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New York City: Activity Advice for First Time Visitor
To get inside the base of the Statue of Liberty, you must buy a Monument pass in advance as they sell out fast
Prepaying your tickets, spares you the ticket line at Battery Park where boats leave from
Monument pass with audio is $25 for adults and $21 for seniors. Children up to 12 years of age is $16
Monument line can run anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes once you are on Liberty Island
You can climb to the crown observation window once again with the $28 ticket, but advance reservations are required.
Ferry to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island is included in the admission price
Take the #4 or #5 Lexington Ave Express Subway to the Bowling Green Station next to Battery Park. You can also take the R or W trains to Whitehall Street, or the #1 train to the newly renovated South Ferry station.
Ticket office is in the historic Castle Clinton inside Battery Park
Full tour could take 5 ½ hours
The self-guided tour of Ellis Island is highly recommended and very educational.
Central Park is situated in Manhattan between 59th and 110th street and between Fifth and Eight Ave.
The park has several lakes, a theater, two ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, many playgrounds and other facilities.
Strawberry Fields (Mozaic tribute to John Lennon) is at 72nd and Central Park West
The 72nd to 86th street area is particularly nice
Great museums surround Central Park as well. Along Central Park West, there's the American Museum of Natural History, The New-York Historical Society and the Ethical Culture Society. Along Fifith Avenue, there is a stretch called "Museum Mile," which includes el Museo del Barrio, The Museum of the City of New York, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Interior Design and the Frick Collection.
Central Park Zoo (Not as good or as big as the Bronx Zoo)
The Bow Bridge and the Bethesda Fountain are popular spots for marriage proposals.
The Lady's Pavillion, Harlem Meer, The Mall, Wagner Cove and the Conservatory Garden are popular locations for small weddings.
Besides Central Park, High Line Park is another great open outdoor space to check out. It's a park built on historic rail roads elevated above the streets of Manhattan's lower West Side.
Access to the High Line is available at a number of points:
Gansevoort Street, 14th Street (elevator access), West 16th Street (elevator access), West 18th Street, West 20th Street, 23rd Street (elevator access) ***, West 26th Street, West 28th Street, West 30th Street (elevator access)
They tape two shows on Monday and once per day Tues, Wednesday, Thursday. There are no Friday show tapings
HOW CAN I GET STANDBY TICKETS Anyone interested in
acquiring same-day tickets can sign up in-person at Ed Sullivan Theater
beginning at 1:00pm on the day of a show taping (times may change on
days with special taping times). Depending on availability, standby
tickets are issued one hour prior to show time.
Tickets are available the first week of the month prior to your visit
Stand by tickets are available the day of the show at 9am outside the NBC Marquis sign on 49th street side of 30 Rock. bldg
For Stand by tickets, you must wait outside and should get there by 7:45am if you want to ensure getting in. They pass out numbered tickets and ask you to come back around 3:45pm to check in and then ask you to line up at 4:15pm inside 30 Rock.
Show tapes at 5:30pm - 6:30pm
The "Late Night with Seth Meyers" interns hand out tickets to the
monologue rehearsal at 11:30 a.m. in The Shop at NBC Studios at 30
Rockefeller Plaza (accessible via the 6th Avenue entrance) any day that
we tape a new show. You must be at least 16 years old to attend the
Top of the Rock Observation deck at Rockefeller Center ($32)
70 Stories high
Give at least 45 minutes to see it and take enough photos.
More unobstructed views than Empire State Bldg (ESB) plus you can see the ESB and Central Park
30 Rockefeller Plaza: West 50th between 5 th Ave and 6 th Ave. 8 to midnight 7 days a week. $32 adults $26 children plus tax
Take the B, D or F trains to the 47-50th St.- Rockefeller Center station.
