Where to Go and How to Go There in New York City

New York City, also known as The Big Apple, is a place with a rich history and cultural diversity. It is a place where the past and present time meets and at the same time provides us with something to wonder about. Places such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park are but only a few of those places that are being visited the most. However, there is just one problem that may hinder us from experiencing these sought-after places – how to go there. But, there is a solution, a quick guide and walking directions in New York City to take a peek at these beautiful walking destinations.

First stop would be the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street New York, New York. If you are approaching the museum from the east side of Manhattan, you can take the 4, 5, or 6 subway train to 86th street and then you can have a walking exercise for about three blocks, approximately half a mile, west to fifth avenue. Another option would be to take the M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus along Fifth Avenue (from uptown locations) to 82nd street or along Madison Avenue (from downtown locations) to 83rd street then you can take a stroll down to the museum. Then, if you are approaching from the west side of Manhattan, take the 1 train to 86th street, then the M86 crosstown bus across Central Park to Fifth Avenue; or take the C train to the 81st street, then the M79 bus (which is free of charge) across Central Park to Fifth Avenue, and after which you can take a leisurely walk to the museum.

Another stop would be Central Park, which is located at the center of Manhattan in New York City. It is also to be found in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With regard to how to go there, it would just take you the same route on how to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will make you a little more which is good also for the health. Within Central Park, there are a lot of views and well-known attractions, one of which is the Turtle Pond, also known as the Belvedere Pond. Go west from the Metropolitan Museum of Art along East Drive and take a right on 79th Street Transverse Road, it would take you a few minutes to wander and take in the beauty of Central Park. Upon reaching Turtle Pond, it is a place you can feast your eyes on and enjoy the habitat of some animals in the park. Along the banks of the pond, you can find the Belvedere Castle and the Delacorte Theater. Both infrastructures are added decoration to accentuate the beauty and serenity of the park. After visiting the aforementioned places, you can now continue to go Westside along 79th Street Transverse Road and after walking for a few minutes you can see the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. It is where you can enjoy and watch puppeteers bring puppets to life to tell tales about prince, princesses, genies and giants to a vast range of audiences. Then after walking to the end of the said road, you can reach the American Museum of Natural History.

These are but only some places that you can go to just by walking around and having a good time looking around the aesthetic appreciation of nature.

Nature Lovers In New York City

You probably don’t realize that New York City is in fact the greenest city in America. Of nearly 200,000 total acres, more than 50,000 of those acres are of park or open space. While Central Park is the most famous of green spaces in New York City it is only number five of the top 10 largest parks in the city.

For those who love nature, New York City may not seem to be the oasis for wildlife that it actually is. There is plenty to do in New York City that will enhance your appreciation of nature and/or allow you opportunities to educate yourself about nature or simply be out and about enjoying it.

New York is home to some 1,700 parks and playgrounds where you can enjoy activities such as bike riding, inline skating, ice skating (seasonally), row boating, basketball, skate boarding, softball, soccer, tennis, Frisbee, or even a rousing game of tag with the little one that lights your eyes. Be sure to bring a blanket so that you can lie on your back and watch the clouds roll by. While you’re at it, see if there’s a stray bird or two that you can identify.

For those who love nature there are plenty of places to get close to it in New York City. For those who are interested in bird watching New York Botanical Garden offers guided tours. Blue Heron Park is another great place to watch birds. Some of the varieties you’ll see her include: Woodpeckers and Warblers. Clove Lakes Park not only offers bird watching but also fishing, row boating, paddle boating, and outdoor ice skating when the weather permits.

For those who prefer nature activities that require a little more action than bird watching (well sometimes), there are plenty of excellent opportunities to go fishing in and around New York City. Central Park’s Charles A. Dana Discovery Center is a great place to go ‘catch and release’ fishing. They’ll even lend you a pole. You can also go fishing in Willowbrook Park. While you’re there be sure to let the little ones ride the Carousel, it will net you a tremendous amount of smiles for the small price (in today’s world) of $1. Other activities available at Willowbrook park include: archery, ice-skating, an archery range, football, soccer, horseshoes, tennis, and horseshoes.

If plant life is more your speed or you just enjoy seeing the more obvious signs of nature, then there are plenty of chances for your to observe the amazing wealth of plant life and greenery in and around New York City. Central Park Conservatory Garden offers six acres of beautiful plant life to enjoy. You can see three distinctive patterns in the gardens here. The North Garden is meant to be a formal French inspired garden, the central garden is meant to lend an Italian atmosphere, while the south garden is styled after a traditional English garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers another opportunity for enthusiasts to enjoy the finest in greenery that New York has to offer. This garden even has a special club designed to help youngsters bring out their inner green thumbs. Be sure to check it out.

Another area of Central Park that bears mentioning is Belvedere Castle and the turtle pond that runs below it. Belvedere castles is a great place for bird watching and the other wildlife surrounding it only magnifies its appeal. Be sure to stop by the Central Park Conservatory at Belvedere Castle in order to borrow a backpack that contains binoculars, a sketchpad, and a map of the park to help you bird watch like a pro. You must provide ID and children under the age of 6 cannot borrow.

If you love nature, don’t fret, there’s plenty of nature to be shared and enjoyed in New York City. Make sure that you take the time to enjoy several of the parks that are available to your during your stay in this wonderful and exciting city.

