Photos: Take a Bite Out of The Big Apple

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  1. A full moon rises over the skyline of New York City, as seen across the Hudson River in Weehawken, N.J., on April 25, 2013. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Commuters move through the grand hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Jan. 25, 2013. Since its grand beginnings in 1913, when it was dubbed the greatest railway terminal in the world with an $80 million price tag, Grand Central has been an integral part of New York City. (Brendan Mcdermid / REUTERS) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Revelers cheers under falling confetti at the stroke of midnight during the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square on Jan. 1, 2014. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. One World Trade Center overlooks the wedge-shaped pavilion entrance of the National September 11 Museum, lower right, and the square outlines of the memorial waterfalls in New York. (Mark Lennihan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout after flying out in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians on June 13, 2011, at Yankee Stadium. Located in the South Bronx, the new stadium opened in 2009. (Jim Mcisaac / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Central Park was the first public park built in America. Its 843 acres include woodlands, lawns and water. Central Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and a New York City Landmark in 1974. More than 25 million visitors enjoy Central Park each year. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Saint Patrick's Cathedral is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the U.S. The cathedral's construction began in 1858, and it opened its doors in 1879. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Skaters glide around the rink at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. The ice rink, open between October and April, has attracted more than 250,000 people a year since it first opened on Dec. 25, 1936. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Patrons line up outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem to see Amateur Night. Since 1934, Amateur Night at the Apollo has launched the careers of famous entertainers such as Billie Holiday, James Brown, The Isley Brothers, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, and many others. (Jonathan D. Woods / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The South Pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City commemorates those who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. (Justin Lane / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Pedestrians pass along a walkway under falling snow on the Brooklyn Bridge on Jan. 3, 2014, in New York. One of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S., the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. The Statue of Liberty looms over a visitor as he uses binoculars to look out onto New York Harbor on Oct. 13, 2013, in New York. About 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island each year. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Coney Island features entertainment parks, rides, an aquarium, a public beach, a boardwalk, fishing and Nathan's restaurant. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. New York City Subway dancer Marcus Walden aka "Mr Wiggles" performs acrobatic tricks on the subway while passengers watch Nov. 23, 2010. More than 4.3 million people ride the New York subway system every day. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of two-mile-long Roosevelt Island - between Manhattan and Queens - was dedicated in 2012. (Paul Warchol / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York has been around since 1924 and includes large balloons, floats and performances. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Visitors view the Manhattan skyline from Rockefeller Center's "Top of the Rock" observation deck. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Pedestrians walk along a path on the High Line park on June 7, 2011, in New York City. The High Line was formerly an elevated railway 30 feet above the city's West Side that was built in 1934 for freight trains. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The moon rises at sunset behind New York's Empire State building, which opened in 1931. At 102 stories high, the Empire State Building is the fourth tallest skyscraper in America. (Gary Hershorn / REUTERS) Back to slideshow navigation
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By
Special to msnbc.com
updated 4/14/2006 6:37:01 PM ET 2006-04-14T22:37:01

I love Paris in the Fall and Aspen in the Winter but nothing compares to New York City in the Spring. With over 8 million New Yorkers itching to get out of their apartments, the spring is the best time for a tourist to experience the Big Apple.

Bring the family or that special someone and explore the winding streets of the village or the hubbub of 42nd Street.  Below are my suggestions for things to do and places to see on a spring weekend in New York.           

Top of the Rock
Skip the line at the Empire State Building and head up to the 70th floor observation deck of Rockefeller Center known as the Top of the Rock.  After being closed to the public for 20 years, the refurbished observation deck offers 6 floors of exhibits, interactive displays and a 360 degree unobstructed view of New York City.  After experiencing it firsthand I think it should be everyone’s first stop in New York!

Central Park
Nothing is more special in New York than Central Park.  With over 843 acres of woods, water and paths, Central Park is a chance to escape from the excitement of the city.  For a romantic moment find your way over to the Bow Bridge or hire a horse drawn carriage from 59th street.  Don’t forget to take the kids to the carousel! 

