Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coming Soon: Babbit the Big City Rabbit

For Christmas, James gave me a girls-only four-day trip to New York City to share with my friend Marcie, and Babbit has opted to tag along. We head out very early on March 31st and return late on April 3rd. We're all so excited to visit the big city -- none of us have ever been. I've been researching our touristy options, and while we each have access to reasonable travel budgets, Marcie and I are both super thrifty and would love to prove that a trip to NYC doesn't have to break the bank. (Secretly, I think if I can prove that to the hubs, he'll let me go back again really soon.)

I have some things in mind that I would like to do and have been looking for the most cost-effective way to do them. We've considered purchasing the City Pass, but I've learned about Free and Pay What You Wish options for museums and think that may be the better way to go. To fully embrace my personal challenge of NYC on a dime, I've downloaded the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs guide that lists loads of inexpensive cultural offerings. I've set up a separate travel e-mail account to subscribe to Groupon and Living Social for NYC deals, and I plan to watch for the 90% off sale at Also, the Entertainment book for NYC is only $20 shipped. We save so much in DFW with our Entertainment Book, I can't imagine the savings in NYC would be any less remarkable. I've only just begun building a list of must-see things with prices posted. Here's what I have so far:

Free/Cheap Places to Go in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge – FREE
Brooklyn Heights Historic District – FREE
New York Public Library – FREE
9/11 Memorial Preview Site – FREE
Central Park – FREE
Metropolitan Museum of Art – FREE, BoA "Museums on Us"
Guggenheim Museum – Pay What You Wish on Saturday
Museum of Modern Art – FREE on Target Free Friday nights
Museum of the City of New York – FREE, BoA "Museums on Us"
Statue of Liberty – FREE ferry tour, $12.00 for crown tour
Opera at the Met – $20/$25 last minute tickets at Box Office
Theatre – FREE, or inexpensive last minute tickets at Box Office
New York Philharmonic – Student Rush Tickets, $12.50 each
Chinatown – FREE to explore, $$ for shopping on Canal Street

Cheap Places to Eat in New York City

Papaya King Hot Dog Stands – Chelsea (Under $5)
Dumpling House – Chinatown (Under $5)
CafĂ© Edison – Times Square in Edison Hotel (Under $10)
** We're excited to try inexpensive little hole-in-the-wall places, preferably ethnic ones **

Despite my planning and bargain hunting, this is a daunting task and I would really appreciate some insider tips from those of you who have been there/done that. Favorite restaurants? Best way to buy show tickets? Number one way to save on souvenirs? Your insight is invaluable to me.

photo credit: howard models


  • Elizabeth

    Amanda - one of my favorite places to eat is Carmine's in Times Square. It's an Italian eatery and so yum! Also, Patsy's pizza in Chelsea. Divine and unique.

    Southstreet Seaport - free and fun!

    So much to do! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Randi

    I got nothin'.

    But I can't wait to see you do NY in bargain style. If anyone can do it, you can.

  • Jenny

    Been 4 times in the last 6 years- loved every trip. Wear great walking shoes. Plan to walk several miles a day. Take the subway. Just know if you're going Uptown or Downtown before heading down to the subway. Just buy a pass. Saves a lot on cabs. And if you want to get some great knock offs be willing to climb into vans or go into secret rooms. ;-) Call me if you want more tips. Eliz knows a lot too.

  • Cassie

    for someone who is not a big fan of hot dogs...Gray's Papaya hot dogs are sooo yum and last I was in NYC they were like a dollar for 2 or something! I know they have one in Greenwich Village....and not too far from Times Square!

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