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12 hours in NYC - what to do?

Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 01:42 PM
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12 hours in NYC - what to do?

Hello Fodorites. We will have a 12 hour layover from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM on Dec 29th at Newark Liberty Airport. We'll be coming back from 12 days in Costa Rica and we'd like to go to Times Square for a few hours if its doable. What's the best way to get around? NJ transit to NYC transit at Penn Station? Taxi? I know the cab might be expensive, but is it faster? I'd rather have control over our schedule and travel as quickly as possible both ways. Thanks for the help.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:08 PM
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A day in NYC during the Christmas season is great!

Do not just limit yourself to Time Square, because honestly you can see that in about 5-15 minutes.

Go to Rockefeller Center...snap some pics by the tree.

Go to FAO Schwartz and check out a classic toy store.

767 Fifth Avenue
(Fifth Ave at 58th Street)

Shop at Macys and check out the amazing windows decorated for Christmas.

Finally, if you want to be adventurous, get tix to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. What a story to tell people...you stopped into NYC, saw a show and was on a plane that night

Andy

TravelByAndy.com
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:15 PM
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p.s. Take mass transit...just as fast (if not faster due to traffic) and cheaper.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:18 PM
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From Newark, i find the train to be very reliable. If there is an accicent or road jam, a cab might get quite delayed. The trains run frequently; NJ Transit (cheap!) or Amtrac( about four times the price) both do the NYP to EWR route, and I've never had to wait more than a half hour to catch the NJ Transit.

Too bad the layover is mostly at night, but at least that way, you'll not forget to head back on time!!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Umm, the best way to get around from where? Are you thinking of not booking a hotel to sleep? ARe you staying at a Newark airport hotel? Will you have to worry about luggage?

Best really depends on where you're starting from and how many you are. There's a NJ Transit bus that goes from the airport to Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan, a short walk from Times Square. It costs $4.40/person. Not sure how late it runs but you can find out on njtransit.com That website also has a trip planner/itinerary planner if you're starting from a Newark hotel.

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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Well - you don't really have 12 hours. Assuming you land on time, you still have to get out of the airport - and check your luggage if it isn't already checked by the airline. So that and an hour to get into the city leaves 10 - and 3 hours off the other end (an hour back to the airport and a 2 hour check-in leaves you 7 hours to actually do anything).

Given the season I reco

Times Square (yes, 15 minutes is enough)
Rock Center and St Pat's, including Top of the Rock (get timed tickets in advance)
Have a look at all the shop windows on Fifth Ave
Consider a visit to MoMA, which is in the area (the Met is actually a much better museum, but would involve you heading uptown)
Leave time for a nice lunch (since you won't have breakfast or dinner on the plane - at least anything edible)

For transit, since you won;t have any luggage - take Air Train to NJ Transit to NYC Penn Station (NOT Newark Penn Station) and then take the subway from there. Cab will not only cost a lot - but you'll be in rush hour traffic and can take a huge amount of time.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Thanks a lot, guys. We were in NYC exactly a year ago for 7 days and had a great time. We're looking to check out the Christmas decorations, grab a bite, do a little shopping.

We'll spend a few hours in NYC and then maybe rent a bed for a few hours at the airport Mariott. Or sleep at the gate if they'll let us...

We rode the trains everday during the previous trip, so that's what we'll do this time. Good points about traffic snarls and accidents messing with cab travel.

I've never had an overnight layover before. I assume that Continental Airlines will hang on to our luggage between flights, no?
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Old Sep 24th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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You should be able to have checked baggage marked for your final destination. You carry-ons will wither have to go with you - of go to one of the checked luggage options in the airport. (Airlines wil not hold your carry-ons for you.)
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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If you're coming in from CR then you'll have to go through customs at Newark. It can take as little as 30 minutes and as much as two hours. Also, I've never gotten into Newark and gotten off my international flight immediately. Sometimes I've had to wait as much as 30 minutes before getting off the plane.

Then you have to travel into NYC. Not sure how late Macy's is open AFTER Xmas but their normal closing time is 9:30 (I think.)

I would definitely get over to see the windows of the stores whether or not the stores are open and go see the tree. Maybe do some ice skating at Rockefeller Center.
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Your bags will be checked all the way through.

I took the bus service to/from Newark to 5th Ave and 42nd Street earlier this year. I think it was $15. It was during a snow storm and I was concerned about delays but they were efficient. How long it takes depends on the time of day.
http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTrave...portation.html

Echo of what ever one else has said
Rockefeller Center, NBC Studio tour,
Top of the Rock (you need tickets)
You don't have time for the Christmas Show at Radio City, but you do have time for a tour.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
the windows on 5th Ave
the Plaza hotel was always beautiful at Christmas and it's re-opened and remodeled. It's known for many things including afternoon tea (think of the Eloise stories) but pretty steep at $60. But the hotel is worth the visit and it is across the street from FAO Schwartz
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Based on your arrival time in the city, 8 pm or LATER (which I think most people here missed) you will NOT really be able to do any shopping, shows, museums tours.
Sounds like you just want to walk around the city, and maybe have a meal?
You're left with Rockefeller Center, seeing the tree lit up, fabulous store windows, lights in Times Square, possibly the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock.

If you can handle the cold, it can be a fun evening.
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Agree with nyer, alot of the suggestions do not take into account that your 12 hours are from 7:00 p.m.to 7:00 a.m. Try to get into the city as soon as you can and see what you can before it closes.
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Old Sep 25th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about things being closed, but if we can find something to eat and a few places to wander around it would be nice. We're from Wisconsin farm country and I have to admit that just standing in the middle of the city last year took our breath away, especially Times Square at night. The kids loved Toys-R-Us.

About skating at Rockefeller Center - our duaghter is a competitive figure skater and she'd love to skate there. Last year she skated at Chelsea Piers and it was a blast. Do they have rentals available? How late are they open?
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Old Sep 26th, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Here is a link to rink info:

http://www.nyctourist.com/rock_center_ice.htm

Yes you can rent skates. HTH and enjoy your visit.
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