Activities to do with kids in New York !

Grand Central – Free

Credits: Pexel.com
Credits: Pexels.com

Though 750,000 visitors pass through its doors daily, the celestial ceiling above Grand Central Station’s main terminal has the power to practically stop time. But despite its beautiful, dark green and portrayal of the traditional zodiac, there’s just one problem: It’s technically inaccurate. Shortly after its installation in 1913, a visitor noticed certain astronomical inconsistencies, for instance, the placement of Orion. Kids, however unless they’ve just finished a particularly intensive constellation unit in school will be awed nonetheless !

 

Take a walk along the High Line -Free

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

Consider this park NYC’s best example of recycling on a mega scale: Built atop an abandoned train track, the High Line offers more than twenty blocks’ worth of car and bike-free strolling. Besides plenty of seating and a killer view of the ritzy Meatpacking District and Chelsea, there’s also weekly free drop-in workshops for kids during the summer, like art projects every Saturday, insect and plant life classes on Wednesdays, plus Thursday morning structured lawn time, where families can enjoy stories, bubble-blowing, music, and storytelling.

 

One World Observatory – $28

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

One World Observatory at World Trade Center lets visitors experience panoramic views of NYC on levels 100, 101 and 102 from atop the tallest building in the United States, 1,250 feet above the ground. Kids will love arriving at their destination Jetsons-style via Sky Pod elevators (some of the fastest in the world) which lead to a two-minute video presentation of gorgeous city images on the 102nd floor. Check out City Pulse on the 100th floor, showing HD videos featuring notable NYC landmarks and neighborhoods, then daredevil kids (and parents!) can brave the Sky Portal, where a 14-foot wide circular disc gives you a view of real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

M&M’s World in Times Square- free

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

The New York City store is within a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2), three-level glass box, in Times Square. It includes a 50-foot (15 m)-wide, two-story-high, “wall of chocolate“, made up of 72 continuous candy-filled tubes.

M&M’s World in Times Square is New York City’s largest candy store, and offers merchandise such as themed clothing, dishware, watches, and piggy banks. Before it opened in 2006, nearly 13,000 people lined up for the 198 jobs, which were in demand because of a more generous health benefit package than is usually offered for an entry-level retail job in New York.

 

Feel Festive at the Radio City Chritsmas Spectacular – Tix starting at $49

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

New York is world famous for it’s over the top dedication to the holidays each December, and few places in Gotham better sum up this city’s love for the season than this annual tradition. Since 1933, the Radio City Rockettes have been bringing cheer to audiences faces with each in-unison high kick in their fabulous, sparkling costumes. The massive set pieces and new technology mix with classic elements like the dancing Santas and wooden soldiers to create an experience nostalgic grandparents and first-time viewers will equally enjoy. Afterward, make sure to grab a picture around back at Rockefeller Center’s gigantic holiday tree.

 

Walk accross the Brooklyn Bridge – Free

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

A must-do for any city kid worth her salt, the mile-long stroll from end to end of the Brooklyn Bridge offers spectacular views of downtown Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, and of course, the iconic double arches that have come to signify NYC’s hippest borough worldwide. While you’ll mostly be joined by the thousands of other tourists and locals crossing the East River, be on the lookout for the occasional cyclist attempting to make their way through the crowds. If you’re coming from Manhattan, reward tired legs with a scoop of strawberry at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, handily located at the base of the bridge in DUMBO.

 

The American Museum of Natural History – $16

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

The Museum’s collections contain over 32 million specimens of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. It also boasts habitat groups of African, Asian and North American mammals, a life-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, the 62-foot (19m) Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, the massive Cape York meteorite and the “Star of India”, the largest blue sapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution. Take time to explore extensive anthropological collections including the Asian Peoples, Pacific Peoples, Man in Africa, Native Americans in the United States collections, general Native American collections and collections from Mexico and Central America. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

Visit Harlem and see a Gospel mass – $49

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Learn about Harlem from its origins as a rural Dutch community to its transformation into a summer retreat for New York’s most prominent families. Journey into the past and see the African-American Mecca for writers and artists at the turn of the century. Hear about Harlem’s troubled past during the 1960’s and 1970’s and view its present day community beam with pride as it revels in Harlem’s renaissance.

