NEW YORK: Spring in New York City at discounted rates!
Dramatically discounted rates are waiting for you to make use of this spring in New York. Take a break in the city that never sleeps and don't worry about the cost as prices are lower than ever. Wander round Central Park and admire the spring colors or enjoy the shopping in the cooler weather in the city which is indisputably home to the best collection of shops in the world!
When to visit based on priceAlthough New York City is busy all year, the best time to find lower rates is between December and March, wit the exception of Christmas and New Years.
Key attractionsPlan to be very busy on your trip to New York City. Here are a few top places and sights to visit, of many.
The Statue Of Liberty, famous world wide, should be on every visitors list for their first visit. Taking the ferry over gives you many opportunities for viewing and photographing the “Lady Liberty”. Climbing the steps to get a good look at New York City is quite the experience, however, only for the fit.
Taking the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building is so much fun. Arriving at the top, and walking around the observation deck, you just may want to keep an eye out for any bi-planes looking for King Kong.
Day or night it’s always fun to walk around Times Square, looking at the giant live screens up high, people watching, and of course, shopping.
Central Park is one of the most excellent places to relax, read a book and enjoy this fantastic park in the center of the busy city life. If you truly want to experience the park, and get a tour, try one of the horse drawn buggy rides.
Having funSpend a day at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Here you will spend hours in fascination aboard the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, A National Historic Landmark. You will get to watch actual movie footage of battles fought by this war carrier, see artifacts and more. After spending time on the water, jump on the Space Shuttle Enterprise. With many exhibits, artifacts and films learn everything and more about space travel. And when you think that’s got to be all, step aboard the submarine Growler, which was at one time, a “top-secret” missile command vessel.
A visit to New York City should always incorporate a day at Coney Island for some fun and adventure. With three miles of sandy beach, amusements, and its famous boardwalk, it’s more fun than you can fit in just one day. Take a step back in time and stroll the wood of the boardwalk, while reliving your past with a pile of cotton candy.
ShoppingIn New York City, as we all learned on televisions infamous show, Sex in the City, Manhattan is the only place to shop, in the world. What really needs to be added to that statement is, “with a heavy purse”. Here you will find all the best in designer clothing and accessories, from you skinny jeans to eight-inch stilettos.
Madison Ave will find you storefront at Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Gucci and Armani. If your looking for a local “on fire jeweler”, it’s Judith Ripka on Madison also.
Home to legends in department stores, Fifth Avenue still holds the key, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, Henri Bendel, Tiffany and Company and Bergdorf Goodman.
Lastly, you’ll find some eclectic shopping on Elizabeth Street, from art-driven boutique shops, to glass items for the home. There are perfume boutiques to local artist sculptures and much more.
NearbyFor all of you that were glued to the TV during the hit HBO show “Boardwalk Empire”, a visit to Atlantic City is “in the cards”. Close enough for a day trip, located only two miles south; why not visit this icon of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s era. Walk the boardwalk; try some cotton candy or salt-water toffee, and try your luck in the casinos. Many of the original buildings and businesses are still standing and in operation today. Among them, The Ritz, some of the “Rum-runner houses and more. Another excellent attraction,is a 6-story high elephant once used as a bootleggers tavern, with great views of the beach.
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Local expert's tips
Watching the “ball drop” in Big Apple, Times Square New Years Eve
When you get to the square, and actually get past all the security checks, and into the crowds, that’s when you really need to pay attention to you belongings, especially your wallet. Before the evening is over, you will be personally intimate with hundreds of other bodies, and as the crowd moves, so will you. That being said, this is an excellent environment for pickpockets, and something you should be aware of. Bring only what you absolutely need, a little cash, credit card, drivers license, and don’t stick it in your back pocket or little purse on a string. Having something on a lanyard, hanging around your neck or waist underneath your coat is probably the best. Know ahead of time, you can’t bring in bags, and as far as food, the options are limited. You can’t bring in booze so don’t tote it with you thinking you can bust open that bottle of champagne at midnight, because someone else will be, like a security guard that confiscates it.
