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Old 04-13-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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Default Need help planning NYC vacation

We hope to visit NYC in the near future. We have two children (5 & 7) and we would love to try to do as many free things as we can. Just being in NYC among all the skyscrapers will be a thrill for all of us. When I look at a map, it looks as though upper Manhattan is where most of the museums are located. It also looks as though there is a zoo in central park. We may want to also take a cab or train to see the Statue of Liberty and possibly Ground Zero - but I don't know if there will be time to do everything.

Is upper Manhattan fairly safe? What hotels would you recommend or would you suggest a condo rental? We want affordable, safe and clean (as affordable as NYC gets anyway). We're hoping to stay 3 or 4 days and would like to try getting around on foot as much as possible.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Hi Springfield...
what is your budget..
I always stay and always recommned Marriott Marquis, the hotel is right on times square. And yes central park has a zoo, and is free (I think).
If you are coming durring the summer, you can go to the free concerts.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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The Central Park zoo isn't free. But the American Museum of Natural History IS. And do check about a trip to the Statue of Liberty (it's a nice boat ride, as well) and a trip on the Circle Line around Manhattan. The latter is a great way to spend three hours on a warm day.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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Yes Viralmd you are right is not free:
Admissions:
Adults: $8.00Children (3-12): $3.00Seniors (65+): $4.00
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:07 PM
 
Location: UWS -- Lucky Me!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
The Central Park zoo isn't free. But the American Museum of Natural History IS.
The Museum of Natural History may be free (technically it is for general admission ["Suggested Donation"], but you must pay for the Planetarium and some special exhibitions. See Admission | American Museum of Natural History (http://www.amnh.org/museum/welcome/admission.html - broken link)

You might want to look into City Pass CityPass : New York Attraction News, a booklet of coupons with discounts to many tourist destinations.

The Upper East Side Side (which generally includes the East Side between 59th & 96th Sts.) and the Upper West Side (which generally includes the West Side from 59th to 110th St., although a little higher the further west you go) are very safe. You do not want to throw your money away on taxis. You can get anywhere you're likely to want to go on public transit. You can buy a one-day fun pass (unlimited rides) for each family member (exc. children under 44 inches tall), or if you decide to stay longer than three days, it's cost effective to buy a one-week fun pass for each.
MTA New York City Transit
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
We hope to visit NYC in the near future. We have two children (5 & 7) and we would love to try to do as many free things as we can. Just being in NYC among all the skyscrapers will be a thrill for all of us. When I look at a map, it looks as though upper Manhattan is where most of the museums are located. It also looks as though there is a zoo in central park. We may want to also take a cab or train to see the Statue of Liberty and possibly Ground Zero - but I don't know if there will be time to do everything.

Is upper Manhattan fairly safe? What hotels would you recommend or would you suggest a condo rental? We want affordable, safe and clean (as affordable as NYC gets anyway). We're hoping to stay 3 or 4 days and would like to try getting around on foot as much as possible.
Springfield- I'm not a New Yorker, but my children and I visit NYC yearly. (ages 6& 10 now)Central park itself is wonderful,the zoo is worth visiting, but VERY small. If your children like zoos- a must do is the Bronx zoo. We took the subway.

My children have been to the statue of Liberty and ground zero. I personally don't like taking cabs, we try to walk as much as possible (or take the double decker buses) because so many of are memories of NYC are from stops we did'nt plan on making. You never know what will find while walking and that is half the fun.The buses allow you to get off if anything strikes your fancy and they are a bargin compared to multiple cab rides. They go to Brooklyn as well.If you walk be prepared for breaks or for kids that are exhausted at the end of the day!

If you go to the Museum of Natural History, visit the Planitarium- it was a huge hit with the kids.My kids also loved prospect park in Brooklyn. One thing they hated was times square. They love the lights but the crowds just pissed them off.

I have never really felt unsafe during any of our visits.

We stay at this hole in the wall- The Davinci Hotel. The rooms are small, but clean and the location is great. (Midtown) and at 120 a night it is a pretty good deal.

We also have taken 3-4 day trips each time and still don't feel like we have done everything, but like you said I think the kids enjoy the "feel" more so than an paticular attraction.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I dont think the American Museum of Natural History is free...
The last time I went, I asked and they said no..
That MOMA is free but not the AMNH.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:08 AM
 
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Mea culpa - the American Museum of History is not gratis - I realized that AFTER I wrote it and shut down the computer. However, it's open every day except Christmas. Unlike the other museums in NYC. I can also recommend the Museum of the City of New York, which has a wonderful toy and doll house collection, which all children just love.

I, personally, do not consider Ground Zero a tourist attraction. Most New Yorkers are frankly appalled at the attitudes that tourists have toward the place. There's nothing to see. It's a very sad place where thousands of people tragically died.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:36 AM
 
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Thanks everyone! You have given me a lot of really helpful information. Those double decker buses sound great!

Now for another question. If we arrive in NYC via bus (Vamoose) at Grand Central or Penn station, what type of transportation should we use to get to our hotel (we'll have at least three bags with us)? How much would a taxi cost to get us to the upper side?

In your opinion, is it better to stay in midtown or the upper end? Shopping and shows aren't that important to us at this time.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:50 AM
 
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From your last post it sounds like you need to do some more reading/research.

Trains get into Penn Station/Grand Central. Buses go to the Port Authority.

There isn't enough money in the world to make me get on a subway with kids and luggage. NY is EXPENSIVE. Take a taxi, so at least, while you may be broke you won't be bad tempered and broke.

By 'upper end' what do you mean? Upper West Side? Midtown has the highest concentration of hotels, but be very careful where you end up. None of the decent hotels is cheap. Do your homework!
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