See famous NYC sights and landmarks such as Columbia University, City College, Morningside Heights, the Morris Jumel Mansion, Sylvan Terrace, Strivers Row, the Cotton Club, the Apollo Theater, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Sugar Hill, Duke Ellington’s apartment, the famous 125th street and many more. End your tour of Harlem by joining a local congregation* for the Sunday worship mass service and experience the soul-stirring power of gospel music with a live gospel choir! CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

Bike in Central Park – $19

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Experience the world-renowned Central Park via bicycle. Plan a sightseeing trip with the help of an illustrative map and see breath-taking attractions all over its 843 acres. Explore the sites in a fun and convenient way.

During your bicycle escapade see many famous sites like Strawberry Fields, Bethesda Fountain, and Shakespeare Garden. Be sure to also visit Central Park’s lesser-known treasures such as Wagner cove and admire views of scenic landscape. All Bike Rentals include an illustrative map, helmet, chain/lock, and basket. Bikes can also be ridden throughout the city. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

The Beast Cruise – $24

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Don’t miss The Beast, New York’s very own thrill ride! Hold on to your hats as this 30-minute, fun-filled cruise takes you for a wet n’ wild ride through the New York harbor. Hop on board this cruise and soar past NYC’s skyscrapers at a heart-pounding 45mph. This thrilling cruise will pause for a few minutes for a close-up of the Statue of Liberty, where you’ll have time for a photo-op before roaring back to life across the New York Harbor. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

Statue of liberty – $15

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

Lady Liberty or Liberty Enlightening the World, as she’s officially known was a gift from France on America’s 100th birthday. A universal symbol of freedom, the copper-plated sentinel stands 305 feet tall from the bottom of her base to the tip of her torch. The monument’s grand reopening on the Fourth of July 2013 comes after almost two years of construction and Hurricane Sandy-related closures. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

Madame Tussaud – $33

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Come see your favorite celebrity wax figures at the world famous tourist attraction, Madame Tussauds and mingle with the stars sprawling Times Square. Get up close and personal with top cultural figures, world leaders, sports stars, characters from your childhood, Bollywood, Hollywood and TV stars, Pop stars, historical icons and political heavyweights. With so many celebs in one place, it’s no wonder Madame Tussauds is one of the top attractions in New York! Madame Tussauds opened its doors in the heart of Times Square in New York City in the year of 2000. Today visitors are sent on a unique journey through the realms of history, power and fame. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

Triboro Tour from Hip Hop to Hipsters with Lunch – $109

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Your New York City adventure begins! Visit the three largest boroughs of New York City. Grab a seat on our climate-controlled coach to The Bronx often referred to as the “Boogie-Down Bronx”; the only borough of New York City that is attached to mainland USA. Explore the South Bronx known for its influence on Latin music and greatly recognized for its impact on global pop culture with the emergence of Hip-Hop, Breakdance and Urban Graffiti.

See the new Yankee Stadium and The Grand Concourse; known for its many iconic Art Deco buildings. Head on over to Queens; New York’s 2nd largest and most ethnically diverse borough. See Astoria with its exciting local art corridor of murals and stop at Socrates Sculpture Park; the only NYC metropolitan area dedicated to large scale sculpture and art installations in an outdoor environment. See Long Island City’s expanding waterfront community with one of the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions, and studio space in New York City.

Finally: Brooklyn! Synonymous with all things trendy and artisanal, Brooklyn abounds with energy and diverse cultures. Stop in Williamsburg, the “hipster capital of the world” and a great place to “People Watch”. Spend some time exploring its cool and laid back atmosphere with unique cafés and local shops.

Indulge in an authentic down-home BBQ lunch in Downtown Brooklyn then see DUMBO a unique neighborhood nestled between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

 

The Bronx Zoo – $28

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

The special Children’s Zoo is something you cannot skip when you visit the Bronx Zoo with kids. The Children’s Zoo is like a mixture between a playground and a petting zoo, where children learn how to live or move like an animal, and where they can feed lambs or lama’s. Also the Madagascar! part of Bronx Zoo will put smiles on their faces, especially with kids that know the movie. At Madagascar! you will not only find the animals that belong on the African island – you will find them in an environment that is a perfect imitation of their own surrounding.

