You finally made it to the Big Apple and are dying to experience the nightlife it is so famous for, but have no idea where to go or what to do. No worries; not only will this list help you decide where to go and what to do, it will help you decide what to wear and how to get there. Simply follow these steps, and not only will you have the time of your life, you will do it in style.
1) Grab the New York Pass and Save a Bundle
The New York Pass is a fantastic way to save money on New York attractions. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, consider purchasing the New York Pass, which allows you access to several New York Attractions at a phenomenal discount. The pass works by letting pass holders into participating attractions free. Purchasers select the number of days they wish, up to ten days. Visit as many or as few attractions as you like. The more you visit, the more you save.
Step 1: Visit the New York Pass Website.
Here you will discover the attractions covered by the pass and how much they cost.
Step 2: Purchase your New York Pass.
You can purchase your New York Pass online so you are ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.
Step 3: Enjoy seasonal savings with discounted passes.
The New York Pass often offers sales, such as their fall sale offering 15% off three day passes, 20% of five, seven and ten day passe
Step 4: Get your pass.
You can either have your pass shipped, or you can pick them it at the Big Bus Welcome Center until 7pm, the Big Bus Information Desk at Madame Tussaud’s until 5pm, or the Big Bus Information Desk at the Luggage Source until 5pm.
Step 5: Make reservations.
In order to secure entry, many attractions require you make a reservation.
Step 6: Arrive early.
Some attractions limit the number of pass holders so this is critical to secure entry. Some attractions are wildly popular so showing up even an hour before may be necessary for you to secure your place.
2) Experience the Ride and Enjoy Unobstructed Sites and Impromptu Performances
The most unique tour in town, The Ride is an immersive tour experience that highlights New York’s sights with special performances at specific points along the route. These performances are not disclosed to riders so each one is a surprise that delights and entertains riders. Space is limited so plan ahead. This is one night time treasure you don’t want to miss. Evening tours are available Monday thru Saturday with two different types of rides: The Tour and The Ride, as well as seasonal offerings.
Step 1: Visit The Ride’s website.
Check out the website and see what experience appeals to you, and to see if there is room available. The Ride offers special purchase prices that are only available online.
Step 2: Purchase your tickets or NY Pass.
If you decide to use the New York Pass then make sure you arrive in plenty of time to board as there are a limited number of spaces available for pass users. All tickets are general admission and you can purchase either online or at the box office.
3) Go Shopping so You Can Dress to the Nines like a New Yorker
The last thing you want is to step into one of New York’s trendy night spots and feel completely out of place. Dressing for the fun is part of the experience so for goodness sake, don’t wear your sneakers and sweat pants for a night on the town. The looks you will get won’t be the kind you want. Shopping is normally on everyone’s list when visiting the NYC so take advantage of the opportunity. Even if you will never wear your NYC outfit anywhere else, dressing the part will help achieve a completely immersive experience and one you will never forget. Madison Ave is great for Window Shopping and Downtown Soho is a great place to find one a kind pieces.
Step 1: Map out the boutiques and shops you wish to visit.
By strategizing your shopping, you will ensure that you have time to visit each boutique. Plan to spend about an hour in each shop and for travel time. If you are walking, use an app to help you find out how far you are going to walk and how long it will take. If you are taking a cab or car, plan for traffic to avoid one of New York’s famous traffic jams.
Step 2: Get Advice from Store Owners and Clerks.
No one can help you select the right outfit like a New York native. Tell them where you plan to go, and ask if they have suggestions about night life that only a New Yorker knows about. Let them help you select the right clothes for your nightlife excursion. You may find the recommendations you get along the way will lead you to the most exciting night spot so keep an open mind.
Step 3: Step into the Dressing Room.
I get it; you hate trying on clothes, but since you are in NYC for a limited time, just do it. Have a friend or the salesperson take pics of you using your phone for each outfit you try on so you have a clear view of what looks best. It is hard to trust the sales people and even your friends opinions since the clerk wants a sale your friend just wants to get back to the room or to the restaurant and may be willing to tell you anything to get the shopping finished.
