Today I took my family and friends on an adventure through New York City. Living most of my life in New Jersey, going to New York was always a quick ride and something you take for granted after about the fifth time. Even though there’s always something new and exciting to see in the city that never sleeps, watching all the firsts through the eyes of a six year old is as exciting as doing it again yourself for the very first time. As a native of the garden state, the idea of taking a tour of New York always seemed silly. So when I was given the opportunity to take a tour and experience”The Ride:Holiday Edition”, I figured why not? I had no idea what was in store for us.
“The Ride” is a bus tour around Manhattan unlike anything you have evey experienced before. Standing at the door to get on, it seems like any normal bus. “The Ride” is anything but normal. The seats are turned sideways, utilizing the entire side and top of the bus as your windows to the world. There are thousands of LED lights turning your trip into a party on wheels. On your ride you get not 1, but 2 guides and all of New York (well 75 minutes worth).
Our guides for this trip were Stewart and Julie. Their witty banter and fabulous improv skills kept the energy on the bus moving. They roasted us, played trivia with the crowd and even included the people on the streets of New York both the willing and non-willing participants, stating that the happy waving people were all tourists.
As our bus strolled through NYC the crowd was surprised by several street performers that were obviously part of the show. Dancers, singers, and actors alike entertained us in well planned skits. I asked my six year old little friend what her favorite part of the trip was and without hesitation she said the dancing. Her favorite dancer being the ballerina dancing in a tutu of lights of course.
While I thoroughly enjoyed “The Ride:Holiday Edition”, there were a few minor draw backs. First, the holiday edition doesn’t exactly feel very festive without the Rockefeller tree lit up. I think it would also be safe to say that an afternoon tour without lights might not be as fun. The second is this seems like a great show for the whole family, but tourists beware, no children under 6 can ride unless part of a large group sale. Honestly though, anyone 5 or under might not get the witty banter of the guides and might become incredibly bored. So get a sitter and enjoy your evening out in the city or bring all your extended cousins with you.
The ticket sales for “The Ride: Holiday Edition” are $79 a ticket with group sale discounts, but no age discounts. Sorry kids, mommy has to pay full price for you. The ride lasts 75 minutes, but honestly it felt like it was over too soon. You need to arrive 15 minutes early. Our ride was 7:30 pm, and they left promptly at 7:30. If you miss your bus no refunds or exchanges are issued! The one question that keeps going around in my head is, “was that worth $79?” If I didn’t frequent NYC often then no, I dont feel it’s a good price. However, if I’m a tourist visiting NYC I highly recommended “The Ride”. It’s a unique experience that you will take home and still be talking about. There are travel sites out there that offer discounted tickets, look for them, and capitalize on them because it is so much fun.
So final review of “The Ride: Holiday Edition”, go! Bring a friend or two with you, but look on different travel sites for a good deal. It’s a laugh out loud tour of NYC that will make your night. Take an evening ride to see the city all lit up, and if it’s the holidays, wait till after Thanksgiving for the rest of NYC to be in full holiday swing. My 18 year old daughter loved it, my friends like it, and in the words of my six year old friend, “it was amazing”. So thank you Stewart, Julie, & the Ride for a memorable evening. PS: Don’t forget to tip your guides! #theridenyc