It is suggested to eat well before you head to the square for the evening, but suggested you keep the alcohol and frankly, and liquids to a minimum. The main reason is as far as bathroom facilities, they are few and far between; so don’t plan on going until after midnight.
Plan on being very cold, because you will be. Layering of clothes up to a heavy lined coat is your best option, to the next best thing, a live grizzly bear to cuddle with for the night. Seriously, this could be the coldest night you have ever spent outside, not moving.
To avoid the crowds of course, you can start your day selecting and claiming your spot in the early morning as many do. Then just plan on having a never-ending delivery of hot coffee (or toddies) delivered to you to hold a spot. This can get kind of boring until around 6 PM when the square goes nuts watching the ball being raised into position.
If you want to miss the fun experience of being pushed and shoved for hours in freezing cold, there are other ways to view the ball falling and that memorable kiss at midnight. One would be to spend nearly a fortune on a hotel room overlooking Times Square, but that reservation would probably have to have been made years ago. The next best thing is to make an advanced reservation in one of the restaurants, night clubs that offers special evening to celebrate, including large screen TV’s set up to capture all the moments of the ball, concert performers and wild activities in the square.
And the best part of these choices, there’s no possibility of freezing to death.
Visiting NYC on Thanksgiving Weekend? Here are some tips
The main draw for most visitors to New York City on Thanksgiving weekend is of course, the Macy’s Parade in Manhattan, with it’s giant floating spectacular floats, marching bands, clowns and of course, the cheerleaders, and much more. For a small fortune you can book a hotel along the route of the parade, and watch it go by from your balcony, in your PJ’s. Or, you can be like everyone else, brave the early morning cold, and occupy your space on the sidewalk somewhere along the route.
Keep in mind that Thanksgiving is notorious for gathering families and mega dinners together. What this does, is to keep families at home, thus opening all the other fun activities available to you, without the crowds. From Broadway shows to the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty, the lines will be greatly reduced for you. Of course, you will just have to wade into the masses of people for your chance to ice-skate in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, just for an outstanding “selfie”.
For a relaxing experience, where if you bundle up, can produce a fun outing, maybe with a cup of hot chocolate and a box lunch, there’s Central Park. Take a stroll around this historic 38-acre wooded park, find a park bench and people watch or just snuggle up. For a modest fee you can take your significant other for a iconic horse drawn buggy ride around the park. Please keep in mind that Central Park is a great place to stroll during the day, but not so much after dark.
Add an extra layer, and there’s the Coney Island Boardwalk, where it costs you nothing to stroll, grab some lunch and sit at a picnic table and experience a NYC “dog”. WE highly suggest you wait for that “dog” until after you ride the Coney Island Cyclone, and iconic attraction since 1927. Although this older ride may seem mild to some, wait until you are flying down at 60 miles an hour, on creaky wooden tracks!
Lastly, because all the crowds will be at Grandma’s house, taking naps after the turkey dinners, this is a perfect time to visit the Bronx Zoo, which is quite the experience. If you too have indulged in to much stuffing with that turkey, have no fear, you can ride the Wild Asia Monorail, and tour the zoo’s 38 acres of wildlife, from tigers, antelope and wild horses to spectacular elephants. There are many excellent choices to take a seat and commune with nature, and enjoy the fact that there is no tourist pressure.
Locals Tips for visiting New York City’s Time Square
You just can’t find such an eclectic bunch of people in one place like you do in Times Square. This is one of the best places to enjoy cheap entertainment, by people watching. Times Square offers, “stadium seating” just for this in Father Duffy Square, with its massive stone steps where you can relax and watch the masses walk by.
When it’s time for some lunch or dinner there’s no limit to the little “Ma & Pop” places offering everything from Italian to Asian grub. This is where New York City shines because New Yorkers eat on the run every day. If you’re staying in this area, you should definitely head over to Hell’s Kitchen on 8th and 9th Avenue, not only for the food choices, but because it’s the best place to mingle with locals over a great “craft beer”.