4) Hit the Spa for a Complete Treatment and Makeover and Turn Heads
Taking time for a spa treatment and a makeover not only makes you feel fantastic, it also makes you want to go out and show off your new look. There is something about having a facial and new hair style that makes you want to go out and celebrate. Visiting the spa will take away all your stress and prepare your mood for an adventure packed night on the town.
Step 1: Call the concierge and make an appointment.
If there isn’t a spa in your hotel, ask the concierge to make an appointment at one they recommend.
Step 2: Enjoy your spa treatment and makeover.
Ladies, let them do your make-up along with your hairstyle for a stunning transformation to enjoy NYC night life. Gentlemen, enjoy a shave and a hot towel along with your haircut and massage.
Here are 3 of the Top Spas in NYC
LUSH Spa www.LushUSA.com
Aire Ancient Bath www.AnicentBathsNY.com
Premier Spa Castle www.scpremier57.com
5) See a Show and Experience Theater at its Finest
New York is known for spectacular Broadway and off Broadway entertainment. From musicals and comedies to serious soul searching plays, NYC is the place to see them all. If you want to take in something extremely popular, or as New Yorkers say, “a hot ticket.” Taking in theater in New York is an experience you will always remember.
Step 1: List your options.
There are so many fantastic shows both on and off Broadway that you may wish to see. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get tickets to certain productions, such as Hamilton. Planning ahead will save you disappointment later.
Step 2: Do a Google search to see what shows are in town during your visit.
Unless you have someone on the inside, searching the internet is one of the best ways to discover what plays and musicals will be available to you.
Step 3: Check ticket availability.
Your list of good times may come to a screeching halt if you don’t secure your tickets. Many shows are sold out for months, so having your tickets in hand will ward off the “sold out” blues.
Step 4: Purchase your tickets.
Don’t have your tickets sent to you if you have the option to pick them up at the will call box office. The only thing worse than finding out your show is sold out is losing your tickets, so leaving them in the office ensures your tickets will remain safe.
See this comprehensive list of events at Madison Square Garden
Check out deals for tickets at BroadwayBox
6) Go to the Ballet and Become Entranced
No city offers better ballet than New York City. The New York City Ballet, founded by George Balanchine offers some of the most extraordinary classic ballet performances, while the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is known for taking risks and delving into their African roots. The American Ballet also engages audiences with some of the most talented dancers in the world. Each has something different to offer, so deciding which company to see may be a bit difficult. NYC has many other dance companies, so if you want more, it’s available.
Step 1: Visit the websites of New York’s big three companies.
Each website will list the season’s performances, helping you decide which ballet is best for you.
Step 2: Select the performance you wish to see.
This sounds easy enough, but ballet buffs may wish to see them all so discuss the options with your traveling companion. If you are traveling alone, try drawing the options from a hat.
Step 3: Purchase your tickets online.
As with theatrical performances, tickets go fast. To ensure your tickets are not lost or forgotten at home, pick them up from will call.
7) Do Your Research and Get the Most Out of the City
Everyone has different expectations about nightlife in New York. Some want dance the night away while others simply want to sit and watch the amazing skyline while sipping wine. Whatever your expectations are, a Google search will help you discover hidden gems in the city that never sleeps. By doing an online search, you have the advantage of visiting websites and getting to see what New York evening entertainment has to offer, what’s available to people under the age of 21, what appeals to you and what does not.
Step 1: Do a Google search.
Only you know what sort of nighttime adventure you wish to experience so do a search to help you discover the places you absolutely must see.
Step 2: Make a list of places you find interesting.
As your curiosity is aroused, note what venue piqued your interest.
Step 3: Narrow down your list to the places you have time to see.
List as many of your interests as you can. The number you visit will depend on how much time you are spending in New York.
