Question on NYC

Old Jun 11th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Question on NYC

We are visiting NYC July 3rd through the 6th with our teenagers (13 and 16) and grandpa (78).
Before I complete the itenerary I want to ask you some key questions:

1. The grayline bus tour looks good. Do I understand correctly that the All Loops Tour includes 4 loops? Do we have to take 4 separate buses? Can I count on the 3 hour long tour to see all Manhattan and some of Brooklyn?

2. If we hop off at the Staten Island ferry Terminal, what are the chances of riding the ferry? Is it crowded? Long waits?

3. Has anyone seen The Rent? Would it be appropiate for teens?

4. Would The Met's tour of highlights be OK? What would be fun for kids at the Met?

5. Is the NY Library a good stop?

6. We arrive by train July 3rd at 7:30 pm and our hotel is the Double Tree in Lexington and 51. That night, should we walk around 5th avenue and grab dinner some place, or go watch people around Broadway? What can we do that first night?

I'm working on the itenerary and will send it as soon as we decide hoping some of you can help me....we are sooooo excited to bring the kids to the city...my husband and I have visited a couple of times but the last time was 10 years ago!!!!

Alba
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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1. Yes, the Greyline is a great first overview for a trip and no, you don't have to get off the bus unless you want to but you do have to change buses to change tours.

2. The ferries are massive and ferry 2,000-4,000 people or more per trip so if there is a wait, it will not be more than 10-15 minutes.

3. n/a

4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Metropolitan Opera House?

5. Yes.

6. Food on Fifth Avenue in Midtown will be $$$$$$.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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The Gray Line's tours are separate buses that continuously follow the same route.

Each route takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and how long they spend at each stop, with passengers getting on and off. So: No, there is not one 3-hour tour in which you can see all of Manhattan and part of Brooklyn.

The Night Tour (one of the 4 ) repeats much of the Downtown Loop tour, and it's not hop-on-hop-off like the others. It's mostly about enjoying the lights; but in early July, it will still be daylight outdoors in NYC during the hours that this tour runs.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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If you look at the thread I started called "What are the best musicals on Broadway?", you'll see a lot of great recommendations that will suit you family-my kids are 16, 14 and 11, so what is appropriate for us should work for your family. I've purchased tickets for Legally Blonde (discount code on broadbox.com) and Hairspray (discount code on ticketmania.com). Folks are also speaking highly of Xanadu (discount code on Broadwaybox.com), and In the Heights (but I haven't found a discount code for our dates.) There is a discount code that runs through July 8th for Mary Popins.

Rent deals with drug use, and features a very lovable drag queen and shows homosexual couples in a favorable light. Some people would not want their kids to see it; others would have no problem with it. Glance at the thread I recommended above, and you'll see what others are saying will be good for teens.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for answering so quickly, I am so overwhelmed with so many things to do in the city!!!!!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the one that mentions the Highlights Tour. Is it OK? What would teens enjoy there?

I saw a preview of The Rent and it said it was great for teens.....not so, right? then what should they see? We will see Lion King here in Dallas in the Fall and Wicked is out of my budget. Spamelot looks like a funny one for kids....any suggestions?

Wow, the Gray line tour sounds like it could consume the 2 days .....being 4 loops of 3 hours each. Finding the stops and hoping back on is manageble? not as trasnportation but for the tour ....

VERY EXCITED
Alba
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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2 years ago, while in NY, our daughters(then 17 and 11) have apprecied Hairspray and Mamma Mia.
Legally Blonde seems also fun for your family, or Wicked. The Drowsy Chaperone
is less for them.
Phantom of the opera or Les miserables could be a good choice(Phantom has been a hit for our daughters 5 years ago in London..).
Erik
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Not all the loops take that long and some are at night.

The All Loop pass is good for 48 hours. You'll see more on the bus than you would under your own power.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Met highlights is just that.
The kids would probably enjoy to the Egyptian collection with the Temple of Dendur, the Armory with suits of armor and some on horseback, a walk thru Impressionists makes them familiar with pictures whose reproduction they have seen. Get a map when you enter and decide if you want to wander on your own or take a tour. They have lots of tours everyday.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Regarding Rent - I imagine you mean the musical that opened in 1995? I saw it when I was 13 (my mom took my brother and I, he was 16 at the time) and I loved it. If you have a question about it, I'd say watch the movie. The show itself is a little more adult (and better!), but much of the music and the themes are the same - AIDS, drug use, life, love, sex, homosexuality, friendship, family. I would say that the appropriateness depends on your family's comfort level.

Have fun in New York!
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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The ferries run every 15/20 minutes during the day - and are crowded (realtively) only during rush hour. You won;t have to wait any longer than it takes to get aboard the next one loading. And the timing is the same on the way back.

As for the Met - I would go to the website in advance and pick which departments you're interested in. I don;t like the highlights - since it doesn;t give you time to really match your interests. You don;t say if you kids are boys or girls - but you might want to consider the Costume Institute, The Egyptian Department, the Temple of Dendur, Arms & Armor and Impressionists. But - do check the web site.

Rent is always a big hit with teens - since it deals with a lot of issues they're struggling with growing up (challenging authority/the status quo, emerging sexuality, dealing with the temptations of drugs, dangers of disease). I took my 12 year old nephew and a friend for his birthday and they both loved it.

