We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

New Hampshire
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

Hi folks,

I'm coming to NYC with my grandson for the weekend as he is starting to catch the travel bug. We are staying in a suite at the Affinia Manhattan @ 31st & 7th. My plan is to leave the Boston area no later than 8am Saturday morning, so we hope to valet park and drop our bags by noon or 1pm the latest.

We have tickets to Pippin on Saturday night. He wants to see the Statue of Liberty, the M&M store (!), Central Park and the Empire State Bldg. I'm hoping to persuade him to go to the Top of the Rock instead, but as this is his Christmas gift from me, he can call the shots.

For food, he likes burgers, pizza, and bacon. Preferably all at once, and lots of it :-)

We'll be leaving Sunday evening. We can leave our bags and sightsee until about 7pm before having to leave.

Anyway, I'm trying to get a feel for how much we can fit into a short weekend, and what the schedule should look like. I've read that Saturday may be a bit rainy, but it's really too early to call yet, I think.

Any ideas of what we should do Saturday when we get there, and where we should eat? I have a love affair with Carnegie Deli, but I'm thinking he would really like Shake Shack. Maybe go there on Sunday on our way downtown to Battery Park, or maybe on the way back? Would like to go to the World Trade Center memorial, but he said he didn't want to go (not sure why, maybe too traumatic?).

Here's my tentative itinerary, hoping the weather cooperates:

Saturday, by 1pm: Arrive, drop off bags (or check in if we're lucky)

2pm: wander Central Park

3:30pm: wander Rockerfeller Center area

5:00: maybe Carnegie Deli for dinner? Other ideals for "cool" place to take a ravenous kid for dinner, perhaps closer to the hotel?

6:30: back at hotel, clean up for show

8pm - Pippin at the Music Box Theater

wander Times Square a bit afterwards, maybe grab a late-night snack... where?

Sunday:

9am: breakfast somewhere close to hotel (reco's please?)

10:30 or 10:50: Staten Island ferry

Statue of Liberty - I was an idiot and didn't realize we needed to book tickets to the crown or pedestal that far in advance. No tickets seem to be available. Any ideas? If not, we're ok just going to the island. Ellis Island - I know there's lots of areas that are still closed due to Hurricane Sandy. We'll be OK just looking for Papa's family's name, I think.

Given our probably limited touring on the islands, and idea how long that would take? 2-3 hours?

1:30ish - lunch at Shake Shack at Madison Sq. Park?

3pm - maybe a few hours at the Intrepid?

5:00pm - Quick dinner somewhere near the Intrepid, or near the Empire State Bldg. Any ideas of where? Don't want our last meal in NYC to be Mickey D's. Great pizza somewhere?

6:45pm - Empire State Building for sunset at 7:40

Then grab bags and car from our hotel, and get outta town.

Do the times seem reasonable? We'll probably do a combo of walking/cabbing it, depending on timing and distance.

Reco's for food of the pizza/deli/burger variety much appreciated.

London, United...
10 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

Near the Rockefeller go to the Lego store and Nintendo World.

Times Square has a Toys R Us there.

Manhattan
Level Contributor
8,747 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

10:30 or 10:50: Staten Island ferry

Statue of Liberty - I was an idiot and didn't realize we needed to book tickets to the crown or pedestal that far in advance. No tickets seem to be available. Any ideas? If not, we're ok just going to the island. Ellis Island - I know there's lots of areas that are still closed due to Hurricane Sandy. We'll be OK just looking for Papa's family's name, I think.

The Staten Island Ferry will not get you to the Statue or Ellis Island - know this....

In midtown, I'd go to Island Burgers and Shakes or 5 napkin burger before fighting crowd at Shake Shack.

Center Moriches...
Level Contributor
1,112 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

You might be a bit conservative on your time estimate for the Statue of Liberty. Haven't been up in years, but reports of long lines at Empire State. Top of the Rock has timed entry so minimal wait when it's your time. Hope the weather is great for you both.

