appetizer, my brother the salmon, and my son got the pasta and could not decided between butter and sauce, so they brought him both. All of us enjoyed every bite, we were to full for desert sadly. They do have a large bar inside and a seating area outside too. This is a place we will defiantly come back and highly recommend and give it all thumbs up!!
Row Boats (next door)
One of my favorite things this trip was to rent a boat fro the Loeb Boathouse, next to the restaurant. They have 100 boats to rent weather permitting. They rent from 10 am to sundown. They boats are $15 an hour, cash only, and $4 for each additional 15 mins. They do ask for a 20 deposit. If you return the boat in the hour, you get the $20 back. Make sure you save the deposit receipt. We saw a couple lose their receipt. Each boat holds 4 people and my son who was 8 had to wear under NY law a life jacket which they provided. We just went out and around the corner to go under a bridge and then turned around. This was about 30 mins and I am not a good rower. it does make for great pictures and I think would be a cute place to pop the question. On the website it says they have Gondola tours available for up to 6 people and is $45 an hour.
While I am sure you can get a horse and buggy anywhere in the park, there are many lined up across the street from the The Plaza Hotel. Just walk up to one and they will take you for a ride. Ours was $54 before tip for 20 mins. There was a 45 min ride I think for $120 but we only did the short route for $54. They give you a nice quick tour and history of part of the park and the longer one he said did most of the park. I felt our 20 min one gave my son a good feel for a carriage ride in the park without momma going broke. They will give you some history of the park too.
Tea at the Plaza We have gone in years before. It is $$$
Victorian Amusement Park During our carriage ride we saw in the distance this amusement park. It is where in the winter you can ice skate. We took the carriage back to close to the Plaza Hotel and walked back to Amusement park. My son is 8 and I would say the rides are for 10 and below. Every person has to pay a fee to get in, it was roughly $8. Then you can pay per ticket for rides or I bought my son the $24 pass (which included his admission fee.) He could then ride all rides unlimited. He did play a few games which were $4 each and we bought tickets for those. They did sell snacks and drinks and had indoor bathrooms here. We spent about an hour here and he went on almost all the rides, some many times. There are some benches to sit on to watch your child.
Tavern on the Green
You have seen it in many movies and I was so excited to try it here! It was such a delightful dinner here. We got here at 4:10 after walking around the park for a few hours with the carriage ride and the amusement park. I had a 5:30 reservation but we were tired and wanted to see if we could get in earlier. they are closed from 4-5 FYI. We sat on a wall outside and waited till 5 and were happy they accommodated us early. We were hot, so we ate inside but the outside area to eat looked fun with music and people dancing. As we were going inside to check in, my son spots the grandparent couple who we sat with on our Disney cruise, who live in another state, so you never know who you will see!! We checked in inside and sat near the glass window to over look the outside area. They have a little gift shop inside to with a few things. My son bought a ball wrapped in paper with 3 toys in it for $6. Kid meals were $10, my son was starving and ended up eating 2! I had a yummy risotto. My son then got a yummy sundae desert too $10. They have adorable birthday cake slices we noticed too with a candle $12. We walked out the front way as got a taxi right near the front entrance. We had entered from the park side when we went to eat. The food and service were amazing! Another place we plan to go back to
East 72 Street Playground
This was a great playground to let my 8 year old run around and be a kid
Sail the Park We were so excited to Sail a boat in the park. We got here a few minutes before 11 as the sign says they opened at 11. I will say, we waited till about 11:25 before anyone showed up to open, so hopefully they will open on time when you go. There is a cute place to grab food attached to it and you can sit at the tables and watch the boas. Once opened, my son and I each rented a boat. It is $11 for 30 mins. I paid $30 for him and got him a captains hat and a t shirt. We each got to pick out our colored boat and they gave us the remote control to wear around our neck. They placed the boats in the water. Grab a picture of your child holding it first. I saw others do that after ours were in already in the water. Then you control your boat with the big remote. At your 30 mins, you just go back to the store and hand in the remote. There are benches in the area if you want to sit and watch your child form a bench. My son really enjoyed this.
Alice In Wonderland Statue (enter at 72 Street entrance)
The Frick Collection is free Wednesday Afternoons
Some museums are free the first Fridays of the month
Museum of Natural History
If you are like my son, he loves the movie Night at the Museum,so this was the one thing he defiantly asked to do in NY. Although I will say he got disappointed when hew asked a guard there where the tablet of ackman (not sure how to spell it) was as we found out it was made up for the movie. Admission is whatever you chose to donate. You can use a sightseeing tour admission for it if you want, but I suggest just donate instead. You then get a sticker to wear as you go through the museum. From this point, you just have to know your child and what areas they would like. here are 45 halls and a Rose center for the Earth and space. I suggest you download the two apps I posted a picture of. One is the museums app and the other has a section to make sure you see all the items from the movie. My son loved navigating us with this and it has a GPS tracker to lead you to the next place. You can check bags here if you don't want to carry them around. They have lots of gifts shops and a few penny press machines. We took the elevator to the top floor and worked our way down. They do have children's times where you can go on tours and see items and be told about it by a child's tour guide. My son decided he did not want to do this,but we ran into one and listened for a little bit. They have many small cafes to eat at, but in the basement they have a large cafeteria. We chose to eat there, but like every museum cafe, it is not cheap. They have a fun children's area that we spent a good 45 mins at. Make sure to check the times it is open, They will then kick you out for a new group to come after 45 mins with a 15 min break for them to clean up . They have fun areas for hands on activies and if your child is 8 years and older, you can go to the upstairs kid area where they have slices of a real human brain, stick bugs to hold, slides to look under a telescope at and many more science hands on activies. We spent about 5 hours total here, but we also had a full day that we had left empty just for this museum. You can do this in a much shorter time. There are many food trucks across the street to if you want for lunch or a snack. its very easy to get a taxi outside too
Every Saturday from 5:00-7:45 is pay what you want via cash. Admission is $25 an adult, students and seniors are 18 and children under 12 are free. Located at 1071 5th Ave, NY between 88th and 89th st. It is just up from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Frank Llyoyd Wright designed the Guggenehim Museum . You can get a free audio guide which is an ipad in a device you carry around. They will keep your ID to make sure that you give back the device. They have a coat check. To get here by subway take the 4,5,6 and Q subway lines. By bus take the M1, M2, M3, or M4. The bus lines are on Madison or 5th Ave. The Guggenheim is more modern art. They do have some renaissance paintings in one section. I must say I am not a modern art person, as I cant understand how a child's hair is art, but do love the shape of this museum. Look around the amazing shaped museum is fun. We always start at the top (elevator up) and work our way down. In typical New York fashion, it is easy to catch a taxi outside and there are food trucks.
