Up until a week ago, my children had never had the opportunity to visit New York City.  It has been a dream of mine to one day introduce them to the hustle and bustle of the city that I dearly love.

I was thrilled to get the opportunity!We officially kicked off our summer vacation with a family trip to Manhattan. Not only did we bring the boys, but we also treated my mother and father-in-law and to surprise tour of the Big Apple a la THE RIDE

THE RIDE is part scenic tour, part comedy tour and part off Broadway show all facilitated via tour bus. But these aren’t just any tour buses, THE RIDE’s custom vehicles are outfitted with stadium seating and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Seats face sideways, not forward so audience members look through floor-to-rooftop windows that sport breathtaking city views and make the streets, crowds, and building façades feel just like a show.  Onboard hosts (Jackie and Scott) guide THE RIDE, commenting on New York history and sites, as well as everyday citizens and performers.

THE RIDE is the most unique experience I’ve had in a long, long time.

My husband and two boys L O V E D the street performers that were woven into the tour. Their stages are quite literally the streets of New York. (The free style rapper was my husband’s personal favorite. He was hilarious, to be sure.) I most enjoyed watching the locals acting completely blasé about random opera singers, tap dancers, ballet performers and the like launching into performance in the middle of the street.  Only in New York…

Even my mother and father-in-law (lifelong residents of New Jersey) found themselves dancing in their seats. And THAT is saying something.

It was a BLAST. (Even for me and I’ve been to New York countless times and seen all of “the sights.”) Want another opinion? How about Josh Grobin? Here’s a video of Josh Grobin talking about THE RIDE on Regis & Kelly. Hilarious!

Couple of fun facts about THE RIDE:

  • THE RIDE vehicle itself is over  13 feet high, 45 feet long and 8 feet wide. (Apparently it is as tall as the federal government will allow on the streets of NYC.) It is quite impressive!
  • More than 3,000 LED lights, 40 video screens, a surround-sound system and “floor shaking” technology in each vehicle can create the feel and sound of everything from a subway train to the inside of a nightclub. (Funny thing, later we got on the actual subway prompting my son to quip, “This subway feels like THE RIDE.” LOL.)

A full schedule for THE RIDE is available online at www.experiencetheride.com. To purchase tickets, visit the website or call (866) 299-9682 or visit THE RIDE Box Office located at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel at 1535 Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets.

Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary tickets to experience THE RIDE. All opinions are my own.