10 Family Fun Things to Do in New York City For FREE

1. Central Park: It is 8000 acres of greenery in the middle of a bustling city. This is my favorite place in NYC, if I happen to be in New York for my Birthday, this is where I always spend the day. There is plenty to see and do at Central Park. You can just stroll, which can be so romantic, almost any season of the year. If you are with the kids, during summer, you can sit at any of the grassy area and have a picnic, or play ball. There are benches all around the park underneath big oak trees, where you can sit and enjoy music from the local musicians, watch people dance on their roller blades, or just simply people watch. There are 2 children’s zoos: Tisch Children’s Zoo, and Central Park Zoo -which is free for kids under 3. If you don’t want t to go inside you can still enjoy watching the Seals and the Sea lions for free, who are visible from the outside. If your kids like to sail toy boats, there is a small pond just for this. For kids 6 and up, who like to bird watch, if you go by the Belvedere Castle they’ll loan you Binoculars, guidebook, map, and sketching pads. In the summer time, if you want to cool off by a fountain, there is a beautiful one. During winter, there are 2 ice skating rinks in the park.

2. Staten Island Ferry: It’s a great way to see the wonderful view of New York Harbor across a 5 mile stretch, in this 25 minute ride, as it goes from Manhattan to Staten Island back and forth. It’s free, you can’t beat that! This is one of the main means of transportation used by Staten Islanders to get to Manhattan, so try to avoid rush hours.

3. Times Square: Yes it is very touristy, but I’m still in awe with all the lights and building high advertising boards every time I see it. If you want to take a break from the glittering lights and go window shopping, you want to visit the multi-story Virgin Store, Toys R Us, Hershey’s, MTV etc. If you wish to go see a Broadway, the tickets can be purchased at a discounted price, up to 50% off, at the ticket booths with big TKTS signs on 42nd Street, on the day of the Show.

4. Rockefeller Center: If you can wake up early enough, the Today Show on NBC is hosted from the Rockefeller Plaza. We went there once with 3 month old Seth, even though it was pretty chilly that morning, I guess it was worth it being on TV for 2 seconds!! To see the view of New York from the observation deck at Top of The Rock, buy the Sunrise Sunset ticket, this allows you to visit the deck twice in the same day. If you still don’t want to spend that money taking the NBC Studio Tour or the Radio City Tour there is plenty to do in and around Rockefeller Center. My favorite thing to do is sit by the food court near a window overlooking the ice skating rink. Or, rather than pay the full $10 to $14 ice skating ticket price, go during lunchtime Monday – Thursday (excluding Holidays) between 11:30am to 1:00pm, and you can get in for just $5! The subway stop is right at Rockefeller Center, few levels down. The St. Patrick’s Cathedral Church is right across the street.

5. St. Patrick’s Cathedral: This 125 year old gothic style Catholic Cathedral built of white Marble has the most amazing architecture, stained glass windows, and marble sculptures. It is very peaceful, and gives you a sense of calm from the hustle and bustle right outside its door. After 9/11 a lot of people took solace visiting this tranquil cathedral.

6. Brooklyn Bridge: You can get an up and close look at one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. It spans the East River connecting Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan. There is a water taxi you can take from here to Manhattan. You get a spectacular view of Manhattan from this side of the east River. It’s also nice to walk around Brooklyn Heights and look at all the beautiful Brownstone Homes.

7. South Street Seaport: Most recently, the evacuation scene for the Will Smith movie, I am Legend was filmed here. We just happened to be there while the filming was going on with thousands of extras. See, you never know what you will run into in New York! At Pier 17 Pavilion there is plenty of places to Shop and eat. It’s nice to sit by the window in one of the restaurants overlooking the river and Brooklyn. Or you can get this view from one of the decks. You might see and enjoy some street performer’s or live music during summer time. The South Street Seaport Museum comprises of 12 blocks of artifacts and collection of historic fleets. It shows the history of NYC as a port city. It’s quite a sight to see the skyscrapers, tall ships, and the Brooklyn Bridge, all in the same view.

8. Grand Central Station: The inside of the main concourse with high beautiful painted ceiling, tall arched windows, marble floors, is just as impressive as the outside design, with great sculpture of Hercules among others surrounding a 13 foot clock, and large Corinthian columns. It’s amazing how this hub connects all forms of transportation; it is the world’s busiest train station, with 150,000 commuters every day. On Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 12:30pm there is a free tour of the station.

9. Metropolitan Museum of Art: If you love art, and it’s never too early to start exposing your little one to this. The museum is free on 1st weekend of every month if you are a Bank of America customer, and have BOA debit, ATM, or credit card, under the Bank of America, Museum on Us program. We have visited and enjoyed more museums now than ever before, once our son was born.

10. Window Shop: As long as you are willing and enjoy walking, there are plenty of places to window shop in NYC. Take along your husband or boyfriend to 49th street Diamond district, walk on Fifth Avenue, or Upper West Side – By Columbus Avenue and Broadway. Sometimes just being there amongst all that, makes you feel like a million bucks!! Of course during the Christmas season, you want to take Window tour, with beautiful holiday themed displays at stores like Bloomindales, Barney’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue etc.

How has your experience been at some of the places mentioned above?

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