I love the library - but it depends on how much time you have - and I'm not sure what exhibit they have now - you could check the web site.

But I think the Museum of Natural History would be a bigger hit. Much of it has been redone fairly recently, it has greart dino exhibits, wonderful displays on human evolution and a great gems/minerals gallery as well as several IMAX movies.

Also - don;t forget Central Park - you can rent bikes or go boating on the lake - and The Boathouse is a nice place for a meal.

And I would do Top of the Rock - as erl as possible - to help get an overview of the how the city is laid out - and how startling Central Park is.

As for the tours - I'm against them on principle. New York is a walking city and the bus separates you from the essence of the city. You should be doing foot nad subways as much as possible.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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I love the library (meaning the Main Branch at 42nd and 5th) as a destination. Even if the current exhibits are not to your interest, it's still a magnificent building that your family may enjoy for sheer grandeur--what's your local library like? . . . probably not like this.

If the exhibits are of no interest, I'd recommend seeing the periodicals room, with its murals of famous NY buildings on the first floor, and most importantly, the main reading room on the, I think, third floor. It is a giant room with frescoed ceilings and miles of tables. Before you reach this room you pass through the old card catalogue room (now computer access). Once you find the call number of the book you want you go to the reading room and turn in your request. When your book has been unearthed from the bowels of this giant library, your number is lit on the board by the main desk.

Without viewing an exhibit, this could be a quick 30-minute visit or longer depending on your interest in exploring the building. Note: This also might make a good bathroom stop while you're exploring midown. and it's free--even the exhibits.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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Read this article. You may find some helpful information there.

http://travelwithkids.about.com/od/n...thingstodo.htm
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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If you want a 3-4 hr. tour to see highlights and are not interested in hoppping on and off, consider the nypartyshuttle.com or kingofnyc.com instead.

Everyone in your group should pick at least 1 place they REALLY want to see and figure out how to accomodate that. Teens like Rent but Grandpa may hate it.

On your first night why not head to Top of the Rock if it's still light and watch the sun set from there (it's not far from your hotel). Maybe have dinner at Serendipity which is not far from your hotel but a bit of a walk from TOTR. (make a reservation)
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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The Museum of Modern Art would definitely be an option for your group. It is smaller and very user friendly. It is on W.53rd st.
I agree- Top of the Rock the first night is an excellent idea.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 06:00 AM
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Agree with all the comments about Rent. (btw, are your teens male or female?) My 14 yo daughter has seen Rent three times this year! Older generation may find subject matter uncomfortable, but it just washes over the younger ones. The talent and energy of the cast is awesome. I never had an interest in seeing it, but ended up loving it.

Another great entertainment option for families with teens is "Chicago City Limits." This is an improv troupe that operates in a small nightclub setting near the Broadway area. Because it is live unrehearsed theater and it is not targeted to families per se, the humor can be off-color at times, so be warned. But, our family loved it, and we even took my daughter's friends there for her 14th birthday. It was the biggest hit! The audiences are small, so the possibliities for your suggestions to get acted on are numerous.

Spamalot gets good reviews for teens as does Putnam County Spelling Bee. I haven't seen either, but want to.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 06:38 AM
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Your hotel is very close to alot of restaurants on 3rd Ave, on Lex there are mostly fast food and delis.

5th Ave will have mostly fast food places or you might stop at the food court at Trump Plaza on 5th just north of St. Patricks Cathedral. There are also a few places at Rock Center that might work for you as well.

There are LOTS of movie theatres in the city which might work for an evening, the closest to where you are staying are on 3rd and 57th ST or head to the Times Square area and there are 2 huge theatres there at 8th Ave. Check www.fandango.com to see what's playing, or a local newspaper.

Another museum the kids might like is way uptown The Cloisters is part of the Met Museum and a real gem. Take the A train to 190th St and walk up through Ft. Tryon Park to the Museum, and you will feel a world away. The views of the Hudson River are spectacular.

Hope this helps a bit, have a great time while you are here.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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I wouldn't recommend the Museum of Modern Art to your group unless you are particularly interested in Modern Art. Check their website before your trip to see if it would work for your group. The hefty entrance fees might be better spent elsewhere.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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If you are downtown at South Ferry for the Staten Island Ferries you can also walk over to the ferries for the Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island. Go over to see what real immigration used to be like.

Also,you would be within distance of Ground Zero--- World Trade Center.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Since your time is limited, you might want to skip the gray line tour and spend those hours at one of the museums/sites. Another option would be the Circle Line boat around Manhattan. As for which sites to see: Empire State building, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island and Ground Zero, the Met, Museum of Natural History, Central Park. Are there baseball fans in the family? If so, go to a Yankee game at night (the stadium won't be around much longer).
As for where to eat, there are tons of places near your hotel. John's Pizza and Carmines (family style Italian) in Times Square, the Carnegie and State delis, etc.
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Old Jun 14th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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At the Metropolitan museum your kids might enjoy the Michael Rockefeller collection and the courtyard in the American Wing (sculpture,beautiful Tiffany windows) as well as the Egyptian wing. I agree with others who say you should pick and choose based on your interests rather than trying a "highlights" tour.

I'd also put in another vote for Ellis Island. My kids also liked the Lower East Side Tenement museum, South Street Seaport museum and Federal Hall
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