Summer Fun In New York With the Family

There is a lot to do in New York with the kids this summer, no matter what your interests are. From waterparks to Broadway shows, indoor or outdoor activities, you and your crew will find much to do in the Empire State.

When it’s hot, but you still want want to be outdoors, why not consider a water park? Splish Splash Waterpark is a great place to spend the day as a family in the heat of the summer. Waterparks should be high on the summer “to do” list, and this is one of the best spots in the area.  There are lots of options for kids of all ages, with smaller splash or wade pools for smaller kids (scaled down pools and slides, little swings, spray parks, etc) in several varieties so that everyone can have fun and enjoy themselves. The bigger the kid, the more places they can play- but of they are too big, they can’t play in the small kid areas, so that the little ones don’t have to worry about being trampled.  Some favorites were Mutiny Bay, which puts your family in brightly colored boats, letting riders use water-spray “cannons” to blast other boats while those outside the ride can blast those inside the boats- and get sprayed themselves. Abyss Tube Slides were a favorite with all the kids, twisting and and turning your way down the enclosed slides. So was Bootleggers run, which holds up to four at a time in a tandem raft.  “Climb aboard a four-man raft that actually goes uphill with new generation hydromagnetic technology. It flies like a roller coaster without rails. So much fun, it just may be illegal!”says the park.  It really did seem as much like a roller coaster as it did like a tube ride, it was very cool. There are also favorites like wave pools and “lazy rivers”, and so much more.  Head over to SplishSplash.com and get your tickets soon, summer will be over before you know it.

luna park

 

Coney Island, a “must” for locals and tourists alike, is a great place to beat the summer heat, or at least lean into it somewhat gracefully. A go to spot for generations, each season changing slightly, adding more rides, keeping new and fresh while still appealing to the nostalgia of days past. Just steps from the boardwalk, there is a beach with a clean shore and big open ocean.  For the animal lovers, there is the New York Aquarium just a little ways down, which also has a wonderful seal show that should not be missed.  For the adventurous types, there are big thrill rides at Luna Park which include 7 roller coasters like the classic wooden Coney Island Cyclone.  For the littler park goers, there are tons of attractions and rides at Luna Park like the Happy Swing and Magic Bikes. This year, Luna Park has also opened new rides Cozmo Jet and Coney Clipper, so even if you have been before, there is a great excuse to go again.

coney island

The Cozmo Jet is a family friendly ride which uses virtual-reality, video, and an interactive gaming console. It looks like your child’s game system, but with a VR mask that you wear as you are on the ride. It was an odd sensation, moving with the “virtual” reality while trying to blast and keep count. You and your family (one or two per “Jet”) blast aliens, with the high score winning.
The Coney Clipper is a more classic “pirate ship” themed ride that rocks back and forth, lifting you off your feet a bit as you reach the top of the swing. Don’t worry, you are all buckled in.
Visit https://lunaparknyc.com or the park itself to get tickets.

Saw Avenue Q, a witty, silly, yet poignant musical on Broadway , tickets via TripAdvisor

For a variety of fun, you can go to TripAdvisor for booking ease. It is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities and attractions, with more than *56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide (according to the company). TripAdvisor Attractions has options for every kind of traveler,from walking tours, skip-the-line access, hotels, and more. You can find the best prices and values from more then 200 sites, which are updated in real time so you never miss a good bargain. Gift certificates only work for certain attractions, so be aware of that- most options will only work when you book directly from the site and using a credit card. However, if you are looking for a good deal, this is a site you should visit. Choose a restaurant, get a massage, go to a museum, and much more. Visit https://www.tripadvisor.com for more info and to choose your experience. 

Anastasia on Broadway, photo by Matthew Murphey

Looking for the iconic NYC “Broadway” experience, but don’t want to break the bank? Visit

 Broadway Inbound and The Broadway Collection to choose a show you and your family want to see, at a price you can afford to pay. These aren’t second rate shows, you can see performances of Wicked, The Book Of Mormon, Anastasia, more. No matter if you are taking a couples night out, taking the kids to see a show, or arranging a large group (the WHOLE family? A club, team, or committee that wants to go together, etc) you will be able to get discounted tickets to shows that you actually want to see. To us, bringing the kids to see live theater is very important, it gives them experiences that can’t be replicated elsewhere, as well as an appreciation for art and music. So what are you waiting for? It’s Broadway, baby- grab the family and head out.

One Thousand Nights and One Day,” a new musical at ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre

One Thousand Nights and One Day will play the ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre (502 West 53rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues) and is produced by Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director.)
 
