Things to Do in New York City
Over Labor Day weekend we headed to New York City with my parents in tow. Ready to show them the famed and beloved city they’ve only heard of or seen in movies. Since my parents are older we figured this trip might prove to be a little difficult with all the walking we’d do, but still we felt determined to take them to some of the “must-see” spots in the city. A few were missed, but we feel they definitely got the gist of what NYC is all about.
- Get a view of the city on top of the Empire State Building
If you want to take in a view of the city you must go to the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. We chose the Empire since it is iconic and we knew my parents would definitely recognize hearing about it. There are two options, to either go up to the 86th floor or the 102nd floor. We settled for the 86th but the views were breathtaking regardless. Walk all around to get different views, spot the Flat Iron building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more. They honestly look like lego pieces or a painting from this view.
- Visit the Flat Iron District and see the famed Flat Iron building
Staying in the Four Points by Sheraton in Chelsea we were literally five minutes walking district from the beautiful view of this building. There are few spots to eat around there, but taking a few pics of and in front of the building is all worth the walk. Since we were so close you better believe we checked it out almost once every day.
- See Times Square
Hearing about Times Square and seeing it are two different things. Seeing it in pictures or on tv you get an idea of it, but seeing it in person is unreal! Walking through all those lights at night, you can actually forget it is nighttime because it is so bright.
My parents enjoyed walking around, seeing the street performers and the billboards, while stopping for yummy treats.
- Go to a Broadway Show
Yes there are traveling Broadway Shows that might come to your city, but when in New York City there is no better place to be. We’ve only seen The Lion King but it was amazing and highly recommended. Unfortunately this trip all tickets were sold out so we couldn’t check it out, but make sure you set some time aside to watch a show. You won’t regret it!
- See the Brooklyn Bridge from Dumbo
Head over early because there will be a line for those waiting to take a picture of the bridge in Dumbo. It is a gorgeous view at the end of a cute narrow street. Keep walking down the street and towards Brooklyn Bridge park. From there you’ll see Manhattan across the water.
- Walk or Run the Brooklyn Bridge
Now we didn’t walk all across the bridge because we were trying to save time (and we for sure weren’t going to run it because well we are not runners, sorry). But the effort of walking up on the hot sunny day proved it self worth it with its view.
- Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Being the symbol of freedom of our country, you can’t do a touristy trip of New York and leave out the Statue of Liberty. You ride a ferry over to the island, and while the lines are long try to head over early to beat the really busy hours.
Taking my parents here was very significant. They came as refugees from Cuba seeking freedom for themselves and their family. Being able to see the symbol of that freedom was pretty amazing, and being the ones who took them there was also pretty high on the list.
- Go to the 9/11 Memorial
Take a moment of silent meditation and remember those whose lives were lost on that day in September. See the Freedom Tower and if you have time go to the museum.
- Check out a Museum
In NYC there are plenty of museums to choose from. Take advantage and go to one or even a few. We headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where although there are only two floors of exhibits it feels endless. There you will find so many special pieces of art and artifacts. Besides the classics they also have special exhibits. We got to see “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. It was pretty fascinating. If you do go to the Met head up to the 5th floor for their rooftop garden.
- Go to central park
Being from Florida, we tan at the beach. Walking through Central Park in the summer I was surprised to see how many locals were having picnics in their swimsuits so they can get a tan. It makes sense once I thought about it but was surprised at first. Be careful since the park is very large and if you head the wrong fork in the road you might be headed in the direction you weren’t planning to. (We don’t tend to have the best sense of direction).
- Walk the High Line
We headed over our first night there. It is nice and relaxing with several places to take a seat if you are tired from all the walking you’ve been doing. It has a nice view of Chelsea.
- Ride the subway
One way to do like the locals do is to walk all over the city or to ride the subway. My poor parents would obviously get tired of walking all over the city so we’d take the subway especially for any longer commutes. You may get lucky enough to sit or get stuck standing, but either way you are getting the New York City experience.
All in all we had a wonderful time taking my parents to New York City. We walked a ton, ate a ton, and were tired but our eyes and hearts were happy. If you have not gone, its time to plan a trip and if you have, let’s face it there is always so much to see and do you can always go again.