There are a few “rules of the road” when it comes to walking around in Times Square that will help you “blend in” to the culture of locals. Never walk more than two abreast, because you will alter the foot traffic, and will surly hear some colorful language. Be careful where you stop to take that photo because the tolerance level of local New Yorkers to that is pretty low, especially if you block traffic.
There are many performers who earn their living on the streets of Broadway, and if you see one of interest, go ahead and take that photo, but be sure to give them a little cash for that photo.
Remember, you are in Frank Sinatra’s “City that never sleeps”, so get out and enjoy it while you are there because it’s an experience you will never forget.
Hot Tips for visiting New York Cities Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
There are a handful of hotels that line the parade route, and if you’re lucky enough you can get a room with a view of the parade below. Your views could be perfect of the start of the parade in Central Park West if you are booked at Trump International Hotel. The Manhattan Residence Inn right on Times Square is another hotel offering and many rooms will have a direct viewing of the parade below. The Courtyard in Herald Square is another hotel that offers parade viewing. Although these hotels can be kind of expensive during the holidays, if you get a larger suite room, invite all your friends for a “sleep-over” and split the costs.
Now for a few of those “hot tips” about viewing the Macy’s Parade. The first one is extremely important, getting the best viewing position on the street, in case you didn’t pop for the exclusive room above. With that many people attending, you will be fighting for a spot on the street, so plan to arrive and claim a spot pretty early, like 5 AM, and we’re not kidding. The parade starts at 9 AM, and many people camp put all night to have the best spots. Dress in layers, and plenty of them. You will be getting there before dawn, standing or sitting in place like a winter football game. Keep that in mind when planning for adults, and especially kids. Bring hot beverages for everyone to help keep warm.
Download the updated parade route before you go, and don’t wait until morning of the parade to find your spot, find it the day before, and select a few possibilities in case someone is in your spot when you get there.
Helpful hint: Download the parade app on your smartphone. It offers the route as well as other useful info.
It’s a great idea to plan ahead for many things having to do with attending this parade, and one you might not have thought of is lunch. Yep, after sitting or standing all morning watching the parade, over 3 million people will be asking themselves, “where’s the beef”? Be smart and ahead of the game, and have reservations nearby set up in advance, so you won’t be waiting in a line forever.
Keeping your “Cool” on Vacation in summertime New York City
One way that would certainly cool you off, and is quite often done is to carry a wrench with you and open a fire hydrant, sending massive volumes of coolness flying through the air. We really don’t advise this because the Fire Department discourages this for good reason. Although, if you come across one already open, doing a little rain dance in the water could prove quite the relief.
Lets take a look at some other, more realistic and legal methods of keeping your cool.
One of the most obvious is to get out of the sun, and the best way to do that if seeking the shade of a large tree. Your options abound in downtown New York City, with Central Park, City Park, Fort Tryon Park and of course the New York Botanical Gardens. High noon with your packed picnic lunch and a couple brewskies on a couple towels from your Cheaphotels.com discounted room, and you can well imagine a relaxing chill.
You can grab those same towels; pick up a beach umbrella and head to one of New York’s beaches for the day. With a lot more than just a beach, the old time favorite and still popular today is Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn. Keep covered up with lotion, stay in the water or under the umbrella and cool down. For a little entertainment and a cooling breeze, jump on the roller coaster and Ferris wheel.
Two other choices for a day at the beach are the Rockaway Beach and Manhattan Beach. Both offer something for all family members, and lots of cool refreshing water.
The real key to keeping cool during the heat of day while vacationing in New York City, especially with small children, is head to the air-conditioned museums. Among the best options are the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Museum (Dinosaurs), and Museum of Moving Image.
Lastly, even though we all know, or should know that it’s a myth that a cold beer will lower your body temperature. That being said, you mind is telling you the best way to cool down in summer, is an ice-cold brew, or something tropical with a little tiny umbrella in it, to keep the cocktail cool we believe.
For the best locations to cool off, nothing this side of air-conditioning can beat a great shaded rooftop bar. There are many to choose from, and if you ask around, you certainly can come up with some suggestions. You might even get lucky and arrive during Happy Hour for discount drinks.
