CITYSIGHTS NY BLOG
Get In The Loop!
The Broadway theater district in New York City is one of the most famous performing arts destinations in the whole world. Some of the biggest and most beloved shows have gotten their start on Broadway and many perennial favorites continue to play to sold out crowds night after night. Locals and visitors alike visit Broadway to take in some of the hottest shows in the country. Families visiting New York City will have no shortage of Broadway shows to choose from.
Broadway Classics and All-New Favorites
The line-up of current Broadway shows changes with every season, so visitors will always have something new and exciting to choose from. Some of the most popular and longest running family friend Broadway shows include:
• Aladdin – Based on the beloved Disney movie of the same name, this musical follows the magical adventures of the street thief Aladdin and the beautiful Princess Jasmine.
• The Lion King – A spectacular musical feast retelling the Disney movie of the same name. The young cub Simba must overcome his fears to take his place at the head of his lion pride.
• Matilda – A celebrated show that debuted just a few years ago based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl. Matilda is a bright, intelligent little girl who discovers that she has some extraordinary powers.
• Wicked – A prequel to the Wizard of Oz following the young Elpheba, a witch who has yet to become famously wicked.
• Blue Man Group – This rocking instrumental performance group utilizes ordinary objects to create surprising musical sounds in this entertaining and surprising show.
Bringing Your Broadway Babies to the Theater
Tickets to popular Broadway shows sell out weeks, even months, in advance. Visitors are urged to purchase tickets well in advance to secure the best seats on preferred nights. Some shows hold matinee performances on weekends.
Though Broadway shows offer entertainment for all ages, some theaters have guidelines regarding the minimum age of audience members. Except for the intermission, the audience remains seated for the entirety of a theatrical performance. Entering and exiting the seating area during a performance is not allowed, so children attending a performance need to be old enough to remain seated and quiet for at least an hour. Some theaters disallow babes in arms, so ticket holders are strongly encouraged to check the seating policies associated with the particular theater they will be attending.
New York City is one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the country. Not only is this landmark metropolis home to legendary sports teams and world-renowned arts and entertainment venues, it is full of fascinating history and culture that visitors can experience for themselves. Guided walking tours are a great way to personally see some of the most noteworthy landmarks, points of historical interest, and curious features of this exciting location. Best of all, visitors can see for themselves the places where important events took place. This kind of experience is rarely encountered except in a place like New York City.
What Would You Like to See?
There are many different guided sightseeing tours that take place every day throughout New York City and its many districts. Some of the most popular tours feature:
• The locations where famous movies and TV shows were filmed
• Food and beverage tasting tours
• Sites of historical interest, including museums and monuments
• Group bicycle tours through bike-friendly parks, trails, and neighborhoods
• Bus tours that explore numerous landmarks and sites of interest in a single afternoon
• Picture perfect photo opportunities of famous sites and popular destinations
Some of the most popular tours introduce visitors to distinct aspects of New York City history, culture, cuisine, and lore. Participating in one of these tours gives you a local’s perspective on some of the things that make this city so unique.
How Would You Like To Travel?
You can select your tour depending on what kind of travel you would like to do and how long you want to spend exploring. People who want to stretch their legs and get an up-close look at the city will enjoy neighborhood walking tours. Bike tours are casually paced excursions that show off some of New York City’s hidden treasures. If you prefer to relax and leave the driving up to someone else, bus tours offer a comfortable, laid back way to explore the Big Apple. Bus tours are also great because they can take visitors too many destinations in just a couple hours. For adventurous visitors, helicopter tours offer an unparalleled view of the famous New York City skyline.
See Many Highlights in One Excursion
Bus tours are a great way to see many New York City highlights in a single afternoon. These tours are especially popular with families and couples. All you have to do is sit back and let the city come to you. These tours depart from many different places so you can always find one operating near the area you will be staying.
Harlem Week is one of the most anticipated public events of the summer. This event celebrates one of the oldest and most distinctive neighborhoods of New York City. Some of our sightseeing tours carry visitors through this picturesque area. During Harlem Week, locals and visitors are encouraged to come together to experience music, fashion, cultural events, games, shopping, and much more in this landmark location.
