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Layover Ideas

New York Kennedy Airport JFK

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Top Recommended Layover Activities:

1. Fifth Avenue
Mention Fifth Avenue and people immediately think fashion, style and shopping. This famous street in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world needs no definition. Instantly, chic boutiques, grand dining and the conviction that "money is made to spend" come to mind. This “cost-is-no-worry” attitude is reflected in the wealth of the clientele. Retail elites such as Tiffany and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as the anchor settlement of the clothing giant Saks Fifth Avenue, open doors daily to enthused spenders. Euro shops like Cartier, Burberry, and Chanel welcome luxury item seekers, and Trump Tower and the Peninsula Hotel stand as calling cards for those demanding the best when staying overnight. Today, hip new chain stores like Banana Republic and The Gap have joined in to vie for dollars here, changing the dynamic of this district by drawing shoppers who want more affordable buying adventures. Aside from the rich trade in commerce and goods that occurs daily, the street also offers great views of some of the city’s finest churches, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Thomas’s Church, and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian. TRAIN: E, F, N, R, 7 to 5th Ave

2. New York Stock Exchange
20 Broad St, New York, NY 10005 · 212-656-5167
Ever felt like the high octane, high pressure life of a trader on the New York Stock Exchange was for you? A quick visit to the Exchange itself should let you know if you've got what it takes. On the average day, somewhere in the "neighborhood" of one billion shares change hands, impacting economies the worldwide. Tours include interactive exhibits and a visit to the observation level. Tickets are distributed outside the building, and it's best to get there early. TRAIN: J, Z to Broad St

3. Times Square
42nd St to 47th St, at Broadway and 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036
For nearly a century, the brightest lights, the biggest music, the longest parties and all the star power you could ask for have stemmed from along a few blocks of a street called Broadway. Some of the hardest working performers converge here in the Great White Way for the chance to entertain the world. At one time, this area was a haven for decadence. Seedy sex shops and peep shows infested the area until a successful revitalization effort and the arrival of new tenants like David Letterman paved the way for a new Times Square. Now, it’s one of the most influential theater districts in the world. Each year, 26 million tourists walk the theater-laden streets (40 theaters, including 22 landmarks), dine at the various restaurants (over 250 offering everything from fast food to luscious local and international eats) and stay overnight in their choice of 12,500 prime hotel rooms (the hostels are a great experience, too). In addition, Times Square hosts the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the country. Half a million people flock to the square every year to bid the old year goodbye and to welcome in the New Year, New York party style. For discounts on show tickets, be sure to check out the TKTS booth at Duffy Square (where Broadway and 7th Avenue meet) between 45th and 47th Streets. Show availability and seating choices vary, so go early! For more information about the square, stop by the multi-service Visitor’s Center at 1560 Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets (only free public restrooms in the area). If you’ve never been here before, take the subway into the Times Square Subway Station. Walking out of the subway and onto the bustling streets of Times Square for the first time is truly unbelievable and indescribable! TRAIN: 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, N, R to Times Sq-42nd St

4. Central Park
Central Park W and 5th Ave, between Central Park N & Central Park S, New York, NY 10022 · 212-360-3456
This famed 843-acre rectangular park offers a variety of beautiful recreational opportunities amid the bustle of Gotham. Joggers, nature lovers and bikers use the park daily. Kids young and old enjoy riding the Friedsam Memorial Carousel (near 65th Street), and the Belvedere Castle (near 79th Street) affords great views of the city. The Central Park Wildlife Center (Zoo) at 5th Avenue and East 64th Street (212-861-6030) is open daily year-round. A ticket from CPWC gets you in free to the nearby Tisch Children’s Zoo. The two and a half-acre Strawberry Field contains the black-and-white "Imagine" mosaic, a tribute to John Lennon, donated by the city of Naples, Italy. Ice skate in the winter and in-line skate throughout the year at Wollman Rink (6th Avenue at 59th Street). The Great Lawn (behind the Met) is popular with sunbathers. Race mini-yachts or rent a boat of your own at Conservatory Water (near 5th Avenue and 74th Street). The Conservatory Garden (212-360-2766) at 104th Street is open 8am-dusk and holds tours of its six-acre grounds every Sat at 11am. Central Park Conservancy Visitor's Centers are located at: the Dairy, mid-Park at 65th Street; Belvedere Castle, mid-Park at 79th Street; and The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, off Fifth Avenue near 110th Street. TRAIN: A, B, C, D to 59th St, 66th St-Lincoln Center, 72nd St, 81st St-Museum of Natural History, 86th St, 96th St, 103rd St, 110th St-Cathedral Parkway; 2,3 to 110th St; N, R to 5th Ave