New York City The Five-Borough Budget Tour
Conquer all five boroughs of the greatest city in the world with a budget that, to be honest, most locals use too.
(Rule #1: Buy a 7-Day unlimited MetroCard. Not only is it good for all NYC Subways, you can use it for MTA buses as well. You can also pay it forward and help a rider who’s short of fare!)
New York City is all about the views. The higher you go the price goes with you. To get the best views of the city, you’re going to have to pay–unless you visit the Queens Museum. For $8, it offers an impressive view of the entire city…well, sort of. The Panorama of the City exhibit is actually a miniature model of the Big Apple. But don’t let “miniature” fool you. It encompasses over 9,300 ft2 where you can study the skyline and get a sense of the city’s layout. You’ll need when you feel disoriented coming up from the subways.
Speaking of those views, grab a breathtaking one on the Staten Island Ferry. Not only is it FREE but you get an up close and personal view of Lady Liberty as well as Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. Stroll up and down the refreshing boardwalk and visit “Postcards,” a memorial sculpture dedicated to SI residents lost in 9-11. Have breakfast or lunch at The Gravel Grill, a hometown diner with great prices and impeccable service. The only Smartphone there was plugged into a speaker playing an 80’s playlist. Hop back onto the Ferry that departs every half hour and your back in the city before you know it.
The best zoo in the city is the Bronx Zoo. Even though general admission is only $17, the Total Experience Ticket is well worth the extra $17. It gets you into rides and attractions you’d have to pay for otherwise. It sounds off-putting but that’s the way New York works. It’s capitalism at its best. In any case, the zoo is beautiful and unlike many zoos this one is not depressing. The animals actually have more living space than New Yorkers themselves. Be sure to ride the monorail and visit the gorillas. They are full of New York attitude!
There is always something happening at Prospect Park. Especially at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park. Year-round events like roller skating in the warm months and ice skating in the cold months come with the best prices and availabilities you’ll find in the city. If skating is not your thing there are plenty of other activities in the Park. When the sun sets and you are looking for something fun and unique to Brooklyn, head on over to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Williamsburg. Admission is free. There are food and culture vendors, arcade games, mini golf and live bands. Skinny jeans are not necessary, nor are they frowned upon if that’s your fancy.
Nothing can be more rewarding than a visit to one of the greatest art museums in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art or “The Met” for short is humbling and inspiring, immense yet personal and all for a suggested donation. For those on the strictest of budgets, the best museum in the city at name your own price rates–what can be better than that? There’s also a rooftop garden café and martini bar where those aforementioned views can be had showing beautiful Central Park and the famous Midtown skyline.
So what are you waiting for? See the sights without the price and conquer the boroughs of New York City!
How To Save Money on Broadway Shows in New York City
You are in the heart of New York City and the atmosphere is intoxicating with the energy of the city and the sights and sounds of one of the most exciting urban centers in the World. What do you do? You walk down Broadway and you look at the Marquees and begin to ponder sitting in on a grand performance. The popular musicals, the poignant plays and the performances that everyone is talking about are all on stage in New York City. How can you afford a New York City show while travelling on a budget?
How to Save Money On Shows In New York City
The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) in New York city has set its mission to make sure that the theatrical arts are sustained, maintained and assisted in bringing live theatre to as wide of an audience as possible. That is where the budget traveler comes in as tdf offers discounts to shows on and off Broadway. As long as you have the patience to wait until the same day you are going to see a show and are willing to wait in a potentially long line you can hope to get anywhere from 20% to 50% off on a show. Before you go you can get an idea of what type of shows are available daily by taking a look at their real time show listings on the web or utilize their TKTS mobile phone app. The process is simple, you get to the ticket booth early in the day and find a show that looks promising and hope to save money on the ticket price.
TDF TKTS Dicount Ticket Booth Locations
• Times Square – This location has the “Play Express” window that allows you to use a previous ticket stub to bypass the long line to make another purchase. They also offer full price tickets for future performances of some Broadway Shows as well as tickets to non-discounted shows. Location: Times Square: Broadway and 47th Street.
