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New York Help

luvthissite 1 10 October 26, 2015 at 07:57 AM

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We are going to New York City for the first time in December and want advice on what to do. We will only be there for 4 days and apparently the "Crown" is already sold out, so that is not an option. I would love any advice or tips people have.
If it helps it is for a family of 5 with ages 12+



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We bought City Passes and they were great for what we wanted to do. There were just 3 of us -- at the time a 14 year old. He loved the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building. We liked the Circle Line Cruise, but December won't be as pleasant.

Look at and ask questions to the destination experts or Google "new york at christmas 2015 things to do" and you'll come up with a lot of information. There's usually a lot of festivities at that time of year.
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See the tree at rockefeller square.
Walk through Central Park
Visit the MET (this place is huge, you could probably spend all day there)
Chelsea Market and the High Line
NY Public Library
SOHO for some shopping
Greenwich Village
Shopping on 5th ave
there is so much, check out Tripadvisor like thumper1 said. Hope you have fun.
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Quote from ursu-ionut View Post :
In regards to thing to do and see, may I recommend the following.


-Empire State Building
-Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
-Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck
-Times Square (no trip is complete without a visit to the"Crossroads of the World")
-Lower Manhattan/Wall Street Area
-United Nations
-Central Park
-Brooklyn Bridge (you can walk across it too)
-Grand Central Terminal (largest railroad terminal in the world)
-A Ride on the Staten Island Ferry (its free and you can see the Statue of Liberty as the ferry crosses the harbor)
-Sightseeing tour on a Double Decker Bus


-Museum Mile (Fifth Avenue from East 82nd to East 103rd Streets)
-Museum of Natural History and the Rose Center for Earth and Space (formerly the Hayden Platerium)
-Whitney Museum of American Art
-New Museum of Contemporary Art
-Madame Tussaud Wax Museum
-New York City Fire Museum
-New York City Police Museum
-Transit Museum
-The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
-Brooklyn Museum
-Milk Gallery
-American Craft Museum
-Museum of American Folk Art
-Museum of the Moving Image
-The Paley Center For Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio)
-The Municipal Art Society


-Macy's (West 34th Street and Broadway in the heart of Hearld Square)
-Bloomingdale's (Lexington Avenue at East 59 and East 60 Streets)
-The shops along Fifth Avenue (just don't max out you credit cards)
-FAO Schwarz
-Toys "R" Us in Times Square
-Lord and Taylor (5th Avenue at East 38th Street)
-Chinatown/Canal Street Area (if you want to go on the cheap for the stuff you can't get on Fifth Avenue)
-NBA Store (for the basketball fan - 5th Avenue at East 52nd Street)
-The Apple Computer Store (East 59th Street and Fifth Avenue)
-The Time Warner Center (West 59th Street - Columbus Circle)
-Hershey Store (for those with a sweet tooth)
-M&M World (49th Street and 7th Avenue)
-Grand Central Terminal (for the shopping)
-Century 21 Department Store (Church and Cortlandt Street)
-forever 21
-Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave)
-Abercrombie & Fitch (5th Avenue @ 57th Street and Water Street between Fulton and John Streets)
-American Eagle Outfitters (4 locations in Manhattan)
-Urban Outfitter (8 locations in Manhattan)
-Manhattan Mall
-Queens Center Mall
-Queens Place Mall
-Roosevelt Field Mall (on Long Island)
-Fulton Street Mall
-Kings Plaza Mall
-Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
-Garden State Plaza
-The Westchester Mall
-Palisades Center Mall
-Westfield Sunrise Mall
-Green Acres Mall
-Jersey Gardens
lol, so your advice is to go to all of the tourist traps and malls that are no different from every other mall in America? Are you seriously advising someone coming to NYC for 4 days to visit Green Acres Mall? People come to NYC to go shopping but not to go to regular malls. It's to go to the flagship Macy's or boutique type shopping unique to the city.