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of art is my favorite museum! 1000 5th Ave, Ny, NY 10028. It is located North of middle of the east side of Central Park. The Guggenheim is located just a little north of here. There is a playground on the corner near the entrance to the park. If you are a Turner employee you and a guest can get in here free with a valid ID, otherwise It is $25 an adult. Check and see if your company gets you in free or a discount. Before we left we read the book the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E, Frankweiler (Amazon Affiliate) with my just turned 8 year old son. This made it a little more exciting to see where things in the museum were from the book. It was a child hood favorite of mine that my mom read o me before we went. This museum is huge and you could spend hours here so figure out what you want to see before you go or just wander around. Again, everyone's taste is different so go to the exhibits you think you would like. They have a great cafeteria on the bottom floor that we had lunch at. One things I suggest is to go to roof top cafe. You get amazing views of the skyline. They have a snack bar up there to but is a little pricey. We got some great pictures up there. You go down a different way so if you have a stroller or handicap person in your party, go back down the same elevator and they will let you. Taxis are very easy to get outside of here ant there is a line of food trucks outside
Coney Island on surf Ave, New York, New York 11224 is located about a 45 min subway ride from midtown and open year round. It is called the birth place of amusement parks. The subway (D,F,N or Q ) the Stillwell Ave station is right next to Coney Island so very easy to get to. You can also take a few buses (B36, B68,B74,BB2,B28) to get here or by car. We took a car here and parking can get pricey. They have a long boardwalk with a beach. The beach has a few playground areas to play on Nathans Famous Hotdogs on Boardwalk We went to the Nathans on the boardwalk. I have always heard of them but never had one, so it was a must for this trip. You can see the prices of the food in the pictures. Just have patience, as this location took forever to get food. They take your order, then the same person fills it and it they take their time. We were maybe 5 back in line and it took about 45 mins. they did have multiple lines but all went at this speed. There were also no places to sit as the tables they had were full, so we sat and ate on a bench. They also have the original location around the corner.
New York Aquarium Located in Coney Island, next to Luna Park is The New York Aquarium. The address is Surf Ave at W 8th street, Brooklyn, New York 11224. We live in Atlanta, so having our amazing aquarium, this one was a disappointment. Half of it was under construction due to damage from hurricane Sandy. But if you need a place to be air conditioned and beat the heat then defiantly pop in. I think once the renovations is over it will be great. They have a small indoor area, but the day we went they had so many school tours in there that my son did not even want to look as they were every where. They have a small outdoor area too with a live show, a shark tank area, and a 4d movie. They also have a penny press machine here if you collect those as a souvenir. They have a gift shop and I saw a snack stand but it was not open when we were there. The bathrooms are in the outside section. I would love to go back when the construction is over as we felt like much was missing , but understand that it was due to the hurricane.
Luna Park Amusement Park
Luna Park is the famous amusement park here. I will say I thought it would be a lot bigger. They had maybe 30 rides all right next to each other. There was a smaller amusement park next to it for another fee, but it was not open when we were there. We went on a Friday morning and crowds were light. Someone mentioned they went the next day and lines were really long, so maybe a weekday is best to visit. We had a NY sightseeing pass so we did the wrist band for unlimited rides ($69 a person.) Most rides were 7 credits or 3 credits for little kid rides. You can buy credits for a $1 a piece. All rides had height restrictions so you may want to figure out financially which is best for your family. They also have games you pay cash for and win prizes. If you do credits on a game/ride card you can use those credits for games or rides
Time Square Area
Time Square makes the city feel alive. It is always exciting here, but if you want to see it not wall to wall people, I suggest getting up early in the mornings. There is a subway stop, behind where the ball drops. You can actually see Good Morning America being taped live. There are many stores and places to eat here. While we did not eat here everyone said Dos Caminos is great and reasonably priced. It is to the left of the red steps. Bubba Gumps If you get a Landry card https://www.landrysselect.com/ you get $25 gift certificate when you purchase it for $25 and then you get 15 for your birthday so list your birthday when you would travel there. and get first dibs on seats. Olive Garden, Hard Rock, Carmines for Italian food, Time Square Diner is off the main area about 3 blocks but good food, great service and a lot cheaper. We ate here twice. They are open 24 hours. Behind the Marriott is a Juniors Cheesecake ( see that photo albums). There is a McDonald's but the line is always long. Chevy's 259 West 42nd Street has kid meals for $1 on Wednesday nights. If you ever need a taxi there is a taxi stand on the right side of the Marriott Marquis hotel. I do think it is sad that the character dressed up have ruined Time Square in my opinion. I have read stories of them chasing people for money.