• South Street Seaport – This location offers same day discount tickets and next day matinee discount tickets. Location: 199 Water Street on the corner of Front and John Streets at the rear of the Prudential Building.
• Downtown Brooklyn – This location offers discount tickets for same day tickets as well as next day matinee shows. This location also sells full price tickets to Brooklyn Performing Arts events. Location: Corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue Promenade, 1 MetroTech Center
Rush Tickets - These tickets are generally sold on the same day at the box office of the particular show you wish to see. While policies differ for each performance these tickets are often reserved for students. Some productions offer “General Rush” tickets and these are limited discounted tickets available a couple of hours before the show for the general public regardless of age. To take advantage of these budget friendly tickets it is generally better to check with the individual show that you wish to see. For student rush tickets, a proper identification card is required.
Standing room only tickets (SRO) – These tickets are available for shows that sell out and the policies differ depending on the production. However, if you do not mind standing for an entire performance you can see a show for a heavily discounted price. You will still wait in a line to purchase tickets and each production will have a different policy for SRO tickets.
The Best Free Museums in New York City
The Museums OF New York City That Cost You Less
When visiting New York City museums I should note that suggested contributions are a way to help some people see a museum that they otherwise could never afford. New York City has plenty of them but it is best to use your discretion when deciding how much you will pay to see an exhibit. Let’s face it; museums are not cheap to operate so utilizing this resource as a way to help those who truly cannot afford to explore some of the treasures that these Museums hold is a privilege that should not be obused. With that said, a family of four wanting to see a few museums in New York City can find it very hard to afford each and every spot. The suggested donation helps with that but it is always wise to pay as much as you can so as to preserve the programs and exhibits for more people to enjoy.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: ( Suggested donation) This is the epitome of an art museum with a collection of art that is among the largest in the world. If there is a period of time that you want to study they will in fact have something in this vast collection. This is easily one of the most visited attractions in New York City.
American Museum of Natural History: ( Suggested donation) It is hard to explain just how much this museum packs into a space but if it is about science and the evolution of species you will find it in this grand collection. Science and exploration are placed at center stage in this can’t miss museum.
Carnegie Hall/Rose Museum: (Free) If you enjoy the history of music and the entertainers that have made their way through this iconic hall you’ll be fascinated by the artifacts that they have on display. Some special exhibits rotate through the exhibit as well as approximately 300 artifacts to form a permanent collection.
Guggenheim Museum Soho: (Free) Before you get excited this is not a huge collection like you might expect from the larger Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side but it is free and the permanent collection of Andy Warhol pieces are worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.
New York City Fire Museum ( Suggested donation) This museum, housed in an old firehouse, is a celebration of the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis in the city. Great for kids who love the idea of standing next to a fire truck and it is filled with plenty of intriguing information about the firefighting profession.
Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences: ( Suggested donation) You hop on the Staten Island Ferry (free) and you visit a museum that is kid friendly with plenty of exhibits that engage the mind. The draw with this museum is that if you are coming from Manhattan you actually can make an entire day of it and still keep the cost down. Bring along your camera because the Staten Island Ferry will go right by the Statue of Liberty, so you’ll cross that off of your list as well.
Saving Money On Food In NYC
New York City is a big bustling swarm of people and activity and the thought of finding cheap food would seem like either a waste of time in a culinary Mecca such as this or impossible because of the size and scope of the area. Well, the truth is some of the best restaurants in the world can be found in Manhattan but you have to be realistic when talking about how much money you really want to spend on food. Instead consider exploring and experiencing New York City via its vast collection of cheap food options that lend a little insight into this diverse population.
6 Places to Eat Cheap in Midtown Manhattan
Trying to come up with 10 spots around the city is easier but there is a better chance that you will find yourself in this part of town if you are visiting museums, theaters, attractions or Central Park. Also, cheap is a relative term when it comes to New York City.
HB Burger 127 W. 43rd St.– The burger is worth visiting this place for but the truth is the entire menu is cheap and you can actually have a sit down dining experience close to Times Square. If you are a visitor in New York, you will be visiting Times Square, don’t fight it.
