Have you ever found an experience so delightful, you couldn’t stop thinking and talking about it? The Ride New York City is one of those rare adventures. Part city sightseeing tour, part interactive entertainment, part education, The Ride is something you have to see to believe. Have I piqued your interest? Read on to learn more about this unique experience for tourists and locals alike.

Celebrating Halloween on The Ride NYC.

Selfie with my sister and niece.
Photo: Kirsten Maxwell – Teaching Traveling Mom

The Ride NYC

We visited New York in early October and made plans to enjoy The Ride In Masquerade. We had several friends who said their children “loved” The Ride. My sister and her family came in from Long Island and our kids were super excited to try this tour with their cousins. This seasonal themed ride involves participants taking a journey through historic New York and interacting with “ghosts” outside the bus. Everyone eagerly anticipated “The Ride” and what it might entail.

What Is the Ride NYC?

Pick up at locations in town or buy them on line before boarding the bus. This isn’t your typical double decker bus. It has stadium style seating, and floor to ceiling windows, so no seat is a bad seat. This means no one has to push and shove to get on the bus. As we boarded, everyone was given a masquerade type mask to set the mood. 

The Ride

Once everyone was settled, our host and hostess introduced themselves and began interacting with the passengers. “The Ride” is actually the name of the bus. As we made our way through the streets of New York, the guides provided interesting facts about the city.

Along the way, we encounter the spirits that haunt New York City. These ghosts are performers who are part of the tour, but they blend into the everyday life of the city. They are extremely talented, showing off everything from dance moves to singing, right there in the middle of the sidewalk. People on the streets seem oblivious to the tour at times, but other times they will wave back and interact with the passengers and the show.

Looking for a great tour of NYC for tweens and teens? The Ride New York City combines a drive around some of the city's most famous sights with eye-popping street performances.

Photo: The Ride

Need to Know

The tour takes about 75 minutes. It winds through 10 New York City neighborhoods, past sights such as Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, the New York Public Library, and Madison Avenue, to name a few.

The bus is equipped with surround sound, LED lights, and 40 LCD TVs, so it is non-stop entertainment from the second you step on the bus. Everyone gets to be part of the show. Our kids loved dancing, singing, and being goofy with the rest of the crowd.

TravelingMom Tip: There is no restroom on the bus, so be sure to use it before you go. Also note that The Ride NYC is not recommended for children under age 6. We took 5 kids, ages 9 through 14 and they loved every minute. Some of the jokes may have been over their heads, but that’s part of the fun!

Stadium seating inside The Ride NYC bus ensures everyone has a view of the show.

The Ride NYC bus is set up with stadium seating so everyone has a view of the performances. Photo: Kirsten Maxwell – Teaching Traveling Mom

What We Loved

The Ride NYC is magical. As we entered the bus, we knew we were about to experience a new type of tour. All pretense was left at the door (except for that of my teenage niece who took a bit to let go of her “teenager-ness”), and everyone excitedly took pictures of one another in their masks. Right away, the host and hostess (who stand where everyone can see them), start asking questions and engaging the passengers, so the conversation is always flowing. They play a trivia game about the city throughout the ride as well as provide attraction insight, so there’s an educational element to the tour. All of that was almost secondary, because within the first five minutes we’re all singing and dancing like we’ve known each other for years.

It’s fun to watch New Yorkers (and tourists) to see if they notice The Ride happening around them. Those were some of the best moments. We would try to get the attention of the people on the street and when they would interact with us, the bus would go crazy. To see the laughter on all the kids faces was worth every penny. Their favorite was the ghost who learned how to “rap.” He was the highlight by far, making up lyrics as he walked alongside the bus. He was amazing and the kids keep asking me to replay the video!

We went on a night time tour, but The Ride operates during the day as well. There also is a The Ride Holiday Edition which I imagine is just as special.

Have you experienced The Ride NYC? What was your favorite part?