We travelled during Easter school holidays to New York, the first transatlantic trip for a while due to the pandemic and the big difference with this trip to the Big Apple was we would need to keep our (nearly) 17 year old daughter occupied – no mean feat!
Firstly it should be said that we built in shopping time around much of what we did, as the idea of shopping in NYC held huge appeal to our daughter based probably on the fact that it offered Instagram value, but as someone who doesn’t like shopping myself (unless it’s in the fabulous Chatuchak market in Bangkok) we tried to balance to keep everyone happy! Here’s a rundown of what worked and what didn’t – hopefully someone finds it helpful!
Top of the Rock: I had thought that this would be a hit, but it was a bit of a miss – however, huge bonus that close to lots of shops that were on the list. We had a clear day and very little queuing however…
The Edge at Hudson Yards was a big hit and pipped the Top of The Rock. The Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the western hemisphere. We had purchased the C3 citypass in advance and saved one of our 3 allowed attractions specifically for The Edge. Having the C3 pass enabled us to bypass any queues and turn up without booking. It was also better value than buying individual tickets (which were $38 per person). The attraction is open from 10am to 10pm; we visited on a Saturday afternoon having had brunch first at Pastise in the Meatpacking district – 52 Gansevoort Street – (which was superb), at just steps away from the beginning of the High Line.
The High Line: the former elevated train line now a public part offered lots of photo opportunities, and and the end of the High Line you’ll find Hudson Yards itself which offered plenty of shopping opportunities.
The Harbour Lights Circle Cruise was excellent and gave us a different perspective of Manhattan. My husband and I have done this a number of times, but our daughter really enjoyed it. The trip was narrated by an entertaining gentleman and our 2 hours onboard went very quickly. Again, plenty of photo opportunities of iconic landmarks: not least the One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and sailing under Brooklyn Bridge. We happened upon a clear sky and the sunset made it very special. The cruise departed at 7pm from Pier 83. We had an early dinner at a lively Mexican restaurant, ‘Cantina Rooftop’ (West 48th Street), which was around about 15-20 minutes walk away from Pier 83 and very close to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Cantina Rooftop worked well, food was tasty, we were served quickly and loud music made it atmospheric – I could image getting raucous later in the day/night but for a 5pm dinner it was great.
We walked Central Park, visited a few photo spots including the Imagine memorial but it was probably lost on our daughter forgetting that it’s 42 years since John Lennon died so she’s not overly familiar or interested in The Beatles. But from there we got the subway to City Hall and walked the Brooklyn Bridge which held much more appeal. Walking across to Dumbo we found Brooklyn’s most Instagrammed spot – located at the intersection of Washington Street and Water Street, you get a picture perfect view of Manhattan framed between two tall red-brick buildings, and look closely you can also fit in the Empire State Building. Whilst it was busy it wasn’t overwhelming with tourists when we visited (Sunday afternoon), but that may have been more luck than judgement. We spent a couple of hours wandering Brooklyn Bridge Park and ate at Time Out which was incredibly busy but we managed to get seat and loved it.
We love sporting events and were fortunate to see The Knicks and The NY Rangers at Madison Square Gardens (MSG) on consecutive evenings – we bought tickets in advance for the ice hockey and bought the basketball tickets whilst we were there, both via Ticketmaster. There was a great little $1 pizza spot opposite the venue packed full of New Yorkers and fans alike, we felt like locals by night 2! The atmosphere at both of the events was superb, incredibly exciting and would definitely recommend MSG if you can secure tickets. We also went to the NY Arena to watch the New York Red Bulls football team, not a huge crowd so little by way of atmosphere but a very easy and inexpensive 20-minute train journey from World Trade Centre metro station and again added something different to the holiday.
We stayed at The Moxy Hotel Chelsea (click to read review)