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Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

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Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

We are a family of 4, me, husband, 8 and 10 year old. We are planning to visit over Spring Break. We are thinking of staying 4 nights, can anyone give advice on what area to stay. My first thought was Doubletree Suites Times Square, because we typically do like to stay in a suite or something bigger than a standard hotel room. However, I started reading things and wondered if Times Square would be a better place to visit one day and not necessarily stay there due to the crowds and noise. Would Central Park area be a better option, and maybe cab it over to Times Square once? Our loose itinerary is something like this:

Day 1 - afternoon arrival

dinner at Guy Fieri American Kitchen and Bar

sight see Times Square - Toys R Us, FAO, Dylan Candy, MM Store

Day 2 - Circle Line Tour to Statue of Liberty

Lunch Hot Dogs in Central Park

Central Park - Horseback Riding (if available- if too cold then The Met afternoon)

Dinner Lombardis Pizza

Day 3- Up early, go check out Today Show

Top of the Rock

Museum of American History in morning

9/11 Memorial in afternoon

Day 4 - Intrepid Air Museum

Go home

This itinerary may need work, it is just a general idea of things we want to do. We may need to switch days around. Lastly, weather. I have read highs are generally 40's... does it typically snow in March? I noticed on the forum, I did not run across many people mentioning visiting in March, seemed like many are summer visits. Is this not a good time to visit? Any tips advice if welcome.

Edited: 24 February 2014, 16:28
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

It looks like you are only visiting Times Square on your first day and will be spending the other days in other parts of Manhattan. So you might want to consider a suite hotel in a quieter neighborhood, unless you think you want to be surrounded by the chaos and 'excitement' of Times Square.

Day 1

Are you sure you want to eat at Guy Fieri's restaurant? Terrible reviews and locals do not eat there.

FAO Schwatz and Dylan's Candy Bar are in Midtown East, not in Times Square. If they are must dos, you might have time before dinner (depending on what time you get in) or on another day.

Day 2

Do you want to visit the SoL or just pass by it? Statue Cruises will take you there (and to Ellis Island); a Circle Line tour will take you by it.

Do the 9/11 Memorial this day - it's also in Lower Manhattan

Then head up to Little Italy for lunch at Lombardi's

This leaves you with some free time in the afternoon

Day 3

Start with the Today Show and then up to ToTR (as long as it's a clear day, otherwise ToTR isn't worth it)

Then walk up to Central Park - you can easily drop in at FAO along the way

Wander through Central Park, head towards the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). There is no horseback riding in Central Park. If it's too chilly to sit outside comfortably, have lunch near AMNH.

Spend the afternoon at AMNH

Day 4

Visit the Intrepid before you depart

I have seen it snow as late as the third week of March. I have also seen it in the 80s in the third week of March. More typically, it is chilly but not intolerable.

We've had a cold winter this year, and on Sunday, March 2nd the forecast is for a high of 22 degrees. It could warm up suddenly and quickly, though, so all you can do is keep your eye on the forecast!

Edited: 24 February 2014, 16:57
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2. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

Thank you so much for the reply. This helps with planning alot. I will definitely keep an eye on the forecast, and probably skip Guy's restaurant. We do want to tour SOL, so I will arrange for the Statue Cruises rather than Circle Line. Many thanks!

Dallas, Texas...
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3. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

Good start on a general idea of what you want to do.

maps.google.com is a good tool to figure out where things are. Just type in names and google will find them.

NYC is a great walking city, and also has an excellent subway system. Depending on where you end up staying, chances are good that you would actually walk to Times Square rather than needing to take a cab. Of course, subway will be an option.

For Day 1, have you read reviews of Guy Fieri's place? yelp.com/biz/guys-american-kitchen-and-bar-n… nytimes.com/2012/…

If you want a Times Square dinner that first night, John's Pizzeria would be a great choice. It's in an old converted church. Plus it's more "New York" whereas Guy's style of cooking is more like what you can easily find in Houston.

(If you really want a "celebrity chef" restaurant, just ask. There are many better options)

Note that FAO and Dylan's are not in Times Square. Depending on when you get in, you could head over to that direction in the afternoon, then TS at night. It's more exciting after sunset anyway.

Day 2

-Circle Line Cruise will give you a view of SOL, along with other views. Note that if you want to actually go TO the SOL, you need to book with statuecruises.com and allocate a greater amount of time.

- Horseback riding in Central Park is not currently possible for visitors. More info here: centralpark.com/guide/…horseback-riding.html The Met is a great option. Save the horseback riding for closer to home :-)

Lombardi's pizza is in Lower Manhattan. It would be better to do this on a day when you are actually in Lower Manhattan for other reasons, such as 911 memorial.

Cold weather is possible in March. Ice and snow are also possible, but not that common. It's not the best time for a visit, but not the worst. Hotel prices are more moderate than during the "best" times.

For advice on where to stay, include budget and exact dates ("spring break" isn't precise enough as prices fluctuate) and whether the kids can share a bed. Some places to check out for suite-style (some with kitchen) include RadioCityApts.com, NYCSalisbury.com, Affinia.com (various properties).

There are other quite a few other choices as well. Provide dates and budget for the best suggestions.

[Edit: Sorry, just noticed I was slow. Forgive any duplication of what others have already written :-) ]

Edited: 24 February 2014, 17:14
Teaneck, NJ
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4. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

You don't mention the exact dates of your trip but the New Victory Theater, a kids & family theater, has some good stuff going on that week www.newvictory.org/Season-Calendar.aspx

and their prices are quite reasonable, especiallyy the very cheap balconey seats

Syracuse, New York
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5. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

I've eaten at Guy Fieri's restaurant. If someone was with me wanted to go there, I'd go but I didn't think the food was wonderful just OK.

Hervey Bay...
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6. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

I haven't eaten at Guy's, but highly recommend John's Pizza. We are there only 9 nights ago and it is without doubt the best pizza I've ever had world wide.

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7. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

Well Ktsnowowl, that is quite an endorsement, we will have to add Johns to our list. Thank you all!

8. Re: Advice for 1st Time Family Trip to New York

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