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Need help with planning first trip to NYC

Markham, Canada
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Need help with planning first trip to NYC

Hi All,

I am planning our first trip to NYC in mid-August. There will be 7 of us (4 adults & 3 boys (ages 14, 11 & 9). We be arriving on Sat morning (around 10am) and will be staying at Fairfield Inn & Suites in Long Island City. Planning to use NY's subway to get around. We be staying in NYC for 4 days and then will be driving to Atlantic City. Below are the places we wanted to visit and need help in grouping them together since we don't know where they are located. Also, the first day, we hope to leave our luggage with the hotel, so will expect to need to go back to the hotel in the afternoon to check-in.

Central Park - I know it's a very large park.. but what is there to do?

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Nintendo World NY - think the boys will love this

Statue of Liberty

Time Square

Grand Central Terminal

9/11 Museum /Ground Zero memorial - is this the same or different places?

Highline - what is there to see?

State Island Ferry

Metropolitan Museum of Art 5th Avenue

Empire State Building


Little Italy

Brooklyn Bridge

Lower Manhattan - what other places in here that is not included from above?

I need help with grouping these places together to visit. Would appreciate if someone can give some suggestions. Are these enough to cover the 4 days?


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Need help with planning first trip to NYC

Get a map (paper or online like google) and plot the places you want to see. It will become more clear what things are close to each other.

Times Square is best seen at night.

Little Italy really doesn't have much to see anymore.

Generally, TOTR is recommended over the ESB and there probably isn't much need to visit both.

If you google Highline or Central Park, their websites will help you figure out what there is to do.

New Orleans...
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2. Re: Need help with planning first trip to NYC

I am not a local but we just returned from our 3rd trip with teens. On this trip, I finally felt oriented in regards to directions, which overwhelmed me the first trip. I would study the subway map and map of Manhattan in general before your trip. I would get a good paper map (the laminated ones that fold easily. Books stores should have them or amazon.com), bring a small pocket compass, and download Hop Stop. We need all of them Our Iphone didn't work very well in NYC so the app didn't always work for us. The paper map was a lifesafer.

This is how I would group them based on their locations to each other.:

Day 1

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Nintendo World NY

Time Square - Nothing really "to do" here other than look around and stop in some of the very touristy shops, like the M&M store. It was way too crowded but good for about an hour.

Grand Central Terminal - get the audio tour or find a tour. It is big and can be overwhelming.

Day 2

9/11 Museum /Ground Zero memorial - The museum is open now. The Memorial is the outside of the museum. I would get tickets in advance online. This can take about 3 to 4 hours total (standing in line, going through security, etc).

State Island Ferry - can do after the 9/11 museum and would do at night, so maybe plan for this.

Brooklyn Bridge - can walk across and take subway back or walk to center and walk

back again into Manhattan)

Lower Manhattan - walked on Wall Street and explained to our kids what it was. Interesting area but you only need about an hour.

Day 3

Metropolitan Museum of Art 5th Avenue

Central Park - It is very big. We did the zoo one trip and just walk around the lower end. I would suggest a tour to get oriented. Check out their website.

Day 4

Empire State Building - We did this first trip and I wouldn't do again. The lines are very long but you don't notice that because they move you up a few floors and there is yet another line. If you do TOTR, you will get a great view.

SoHo - mostly walking around shopping. I don't think boys would need a lot of time there.

Little Italy - not really there anymore

I would suggest a food tour of East Vilage with Free Tours by Foot. That will cover some neighborhoods that you wouldn't necessarily good into because there isn't "attractions" to see there but they neighborhoods have great history and food.

Highline - You just walk. It is a very nice walk on an old elevated railroad. We combined it was Chelsea Market. We walked the entire park and enjoyed it. Great views.

Dallas, Texas...
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3. Re: Need help with planning first trip to NYC

If you want to actually go to the Statue of Liberty (and Ellis Island), book timed tickets in advance. Early morning is best for shorter lines. The official site is StatueCruises.com. Taking a regular tourist cruise for views from the water (but no access to the island) is another option and is less of a time investment.

The 911 Memorial Museum is generally not regarded as appropriate for children. It's a very intense experience and can be a bit overwhelming even for adults. You can stop by the 911 memorial though.

For "Highline - what is there to see?" the highline itself is the attraction. Google for more info about what it is, photos, etc. Chelsea Market is a fun stop at the Highline.

Staten Island Ferry may not be a "must do" if you are going to the SOL, or taking a cruise to see it.

For other places in Lower Manhattan not on your list: Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Lower East Side, Chinatown. Little Italy is mostly taken over by Chinatown and is really tiny and touristy now. Greenwich Village is a must, and is itself categorized into different neighborhoods.

4. Re: Need help with planning first trip to NYC

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