8) Wear Comfortable Shoes and Keep Your Feet Happy
A great deal of walking is done when enjoying the many attractions New York has to offer. While some attractions may demand spike heels for the ladies, when you don’t need them, give your feet a break and wear shoes made for walking. You will enjoy the sightseeing so much more if your feet feel good than if you are dressed for style and hurting. When your feet hurt, your attention will be on how much pain you are in, not on the amazing sights and attractions you are enjoying.
Step 1: Pack your most comfortable shoes.
Even if you don’t plan on wearing them out, having your comfy shoes at the ready is the smart way to pack. If you don’t need them, great, but if you do and you don’t have them, your trip can be ruined from the pain in your feet. Not only that, it will also put a damper on everyone else’s good time as they will be worried about you and not enjoying the fun.
Step 2: Put them on.
Yes, you want to look your best, but for some attractions, it simply doesn’t matter what you wear. Save your dress shoes for dress up events like the theater and the ballet. This goes for guys and gals.
Step 3: Enjoy walking while sightseeing.
Wearing your comfortable shoes allows you and those you are experiencing the city with an enjoyable, comfortable time. Bryant Park, Central Park and the pier at Hudson River are great areas to grab food and stay for a picnic.
9) Plan Your Route
Discuss which attractions you are going to visit and map them out. Nightlife fun can leave tourists disoriented so having your route mapped out keeps you on track. Even if you are hiring transportation such as taxis and Uber, it’s always a smart idea to know where your attraction is and how long it should take to get there.
Step 1: Choose an app for your phone that lets you map.
Putting your route on your phone is the easiest method to keep track of your attractions tour. Not only is your phone always near you or, let’s face it, in your hand, it can also calculate the distance between your attractions.
Step 2: Input the locations for each attraction.
Having each location in your phone not only helps plan your route, it shows you if visiting all you have selected is realistic. You may find you need to divide your tour into multiple days or even take an attraction or two off your list.
Step 3: Calculate the distances.
By understanding how far apart your attractions are, you will better be able to determine how many you can reasonably visit in one evening and how long you can spend at each attraction.
10) Determine Your Mode of Transportation
Depending on where you are headed and what you plan to do, your mode of transportation will change. For example, a walking tour may be reached by subway while heading out for a night at the opera demands you arrive in style. If you are on a budget then you will need to discover costs in advance as well.
Step 1: Determine your transportation budget.
In order to plan what mode of transportation you will rely on, you must know what your budget will allow.
Step 2: Check Subway rates and routes.
A trip to the Big Apple just won’t be complete with experiencing the subway, the city’s quintessential mode of transportation.
Step 3: Research NYC taxi rates.
You must know how much taxi cab rates are, how they are charged and if your budget will allow for you to use this mode. There is also Uber, Lyft and Juno- just download the app and you will usually get a discounted or free first ride.
Step 4: Consider hiring a private car.
What could be better than touring NYC in your own hired car with driver that knows the city? If you have it in your budget, this is one of the best ways to see the city.
3 of of the Top Private Car Services
Step 5: Splurge on a limousine.
If you plan on attending the opera, theater or ballet, consider going all out and hiring a limo. Not only will it cause heads to turn when you arrive, it will make the trip a moment of a life time.
11) Get VIP Treatment and Feel like a Queen.
No one knows how to get VIP treatment like Luxury Travel Mom, so take some hints from her and get your NYC experience upgraded. There are numerous rewards programs that can get you upgrades and sometimes simply asking your concierge to get you past long lines can get you right in. If you are disabled, many attractions have speed pass for visitors that have trouble walking. Ask for what you want. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Step 1: Check out your credit card rewards and see if you have fast track admission.
If not, look into cards that do and consider transferring your balance or opening a new account.
Step 2: Ask your concierge to help you jump past long lines.
It might surprise you how many venues your concierge can help you gain entry to and how happy they are to help you enjoy a VIP experience.
Step 3: Ask for what you want.
If you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get it. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If you want a better room, ask. If you want to find out about local hot spots and help getting in, ask.