Events Throughout the Summer
Despite the name, Harlem Week events often take place over the course of several weeks throughout the height of the summer though programming is concentrated in late August. The lineup changes a little bit from year to year to reflect the dynamic character of the neighborhood. However, these are a few of the events and programming that visitors can expect to see offered by Harlem Week planners at some point during the summer:
• 5K Run and NYC Walk
• Sports clinics
• International arts exhibitors and vendors
• Arts and crafts shows
• Fashion shows
• Children’s festival
• Job recruitment and employment fairs
• Outdoor film festival
• Outdoor farmer’s market
• New York City Senior Citizens Day
Many of these events are free and open to the public. Employment fairs, professional skill development events, the 5K run, and certain other events require registration. More information about admission requirements can be found on the Harlem Week website. You can also follow Harlem Week on various social media platforms to stay up to date on any changes or last minute updates that might affect particular events.
Making the Most of Harlem Week
Visitors interested in attending any of the Harlem Week events are encouraged to verify the date, time, and location of each programming item they wish to participate in. A calendar of events can be found online. You can use this calendar to discover what fun activities are taking place on a particular day; this is great for impromptu visiting. Keep in mind that many of these events are taking place at diverse locations; public transit and taxi services can help you get to the right place.
If you have a little bit of time to plan your attendance in advance, consider taking a closer look at particular event types. Family friendly events, musical exhibitions and concerts, and employment and education events are all taking place at the same time. You can choose to focus on just one type of entertainment or sample a wide range of activities.
Finally, consider bringing sunscreen and a bottle of water while enjoying these events. Harlem can be quite hot in the summer, so planning ahead will help ensure your comfort and safety.
Not long ago the New York City Football Club team welcomed a brand new member into its ranks. Frank Lampard might have left his place on the England National Team behind to join up with a new organization, but he brings with him the skills and power that made him such a in that organization. Lampard is not the first European player to join up with this important club. He joins David Villa along with American players Jeb Brovsky and Josh Saunders as the newest members of the New York City FC. There is no question that this club is shaping up to be one of the most formidable in the country.
Soccer’s Popularity in the United States
In the past several years, soccer has enjoyed sky-rocketing popularity in the US. Numerous clubs and teams have formed in major metropolitan areas and global teams are hosted throughout the soccer season. The US National Team has competed strongly in many world tournaments and the sport’s growing fan base has helped push forward the acquisition of many leading players, including Lampard.
Strength on the Field
Lampard’s reputation as a fast, powerful player equally adept at defense and offense brings some serious strategic advantage to the New York City FC. His experience will no doubt add a major competitive edge to an already strong team. After captaining the English team at the World Cup in Brazil, there is no question that Lampard brings an unrivaled level of experience, expertise, and enthusiasm to his new position.
Lampard himself looks forward to participating in the NYC FC. “It is a privilege to be able to make history here in New York City,” he said in a 2014 interview. “I can’t wait to get started and be part of it.”
Commitment off the Field
While affiliated with his former clubs, Lampard became involved with a number of charity efforts, including initiatives to promote childhood literacy. His efforts to raise awareness of the value of families reading together earned him the Charity Champion title. Lampard is continuing his charitable efforts as a member of the NYC FC, too. In 2014 he took part in a soccer clinic with 40 children participating in the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy program.
Seeing Lampard and the New York City Football Club
The NYC FC plays home and away games in many major stadiums, including:
• Yankee Stadium
• Gillete Stadium
• The Red Bull Arena
• Stubhub Center
• Mapfre Stadium
Visitors to New York City interested in attending a game should refer to the NYC FC website. Public transit lines are an easy and convenient way to reach Yankee Stadium and the location can be spotted on many regional bus tours.
As one of the five New York City boroughs, Brooklyn is home to many landmarks and sites of interest. Each borough has its own unique history and culture; there is something special to see in each one. Brooklyn in particular has some great destinations. These are just a few to consider visiting while in the area.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic of all New York City area bridges. Built in 1883 and featuring historic brickwork designs, this bridge connects Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River. Bicycles and pedestrians can cross the bridge along with six lanes of vehicle traffic.