In mythic Persia, a daring young woman spins tales to save the kingdom and her life. In modern-day New York, a Jewish man and Palestinian woman fight to find love in a fractured world.  This world premiere musical, adapted from Jason Grote’s critically-acclaimed play 1001, reinvents “The Arabian Nights,” colliding the contemporary and the ancient.  Through a genre-bending score, it questions past and present images of the Middle East, exploring the power of story in our everyday lives.
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day features Sepideh Moafi (“The Deuce”, “Falling Water”), Ben Steinfeld (Fiasco Theatre Company’s Into the Woods), Ashkon Davaran (The Great Comet – Ars Nova), Yassi Noubahar (The Body Politic), Chad Goodridge (Passing Strange), Gabriella Pérez (Anything GoesNational Tour), and Graham Stevens (Peter and the Starcatcher).
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day features choreography by Karla Garcia(Regional: In The Heights; currently performing in Hamilton), scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West (The Royale, Illyria), costume design by Becky Bodurtha (The Strangest; The Wife), lighting design by Carolyn Wong (This Was Written In Water; The Oracle) and sound design by Jeremy J. Lee (Tamar of the River; Broadway Associate: Superior Doughnuts; Mary Stuart). Kurt Crowley (currently the musical director/conductor of Hamilton on Broadway) serves as musical director and co-orchestrator with Marisa Michelson.

Photo: One Thousand Nights and One Day PHOTO CREDIT – Richard Termine

In Prospect Theater Company’s new play One Thousand Nights and One Day, a musical adapted by composer Marisa Michelson and librettist Jason Grote from the 2007 play 1001. Based loosely on a retelling of the Arabian Nights story of King Shahryar (Ben Steinfeld) and his wife, Scheherazade (Sepideh Moafi), who tells stories in order to delay her own execution and to save other women in her kingdom, the play then tells a more modern tale of Alan and Dahna (same actors). These students, a Jewish man and a Palestinian woman, go through the trials of a relationship in current New York City.

The new musical has been developed with the support of New Dramatists, Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative, Theatreworks Palo Alto, the York Theatre Company, and the Weston Playhouse.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting ProspectTheater.org or calling (212) 352-3101.

6th Annual Walk for Kids Growth & Festival

Join the community for the 6th Annual Walk for Kids’ Growth on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at Flushing Meadows Park (at the Fountain of the Planets), from 11 am to 3 pm. The event will feature a 3-mile scenic, fun walk, FREE food, carnival games, display booths, live entertainment and much more! This is the nation’s largest fundraising event for childhood growth disorders and rare genetic diseases. The Walk raises significant funds and awareness for the disorders, celebrates patient advocacy and honors those who have reached new heights. All ages and leashed pets are welcome. Sign up (FREE) to participate at www.WalkForKidsGrowth.org.

 

 

National Chorale presents 50th presentation of Handel’s Messiah Sing-In

National Chorale, New York’s premier professional choral company, under the Artistic Direction of Everett McCorvey, continues its 2017-2018 Season at Lincoln Center with the 50th presentation of Handel’s Messiah Sing-In onFriday, December 15, 2017 at 7:30pm at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC. Tickets are $30-100 and are available at www.nationalchorale.com, or by calling (212) 333-5333.

Join an audience-chorus of almost 3,000 voices under the batons of 17 eminent conductors. Celebrate choral singing and sing in New York’s most joyous and popular Holiday Season music event! The performance featuresJoanna Mongiardo, Michael Nansel, Holly Sorensen, and John Wesley Wright.

The 17 conductors from around the country, who will each conduct a movement, are Constance Chase, Hugh Ferguson Floyd, Gregory Hopkins, James John, Thomas Juneau, Deborah Simpkin King, Chris Ludwa, Everett Mccorvey, Vagarshak Ohanyan, Stephen Pagano, John Palatucci, Jennifer Pascual, Vincent Rufino, Kathryn Schneider, Michael Spierman, Jason Tramm and Mark Van Schenkhof.

 “The National Chorale is one of the most firmly established professional choral groups in the country.”– The New Times

NATIONAL CHORALE’S 2017-2018 SEASON CONTINUES WITH:

March 16, 2018

Angela Rice – Thy Will Be Done, An Easter Oratorio

New York Premiere featuring tenor Gregory Turay

April 13, 2018

Beethoven’s Symphony #9 and Ralph Vaughan Williams – Serenade to Music

 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CHORALE

The National Chorale, New York’s premier professional choral company, is celebrating its 50thLincoln Center Season at David Geffen Hall, previously Avery Fisher Hall, with its continuing series of choral orchestral masterworks and 20th century American Classics.

