New York

Maria Foxwell on 28 December 2019
New York What a fabulous trip we had spending the New Year of 2020 in the city that doesn’t sleep! New Year’s Eve in New York was incredible and everything I wanted it to be it was. Its busy, its bustling, and yes there is security and police and crowds but everyone is in high spirits including the police and we had a fantastic evening just on the streets full of people taking in the countdown of the ball drop near times square where they had big screens to look on and count the New Year in. For people wanting to stay indoors then there are so many options to choose from however for me it wasn’t something I was happy to spend 150.00 dollars minimum per person doing. It was about the atmosphere and just being present. Apart from the New Year celebrations that we wanted to go for, I must say and a Top Tip- you really must be prepared for peak season crowds and queuing. This is by no means an easy city at this time of year and everything takes twice if not 3-4 times longer than usual. Probably anything from mid-December right through to 4-5 January, you are talking a lot of people, however the last couple of days of our trip we noticed a huge difference and no queuing at all which by then was a blessing however even though busy, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We went for this reason and we survived and enjoyed it so much it was a fantastic experience and a memory that will last for many years to come so for us a must do at Christmas and New Year! Just go for it!

Forgetting the time of year for a moment, the bright lights of New York is spectacular. We stayed at the Hilton Midtown, a perfect hotel for families, Couples and Friends. The smell went you walked through the revolving doors was amazing! Each time we entered to go in and out it gets you and that is the first thing I remember about this lovely hotel. Then, the service, the staff were fantastic, it was cleaned thoroughly each day, spacious rooms and a great choice for location. There wasn’t anything I would change about this and I highly recommend this hotel and have done already! New York is mostly geared for families with older children, (mine are 15 and 13) or groups of friends and couples. This city offers so much to see and do, and it took us 9 days to see the main sights due to the busyness however travelling outside of peaks, a 4 day trip would be great as you can fit a lot in each day. Before we went in true “Travel Agent” style, I planned an itinerary and so glad we did as this was vital for making sure we covered everything we wanted to see and do. It did change of course due to weather, distances and the mood we were in but overall there wasn’t anything we didn’t do that we had on our list. The perfect way to plan and again this is something I offer when booking New York is the New York Pass or the Sightseeing Pass. This allows you to experience over 100 attractions and discounted meals and tours. The pass is pre-booked and Pre payable in the UK (I can book these) and it covers pretty much every attraction NY has to offer and you don’t pay a thing in NY. Its an app on your phone with a manual guidebook (if required) the passes are loaded on the app and scan as you go. There are some attractions you don’t have to book in advance and just rock up and scan however there are a few tours (due to numbers) you pre-book on the app before you go and you have a time and day booked to do the tour you wish. Its easy but its all in the Planning so another recommendation is to Plan, take a few nights at home to sit, talk and plan your trip. Its essential! Here are some of things we experienced, and I recommend – I would highly recommend “The Ride” (I don’t want to spoil it, so I am choosing not to say anymore but it’s fun!) Fun for any age group. We did it in the evening but there is day tours too. I liked the evening as you get the full effect of the lighting. The movie and TV tours are a definite must! There are several on offer so make sure you read the details as you really want to make sure it includes your favourite locations in those sitcoms and movies! Outlet shopping- there are a couple of options however we went for Woodbury Common and it was a great choice, we literally shopped all day and the prices were crazy and we came away with some amazing bargains with some really good brands. The usual must sees are definitely statue of Liberty ferry and seeing the Manhattan skyline , the empire state building during the evening as you can see all the lights of Downtown New York and then my favourite was Top of the Rocks during the day as you can not only get a perfect view of the empire state building and on the other side the far view of Central Park and the Hudson river and beyond! We also visited, Rockefeller Centre and Radio City where we had the absolute privilege of the Christmas Spectacular! WOW this truly was the most magical show I have ever seen and one we will never forget! We are also honour to have spent the day at Ground Zero and the Memorial, this is a special place and having been to New York some years ago having seen the Twin Towers and then back again when the ground was still being cleared from this devastating event and now to see a true memorial of impact this terrible event caused was truly heart pulling. This truly honours every life and you do really get a sense of that awful world changing day. We also did some unusual experiences that maybe perhaps on a short trip you wouldn’t do but as we were there for 9 days, I wanted to experience more the “Must do’s” and we certainly did. One of them was a Graffiti walking tour of Brooklyn which although it was pouring down with rain on this day it was great to image the graffiti art that is appreciated rather than painted over! There are some amazing pieces and meaningful images that allows people to express themselves to the full. The other tour we did was a Gospel tour of Harlem on a Sunday morning and taking in a Gospel Sunday morning worship which was incredible too. We also experience a bike carriage ride around central park and ice staking too which was fantastic way to end our incredible 9 days. We would not Have changed anything, the smells the culture, the shopping, the people the crazy busyness was wonderful! As you can see we literally did so much and had a fun filled action packed time in New York and cannot wait to return.