It seems like just yesterday that I was walking around the chilly streets of New York City! Right after I returned from my weekend trip, I dove right back into school and realized that this is going to be my toughest semester yet. I’m going to try my best to catch up with all my New York posts as soon as possible, but I appreciate you guys for bearing with me during this busy period of life.
I’ve been to New York twice before (once on an 8th grade school trip, and a few years ago with my family for spring break) but this was my first time visiting during the winter. I was expecting the worst, but thankfully the weather was nice to my unprepared California self and most days it was only in the 30s and 40s.
Day 1: The Tonight Show
The main reason we went on the trip was because I finally got Jimmy Fallon tickets! My sister loves him and his show, and I had been trying to get tickets for over a year. I requested four tickets, so my mom came and my sister also invited her friend Julia, who also loves Jimmy. We took a red eye flight Thursday night and arrived in the city early Friday morning. Luckily, we were able to get early check in at the Westin and take a short nap before heading off to Rockefeller Center to see the Tonight Show.
Some tips I learned from my experience:
- Request tickets early. Tickets usually sell out in less than a minute, so make sure you have the site pulled up and everything ready to go beforehand. There is a section which asks why you want to see the show, which I wrote beforehand and copied and pasted to save time. Learn more about how to get tickets HERE.
- Do NOT forget your ID. I accidentally left my driver’s license with my plane ticket in the hotel, so I was forced to run over twenty blocks in less than twenty minutes in order to make it inside. Thankfully, they extended the time an extra five minutes for us but normally they are pretty strict with their rules, so it’s better to be prepared.
- Don’t bring your camera. You’re not allowed to take any photos once you’re inside the studio waiting room, so I would recommend leaving your camera at the hotel. You can bring your phone, but it must be turned off during the show.
- Arrive early. Like I said earlier, usually once it is a certain time they don’t let anyone else in.
- Ask a question! About halfway through the show, Jimmy came out into the audience to take questions and comments. He was so nice and friendly, and we got to hear more from him about hosting the Golden Globes and his friendship with Justin Timberlake!
After the show, I was able to meet up with my New York BFF Nicole for dinner and drinks. I hadn’t seen her since summer 2015 for our Bahamas vacation, but it was so great to just pick up where we left off!
Day 2: Snow in Times Square
On our second day everyone was pretty exhausted from jet lag/the Tonight Show craziness, so we had a bit of a late start. I picked up coffee and bagels from Lenwich and brought them back to the Westin. Afterwards we headed out to Times Square to do a little shopping and exploring. When we finished at Forever 21, we walked outside to see that it was SNOWING! I was so excited to finally experience snow in the city. Originally, we wanted to see a Broadway show, but most shows were either sold out or way too expensive, so we ended up going to the movies to watch La La Land instead.
Day 3: Central Park, The Met, + Top of the Rock
On day three, we started off the day taking the subway to midtown to visit a coffee shop I found on Yelp. Bibble & Sip is a hip spot with alpaca themed everything. I ate a yummy breakfast sandwich and sipped on my spiced latte, then took the rest to-go on our way to Central Park. A blanket of snow still covered much of the grass and trees, which especially made it feel more like winter. We walked across the park over to check out the history at the Met museum for a few hours.
To end the day, we got tickets to watch the sunset at the Top of the Rock back at Rockefeller Center. The best time to go is around 4:00 – 4:30 PM, so that you can get the full experience and some amazing photos of the skyline during the day, at sunset, and at night. Although it was pretty crowded when we went, we still got a pretty incredible view of the Empire State Building and the city lights, and even witnessed a proposal!
Day 4: Shopping in Chinatown
For our final day in the city, we took an Uber to Chinatown to do a bit of souvenir shopping. Most of the shops carry similar items, but we checked out multiple stores to find the best prices. Afterwards, we walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge to snap a few photos. We had an early evening flight, but luckily we were able to make one last stop to the Smith. They are well known for their delicious mac & cheese, which I can honestly say topped my list of all-time favorites.
Have you visited NYC before? I’d love to hear your recommendations of things to do/places to see next time I visit!