Founded in 1967, the National Chorale is the only professional choral company in the United States to have established and maintained an annual subscription season in the major New York City concert halls – 50 seasons in David Geffen Hall, with additional concerts at Carnegie Hall.  It presents a broad repertory of choral-orchestral works; seldom-performed works from many stylistic periods; opera-in-concert; American music theatre; and contemporary works, including commissions by the Chorale for its Lincoln Center Season.

Adventures of a Tour of New York City

 

As far as vacation spots are concerned, you really can’t do much better than New York. This boisterous city has it all – art, technology, and even plenty of spaces where Nature runs things; such as Central Park and Sakura Park. Most people who’ve been here once make it a point to return, as places such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Frick Collection can consume the bulk of a single visit all by themselves. The following tour of New York City is just a blip on the screen of what the Big Apple truly has to offer – but it’s a good start, at least.

 

Central Park

 

If you’re an outdoorsy kind of person, then New York’s Central Park is one of the places you must visit. Unique in the sheer expansiveness it manages in the midst of a boisterous city, it’s also a slice of history with the attractions from the War of 1812 and the mysterious Belvedere Castle on the grounds.

 

You might enjoy activities as simply as people-watching and socializing in the 15 acres that defines Sheep Meadow, a verdant green clearing in the foreground of soaring buildings rising above the trees that encircle. While here, check out the beauty and serenity of Shakespeare’s Garden.

If you’re in it for more active fair, check out ice skating at Wollman Rink or try your hand at rowing on Central Park’s Lake. Then, of course, there’s the Central Park Zoo that houses exotic animals from the temperate, tropical and polar zones of the planet. That means there’s a polar bear, mountain goats and even sea lions inside.

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

A huge art museum, the Met (as it is affectionately called by New York residents) has no equals in America. Housing several million distinct works of art from all areas, it functions as a place for permanent exhibits as well as guest traveling art shows and exhibits.

The primary building sits right at the edge of Central Park, so you can actually step right from one tourist destination to the other – but beware that the Met can eat up the rest of your day before you’ve seen even a fraction of what it has to offer. There are over a dozen different curatorial departments – 17 at last count, and growing – with pieces from as far back as Egypt in antiquity and even the Byzantine Empire. There are scholars of the particular time periods in each one of the curatorial departments.

 

One World Observatory – World Trade Center

 

There’s no way around it – visiting the magnificent One World Trade Center can be a tad expensive. It costs just to ride the elevator up; and, there are viewing prices once you reach the top levels. This isn’t unconventional, of course, as it costs to see the scene from the Empire State Building, as well.

 

The cafe is recommended – even at the prices of the various foods they serve. Not surprisingly, one of the things you’re not allowed to bring with you on a visit is your own food! Understandably, though, as operation costs must come from somewhere.

 

The view from floors 100-102 is absolutely breathtaking, You can see all of the New York skyline since the Observatory rises well above every other building in its vicinity.  

The Top Tours in NYC

hop on hop off

Traveling can be exhausting enough without having to do all of the planning to make sure every minute of your tour is perfectly prepared. A lot goes into creating a successful trip, and sometimes it’s best to leave the planning to the experts. Luckily, there are a lot of great tours in New York City that take the stress out of traveling and let you focus on the fun. Here are the top tours in NYC for travelers visiting the city!

Hop On / Hop Off Tours

New York City Hop-On / Hop-Off tours are the best way to see everything in a short amount of time. If you’re only visiting New York City for a limited amount of time, a sightseeing tour that allows you the flexibility to hop on and off as you please is the best way to make the most of your short time in the Big Apple. The biggest advantage of these guides are that they are led by a knowledgeable guide who provides a much-needed commentary while you explore the city free from crowds.

Food Tours

New York City is one of the top foodie destinations in the world for a reason. With a strong international culture, there are top eateries in this city representing cuisine from around the world. There really is something for everyone, and there are tours that take out the guessing when it comes to choosing the best place to eat. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you like to eat because you can choose anything from chocolate tours to Chinese food tours.

Street Art Tour

New York City is home to a lot of different street art, and you’d be surprised with the story behind it. While it is often overlooked, there is much to learn about the street murals and designs around the different neighborhoods. In recent years, street art tours have become increasingly popular as locals are sharing the unique history of this urban art. See the city in a different way with a street art tour!

Boat Tour

Sometimes the best way to see a city is from the outside. You can find great views of Manhattan by boat, and there are a number of tours available for all budgets and itineraries. For budget savvy travelers, the Staten Island Ferry is a free option which departs every half-hour and connects Manhattan and Staten Island. Sights include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and more! Be sure to have your camera ready!

