What are some fun places to visit in Manhattan? What are your favorites?
The Empire State Building opens at 8:00am and closes at 2:00am every day, and the last elevator up is at 1:15pm. As of 2014, tickets to the main deck are $29.00 for adults, $23.00 for 6-12 year-olds, and $50.00 for Express Passes. You may also want to experience the Sky Ride while you are there as well. The Sky Ride is a “super large flight simulator” which is basically a virtual reality helicopter ride through Manhattan and Central Park. Ask about it when you get there! For more information, log on to www.esbnyc.com.
As an alternative to this, the rooftop on the 70th floor of Rockefeller Plaza (creatively named “Top of the Rock”) has been re-designed and re-opened after years of abandonment, and it is amazing! Unlike the Empire State Building, which uses a fence as protection, the Top of the Rock uses flat, non-reflective glass panels, which allows for completely unobstructed views of the Empire State Building and Central Park with no camera flash to ruin the pictures! They use a “timed-ticket” method, which means you choose what time you want to go, and this prevents having to wait in long lines when you arrive. They also have an option of purchasing “Sunrise Sunset” tickets, which allow guests to visit twice in one day. Purchase your “Sunrise Sunset” ticket for the first time slot you wish to attend and make another visit to Top of the Rock later in the day. Check out www.topoftherocknyc.com for more details!
The Statue of Liberty/ Ellis Island ferry runs to the islands every fifteen minutes from 8:30am until 4:30pm, and the tickets can be purchased at Clinton Castle in Battery Park. Keep in mind that this tour runs about 3-4 hours depending on how much time you plan to spend on each island. As of 2014 monument access passes are $18.00 for adults, $9.00 for ages 4-12, and $14.00 for Senior Citizens (62 and over). Crown access passes are $21.00 for adults, $12.00 for ages 4-12, and $17.00 for Senior Citizens (62 and over).
Also keep in mind that if you choose to go after 2:00pm you will only be able to go to either Liberty Island or Ellis Island.
Ferry tickets and time passes can be ordered in advance by calling the ferry company at: 1-866-STATUE4 or online at http://www.statuecruises.com/choose_tickets.aspx. (Be sure to purchase them for the Battery Park ferries.)
There are also the Gray Line New York bus tours which give you many different tour options, with the most popular being the uptown loop, the downtown loop, the Brooklyn loop and the night loop. Each one runs about 2 1/2 hours and costs $49.00 each, or you can opt for the $59.00 ticket, which gives you unlimited rides on all 4 tours for 48 hours. Check out www.newyorksightseeing.com for more information on all the different tours
Ground Zero is now open to the public but you will need to reserve passes in order to gain access to this area. You may obtain these passes by logging onto www.911memorial.com and creating an account with them. Passes are $24.00 each when you obtain them online.
Walking tours are always a great idea if it’s a nice day outside. There are too many to mention here, but log on to http://gonyc.about.com/od/toursbr/ and see all of the tours this city has to offer! I HIGHLY recommend Scott's Pizza Tours! www.scottspizzatours.com
There are still Circle Line Cruises boat tours available during the winter months, with 2 and 3 hour cruises departing daily. Be sure to log onto their website at www.circleline42.com for more information!
Helicopter Flight Services Inc rides start at 9:00am and are available for 15 minutes ($150.00pp), 20 minutes ($200.00pp) or 30 minutes ($300.00pp). It takes about 20-25 minutes to get down there and you’ll need to arrive 30 minutes before the flight. You can check out http://www.heliny.com for more info.
The hottest shows on Broadway at the moment are Once Musical Broadway, Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Jersey Boys (the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons), Wicked New York (the story of the Wizard of Oz witches before they met Dorothy), and "The Book Of Mormon" at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre (a controversial show by the creators of South Park). For a list of all the shows both on and off Broadway I would head to www.playbill.com or www.broadway.com where you will find cast listings, show clips, interviews, seating charts, and you can order tickets there as well. Keep in mind that many of the popular shows are usually sold out months in advance, but if you have your heart set on a specific show we can usually find great seats (at elevated prices) through various brokers in the area.
Central Park is only 12 blocks north of Times Square, and there you will find the Central Park Zoo, a neat little castle, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park restaurant (which does not take weekend reservations), and the famous Wollman Ice Skating Rink. And don’t forget to take the famous carriage rides - they can be picked up at 59th Street and 5th Avenue, and will cost you about $50.00 for twenty minutes.
Washington Square Park is another great area for wandering around in. It’s right in the middle of the village and is surrounded by the NYU campus. Be sure to check out the famous Washington Square Arch right off of Fifth Avenue. Also, if you are in that area I would suggest taking a walk down Bleecker Street, which is the main street in the West Village.
High Line Park is New York’s newest outdoor destination! Once a former railway track, the High Line runs through the Meatpacking District (where the freights used to deliver meat), Chelsea (New York)(where they dropped off agricultural goods to warehouses) and lower midtown (where the trains brought mail to the Post Office). Now, the High Line is a public park that combines lush greenery, concrete pathways and even wooden lounge chairs. It's a unique experience and the perfect activity for locals and tourists alike.
The hotspots for shopping will be on Fifth Avenue (from 49th Street to 59th Street), Madison Avenue (from 58th Street to 72nd Street) and anywhere in the SoHo/NoLita area. These are where you will find most of the higher-end stores in the city. If you would like to do some great shopping without the huge price tags I would suggest heading down to the Herald Square area which is where Broadway, Sixth Avenue and 34th Street all merge together. There you will find great stores like Macy's, Forever 21, JC Penney, and H & M to name a few. And don’t even get me started on all of the shoe stores in that area!
For the best bargains in town, look no further than Century 21 in TriBeca! Century 21 (“New York’s best-kept secret”) is the department store where you can find some of the best bargains in the city with 15 departments of top quality and designer merchandise at 40% to 70% off retail prices! Or if you feel like getting out of town, you may want to check out Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Located just 1 hour from Manhattan with over 220 designer stores, Woodbury Common is a shopaholic's dream - designer clothing at bargain prices!!! Check out www.premiumoutlets.com for all the info you need!
Chinatown New York is always an interesting place to visit if you’ve never been before. Canal Street is the main street in Chinatown where you can find great “knockoff” (i.e. fake) items such as purses, watches, perfume, t-shirts, etc., and the only place in town where you can still have dinner for two for less than $25.00!
Ice skating rinks in Manhattan:The Rink At Rockefeller Center
Open: October through April
Location: Rockefeller Center
Hours: 7:00 am to midnight with seven 1/2 hour breaks throughout the day
Admission: $27.00 adults, $15.00 children under 11, skate rental $12.00
For information on hours and admission fees call 212-332-7654
*VIP Reservations can be made through their website as well:http://www.patinagroup.com/restaurant.php?restaurants_id=74Wollman Rink at Central Park
Open: October through the first week of April
Location: Central Park between 62nd and 63rd Streets
Hours: Monday, Tuesday 10 am to 2:30 pm; Wednesday, Thursday 10 am to 10 pm; Friday, Saturday 10 am to 11 pm; Sunday 10 am to 9 pm
Admission is $11.25 on weekdays, $18.00 on weekends, skate rental $8.00, locker rental $11.00 ($6.00 refundable on lock return)
For more information call 212-439-6900
Open: November through March
Location: 42nd between 5th & 6th Avenues
Hours: Sunday- Wednesday 8am-10pm; Thurs-Sat 8am-Midnight
Admission is free although VIP “FastPasses” can be purchased for $28.00
Skate rental $15.00
I hope this helps!
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Hit up Ace Hotel New York and check on the space and shops.
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