The Naked Cowboy, a Time Square classic, was very nice and you don't feel hounded for money, but he would like a tip. He autographed a card for my son. There is now a naked grandma and well there are no words for that. Before we went on the trip I told my son you never know what you will see in New York City. In Time Square there are tall women with the American Flag painted on their bodies. They have on thong panties and nipple pasties. He saw them and said, "yep, you are right you never know what you will see." I also gave him a talk about pick pockets and about the characters.
He really wanted a picture with the Hulk and I had gotten a few dollars out of my wallet before Time Square as I don't want people to see my wallet. The Hulk was by himself and my son asked for a picture, he said yes, well then about 4 others jumped in as I took the picture. He handed the Hulk the money and Minnie Mouse grabbed it from his hand. He got so upset as he wanted the Hulk to have it. I grabbed him by the hand and was trying to get him away and they were like come on momma give us each money. I sternly said no and rushed us away. People also try to sell you cds of music, this to is a scam and heard they try to get money from you. I tell you not to scare anyone but just to be aware.
Later that night we watched a group of guys put on a skit if you will. There were about 300 of us watching. What I liked about them, is they passed around a bag asking for money and said give what you can. My son got chosen for there skit and loved it. There are cops around. Some nights I saw tons with guns and other times I did not see as many, but heard they have under cover cops dressed as street people. There was an event one night here while we were staying here. They brought in huge dump trucks of sand to surround the area so no one could ram a car into the people. Sad times we live in. There were many police then. They have a huge set of red steps opposite the ball. You are welcome to sit here and people watch.
To the right side of it they sell tickets to play cheap at TKTS. IT is a discount booth where they are usually 20-50 percent off. They have an app you can download to for information. You can see the big ball atop of the Walgreen building. You will see the ball down and the year under it. Overall I feel it is safe to walk Time Square, just be aware of your surroundings and keep wallets hidden and zipped up. If it was super crowded, I would hold my sons hand and keep him close to me. He has a GPS watch where he can call me so I also taught him to look around and if he needed to call me to be able to describe where he was. You know your children and do what you can to prepare them for this area.
Located in the heart of Time Square is the Disney store at 1540 Broadway, NY,NY 10036. It is like a huge two story Disney Store but the main floor has many I love NY items or Mickey dressed at Statue Of Liberty and Mickey Ears that say I love NY. I went in April and twice in June and all 3 times they were out of the collectors pins that said NY so was disappointed, but it does not hurt to ask. Besides the NY items it was just like a Disney Store with a few special decorated areas. If you get to any Disney Store early, around 8:30 before it opens, they choose a child to open the store. They have an opening ceremony each morning and the child gets a Disney key to keep as a souvenir.
Ellens Stardust Diner
Ellens Stardust Diner is a fun place for all ages to eat at. Located at 1650 Broadway New York, New York at the corner of 51 and Broadway. Please note they do take reservations for groups of 20 or more and are usually sat on the top floor. To get in you have to stand in line outside till your table is ready. We went on a Monday night at 4:50 and were sat by 5:40 for a group of 5. They will take groups behind you if they are smaller or larger. Once inside you will see the waiters and waitresses singing almost non stop during your meal. They do come around ever hour and ask for donations but I never felt hounded and we only gave the first time. Last year 17 wait staff moved on to Broadway. I will say many had incredible voices. The food was great. I got chicken pot pie for about $22 The hamburgers are $21 and milk shakes were about $10. My friend got a salad and I think my brother got french toast. I would suggest getting up early and being there when they open so you don't have to wait in a long line. We were to full, but be sure to get the rainbow cheesecake for $20 or they have some milkshakes with little pieces of cake on the top
Harry Potter The Play
Oh the Places Your Family Will Go added 15 new photos. Published by Debbie Calabro · 28 mins · We went last week to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. Sunday at the Tony awards it won 6 awards including best play, and well I have to agree. To buy tickets is the hard part. You get in line on days they announce they are selling tickets on ticket master. I was like number 999,999 I though no way would I get tickets. I finally got through and tried to purchase two. It declined all my charge cards and husbands. ( it should not have) Hours later I got an email I got two tickets, then a minute later 2 more tickets right next to each other. I was so excited!! Ticketmaster sent an email their was a glitcvh in the system declining cards. They were $299 each before all the fees. You can also try to buy them at the box office(good luck!), join the cancellation line (again good luck) or every Friday they have a Friday Forty. At 12:01 am to 1:00 pm with Today Tix. and tickets are $20 each. Again good luck. This site explains it more. https://www.harrypottertheplay.com/…/first-broadway-friday…/ If you are lucky enough to get tickets, you can enter 1 hour before the performance. They have a line outside the theater and I felt it was run great. We saw Hamilton in April in NY and it was a madhouse everyone pushing to get in. You do have to go through a metal detector and have your bags searched. Once in, there is a gift shop, a snack shop and a wine bar. Make sure you pay the $4 more to get a Harry Potter keepsake cup. They had cane Colas, gummy candy, no butter beer which was a disappointment, and yummy smoothies for kids in the main food shop or with alcohol for adults. 