 

The Empire State Building – $27

Credits: pexels.com
Credits: pexels.com

Located on the 86th floor, 1,050 feet (320 meters) above the city’s bustling streets, the Observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass enclosed pavilion, and from the surrounding open-air promenade. Since the Observatory opened to the public in 1931, almost 110 million visitors have enjoyed the awe-inspiring vision of the city beneath them.

The building, one of New York City’s main tourist attractions, offers a variety of activities for its visitors. One can tour the Observatory 365 days per year, day and night, rain or shine for breathtaking views of Manhattan and beyond. Also, there are two restaurants, a sushi bar, three coffee shops, a drug store, a Hallmark card shop, a post office and two banks, in addition to the plethora of restaurants and nightlife activities in the surrounding area. CLICK HERE TO BOOK IT WITH US !

If you have any question, don’t hesitate to send me a message on Facebook!

Salvatore

What you shouldn’t miss in Central Park!

What you shouldn’t miss in Central Park!

Central Park is located in the heart of Manhattan. It is one of the most mythical places in New York. Jogging, picnic, rides with bicycle, all is allowed in this gigantic garden which extends from the 59th to the 110th Street. Let’s go for a personalized tour!

Credits: ZeroOne

The green lung of Big Apple

Space was arranged but one also finds there parts of nature that have remained wild. Central Park accommodates more than 35 million of visitors per year it increases every year.

Throughout the year, the park offers a great diversity of tourist sites and activities. In short, one is never bored there! As indicated previously, Central Park offers multiple sites to be visited. You may not be able to discover it all on your first visit, this is why I have selected  “the best of the best“ for you!

The unmissable of Central Park

Great Lawn (from the 79e to the 86e street – West Side)

It’s a green space of the park which has the characteristic to count many grounds of baseball and playgrounds. In summer, many events are organized there: projection of films in open air, gigantic picnic, “white dinner” etc

Strawberry Fields: Remain of John Lennon (from the 71rst to the 74th street – West Side)

Strawberry Fields is a monument in memory of John Lennon and a symbol of peace. It was inaugurated at the exact place where the famous singer used to talk his walk. Every day, the fans of John Lennon lay there flowers, poems and candles to pay him homage.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Réservoir (from the 85th to the 96th street – West Side)

Credit: Patrick Gruban
Credit: Patrick Gruban

In 1994, this Tank was renamed “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir” in honour of the latter which was accustomed to practising the race with feet there. It is one of the places most attended by the runners.

Madagascar at Central Park! (From the 63rd to the 66th street – East side)

Credits: MusikAnimal
Credits: MusikAnimal

The zoo of Central Park is in the south-east of Central Park. It is managed by Wildlife Society Conservation. One can visit a tropical greenhouse, see polar bears and otaries. It preserves animal species in danger such as the tamarin, the clamping plate of Wyoming or the small panda. Most large animals were transferred to the zoo from Bronx.

The place was popularized thanks to films such as The Wild and Madagascar and especially, the series derived “the Penguins from Madagascar”. Opening hours: In winter from 13:00pm to 4:30, in summer of 10:00am at 5:00pm and the weekend of 10:00am to 5:30pm.

The Belvedere Castle (79th street, in the center of the park)

“Belvedere” means in italian “beautiful view”. This castle with uncommon architecture was built at the top of the Vista Rock, which is a 450 millions years old rock! Until the Sixties, this place sheltered the buildings of the weather observatory of New York. Today, the place is especially snuffed by the romantic ones.

Sheep Meadow (from the 66th to the 69th street – West Side)

Credits: Ed Yourdon
Credits: Ed Yourdon

Sheep Meadow is an old pasture with sheep (which justifies its name). It is the place of relaxation “par excellence” at Central Park. During the summer time, visitors get sun baths every day.Since this lawn, you will be able to benefit from a spectacular sight on scrapes-ciels surrounding the park.

