NYC is a city full of energy and plenty of things to do! It has 4 seasons (shocking to most, I know) so planning accordingly will assure you’re not sitting in your hotel room avoiding the rain and snow during 2/3 of the year.
I just got back from another NYC trip and all 3 days we visited it rained. Therefore I’ve decided to “adjust” my blog to include sections on indoor and outdoor activities so you’re sure to take full advantage of the city regardless of whether you’re there during perfectly sunny weather (like my first visit) or during a cold, wet time of year.
Be sure to check out the NYC calendar so you know which events will be taking place while you’re in town.
Good Morning America show- Be aware this show has VERY early tapings but you don’t need advance tickets to get into it!
Jimmy Fallon show- The last time I visited NYC we were able to get standby tickets after waiting in line for about 10 minutes outside Rockefeller Center. During this past visit I tried to get tickets on-line within 1 second of the tickets becoming available and didn’t get any tickets (the entire month of June sold out as I waited in the queue). We arrived at the “standby” line at 8:30am (tickets are given out at 9am) and were #78 and #79 in line. To put this number in perspective, the majority of the time shows don’t allow more than 10-20 people in from the standby line (it depends on how many people with reserved tickets show up).
Seth Meyers Show-Ok, I’ll be honest. I’d never heard of Seth Meyers. I know, I know, your jaw has dropped open especially if you’re an SNL fan or have religiously watched the David Letterman Show since the beginning of time. Well, we don’t watch much TV (we don’t even have cable) therefore I had no idea who this guy was…BUT we got out of line for Jimmy Fallon and got standby tickets to Seth’s show (#7 and #8) and got in! He was awesome! He interacted with the audience between sets and even answered audience members questions as the band set up to play during the final segment of his show. A great show and definitely worth seeing! Of note, you’re not allowed to stand in line for both Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers so if you get to the Rainbow Room sign before 9am and find yourself at least 30 people back get out of the line and be the first in line for Seth Meyers tickets. All shows are free but be sure to bring your ID along (you must be over 16 yrs old to get in).
Broadway plays- I’ve seen both “Wicked” and “Book of Mormon” and both were spectacular productions. If there’s a particular show you’re interested in seeing be sure to book it early (at least a month in advance to assure you’ll get seats). Are you interested in seeing a Broadway play but don’t want to pay a lot of $$? The cheaper alternative to many shows is to buy a “standing” ticket. You’ll stand for the show on the sides (or back) of the theatre and pay about half-price for the ticket. If you choose this option be sure to leave your heels at home! If you’re a student and have an ID you may qualify for RUSH tickets.
It’s now the middle of the day, you saw a Broadway play last night, and you have tickets to see Seth Meyers this evening. What can you do for a couple of hours in the afternoon during the rain, snow, freezing cold weather? Become a kid again! The Chelsea Piers offers golfing, bowling, laser tag, eateries, and an indoor sports complex great for those rainy days. We spent a couple of hours bowling (it’s a pretty fancy bowling alley) and playing a game of laser tag.
Central Park has to be my favorite area of NYC. Some people suggest renting bikes so you’re able to cover more ground and see more of the Park while others would argue bikers are only allowed on certain roads within the Park and recommend walking it instead to see the best parts of the Park. I’ve done both and although I’m happy we rented bikes the first time around so we could see the ice rink, etc. I truly enjoyed running the Park. We stopped and climbed up the castle, got wonderfully lost within all the little trails, and listened to some great artists along the way (in areas bikes weren’t permitted).
If you’re planning to explore NYC on foot (great idea!) and want to see some landmarks take a stroll through the West Village to see the Friends apartment building, Carrie’s stoop from Sex and the City, as well as other landmarks throughout the city used for filming.
My favorite area of town for food has to be Little Italy due to their annual festival complete with scrumptious cannolis on every corner. I would recommend Pellegrino for dinner and Ferrara for dessert. If you’re on the Upper East side and have a pizza craving Don Filippo had great food and great service. Interested in a small dessert after seeing a Broadway play? Baked by Melissa has wonderful little desserts within walking distance of the Broadway plays.
I’ll start off by saying I’m a very thrifty traveler so for those of you who typically stay in 4 or 5 star hotels feel free to skip over this part. It was challenging to find an affordable hotel in NYC (not associated with bed bugs). The first time I visited we stayed near Ground Zero in a nice, affordable hotel right above the World Trade Center Memorial . If you’re interested in staying in an affordable, safe place the hotels in the financial district are great but be mindful of the subway schedule since weekends in the financial district typically have less subway options available, otherwise there’s always Uber (for $20 off your first ride use the code: michelleh167)!
This past trip we stayed with a couple through AirBnB on the Upper East side just a block off Park Avenue. It was fantastic to stay in an NYC apartment and truly see how New Yorkers live. We shared a 600 sq foot one bedroom apartment on the 6th floor (no elevator) with 2 other people (they slept in the living room). Staying with New Yorkers is a great way to immerse yourself in the NYC culture, find out what it’s like to live there, and stay in a quiet and very safe neighborhood at an affordable price.
I hope you enjoy NYC and all it has to offer no matter what time of the year you travel. Next time I visit I hope to see Ellis Island, the World Trade Center Memorial, and explore the East Village and Brooklyn. If you have recommendations for me on my next visit feel free to leave a comment!
I miss you like crazy too Michelle! I can’t wait for our next fun adventure!