Category Archives: Tips and Insights

Romantic Spots in NYC

Everyone knows that New York City is a romantic town. If it wasn’t then why would so many Rom-Coms be filmed here? For you, we have compiled a list of the most recommended romantic locations sprinkled throughout this magical city. Feel free to contribute your own favorite spot if we happened to miss it!

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden – This 100+ tear old urban garden has been an oasis of natural beauty since its opening in 1911. (Note – The cherry blossoms, a visitor favorite, typically start to bloom in March.)
  2. Top of the Empire State Building – The city takes on a whole new look from the top of this famous building and you can definitely look forward to holiday themed lights all throughout the year.
  3. Butterfly Conservatory – Part of the American Museum of Natural History, the conservatory brings a tropical oasis to the city throughout the winter and early spring.
  4. Jane’s Carousel – This 1920’s era carousel, painstakingly and authentically restored to its original glory, opened to the public in 2011 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is protected by a glass enclosure, making a spin a possibility year round.
  5. Bow Bridge Central Park – Whether you walk over it or row ender it, the Bow Bridge is a wonderfully romantic destination to visit.
  6. Lincoln Center Fountain – Make sure to visit this fountain at night. It’s most beautiful when all lit up and you will have the chance to see one of the fountain’s 5-minute water shows.
  7. Highline – This raised path is truly infested with wildflowers and art in the best way. The Highline also offers weekly tours and the occasional stargazing opportunity.
  8. Williamsburg Waterfront – East River State Park is the perfect combination of hipster people-watching locale and perfect picnic place.
  9. Cloisters – Be transported in time as you explore this medieval-feeling castle and grounds, home to the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections.
  10. Boathouse at Prospect Park – This certified landmark is the perfect backdrop to a romantic stroll through the park.

For more romantic NYC spots, visit TimeOut.com/NewYork.

 

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Tour, Explore and Save During Attractions Week

Today begins NYC Attractions Week! During the next two and a half weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy 2-for-1 tours, culture and performing arts programs throughout the city. Below, we’ve picked out the adventures we think of the most for your time and money and a less traditional experience.

Like a Local Tours

Like a Local’s food tours are a great value AND a great adventure in eating. Try out the Flatiron Food, History and Architecture Tour for a taste of it all, culture, cuisine and comradery.

Madame Tussauds New York

There’s no denying it, Madame Tussauds is just plain fun! It’s impossible to leave without an endless supply of silly, pseudo celebrity selfies and a giant smile on your face.

One World Observatory

There’s nothing like seeing NYC from its highest point. The view from the top three floors of One World Trade Center and absolutely spectacular and give you a whole new perspective on the city you’ve come to enjoy.

Spirit of New York

If you’re looking for a meal with a view, look no further than Spirit of New York. Enjoy a leisurely river cruise while you eat, drink and dance the evening away!

Untapped Cities

For those of you who have been the city many times, this is the tour experience for you. Untapped Cities explores the lesser known history and places of NYC in a variety of subjects, including art, cuisine, transportation, architecture and more.

For a full list of participating venues, visit NYCGO.com.

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Navigating NYC Like a Pro

“New York City is a grid.”

While this statement is true, it’s not necessarily the simplest of grids. To help you navigate your way about town like a pro, heed these tips from TimeOut and Mashable.

  1. Odd-numbered streets go west and even-numbered streets go east. Additionally, odd-numbered buildings are on the north side of the street and even-numbered addresses are on the south. (On a north-south street, odd buildings are on the west side, and even ones are on the east.)
  2. The color of a station’s subway tiles can tell you if you’ve missed an express stop. Seriously, there’s a secret code hidden in the city’s subway stations.
  3. The address of a building can tell you what avenues it’s between. For addresses on the the west side, just add the first number of the address (zero if the address is only two numbers) to 5 for the lower cross street. For example, 225 W 37th St. (2+5=7) is between Seventh and Eighth Avenue. For the east side, just subtract 5 from the same number for the highest cross street. So 150 E 18th St (1-5=-4) is between Fourth and Third Avenues.
    • *MIND BLOWN! Many tried and true New Yorkers don’t even know this trick!
  4. Fifth Avenue splits NYC’s streets between east and west. The reason the trick above works is because Fifth Avenue splits the east and west sides of the city. Additionally, addresses change by the hundreds every avenue.
  5. Black dots on the subway map represent local stops and white ones signify express stops. In case you wondered why more trains were always stopping at that white ones.
  6. Use the lampposts in Central Park. Central Park is gigantic and it’s easy to get lost. But there’s one easy trick that will help you get your bearings. Most lampposts have a set of numbers embossed on their base that corresponds to the cross-streets you would be on if the street extended through the park.
  7. In most of Manhattan, the uptown train platform is on the east side of the street and downtown is on the west. Never waste another swipe again.
  8. The major avenues in Manhattan alternate directions. From First Avenue to 11th Avenue, the traffic on every other avenue flows in alternating directions. The exceptions are Third Avenue, which is mixed until 24th Street and then travels north, and Fourth Avenue, which runs north before turning into two-way Park Avenue South.
  9. A handy mnemonic device can help you remember the order of uptown avenues. “You can take a CAB back home it it’s Late PM.” is an easy way to remember that the avenues uptown are Columbus, Amsterdam, Broadway, Lexington, Park and Madison from left-to-right.
  10. Never get on an empty subway car when the rest of the cars are full — it’s empty for a reason.
  11. Once you’re in a yellow or green cab, they cannot turn down the trip.
  12. Don’t plan on taking a cab anywhere between 4-5 p.m. when taxi shifts end. (Some call this the witching hour)

MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Charge your phone – Google Maps is a life saver when you have forgotten everything you learned and just need to find out where the hell you’re going!