Shakespeare Garden (79th and 80th street – West Side)

The Shakespeare Garden is a real tribute to Shakespeare’s work. It counts many trees and a special mulberry tree which one says that it was put out of ground by Shakespeare himself in 1602.

The garden is located near the Delacorte Theater where many plays take place between May and August. Thus, celebrities such Al Pacino, Mery Streep or Natalie Portman already worked there. The free tickets are limited. If you absolutely want to try the experience ,you will have to be armed with your patience (queue: approximately 3h)

The Bethesda Terrace (On 72nd street)

Credits: Jon McIntosh
Credits: Jon McIntosh

The Bethesda Terrace was drawn like the heart of Central Park. The staircases offer a marvellous lake view and on the Great Lawn. For the music enthusiasts, you need to know that many travelling artists choose to occur there because the place presents amazing acoustics naturalness. In the middle of the place, there is the Bethesda Fountain called  Angel of the Toilets. The four cherubs being located below the angel represent the virtues: Temperance, Purity, Prosperity and Peace.

Some practical information to visit Central Park like a pro!

From the end of October to March, two ice rinks are installed in Central Park: The Wollman Rink (entertaining skating rink) and The Lasker Rink (for the hockey). If deep in your heart, you feel like a Chris Creveling, you should absolutely do it!

Wollman Rink: 59th Street and 6th avenue

Lasker Rink: West Side, 110th Street

3 best ways to discover Central Park

You can obviously discover the park by walk, but there are also other options for you. let’s find out together which way would be best for you.

1) Ride a bicycle!

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

I think the best to discover Central Park is by bicycle. My advise for you is  to book your bicycle a few days in advance especially if you have a family. Keep an eye on the road, there are professional runners  police officers and horses!

Price: Approximately $30 dollars per person fo 90 minutes

Harlem Spirituals is happy to make an exceptional offer for our readers: “Central Park Bike rental for 2 hours” is only 22 dollars. if you want to book it with us, CLICK HERE 

To see all of our biking options, CLICK HERE

2) Culture in Velotaxi/VeloTour or Pedicab

Velotaxi/VeloTour is a very interesting activity if one wishes to ride a bike accompanied by a guide. Indeed, it’s great to get funny anecdotes about New York and Central Park while keeping a certain independence. It will cost you $60 per hour for an adult and $50 for a kid. As for Velicabs, which, obviously is very snuffed by the tourists, it makes it possible to discover the park under a different angle. Note that the pedicab can carry only 2 people  maximum.

Prince: approximately $130 per hour.

3) Romance in Horse Carriage

Credits: Harlem Spirituals
Credits: Harlem Spirituals

Have you ever dreamt to rent a horse carriage in Central Park? it’s totally possible, Love Story guaranteed! Indeed, it’s an unforgettable experiment. You will be able to discover the innumerable bridges, fountains and statues of Central Park. This activity is a true privileged moment. Family, friends or even only for yourself!  it is a single way to explore one of the most famous parks in the world. A blanket will be offered to you to warm you up.

Price: Between $180 and $220 for 45 minutes. If you book it with our agency, you get the lowest price because we have privileged partnerships.

Harlem Spirituals offers this tour for $150 (4 people). if you want to book it with us, CLICK HERE.

That’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed our Central Park tour!  If you have tang question about New York and its secret, do not hesitate to write me a message on Facebook or to come say hi to your office/boutique localized near Times Square.

Salvatore

 

Staff’s Pick: Biking in New York City

Staff’s Pick: Biking in New York City

Carine and the Duke in New York City
Carine and the Duke in New York City

At Harlem Spirituals, we are passionate about travel and leisure. In an effort to always bring you an insider’s perspective on New York City, we are handing the keyboard to our staff in a new monthly series called Staff’s Picks. Our experienced staff will share with you their tips, tricks and twists to get around the city like a New Yorker!

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By Carine

I’ve been living in New York for the past five years, and I’ve been biking here for the past three. This year we had a very long winter, and my reunion with the Duke – that’s my bike’s name* – felt like heaven.

Many people see New York as a chaotic and dirty city, but it’s actually one of the most bike friendly cities in the country with over 700 miles of bike lanes across the five boroughs, several bike share programs and our very own cross-borough bike race.

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