Frozen Hot Chocolate?
After a long afternoon of walking around the streets of New York, nothing is better than a sweet treat.  Make your way over to East 60th Street and indulge in New York’s best dessert- the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity III.  It’s worth the week at the gym it will take you to burn off the calories!

Saturday in the Market
A unique New York Experience is exploring the Union Square Green Market.  Stop by on a Saturday morning and sample local produce, buy some fresh flowers or treat yourself to a cookie.  If you like people watching Union Square is the place to be!  There are also many restaurants in the Union Square area with fantastic menus.  Make sure you request a table outside!

See it first!
Springtime in New York is a chance to see your favorite stars.  From April 25 to May 7 is the TriBeCa Film Festival.  The greatest thing about this festival is that tickets for opening nights and panel discussions are available to everyone.  If you’ve ever wanted to walk the red carpet this is your chance!  Go to www.tribecafilmfestival.org  for more information.

Be a Broadway Baby!
I truly believe that no trip to New York is complete without seeing at least one Broadway show.  Of course you can go the easy route and see classic shows like "Phantom of the Opera," "Beauty and the Beast," "Chicago" or "The Lion King," but if you check out some of the other shows on the Great White Way you just may fall in love with something new.  Below is my list of the top shows.

'Avenue Q'
Puppets and humans deal humorously with racism, sex and the miseries of life in New York in the Tony-winning musical.  By far one of the funniest shows -- if this is your type of humor. Tuesday through Sunday at the John Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th St.). Tickets: Telecharge, (800) 432-7250 or telecharge.com.

'Sweeney Todd'
This chilling musical about the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is presented in a new staging where the actors are also the musicians.  This production is by far one of the highlights of the Broadway season and I encourage you to see it.  With one of Steven Sondheim’s most beloved scores and hauntingly wonderful actors you will never look at a meat pie the same way.

Eugene O’Neill Theatre (230 W. 49th Street). Telecharge.

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'Wicked'
The untold story of the Witches of Oz.  If you are a Wizard of Oz fan, you must check it out.  Though it’s had mixed reviews, I say if you can get a ticket, go for it. Tuesday through Sunday at the Gershwin Theatre (222 W. 51st Street). Ticketmaster.

'Jersey Boys'
Based on the story of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons this new musical is a winner!  From parents reliving their youth to children discovering new music this show is great for the whole family.

August Wilson Theatre (245 W. 52nd Street). Telecharge.

'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'
Based on the 1988 film of the same name about two con men trying to scam a gorgeous blonde. The songs might not be memorable but with fantastic performances and a great story the show is a winner. Tuesday through Sunday at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th St.). Telecharge.

'The Producers'
Mel Brooks’ musical, based on his movie about two theatrical producers who try to make a flop, is rich with laugh-out-loud songs, sets and costumes.  (Yes, even the costumes are funny!) Having won the most Tony Awards ever in a single year, this is a sure bet for a fantastic show.  Tuesday through Sunday at the St. James Theatre (246 W. 44th St.). Telecharge.

'Hairspray'
This fluffy musical about a heavy girl becoming a TV dance star offers a dose of campy fun. Tuesday through Sunday at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 W. 52nd St.). Ticketmaster.

Tickets available via Telecharge.

'Mamma Mia!'
This show -- about a young girl’s wedding, and her desire to figure out who her father is -- will have you dancing in the aisles, literally. Not much plot, but a good family pick nonetheless.  Wednesday through Sunday at the Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway). Telecharge.

'Tarzan'
Swinging into the Broadway stage is Tarzan.  Disney makes magic again with this high flying musical about the boy raised by apes who meets Jane. Based on the other success of the other Disney musicals - this show will be around for a long time.

Richard Rodgers Theater (226 W. 46th Street). Ticketmaster.

'The Color Purple'
Based on the book by Alice Walker and the movie by Steven Spielberg this musical -- which has the support of Oprah Winfrey -- has a score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and the blues.  A story of hope and the healing power of love, you will leave the theater with a new sense of being!

The Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway @ 53rd Street). Telecharge.


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