Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Tips, and What to Do in NYC on Thanksgiving Day

This post has been updated for 2011.

It’s time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you want to be one 3 million on-site viewers, you’ll want to do some research first. Jersey Kids has some places for you to start. And once the parade is over, we have ideas for what you can do in New York City.

Where to watch:

It’s most congested around Macy’s, at the end of the route. The parade starts at 9 a.m. but takes about 90 minutes to get to Macy’s. The performers apparently don’t stop along the way to perform, but do in front of the viewing stand. Most suggestions we got are to get to your viewing spot at 6:30 a.m. and wait in the cold like idiots. Look for us! We’ll be those idiots. Best viewing spots are in the 60s and 70s along Central Park West. You can watch the balloons get deflated right by Macy’s. So if you’re late, maybe head over there.

this is where you stand if you arrive at 7:30 a.m.

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Discount Massages in New York and New Jersey

Getting a massage in New York or New Jersey shouldn’t be a pain in the neck or cost an arm and a leg. Okay, bad puns I know, but life’s little indulgences can add up quickly.

Today I’m over at Suddenly Frugal talking about how to score great deals on massages. Check out the link.

And know that the East Coast Spa Week is coming up October 11-17 – get a massage, facial or other body treatment for just $50. In Manhattan alone, 102 spas are participating, offering massages, facials and more. Included are Red Door Spas, Perricone MD Flagship Facial Salon, Clarins Skin Spa, Jurlique, the Spa at Trump, and more.

In New Jersey, you can book $50 treatments at 45 spas. In the Suddenly Frugal post, I mention using group buying websites to get great deals on massages, facials and the like. In fact, I got a fabulous  massage at the Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Care Spa for $59 thanks to Groupon (versus the standard price of $130).

KGB Deals is offering several great packages right now – look for the deals listed on the right side of the web page.

–$12 entrance to Turkish and Russian Baths ($30 value), plus 20% off all services while you’re there (including the platza oak leaf scrub, Dead Sea Salt scrub, Dead Sea mud rub, and Swedish or Russian massages). Get the deal here.

–$29 for a spa manicure and pedicure plus hand or foot reflexology at Tribeca Spa of Tranquility ($70 value). Get the deal here.

–$49 for deep pore cleansing facial at Albina’s Spa ($120 value). Get the deal here

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King Tut in NYC – Review with Kids

Tutankhamun Coffin © Andreas F. Voegelin, Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig

**KING TUT OPENS IN ST. PAUL, MN ON FEBRUARY 18, RUNNING THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5, 2011. FOR DISCOUNT CODES AND TICKETS TO ST. PAUL KING TUT EXHIBIT, CLICK HERE.

When I saw the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco last year, I left the kids behind, not sure if they’d make it through without getting bored.  While I enjoyed going alone, I did feel the kids were missing out on a huge piece of history  – an experience not usually readily available in museums.

When the exhibit arrived in New York City’s Times Square Discovery Exhibition space, I knew I had to take them. Now they had 3-D movie as well!

The big deal about King Tut is not that he was Egypt’s greatest king. He wasn’t, though he did have some interesting challenges. By the time Tut’s tomb was discovered, it was the only tomb that was almost completely intact on discovery. It gave researchers an understanding of the burial process.

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12 Things To Do with Kids this Summer in NYC

If you’ve been to New York City with kids many times, and you’re looking for something new and different, read on.

-Want a family-friendly Broadway show? If Mary Poppins is too young (or you’ve seen it), dry the darker Addams Family, or the classic Miracle Worker.

-For off-Broadway shows, get tickets to the Awesome 80’s Prom.

-Get your hands (or at least your eyes) on some gold, at the Federal Reserve’s gold vault.

Read the entire story of 12 things to do in New York City with Kids – for details on new candy shops, museum teen nights, scavenger hunts, and new luxury hotels.

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Sponsored Post – New York Street Food is Family Food

This post is written and sponsored by HotelClub.com, offering hotel deals for more than 60,000 hotels in 134 countries.

Whenever friends and family members with children ask where to eat in New York, I always ask several questions: How old are the little ones? How much of the family vacation budget do mom and dad want to dole out on three squares a day, plus snacks? And most importantly, just how important is good, authentic Big Apple food to parents and children alike?

 

Some folks after all, are more than happy to quaff breadsticks at the Olive Garden in Times Square or silence their children’s whines with a Sbarro calzone. Hey, when money’s tight and you’re in a crunch, why not?

 

Well, here’s why not. With a little resourcefulness and prior research, you can do something different than big box restaurants and fast food chains when you hit the town in New York. Your city probably has twelve Olive Gardens anyway.

