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Old 03-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
CarrieR
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On a "budget" note, depending on how much luggage you are taking, I might try to park outside of the city and train it in.

We tend to do weekend trips but even with a single rolling bag & backpack, this works okay for us. We park at one of the garages in Hoboken - they are $20-some per 24h period. We park near the PATH train and take the PATH train to NYC, then transfer to the subway (or, sometimes, take a cab... depending on people/stuff.) NYC is, to me, like Disney: a non-driving vacation. I can and have driven in Manhattan, but I really, really prefer not to. At $2 for a PATH ticket, day one might break even for you guys, but saving $15+ a day over a 7-day period would pay for an extra meal or activity... plus leave the driving to the experts, lol.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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Also, I've gotten some $5 tickets for the Yankees and Mets, that's an easy subway ride and something fun to do.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by chloelovesdisney View Post
Also, I've gotten some $5 tickets for the Yankees and Mets, that's an easy subway ride and something fun to do.
goldstar usually has discount baseball tix and other things.

I would sign up for all groupons, living social, etc ... you never know!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! For those who mentioned it...Central Park IS on my itinerary and I asked about Jimmy Fallon, but my son will be 2 weeks short of his 16th birthday, so we may have to miss out.

I am downloading the HotStop add as I type and will be sure to get reservations for Carmines as well as the 9/11 Memorial in advance. I will add the Highline to my list of fill-in activities, too.

Thanks chloelovesdisney for your suggestions as well, I am adding them to my list!

Any other suggestions???

P.S. For those who are planning future trips, I highly recommend TripAdvisor.com. They also have a free App you can download that will track your plans for your trip and map it all out for you with reviews, phone numbers, directions, maps, etc. Great tool and helpful people; just like the DIS!
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:27 PM   #20
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Great info! Would love to go in the next year or so
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:43 PM   #21
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Happy Spring!

I have been planning at family trip to NYC for this June; cast will most likely include myself, DS, DD and her Dboyfriend. I have been doing much research and checking out lots of information on TripAdvisor (I LOVE TripAdvisor!). After re-working a few things, I have an itinerary I'd love some natives from NYC to check out and comment on, if you have the time.

We are driving from Illinois and I currently have reservations (AAA)at the TRYP hotel which is on W. 34th Street and 9th Ave. (Watching for other bargains on TravelZoo). I know we will be paying $40/day to park with the hotel. I plan to get a subway pass. I also have already purchased tickets for the Lion King, so that activity is set without wiggle room.

My itinerary is below. I understand the Statue of Liberty is closed until July due to Sandy; can you tell me if she has also interfered with any of the locations below? My plan was also to get a CityPass; I know there are several types of passes, but this seemed the best for our plans. Some days may be switched due to weather. Are there any activities that should/shouldn't be done on the weekends vs. week days? Any comments on anything are welcome. Thanks!

*Friday 6/14:Arrive from Illinois around 7pm EST (how crazy will traffic be? This is the one thing that scares this mid-western girl!)
*Saturday: ToTR, Library, Grand Central Station (lunch), possibly a museum, Harbor Cruise
*Sunday: Chinatown, Scott's Pizza Tour, Little Italy, Improve at Upright Citizens Brigade at 7:30pm
* Monday: ESB, 9/11 Memorial/St. Paul's Chapel, Wall Street/Trinity Church, ESB after dark
*Tuesday: Central Park (picnic lunch from Zabar's Deli), Museum, Dylan's Candy Bar, Carmine's for dinner/The Lion King
*Wednesday: Intrepid Museum, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge/eat/walk around and back across the bridge
*Thursday: Drive home

I thought about possibly switching Saturday with Monday so we wouldn't have two later nights in a row (ESB after 10pm--City Pass--Monday night, then the Lion King on Tuesday night), also, would it be better to go to Wall Street and such on a weekend? I may try to get tickets to Jimmy Fallon, but my son will be 2 weeks shy of his 16th birthday so I am going to ask when I call if he will make the cut or not.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!
I would echo the recommendations to park outside of the city if you can manage it; the PATH is so easy (I work in Hoboken and take it everyday) and it will take you to very near your hotel. Plus, since you're staying in midtown, the traffic is even busier there.

