Need advice for 2-day trip to NYC

Old Sep 16th, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Need advice for 2-day trip to NYC


I will be visiting NYC with my family for 2 days. We will be staying in Manhattan the whole time.
I have a couple of questions in that regards.

Should I rent a car at the airport or take a cab from JFK to Manhattan? Since I will be in Manhattan the whole time, renting a car and paying for its parking doesnt make much sense. The problem with taking cab is that we will need two car seats for kids but I doubt cab companies provide those!

If I do rent a car, what kind of parking rates should I expect in Mid-town area?

Thanks for the help!
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Car would be useless in Manhattan.

I never thought of what people do with little kids in cabs?

I guess they just hold them on their laps.

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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:57 AM
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What are the rules regarding child safety seats and seatbelts in taxicabs?

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts. Keep in mind, the TLC encourages everyone in the vehicle to buckle their seatbelts while riding in a cab. There are no Taxi and Limousine Commission rules regarding this, as it is a State exemption. Passengers with children are encouraged to bring their own car seats, which the drivers must allow passengers to install.
*NOTE - Children under the age of seven are permitted to sit on an adult's lap.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/pas...faq_pass.shtml
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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You don't need a car. There are car services that will provide a car seat if requested. Yellow cabs, as stated, do not. I would reserve a car service from JFK to your hotel and make sure that they can supply two seats. Keep in mind that if you need to take a yellow cab during your stay, there will not be seats.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Renting a car for Manhattan is close to madness. And cabs don;t have car seats - but then neither do buses or subways - and kids ride in them all the time.

If you really want car seats organize a car service (try Dial 7 or Carmel) and specify that you must have car seats - and for what size kids. You can organie cars from and to the airport with seats as long as you do it in advance (a couple of days).

It will definitely cost more than a cab - but much less than a rental car (which would be well in excess of $100 a day including 2 car seats, plus parking of probably $40 a day, plus gas and tolls and aggravation.)
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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As the others have said, don't rent a car if you are staying in Manhattan. The rental rates are very high, on-street parking is tough to find, garage parking is *very* expensive.

If you have 2 kids with you, I'd install their carseats in the taxi for the ride from the airport into the city. Once in the city, I'd walk around with an umbrella stroller. Use the bus or subway to get further distances. You just fold your stroller to get onto either one.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Thanks for the replies! We wouldnt mind letting the kids sit on the laps (they are both under 5). My main concern was the law. Also, I wanted to know if cab drivers would let us ride the cab without car seats (they should if allowed by the law).

Within Manhattan, what is the best mode of transportation (bus, subway or cab)? A few years ago, I would have avoided the subway but have heard the subway system has been cleaned up a lot since then. I am assuming it faster/cheaper than cab or bus.
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Old Sep 17th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Subway is usually faster and always cheaper than a taxi. However, if several of you are going together and you are going in 2 directions (south and west, for example) it can just be easier. I don't know what you mean about the subway being "cleaned up" -- it is certainly safer than it was decades ago and you won't see the graffiti that used to be there, but it isn't clean.

Again, with a stroller, I think the bus is best. Taxi is probably next (fold and put it in the trunk).
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Old Sep 17th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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If by cleaned up you mean physical cleanliness -much of the suway system in Manhattan is abuot a hundred years old and some of the grime is original. (They do mop it down on a regular basis, but don;t get all the corners.) If you mean in terms of safety - it is perfectly safe in any tourist areas.

However, I wouldn't attempt to travel on it during rush hours (7:30 to 9:30 am and 4:30 to 7 pm) with 2 little kids and strollers - since it will be mobbed. Also - there are lots of stairs to carry the strollers up and down. Buses are more stoller friendly - but you need to fold them - and they too will be crowded at rush hour.
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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 12:44 AM
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I have been to underground train system in London. It is probably older than NYC system but the stations and cars are reasonably clean. The system in NYC shoudnt be worse than that, I assume.

We will be staying in Midtown for 2 days. On first day, I plan to visit downtown/wall street area during mid-morning. Yeah, I know wall street is melting right now but we can at least have our pics taken with the bull! Well, I hope everyone one wouldnt be too gloomy around us. Later in the afternoon, we will explore midtown mostly on foot.

Next day, we plan to explore upper east side, central park, columbus circle area.

Generally, we will spending most of the time outdoor or in the shops/stores.

I am wondering if I should add a trip to liberty/ellis island.
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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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First, don't worry about needing car seats in taxis in NYC. Most car services do not offer them either. Either take a yellow taxi for a flat rate ($45 plus toll and tip) or order a car service if you want a slightly nicer ride. dial7.com charges about the same as a taxi. What you should NOT do is accept a ride from anyone who approaches you at the airport.

I strongly recommend you bring light weight umbrella stroller(s) for the kids as they will not be able to do all that walking.

To get to Wall st. from midtown, subway is much much faster although on a weekend, a taxi wouldn't be terrible. There is no one best mode of transportation for every trip. It depends on how far you're going and where. hopstop.com is a useful website that will give you travel options and estimated times. maps.google.com now gives walking directions as well as driving.

A trip to SOL/Ellis Island is very time consuming-will take at least 4 hrs. If you only have 2 days, unless it's a top priority, I'd say take some other cruise instead to pass by them for a view but don't spend the time to actually visit. Many folks ride the FREE Staten Island ferry to get a view. There are also cruises given by circleline42.com, nywatertaxi.com, nywaterway.com, and a number of others. The SI ferry is easy to do while you're downtown at Wall st. If you do decide to visit SOL/Ellis Island, book your tickets online in advance and order a monument pass so you can go inside. The first ferry of the day always has less waiting.
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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Ellis Island is really great, but not on a 2-day trip (takes too much of your time) and definitely not with two 5-year olds! Either take them when they are teens, or go yourselves another time (just adults).
 
Old Sep 20th, 2008, 01:12 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I could skip Ellis/Liberty Island.

Do you have any suggestions for the kids in Manhattan area? Remember we are talking about a 1.5 years old and a 4.5 years old so it doesn't need to be more sophisticated than Barney or Elmo. FAO store is of course included in our list.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Toys R Us in Times Square has a three-story ferris wheel inside. Lots of young kids enjoy Central Park: running around, climbing the rocks, the zoo, the carousel, a few different playgrounds.

http://www.centralparknyc.org/site/PageServer

When you're dowtown, your kids might enjoy a break at the parks along the river:

http://www.bpcparks.org/bpcp/parks/parks.php
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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A couple of kid-friendly ideas:

Central Park is always a hit -- carousel, small zoo (can be done in 2 hours or so), boats to rent, remote control boats to rent, etc.

I second the idea of the ferris wheel in TS.

Dylan's Candy Store on the Upper East Side (near Bloomie's) is a real treat.

Grand Central has a cool ceiling with stars on it.

For eats we like the food court in Grand Central -- Two Boots is good pizza and the bbq place has good mac-n-cheese. Diners are always kid-friendly, too.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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For little kids in NYC:

Central Park - several playgrounds, a small zoo with separate kids (petting) zoo, carousel and lake with rental boats

Museum of Natural History - kids LOVE the dinos if noting else

Staten Island ferry (free)

There is also a children's museum

Many little kids think just riding the bus or subway is fun

Check the web site of the local 24 hours news channel: NYC1.com - which lists special kids activities every week (ie puppet shows, any kids shows in town etc)
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