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.

Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
390 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

My girlfriend and I will be visiting NY on Weds 3rd December landing roughly 2;30pm at JFK airport and leaving on Sunday 7th December 10:15pm at JFK. This will be my 3rd visit to NY (only went middle of November 2013) but it's the 1st for my girlfriend.

After compliling a list of what we want to do (trying to do a few different things so both is new to us) and sorting them out after cutting out each thing and arranging on a table, here is a list of the itinerary we have planned.

Can people of TripAdvisor be so kind and give advice on whether or not all is achievable and if any days activities planned don't go together? After going last year I'd say I'm fairly confident of knowing where things are but am certainly no expert :-) I've asked a few questions I'm not sure of.

Weds 3rd December:

Arrive at JFK 2:30pm

Check into Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn West 35th St) around 5pm

Head to Rockafella Centre for Christmas Tree switch on

Bite to eat at Pure Thai Cookhouse (heard good things)

Tiomes Square & visit M&M's World/Toys 'R' Us

Thurs 4th December:

Breakfast near hotel (Anthony's Coffee Shop last time but open to suggestions)

Head to Victoria's Secret for my girlfriend (and me haha) - is this Herald Square from memory?

Wall Street

9/11 memorial - do you not have to go through security now or book?

St Paul's Chapel

Governor's Island (view of SOL?)

Jane's Carousel

Juliana's for Pizza

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Brooklyn Bridge walk back to Manhattan (sunset)

NY Knicks/Rangers game (schedule still to come out so dependant)

Drink at The Press Lounge

Drink at The Strand Hotel - is this possible if you're not a guest at the hotel?

Friday 5th December (my birthday):

Grand Central Station (breakfast in here - any recommendation?)

Grand Central Market & Christmas Train

Whispering Wall - where is this?

Chrysler Building - just for good view (where is good?)

NY Public Library

Rare View - Murray Hill - What can you see from here?

Escape The Room

Chelsea Market

Lunch at Los Tacos No.!

Walk The Highline

TOTR for sunset

Back to Hotel to get changed

Birthday meal at 'The Little Owl'

Drinks in Greenwich - anyone advise on where is good to go? Cocktail bars etc.

Drinks at Frances Tavern

Drinks at The Dead Rabbit

Saturday 6th December:

Breakfast somewhere - any recommendations?

Roosevelt Island (take tram)

Dumbo

Explore Williamsburg (will this be busy on a Saturday?)

Greenwich - Molly's Cupcakes, Friends Apartment, Sex In The CIty House

Shake Shack at Madison Square Park for lunch

Back to hotel to get changed

Flatiron Building

Ice Skating at Rockafella

Rockettes Christmas Show

Bryant Park Christmas Market (bite to eat from a stall and drinks)

Sunday 7th December (last day)

Central Park

5th Avenue shopping

Love Sculpture

Bloomingdales

Back to hotel and head to JFK leaving around 7pm.

The main problem we found when trying to plan things was trying to make sure we fit in certain things before and approaching sunset such as pics for TOTR and the Skyline. Are we trying to fit in too much for Skyline pics? Any advice on where's best to go? Is all the above do-able? Is Governor's Island the best place for pics of SOL? I've done the Staten Island Ferry before but seems a waste of a journey if I've already done it and it's crowded.

Any advice would be a great help.

Thanks in advance

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
16,015 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

-Rockefeller Center(note the spelling) will be crowded for the tree lighting. Just be ready for that.

-Victoria's Secret: Several stores all around NYC.I see that you are also going to Bloomingdales. There is also a VS across the street.

-9/11 Memorial..no security...no tickets. 9/11 Museum...security and you need to buy tickets.

-WOW...your Thursday is packed!

-You are going to Brooklyn on Thursday and then back to DUMBO on Sat? Note, there is also a Shake Shack in DUMBO if you don't want to deal with the lines in the city.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
16,178 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

Imo you can never have too many skyline pics. So go for it.

Pure Thai and Los Tacos No 1 are both great, good choices. Casual but good.

You'll be able to see the Chrysler Building as you walk around, no worries there. There's no need for a special vantage point. The ESB will appear out of nowhere too and take your breath away.

Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
14,810 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

There are multiple Victoria's Secret locations: https://www.victoriassecret.com/store-locator

9/11 Memorial (area with trees and fountains) is now free, for the museum you must get tickets: http://www.911memorial.org/

Governor's Island is seasonal - no ferries in December http://www.govisland.com/html/home/home.shtml If you want to go to the statue (Liberty Island & Ellis Island) book with http://www.statuecruises.com/ OR consider the Water Taxi http://www.nywatertaxi.com/

The Whispering wall is on the lower level of CGT near the Oyster Bar.

BTW, its RockefelleR Center and Greenwich Village (or just The Village) locally Greenwich refers to a town in Connecticut.

Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
3,750 posts
398 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

I think that your Thursday, Friday and Saturday have way too much in them. You may be able to get to all of these things, but you will be rushed and not have much time to enjoy and experience them. Remember you need to allow time to get from one place to another and as you are already aware, NYC is so amazing that you are bound to come across hidden gems along the way or just be so enthralled with something that you end up spending longer than expected.

I'd either take a couple of things out or prioritise them into something like List A - must dos and List B - if there is time. At least that way if you don't get to see everything, and I don't think you will, it will not be as disappointing and if you do get to see it, bonus!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
6,396 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

Saturday the 6th is too much, I think - I would take out Dumbo and Williamsburg. Take the tram, then head down to Greenwich Village for a bit of exploring, and then (time allowing) to Madison Square Park for the Flatiron Building and Shake Shack. (Caveat: that SS is completely outdoors, and it will be December).

From here go back to your hotel to change, then go to the Bryant Park holiday market, then ice skating, then to the Rockettes show. (What time is your show? The Rockefeller Center rink is open to midnight - last session begins at 10:30 pm - so you might even be able to go afterwards).

Enjoy your trip! :)

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
22,121 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

It's a good start, but a bit unrealistic.

Forum regulars repeatedly warn people about impossible crowds for the Tree Lighting.

Thursday: The Victoria's Secret in Herald Square is the largest VS in the world. What about doing this at night instead of taking up daylight hours? You could do it on arrival night when you realize you can't get near Rockefeller Center :-)

Note that sunset will be at 4:30pm, so you have a very full day planned to be walking Brooklyn Bridge at 4:30.

It's surprising that you are going to Brooklyn twice during such a short trip. Jane's Carousel is in DUMBO, yet you are returning there on Saturday?

For Saturday, you have Roosevelt Island, Dumbo, Williamsburg, Greenwich Village all before lunch!

The Flatiron Building is right at Madison Square Park, so I think you meant to do that before you return to your hotel.

Re-reading your post, I can see that a lot of your destinations are focused on skyline views. I assume for photography. Yes, I think you're devoting too much of your trip to viewing Manhattan rather than enjoying being in it, and your underestimating time to travel around to all of these places.

It sounds like you may plan on whizzing through Greenwich Village to photograph two TV buildings, and you're going out of your way to do that during daylight when you have also have nighttime plans in Greenwich Village. Really, there are a gazillion photos of these buildings already. How badly do you need one of your own?

Is your 10:15pm flight international? If so, you need to leave earlier than 7pm. Most airlines recommend arriving 3 hours prior to departure. Are you using a taxi or taking the train? Traffic could be a factor.

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
16,015 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

**For Saturday, you have Roosevelt Island, Dumbo, Williamsburg, Greenwich Village all before lunch!**

Just noticed that also.

Impossible!

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
390 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

Thanks for all the advice! Can anyone suggest a better itinerary?! Yes you're right, I do want some good skyline pics but not sure out of all the places I've mentioned, which I can cut out of the trip! You are right in that I think there's too much & maybe places like Greenwich I can do just the once, after all we'll be eating at The Little Owl anyway.

So do you guys/girls think that the Christmas Tree at Rockafeller is a no go on the first night?!

Hervey Bay...
Level Contributor
3,750 posts
398 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

By the time you get to the Rockefeller Centre the crowds will be insane and you will be really far back so much so that you'll get a far better view watching it from your room. If it is a must do then by all means still do it, just be aware that it will be insanely visit and that it will take a lot longer to move through the area.

As for changing your itinerary, we can assist, but you need to tell us what you're prepared to cut. For example, there is no point me doing a new itinerary that cuts out Grand Central Station if that is a must see. Have another go at it and then we can tweak it.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
6,396 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Can we fit this all in - December 2014 trip

I agree that, unless it's on your bucket list, I'd skip the tree lighting on Wednesday. It will be so crowded that you won't see much of anything. You'll be able to see and photograph it all lit up for the rest of your stay.