Like Disney, you just can't do EVERYTHING in New York in one trip, and I think you have a great cross-section of things to see. The Lion King is...there isn't a word for it. I've seen it twice and cried both times. Er... anyway.

I recommend doing Top of the Rock and skipping going up Empire State Building all together. The view from ToTR is so much better; you can go around all sides, see the park, and see the Empire State (which you can't while you're on it).

Take some time to check out Times Square while you're there for the Lion King. It's crowded and annoying, but also super cool at night with the lights and everything.

On the night you get here (and it may be a given), just take some time to walk around and soak up the atmosphere; check out some architecture, people-watch, look at all the crazy food options. I live in midtown about 20 blocks from where you're staying and it's such a cool area, especially in the summer.

Have fun!!!
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #22
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You can buy broadway show tickets at TKTS,TKTS for close to half price, it is located in Times Square I would try to sneak in another Broardway show early in your trip (maybe a matinee).Also checkout Broadwaybox.com for cheaper tickets.
I am not a Chinatown/Little Italy fan, you may want to walk around the Village/Chelsea area instead.
As an ex NYer I usually park in the streets for free on the Upper West Side or Upper east side(80's) to save money but that takes experience but it can be done.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #23
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Just wanted to say, once we are parked in the garage, I have absolutely no intention of driving again until we leave for Illinois! I don't know it would be worth it for me to park somewhere else for the week and then shlep all of our stuff back and forth on our arrival/departure days. It may save some money, but I think I would lose my sanity on that one!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by a742246 View Post
You can buy broadway show tickets at TKTS,TKTS for close to half price, it is located in Times Square I would try to sneak in another Broardway show early in your trip (maybe a matinee).Also checkout Broadwaybox.com for cheaper tickets.
I am not a Chinatown/Little Italy fan, you may want to walk around the Village/Chelsea area instead.
As an ex NYer I usually park in the streets for free on the Upper West Side or Upper east side(80's) to save money but that takes experience but it can be done.
just beware you will have to stand in a huge line for a while to get those cheap tickets IF they are available.

we stay outside the city--usually Ft Lee, NJ, just a quick ride over the GWB--and get free parking. you can take public transport into the city and save the parking AND the $12 to cross the GWB.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:30 PM   #25
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You have 5 days in NYC which really isn't a lot for all there is to do. With that in mind, I'd skip Dylan's Candy Bar. They don't sell anything you can't buy anywhere else in the US, for much less money. I would not make a special trip there for some overpriced gummy bears and other candy. Unless you have several small kids, it's really not worth it and you aren't doing anything else in that location. If you really have a hankering for a candy experience I'd look at Max Brenner, it's a little more interesting -

I would not do the Empire State Building twice. You are already doing Top of the Rock in the daytime, doing the Empire State Building at night will be nice. All of these things take time, just all of the traveling around will take up much of your day.

If you skip the morning ESB plan, you can finish up with the 9/11 and Wall Street area by early afternoon. You are right by the Brooklyn Bridge, I would go across that day, eat at Grimaldi's and take the water taxi back across. Walking both ways is really not necessary and it's much longer than it looks. You don't just exit down off the bridge where the restaurants are, you have to go all the way to the end and loop around.

Where does your Harbour Cruise leave from? I would plan to do some activity in that area or that is easily along the way.

Like the pp said, on your Central Park day I would consider also doing the zoo since you're already there. It's small, nothing like the Bronx Zoo, and won't take up too much time. My favorite museums are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick.

If you've already done the Brooklyn Bridge thing you have a lot of time on your Intrepid Day. Since that is on the west side, you can easily get to the Highline, walk across to the end and then spend some time in the Meatpacking area and West Village.


I know Carmine's is the big place on here, I prefer Toni DiNapoli's.

Roosevelt Island is a pit of nothing, the tram ride is fine but since you are already walking across the Brookly Bridge I'd say that's enough time looking at the East River.
Traffic coming into the city is brutal on Friday nights. It should start to taper off at that time but be prepared to maybe get I to the city a little later. I agree with Dylan's. It is cool if you are in the area but do not make a special trip for it. If its a nice day you would want to spend more time around the park or check out the museums. The Central Park zoo is small but its a nice walk.