12) Ask a Local and Discover the Hidden Hot Spots.
Contrary to legend, New Yorkers are actually very friendly for the most part. If you get lost or know you are where you are supposed to be but still can’t find what you are looking for, ask a native. Most of them will happily share some of the city’s secrets and help you find your way. There is nothing like insider information to point you in the right direction.
Step 1: Muster up your courage.
For some people, talking to stranger is really difficult, but if you want the benefit, you have to take the risk. No risk, no reward.
Step 2: Select someone that should have the answer.
No, you aren’t a mind reader but selecting someone like a local magazine or hot dog vendor is a good bet when you are searching for local information.
Step 3: Ask your question or questions.
If you are looking for directions to get your tour back on track, or if you are looking to uncover some of the city’s secrets, ask a local.
Step 4: Thank your local.
Thank your native New Yorker for helping you and let them know how much you appreciate their time. If you ask a vendor for help, consider making a small purchase.
13) Eat During Off Hours and Avoid Long Lines.
New York is known for long lines. When it comes to cuisine, popular eateries have long lines. That’s just how it is, so does that mean you have to wait in a long line if you want to eat there? No, you don’t. You can visit these popular places during non-peak hours and get right in to enjoy what everyone is raving about. A few well known places in the city are Carmines, Monarch Rooftop, Refinery Rooftop and The Strand.
Step 1: Decide if you wish to eat early or late.
If you are trying to get into a popular eatery, consider if you are able to eat around the three o’clock hour or if you would rather eat later, even as late as ten.
Step 2: Confirm with the restaurant what time their lines die down.
Call the place you wish to eat and make sure the lines during the time you wish to eat will most likely be short or non-existent.
Step 3: Arrive at the restaurant.
Arrive at the eatery and enjoy a wait free meal.
14) Enjoy an evening at the Monarch Rooftop bar.
No visit to NYC is complete without a visit to one of the many outstanding rooftop bars. But one bar stands above the rest: The Monarch Rooftop Bar. The ambiance is perfect for a romantic evening or for wrapping up your business meeting. They offer the perfect food to pair with your drinks along with indoor and outdoor seating with fabulous views. Their service is impeccable but delivered at a price that won’t break the bank.
Step 1: Make a reservation.
While reservations aren’t required, they are recommended.
Step 2: For guests of the Marriott Courtyard Herald Square, simply take the elevator to happiness, otherwise, grab a cab.
You will enjoy signature drinks, appetizers and a light meal.
Step 3: Sit back and enjoy the evening.
In a city that runs at such a hectic pace, sitting back and relaxing with a few drinks is a precious moment. Hang out until 2am on weeknights and until 4am on the weekends.
15) Wrap Up Your Trip with an Iconic Carriage Ride Through The Park Under the Stars.
Just as every visit needs to include an evening or more at the Monarch; it should also include a carriage ride in the park. In the summer the warm air excites your senses and makes every moment seem like a dream come true. In cooler months, you can cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy the crisp cool air and seeing your breath make clouds that linger in the air like a magical mist. Whether you are a couple or a close family, a carriage ride is a fantastic way to wind down and enjoy the city skyline and Central Park views.
Step 1: Google Central Park carriage rides.
There are several carriage ride businesses from which to choose so do a Google search.
Step 2: Select the carriage ride that appeals to you.
Since there are multiple companies, check out their websites and decide which rides appeal to you and your budget.
Step 3: Make your reservation.
As with many attractions in New York City, making a reservation is a must. Don’t forget the champagne and flowers if you plan on this being a romantic moment to remember for a lifetime.
Step 4: Enjoy your horse drawn Central Park carriage ride.
Relax to the sounds of the horse’s hooves as you say goodbye to the city in style under the stars.
No matter what you want to get out of your trip to New York City, following these tips can make your trip go smoother. So start planning today and visit the New York Pass site to see the savings for yourself for your New York City trip of a lifetime.