Chicken Bar 717 8th Ave. 45th and 8th – First, this spot is near to so many hotels in midtown that I have to mention it and if you are travelling with kids this is a good spot for a slice of pizza and a kid friendly meal. It is not gourmet but it is slightly above fast food but cheap.
Istanbul Kebab House 712 9th Ave – This is cheap and good. The falafel is worth trying but the chicken dishes are a must. This is close to Times Square and you can easily grab some food to go and take it a back to your hotel or make the trek toward the park and have a picnic.
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien 119 W.56th btw 6th and 7th – You’ll like this place because the burger is above average and the menu consists of affordable items. You will also like it because it is located in a nice hotel so it doesn’t feel like you are going completely cheap while you are on vacation. You can overeat and then walk over to the park or to the Museums from here.
FIKA 41 W 58th St btw 5th and 6th – Get your dose of coffee and some pretty excellent pastries. It is not entirely cheap but it is convenient if you are near the park. I would not suggest this spot if you are traveling with kids but two adults looking for a quick bite will appreciate the quality ingredients.
Obika Mozzarella Bar 590 Madison Ave. btw 56 and 57 – If you are a fan of Mozzarella, how can you not find your way here. You’ll find good sandwiches and salads for a reasonable price. This is not fast food so you will pay more than you would for a snack from a cart but you get significantly better quality.
The Tip: Eating in New York City can be affordable if you employ the simple task of doing a little research as you walk down the street and if you venture out of your comfort zone. Use your mobile phone to check out the places you plan on walking to. You do not have to stick with hot dogs and pizza just to save money in between Broadway shows and New York City museums.
5 Things To Do In New York City This Summer
Visiting New York City does not have to be expensive and if you schedule your day correctly you can combine free attractions with popular tourist destinations that fulfill your inquisitive, adventurous spirit while making the most of your time and budget.
Visit Times Square and take in the spectacle that seems like the center of the universe. The lights, the traffic and the people watching are unlike anything you have ever seen. Find one of the many common areas and stop and take it all in. You’ll also find discount tickets booths in Times Square and from this spot you are walking distance to Broadway and Off Broadway performances as well as food options that range from cheap street side carts to chain restaurants to fancy fine dining restaurants.Spend an afternoon roaming the great urban space that is New York City’s Central Park and you’ll rethink what opinion you may have had of the city as a place that is pure hustle and bustle. Walk across the great lawn or take a seat near The Pond and Hallet Nature Sanctuary and capture a glimpse of what New Yorkers are always willing to rave about, that is, NYC is far more evolved than most visitors ever get to see. These attractions as well as tours of the park given by the Conservancy are free with advanced reservations.
The iconic statue in New York Harbor is recognizable even those who have never landed on Manhattan island. The Statue of Liberty offers tours and the Statue of Liberty Ferries get you to Liberty Island and an advance reservation will get you to better prime viewing locations. If you would rather not spend the money but still want get a good view head to the Staten Island Ferry and take some great photos from the free ferry while going across the harbor. Great pictures, a good experience and there is no cost to you.
9/11 Memorial is open daily and is free to visit. The museum houses a collection of artifacts from 9/11 as well as presenting stories from those affected by this worldwide event. The museum does charge an entrance fee but the surrounding area is free to explore. The museum’s collection includes photographs, artifacts and video to help tell the story of the World Trade Center and the ramifications of the attacks on the country.
The American Museum of Natural History is not cheap at first glance but if you consider how much time you can spend in the museum and the endless exhibits and activities available you might consider this to be the best deal in New York City. If you are a fan of dinosaurs and fossils this is the main reason why you could spend hours in the museum. The collection is impressive and you’ll find this to be money well spent. The permanent collections are all very impressive and should serve as the foundation for your visit but the list of temporary exhibitions will also inspire you to explore the entire museum with greater depth.
There are numerous passes available throughout the city for discounted admission to the top attraction in New York City. These passes usually offer large discounts and help you budget your list of things to do.