1 Day NYC with Teens

Old Jun 16th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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1 Day NYC with Teens

We will be driving into NYC for 1 day on a Weds in July (NOT the 4th). We should arrive around 10:30 AM and will park near Times Square. We have tickets to a 2:00 Broadway show (Mary Poppins - my choice). I would like to leave by 10:00 pm. I have done this trip 5 other times and it works for us.

We are bringing my 17yo son's friend who just graduated from HS - this is our gift to him. He was recently in the HS musical and got bitten by the theater bug. He has never been to a Broadway show, yet alone NYC.

My plan is to explore Times Square and eat at a deli or street vendor for lunch. 2:00 show, so we'll arrive 30-45 minutes early. The boys are big Beatles fans, so want to go to the Dakota and Strawberry Fields in CP. Should we walk or take a taxi (son's friend has never been in a taxi before either)? I think he would enjoy Ellen's Stardust Diner - should we go right after the show to avoid long lines, or go to CP, then come back to eat? Or should we go to CP in the morning?

I would like him to see Times Square at night. We may walk over to 5th Ave., but the boys are not big shoppers, so not sure. I'd just like to fit as much as we can in to the 1 long day. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
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Old Jun 16th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Why not drive over the GWB and find a free or cheap place to park in northern Manhattan near the subway?
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Old Jun 16th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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So you'll have about 2-1/2 hours in the morning and 5 hours in the evening, including eating two meals (may as well make those iconic NY meals!). I think I'd park near Times Square (we recently parked in a garage on 47th Street just east of Times Square, on the north side of 47th - 47th St is relatively free of cars compared to the rest of Times Sq, so it was easy in and out). From our hotel, I took a 1-hour walk that went up 6th Ave. to Central Park, into the park a little (you'd go father since you have more time), and exited on 5th Avenue, than walked down 5th ave. past Bergdorf's, The Plaza, etc.). Great walk, and as I said, you go go deeper into the park to see the specific sites you want to see.

If it were me, I'd probably hop the subway after the show and go straight to the West Village for the early evening and dinner - (and dinner would be pizza - Keste is my new favorite). Then I'd return to Times Square to wander around for an hour before picking up the car for the ride home.
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Old Jun 16th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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You could take the subway from TS to 72nd Street, then walk back down through Central Park (or vice versa). From the subway entrance at 42nd Street and 7th Ave/Broadway, take the uptown 1, 2 or 3 train, which will put you on Broadway when you exit at 72nd Street (a few blocks west of the park). Or enter the subway at 8th Ave (entrances at 42nd, 43rd and 44th Streets) and take the uptown C train, which runs local up Central Park West with a station at 72nd Street.

As I'm sure you know, Ellen's Stardust is all about the wait staff but not so much about the food. If you want to eat in the vicinity of the theater district, try going over to 9th Avenue. Lots of good, inexpensive restaurants there. Any interest in ethnic food? Or if not, Island Burgers & Shakes is classic NYC: a huge list of options, and things to eat besides burgers. (They also have a location uptown on Amsterdam and 80th Street if you want to go after your Central Park stroll...)
http://www.yelp.com/biz/island-burge...hakes-new-york
http://www.yelp.com/biz/island-burge...kes-new-york-2
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Old Jun 16th, 2012, 10:10 AM
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I would go to Central Park first then head back to midtown and go to Rock Center to do Top of the rock, have a quick lunch and see the show.

If you are only eating from a stand for lunch you may want to have a very early dinner and go to Ellen's right after the show instead of waiting for regular dinner hour.

You would then have time to hop the subway downtown to South Ferry and take the free Staten Island ferry back and forth across the harbor - to see Lady Liberty and the incredible Manhattan skyline on the way back,

Then return to Times Square to see it at night (and I suppose some of those incredibly tacky shops) before heading home.
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Old Jun 16th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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There is a convenient garage on the corner of 51st and 8th Avenue. It puts you between Times Square and Central Park.

