Jun 162014
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Over Memorial Day weekend, we woke the boys up early and told them we were going on a mystery trip.  I had been jonesing to to get back to New York City and since the weather was supposed to be perfect, it seemed like a good time to take a bit of a day trip.

NYC Mystery trip

It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there, which wasn’t too bad.  There was no traffic, so the entire ride was smooth sailing.  Once we were in the city, we found a place to park and walked to our first stop -The Empire State Building!

I had two NYC CityPASS ticket books, which included one-time admission tickets, detailed attraction information, coupons and a map for 6 of the best attractions in New York City (including the Empire State Building).   When we arrived at the Empire State Building, it was about 11 am and there was already a 2-3 hour wait to buy tickets to get into to the observation level (the 86th floor) of the building.  With our CityPASS tickets, we were able to skip to the head of the line which was really nice and definitely something I would recommend doing because honestly, who wants to stand in line for hours for tickets to something like this when you can easily purchase something like a CityPASS booklet and blow past the line?

Top of the Empire State Building #NYC 2 Top of the Empire State Building #NYC

This was the 3rd or 4th time I have been to the observation deck of the Empire State Building and I have to be honest when I say that they let too many people up there at once.  It’s not at all what you see in the movies (think Sleepless in Seattle) and honestly it is nearly impossible to find a spot by the edge to grab a picture with the view behind you.  You really have to fight to squeeze your way in there and I really think they need to stagger the people a little bit.  That’s just my opinion, though.

With that being said, the CityPASS booklet really saved us a lot of time and I am so thankful that we planned ahead and got the tickets in advance.

In case you were wondering, the CityPASS ticket booklet also gives admission to:

  • The Empire State Building Observatory
  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
  • The MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art)
  • Top of the Rock OR The Guggenheim Museum
  • The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Cruises

If you’re planning on seeing all or most of these attractions in New York City, I think the CityPass is the way to go.  You would save up to 40% off of ticket prices and the time you save by skipping the lines is almost invaluable.

Anyhow back to our daytrip.

Once we were done there, the boys begged to take a cab ride to our next stop, which was  Times Square – so we did.

Times Square NYC  #NYC Times Square NYC 1

Chris and I had eaten at the Jekyll & Hyde Club before and thought the kids might like it, so that is where we went for a late lunch – and yes, the kids did love it!

Jekyll and Hyde Club - Haunted Restaurant and Bar‎ NYC 2 Jekyll and Hyde Club - Haunted Restaurant and Bar‎ NYC

After lunch, we did some window shopping, but there was no way we were leaving NYC without a stop at M&M’s World in Times Square.  Each of the boys ended up with about five pounds of M&M’s each, but that was ok by me because they both shared with their mom!

M&M World Times Square NYC

We decided to just make a day of it, and left New York City in the late afternoon to make our way back to Massachusetts.  It was a long day, but a really fun one – and we all slept really well that night! I am looking forward to getting back again over the summer, though!

**I received two NYC CityPASS ticket books at no charge in order to provide my honest experience.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

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  133 Responses to “Our Whirlwind Day in the Big Apple”

  1. NYC is a good time. Always get the fast pass tickets for the Empire State Building it will save you hours.

  2. What a cool Mommy you are! This looks like so much fun. I wish we lived just a bit closer to NYC. I truly love that city.

  3. I just can not get enough of NYC! We end up going there a few ones a year and it never gets old.

    And you are SPOT ON about it being way too crowded on the observation level of the Empire State Building. You can barely move up there.

  4. I love NYC and literally live a train ride away. I used to go all the time before having my girls and need to try to get there soon. I think we are taking Emma for her 5th birthday to the American Girl Store in NYC next month (fingers crossed).

  5. Oh now that sounds like one amazing day – I would love to go to New York one day it looks like an amazing city. x

  6. Jekyl & Hyde is great! If course I was scared to death all 3 times I have been there-my friend’s sons fav restaurant when he was younger! I haven’t been up the Empire State Building since grade school–From what I have heard those CitiPasses really can save you a bunch of money. As for Times Square it has changed so much-for the better I guess-but you really do have to walk or take a cab there (or the subway)–I think your boys would love The Natural History Museum, Southstreet Seaport and the Pier at 11th street where they can go on real ships (I forgot the name!)

  7. Great idea on the City Pass tickets!! I’m taking it to heart and have every intention of purchasing those for our next NYC trip.

  8. If you can maximize a day by cutting hours out of it with the City Pass, I’m all for it! I remember when you ate at Jekyl & Hyde before; that’s neat you took the kids back!

  9. Wow great day trip.I love the sound of the pass! much better than having to wait for hours.M&M store i need to go there though if i did there may not be much left in there lol.