Monday and Tuesday Only and lineup for any remaining seats starts around 2pm outside the studio on Broadway
You can request tickets by calling MTV at (212) 398-8549 but do it several months in advance
Location: The MTV Studio is located at 1515 Broadway between 43rd and 44th Streets, in the middle of Times Square in New York City. The MTV building takes up a whole block on the Broadway side. The MTV store is on the South corner at 43rd street and Broadway, this is also next to the entrance for the Studio Tour.
Times Square: (Free)
Broadway-Seventh Ave. from 42nd to 47th Streets 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, S, R to 42nd St. – Times Square.
The world’s busiest intersection has enough shops, restaurants, and theaters to keep you entertained for your entire stay. There is Planet Hollywood, the WWF restaurant, a Toys R Us big enough for an indoor Ferris wheel, the largest music store in New York, MTV Studios, Good Morning America, many street performers and vendors, and much more.
NBC studio tour ($33)
Tickets are on sale now at www.TheTouratNBCStudios.com
or by calling 212-664-3700. The Tour at NBC Studios will operate daily
from legendary 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the birthplace of television
broadcasting, starting in October
Need to buy your tickets in advance due to large tour groups that prepay tickets
You will get to visit NBC studios, including the sets for Saturday Night Live, NBC Sports, and Nightly News with Brian Williams, depending on whether they are in use at the time of the tour.
All tours begin inside the NBC Experience Store which is located in the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (Corner of 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue) across from the TODAY Show studio.
Members of the legendary NBCUniversal Page Program, the premiere early
career experience in media, will lead the guided tours. The Tour at NBC
Studios pricing is $33 for general admission, $29 for children (age
6-12) and seniors (55+). The experience operates year round, Monday –
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Tour at NBC Studios is ADA compliant and accessible to guests with
Today Show at NBC in the morning (Free)
Show starts at 7am but they form a line much earlier (6am) 1 block away
Need to get there early for best view
Good Morning America (Free)
Request Back Stage Studio Tour through the ABC website a week or two before you arrive
They request that you arrive at the corner of 44th and Broadway at 7:30am
They take you inside around 8:45am for a 20 minute tour of the set and the control room
Wall Street New York Stock Exchange (no tours anymore)
20 Broad Street , 3rd Floor New York, NY 10005
Internet: http://www.nyse.com New York Stock Exchange Address: 11 Wall Street New York , NY 10005
Phone: (212) 656-5168
The most popular shows sell out months in advance so buy them before your trip.
You can get up to half price tickets from the TKTS location on 47th Street between Broadway & 7th Ave. the day of the shows.
There are other less crowded TKTS booths at the South Street Seaport and in Downtown Brooklyn.
If you come to New York often, buy them directly at the Theatres and save ticket/handling charges which can run up to $20 or more per ticket. You can also join TDF's "National Membership" Visitor's Program for email discounts.
Tickets prices run from $60 to $145 for most shows.
Inside Broadway Tours This tour operator says: "Have a professional Broadway actor show you Broadway! They will show you the "real-life" drama and comedy of Broadway, the "must-know" history and gossip. Hear the personal stories of actors in the business of Broadway as they search for workand stardom. Get a "behind the scenes" look at Broadway and Times Square." Not necessarily a "MUST DO."
New York City Explorer Pass
Provides a way to see the sights for less. For a fixed price, you get your choice of any 3, 5, 7, or 10 sights from the 40+ participating museums, tours, and attractions. Includes most of those listed here like the Empire State and NBC Studio, plus the Metropolitan Museum, CitySights hop-on/hop-off tour, Top of the Rock, and so on. Full list is here.
Also lets you skip the line in places and comes with a guidebook to NYC
Buy online before you go and have it shipped or pick up in NYC
Best way to get around NYC. Buy a pay-per-ride ($2.50 per ride) MetroCard at any subway station. You can put as much money on it as you want and it deducts one fare each time you ride it. You can share one card with up to four people.
If you're here more than 5 days and plan to do a lot of sightseeing, you should consider an unlimited 7-day MetroCard for $29.
It is safe, runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You will find that it is crowded at all hours. Just use regular safety precautions.