30 mins before they allow you in your seats. I was on the end seat and froze so had to go buy a sweatshirt. My friends in the row more were fine. They even offer a service to have drinks brought to you at intermission. I will admit I brought in snacks for the boys which no one said we could not. (Have to save money somewhere after the crazy ticket prices.) For souvenirs they have pins$5, pens, t shirts $30(no kid sizes) sweatshirts $60, wands $50, a stuffed owl $25, Hogwarts Stationary $16, and a few other items. Please note, it says they will not let you in late, and one couple tried to move up seats and they yelled at them during the performance. They also got on a older lady trying to turn her phone off close to show time. The play is 2 hours 50 min for part one with a 20 min intermission and 2 hours 40 mins for part 2. We only had tickets to part 1 as they were pricey and I was not sure my 8 yr old who is only on book 2 would enjoy it or sit that long. The other boy with us was 10 and read all the books. The first part was amazing!! The visual affects everything. I won't spoil it as their hashtag is #keepthesecret. I have only read book one and loved it and could follow along. I do feel people who have not read harry Potter would still enjoy it. The minute part one was over both boys wanted part 2. We ran to box office hoping for a slight chance hoping to get part 2 tickets, of course no. My friend jumped on stub hub and found 4 tickets two rows back from where we were and about half the price of value. We got them!!! We figured with show time coming in an hour this person just wanted to get any money for them. We ran to McDonalds (we spent enough money already) to feed the kids then she ran to the stub hub office about 4 blocks from the theater while I got the boys in line. Part two was a little darker, but my son still loved it and was so excited and glad we did part two. I was worried as it started at 7:30 and we had been on th ego for so many days. If you can get tickets and have the money this is something I highly recommend. When we wen,t it was still a school day but was mostly adults in the audience. We did see some people dressed in Harry Potter gear, but most were not when we went. My son and his friend both dressed up and I know that added to the fun for my son. If you put the programs together it makes the wings and at the end of part one you get a yellow button and at the end of part two you get a black one
Kodama Sushi in Times Square- we had dinner here before a show. It was great. Hershey’s
The Time Square Hershey Store is located next to the NFL Experience at 1593 Broadway, NY, NY 10019. They have the worlds largest Hershey bars for sale for I think they were $40, Large Twizzlers, Hershey Kiss Pillows, Wrapper for Large Candy bars you can design for $10. But the best is in the back of the store. The Smore Store! For $9.95 you get either two smores or one you can make into a sandwich. It was the best I ever hand!! Be sure to get one
If you love cheesecake then you must come here. There are many locations around New York. We came her for breakfast, dinner at midnight, take out you name it. We love it here. They have amazing food and amazing cheesecake You can't go wrong. There may be a line to get in, so come with patience but it is worth it. They do have a take out section in most so look for it and you may want to get it to go.
M and M Store Who would have thought that a M and M store would be three floors, but it is! Located close to the heart of Time Square at 1600 Boradyway , New York, New York, 10019 is 25,000 sq ft of chocolate lovers paradise. They have lots of cute NY gifts to take back home. Our favorite is the machine you can write your own saying on the M and Ms. Go to one of the computers and type what you want it to say, or pick out a NY picture or holiday saying. Then pay for it, pick the size cup you want, all the designs ( you can pick up to 4) will be in one cup, then pick the color of M and M's you want, then go to the machine and have them printed.
Marriott Marquis Revolving Bar
In the heart of Time Square is the Marriott Marquis hotel. If you go in and take the elevator to floor 3, the find the elevator label The View. Take it all the way to floor 48. When you exit the elevator you will be on the bar level. We went here for drinks one night. We were staying at the hotel so they waved a fee to go here. She never said what it was, but be advised there is a per person fee. At night they had a desert buffet for $22 a person and drinks. we wanted a light snack but that was all they had to offer. My brother got it and enjoyed it. I was cheap and just got a coke and my son got a virgin fruit drink for $14. We had an amazing waitress and she gave each of us a napkin with the map on it and would up date us where we were. We went at sun down so got to see it in daylight and at dusk. It takes about 50 min to go all the way around. The kids and all of us enjoyed it. They also have a little TV screen where you can make funny snap chat like photos and send them to yourselves so the kids love that. We live in Atlanta and unfortunately our rotating restaurant had a tragedy that led to the death of a sweet boy. So I always remind my son at rotating places to stay seated and not to wonder around and keep all body parts away from moving parts.
Marriott Marquis The view (rotating restaurant)
In the heart of Time Square is the Marriott Marquis hotel. If you go in and take the elevator to floor 3, the find the elevator label The View. Take it all the way to floor 48. When you exit the elevator you will be on the bar level. You need to go down one level to the restaurant. Once there check in. We made our reservation on the opentable app.
It takes about 50 min to go all the way around. Upstairs in the bar the cocktail napkins have a map what you see. Ask for one of these as we were not given one.
The meal is prefix and three courses for $89. No one ever told us this till we sat down, but we stayed anyway. The kids meals were $30 each. The food was great, They even let my son have an extra desert for free. We loved eating dinner and looking out the windows. Note you wont see Time Square as you are to far up, you only see tops of buildings.
We live in Atlanta and unfortunately our rotating restaurant had a tragedy that led to the death of a sweet boy. So I always remind my son at rotating places to stay seated and not to wonder around and keep all body parts away from moving parts.