  10. LOVE NYC, there is SO much to do and see, it’s my favorite place ever! Looks like you had an amazing time!

  11. Ooooh I really want to go back to NYC. I was there so briefly for BlogHer. There’s so much to do and see!! I love your “surprise trip” idea, too.

  12. I can’t imagine how big a 5 pound bag is… but I can imagine how tasty! I used to live in NJ, so I’ve been to NYC a slew of times.

  13. I’ve never been to New York. It looks like such a fun experience. That’s cool you got city passes. We bought 4 when we went to Chicago a few years ago. They are nice.

  14. Oh my, the green M statue of liberty is hilarious. Looks like y’all had a lot of fun!

  15. Love the mystery trip idea – you are a fun mom!

  16. I went to NYC for Blogher. Crazy busy and wonderful. I wish I had of taken time to explore. I’d definitely get a pass after reading this. 5lbs of M&M’s oh my! A chocolate lovers dream!

  17. I have been before, but my husband and kids have never been. I think I need to add this to our vacation list.

  18. What a fun trip! My hubby wants to go to NYC some times. We will definitely add the passes to our list. I hate waiting in line just to purchase tickets!

  19. That would be so much fun! That is crazy how small the Statue of Liberty looks from where your at!!!! Man all those M&M’s I would be in HEAVEN!!! I have always wanted to go and site see!

  20. This sounds like a great trip. My little boy keeps asking to go to NYC. He’s only 4, so I’m not sure how he knows so much about it! 😉

  21. I have never been but it looks like an amazing trip. I love visiting new places.

  22. Wow! What a fun adventure, I really want to take our whole family to the big apple one day!

  23. I’ve never been to NYC … it’s on my list of places to go! Thanks for the tip about the passes … a two hour line would make me cranky 🙂

  24. This is on our bucket list before we leave New England! We want to go the NYC!!

  25. What an awesome trip. That city pass sounds like a great deal. I know some kids that would love the Jekyll & Hyde Club.

  26. phew, that was a whirlwhind day! wow you sure looked like you had fun and got to do so much.

  27. I absolutely love NYC, though I’ve never visited the Empire State Building. I hadn’t heard of CityPass – definitely going to check it out for our next trip!!

  28. I live about 1.5 hours from NYC so I KNOW you had a great time! Loved your pics!

  29. Too funny! We were at the Empire State Building on the same day!

  30. Those CityPASS booklets are awesome. Sounds like one fun mystery trip!

  31. Sounds like a fun time for everyone. I’d love to go some day.

  32. You definitely crammed a lot into your day! I wanted to visit NYC when we lived in Maryland, but couldn’t fathom taking 3 boys on my own, especially while pregnant.

  33. Neat pics…I would love to go to NYC – to see the sites and go to a play on Broadway! What a fun weekend surprize!

  34. WOW, there is so much to see in the Big Apple! I’ve always wanted to do a Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island tour!

  35. Looks like a lot of fun! There is so much to do and see in NYC!

  36. I love New York City! I have been wanting to take my kids there. If I ever get to, we are definitely getting the CityPass. The time saved not waiting in line is worth the price to me!

  37. What a great idea about the CityPass. I would not have known about it. Good to know!!

  38. I’ve been to NY City a few times but I never checked out all of what you got accomplished in one day. Lol. I am usually there for some kind of event so time is always a factor. Looks like you all had fun!

  39. Looks like you had a great day. I’ve been to NYC a few times but have always wanted to go to the stop of the Empire State Building. You’re so lucky!

  40. I have only been to NYC once and it was a sensory overload! I had such a wonderful time but there was so much to see that I felt like we definitely didn’t plan our trip long enough. I love Tim Square, the shopping, the food, and the interesting people.

  41. I love CityPASS tickets, we used them in San Francisco – so handy to have and cheaper too!

  42. Those CityPASS ticket books are the best. They save so much time and money but still lets you see the famous sites. I highly recommend using them when traveling.

  43. What a fun day trip! Wow, that CityPASS is perfect to use in the city – so many discounts on the popular spots!

  44. Yikes who wants to stand in long lines like that! Sounds like Citypass is the way to go!

  45. I have only been there a few times and it was while I was working. The CityPass sound like the way to go because there are so many things to do, it helps cut down the list.

  46. What a great trip! I think it’s a 10 hour drive or so to get there from here. I haven’t been since I was 14, though I’m going this summer!

  47. I love M&M stores!! Looks like a fun trip for the family!

  48. Holy cow, you guys hit a lot in one day! I used to live right outside NYC and never got that much packed in for my visitors! LOL.

  49. They have passes like that foe Chicago attractions too. You are right, skipping the lines makes it worth it alone! Looks like everyone had a great time. If you have any left over, could you send me some green m&m’s?

  50. Wow, I would have been petrified to go that high!! I love living vicariously through your images though! It looks really cool!

