Family Visit to NYC

Posted by Lolly 
Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 09:26AM
Just to give a little background to our group. We are two families - four adults aged 45-50, three 20 year olds, two children 10 & 13 years old. We come to NYC on 27 Dec for 5 days.

We have booked a table at Carmine's (upper nw side) for New Year's Eve and think we will watch fireworks in central park. But we've heard that it would be better to go to Brooklyn Bridge after the meal (even though it's far away) and see some there. Any advice?

How best to celebrate a 50th birthday on Wednesday. We need something we can all enjoy so maybe somewhere to eat with entertainment or something for the kids to do to keeps us all happy. Any ideas?

I've got a load more questions but will stick to these two for now.

Many thanks in advance.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 12:18PM
You'll have a good time at carmines's, good idea, and I also like the brooklyn bridge idea. Bring the kids to spring st in soho and go to Lombardi's pizza one day while you are around.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 12:57PM
Hi there Jay

Thanks for this, much appreciated.

If you were going to try and see The Blue Man Group would you book tickets online and pay $102 each (!) or wait and get them from a booth for a lot less. I'm not even sure this is possible and where any booths are. With it being the holiday period there might not be able spare seats. Sorry, for this unanswerable question!

Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 03:00PM
You'll love Carmine's! This will be the first new year's eve in a while that I won't be celebrating there. sad smiley The waiter will tell you that each dish feeds 2-4 people, but really most dishes feed 6 hungry adults! So start by ordering one salad and one appetizer (I don't eat calamari, but everyone says theirs is the best; I'm crazy about their stuffed artichoke), then one pasta, one or two meat dishes (they do a fantastic Porterhouse steak served with sausage and potatoes) and one veg. I promise that will make everyone happy and you'll still have leftovers. The only thing I've ever been disappointed in there was the fish; I think their meat and chicken is much better. I've even trekked over there to take out an order of meatballs and sauce to serve my dinner guests and try and pawn it off as my own homemade! Oh, their Cosmos are excellent too!

Don't schlep down to the Brooklyn Bridge. Definitely go to Central Park, it's absolutely brilliant. Walk down from Carmine's (it'll feel great after that big meal) and enter the park at 77th St., then walk down along the Lake to Bethesda Terrace. (If you enter the park through Strawberry Fields, you'll have to make your way through an enormous crowd waiting for the start of the midnight road race. We've made this mistake before, so 77th St. is the way to go.)

I just did a quick search and didn't find any discounts for Blue Man Group. Wow, $102 is a lot of money!!! There are likely to be tickets at the TKTS booths, but the holidays are crazy crowded and the ticket lines could be hours. It depends on what's worth it to you. It's also going to be tough to find nine tickets, especially seated together. You'll have an easier time splitting up the group. Check, which offers discount codes that you use with the show's official ticket agent (usually telecharge or ticketmaster). also offers premium tickets, so be careful -- the discount offers are on the top left of their home page.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 04:56PM
Thanks for this Oracle. We'll follow your instructions to the letter. What a shame you're not going to Carmine's as it would have been great to meet a "real" person.

I've decided against The Blue Man Group. What on earth was I thinking at $102 per ticket? I'm not 100% sure we'd even like it. It's just that half of our group are into musicals and I thought of trying something a little different. The reviews for this show are mixed. However, I'll take your tip on board about the discount tickets for another show.

I really, really want my family to get a little taste of the US and its people. This is going to be a little difficult given how touristy everything will be. However, I think our best bet maybe will be go to a Basketball game or similar.

If there's anybody out there with some 20 year olds that would like to meet up with some English 20 year olds to compare themselves and stuff they're all into please shout up. My son would be absolutely mortified I'm even thinking of this but it'd be great I think.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 05:17PM
Oracle is spot on! But personally I would schlep to the Brooklyn Bridgesmiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2010 05:20PM by askanewyorker.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 06:25PM
Do you think there would be any problem getting transport back from Brooklyn Bridge after midnight? I guess we wouldn't just be able to take a cab.

I must say, the Bridge looks marvellous. Oh, if I could only split myself in two.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 17, 2010 08:03PM
Oh, I didn't mean the Brooklyn Bridge isn't worth walking. I was born and grew up across the street from the bridge! I just think it's better done another time. I wouldn't miss the Central Park fireworks for the world. In fact, I'll probably see you there. Maybe do the Bridge combined with a downtown Brooklyn day. Brooklyn Heights is a beautiful neighborhood with gorgeous architecture. Some of those brownstones and mansions are the stuff of dreams. The main shopping street is Montague St., and at the end of the street you'll find the Promenade, with spectacular views of the harbor and downtown Manhattan. From the Heights, it's a short walk back to the DUMBO neighborhood, where you can pick up a spicy hot chocolate from Jacques Torres to keep you warm as you walk over the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan.

Consider splitting up your group and see about getting tickets for your four kids to Blue Man Group, or Fuerza Bruta, another high-energy off-Broadway show. Honestly, I think all these shows are crazy expensive. But sometimes you can get a "deal." I know that Blue Man Group used to have a sign-up sheet for volunteers, who would see the show free and then help clean the theater. I don't know if they still do that, but it sure is worth asking them. Maybe the two 20-year-olds could do something like that. The theater is right near the East Village neighborhood that's pretty much a "must-do" for kids these days anyway. I don't know if they offer deals like that at Fuerza Bruta, but that theater is right on Union Square, another neighborhood you're sure to visit.

And what about ice skating? That's a great group activity. The biggest rink is the Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Re: Family Visit to NYC
December 18, 2010 10:11AM
Oracle & Jay

Thank you very much. My friends say "Oh my, how helpful are these people?"....

Spicy hot chocolate from Jacques Torres and pizza at Lombardi's. Surely, it can't get much better than that.

We'll go ice skating.....just have to watch my dicky back because if that went again it'd be a complete disaster. Maybe I should just watch and take some photos.

I'm watching the weather closely. BA flights closed from Heathrow today. We're having an unusual time at the mo in the UK. However, a good time to walk in the snow boots.

Re: Family Visit to NYC
July 02, 2017 10:53AM
Well, not really a suggestion for December, but if you are coming to NYC with kids in the summer time (or even without kids), you could take a trip out to Coney Island, Brooklyn. My husband and I went yesterday and had a fun day, eating hot dogs, clams, and oysters at Nathan's on the boardwalk, riding the Cyclone rollercoaster (scary! but do it!) and the Wonder Wheel, and on our way back to the subway we even stopped in at a circus sideshow/freakshow sort of thing. Ha! Not a bad way to spend a summer day. Take the N or D train out to Stillwell Ave and it's all right there.

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