They have a line to get in, so be prepared to stand in line. Here are some fun things to do there.
The Lego Brick Lab LEGO building with digital play like never before!
The Minifigure Factory -create your own mini Lego and see it be made. Go to floor 2, go to cash register, but the kit, go scan it at the kisok making area and then watch it be made.
The Mosaic Maker turn your child's photo and turn it into one-of-a-kind LEGO mosaic.
Empire State Building
The day we went we were lucky as there was a very short line. If the line is long, I suggest paying the VIP ticket price. I thought it would be long and the VIP guy even said, the line is short don't waist your money. We had friends go at Christmas and they did it and saved them 1.5 hours they said. You go up an escalator then go through a TSA type security. They do not allow cans such as coke, but do allow bottled drinks. Then is the ticket booth to get the tickets.Then you can get a picture taken we bypassed this. Then took the elevator rise up, see video https://www.facebook.com/1493891320861059/videos/2016869538563232/ then you get out on floor 80 I think it was which is indoors. They you take an elevator to the next floor 86 which is outside. Then if you wanted to go to the top, it was an other $20 per person to floor 102. We had done the 102 floor at OWO so I didn't want to spend another $40 for my son and I. They have a huge gift shop on floor 80 and my son loved getting a lollipop in the shape of Empire State Building (ESB). We did have to wait a while to take the elevator down to 80 They offered people to walk the 6 stories. Then you take another one down to the bottom. Your ears my pop and the elevator is small but lasts less than a minute. They have a Grayline Sightseeing Pass store on the main floor here so if you have one and need to redeem for anything, go here. We traded in for our hop on hop off bus tickets here. The pass does not for for the Empire State Building but think the $40 credit was good here,
Your mission, should you chose to accept it it to head to Spyscape. We love spies, so I was excited to learn about this place that had opened this year. We have gone to the one in DC but this one I like better as its a museum and also interactive. Remember it is NY prices so it was $39 for adult and $32 for child. I did not know at the time,but it does take your Sightseeing pass here. When we visited, school in NY was still in session and this places was nearly empty. We finished it in about and 1 and 15 mins with gift shopping included. When you enter you give your name and you get a spy bracelet They can not loosen the bracelet so do not make it to tight on. You then either here or on the next floor, complete a computer brain challenge. It asks you what you would do in certain situations to get to know your personality. Then you get in a huge elevator that is like a movie screen. You go to floor two. You can go at your own pace and explore. You have 2 more computer stops if you want to take more challenges. If it was a buys I would skip this part. They have a computer table where you can send secret messages and decode them. You can walk through the museum items and you can then go into a booth by yourself (I am claustrophobic and was fine.) You watch videos and try to guess which person is lying and it will tell you your score of the 4 people you watched and then tell you who lied. Then you go through more museum and end up in a room and you put these headsets on. You watch security cameras and answer questions in the microphone and it will give you a score. I forgot to mention at each station you scan your bracelet and it keeps your info. The last interactive station was the most fun. You are to hit lights in a booth and you need to duck from the laser beams while doing it. You have 1 min 15 seconds to do it , but lose seconds the more beams you hit. You can watch people doing it as they have cameras in there. You do have a slight feeling you are locked in, but I did it twice. Here is a video of my son doing it. https://www.facebook.com/1493891320861059/videos/2016854451898074/ Your mission is now complete and you find out what kind of spy you are based on all your scores. Then it is time to hit the gift shop or you can grab a snack. Bathrooms are also located here.
5th Ave Area
This is great for shopping high end stores the one end of 5th Ave is down by Central Park
St. Patricks Cathedreal
Rockerfeller Center Summer you can eat outside/Christmas has the ice skating rink and tree
The Top of the Rock
Tiffany's Breakfast at Tiffany’s or known as The Blue Box Café Located on the 4th floor of the 5th Avenue Tiffany’s is the Blue Box Café. You can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner or high tea here. Reservations open 30 days advanced on the Resy App and they book in less than 5 mins! Make sure you create an account on Resy in advanced, save your credit card info (they'll need a credit card to hold it), be logged in, and keep refreshing at 8:59am on your phone, laptop & desktop. There are no bathrooms on the 4th floor. They have some on 6 and second floor has fancy looking bathrooms Dylan’s Candy We went to the Dylan's Candy Store on 60th Street near Bloomingdale's and right down from Serendipity 3 it s child's dream. It is owned by Ralph Laurens daughter Dylan. You can have lunch up stairs https://www.dylanscandybar.com/cafe.html and you can also call a week ahead of your visit if you have 5 or more in your family you can reserve a behind the scenes candy store tour for $50 a person. This is a kids dream place
Serendipity is a fun ice cream store that serves food too. You have seen it in many movies and is a fun spot. You can call to make a reservation or use Open Table. It is right down from Dylan's Candy bar if you are in the mood for more sweet treats.They have the most amazing huge Sundays that run about $20 each and can defiantly be shared. Make sure to try their hot chocolate too.
Serendipity (Amazon Affiliate) is a fun movie to watch before you go.