  51. I love hanging out in New York. We have the best time,

  52. I haven’t been to NYC in several years. Might just be time for another visit!

  53. I visited NYC once when I was a junior in high school (for a band trip). I would love to go back some day when I can spend more time walking around and seeing everything there is to see there. We were only there for a couple of days, and did not have the opportunity to do much sightseeing, unfortunately. I did get to see Beauty and the Best on Broadway, however, and that was amazing! I’d love to see The Lion King some day.

  54. Looks like you had an amazing trip. I’m so in love with New York City. That moment when you first see the skyline is pure bliss. I’ll have to get back there soon!

  55. You guys always have such fun adventures! My husband has never been to NYC and I look forward to going one day with him…and MAYBE the kids!

  56. I have never been there – not sure if I want to with those crowds.

    but the pass sounds like a good deal.

    Cute pics of everyone 🙂

  57. What a fun opportunity! You really did cram a lot in, but it sure looks fun!

  58. Awesome! Looks like you hit all the best spots in the city for kids! We love the M&M store!

  59. I went to NYC specifically for an event at the Empire St Building. The line for the viewing deck was ridiculous!

  60. Sounds like the pass is the best way to go. I have never been to the big apple but would love to visit someday soon.

  61. My first road trip once I have a passport is totally going to be New York City.

  62. I was born in NY! I bet you all had a ball I adore the M&M shoppe!! Im glad u had a ball!

  63. So jealous! I’ve only been to NYC twice … and the last time was over 15 years ago! I would so love to go back for a visit. And yeah….that tower sways in the wind too. I wasn’t expecting that.

  64. That passbook sounds like a great deal! I haven’t been to NY in years, I want to go back!

  65. I love NYC. So much to do and see. I don’t think you can ever see it all no matter how many weeks you spend there. I am anxious to go visit NYC again soon.

  66. What a fun family surprise day! I would love to get a CityPass for our next trip to NYC

  67. Glad to read about the Citypass! I will definitely get it when we take the boys to NYC.

  68. what a fun trip! i love the idea of surprising the kids with it. and getting the city pass was a great idea, no lines!

  69. Wonderful photos, I love every picture and the family looks like they had fun. Great share!

  70. I love getting books like that when we are traveling – it does save you a lot of time in lines. I would think they would stagger the people at the top – that ruins my whole plan of visiting with my husband one day! I would still love to go though just so I can see many of the sights there – the one layover at the airport I had does not count.

  71. I stayed in NYC near the Empire State Building, but we didn’t even brave the crowds to try to see the top. I have only gone once, and I want to go back SO BADLY. It just seems like so much fun!

  72. Oh man your making me jealous of the M&M store! Every weekend when we went to the city that was a must stop for me. I can;t wait to take my kids there one day, we have not been back in a few years now.

  73. There’s so much to do in NYC. My travel bucket list of must dos has just become longer!

  74. I can’t believe you travel so much with your family– I love reading about all your travel adventures!

  75. The City Pass Booklet sounds like a great way to see the city! Looks like you had a great time!

  76. NYC looks so fun! I have wanted to go there forever, but have yet to go, I wanted to go see the Naked Cowboy! hahaha. But the M&M world will do too 🙂

  77. Oh how fun! NYC is definitely a place I want to visit one day! Being a west coast girl I don’t generally see a lot of Skyscrapers. Its my dream to see the Big Apple on New Year’s Eve one day!

  78. What an awesome trip.. we take it for granted that we live in NY and rarely get into the city.. I am planning on taking a trip to MA soon just the opposite of you.. lol

  79. Looks like you had a great time. What a great way to spend the day.

  80. I’ve been neighbors to NYC my entire life and I’ve never been to the Empire State Building. What a gorgeous view you had! I need to make plans for my family to visit some day! I need to look into getting a CityPass.

  81. Looks like you and your family had a lot of fun, New York is a great place.

  82. New York is the best. What a fun time it sounds like you had.

  83. thosw Citypass books are awesome. We used them for a staycation on philly last year.

  84. Wow what an amazing trip you had, love all the photos!

  85. I am actually going to NYC very soon. It’s a great place and the site seeing is unbelievable! I am glad you and your family had a good time.

  86. I love taking our boys on weekend trips like this one. What better place to do so than in New York City?!

  87. You sure do go to some awesome places Robin! Pack me up in your suitcase please!!!!!!

  88. I was thinking about going to NYC next year for one of the beauty conventions and staying a couple extra days to tour the city. I was for sure thinking about paying to do the CityPass, you have for sure sold me on it if I decide to go.

  89. I know where I’m dragging my sweetie to the next time we go to New York City….the Jekyll & Hyde Club! That looks like a lot of fun.