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Best NYC Museums

Whether you’re looking for a selection of art, history or information for your kids, New York City is one of the greatest places in the world to visit a museum that features exactly the kind of exhibits that you are longing to experience. Scattered across the city are endless museums of all shapes and sizes that feature some of the most varied collections of art and culture to be found anywhere in the world. Check out this list of some of the best Museums in the city organized by category to help ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for out of your museum experience,

Kids Museums

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

With a selection of rotating exhibits, a sensory play area designed to stimulate your child’s intellectual growth, and the ever popular World Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum allows children to discover and learn in their own way. With free admission every Thursday from 2 to 6pm, it’s also the perfect evening getaway for families looking for something to do together.

Rose Center for Earth and Space

Allow your little ones to explore all that the universe has to discover with a gateway into the cosmos. Exhibits like the Hayden Planetarium will open up your child’s mind to the mysteries of the universe and foster a long lasting love of discovery and learning.

Museum of Natural History – Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs

While the museum offers exhibits for kids of all ages, the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs has been a favorite with young children since before the prehistoric beasts roamed the planet. Satisfy your child’s love of fossils and learning with a permanent exhibit that they’ll be begging to return to again and again.

Modern Art Museums

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

One of The City’s most popular museums celebrates the unlimited potential and styles that modern art explores, all under one roof. Current exhibits include the more experimental works of Degas, an innovation on the Polaroid in the form of an Instant Camera, and a restoration and rediscovery of Universal Pictures films from between 1928 and 1937.

New Museum

Manhattan’s only museum dedicated solely to contemporary art, the New Museum has been repeatedly praised for its adventurousness and spirit as it showcases some of the most unique and daring pieces of art in the world within it’s ever changing walls.

History Museums

American Museum of Natural History

America’s premiere natural history museum features a healthy rotation of traveling exhibits while also showcasing its own incredible permanent exhibits geared toward thrilling visitors of all ages. Dinosaur halls thrill youngsters and enthusiasts alike while the halls of birds, reptiles, and forests offer insight into the natural world around us.

Museum of the City of New York

Since its inception in 1920, the MCNY has been gathering the best of New York’s photos, art, and objects together in one place in order to preserve and showcase the vibrant history created along its busy streets. Explore the past of America’s greatest city and see the pieces of the past that helped shaped New York into the vibrant cultural hub that it is today.

Fine Arts Museums

Metropolitan Museum of Art

As one of the world’s largest museums, the Met has over 13 acres of art spanning over 5,000 years of history spread out across its many walls. Discover relics and treasures from every corner of history alongside some of the most famous and controversial paintings in the world within the walls of this 19th century neo-classical institution.

The Frick Collection

Known for its extensive collection of Grand Master paintings and incredible examples of European sculpture and decorative arts, this former residence of Henry Clay Frick is a work of art in itself as one of New York’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions. The Frick offers more than simple artwork as it continues a rich tradition of special exhibitions and an acclaimed concert series, as well as encouraging the continued research into the history of art around the world and it’s collection and preservation.

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Kids in NYC

With the warm weather approaching, the season for family vacations is upon us – time to grab the kids, pack the car and hit the road! The question is: where should you go to share those ultimate experiences with your family?

…”kids, we’re headed to New York City!” The Big Apple offers countless experiences that can even entertain those between the ages of 5 & 15 – score!

The Queens Zoo

Location: 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

Cost: $5-8

Open daily (through Nov.6th), this unique zoo is home to animals from all over the world, from American alligators & bison to Canadian lynx, with a wide variety in between!

In addition to the animals and numerous hands-on exhibits, you and your family can enjoy an array of activities (not only fun but educational too) like their “Conservation Quests” and even join in feeding the zoo’s sea lions (check schedule for feeding times)!

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

Location: 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn

FREE

This 585-acre public park is the perfect spot for the ultimate family picnic, offering not only multiple grilling stations and picnic areas but those classic scenic views you’ve been dreaming of!

Be sure to snag a color-coded map that’ll take you through 4 different nature trails, each with their own hidden beauty! Enjoy the lush green trees & plants, bird-watching stations and even waterfalls!

The High Line

Location: Multiple location along 10th Ave. below 30th St.

FREE

This is a public park with a unique twist – it was built over a historic freight line and sits 30 feet above Manhattan’s West Side, offering a bird’s-eye view of both river and city!

With numerous access points, wheelchair accessibility, shops and family events, there’s enough fun for everyone to enjoy (and you’ll be sure to find a spot to take that perfect family photo)!

American Museum of Natural History

Location: Central Park West at 79th St., Manhattan

Cost: $12.50 – 22

Not only is this considered an NY icon and offers amazing exhibits, it also has a planetarium, an IMAX Theater and its own dinosaur wing! Talk about impressive!

Of course, you can’t visit a museum without checking out the gift shops and restaurants – finding that perfect souvenir to commemorate your visit is a must!

Times Square

Location: Broadway and 46th St., Manhattan

FREE

Take your little Mickey & Elsa fans to explore the Times Square Disney Store or Hershey’s Chocolate World (now I have your attention)! Here you and your family can customize your own Hershey bar wrappers and can even submit a message that’ll be shown outside on the store’s scrolling marquee!

Citi Field

Cost: $9-13 for tours, Mets games prices vary

Here your little slugger can not only practice their swing but can also check the speed of their pitch on the ‘Kiddie Field’ (where you’ll also find a dunk tank and an area for pictures with Mr. Met)!

The fun doesn’t stop there – wind back down with a stroll through the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum!

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