A great way to experience the Brooklyn Bridge up close is to walk from one side to the other. Seeing the Manhattan skyline emerge from the mist is a dramatic sight. The entire span is just over 1,500 feet so a trip from one side to the other will not take very long.
Did you know that the 585 acre Prospect Park was designed by the same man who designed New York City’s Central Park? Frederick Law Olmsted is remembered as one of the most significant figures in US civil engineering and environmental history. He helped bring green spaces into some of the most densely populated communities in the country. Brooklyn dwellers have loved Prospect Park for generations and it remains one of the most popular public spaces to this day. Activities and events are held at the park year round. Check municipal websites and local events calendars to discover what is taking place during the time you will be in Brooklyn.
Visit a Museum or Historical Site
Brooklyn is home to many exceptional museums and historic sites. Art, culture, science, and local history are all celebrated at these diverse institutions. While in Brooklyn, consider visiting any of these popular destinations:
• The Brooklyn Museum
• The Brooklyn Children’s Museum
• The Old Stone House
• The Micro Museum
• The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
• The Toy Museum of New York
• The New York Transit Museum
Each of these institutions offers distinctive displays and exhibitions. The Children’s Museum in particular is a popular destination for families.
Exploring Brooklyn Up Close
The double-decker tour with hop-off stops takes visitors to many of the major sites in the Brooklyn area. This is a great way to see many of the most notable destinations without worrying about traffic or getting lost. Whether you are visiting on your own, as a couple, or as a family, you can find many exciting diversions in Brooklyn.
Starting May 22nd, the 2015 Good Morning America Summer Concert Series returned to Central Park in New York City. This world-class venue draws record-setting crowds every season and this year has proven no different. Some of the most anticipated artists slated to appear this year include Florence and the Machine (June 5th), Dierks Bentley (June 26th), Nicki Minaj (July 24th), and 5 Seconds of Summer (August 21st). If you are headed to see any of the musicians performing in July, August, or September, there are some tips to keep in mind to maximize your outdoor concert experience, especially if you are going to see Nicki Minaj. The large crowds expected for this particular event require a couple extra steps involved that concert-goers should be aware of.
General Tips for Concerts at Rumsey Playfield
Rumsey Playfield and the Rumsey Playfield bandshell are located in Central Park near the 72nd Street entrance off 5th Avenue. Guests attending the GMA concert series are encouraged to use the entrance at this location. Bleacher seating or chairs are sometimes arranged, though the popular GMA summer concerts are not likely to feature seating. Concert goers usually choose to bring blankets to sit on though the seating policies of each event should be referred to if attendees wish to bring camping chairs. A general inquiry email address for the Summer Stage at Rumsey Playfield can be contacted concerning the policies associated with particular events.
Items Not Allowed On Site
As outlined by the rules of the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation at Central Park Summer Stage, the following are not allowed at outdoor concerts and other events at the venue:
• Alcoholic beverages
• Video cameras
• Pets (seeing eye dogs are allowed)
• Tape machines
• Flash cameras
No food or beverage of any kind is allowed at benefit concerts.
Though all concerts held at Central Park’s Summer Stage are free to the public, admission tickets are required for entrance to this particular event. This is to help manage the number of people on site in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Free tickets will become available to fans closer to the performance date. Announcements regarding how to obtain these tickets will also be made later in July.
Ticket holders can enter Rumsey Playfield at 6:00 AM when Central Park opens. A Double Decker bus will be available to transport visitors to the site.
A World-Class Concert Experience
The GMA Summer Concert series brings together top artists to perform in one of the most iconic venues in the country. Good Morning America will also be broadcasting these concerts so everyone can enjoy them.
There are literally hundreds of ways to see New York. A cruise along the East and/or Hudson Rivers can offer you a glimpse of some of the city’s most popular attractions from afar. You can learn the details of New York’s rich history and culture while riding along on a hop on/hop off bus tour. If you have the money, you can even jump in a helicopter and see some spectacular views that few will ever get to witness. Yet while each of these tours offers a unique view of the Big Apple, none can provide you with as immersive of an experience as the one you get on the best walking tours in New York City.