Bloomingdales and the Roosevelt Tram are right here too. Battery Park/South Street Seaport/911/OWO/Brookfield Mall /Wall Street Area Brookfield Mall
Across from the 911 Memorial is an upscale mall. I do have mixed feelings that such a luxury place is put next to the memorial, but do think its a great place to grab a snack after. They have access to the subway/path train/Oculus in here. There are lots of security guards walking around. On the bottom floor towards the water on the left is a area that has food. Think lots of hot bars like at whole foods with meats and cheeses but more like little stores. Up stairs are a few restaurants. There are amazing seats that over look the water. A friend, on a girls trip, got the best snack and I couldn't wait to go back and get it again a month later. Its in the back of the eating area called Tartinery. It was the Strawberry Tartine. If you love Nutella be sure to get the Nutella and banana tartine. They are heaven! They have many upscale shops here like Louis, Gucci, Hermes and more. In the back on the first floor outside are tables and chairs and is a great place to bring your snack and watch boats and look at the Statue of Liberty and NJ.
The 911 Memorial is a very special to walk around. I took my 8 year old son. We talked ahead about it and he has always known about 911, but before we left he watched for the first time the videos of the planes. I wanted to make sure he respected this area of NY and prepare him for it. While walking around he saw many people breaking down in tears and you could tell it made him sad. we had planned to do the museum which I heard is very emotional, but he really did not want to go in after seeing people cry. I asked around and they said that he would be 5 to look around but they suggest 22 and older when walking into galleries. I decided to listen to him and we did not go in. They have tour guides, many who were there that day that have powerful stories. You know your child, so use your judgement on the museum. Walking around is still powerful. You see al the names and can get a feel for the buildings from the two fountains they have there. You will see all the names engraved and what got to me was seeing and unborn child next to many. If you see a white flower in the name, it means it was their birthday that day.I thought that was very touching. There is also the Survivor Tree. It is a Callery Pear tree. It was severely damaged during 911 but they removed and it took care of it and returned in 2010 to the memorial. It stands today as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth. My son really enjoyed learning about it. For tickets to the museum, you can get them here https://www.911memorial.org/museum After this we went to the OWO
The Oculas is a 800,000 square feet train Subway/NJ PATH station with stores under the 911 memorial. It cost $4 billion dollars. You can access it from the Brookfield Mall across the street or near the 911 memorial on Greenwich Street . There are a lot of high end stores in here and a few places to get snacks. It was fun to look around and is so clean and pretty. We entered it through the mall after a snack and walked it to the other side. We then went to Wall street to look around.
Wall Street It is fun to walk around the Wall street area. The famous Charging Bull is located at Broadway and Morris Street. It is a bronze statue and is also called the Wall Street bull. When we went, there were hundreds of people around it so it was hard to get a picture of just us. If you want one like that go early. There is also now the Fearless Girl Statue. It was installed on the eve of International Woman's Day in 2017 to call for an increase in the number of women on corporate boards. There is also the New York Stock Exchange located at 11 Wall Street, NY. You really cant get in but fun to see where it is. Federal Hall is located across from the NYSE at 26 Wall Street. This is where George Washington took his Oath of office as our first President. It was also the home of the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. There is a place children can participate in being a Junior Ranger to learn more about Federal Hall. Trinity Church is close by and you can see it standing in front of Federal Hall. It is at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street. It is undergoing repairs at this time but you can walk the grounds, sit at tables outside and enjoy a snack from a near by food truck, or see a few small chapels that are open. Did you know Hamilton is buried here? Many people took refuge here after the buildings fell during 911. Most of the pews paint got rubbed off that day. There is one pew int eh back that still remains from 911
Sea Glass Carousel This has to be my favorite carousel in the world! It is so peaceful with the music and how it moves. It is located near the Staten Island Ferry and the Statue Of Liberty. It is $5 a ride and adults of all sizes can ride it. They do have 10 tickets for $45. My son rode this 3 times he loved it so much. It is open 7 days a week, 10 AM-10 PM You can enter across from 17 State Street.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is free and a great way to see the Statue of Liberty. It is located near battery park. You go in the terminal that says Staten Island Ferry then you go upstairs. There are a few places to grab food and restrooms. The Ferry comes every 30 mins. It was a mad house trying to get on, everyone trying to get on fast. Once on, stand on the right side at the open window part to get a good view, also the front of the boat has a good view too. We went in June around 7:30 to see it in the day light then the 8:00 back to see it lit up. Once you get to Staten Island you must get off and run to other side to get back on, if you miss it you have to wait 30 mins. There are gift shops and places to grab food here too. Go to the same side as before to get views. There are seat inside if you are to hot or cold.
