New York City short vacation recommendations

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#1
Taking the family to Manhattan next week for a couple days. The kids have never been to the big city and figured they should at least see it once so they know what a real city looks like (we live near Boston so they've been to Boston a lot but it's not like New York). Looking for some recommendations on things to do since I know we have some city residents on here. Planning to stay in Manhattan so want to stick around there for things to do. So far only have Top of the Rock or Empire State Building (leaning towards Top of the Rock), Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History (although the kids said they hate museums!), broadway show at night (probably Lion King), and maybe the water taxi to go to 9/11 Memorial and see the city from the water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Remember we're only going to be there for a couple days.

Looking for a recommendation of a hotel to stay at in mid-town maybe around Times Square but doesn't have to be. Was looking for a suite type place so the kids can sleep in the bedroom and we don't have to go to sleep when they do. Would consider one room with 2 queen size beds.

Eating. The wife wants to go to Little Italy one night. Any suggestions? I know nothing about Little Italy. Anywhere else for dinner that's good food but kind of casual since we have the kids and nobody is dressing up? Might go to Carnegie Deli after or before Top of the Rock. It's famous and the kids have heard about it so figured needed to do it. Any other New York restaurant "institutions" we need to take them to?

Whatever you have let me know. Thanks.
 
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#2
If weather is nice, I think walking the High Line is worthwhile.

John's Pizzeria is an easy, family friendly option around theatres and Times Square.

The kids should see Central Park if you haven't already visited. I don't know their ages but what about the Central Park Zoo?

Will try to think of other restaurant recommendations.
 
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#3
Most of the stuff I go for is grown-up stuff like music, food and museums. Do they like books? If so, the Strand bookstore might be fun and different. For casual eats, the kids might get a kick out of the Automat. Not the original, but...
 
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#4
John's Pizza is good. If you want to take a trek downtown, there's Bleeker St. Pizza or Lombardi's.

For a late nite snack, you can hit up the 53rd and 6th halal cart for chicken over rice :)
 
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#6
The High Line/Chelsea Market is cool. Living here, it's hard for me to give recommendations for touristy stuff. But that's an interesting non-touristy thing to do. Eataly (near Madison Square Park, http://www.eataly.com/) is similarly interesting.

For hotels, there are a couple decent Marriotts that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Check out the one on Lexington & 49th. Also the Renaissance (Marriott) on Lexington & 57th.

I'd check out Jetsetter if you haven't already. You can get pretty big discounts on suites etc. I got my folks a hotel room as an anniversary present and it wasn't expensive. And my in-laws use Jetsetter all the time to book rooms in NY.

FWIW, for our wedding, we created a list of things to do (most guests stayed at the Renaissance). This was the original list (which we ended up truncating to 7):

Central Park
Chelsea Market / High Line
Brooklyn Bridge
Union Square
Columbia
Washington Square Park
Rockefeller Center
Ground Zero
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Katz's Delicatessen
Carnegie Deli / Stage Deli*
Eataly
Shake Shack (the one closest to the hotel)
Russ & Daughters
Economy Candy
Momofuko Noodle Bar
Bloomingdale's
Saks Fifth Avenue
Bergdorf Goodman
*Stage Deli has closed
 
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#7
I also second Johns Pizzeria in Times Square - good family place with lots of tables.

If you or they are into desert -
For the best cookies in the area, go to Levain Bakery on W74th .
If you're in Rockefeller Plaza, go underneath (into the mall area) and stop by Jacques Torres Chocolate for some hot chocolate and awsome chocolate.

I also agree Central Park would be fun for everyone, but lots of walking.

I would also recommend to walk around Soho and Greenwich Village - lots to see for everyone.

A cruise would be a good idea for the kids and to see how everyone commutes, take a subway ride.
 
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#9
Taking the family to Manhattan next week for a couple days. The kids have never been to the big city and figured they should at least see it once so they know what a real city looks like (we live near Boston so they've been to Boston a lot but it's not like New York). Looking for some recommendations on things to do since I know we have some city residents on here. Planning to stay in Manhattan so want to stick around there for things to do. So far only have Top of the Rock or Empire State Building (leaning towards Top of the Rock), Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History (although the kids said they hate museums!), broadway show at night (probably Lion King), and maybe the water taxi to go to 9/11 Memorial and see the city from the water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Remember we're only going to be there for a couple days.