New York’s Best Walking Tours
While there’s no way that a walking tour can give you as comprehensive a view of the city as other modes of transportation can, it can offer you inside access to some of the city’s most famous landmarks. You’ll be able to tell friends and coworkers that you’ve seen the inner workings of the monuments and destinations, as well as offer them an inside glimpse by taking advantage of some of the many photo ops along the way. Among the best walking tours the city has to offer are:
• The Rockefeller Center Tour: Who hasn’t seen the Christmas tree light up at Rockefeller Center and wanted to see this famous landmark firsthand? Well, now you can! You’ll be guided through the Center’s most well-known buildings and gardens while listening to your tour guide share with you the vision that John D. Rockefeller Jr. had for the Center when it first opened 80 years ago.
• The Inside Broadway Tour: If you’re a theater buff or have one in the family, then this tour is not to be missed. This all-access view of the Theater District gives you an up-close perspective of what it’s like trying to make it in one of the world’s most competitive theater markets. You’ll see the very stages where some of the most iconic musicals in history first got their starts. You’ll even get to take a stroll into Hell’s Kitchen and hear the actual account that inspired West Side Story.
• The Brooklyn Bridge Tour: Not many know this, but there are over 2,000 bridges and tunnels in New York City alone. Yet the most famous by far is the Brooklyn Bridge. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk across it? This tour gives you and your family the chance to do just that.
New York City is renowned for its foot traffic. Why not join in and see the city from the same point of view that every New Yorker gets day after day? The Inside Broadway, Rockefeller Center tour, or the Brooklyn Bridge tour will all give you and your family access to these popular spots that few others will ever get. Don’t content yourself to just go to New York; see the city’s most popular venues from the inside.
It’s true that New York is known for having a vibe all its own. Perhaps that’s why so many in the city love jazz music. While New Orleans claims that it was born there and Utah owns the name of the basketball team, jazz has found a permanent home in New York City, leading many to give it the title of the jazz capital of world of the world. Anyone who’s been anyone in jazz has played the city’s many clubs, bars, concert halls, and arenas. Yet if you don’t have time to visit each of those venues separately, not to worry; the Jazz in July festival brings all of the biggest names in the genre under the same roof.
The 2015 Show Lineup
This year’s Jazz in July festival marks the 31st year that the 92nd Street Y has hosted the event. Given the contribution that jazz music has made to the culture of New York City, it seems only fitting that’s it’s festival should be held at this historic building. Yet while this may not be the city’s only jazz music festival, it is the one that routinely offers the most diverse group of performances. This year’s lineup includes:
• Duke Ellington: Drop Me Off in Harlem: This medley of Ellington’s greatest hits also signals the long anticipated return to New York of one of jazz music best vocalists, Ernie Andrews. He’ll be putting his own renowned voice into renditions such as “Sophisticated Lady” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”
• Jazz & Sondheim, Side by Side: Perhaps more so than any other mind in musical theater, Steven Sondheim looked to celebrate Jazz in shows such as Sweeney Todd, Follies, and Company. In this performance, Anne Hampton Calloway will sing some of these productions’ most recognized numbers while being accompanied by the likes of Renee Roshes and Bill Charlap.
• Swing A Song Of Sinatra: Has any performer ever been more closely associated with the City that Never Sleeps than Frank Sinatra? Why, Ol’ Blue Eyes even provided with city with its well-known anthem. Here, Sinatra’s songs are brilliantly covered by legendary singer Kurt Elling and backed up by a lineup of modern day jazz legends on par with some of those that performed with Frank himself.
For all of you jazz lovers out there, this is your chance to unite and share in all of the cool sounds that your favorite music has to offer. What better place to celebrate jazz music than in the jazz capital of the world? If you’ve been looking to share your love of this sound with your family and carry on the jazz legacy with your kids, this could make the ideal summer vacation activity.
