Caroline Holmboe Family Trip
Our trip to NYC started with my husband winning two tickets to a screening of the Tonight Show at my younger daughter’s school. We thought we’d make the most of this opportunity and take both our daughters (ages 34 and 11) to NYC. Since it was a short trip (3 nights and 3 days basically) I knew we had to make the most of our time which is why I contacted Discover New York and Beyond which I had read about in Conde’ Nast Travel magazine as being a recommended top travel specialist for NYC.
I contacted DNY and discussed my needs with Raynard, one of the teams’ Project Managers. Mr. Slowman created an itinerary for our family based on our interests and time frame in NYC. Since it was my 11 year old daughter’s first trip to NYC, I wanted her to see some iconic NYC sites that she often sees in movies and television programs. Therefore we visited the Statue of Liberty (climbing the many stairs to the crown – my favorite part of the trip) as well as Ellis Island, Central Park and saw the Broadway show School of Rock. Although we could have done all of this without the assistance of Mr. Slowman and DNY, we would not have had the many amenities that were provided to us such as a private tour guide, private transportation, and the opportunity to have a Private Lesson from a cast member in the show!!!!
Our tour guide, a lovely lady who was born and raised in NYC, escorted us to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. During this time she provided interesting facts about NYC as well as provided a great historical prospective of her own ties to Ellis Island. After our tour she took the subway with us to a part of town we wanted to go and then walked us to the door of our restaurant where we were having lunch. The next day she met us at a private studio where we learned a song and dance to the show. The cast member who taught the lesson was a wonderful man who had great energy and was really interactive with kids and adults alike. The pianist who accompanied him was very talented and it was interesting to see them work together so we got the feel of what an actual rehearsal might be like. My 11 year old daughter, who participates in theater productions at her school, loved this part of our tour. She said it made it seem “more real to her to see adults doing this as their job and not just a hobby”.
Afterwards our tour guide walked us to our lunch destination which bordered Central Park South. After lunch we were met outside the restaurant by our two wonderful pedicab drivers who took us on a two hour tour of Central Park. We saw many sights that none of us had seen before such as Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge, Balto statue, Bethesda statue and terrace, etc. Our drivers gave us time to stop and take photos and explore certain parts of the park as well as taking photos of us with iconic NYC sights in the background. My 11 year old daughter was especially impressed when they pointed out the playground where the kids in the Disney TV show “Jesse” are filmed and also pointed out several locations from the movies “Home Alone” and “Elf” which we had just recently watched before Christmas. This made Central Park “real” to her too.
That night was the School of Rock performance. This was a really awesome energetic show, absolutely for kids of all ages! My husband and I enjoyed this show as much as our daughter did. She kept looking at us during the show mouthing “this is AWESOME!!!!”. What was even more awesome though was that after the show we were able to have a backstage tour where we met several of the actors, tried on costumes and got to see the wig room and the stars’ dressing rooms as well as walking onto the main stage and taking photos. This was the highlight of our trip since it was such a unique, one of a kind experience. The actor who gave us the backstage tour was so nice and friendly and really made us feel welcome.
Raynard from DNY suggested this knowing that my daughter was interested in the theater but I’m sure that my husband and I enjoyed it as much as she did. After returning home, Raynard called me to make sure that we had enjoyed our trip and to ask for feedback. During that conversation Kitt Garrett got on the line too and I chatted with her for a bit as well.
My experience with DNY was excellent from start to finish. I felt like they really had our best interests in mind while working with a limited time frame and some pre-planned events we had already scheduled and that they really, really wanted us to have a great time! They made the most of our days in a way that was practical for us. I really appreciated their pre-trip questions, suggestions, detailed itinerary, many contact phone numbers and just the peace of mind that if something unplanned for occurred they were literally just a phone call or text away. I also felt like they really cared about my post-trip feedback. I highly recommend Discover New York & Beyond and would use them again in the future. I wish I had known about them last summer when we were in Boston for 24 hours. That’s part of the “Beyond” in their name.
Caroline Holmboe and Family
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