Looking for a recommendation of a hotel to stay at in mid-town maybe around Times Square but doesn't have to be. Was looking for a suite type place so the kids can sleep in the bedroom and we don't have to go to sleep when they do. Would consider one room with 2 queen size beds.

Eating. The wife wants to go to Little Italy one night. Any suggestions? I know nothing about Little Italy. Anywhere else for dinner that's good food but kind of casual since we have the kids and nobody is dressing up? Might go to Carnegie Deli after or before Top of the Rock. It's famous and the kids have heard about it so figured needed to do it. Any other New York restaurant "institutions" we need to take them to?

Whatever you have let me know. Thanks.
You can't actually get to Liberty Island/Statute of Liberty - closed till Fourth of July due to damage from Sandy.

My boys (now 16 and 14 but have been going to NYC since they were in strollers) really enjoy/enjoyed Museum of Natural History (rent the original Ben Stiller Night @ the Museaum as a teaser). Easily blow 4 hours there.
 
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#11
I took the wife and kids last March, we stayed at the Millenium hotel in Times Square near 44th st I believe, there was a toysrus on the corner on the same street.

Definitely go to Madame Tussauds, a horse and carriage ride in the park, Macy's, there's just so much to do and see, it had been a while since I had gone to nyc, it was a real culture shock, there were so many europeans there and a strong police presence in times square.

There's enough cheap stuff to do and plenty of pricey things to do as well, our kids were amazed that so many other people were outside past 10pm, it was fun to experience it through their eyes.

Have a great time Hooper and don't forget to sport your uconn gear.
 

rbny1

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#13
All the ideas you mentioned in your first paragraph, and all the other ideas that have been offered, are good. I love walking on the High Line, but I'm not sure kids would find it so interesting. If you do go there, buy lunch at a nearby deli and sit on one of the many benches on the High Line while you enjoy your meal. No alcohol is allowed. It's best on a sunny day, but I would avoid it on a weekend when it can get crowded.

The ferry ride to Staten Island is wonderful on a spring day, and it's free! It leaves from the southern tip of Manhattan and takes half an hour out and half an hour back. Be sure to stand at the front of the boat to catch the breeze and see the skyline.
 

SubbaBub

Your stupidity is ruining my country.
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#14
If you are going "Full" tourist, which will never win you an Oscar. The double decker bus tours are a pretty good option for first timers.

I took my in-laws on the south loop, and I thought it was worth it. They got the.broad stroke layout of the city and cut down a lot on the walking as you can same day hop on/off at various stops.

I had previously thought it was dumb, but not having to drag the in-laws all.over town changed my mind. I actually enjoyed it myself.

As a bonus, it cures the, heyimmatouristlookupatallthetallbuildings-itis.

Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2


Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2
 
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#15
Challenge yourself and take the subway everywhere you go. Have the kids study the map. If it is after 10 pm and you are out? Still take the subway. It will make you feel like you are really in NYC not just passing through.
 
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#16
Here's one way to knock some of these great quintessentially NYC adventures (Central Park, Subway, Museum of Natural History) off in one afternoon, especially if you're staying around Mid-town:


1. Stay at the Millenium Hotel (near 44th street and Times Square)

2. Eat lunch at Johns Pizzeria in Times Square area

3. Walk to the bottom of Times Square (42nd Street) then walk one block west to 8th Ave to the 42nd Street Subway stop there. Buy a $20 metro card ($2.25 per ride...so ~$10 to get your whole family through the turnstiles). Get on the C train (it has a blue icon) and head "Uptown" four stops and get off at 81st Street/Museum of Natural History subway stop (approx. 10 minute ride)

4. Visit the dinosaurs and stuffed wildabeasts for a couple hours. (There's a suggested donation of $20 or so, but you can give a $1 or however much you want for four tickets - up to you.)

5. After the museum, head south on Central Park West, right along the park. There will be tons of people and vendors if it's the weekend. Grab a hot dog and maybe check out the Dakota building if you're morbid (where John Lennon was shot - corner of 72nd Street and Central Park) or Strawberry Fields if you're not so morbid (it's right inside the park ~72nd Street - there's a little memorial on the ground in there).

6. Duck in and out of Central Park as you like heading south. If you're up to it, you can walk the whole way from 81st Street (Natural History Museum) to back to Midtown (starts on 59th Street) in time for the Lion King on at the Minskoff Theater on 45th Street. If you get tired or hungry or run out of time, there will be tons of cabs to shoot you back down to Mid-town.

