Day 1 You'll See:
- Central Park
- Rockefeller Center Tour
- Top of the Rock
- Times Square
Day 2 You'll See:
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
- 9/11 Memorial
- Broadway Play
Day 3 You'll See:
- The Beast Speed Boat
- Shopping in Times Square
Congratulations are in order; what better way to celebrate your grad group’s move through one crazy chapter and onto the thrilling beginning of the next than to pack those bags and hit the Big Apple for a classic menu of favorite places, spaces and activities?! They’ll eat, explore and shop ‘til they drop on this magnificent milestone-marking excursion!
A stroll through the Big Apple’s 843 acre backyard is a mainstay of any NYC experience; this familiar landmark is an oasis in the heart of the bustling city, offering harried locals and wide-eyed visitors, alike, a peaceful respite from the frenzied crush of crowds and dizzying pace of life amongst the skyscrapers. Our Country’s first real park features two ice skating rinks, 90 acres of natural woods, dozens of unique bridges and arches, twenty-one playgrounds, one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the States, its own wonderful Zoo, a 106-acre reservoir encircled by a running track and a beautiful heirloom rose garden. Central Park is wound about with scenic footpaths; birding and wildlife watching opportunities abound, and boat/kayak rentals can be secured at Loeb Boathouse. Carriage rides through Central Park are an enchanting tradition, and an array of open-air performance venues treat audiences to countless concerts and productions – the Shakespeare Festival each Summer is not to be missed!
Rockefeller Center Tour
An expert historian will lead you and your student group through Rockefeller Center’s gardens, spaces, and buildings as you tag along, enjoying uninterrupted closed-circuit narration on your personal headset. Hour-long tours begin with insight into John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s vision for this cultural center, detail its important history and highlight its great works of art and fabulous architecture. Post-tour, your group may want to spend more time in the Channel Gardens, wander the Concourse-an incredible network of underground passageways and retailers connecting every building in the Center, or zip straight to the top of the “Rock” where you’ll experience exhilarating 360 degree views of Central Park and the city skyline from the safety of three climate-controlled observation decks!
Top of the Rock
For a beyond-awesome bird’s eye perspective of the “City that Never Sleeps”, grab your group and beat feet to Rockefeller Center – NYC’s most famous landmark – home to so many businesses it has its own zip code! Step aboard a supersonic elevator and soar straight to the twinkling, LED-lit “Top of the Rock” where you’ll enjoy exhilarating, unmatched and completely unobstructed 360-degree views of Central Park and the breathtaking splendor of the city skyline from three observation decks.
While it’s certainly fabulous to discover the myriad metropolitan wonders of “The Crossroads of the World” during daylight hours, there’s nothing like encountering the legendary razzle-dazzle of Times Square after dark! Its huge digital billboards, brilliant neon lights and sparkling, show-stopping storefronts are just a part of the amazing explosion of sights, sounds, and attractions awaiting visitors opting to explore this world-famous intersection in the heart of the Theater District after sundown. Times Square, depicted time and again in popular cinema, is the home of the New Years Eve Ball Drop, the Paramount Building, the Good Morning America show and so much more it’s also earned another nickname: “Center of the Universe”!
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The 151-foot tall Statue of Liberty was a generous gift to our Nation from the good people of France and is one of the most recognized statues in the world. She stands, vigilant, tall and proud on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, a breathtaking monument to freedom and democracy around the globe. Statue Cruises provide excellent traditional tours, ferrying you and your travel group out to our beautiful Lady on Liberty Island, then on to landmark Ellis Island’s Immigration Museum for a little family tree research. Did your ancestors enter America through this National Gateway, once a hanging site for pirates?
Every New York City student travel itinerary should include a visit to this stunning memorial, created to observe the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center September 11, 2001, and the devastating bombing on February 26, 1993. The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as our country's principal institution concerned with exploring the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the untold impact of those unspeakably tragic events, exploring 9/11's continuing significance and honoring the memory of those killed in the senseless terrorist attacks with a series of moving and relevant exhibitions. Portraits of more than 3000 9/11 victims are displayed on site and a segment of the stairwell by which hundreds escaped with their lives as well as remnants of the twin towers’ structural columns are preserved here, sobering reminders of this horrific day in history.
Chinatown, situated in Lower Manhattan, boasts one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia and the largest in the city. This swarming, gritty mecca of captivating and exotic sights, sounds and smells is the place to go for a sampling of delectable Asian delicacies, uniquely charming specialty and discount shops and intriguing open-air markets; this is where you’ll find your square watermelons, soup turtles, live eels, and knock-off designer goods. Keep a sharp eye peeled and you’re bound to come home with some true bargains and fantastic souvenirs! There’s so much more to NYC’s Chinatown than paper dragons, jade trinkets, and fortune cookies.
Put your heads together, select a production, beat feet to the theatre and enjoy the show – it’s really that simple! No visit to the Big Apple would be complete without a “ Great White Way” experience; with 40 Broadway venues to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone – and absolutely no reason to miss out on this time-honored NYC tradition. P.S.: Wait by the stage door for autographs!
The Beast Speed Boat
If you’re planning to visit the Statue of Liberty and hoping to grab some ultra-cool pics of the New York Skyline but don’t want to invest 3-4 hours of your itinerary on a traditional cruise, a 30-minute BEAST speedboat ride is just the ticket! The custom built, 70 foot Beast – New York’s ONLY jet-powered thrill boat - serves up a rockin’ New York Harbor adventure that’s part water ride, part roller coaster, part sightseeing excursion and ALL fun! Zip across the water at 45+mph - music pounding, boat screaming, mad-cap captain and comic relief first mate keeping you rolling; back row seats are the wettest, but be on the lookout for sneaky Super Soaker attacks! The Beast will idle near Liberty Island just long enough for passengers to snap a few shots of the Lady herself before cutting back across the Harbor to deliver you and your group safely dockside. What a rush!
Shopping in Times Square
Bustling Times Square is jam-packed with things to see, hear and do, places to eat and STORES – more than you can count - to pillage and plunder! You did a little recon your first night in the city; while it all looks MUCH different by the light of day, surely you noted a few places you’d want to check out if you just had the time. Well, you do - your group will while away their last few hours in NYC with an awesome return-to-Times Square shopping excursion! Be sure to bring back a little piece of the Big Apple for friends and family back home; Grand Slam, New York - the #1 rated gift shop in all the city – tenders a veritable universe of cool NYC-themed souvenirs.