Month: November 2013

NYC Activities for the Week of November 25


It’s Thanksgiving Week NYC! Here are some of the things that you can do while you’re visiting New York this week:

Ten Thousand Waves exhibition opens at MoMA 25

The Origami Holiday Tree goes on display at the American Museum of Natural History 25

Van Morrison plays the Theater at MSG 25

Lighting of the Worlds Largest Menorah at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan 27

The preseason NIT is back in the Garden with Duke and Arizona 27

African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde exhibition opens at the Met 27

Slayer will play at the Theater in MSG 27.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Balloon inflation the night before the parade 27

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 28

The Nutcracker Ballet opens at Lincoln Center 29

The African Diaspora International Film Festival begins 29

Guster will play at the Beacon Theatre 30

The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker opens at the Hammerstein 30

College Hockey takes to MSG when BU and Cornell face off 30

Literally Alive presents, A Christmas Carol 1

image via Flickr / Kowarski

Eat and Play Wednesday: Macy’s

macy e&pWelcome to Eat & Play Wednesday, where each week Gray Line New York will be highlighting one of our friends who offer discounts with the Eat and Play Card. Today we are taking a look at Macy’s Herald Square who offers 10% off with the card.


The Macy’s flagship store is located in New York City’s Herald Square, right in Midtown Manhattan. Founded by Rowland Hussey Macy on October 28, 1858, the Macy’s empire has grown so much so that the store’s current location serves as the largest department store in the western hemisphere (In 2009, a larger store opened up in South Korea, otherwise Macy’s would still be the biggest in the world). Macy’s Herald Square has become a staple in New York City, especially during the holiday season, when they host the Big Apple’s grandest parade (Thanksgiving) and feature Santa Land, where children can go and meet the big man himself. They also feature one of the best holiday lights window displays in all of NYC. Last year, Macy’s began its first full renovation of the store, which was very expensive, but totally worth it.

Operating Info

Macy’s Herald Square is open 7 days a week, Mondays – Fridays from 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. With the Eat and Play card you receive 20% off the price of admission at the door.

5 Quick Facts

  • The star from the Macy’s logo came from the tattoo the founder Rowland Macy got as a teenager while working as a seaman.
  • Celebrity TV host Rachel Ray got her first job working as Macy’s candy counter.
  • Macy’s Herald Square was one of the first establishments to install an escalator way back in 1902
  • Macy’s Herald Square is a National Historic Landmark
  • The balloons use in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade take six hours to inflate. This is usually done the night before the parade. Some of the balloons are so big they require 50 people to hold them down.

You can purchase your Eat and Play Card online here, or in person at our visitors’ center at 777 8th Avenue.

NYC Activities for the Week of November 18

image via The Met

There are lots of events in NYC taking place the week before Thanksgiving! Check them out:

The Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair opens 18

Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar play the Barclays Center 19-20

The Urban Square Holiday Market returns 21

An evening with David Sedaris at Carnegie Hall 20

The Met Presents its Christmas Tree 20

The Jewels by Jar exhibition also opens at the Met 20

The 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project comes to Madison Square Garden 21-22

Alejandro Hernandez plays at the Cushman and Wakefield Theater at the Barclays Center 21

Beautiful: The Carol King Musical opens on Broadway 21

Amos Lee take stage at the Beacon Theatre 22

The Battle of the Badges pits the FDNY against the NYPD 22

Glory 12 Kickboxing comes to the Theater at MSG 23

Hot Tuna comes to NYC for a show 23

Kanye swings back to Manhattan for two shows at MSG 23-24

The Museum of Modern Art opens the exhibition Isa Genzken: Retrospective 23

Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen open their new Broadway show at the Cort Theatre 24

Eat and Play Wednesday: Empire State Building & NY SkyRide


Welcome to Eat & Play Wednesday, where each week Gray Line New York will be highlighting one of our friends who offer discounts with the Eat and Play Card. Today we are taking a look at NY Skyride/Empire State Building Combo who offers 20% off with the card.


The Empire State Building is a 103 story skyscraper that began construction in 1929 and was completed in 1931. Since its creation the empire state building stood as the world’s tallest building for almost 40 years until the completion of the World Trade Center’s North Tower in 1970. It wasn’t until the 9/11 attacks that the empire state building was once again the tallest building in New York. After the building of the one world trade center, the empire state building has lost its title as tallest building in New York making it the fourth tallest building in the United States and the 23 tallest building in the world. Today the empire state building is looked at as an American cultural icon.

NY Skyride is located in the Empire State Building and opened in 1994 to compliment the observation deck. The NY Skyride is a 25 minute motion simulator attraction that simulates an aerial tour over the city of New York. Since its inception the simulator has gone through two incarnations. The original version ran from 1994 to 2002 and featured James Doohan, the original ‘Scotty’ from Star Trek, as the planes air pilot.  After 9/11 the simulator was closed for a while until it made its return mid-2002. The simulator returned with a new aerial pilot in Kevin Bacon and was more educational as opposed to the humorous tones of the original.

Operating Info

Empire State Building is open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. -2 a.m.

NY Skyride is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

With the Eat and Play card you receive 20% off the price of admission when you combo both the Skyride and the Empire State Building.

5 Quick Facts

  • The NY Skyride is open 365 days a year
  • The minimum height for the NYC Skyride is 36 inches
  • The NYC Skyride is located on the second floor of the Empire State building
  • The NYC Skyride is shown ever 15 – 20 minutes
  • NY Skyride highlights: Yankee Stadium, Roosevelt Island, WTC, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

You can purchase your Eat and Play Card online here, or in person at our visitors’ center at 777 8th Avenue.