There's plenty of fast food in the concourse level of Rockefeller Center. I'd probably do Top of the Rock first thing (your son's friend will get a nice bird's eye view of Manhattan that way), eat a quick bite (Tri-Tip Grill or Pre-a-Manger are both nice, and there's more of a deli next to Starbucks where you can get just sandwiches). There are hot dog vendors around the Plaza, but they have inflated prices, so you'd do better by having the kids split giant sandwiches at the deli. There are many other places to eat in the underground concourse, even as you approach the subway, where you'll find Sbarro and other places, including McDonald's, all underground.

Then walk over to Times Square, doing a little window-shopping along the way. Allow at least 25 minutes for the walk because of the crowds and walk a different route than you did to Rock Center.

Then eat at Ellen's after the matinee, or if you want better food, you could eat at Five Napkin Burger (make a reservation, though, because the waits without one can be up to 90 minutes).

That's going to put you about 6 or 6:30, and I'd walk up Broadway to the Time-Warner Center, walk through there, and then walk through Central Park up to Strawberry Fields. This is a very pleasant walk of about 30 blocks (about 2 miles give or take, less if you eat at Ellen's, which is at about 50th/Broadway) if it's not too hot, but if you take it nice and slow and enjoy it you can do it in about 60 minutes. I just walked to the Museum of Natural History from my office at 55th Broadway in 25 minutes at a brisk pace without stops. The Dakota is only on 72nd Street; Strawberry Fields is just inside the park entrance.

That will leave you with at least 90 minutes more to do as you wish and possibly longer. So if you wanted to do something else besides Top of the Rock early, you could wait and go up there around 8pm for sunset, but it will be very crowded.

You might also be interested in either the Terracotta Warriors or Spy exhibits at Discovery Times Square (look for online discount coupons).
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Our trip into NYC was yesterday and it went very well; I've learned to be flexible with teens and that helps a lot!
We arrived at 11:00 AM after hitting some traffic - the drive took about 3 1/2 hours. I found a parking lot online at 53rd and 8th and printed a coupon - total parking for the day was only $23 - I was thrilled.

We began walking to Times Square because son's friend was eager to see it. The boys are musicians, so we spent some time in the Colony music store and watching street musicians. The boys wanted to go into the Hard Rock too see the memorabilia (lots of great Beatles stuff so they were happy). It was already 12:45 so we just stayed there and had some appetizers - and had an awesome server who made suggestions to get us out of there promptly.

The theater was just around the corner which was convenient. We arrived early and the boys discovered that the theater was haunted - they loved that! They were good sports considering we were surrounded by tons of small children. The show was great (not my favorite, but very good) and had some great special effects. It is a long show - about 3 hours including intermission, so we left at 5:00.

Headed to Top of the Rock and the boys went up on their own while I had a coffee at Starbucks. Then walked to Fifth Ave and they went in the Apple store. Took a taxi to the Dakota and Strawberry Fields - the boys were really moved by this, so it was well worth it.

Took a taxi back to Ellen's StarDust Diner - by now it was 7:00 and I was concerned we'd have a long wait. We were seated within 5 minutes and really enjoyed it. We were fine with sandwiches/burgers - mostly went for the entertainment, which was a lot of fun.

Strolled around TS a bit afterward and headed for home around 10:00 pm as planned. The weather was perfect - not too hot and it was a wonderful introduction to NYC for son's friend. I personally would have loved to go to the Terracotta Warriors exhibit, but the boys chose TOTR over that. We just adjusted our schedule as needed and everything fell into place. Of course, we're pooped today!

Thanks for all of the advice - it really helped. Next year son and I hope to spend the night and do some new things - Tenement Museum, the Met, etc. Thanks again!
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Old Jul 12th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Sounds great!
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 05:30 AM
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Thank goodness you got such a good day weather-wise (unlike the previous week). Sounds like your day worked out perfectly - thanks for reporting back!
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