7. I've had a few good Italian meals at Trattoria Dell'Arte (57th Street and 7th Ave) - it's not Little Italy - but neither is Little Italy! (i.e., too Disneyfied for many).

That's a good full, feasible day that all can enjoy!
(Sorry for the length but wanted to be specific for you.)
 
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#18
I think the Natural History Museum will be boring for the kids except for the dinosaurs. And the crowds are overwhelming. Good luck with that.

Take the kids to Times Square and go in Toys R Us and the M&M store. Central Park and FAO Schwartz are great for the family. A cool Apple Store is right there too.

Little Italy is cool. Just walk up and down Mulberry St. All the restaurants are the same IMO. Might as well explore Chinatown since it has consumed all of Lil Italy. Find Doyers Street. Very cool block.

Dont go to Carnegie Deli. Go to Katz's Deli on Houston St. Better authentic NYC deli. Will be crowded but your wife will like the neighborhood. (Lower East Side).

Serendipity is a famous place for ice cream. I think there are 2 locations. The kids will also like Dylans Candy Bar and your wife will like that Bloomingdales is close by.

The are a ton of micro hotels popping up in midtown that will be $200-$300 a night. Look online. The national chains are a safe bet.
 
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#19
Do a Big Onion walking tour, Intrepid, Katz for deli without question, Natural History will be mobbed, but it's pretty damn cool.
 
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#20
Taking the family to Manhattan next week for a couple days. The kids have never been to the big city and figured they should at least see it once so they know what a real city looks like (we live near Boston so they've been to Boston a lot but it's not like New York). Looking for some recommendations on things to do since I know we have some city residents on here. Planning to stay in Manhattan so want to stick around there for things to do. So far only have Top of the Rock or Empire State Building (leaning towards Top of the Rock), Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History (although the kids said they hate museums!), broadway show at night (probably Lion King), and maybe the water taxi to go to 9/11 Memorial and see the city from the water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Remember we're only going to be there for a couple days.

Looking for a recommendation of a hotel to stay at in mid-town maybe around Times Square but doesn't have to be. Was looking for a suite type place so the kids can sleep in the bedroom and we don't have to go to sleep when they do. Would consider one room with 2 queen size beds.

Eating. The wife wants to go to Little Italy one night. Any suggestions? I know nothing about Little Italy. Anywhere else for dinner that's good food but kind of casual since we have the kids and nobody is dressing up? Might go to Carnegie Deli after or before Top of the Rock. It's famous and the kids have heard about it so figured needed to do it. Any other New York restaurant "institutions" we need to take them to?

Whatever you have let me know. Thanks.
A Circle Line tour might be worthwhile. It will give the kids a good understanding of where things are located in Manhattan.
 
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#21
One tip. If youre trying to get from Midtown to Lil Italy or anything that is not walkable, a cab ride ($10-$15 per trip) might be a better option than trying to figure out the subway system with a family in tow. Very annoying.

And be prepared for lots of people at the tourist spots. Be ready to deal with long lines. Tourism in NYC is at an all time high.
 
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#22
Dont go to Carnegie Deli. Go to Katz's Deli on Houston St. Better authentic NYC deli. Will be crowded but your wife will like the neighborhood. (Lower East Side).
I live on the LES. My list (which was geared to adults), has a few LES spots. If you go to Katz's, you *need* to go to Economy Candy on Rivington. Any type of candy you've ever eaten -- in your childhood, in Europe -- they'll have it. It's the gritty forefather of Dylan's Candy Bar. And right by Katz's on Houston are Russ & Daughters (bagels, the best lox around, and other sorts of nosh) and Yonah Schimmel (knishes), if you're feelin' really meshugenah.
 
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#23
Down by the Battery, there is a cruise line that goes up the Hudson to the cruise ship piers, turns around, goes down the Hudson then up the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge (South Street Seaport). Then heads out to the bay, cruises by the Statue of Liberty then back, about an hour. Good ride. Junior's just off Times Square for lunch. Carmine's just off Times Square for family style dinner (make reservation).
 

Mr. Wonderful

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#24
I'm a big fan of art, so it'd be the Met and Guggenhiem on consecutive days. Eat at Sammy's Noodles. Get cannoli at La Belle Ferrara in Little Italy. See the wildlife mingle in the Village.
 
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#25
Il Cortile on Mulberry St, one of the best italian restauants anywhere. Parts of the movie Moonstruck was filmed there.
 


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