As much as I'd very much like to tell all of the tourists to go to Times Sq so that the rest of us can avoid them, there is seriously no reason at all to go there. It is the epitome of a tourist trap. Go there if you want to eat at Olive Garden or play video games at Dave and Busters, as though you can't do that dumb stuff at whatever town you're from.
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What are the ages in your group? Any special needs or interests? I'm sure you're planning for the cold, and I would plan your destinations for the weather as well. Figure out what indoor destinations you might be interested in visiting, and save those for days/times the weather is harsh.

If you can get tickets to the monument, it's still worth the visit to Liberty and Ellis Island. It would be a good idea to incorporate a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and any Lower Manhattan destinations into this day. For the bridge, take the subway to Brooklyn Heights. Walk down to the waters edge (there's a nice little playground, if you've got kids in the mix) and walk along the water, back toward the bridge. Very nice views (that you will recognize from TV/Movies/etc). There's a favorite pizza place under the bridge (Grimaldi's), then head back across the bridge INTO the city. Be sure you're dressed warmly, it's much colder by the water than you'll expect. The WTC memorial, Trinity Church, Federal Hall, and St Paul's are all worth a visit, and allow you to get out of the cold for a minute. Oh, there's a discount ticket booth (TKTS) at South Street Seaport. You can get next-day matinee tickets at this location (the Times Sq location only does same day).

Unless you are nostalgic for it, I would skip Empire State Bldg and do the Top of the Rock instead. Similar (arguably better) views, less wait, and a nicer experience IMO. I'm probably start by getting a glimpse of the ESB from the ground (well, maybe I'd start at 34th St Macys nextdoor, lol), then head up 5th Ave. You'll pass more dept store windows, the NYC library. Behind the library is Bryant Park. There's an ice skating rink this time of year, so if you plan to skate, I vote you skate here. Lockers are free, but bring a lock (they are available for purchase, too). Head east at the library for Grand Central (and a view of the Chrysler Bldg, if you're so inclined). On the north side of GC is Park Ave, if you want to see how the other side lives, lol. Waldorf-Astoria has nice restrooms. Back on 5th, keep heading uptown (north) for tons of shopping, most of which won't be terribly interesting if you're from a decently sized city. Just a bunch of chain stores. There's Tiffany's and American Girl and some other niche retailers, if you're into any of that. Definitely walk around Rockefeller Center and St Patrick's across the street, and do Top of the Rock. If you walk up 5th Ave long enough, you'll hit Central Park.

I can't imagine why anyone would suggest that you not go to Times Sq. Go enjoy your time as a tourist. I vote that you go once during daylight hours, and again in the evening. Don't eat at Olive Garden. Juniors is iconic NYC eating. There's a John's Pizza in the area too, not as fun as their original location, but the TS location is huge and in a neat building (look up/around).

If you're into history at all, visit the Tenement Museum. There are various tours to meet a variety of interests. Down the street is Katz Deli ('the' scene from Harry/Sally). If you do a little prep reading, the juxtaposition of this area is worth some exploring. Same for Greenwhich Village. Oh, check out some older Scouting NY (blog) posts to spark some interest in various oddities. There's a 9 1/2 ft wide house, the smallest piece of privately owned land (a tile in the sidewalk), a really cool Locksmith, and lots of interesting history to the homes in that area. John's and Rocco's on Bleecker St. Wander into the other shops as well.

Do some tours. For sure, schedule a city wide tour if you can, particularly an indoor one, lol. It will give you an overview of the city. Maybe do this before you go to the Top of the Rock. Also, Foods tours are fun (we like Foods of NY). There are tons of walking tours, though fewer this time of year. Check Trip Advisor for reviews, but we tend to like Free Tours on Foot (it's a pay what you like, after the tour, kind of service).

On the subway, downtown means south, uptown means north. Neither downtown nor uptown is a destination, they are directions. This can be confusing to some. Ask for help. Most people are friendly. If your destination is a smaller station (closed black circle) make sure to take a train making local stops (not an express).
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