May the Fourth Be With You at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

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Science fiction fans have already had a lot to rejoice about this week with the announcement that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will feature original cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their 1977 roles, but Star Wars fans who will be in New York over the weekend also have another reason to celebrate. Coming up on Sunday (5/4), the New YorkLightSaberAcademy’s seoncd-annual “May the Fourth Be With You” event will be taking place at Ripleys Believe it or Not! Times Square. On Sunday, “Jedi Masters” from the NYSLA will lead 20-minute training classes about light saber techniques from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that will teach students all the moves that Luke, Yoda and Darth Vader made popular in the famous films. All class members, regardless of skill level, will receive a light saber and SaberAcademy certificate upon completion. The class is free with … [Read more...]

New York Subway Tips for Tourists

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If you plan on visiting New York City in the near future, or really any time in general, preparing yourself to navigate the subway makes a lot of sense. To be sure, you can get around in NYC via cabs, buses or just by walking, but there’s certainly no better way to make your way through the Big Apple than via the subterranean straphanger express. The first thing you will want to do, in addition to picking up a New York Explorer Pass, is get a subway map. They are free and generally available at every subway station that has a booth with an MTA employee on duty, so don’t be bashful and ask away. That doesn’t mean that you need to whip out the map and familiarize yourself with it while waiting for the train – in fact definitely don’t do that – but just look it over when you have five minutes to yourself at a hotel, coffee shop or park bench. Even just having a brief overview … [Read more...]

Empire State Building Tourism

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The Empire State Building, which has been seen in over 250 movies – including "King Kong," "An Affair to Remember," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Elf," "Shaft” and “On the Waterfront” – is one of the most iconic sites in a city that is full of them. A National Historic Landmark, the Empire State Building has observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors that offer views of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania on clear days. The building towers more than a quarter of a mile above the heart of Manhattan and has been welcoming millions of annual visitors since it opened in 1931. The building, which is more than 1,453-feet-tall (including the tip of the broadcast tower), weighs 365,000 tons and was built out of approximately 10 million bricks. The ESB is open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. with the last elevators heading up into the sky at 1:15 a.m. If … [Read more...]

Top New York Tourist Attractions

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The ides of March are in the rearview mirror and, even though it may not seem like it depending on what the weather is like where you are, summer is just around the corner. That doesn’t mean to take spring for granted – get out there and smell the flowers – but thinking about taking a vacation when things really warm up outside certainly isn’t out of the question. There are many great cities to visit, and going to more than one probably isn’t a terrible idea, but there’s probably nowhere in the U.S. that offers the multitude of options that New York City has available for tourists. With the New York Attractions Pass from Smart Destinations, you’ll be able to select from 59 of them! The New York Attractions Pass lets you customize a trip to see 3, 5, 7, or 10 attractions in NYC. For one of those attraction picks, you might want to select Body Worlds Discovery Times … [Read more...]

Museum of the City of New York Events

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Since it was founded almost 100 years ago in 1923, the Museum of the City of New York has been helping visitors connect the dots between the past, present, and future of NYC. Located at 1220 Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in Upper Manhattan, the museum and museum store are open seven days a week from 10:00 am–6:00 pm. After moving from its first location at Gracie Mansion - the future residence of the Mayor of New York – to its current Fifth Ave location, the museum acquired treasures like Eugene O’Neill’s handwritten manuscripts, Duncan Phyfe furniture, a suit that was worn to George Washington’s Inaugural Ball and a Carrie Walter Stettheimer dollhouse containing a Marcel Duchamp miniature. The Museum of the City of New York also has more than 750,000 prints, photographs, costumes, paintings, toys, and sculptures. In addition to its permanent collections, the museum also … [Read more...]

How to Plan a Summer Vacation

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While a summer vacation may seem light years away—especially if you’re reading this from somewhere in the Northeast that’s still occasionally pummeled with snow—in just a few short months school will be wrapping up, the days will be long and sunny, and you’ll be wishing you started planning your summer vacation earlier! While planning ahead is a big part of preparing for an affordable and enjoyable summer vacation, it also gives you something to look forward to as you wait for winter to say its final adieu. A family summer vacation should be a relaxing, fun-filled time for bonding and re-energizing, but too often families find their vacations to be just as stressful, if not more so, than their daily routines. This can be due to lack of planning, chaotic itineraries, unhappy family members, and the number one cause: overspending. Whatever your budget, your summer vacation … [Read more...]

NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2014

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One of the largest St. Paddy’s Day parades in the country (and probably the world), the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, is not to be missed and the 2014 edition is right around the corner. If you are planning to be in the city on March 17, you will want to make sure to take in a portion of the parade at some point on Monday The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on 44th Street and make its way north on 5th Avenue all the way up to 79th Street. If you choose to attend, you’ll be one of the more than two million spectators that will line the avenue and cheers on the 150,000 or so marchers. There are tons of bands, firefighters, police officers, emigrant societies and social and cultural clubs that are represented in the parade and they will all appreciate your support. While you are in the area, use your New York Attractions Pass to check out the Empire State Building and other … [Read more...]

NYC St. Patrick’s Day 2014

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What better way is there to start off the work week than by taking the day off and celebrating one of the most boisterous holidays on the American calendar in one of the rowdiest cities in the U.S.? The NYC St. Patrick’s Day 2014 Parade will be taking place on Monday the 17th and it is an event that you will want to be a part of if you are spending mid-March in the City that Never Sleeps. In addition to all the sights that are available to visit with the New York Attractions Pass, the No. 1 thing that you will want to see on St. Patrick’s Day is the parade itself. An annual tradition that ranks right up there will all of the various parades (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Puerto Rican Day) that make the city so great and so diverse, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is truly a sight to behold. The family-friendly parade will begin at 44th Street and make its way north on 5th Avenue all … [Read more...]

School Vacation Travel Tips

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School vacations present a wonderful opportunity for kids to let loose, adults to cash in on some much needed relaxation, and for the whole family to get the bonding time that’s so hard to squeeze in this time of year. Plus, after a long winter, we can all use a getaway, whether its to the sandy beaches of Oahu or to the Big Apple to visit the New York attractions you know and love. This year, plan a family vacation that’s fun, affordable, and hassle-free for everyone. While this may seem like a challenge, you’d be surprised how fun the process can be when you stick to some pretty easy guidelines and use convenient attraction passes. Try implementing these travel tips on your next vacation for smooth sailing all the way through. Know your budget. It’s important to remember not to fantasize you have more in your vacation savings than you do or to underestimate your … [Read more...]

New York Attractions List

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A lot of destinations claim to have "something for everybody," but when it comes to New York City, that statement couldn't be any more true! Media, art, fashion, education, entertainment, and a rich and dynamic history are just a few of the city's many contributions to the national and global society. Across all five Burroughs, world-class New York attractions representing all of these fields of interest draw millions of tourists and keep locals from ever leaving. Navigating New York attractions can be difficult, but it helps to know what your options are. Check out all 55 attractions featured on a New York attractions pass to get started! New York Attractions List Top of the Rock Empire State Building Statue of Liberty Downtown New York Bus Tour American Museum of Natural History Ripley's Believe it or Not! Times Square Museum of Modern Art NYC Metropolitan Museum of … [Read more...]