visit New York city in December

Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 01:09 PM
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visit New York city in December

We are a family from west coast with 3 kids (14, 11, 8). Booked Southern Caribbean cruise for the December 16-23. We are exploring the possibility of staying in NY for 3-5 days after the cruise. We will fly to NY from San Juan, Puerto Rico on the Christmas Day or the day after. One concern is this may not be a good season to visit NY (storm?). Welcome any suggestions re what to do and where to go during this short trip.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 02:48 PM
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Having no idea of your interests makes it difficult to recommend what to do.
I suggest getting a guidebook, have each person make a list, compare lists to make sure everyone's favorites are included.
Plot the places you want to see on a map to organize your days in a geographically logical way. Pist a tentative itinerary for readers to tweak.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:08 PM
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Are you interested in Christmas related things?

All the decorations will still be up, and various holiday shows. I have heard that the week between Christmas and New year's are a great time to visit because of that, and because hotels have good rates.

While bad weather is a possibility, it's fairly unlikely till later in January.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2017, 03:22 PM
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>>One concern is this may not be a good season to visit NY (storm?).
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 08:12 AM
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I agree, it's a very good time to visit New York. It'll be a little less crowded than other times, but still very lively. And while there could be a snow storm, the chances are pretty low. You could get a sunny day with temps in the 40's or 50's. There is much to see that time of year, since all the Christmas goings-on are still going on.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 08:26 AM
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Storms have their own schedule and the best time to know if a storm is coming will be around Dec 22nd. If a really bad storm that will affect air travel is anticipated the airlines will normally changes without any charge. So if it looks bad on the 23rd you can fly home. New York is great at that time year with all of the holiday decorations and lights.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 08:49 AM
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I strongly disagree with the comment that NYC will be "less crowded" that week. I think you're going to find you're hitting the city at one of its busiest times.

That's not to say you shouldn't go, but you will hit crowds and expensive hotel rooms.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Elberko and Smetz1 just made completely wrong statements.

1) the hotels will NOT have "good rates" in late December. They will have the same Xmas season rates up to and through New Years because NYC gets an influx of travelers to see city lights and NYE celebration. The notion that hotels will be dropping their rates at that time is completely incorrect.

2) No, it will not be less crowded. People in the NYC area will still putter about the city to view the lights and tourists will remain. In addition, tourists will come to the city for NYE activities. Vincenzo is dead-on on this question.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 12:07 PM
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It was not at all my experience that the city was less crowded nor that hotel rates were discounted. It was still a fabulous time to visit -- but it wasn't a 'bargain' trip.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Since you miss New Years, I think you'll miss the worst of the crowds and the highest hotel rates. But it's still a period of time that kids aren't in school and people are in a festive mood, so yes, there will be crowds and it won't be bargain rates. That's how any city would be, though.

There's a train show at the botanical garden, Christmas decorations still up, performances like the Rockettes and probably still holiday music- some of the best holiday concerts are probably on Christmas Eve. Great dining; probably Christmas themed tea or brunch at one of the big hotels.

I think it's a fabulous time to be in NYC. Weather cold be anything- when I was there, it was sunny, freezing, cloudy, rainy and snowy, all in about 3 days. I wouldn't worry about a storm, because that could just as easily happen flying home. Last winter, it was really mild in NYC and Chicago, no delays at all. Then delays across the board in Seattle because of snow which absolutely no one local would have predicted.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 02:51 PM
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No one seems to have asked this west coast family if they all have proper, warm clothing and good, comfortable, waterproof boots, for whatever weather they may encounter. If not, good clothing, that actually keeps you warm and dry, costs quite a bit, and is an investment, even for kids. Cheap clothing just doesn't do a very good job. Nothing worse to kill a vacation than cold, whining kids.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 03:56 PM
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You don't need waterproof boots in NYC. Unless they live in SoCal, they probably have winter clothing. Even if they live in SoCal, I'm pretty sure they know they need winter clothing for that portion of their trip.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 03:58 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. We plan to tour Statue of Liberty, visit the Ellis Island museum, Time Squire and Central Park (visit the zoo), 9/11 MEMORIAL. We may visit one museum (there are so many museums in NY, which one to visit?). My husband is interested in staying till New Year but I tend to avoid the crowds (kind feel the New Year thing is for young people, not me).

