By Victoria Kantymyr ’15 and Dominique Krol ’15
Change up the atmosphere this winter by heading out to the Big Apple! There are many different and fun activities that you can explore without burning a hole in your pocket during the cold months of the year. Grab a backpack, take a camera, and hop onto the subway to start the adventure.
“I love Manhattan, but it feels like you have to have hundreds of dollars with you to have fun, especially around the winter time,” said Angela Ubanwa ’14
A great way to begin a city adventure is to start off in Times Square. Stop by the 110,000 square foot Toys “R” Us, which can be found right by the Times Square train station. While inside, one can see a life sized Tyrannosaurus Rex model and go inside a 4000 square foot Barbie dollhouse. If one really wants to have fun, for only $5, one can jump onto the 60-foot indoor Ferris Wheel and be a Toys “R” Us child again.
While at Times Square, pay a visit to MTV Studios. This is where many teenagers gather daily to be part of a crowd for “total requests live” (TRL.) Check out the Visitors Center where you can go into the Panasonic stand, and send a live video of yourself super imposed on the backdrop of Time Square to family and friends. At the end of your trip, a good place to go to relax and recharge is at the Charmin Restrooms, where you will be able to hang out with your favorite cartoon characters. This attraction even has a lounge that has a cellphone charging station.
“I loved the Times Square Toys “R” Us, since I was a kid,” said Justin Broomfield ’15. “It always blew my mind that there was a Ferris wheel inside; it’s one of those things that makes New York so unique.”
Another place to go for some winter fun is Central Park. The park has endless activities that people can do without spending all their savings. One can go ice-skating in Wollman Rink for only $12 during weekdays, and $18 during the weekends. This rink is located in the heart of New York with a breathtaking view. Besides ice-skating, there are many events that take place in Central Park. On January 25, the Winter Jam will take place. The Winter Jam includes a Lake Placid snowfield, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Before leaving the park, you should visit the enchanting Belvedere Castle. This castle is a beloved landmark in Central Park, and hot chocolate is given out free of change at select times during the day.
“I love ice skating in Central Park; the view and atmosphere make it an incredible experience,” said Daniel Kisel ’15.
Visiting one of New York City’s popular landmarks, the Grand Central Terminal, is another activity that people should do in the winter. One can walk around at ones own pace, or get a guided tour for only $10 per person. The terminal has many counter service restaurants and common seating areas. It also includes many specialty stores. While at the terminal, you should visit the Whispering Gallery, where you stand at the end of the Oyster Bar ramp and whisper into the wall. By doing this, a person will be heard all the way from the other side. People have been known to spend hours in this 100-year-old landmark and never get bored.
“I think it’s a remarkable New York landmark and it has a lot of historical significance,” said Briana Belfer ’15. “Every New Yorker should see it in their lifetime.”
Add some culture to the adventure, and swing by Chinatown and Little Italy, where you can check out the Firecracker Ceremony and the Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. Both of these festivals take place in Chinatown and are completely free of charge. They include many performances by singers and dancers. This annual event includes lion, unicorn, and dragon dance troupes that march down Chinatown. It has beautiful floats making their way down the streets of Chinatown. When you are finished and ready to digest some cultural foods, you can catch a bite to eat there, or even in other close places such as Little Italy or SoHo. The possibilities of finding delicious food are endless.
“The festivals are both are both amazing cultural experience, it’s definitely an event that everyone should attend at one point in their lives,” said Diana Grinberg ’15.
Entertainment can often be expensive in New York, but the New York City Ballet offers a chance to see an amazing performance at an affordable price. The NYCB has a winter program schedule with 11 different performances. The tickets are about $30 per ticket and the performances are about two hours long. The performances have winter themes, which make it one of the best events of the season.
“I loved everything about it. It’s amazing how much of a powerful story can be told from just dance,” said Angelika Kowalska ’15. She continued by saying that while the better seats are more expensive, the view from the less expensive seats is just as good.
Winter time in New York can often be expensive, but if one thinks outside of the box, they can surely find affordable and enjoyable things to do.