Child Friendly Attractions in NYC

child Happy Central Park

As big cities go, New York is one of the most child-friendly in the world today, offering a wealth of things to keep your kids happy, from playgrounds and movie theaters to toy stores and more. As far as major attractions go, there are plenty to choose from too. Help your children understand the sheer scope of the city by taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or a ride to the top of the Empire State Building, then plan days out to the most exciting attractions New York City has to offer children. Here are five of our favorites.

 American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West, at 79th St

Chances are, if your child has seen Night at the Museum, they’ve probably already nagged you for a visit to New York’s world-famous Natural History Museum. The most jaw-dropping and fascinating area of the educational institution remains the seemingly-endless dinosaur floor, which deserves a visit purely for the T-Rex that’s constructed from real dinosaur bones. Elsewhere, your little ones can explore the wild, the ocean and even space. Easily a full day of fun.

 Central Park

For parents in Manhattan, Central Park truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Cross Central Park and find 21 playgrounds to choose from, boat rides on the lake during the summer, the Trump ice rink in winter, the carousel, the magnificent zoo (complete with 130 species, petting area, sea-lion feedings, 4-D movie screenings and even classes) and the marionette theater at the Swedish Cottage. This 840-acre adventure has something for kids of all ages, no matter what time of year it is.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
550 Madison Ave

If you live with a budding techie who can’t keep their hands off your smart phone, tablet and laptop, be sure to take them to Sony’s Wonder Technology Lab in Midtown. It’s extremely interactive, educational but entertaining and, best of all, it’s free. Your kids can create profiles of themselves, learn how the internet works, play with a multitude of touch-screens, turn themselves into avatars and, on Saturdays, they can even catch a movie. The SWTL is best for older children, but chances are, parents might learn a thing or two as well.

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island

As one of the nation’s most enduring and famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty remains a great day out for kids. Whether you are taking in the magnificent views from a dock in Staten Island or embarking on a fun ferry ride across New York Harbor over to the lovely Liberty Island, your young ones will certainly enjoy our beloved 127-year-old iron lady and her 305-foot-high torch, will marvel at the sheer size of her feet and learn a thing or ten about why she’s there and what she symbolizes, as well as the rich history of Ellis Island.

 The Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 W. 83rd St.

Since opening in 1978, the Children’s Museum has proved so popular, it now stands at 38,000 square feet and five floors of exciting exhibits that intermingle entertainment and education—often with plenty of interactive elements. Here, your kids can dabble in everything from hands-on pottery workshops and guitar concerts, to arts and science experiments, and the Museum is mindful of mixing up its features to keep regular visitors intrigued and happy. Suitable for kids of all ages.

Rae Alexandra contributed to the Gray Line New York entertainment blog on behalf of The Accolade at Bay Street Landing

NYC Activities for the Week of November 11

disney on ice

It’s Veterans Day week in NYC. Here are some of the top events and activities for you to enjoy in New York City:

Veterans Day Celebration at the Intrepid 11

NYC Veterans Day Parade 11

Disney on Ice comes to Barclays Center 12

Paramore plays Madison Square Garden 13

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will also be in NYC 13

700 Sundays starring Billy Crystal opens on Broadway 13

CCW Expo at the Javits Center 13-14

Gilded New York” opens at the Museum of the City of New York 13

The Weekend:

Rick Ross at the Beacon Theater 15

Florida Georgia Line at Best Buy Theater 15

La Salsa Vive at Madison Square Garden 15

Chris Cornell at the Beacon Theater 16

New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show begins 16

The Brooklyn Marathon 17

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder opens 17

image via

Eat and Play Wednesday: Central Park Zoo

cp zoo eat and play
Welcome to Eat & Play Wednesday, where each week Gray Line New York will be highlighting one of our friends who offer discounts with the Eat and Play Card. Today we are taking a look at the Central Park Zoo who offers 20% off with the card.


The Central Park Zoo originally started out as a menagerie which was a form of keeping common and exotic animals in captivity. The zoo soon evolved almost spontaneously in 1859 from gifts of exotic pets and other animals given to them informally to the zoo it is today. The original animals that were on the play when the zoo first got started were a bear and some swans. In 1864, the central park zoo officially became the second publicly owned zoo in the United States as well as the first official zoo in NYC. By 1980, the zoo like central park itself was in a state of ruin as a result of neglect. At the time responsibility of its management was held responsible by The New York Zoological Society, which today is known as the Wildlife Conservation Society. The zoo was closed in the winter of 1983 for reconstruction. The zoo was scheduled to open in 1985; however due to some issues the project was delayed and reopened five years after reconstruction in 1988, thus becoming the modern zoo you see today.

Operating Info

The Central Park Zoo is open 7 days a week, Weekdays from 10 a.m. -5 p.m., and Weekends & Holidays from 10 am – 5:30 pm

With the Eat and Play card you receive 20% off the price of admission at the door.

5 Quick Facts

  • The zoo is often featured in pop culture, the most popular example being Madagascar.
  • The entire park looks natural however it is landscaped or artificial.
  •  The wild animals aren’t just in the zoo they can be found the ponds in central park are home to carps and sunfish to turtles and frogs.
  • The park sits on migratory route, so the park features nearly 300 species of birds
  • If you like birds best time to visit is the fall or spring

You can purchase your Eat and Play Card online here, or in person at our visitors’ center at 777 8th Avenue.