Photo credit: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

Photo credit: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

It’s no secret that buying a New York Pass is a great way to save money on New York City attractions. The challenge is to decide which New York Pass to buy–the 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 day pass. You don’t want to waste a day and you don’t want to run out of time to visit as many attractions on your pass as possible.  You know how it is when you go to a new place – you plan to see EVERYthing but after the first day you get tired!

That’s even more true if you’re traveling with very young kids or seniors over age 65. Regardless of age, you just can’t do everything in a day.

So the first step is to take some inventory of everything your group wants to see. Then list them in order of importance. Once you have that list, map out where the attractions are. If one destination is far from the others, you will need to decide if that is really worth it.


I know that for my dad, his wife and 2 friends, one day would not have been enough because they like to dawdle. Well, to me it’s dawdling. To them, it’s pure enjoyment – they stop and touch everything. They were lucky to get to 2 places in a day. My second group of seniors were a little more action oriented but were worse with following directions so they needed to add “lost time” to their plan.

Things to Keep in Mind When Deciding Which New York Pass to Buy

My rule of thumb for seniors is to visit no more than three attractions per day and a minimum 2 day pass.  That should get them to into four to six attractions in two days, with two really good nights’ sleep.

  • It’s hard to do two full days of touring and sightseeing. If you overdo it on the first day, even the heartiest seniors will be too wiped out to enjoy the second day.
  • It costs $27 for one ticket to the top of the Empire State Building, one of the attractions included in the New York Pass.
  • New York Passes have to be used on consecutive calendar days and you get one visit per attraction. The pass activates at your first stop and expires at midnight on the last day. In other words, if you have a 3 day pass, no matter what time you use the pass on the first day, it will expire at midnight on the 3 day.
  • The average price per day for a 3 day ticket is $63 per person.