When is nothing happening in NYC?

Jul 20th, 2003, 03:06 PM
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When is nothing happening in NYC?

Hi, I'm planning to take the kids to NYC for the first time some time befor school starts. In the interest of finding an economical hotel room and avoiding huge parades etc. (this being their first visit, plain-vanilla NYC should be sufficient), is there some 5-day interval between, say August 15 and September 7 when visitors, conferences, special events are likely to be fewer?

Also, any suggestions for places or activities that would appeal to a 15-year-old boy would be appreciated. He likes video games, animals, skateboarding, semi-goth or punk stuff, humor in the Simpsons/Python/Larson vein.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 20th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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There is always something going on in the city year round, especially during the summer there are always things going on, parades every Sunday, street fairs every weekend and lots of musical and theatre events in Central Park.

That said if you want a bit of a quiet time while you are here, I would suggest staying outside of Times Square, like the Travel Inn. It's on 10th Ave and 42nd St and it's only a couple of blocks away but no where near as busy. I suggest it because the rooms are decent size, there is free parking and a pool (not alot of pools in the city).

For a special day outing you might try going over to the Sunken Forest on Fire Island (take Long Island Railroad out, get a cab to the ferry over). Round trip is about $25 dollars. There is a nice walkway around the forest and you will probably see a few deer, a fox, lots of birds and nice views of the water. Sunken Forest is a family area.

There are lots of things to do and see in the City, you also might try Chelsea Piers for you 15 yr old. It's a sports facility with bowling, ice skating, roller blading and more.

There are boat trips you can take around the city and of course the Staten Island Ferry dusk is the best time to
wantsomesun is offline  
Jul 20th, 2003, 03:40 PM
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to take the Ferry the lights coming up on the city are really breath taking.

You also might try staying in the downtown area, you can get really good rates on some of the hotels there, and again, it is a quiet part of town. Battery Park City even has a large movie theatre for evening entertainment.
Lots of restaurants in that area and some great shopping.

For something special the Museum of Natural History is doing an exhibit on Chocolate and there is a new Chocolate Cafe and they are doing free tastings on the weekend.

Hope this helps, have a great time whil you are here, and let me know if you have any other questions.
wantsomesun is offline  
Jul 20th, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Surprisingly, there are few if any conference/conventions during the summer, but to say there are no tourists, never. Youre visiting NYC!

There is a parade somewhere in NYC every weekend, but that can be in Manhattan or any of the other four boroughs. But you won't come across something as big as the Thanksgiving Day Parade if that was what you were thinking. And what's wrong with parades?

Get yourself a guidebook of NYC and find out what is there to occupy your 15-yr old boy. I guarantee you'll find plenty. You'll also find info on hotels and costs.

If you haven't yet determined any of this information then why are you visiting NYC? What did you plan to do/see while here?

Jul 20th, 2003, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for the tips. It's not exactly crowds I'm trying to avoid, it's high hotel rates or nothing being available on Priceline. If we want water, trees, wildlife, birds and peace and quiet we can just stay home! Sounds like just avoiding weekends would fill the bill for us.

Chelsea Piers is a great idea, as is the hotel with a pool, thanks. I'll be in NYC myself soon, I think I'll check them out!
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Jul 20th, 2003, 03:56 PM
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Good heavens, Sandi's response indicates that I have completely failed to convey my question. I am a fequent visitors to NYC, perfectly familiar with finding a hotel room, etc. I'm also familiar enough with the city to know that there's a LOT going on that isn't in the stuffy old guidebooks full of museums and architecture; since I'm not accustomed to looking at the city (or anything else) through the eyes of a teenage boy, I thought some local Fodorites might have insights to offer.

Sandi, I certainly wasn't asking for a time when there are no tourists! But the time period I'm talking about encompasses the end of summer, Labor Day weekend, and early September when things are getting back to "normal" afer the summer, so I thought there might be some ebb and flow changes there.

Nothing's wrong with parades but I have a medical condition that sometimes involves relying on taxis and I've seen the whole East Side paralyzed by one of those big 5th ave events.
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Jul 20th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Actually, Labor Day weekend is a good time to come to New York. You should be able to get a great hotel rate during the period. Things are fairly quiet in the city over that weekend.
(PS: The number of parades in NYC has been greatly exaggerated. There is not a parade every Sunday!)
HowardR is offline  
Jul 20th, 2003, 07:53 PM
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The U.S. Open (Tennis) takes place over 2 weeks including Labor Day weekend out in Queens. Other than that, the city is very quiet the end of August.

