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How should we organize our 5 days

Holly Hill, South...
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How should we organize our 5 days

We are planning a 5day/4night holiday from December 17th - 21st. i am struggling with organizing each day. I don't want to over schedule the time, but I know there are things that we must do. Although I traveled to New York several times in the '80s for work, I have never been as a tourist. The rest of my family has never been. We want to do all the traditional tourist things: Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal, Museum of Natural History, the various neighborhoods (Little Italy, Chinatown, Union Square, Greenwich Village, SoHo) WTC Visitor Center, and do some last minute Christmas shopping (I would like to do the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park in addition to many of the other places I've seen recommended on this site ). The kids (13 year old daughter, and 14 year old twins) would like to get some ice skating in since we live in South Carolina. I recognize that the days will be short during that time which might limit some of the outdoor activities we will be able to squeeze in. We're, of course, going to do a show or two at night, also.

The questions I have are:

(1) Do you recommend we plan our schedule by activity or by location? For example do you recommend we do a day of sightseeing, a day of shopping, a day of touring, etc. or should we focus our activities on a specific location each day. and....

(2) Does anyone know of an online program where I can create a map of all the locations so I can get an idea of where everything is in relation to everything else. I have tried to use the google maps, but it is so overwhelming with everything noted.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/insight.

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1. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

Re. the maps, I would suggest you just buy some tourists' maps of the area. I am also planning a trip, and I had the exact same problem about maps, so I just ordered some from amazon: the Streetwise Manhattan Map ($6.95) and also one of the bus/subway routes ($1.95) and one of Central Park ($1.95). They are worth having just for planning purposes, plus they're the laminated kind, so we'll take them along to use when we eventually make the trip.

Glasgow, United...
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2. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

I would opt for lookin at what you want to definately see/ what area it is in and what else is nearby and explore it by area.

ie you can spend a morning in one part afternoon another as the subway can take you around.

But for example if you decide to visit MoNH 81st UWS then go to Central Park they are right next to each other. So no massive journey in beween

But if you visit Central Park then decide you want to ride the Stattan Island Ferry you are heading all they way down to South Ferry its quite a differnce basically the sights are spread out and if you get a top ten New York or something like that there are maps at the back but there is also suggested walking tours ect which may be helpful plus lots useful info.

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3. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

I noticed that on your list there are some things that are "open late", for example the Rockafeller Center, Times Square and Grand Central Terminal, as well as the neighbourhoods, of course. donät know about the shop opening times in NYC but I would imagine they are open late?

So, I would base my schedule on leaving the things that aare open late to the evening and touring the museums shops and the palces taht you want to see in the daylight during the day.

The Sea
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4. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

Check museum hours too. The Metropolitan is closed on Mondays.

Glasgow, United...
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5. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

I've found Google Maps to be a great help. Simply search for whatever interests you eg MoMA, Rice to Riches etc. then mark it as a favourite. Whenever you return to Google Maps your favourite places will be marked with stars and you can easily find them among the other information.

You need to set up an account with Google for this to work.

Edited: 06 October 2010, 12:20
Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

The first thing that I would suggest is to have your three teens do some of the research and tell you what they want to do in NYC. Make sure to include their desires into any plans that you make. Unhappy teens = unhappy trip.

I have always believed in organizing by area. Downtown, The Villages, Mid-Town, and Brooklyn. For example, if you wish to pay your respects at the Trade Center site, you are also within walking distance of: Staten island Ferry, Wall Street, St. Pauls,, City Hall Park, Charging Bull, Brooklyn Bridge and Chinatown.

Similarly, a Mid Town day can be centered around a museum or two, but also include Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and shopping.

I like your plan to walk through some neighborhoods. The East and West Village are great for walks any time of the day. Chinatown for lunch or dinner is also fun. There are certain areas that the younger set usually loves after dark. These include Union Square and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Finally, here is a list of skating rinks in NYC. While Rockefeller Center is the most famous, there are others that may also fit the bill. I think that the Seaport rink may have been temporary, so check the site to see if it will be up and running.


7. Re: How should we organize our 5 days

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