Statue of Liberty My son was so excited to go here! His face when we actually got there was priceless. Its neat to see something they have seen pictures of and actually go there and what they think of it. You can get tickets here 6 months in advance. If you want to go no matter what the weather get them at the 6 month mark. We waited as we wanted good weather and I knew we were not going up to the crown, I am claustrophobic from a car accident and the stairs are tight.https://www.statueoflibertytickets.com/Statue-Of-Liberty-Tours/ When you get tickets you can get to the island, the pedestal, or the crown. We just got tickets to the Island. I had wanted pedestal ones but they were sold out. It is still worth it and gives us something new to do next time. If you can print your tickets ahead or make sure you have the scanning part that shows on your phone or you have to stand in line to get them which is long. You can board the boat an hour before your ticketed time. You get in another line after you have tickets and they will scan them. They never looked at our time but maybe the scanner picks up the time. Then you go through a TSA where belts, jewelry watches, everything comes off. Then you board the boat. I caution you as we went on a lovely weather day and the boat really rocked. People fell and no one seemed to bat an eye, which made me think this must happen all the time. My mom uses a can and I was glad she was not with us as you could have fallen easily. Once on the boat try to get a seat or go upstairs. We got one on the main area. They will pack people on here. We grabbed a hot dog, coke, pretzel and a light up statue of liberty on boat. They do allows strollers on it with children in them. We also had our fun Statue of Liberty hats on ready for our adventure. I would say the boat ride over once full, takes 10 mins. Then you get off and are free to walk around as long as you like. If you have tickets to other parts make sure to be ready to be there then. if you have tickets to walk to the crown, they say it is very strenuous and there are 393 steps, the height of a 27 story building. It is enclosed and hot. Of the 393 steps, 162 are narrow and tight from the pedestal to the crown. There is no elevator access fro the pedestal to the crown. They have a small gift shop near where you get off and a cafe. We grabbed a snack here. they have a pressed coin, not penny, machine here. They have a huge gift shop when you leave so check that one out if you can only do one. We loved walking around and seeing it from al angles and enjoyed looking at the city. They have in the big gift shop near the restrooms a place you can leave and charge a phone for 99 cents no matter how long it was in there. We did this while we shopped the gift shop to give my phone a boost. To leave make sure you take the NY boat if you got on there. It will then stop at Ellis Island. You can get off or stay on. This whole trip will take a few hours.After the Statue we walked towards the Staten Island Ferry. They have an amazing carousal here be sure to check it out. Then we ate at the beer garden almost next to it. Other Fun things in the area: I have them in order of what is near each other.
Steps: 338 to the crown
Ellis Island To get to Ellis Island you need to get tickets to go to the Statue of Liberty. see that post for more info on it. We took the boat from the Statue of Liberty and rode it for about 5 mins to Ellis Island. Get on the left side of the boat so you can get great pictures. When you get of there is a huge museum. Go in there. We were there at he end of our day and very tired so will admit we did not do much. They have a gift shop here and we went left when we went in to the area where you can research your ancestry. GO to a computer and pay $7 and they give you a code to go to another computer. You have 30 mins once you log in and you can research any names. It is good to have the exact name and year they entered if you can. My FIL knew this so we found his dad right away. We found the page where his dad signed in to america and his certificate to America. Fathers day was coming up so we bought these for him. They signed page was $30 which you get there with a certificate to say it was from Ellis Island and they rolled it up into a container. The other certificate was $30 and I bought a nice binder that says Ellis Island on it for another $30 and has to be mailed. We got it a week later. They have a small ok kids area to explore. In the gift shop for 99 cents you can buy a paper passport that kids can stamp at all National Parks We stamped for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty here. By now we had had a long day so we did not explore more and got back on NY boat ( they have a NJ boat too) to go back. The boat ride can be rocky and when we docked we hit the dock and people did get knocked over and it was a nice day weather wise so always hold on on the boat. I have heard many people say the 90 min Hard Hat tour of Ellis Island is really cool as you can go to areas the public can not. We are saving this for when my son gets a little older. https://www.statueoflibertytickets.com/Hard-Hat-Tour-of-El…/ When you get off if you walk in the area of the Staten Island Ferry you can get the hop on hop off buses.
South Street Seaport South Street Seaport is an area about a block for the water near the Finical District where Fulton Street meets East River. It has some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan. They have renovated ships you can walk around at certain hours, it is where the old Former Fulton Fish Market was. There are a few shops and restaurants here. My sons godfather Lives in NY wand works in the Financial district so her took us to Paris Cafe for dinner. It had old world charm. They also have a TKTS office in this area 190 front Street New York, New York 10038. Other Fun things in the area: I have them in order of what is near each other.
Dumbo/Brooklyn Area - I really had not planned on going here, but so glad we did!! Brooklyn Bridge https://www.facebook.com/pg/Oh-the-Places-Your-Family-Will-Go-1493891320861059/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2015855725331280 NYC Ferry https://www.facebook.com/pg/Oh-the-Places-Your-Family-Will-Go-1493891320861059/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2016842461899273 River Café https://www.facebook.com/pg/Oh-the-Places-Your-Family-Will-Go-1493891320861059/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2016840885232764 High Line/Chelsea market Area High Line
After we left the Chelsea Market, located close to it is the High Line. The city had old railwayson the west side that were to expensive to tear down so they built a lovely walk way with art and little spots to stop along your walk. The elevator was broken to get up to the High Line where we tried to get on, so we had to walk up about 30 steps. It was raining the day we went, but still enjoyed our walk. The views were great and they had spots along the way to stop and sit. If you are walking it and want to get off at Chelsea market, get off at 14th street. You are close to the end of the line here. It runs from Gansevoor Street in the meat packing district to West 34th street between 10th and 12 th Avenue. It is 1.45 miles long. They have wheelchair access at Gansevoort, 14th,16th, 23 and 30 streets. But I will say the 14th street one was broken when we did it. Staircases are at 18th, 20th, 26th, and 28th streets and 11th Ave.