Everyone returns on Labor Day...tons and tons of traffic everywhere. Avoid the airports that day. Schools start again on Tusday and Wednesday.

The parades are mostly on Saturday during the fall...but the Jewish holidays are the end of the month...weekends, so there will be no parades then.
luv2fly is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 01:25 PM
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NEVER. That's the reason why it's the best CITY in the world!
_Watson_ is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Anonymous -
I'm sory if my response sounded harsh, but it almost seemed to me that you didn't want your children to experience the excitement of the City ("plain-vanilla experience is sufficient"). Sort of like wanting to be here, but not really.

Usually people who have visited a few times, like to return for a plain-vanilla simple taste of NYC, having become familiar with how to avoid some of the things you mention - but rarely first time visitors - even if you've been here before.

For a 15-yrs old I can't comment, but others had some interesting ideas.

But surprisingly, the City is quietest on week-ends during the summer. Lots of city residents leave for the shore or mountains, or are just away on vacation. There are lots of parkings spaces available on streets; you can get crosstown in no time.

Consider visiting over a week-end. Arrive Thursday/Friday and leave Tuesday/Wednesday, but do remember that museums are closed on Monday. Even luxury hotels have special week-end deals, but then for weekdays the rates go up.

One of my friends had her 15-yr old nephew here from England last summer and he loved Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, The UN, baseball game, China Town, South St. Seaport - he was up for everything. And he had his skateboard with him just about everywhere they visited. You might be surprised just what your 15-year would enjoy when there is so much to choose from.

Jul 21st, 2003, 02:34 PM
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The Intrepid air & space museum is popular with teenage boys. There's an Apple (computer) store downtown that's evidently great. Sony store on Madison ave. too. For animals try the Bronx zoo or the one in Central Park.

He may be a bit too old, but if he's into candy, go to Dylan's candy store (near Bloomingdales). ESPN zone if he's into sports. Skateboarding in Central Park, Washington Square Park & Chelsea Piers.
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 02:40 PM
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The root of the ambivalence is that my son is just not a city-loving guy, but this time he's been outvoted in the vacation-choosing by myself and his sister. We're like the "Green Acres" TV show -- his sister and I are saying "Times Square" and he's saying 'Fresh air!" His dream house is a hut on the beach in Hawaii whereas mine is a 5thAve. penthouse. We've done the Hawaii vacation, so this time it's my turn.

I'm hoping to convince him that NYC is at least acceptable and civilized since, as I've mentioned, I will be relocating here eventually. Plain-vanilla NYC is still pretty exciting! I suspect we'll spend a lot of time in Central Park.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Ooops, sorry, it was another board where I had mentioned my reitrement plans!
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 03:01 PM
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The cheapest, least crowded time to visit NYC is in January right after New Years. You take a chance on iffy weather but cheap hotels,restaurant availability, and available theater tickets make up for that.
Jul 21st, 2003, 04:51 PM
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Person who likes semi-goth and punk stuff might be happy on St Mark's Place just roaming around. For something to do, go eat at Veselka, 9th St & 2nd Avenue, which will get you more inside the neighborhood. & wander over to Avenue A, walk along 7th & 9th Sts also. But he'll be exposed to punk/goth Central on St Mark's place. NOT TOO EARLY -- 9 pm good.

There is a comic books-related store on Broadway around 13th Street I think he would like, full of old super hero comics and thngs to do with them. Maybe Simpsons too, I don't go in there though it is 2 blocks from here. Definitely one of a kind.Forbidden Planet is the name of it I think. This isn't far from St Mark's Place.

Adults, also kid, might like the Strand bookstore, a block from Forbidden Planet.

Oh!! If you are a devoted parent and he really loves skateboarding -- there are 2 places in the same area where skateboard Masters gather: by the Astor Place subway stop, and on the north side of Union Square at night. I don't know what time they start though. But -- I've seen people fly their boards over rows of oildrums at Astor Place (it is at the head of St Mark's Place). Not an every day occurrence, and I am sure not a legal one either.
Elizabeth is offline  
Jul 21st, 2003, 05:32 PM
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Thanks so much, Elizabeth -- now we're getting somewhere!
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