New York is known for being the home of some of the finest hospitality services the world has to offer. Here, you can find some of the world’s finest hotels, see the world’s finest shows, and even eat at some of the world’s finest restaurants. If you’re a foodie, then New York has exactly what you’ve been looking for: a world-class sampling of global cuisine, all found in one location. Given the city’s diverse cultural mix, you could easily travel the world with your taste buds in just a few days.
Yet there’s just one problem with that ambition: your money shortage. If you’re like most, then it may require dipping into your kid’s college fund in order to afford just a single meal at any of New York’s best restaurants. As tempting as such a fine dining experience may be, it might not be worth missing any mortgage payments.
Great Food at Great Prices
Fortunately, New York City event organizers believe that you shouldn’t have to. That’s why they’ve helped to organize a semiannual event known as NYC Restaurant Week. This is the chance those kept from eating at the city’s best establishments by budgetary restrictions have to mix and mingle with the upper crust and savor the talents of some of New York’s best chefs.
During NYC Restaurant Week, you can enter any of the promotion’s participating restaurants on designated days and enjoy the following:
• A selection of three separate appetizers
• Your choice of three delectable entrees
• A delicious desert
Aside from the three courses offered as part of the promotion, you can also supplement your meal with drinks and a la carte items at a small added price.
If you’re worried that high prices will prematurely end your dining dream, don’t be; the restaurants participating in this program charge only a flat rate of $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Here’s your chance to finally out your sophisticated palate to good use; don’t miss it.
Don’t Forget to Make Reservations
You can find out which of the city’s restaurants and eateries are participating in NYC Restaurant Week by visiting any Official NYC Information Center. Don’t forget to reserve your seats at the spots of your choice through a reservation. While all participating establishments are required to offer discounted pricing to all customers, no one like waiting two hours for their food.
Lovers of fine food owe it to themselves to come to New York City and sample the menus at some of her many world–class restaurants. If this has been a dream of yours yet a lack of funds has kept you from realizing it, then NYC Restaurant Week is the even that you’ve been waiting for. Enjoying a fun-filled family vacation never tasted this delicious.
Have you ever noticed that when it comes to spicy foods, there are no “middle-of-the-road” fans? You either love it with a white-hot passion, or you hate it so much you avoid putting even ketchup on your food. It takes a true foodie to appreciate good spice, and if you happen to fall into this group, you’re not alone. Your people are calling to you, and those Jamaican jams that you hear emanating from New York City are heralding the annual celebration of one of the greatest culinary concoctions known to man: the Jamaican jerk rub.
The Origin of Jamaican Jerk Spice
If you’re like most, you probably know the following the three things about Jamaican jerk: it’s fiery hot, it’s got an awesome name, and it’s delicious. Yet did you know that the spice got its origins from one of the darker chapters of world history? Most believe that when the British invaded the island of Jamaica in the 1600’s, the slaves left behind by the fleeing Spanish settlers were forced to flee into the mountains. There, they were required to utilize whatever they could find to create their traditional African spices. One thing in abundance was the Scotch bonnet pepper. Its initial infusion with allspice signaled the birth of Jamaican jerk as it’s known today.
Fast forward a few centuries, and those who truly appreciate food with some good ole’ face-melting heat have found their Woodstock in the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival NY in Queens, New York. This annual gathering gives jerk lovers the chance to congregate and burn their lips off together. The event features activities and performances from some of reggae music’s hottest artists in order to transport the crowd back to the white sand beaches of Jamaica in order to enjoy some delicious food. You can even bring the kids. There will be plenty for them enjoy while you’re burning it up with the crowd, including:
• Bounce houses
• Rock climbing
• Face painting
• Hot dogs, cotton candy, ice cream, and much more
Yet you know the real reason why you’re there: To have your taste buds assaulted by some of the hottest jerk ever created. You can sample offerings from hundreds of chefs from around the world. If you have your own jerk recipe, you can even join the Jerk Cook-off in hopes of being the names the Jerk Champion.
If the kind of spice that would leave the average person begging to have his or her tongue be bathed in milk only serves to bring an appreciative tear to your eye, then the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is right up your alley. New York may have a reputation of being full of jerks, but none is as fun and exciting as this one. Don’t miss it.