Pub Crawl

There’s a reason the Big Apple is known as the city that never sleeps! Much of NYC culture can be found in its local pubs and breweries, and there are a lot of tours and pub crawls which highlight the best nightlife spots in the city. Whether you want to take in the high life at the hottest night clubs or explore the local, dive bars, there are pub crawl options for everyone! You might even discover some hidden speakeasies or hidden gems in Hell’s Kitchen.

Top Tours in NYC

Planning a trip is stressful enough! Sometimes you just want to let someone else take the reins while ensuring you’re going to have a great time. Booking one of these top tours in NYC is an easy way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to experiencing the best of the city. There are different tours for all budgets and styles of traveling, whether you prefer to take things slow or travel quickly with a big group. Make the most of your trip with a great tour!

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular #GreenGiantXRockettes @GreenGiant

radio city

This past week, we went into New York City to see the The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It’s one of those things that you need to do at least once in your life, if not more often (if you are close enough that you are able).

radio city mucic hall

Running through Jan.2, 2017, you and your family and friends can go see one of NYC’s iconic show’s (and some of the world’s most iconic dancers) to really get the holiday season started. The Rockettes have been performing at Radio City since 1932, and during the Christmas season they preform 7 days a week. The Rockettes also perform every year at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. They also lit the Empire State Building red and green for Christmas. Gotta love those hard-working ladies!
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A Travel Guide for New York City on a Budget

New York is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. This iconic city is on the wish list of every traveler with interests in the arts, history, culture and nightlife. New York is an attractive destination but the question is, is it ideal for budget travelers as well? Yes, it is and you’d be wrong to assume it to be too pricey a destination to visit. You can plan well in advance and visit the city in an economical manner.

Here are some tips to get a New York City tour on a budget:

Get the trip planning right

First things first, a cost-effective trip of New York requires good planning. You need to research which sights are near each other so that they can be visited together–saving time and money. You also need to find out which days museums offer free admission, this will give you big savings.

Save with bundled tour passes

The easiest way to save on your NYC sightseeing is by purchasing a bundled tour pass, especially when you wish to visit a lot of popular places and attractions in the city. Tour passes bundles various tours and activities thereby offering you a reduced price.You are also spared the inconvenience of paying separately for each tour. The more they offer, the more you save!

Look for discounts & coupons

You can visit websites of several landmarks and attractions and find coupons or discounts. Not all attractions in NYC have an entry fee and you can search to know which are free. Similarly, you can collect coupons and then get discounts on food, shopping, entry to landmarks etc.

Save through inexpensive events and Broadway tickets

New York is a city that offers a lot of free concerts, art exhibits, music shows etc. Want to save money on Broadway theater tickets? Visit one of the TKTS discount theater ticket booths located around town. There are 3 of them: one in Midtown, one at the South Street Seaport and one in Brooklyn. They sell discounted tickets for same day matinee and evening performances.

Be selective about transportation

Buy a MetroCard and get non-stop rides for a week or even longer. A MetroCard pass offers you unlimited trips on both the subway and buses in all 5 NYC boroughs for the duration of the pass. Or purchase a hop-on hop-off bus tour that gives you a guided tour through the city while offering a way to hop-on or hop-off the bus near popular city attractions.

Experience the real New York on foot

New York is a great city explored by foot. Since most of Manhattan is based on a grid system it is hard to get lost. Below Houston Street there is no grid and it is a bit easier to get lost but getting lost is half the fun–you never know what you may find!

Navigate around cycle routes

Biking is also fun. Bikes can be rented for an hour, a day or longer. New York is a bike friendly city and is becoming more so every day! You can bike around town independently or join a bike tour with a guide.

Dine away from upscale market

There are lots of different types of ethnic foods in New York and if you want to save money that is the way to go. It is also a lot of fun to try all the different foods that New York has to offer while saving money at the same time! Be sure to check out bars offering happy hour discounted prices.

Stay outside Manhattan to save on lodging

Don’t book a hotel room in Manhattan when cost is a major consideration. Rather, try one of the outer boroughs where prices are not as steep. Hostels and apartment rentals are great alternatives to pricey Manhattan hotels too.

Shop at a flea market

New York is a shoppers paradise. Try visiting one of the weekend flea markets to find something unique and interesting. Canal Street is a great place to save a lot on purses, jewelry and similar items.

Overall, book your hopon hopoff New York tour and explore the best this metropolis has to offer. Plan well in advance and be sure to return home with lots of memories!