Appreciate the advice re the winter clothes. Is ski gear an overkill?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 04:44 PM
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Museums totally depend on your interests- I would do the Met if Egypt is of interest (it's awesome) or Natural History if your kids are Dinosaur fans or the smithsonian Design museum if your kids are arty and need an interactive museum. NH and the Met are both pay what you want, so they're great if you get cold and just need to warm up for an hour or two.

Ski gear would definitely be overkill. You want a winter coat (not ski coat), sweater, pants, comfortable walking shoes, hats, gloves, scarf. Layers are important because you actually will spend a lot of time in buildings or in the subway and you don't want to broil. I would perhaps pack snow suits if you have little kids who may want to play in Central Park if it's snowy. Central Park is huge and I spent most of the day there. That's the only day I really needed extra layers.

I wore tights under my jeans because my jeans are pretty thin and I get cold easily, so you may want to consider that if you're from a warm climate. And I definitely was glad to have those on the boat out to Liberty and Ellis. Very cold on the water.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 04:46 PM
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And the zoo is great in the snow! Not many people there at all- the sea lions gave me my own personal show The kids might get a kick out of the moving musical clock, so try to be there when it goes off.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 04:49 PM
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Look up New Years for kids in NYC- I would not go see the ball drop even without kids but there probably is some fun stuff to do then that doesn't involve fighting crowds or parties.

But you can probably talk your husband out of it easily if you just show him the spike in hotel prices. NYE is an obscenely expensive holiday to spend in a hotel if he doesn't flinch at that, I'd go for it.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 07:35 PM
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Ski gear would look dorky

I live in CA too -- and what to wear seems common sense to me.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 08:30 PM
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Appreciate the advice re the winter clothes. Is ski gear an overkill?

We frown on skis and poles while walking down the street.

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To state the obvious, it is impossible to predict the weather that week. We rarely get a crippling snow storm in late December, but an inch or two is quite possible.

Wear layers. The weather could quite cold but I remember a Christmas about 10 years ago when in was in the high 60's.

I would also recommend booking a hotel away from the streets that are in the 40's and 50's. Christmas week the streets become impassable with pedestrians in midtown and Times Square and they actually change some bus routes because of the crowds.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 03:28 AM
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Be sure to book SOL in advance at the official seller, www.statuecruises.com.
Crown tickets sell out months in advance and even pedestal tickets can sell out.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 04:23 AM
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Odds are the last week in Dec. will be chilly. And the tall buildings in Manhattan make it worse -- very little sun and a wind-tunnel effect. The temps drop at night, of course, when you'll want to be out viewing the lights and decorations.

Be prepared and plan on dressing in layers for a typical Northeast winter day. If you get an atypical spike in temps, great. You can remove sweaters, hats, etc. By "ski gear," I assume you mean a parka and stocking cap? Sure, if you want to. As for looking dorky: no, you wont, and frankly no one will give a damn. The city will be packed with tourists in all manner of dress. You'll go unnoticed.

Be sure to book timed tickers online for the 9/11 memorial. I assume it's going to be crowded that week, as will most attractions. I suppose with three kids, the Natural History is the museum for you, unless your kids have an inordinate interest in art.

I have spent one NYE in NYC. It was the New Year's after 9/11, and wasn't crowded. It's the kind of thing it's nice to say you did once, but it seems a bit overrated to me.

IMD's rec about staying away from hotels in the 40's and 50's is a good one. Of course, just realized that the locale will be a little less convenient for touring.
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