  90. I never tire of looking at the NYC Sky line – or visitng time square in the middle of the night. Especially in the summer!

  91. I am absolutely so jealous that you are within driving distance of NYC. I love it!

  92. That was a fun day. I wish I had that pass booklet. I’d haul four tails right up to NYC in a heartbeat.

  93. Looks Like You Had A Ball Kids Must Of Loved The M&M’s Place, I Would Love To Visit The Jekyl & Hyde Place It Looks So Cool, Great Pics, Thanks For Sharing!

  94. That city pass sure gives access to a lot of great landmarks !
    It seems like it was a great memorial weekend! Happy to read that

  95. What a great little day trip! We can make it to Disney in about the same amount of time, but never do!

  96. What a great day trip. I love NYC. I haven’t been in a few years and I’m itching to get back.

  97. What a cool surprise for the kids. I have been NYC several times, but kids haven’t and I’m dying to plan a trip to take them once my son is a little older and will be able to fully enjoy it.

  98. I’ve always wondered about those city passes being worth it… I guess they are! You are an awesome mama… and if you drive through RI on your way to your next trip, stop and pick us up! 🙂

  99. I would love to live that close to NY. Plus a citypass never heard of such a thing but it sounds awesome to have.

  100. That is a big day for NYC! YOU saw some great sites though/

  101. Wow! Looks like you had an awesome day in the Big Apple! Love the pics. 🙂

  102. What an amazing day you had! And awesome pictures! I wish I get the chance to visit NY one day…

  103. Looks like a great day to spend the day. There is so much to do in big cities.

  104. You guys took in a lot of fun stuff! I’ve been, but not with the kids, and I can’t wait to take them!

  105. I have never been to NYC, so I am loving seeing your whirlwind adventure!

  106. Looks like an amazing trip. I have never been there but I always suspected that it wouldn’t be like the movies lol.

  107. You had PERFECT weather!! The one time I traveled to NYC it was cold and dark. Definitely could’t get the view that you did! What fun!

  108. You always have the biggest and the best adventures! Your kids will have the best stories to tell!

  109. All I can say is WOW! Your photos are great and it looks like your family had a great time. Definitely planning a road trip soon. Thanks for sharing!

  110. Sounds like a lot of fun! The last time I was in NY I was only 10 years old. I hope to go on a trip there soon because I’m curious on what kind of food they serve at Jekyll & Hyde Club!!

  111. Wow! What a fun day! We need to head to NYC. We are only a little over two hours from there. Awesome trip for you!

  112. we missed the Empire State Building so thank you for sharing your photos. the view is absolutely stunning!

  113. Wow, that CityPASS sounds like a great deal! We live near the city and plan to take the kids to many of those places, so that could come in handy! Sounds like you had a fun visit 🙂

  114. What a fun family trip to the Big Apple. NY is one of the cities that we want to visit someday. Thank you so much for sharing these photos.

  115. I love NYC! It’s our favorite place to go!

  116. What a great experience! I 2 airplane voucher that I am saving for NYC. CityPass is on my list of things to get before I arrive in NYC.

  117. Looks like it was an absolutely awesome trip!!

  118. looks like you had a blast. I haven’t been to NYC but it’s on my bucket list. getting one of those passes def seems worth it. thanks for sharing

  119. I miss NYC 🙂 Went to Rockefeller and Empire state buildings. I wonder if one is allowed to go on top of the Chrysler building. You got fun photos right there!

  120. What a great nyc trip. It seems iconic and a “must do” for families for sure.

  121. Wow!! Very beautiful pics. I am sure you all had a great family time on this trip.

  122. It was such a nice day to be in the City that day! Glad you guys had fun! Too funny that we were both kinda near each other on the same day. 🙂

  123. Looks like you all had a fun time! Loving the pictures!

  124. What a fun trip! I would love to make it up to NYC one day!

  125. How fun! I feel like I haven’t been in NYC in ages, and I’d love to go back now that the girls are old enough to have more fun. I will certainly look into the passes.

  126. Your family is jetsetting it all over the place. New York is still on my list of places to go.

  127. Love these photos you got! I would love to visit NYC. I would love to see Times Square and the Empire State Building. I’m a Chicago girl and I’m guessing they are a little similar, but NYC has to be better!

  128. What an amazing day. NYC is on my bucket list. I still haven’t made my way there. I’m actually in Chicago right now. 🙂

  129. That’s good to know about the Empire State building. Never been there but I would have expected the Sleepless in Seattle. lol

  130. You are right, that CityPass would have been totally worth it just to pass that line. I can imagine the looks you were getting from the people having to wait, lol.

  131. Another awesome trip you guys are having! Wow! I love the Big Apple!

  132. We have City Pass in Chicago and we are only like 60-75 minutes from downtown, I really need to take advantage of that.