New Hampshire
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

OK, thanks, you are right. "Statue" got mixed up in my head with "Staten". I knew it was the one from Battery Park though. That's the only one from there, am I correct?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,775 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

What a lucky grandson you have :)

A couple of comments:

You can get same day tickets to see the Statue of Liberty. If you decide to do this you should show up as early as possible to purchase tickets. I bet you are an early riser, he might not be, so let him make the choice. Let him know that if he's willing to get up at 7:30 am Sunday morning, you can be down at Battery Park by 8:30 am which will give you a good chance of being on the first Ferry to Liberty Island at 9:00 am. I'm assuming you are aware that the same Ferry takes you to Liberty Island and Ellis Island so you will have the same security process to contend with even if you opt to skip Liberty Island. If he's not interested in getting up so early then the Staten Island Ferry will have to do, but at least you offered :) and aiming for a 10:30 am Staten Island Ferry will give you plenty of time to be back for lunch at 1:30.

Not sure how busy the Intrepid is at this time of year, maybe others can comment on lines for purchasing tickets.

Regarding the 9/11 Memorial, he may have discussed it at school and finds it too uncomfortable to deal with. You should look at the 9/11 Tribute Center website. They do a lot of work with children and have suggestions there about how to approach the subject with them. This is a link to an article from their website which I urge you to read:

911memorial.org/sites/all/files/TalkingToChi…

Even if you decide not to pursue it at this time, the info may help you in the future to discuss the events of 9/11 with him.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,775 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

One more point: If visiting the ESB, not only will lines be very long, but you also do not get to see the view of the ESB. By going to the top of the Rockafeller Center the two of you will face much shorter lines as well as be able to have your picture taken with the ESB in the background, a great souvenir of the weekend for the two of you. If you still decide that you want to go up the ESB then consider getting Express Tickets, but opting out of the SkyRide.

New Hampshire
Level Contributor
2,762 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

Thank you. Can I get same-day tickets to go to the pedestal or crown, though? I checked on the Statue Cruises website and it looks like both are sold out. There is a combo pass of Liberty and a 9/11 Memorial tour thru Viator (3rd party site) that includes the reserve pedestal tickets, but he doesn't want to go to the memorial.

We had no intention of skipping Liberty Island! Maybe skipping Ellis Island if time gets short, though.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,775 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

You cannot get same day tickets for the Crown. They must be purchased ahead of time online. There are often a limited number of same day Pedestal Tickets that are available at Battery Park's Castle Clinton. They never state how many, and I do not know whether it varies from day to day, but they do state that these usually sell within the first hour, another reason for an early start.

From the National Park Service Statue of Liberty website:

>> Extremely limited pedestal reservations may be available at the ticket office early in the morning. Pedestal reservations are not available on Liberty Island.<<

Viator, as you know is a third party making a premium on arranging these tours. I have no experience with them. I suppose you can contact them about paying for the entire experience but going only on the SOL portion. As I type this I'm recalling that I recently saw tours of the financial district combined with a visit to the SOL where you can bypass the long lines leading to pre-boarding security. I'll try to find the link and post it if I do.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,775 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

Here is one such tour, although I don't think this is the company I initially read about. I have had no experience with them so you may want to see if anyone has posted reviews on Trip Advisor or other sites.

newyorktourshuttle.com/new-york-city-tours/s…

It does look promising because there is a 1 hour walking tour which may be of interest to your grandson, I know my son would have loved it at that age, as well as the Pedestal visit included to the SOL including.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
70 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Next weekend with my 13 yr old grandson - itinerary help?

We just got back from New York with 7 and 10 year old boys. I made the same mistake waiting to book Statue of Liberty tickets. We ended up booking from the New Jersey side which is much less crowded. It is a short 15 minute ferry ride to the New Jersey side from the World Trade Center area ferry and you can go back to the Battery City side when you are done at Statue of Liberty. It was much less crowded than the Battery City site! I highly recommend the museum at the Statue of Liberty. My kids and husband really enjoyed learning more about the construction and it is very well done.