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Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

Bartlett, IL
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45 posts
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Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

Hi there. My mom and I are going to NYC for NYE to see Billy Joel in Brooklyn. It's an extremely short trip, just two days, and we don't have huge ideas of things we "must see" but do want to do a few fun things while we're there.

Let me just say that this holiday season has been extremely stressful and I have had NO time to plan anything... and my mom is pretty much useless in helping me out. : ) So I have been trying to get a few minutes here and there to research. One other note is that my mom is 66 and has a really hard time walking long distances (well, any distances). So this is by no means going to be a "squeeze everything you can in two days" kind of trip, and I'm fine with that. Basically I don't just want to sit in my hotel the whole time with no idea of what to do, especially if things are close to the hotel. So if anyone can be of any help, I'd be indebted forever!!

This is what I know so far:

* Arriving noon at LGA on Tuesday. Staying at Grand Hyatt (adjacent to Grand Central Station) Dec. 31 - Jan. 2.

* Will probably just take a cab from LGA to the hotel as we will both have a checked piece of luggage. I know there is an airport shuttle to the midtown hotels, but it doesn't stop right in front of the Grand Hyatt and do not want to make my mom walk with her suitcase, even if it's just for a block. So taxi it will be.

* Will get a 7-day Metrocard for $31 each as I imagine we'll be using the subway A LOT

* Got tix to Motown the Musical for Weds night (NYD).

* Leave at 4 p.m. from LGA on Thursday

So basically need ideas for what we can do on Tues afternoon/evening before the concert (concert doesn't start til 9:30!) and then things to do that will be OPEN on Jan. 1st. We would like to take in some holiday sights if anything is still open/decorated now. Also need some reasonably priced food outlets near our hotel if anyone has thoughts.

Oh, and I'd like to take a bus tour too (nice for my mom instead of making her walk a lot) so we could get a general overview of NYC. Seems like none of them run on NYD. Suggestions for ones we should look into taking either NYE when we arrive, or before we leave for the airport on Thursday?

Thanks!!!

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

For only two days you may be better off with the pay per ride Metrocard (which you can share.) You get a 5% bonus when you add $5.00 or more and you can refill it at any time.

The break even point is 13 rides for an unlimited card. I don't think you'll take that many, particularly if you're planning to take taxis to and from the airport. The pay per ride card still gives free transfers between bus and subway.

Syracuse, New York
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2. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

Check out this thread on Hop On Hop Off bus trips.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d19…

I'd also look into taking her to the rink at Rockefeller Center. There are a couple of restaurants there (Rock Center Cafe & Sea Grill) where mom can sit, enjoy a reasonably good meal & watch the skaters but make reservations ASAP as they might already be booked. There are a few shops in the concourse that she can poke around in as well.

Edited: 27 December 2013, 18:44
Ohio
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3. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

You're saying your mom can't walk a lot but what about steps? I would think that would be a major hurdle in using the subway system. Not all stations have an elevator. You can use the metro card for buses as well which may work better for you and your mom. The buses actually kneel at the curb so access is very easy for handicapped people.

Ohio
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4. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

You're saying your mom can't walk a lot but what about steps? I would think that would be a major hurdle in using the subway system. Not all stations have an elevator. You can use the metro card for buses as well which may work better for you and your mom. The buses actually kneel at the curb so access is very easy for handicapped people.

Syracuse, New York
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5. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

I missed that you said your mom has bad knees yet you are taking the subway. Be aware that most subway stations don't have available elevators & even escalators are scarce. Also, there is almost never a way to get from street level to the platform except by stairs. Then there is the problem of getting a seat on the subway & in time before the train starts to move.

Even a bus can be problematic if there are no seats on the bus.

I'm not trying to discourage you from coming, just suggesting you think again about getting mom around.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

I was thinking the same thing. Subways are great for covering distance but most stations involve stairs and some platform walking.

Bartlett, IL
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7. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

Steps are fine, it's more of a stamina issue with her. She gets out of breath easily and we have to take frequent breaks when walking and often stop to sit down.

Dallas, Texas...
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8. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

It's a short trip and zipping all over the city may not be the best approach for your Mom. There are lots of interesting things relatively near your hotel.

The holiday market at Bryant Park runs until Jan 5. There is a Christmas tree, ice skating and lots of special shops set yo. It's also very near your hotel. That might be something you would enjoy.

Consider also doing an audio tour of Grand Central Terminal and grab a bite there. There are some nice sit down restaurants and also more casual food markets, etc. Here's a list: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/dining

The Rockefeller Center tree is up until Jan 7. You might spend some time there, grab a bite and watch skating, go up to Top of the Rock for amazing views (daylight is best, or right at sunset)

Most of the Christmas window displays will still be up on New Years Day, but consider whether that's the best use of limited walking ability. Maybe just pick one or two that are close to other things you plan to do.

Any interest in museums? MOMA is open New Years Day. So is the AMNH (Natural History). That's fairly far from your neighborhood so you would want to plan on subway, bus or taxi.

Bartlett, IL
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9. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

I'm actually the one with the bad knees! We're quite a pair, us two! : )

Syracuse, New York
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10. Re: Trying to throw this trip together for NYE!

Just be aware that there can be a lot of steps in a subway station. I remember when I took the subway (Lexington Avenue line, I can't remember which number) to the Met Museum & the escalator was out of service. It took me forever to get up those stairs!!!! And then I had to walk crosstown to the museum. I think the 1st thing I did when I got to the museum was to sit in the Grand Hallway & rest!