I am glad you are not leaving Brooklyn off your list. I know you probably love your Chicago deep dish pizza but you have to try Brooklyn pizza. I have not looked at the stops on the pizza tour but if Grimaldi!s is not on the list you should try it.

The transit museum and Brooklyn botanical gardens are great.

Carmine's may be busy and even with reservations you may be waiting a while. Tony DiNapoli's is a good alternative just in case.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:50 PM   #26
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I say skip Dylan's Candy Bar...it's really nothing very special. Just a bunch of overpriced candy you can buy anywhere......

On your Central Park day, you mention picking up lunch at Zabar's. If you go over there, you might like to check out Harry's Shoes---the best shoe store ever! Also, if you decide it's too hot to picnic in the park, there's a great "deli" on 83rd and Broadway where you can get egg creams, matsoh ball soup, corne beef sandwiches, etc. It's a classic NY deli (sit-down restaurant) and prices are much more reasonable than in mid-town.

Also, if you plan to spend your morning on the upper-west side, you have time to hit a museum (Natural History is right there) and make your way over to 59th and 5th where you'll find the Plaza Hotel, FAO, Tiffany's, etc. I like to take tourists walking from 59th down to Rockefeller Center. You pass a number of churches, Trump Tower, etc.--Gives you a taste of things.

Also, in China Town-- we like getting bake goods (steamed buns, etc) at the Tai Pan Bakery on Canal Street with is right across from our favorite italian bakery, Farella, on Mulberry Street (just off of Canal). You can take home yummy treats from two different cultures with a 20 minute shopping trip.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:53 AM   #27
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As the poster above me mentioned, you'll be in the area of FAO Schwartz, which is a great place to visit AND they have a giant candy section which is really similar to Dylan's.

I'd leave the car elsewhere too - even if you got somewhere cheaper and took a cab in and out with your luggage, you could still save some $. But if you do take it, just be prepared for crazy driving and lots of stop-and-go. When I first moved to NYC, I drove in Manhattan a total of 3 times - ended up twice in tears and once with a $150 ticket for something I'd never heard of until then, and vowed my car would never go into Manhattan again lol (and it hasn't!)

I would skip the Empire State Building too if you're doing Top Of The Rock. I know its a fun touristy thing to say you did, but the view from both is almost identical, with the difference being that if you go up TOTR, you can get the ESB in your pics. Plus if you want to see the daytime and nighttime view, TOTR has a deal where you can go during the day, and then back up the same night for much cheaper.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:37 AM   #28
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My advice is to go to each website for everything you know you want to do and see , and everything you think you want to do and see if you have time after doing the must sees. Price each activity individually and the compare it to the CityPass tickets. Sometimes you find it isn't the deal you thought it was. For example: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Natural History are suggested admission prices. You can pay $1 or $2 dollars per person to get in to these museums (certain exhibits will be additional, but that would hold true if you paid the full "suggested" admission price too.)

I'm not a fan of wasting time in places like Dylan's either. Over priced, and you can go to the same kind of candy store at local malls and outlets. Then again, I don't get it when my friends want to go to Macy's to shop when we are in the city, so maybe I am not the best judge when it comes to those type of activities.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:16 AM   #29
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My advice is to go to each website for everything you know you want to do and see , and everything you think you want to do and see if you have time after doing the must sees. Price each activity individually and the compare it to the CityPass tickets. Sometimes you find it isn't the deal you thought it was. For example: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Natural History are suggested admission prices. You can pay $1 or $2 dollars per person to get in to these museums (certain exhibits will be additional, but that would hold true if you paid the full "suggested" admission price too.)

I'm not a fan of wasting time in places like Dylan's either. Over priced, and you can go to the same kind of candy store at local malls and outlets. Then again, I don't get it when my friends want to go to Macy's to shop when we are in the city, so maybe I am not the best judge when it comes to those type of activities.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:18 AM   #30
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When you're in Central Park, be sure to stop by Bethesda Terrace & Fountain. It's mid-park around 73rd Street. Very beautiful!

The Central Park Zoo is very cute, too. Snow leopards, red pandas, a polar bear (the other one died about 2 years ago), snow monkeys, fun sea lions, and the rain forest. Included in the ticket is admission to the children's zoo which is cute because you can feed/pet the animals.
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