Many routes change over the weekend for repairs and renovation. You can find weekly re-routings on their website. Express Trains, denoted as white circles on the subway map, will skip the less traveled stops and get you to your destination quicker
If you are staying a week, consider the unlimited travel pass for 7 days.
Make sure you hold on to a pole or handlebar and secure your belongings when riding. Most first-timers don't realize how a train can move, and it is not uncommon to see tourists lose their balance and fall over. Even though most people laugh at themselves, it can be quite dangerous for you and others.
When traveling up or down the escalators in the subway stations, keep to the right to allow people access to walk faster up/down the escalator. This is especially important during the morning and evening "rush" hours and especially at transfer point stations like Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and Port Authority where people are trying to catch connecting trains/buses.
Tickets can be hard to get, or very expensive. You can use www.stubhub.com to find tickets if the game is sold out.
Need to arrive 1 hour before the game to tour monument park in the outfield.
If you have Bleachers seats, you can NOT go into Monument Park.
Most games sell out in advance
They also sell a Yankee stadium tour pass on days they are not playing (This also sells out fast)
The Yankee Stadium Subway stop is located right outside the Stadium at the corner of 161st St. and River Ave. The Stadium can be reached by several subway lines and a trip from midtown Manhattan takes less than 25 minutes. The #4 train, as well as the B (weekdays only) and D trains make stops at 161st St./Yankee Stadium. Metro North train service to Connecticut and Westchester County is available at the 125th St. subway stop. For more information on subway and bus transportation to Yankee Stadium, you can contact the NYC Transit Authority at 718-330-1234, 6am-9pm or visit their web site.
Empire State Building Tour
212-736-3100 (Toll Free 1.877.NYC.VIEW) 8am – 2am 7 days a week
Fifth Avenue at 34 th Street
Adults 18 years and older is $32, Seniors are $29 and Ages 17 and under is $26 for the 86 th floor observatory
3 lines: Ticket line, security line, elevator line.
Buy advance ticket to skip ticket line. Total wait could be 1 hour.
Best to come at 8:00pm to see the city at night.
$15 extra per person to go to the 102nd floor observatory
The first line you will encounter is the ticket line. If you are there at a busy time, this could take 20 – 30 minutes. The second line is security and this will probably be 10 minutes or less. The third line is the first elevator which could take 20 – 30 minutes. The last line is the final elevator which goes up the last 6 floors to the 86 th floor. This can also be 20 minutes but you've also the option to walk it.
Plan on 2 hours total for this event.
The Observatory is open from 8:00am until 2:00am daily with the last elevator going up at 1:15am . By Subway: 1, 2, or 3 ( Seventh Avenue Lines), A, C or E ( Eighth Avenue Subway) to 34th Street/Penn Station. Also B, D, F, N, Q, R or Path to 34th Street//6th Avenue.
New York Food Tours
This tour operator says: "They are a great company, with friendly, informative guides who really know their food! Experience the diverse culinary treasures of New York while sightseeing on foot. Tours are led throughout historic neighborhoods including Chinatown, the East Village, the West Village, and Union Square. Tours are held on weekdays and weekends and run roughly 2-3 hours. Some of the exotically themed tours they feature include the Original East Village Food Tasting and Cultural Tour, Exotic Southeast Asian Tour, Taste of Chinatown, as well as the first Multicultural Wine and Beer Tour, Vegetarian Tour, and Funniest and Freakiest Tour!"
9/11 Memorial Museum Open Daily Sun - Thu, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., last entry at 6 p.m. Fri and Sat, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., last entry at 7 p.m.
The 9/11 Memorial is located at the site of the former World Trade
Center complex in lower Manhattan, and occupies approximately half of
the 16-acre site. The 9/11 Memorial features two enormous waterfalls and
reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints
of the twin towers
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (Free_
Well worth a walk across this famous bridge.
Walk from Brooklyn towards Manhattan for best views. You can take the subway over to the Brooklyn side and then walk back to Manhattan.
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