Sure, you can spend a bundle in the city, seeing the hottest shows and eating at the priciest restaurants. But you can also fill your days in the Big Apple with worthwhile attractions that cost $12 or less, usually with discounts for children, students, and seniors. Here, with some help from NYC & Company (the city's marketing agency), is a small sampling:
I am among those who have spent many an entertaining hour at the Museum of Television & Radio at 25 West 52d St. You can watch or listen to more than 120,000 programs and ads dating to 1918. You simply choose a program and watch or listen to it on a console, alone or with up to four people. Come on now, you've been dying to hear Archie Bunker bellow just one more time. Adult admission is $10.
Visit www.mtr.org and click on New York or call 212-621-6800.
Watch those dolphins leap at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. It's the city's only aquarium, with more than 8,000 creatures. No matter your age, you will learn and be entertained. Adult admission is $12.
Visit www.nyaquarium.com or call 718-265-FISH .
Manhattan's only remaining Dutch Colonial farmhouse is eight miles and a world apart from Times Square, and costs but $1 admission. The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum at 4881 Broadway at 204th Street lets visitors see the parlor, dining room, and farm office; the Relic Room features photos and artifacts of Inwood from the last two centuries. Many of the objects date from the Revolutionary War period, when the Hessians -- German soldiers serving with the British -- camped there.
Visit www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org or call 212-304-9422.
Everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty and especially Ellis Island to live the story of American immigration. You will learn , for instance , that Annie Moore of Ireland celebrated her 15th birthday on Jan. 1, 1892, the day she became the first of more than 12 million immigrant steamship passengers to be processed by 1954. There is no admission charge but an adult ferry ticket is $11.50.
There are so many low-cost attractions in New York; for even more, along with city information, go to www.nycvisit.com and click on Visitors, then Things to Do. A guided tour of the United Nations (www.un.org/tours; 212-963-8687 ), for instance, costs $12. But I have always maintained that the greatest attraction is the vibrant city itself, especially Manhattan with its sights and lights and characters. Whenever I visit, I walk until my feet protest.
Visit www.shorehamhotel.com or call 800-553-3347.
Visit www.hotelgansevoort.com and click on Getaway Specials for lower-priced packages, or call 877-426-7386 .
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at email@example.com.