5. New York Public Library
Fifth Ave and 42nd St, New York, NY 10018 · 212-930-0830
The New York Public Library system holds one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections. This massive web of information is shared among the boroughs of Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Books, periodicals, maps, videos, CD-ROMs, musical scores and other electronically formatted items make up the more than 52 million items currently being held. The Humanities and Social Sciences Library, one of the library's four research centers, was established to continue the observation of human behavior, society and culture. The Center has assembled a global collection in the areas of history, language, art, popular culture, philosophy, religion, psychology, sociology, anthropology, theology, geography and politics. Jewish, Oriental and United States local and general studies are part of the Special Services Division. Special collections include art and architecture, print, photography, rare books, manuscripts and archives. The library also hosts special events, exhibits, instruction and classes (adult literacy, Internet workshops, etc.). There are free tours of the library Monday-Saturday at 11am and 2pm. TRAIN: B, D, F, Q, 7 to Fifth Ave-42nd St

Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:

1. Radio City Music Hall
1260 6th Ave, at 50th St, New York, NY 10020-1797 · 212-307-1000
Host to some of the top performers of all time, Radio City Music Hall was built in 1932 with the slogan, "The Showplace of the Nation." Radio City was the brainchild of theatrical impresario "Roxy" Rothafel. Saved from demolition in the 1970s, the building was given landmark status in 1978. Walking tours give visitors the chance to see the gold-leaf ceilings, 30-foot chandeliers, decorative carpeting and the backstage area with a historic costume shop. The highlight of the tour is a meeting with a Rockette, one of the world-renowned high-stepping dancers who have graced the stage since its inception. TRAIN: E, F to Fifth Ave

2. Yankee Stadium
161st Street and River Ave, New York, NY 10451 · 718-579-4531
The Empire State Building. Central Park. The Statue of Liberty. Yankee Stadium. Few sights define the Big Apple as well as these. The historic "House that Ruth Built," which dates from the Roaring '20s, has been the stage for some of the game's greatest performers and singular events: Lou Gehrig's famous retirement speech and the on-field exploits the Babe, Joe DiMaggio and M & M Boys, Mr. October and the heroes of today. Watching a game here is a must for any sports fan, as is taking a stroll through the hallowed Monument Park, where the greatest Pin-Stripers are honored. Guided stadium tours available, no reservations are required. TRAIN: 4, D, C to 161st St

3. NBC Studio Tours
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 · 212-664-3700
New York City is home to many of the world’s major music, television and film productions, and a good number of stars call NY home. Many tourists visit hoping for a brief street-side encounter with their favorite celeb, but this may not be the most effective way of touching the hem of stardom. Several of the most popular shows are taped at NBC Studios, including "Saturday Night Live," "Late Night with Conan O’Brien". The popular "Today" show with hosts Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, broadcasts live weekdays from 7am to 9am from its glass-walled studio on the corner of 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza. Hour-long studio tours are also offered.

4. Staten Island Ferry
Whitehall St, New York, NY 10004 · 718-815-2628
The best boat ride in the world! Leaving Manhattan, you gaze at the most enduring symbol of the city, the Statue of Liberty, ahead on the right, with the sleek Verrazano-Narrows Bridge dominating the left. Then you realize that skyscrapers are assuming postcard dimensions of grandeur behind you. It is New York, even America, at its best, a truly thrilling experience! The magnificence of the Brooklyn Bridge soon completes the view behind you on the right. And it's free! Once at the terminal on the Staten Island side, just grab a departing boat and enjoy the dramatic view in reverse. Hint: avoid the newer, faster craft with no outside deck. The Ferry Terminal on Peter Minuit Plaza is at the end of South and State Streets. TRAIN: 1 or 9 to South Ferry; N or R to Whitehall St/South Ferry

5. Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460 · 718-367-1010
The largest urban zoo in the world, The Bronx Zoo is an exciting place to view over 6,000 animals (600 species) in large, realistic reproductions of natural habitats. Themed exhibits include Wild Asia with free-roaming tigers; Jungle World, an indoor Asian tropical rainforest; The World of Darkness, a look into the nightlife of nocturnal creatures; Himalayan Highlands with endangered snow leopards and red pandas; Butterfly Zone, especially active in summer months; and the Congo Gorilla Forest, a 6.5-acre recreation of an African rain forest. The Children’s Zoo offers a hands-on learning and petting zoo. It’s easy to get around the park by shuttle bus, monorail or aerial tram. Holiday lighting shows for kids. TRAIN: 2 to Pelham Pky; 2, 5 to Bronx Park East