The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu

Travel advise

Question

We are going to New York at the end of August, we: mom, dad, twins of 5 yo. I've looked in the internet for things to do and came across a big selection, the problem is that most of it refers to museums which dad is not a big fan of.... So, question: what would you reccommend besides visiting the statue and Central Park? Any activities you have experienced or could reccommend? Thanks for any suggestions!

GentleReader

My husband and I visited New York on a tight budget.
We spent the first day taking in the city highlights with FreeToursbyFoot: http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/new-york-tours/ (basically, free tours by local guides - you just tip depending on how much you enjoyed the tour and how much you can afford).
This gave us nice ideas of what to go back and visit on the following days.
We did not buy a trip to visit the Statue of Liberty: we took the Staten Island Ferry (free) at sunset and enjoyed a wonderful view of the Statue and Manhattan.
For a great view of the city, I recommend the Top of the Rock near the Rockefeller center. There is less queuing involved than at the Empire State building and I personally think the view is better. We bought a Night & Day ticket which allowed us to go up twice and take pictures of the city both shining under the sun and glittering with night lights.
There are plenty of things to see around the Rockefeller Center and your kids might enjoy popping into their fire department location and getting a picture of themselves on a fire truck or looking into the Lego store.
Times Square is also a must see, especially at night, although negociating the crowd with strollers might be tricky.
You could also try to catch a jazz concert in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village while taking a picnic. The following website lists free park concerts: http://www.newyorkled.com/nyc_events_free_concerts.htm
I absolutely loved New York: the shopping, the food, the sights (walking across Manhattan bridge, riding the Roosevelt Island Tramway cable car...).
I hope you'll enjoy it as well.
Happy holiday!

Jul 18, 2014 01:09
jbmac

You don't say how many days you'll be there, if you'll have a rental car, etc, but since you mentioned 5 year old kids, something you can do if you have the time and want to do something different, you can hit the 6 flags park that's 80 miles away. Yes, sounds far, but you can also take the transit system from NYC and get there without a rental car, although personally haven't taken the buses there myself, but taken the buses to other places and is not very difficult to use them.

https://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/plan-your-visit/directions

NJ TRANSIT offers express bus service to the park from New York City, Newark, Camden and Philadelphia, PA. via the 308 and 318 lines. Local bus service is also available on the #307 bus line from Freehold, NJ with connections in Freehold from other bus lines. For a current operating schedule, call (973) 275-5555, or (800) 772-2287 (TAT). You can also visit the NJ TRANSIT website at www.njtransit.com (link is external).

Jul 18, 2014 14:09
CC_R

Hi Nancyfa if you don't mind getting to Terlanen to fetch them, I have two recent New York guides and two metro tickets from this year which still have some credit, unless they expire fast. Happy to gift them on to you, very useful indeed. Metro runs regularly, easy to navigate. There is a science park the kids might like how would that suit dad,? It does means a train riide but my son who went with school friends said it was good. We didn't go but if you go off island there's a botanical gardens, might be with a trip does he like nature?
Things we did that maybe dad might like included visiting the aircraft carrier which is a kind of museum, but not stuffy. You can see vintage planes and Concorde, lots of audio visual for kids about the air craft carriers etc. my husband I paid extra and went into Concorde and hubby was enthraled by it.
Also don't go to Statue of Liberty, it's long queues instead take staton island ferry and pass by for a good cheap view, go down stair to right and open a window to see it best on way out and left on way way back.
We used a hop on hop off bus tour but the one we used was not very good, so avoid the ones with green buses like the plague, pay extra and go grey line which I did before, you get good guides on those. They are a great way to look at the whole of manhattan. China town, cathedral etc. the guides are supposed to give you info grey line did when I went but the green bus was terrible recording or bad guides on the hassle for your tips.
Things like Empire State, top of the Rock, have massive queues so either pre book or visit early. Like wise if you want to go to ground zero memorial rebook. Not great for the kids.
We took an evening bus ride across the bridges and watched the sun set over the skyline fantastic. We also splashed out for helicopter ride which was great fun.
Broad way shows can be good, you can try to get cheap tickets by going to the box office of the theatre on the day. Read reviews for a child friendly show, my son saw a few and enjoyed them, but he is 16.
Let me know about the guides.
cc_rasita@hotmail.co.uk

Jul 18, 2014 15:04
NancyFa

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will definitely check the by foot tours, we will be there for 6 days so maybe will consider going to the six flags. CC_r I'll get in touch. You guys really lighten up my stressy search!
Thanks again,
Nancy

Jul 22, 2014 00:25