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KAndid Advice for New York City

New York City reigns supreme as one of our favorite student destinations. There’s so much to see and do, it’s hard to squeeze it all in. Our expert staff has some great group tips for getting the most out of New York City!

Rockefeller Center

Stephanie (tour consultant) absolutely loves Rockefeller Center for student groups. It’s a one stop shop for the best of NYC. The observation deck at Top of the Rock is usually less crowded than the Empire State Building and offers a stunning, unobstructed view of the city. The NBC Studios tour is popular with students and tons of fun. If traveling during the winter months, a stop at the ice rink is a must. If traveling during the holidays, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is a spectacular must-see!

Freehand Hotel

Steven (tour consultant) is a big fan of the Freehand Hotel for accommodations. Located in the historic Flatiron District, the Freehand has an artsy vibe, great food and a unique flair. Students will love this distinctly New York City experience.

Dough and DeKalb Market Hall

Kadianne (operations manager and former resident of NYC) knows its “sweet” spots. A favorite is “Dough,” located in Brooklyn and the Flatiron District. Dough is known for its legendary and mouthwatering doughnuts. DeKalb Market Hall in Brooklyn is also a great option for all kinds of local flavor – students can taste a little bit of everything!

One World Observatory

One World Observatory at the Westfield World Trade Center is another favorite stop for Kadianne. SkyPod elevators climb 102 stories in 42 seconds for a view like none other!

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Keith (chief operating officer) understands The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum offers a rare opportunity for the youth of today to interact with the heroes of the past. Precious few years remain that will allow younger generations to spend time face to face with those who served on ships like the Intrepid. Capture these teachable moments before they slip away.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Ellis Island

Keith also has another awesome gem to share with student groups- the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. This landmark building tells the story of immigrants to New York City between the 19th and 21st centuries through the personal experiences of those who lived here. Couple this experience with a trip to Ellis Island  and the Statue of  Liberty to help students understand the role of immigration in our nation’s evolving identity.

Staten Island Ferry

If you just want a great harbor view (and photo op!) of the Statue of Liberty, Michelle (KA consultant) suggests a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Leaving approximately every 20 minutes from Battery Park, the ferry is free and takes your group right past the Statue.

As you plan your student trip to New York City, tuck these tips in your back pocket. Better yet, call Kaleidoscope Adventures directly to chat with our expert staff. More than 25+ years in the student travel industry gives us some serious street cred! We’ll work with you to create a unique itinerary that meets all your objectives. KA really is travel beyond expectations!

Oh Theres No Place Like NYC for the Holidays

I ran to my local grocery store on Tuesday for some last-minute Halloween candy. My monster munchies bowl had been filled since last week, but lets face it, a week is a long time and my munchies were seriously depleted! I figured I would scoot in the door, grab a few bags, and be on my way. As I walked in the door, however, I blinked hard to clear my vision. The spooky display of ghosts, goblins and candy corn had been replaced with festive red and green candies, snowmen and brightly lit Christmas trees. I quickly checked the date on my phone, thinking perhaps I had fallen into some sort of time warp, only to find it was still October 31st. Wow- I guess the holidays really are just around the corner!

While it may seem a bit early to be thinking about sleigh rides and snow, its never too early to start planning your holiday travel. New York City tops the list of fabulous holiday destinations for groups- particularly students. The Big Apple is always humming with activity, but has a singular energy fueled by anticipation as the holidays approach. The weather is crisp, the people move briskly and the stage is set for wonder!

One of the best holiday traditions in the city is also FREE! The holiday windows at retailers throughout the city never disappoint with their creativity and style. They beckon shoppers to explore wares within the stores using artistic and often mind-boggling displays. Most windows are usually revealed right around Thanksgiving and typically remain on display through the new year. A truly dedicated window shopper may want to consider a holiday windows walking tour.

Break out the disinfectant and strap on those rental skates for another time-honored tradition- ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Situated in the heart of Midtown, the Rink at Rockefeller Center opens in October (they must be in cahoots with my local grocer) and remains open through the spring. General admission skating is first come, first-served, and everyone in your party must wait in line together. Admission ranges from $25-$32, depending on the time of year. There are opportunities to reserve ice time, but it can get pricey.

The 2017 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on November 29, 2017 and remain a shining beacon through January 7, 2018. Take in this glorious evergreen while gliding gracefully on the ice- or clinging to the rail as they case may be!

Head off the ice and up to the Top of the Rock for spectacular, sweeping views of midtown Manhattan and Central Park. Students will love the birds eye view of the city as it sparkles and shines- theres really nothing quite like it!

Once youve experienced the city from above, bring it down to street level and jump on THE RIDE. THE RIDE has a holiday edition of its unique, 75-minute production, allowing you to stay toasty warm on the specially designed motor coach as you are escorted through 4.2 miles of dazzling sights and sounds. The seasons of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza are celebrated in brilliant style with seasonal music, specially choreographed performance events, additional cast members and much more!

Kick off the holidays with style (thats right, I went there!) with the iconic Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. This show, running November 10, 2017 through January 1, 2018, embodies the holiday spirit and is an experience like no other. The Rockettes performs extraordinary moves in gorgeous costumes, amid breathtaking backdrops and inspiring music.

If you are traveling with students, check out the Radio City Stage Door Tour for an insiders look at Radio City Music Hall. Its a guided tour through hallowed halls, where secrets of the stage are revealed and you can even meet a Rockette!

While the calendar may still say autumn, the spirit is singing that the holidays are just a few short weeks away! Gather your group for a fabulous visit to New York City. Contact the student travel experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures for exceptional, customized trips and ease of planning. They provide positively outrageous customer service every step of the way!