 

In this spirit, I’ll suggest an alternative to satisfy every type of parent, from the ones who love to supersize to the ones who want to take Junior on a foodie tour of Brooklyn. Two words: street food. Continue reading “Sponsored Post – New York Street Food is Family Food”

Statue of Liberty – with Kids

The Statue of Liberty is often cited as the first thing that immigrants saw when coming into New York’s harbor on their way to Ellis Island. It’s probably the top thing on list to see during a visit to New York. And for good reason.

The United States was not the intended recipient for Lady Liberty. The statue was originally conceived as a lighthouse for Egypt’s Suez Canal. But the Egyptians rejected it. Private citizens, part of the Franco-American Union, along with some companies, later decided to give it to the United States for its centennial. And after a lot of research on where to put it, fundraising for the pedestal, and other hubbub, here it is. Of course that’s the brief explanation. You’ll learn more about it on Liberty Island.

A trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is rife with logitics. You can get a lot of information about the statue elsewhere . I’m going to focus on how to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – with kids. Continue reading “Statue of Liberty – with Kids”

King Tut NYC Review and Discount Codes

The King Tut exhibit opened in Manhattan last month, with 11 galleries and 130+ artifacts. The exhibit features items from King Tut’s tomb, as well as items from his ancestors. I saw the King Tut exhibit in its last location, San Francisco and again in NYC. You can read my review of NYC’s Tut with Kids here on Jersey Kids.

If you’re thinking of taking kids with you, it’s a great learning opportunity, and there are several items of interest to kids there, including weapons and lots of gold! Of course they’ll be interested to know that the king was all of 9 years old when he ascended the throne. They’ll love the gross knowledge that King Tut’s brain was removed with a hook through his nose before embalming! Plan to spend around 90 minutes there.

The NYC King Tut exhibit is in the Times Square area. One benefit – you don’t have all the additional museum traffic. The downside – there’s no museum to visit after!

KING TUT DISCOUNT CODES FOR ST. PAUL

Tickets are $30 for the King Tut exhibit on weekends and $25 on weekdays (for adults), and this includes the science museum admission/exhibits. Kids 4-12 pay $16 on weekdays, and $18 on weekends. Audio tour and film are extra.

Science Museum of Minnesota members save up to 60% on King Tut ticket prices. Plus, members save an additional $5 a ticket in March.

Go with a group. Group discounts are available for 15 or more ticketholders. Here are ticket prices for groups.

While there were no discounts at Goldstar at posting, check back frequently, because Goldstar often offers discounts, as much as half off, for select time slots of various events.

Check back here – I’ll be adding discounts are they become available. Pickings are slim as the show opens!

Tickets and discounts for NYC

Tickets run $27.50 for adults, $25.50 for seniors, $17.50 for kids 4-12, and free for kids under 4. They offer a 3-D movie, Secrets of the Pharaohs, for an additional $5. In the film, you’ll travel into the royal tombs, learning about ancient Egyptian society and rituals as told by the mummies themselves. Kids 4 and under still have to pay for the movie, even though they get in free to the exhibit. Reviews of the movie are positive. Audio commentary is $7, and worth it to learn more.

Now through Friday, December 24th, buy a voucher for 2 adult and 2 child admissions ($98 value) for $59 at Mamapedia. You must redeem the voucher all at once. You can buy two vouchers, but only redeem one per visit.

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Gold Vault: Touring the NY Federal Reserve

There’s something sexy about descending 50 feet to Manhattan bedrock to see the largest stash of foreign gold in the world. The reality, however is slightly underwhelming.

We started in the numismatic room (yes, that’s the coin room), with cases explaining the history of money. You’ll see lots of coins, including the famed 1933 Double Eagle. I’ll spare you the long (but interesting) story of theft and intrigue). But an anonymous purchaser got it for a cool $7.59 million at auction, and agreed to display it in the case that you’re not allowed to touch or lean on.

(Even if you don’t get into the gold tour, you can still get free access to the numismatic room during business hours).

From there you’ll learn about the Federal Reserve in a video. The New York branch is one of 12 regional reserve banks that act as the U.S. government’s bank. The Federal Reserve sets U.S. monetary policy, stores cash, shreds old bills, and is last resort for banks needing loans.

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Circle Line Boat Tour in NYC with Kids

Let me start off by saying you should not do a 2 hour boat tour with kids who can’t sit still for several hours. Lesson learned the hard way.

Normally a slow boat tour is not something I’d sign up to do – especially with kids. However, a friend was visiting from California, and she wanted to find something her husband hadn’t done in New York City before. .

If you try searching for Circle Line boat tours, you might find that there are two locations – Circle Line at the 42nd Street pier, and Circle Line Downtown, at South Street Seaport. In spite of having the same name and similar cruises, these are different companies. Go figure. If someone could tell me how they can run the same type of business with the same name, and not be hit with trademark issues, I’m all ears!

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