If you’ve set foot in New York City or even just seen it in a movie, you would know that there are a ton of tourists in New York. Everywhere you look there is a tour bus of some sort. After living here for over 12 years, I stopped paying attention to this long, long ago. Taking a tour around the city isn’t something that’s ever interested me. So, I was surprised at what I found myself doing on our mini getaway this weekend–I was riding a bus around the city!
Now, I wasn’t riding an ordinary city bus, nor was I riding the double-decker tour buses. I was invited* to take a tour of the city on something called The Ride. I’m not sure how I’ve never seen this bus in the city before, but now that I know what it is, I will be looking out for it and all the entertainment that goes with following the bus around.
This is how it works. You can purchase tickets to The Ride online. Select one of the showtimes available for the day (there are many to choose from). Then when it’s time for it to begin, arrive outside Chevy’s, a Mexican restaurant, located off 42nd street and close to 8th Ave. This is where The Ride loads. It looks like a pretty ordinary bus from the side we were waiting to enter, but once we boarded, we saw this was no ordinary bus!
Inside the bus is horizontal stadium seating. Three rows ensures that many can fit on the bus and everyone has a great seat to view the “show”. Directly in front of the seats are large windows that enable you to see everything outside the bus. This is important, as what we are about to see is going to be outside those windows.
We had two guides, Scott and Jackie, who were very fun and charismatic. They joked around a lot and narrated our experience. The bus begins the tour and we find ourselves stopped in front of Times Square where there is a very peculiar character waiting for New Year’s Eve to begin. He has a microphone and is talking to us–he can hear/see us and we can hear/see him. So can everyone else around him in Times Square walking by. Here is where this gets funny–he pulls a random bystander into the show and unbeknownst to them they are part of our entertainment. Their reactions can’t be predicted and it is very funny.
As we ride on this tour, we learn some historical stuff, see some incredible landmarks, have great conversation and play trivia games with our guides, and we see spontaneous entertainment throughout the city. You truly never know what you are going to see in the city at any given time, which is part of the appeal of The Ride, as the city is a character in and of itself. We continue to see some odd things happening in the city–ballet dancers doing a perfectly choreographed piece while a line of people wait for a city bus (they don’t even notice it happening around them!), rappers singing on the streets, saxophone players and other street performers placed throughout the line of the bus tour. Then you add in the hustle and bustle of New York around these performers and the combination is hysterical.
Even if you know New York like the back of your hand, this is an experience to be had. You will be thoroughly entertained and have a wonderful time! It was like seeing a show on wheels, which was a blast! Just for fun–did you know even The Simpson’s have enjoyed The Ride?
This was a very family friendly experience and my boys and I loved it. We rode during the daytime, so I would love to come back and ride at night for a different experience. I would definitely recommend this as a fun activity to do while in NYC. You can learn more about it by visiting The Ride’s website.
*we were invited to visit to facilitate a review, all opinions are my own.