Chelsea Market Chelsea market 75 9th Ave, New York, New York, 10011. Chelsea Market is a urban food court with some cute little shops in there. It is a great way to sample food from all around, or sit at one place for a meal. Many people call it a food Mecca. It is housed in the old Nabisco Factory. There are 2 floors to explore. The bottom floor is a lot smaller and has a very nice large clean bathroom. I highly suggest getting brownies at Fat Witch Bakery. We took the subway from our apartment and began walking to it and we went one block out of the way and found a great place to eat at,Village Pizza. It was great pizza and for $5 got a coke and large piece of pizza, so we were glad we went that one block. There are cute stores next to it, a grocery store, shoe store and cute bath fizzy shop. Then we walked a few more block to Chelsea Market. I will say we thought Chelsea Market would be a little bit bigger, but still enjoyed looking at all the stored and shops. I have had friends take food tours of the market which I think would be really cool. Check out this place at Chelsea Market
Other cool things to do in NY: Pizza Cooking School Did you know you can take a 4 hours class to learn how to make real New York Pizza? The cost is $195 for one and $295 for two people. It is located at 371 Grans Street, new York, New York 10002
Sleep No More Interactive Play
I went on a girls trip to NYC in April 2018. We had heard about a unique play that all the stars were talking about and heard if you wanted a different NY play experience to go and see it. We purchased tickets online before we left and were a little over $100 a ticket. For a small fee more, you can reserve a table to sit at the bar. I may spoil a few things so if you want the full surprise experience, read no more. We were not sure what to expect. It is located in the McKendrick hotel at 530 W 27th Street, New York, New York 10001. They have shows starting at 7:00 and run one hour till 10:00. You can stay in as long as you like. Ill explain more in a bit. First I should stay I am extremely claustrophobic and they say this is not good for that. In an email we got the night before it stated "guests may encounter intense psychological situations," so I was very hesitant to go. You must be 18 yrs old to go or 13 and up with a guardian. You walk in a dark hallway and must check your coats and purses. There is a $4 charge. You then go and check your group in. They give you a card like from a deck of cards. Each card has a number. This will be the group you enter the play with from the bar. You then walk up some stairs to a bar. Before you get to a bar it is pitch black and you zigzag to the bar. I did not like this but my friends grabbed me and pulled me through it. It is extremely hot in the bar and reminds me of like what a bar would be like in the 1920's There are house drinks and a full bar. Tables are paid for when you make a reservation. They then call your groups, usually 3 different numbers. They tell you they want you to experience this alone and they split our group of 5 into 2 groups when we walked through the curtain. They cut the other half off before we realized it. They then hand you a white mask and tell you to wear it at all times and there is no talking allowed. They give a few directions and then our group got in a dark elevator with a tiny light over a man. The man in the elevator got everyone on and opened the door on a floor. Spolier!! The first person near the door got out and then he closed it and the rest of us went on our way up. So if you don't want to be alone, stay to the back. Our other group said they started at the bottom and never got in an elevator. You then enter many different scenes on different floors. You are welcome to walk around and touch items. You will then see an actor or actress and you follow them. They are putting on a Shakespeare play of McBeth with no talking. They do the play every hour so you have no clue what part of the play you are walking into. You then wonder and find another character and watch its act. There are many floors and many times they run up and down the steps so wear comfortable shoes. It is also extremely hot in there, so wear a very light shirt. The masks get very sweaty too. Our group was in there about and hour and 45 mins and I must say personally I was glad to get out as I was very hot and sweaty. We then went to the bar for drinks after. in the hotel, The characters will have no masks on and there are people with black masks on to help you if you need them. I won't spoil more of the play and will let you enjoy it on your own. I am sure everyone has their on interpretation of this play. Would I recommend it? If you want something totally different then this is defiantly the place for you! AS the add says this is not a play, its an experience. After going I read this and felt it was a great explanation of the play.
Other places we did not have time for: Yankee game Radio City I went as a kid and still remember it
The Ride Governors Island The Roosevelt Tram free with a subway weekly card or $2.75. Takes about 10 mins.
This is right near Bloomingdales and Serendipty
Bronk Zoo Brooklyn Botanical Gardens It is free on Fridays before noon. https://www.bbg.org/visit Smile to Go Bagels in Dumbo at 49 Water Street Russ and Daughters for Breakfast Black Top Burgers and Shakes Iguana sometimes gives free dance lessons Nintendo NYC near Rockefeller Center 230 Rooftop Moxy rooftop Ghostbuster Firestation 14 N Moore Streer Tribeca,NY 10013 Carrie Bradshaws place from Sex in the City 64 Perry Street, NY, NY 10014 Outside of the Friends Aparetment Building 90 Bedford Street You can take subway to West 4th Street by Subways A,B,C,D,E,F, M or Christopher Street is closer but can only get to it by the 1 Train New York Public Library Mondays in the summer are Free movie Night at Bryant Park Grand Central Christmas Cottage at 871 7th Ave has the 2 Turtle Doves from the Home Alone (amazon Affilaite) movie for $27.99 Eat at Lillies Victorian Establishment Rolfs to eat at Christmas to see Decorations 281 3rd Ave, NY,NY 10018 Museum of Mondern Art (MoMA) Cloisters Fishing at Central Park for free at 110th Street Lincoln Center Madison Square Garden Intrepid air and Space Museum Children’s Museum Museum of Ice Cream in Chelsea Tenement The Vessel at Hudson Yard It issadlt closed right now due to 3 sucides there, but check around the time you want to go. Free Kayaking on the Hudson River
Design your own Nike Shoes Outlet Malls Here is a great article telling the difference between the two Jersey Gardens in an outlet mall. You can catch a bus ( I believe number 111) at port authority at 42/8th ave. Get there early as I hear there can be long lines and you have to wait for the next bus. It takes roughly 35 mins and costs $14. Woodbury you can also get a bus at port authority to there. Groupon sometimes has specials. Big Apple Greeter
They are locals who love to give tours and information about the city.
Make sure to check back each Travel Tuesday, when I post about another great family trip! Check us out on Facebook or Instagram
For our complete list of family fun trips, check here