The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

@TheRideNYC

I never make a big deal out of my birthday. This year, after dealing with three kids all day and never having time for myself, I thought I would try something new – and celebrate it properly! As if on cue, I received an invitation for the new Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride. As a lover of all things Manhattan, and The Ride – since my first tour in 2012 – it was the perfect fit!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

This brand new historical 90-minute adventure not only offered a comprehensive, theatrical, interactive tour around lower Manhattan, but it was the premier of their new 360 degree Virtual Reality component using TimeLooper. And let me tell you, it was Ahhh-mazing!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

Together The Ride really painted a picture of the evolution of Manhattan like none other. Did I mention all of this happened while riding in a stadium-style seating bus redone with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, LCD TV screens, 3,000 LED lights, and surround sound? Yep!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

Similar to The Ride in Times Square, the The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride was the perfect marriage of guided and on screen touring with live cast members on the street (who looked like normal New Yorkers going about their day) woven together. My favorite part of both tours was how these cast members seamless entered our world and then disappeared into the pulse of the city like they were never there.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

Between our wonderfully knowledgeable and animated tour guide and the Virtual Reality headsets, we witnessed President George Washington’s swearing in at Federal Hall in 1789, time traveled to see urban planning, attended a ticker tape parade, and observed the different cultures who have flocked to the downtown area for centuries – to name a few.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride Fearless Girl

From immigration, to the building of the first department store, bridges, tunnels, factories, theatre, arts, the financial center, the charging bull, the fearless girl, we saw it all!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

Having worked in a building at the corner of Water and Wall Street over a decade ago, I spent a great deal of time in lower Manhattan. But since I was always walking around at street level, trying not to bump in to someone, I never looked up. Thanks to The Ride’s glass topped bus I saw the beautiful, decorative tops of building I used to pass daily in a completely new light!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

The route was perfectly planned to teach as the city evolved in front of us. I still don’t know if some of the things were part of the show or just another wonderful random occurrence that could only happen in Manhattan.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride, Photo Credit Alexis Qualls

Photo Credit: Alexis Qualls

Another favorite part was the looks we got in our crazy cool bus driving around the tight streets of downtown. Everyone wanted to wave to us – even the other tour buses! We were like celebrities since the look is so unique… And only one person flipped us the bird.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

If you’re looking for a fun, new, and different experience for a special occasion – or just something new to do – check out The Ride. This is the perfect fit for both locals and tourists.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride

Here’s some proof that I’m not the only one who thinks it’s cool – on June 15th, at 7pm, The Ride celebrates its 15,000th performance in Times Square!

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride, Photo Credit Alexis Qualls

Photo Credit: Alexis Qualls

The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride begins at 200 Water Street overlooking the New York Harbor in front of the historic blocks of South Street Seaport. What consistently amazes me about Manhattan tours, after living and working in the city for thirteen years, is that I always learn something new! But I don’t want to spoil the fun and give away everything – you’ll have to learn the rest for yourself!

And I can help!

The Ride has generously offered to give away a pair of tickets to The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride to two lucky readers of The Mint Chip Mama!

To enter, please:

  1. Like my Facebook page (if you haven’t yet): The Mint Chip Mama
  2. Share this blog post on your Facebook page
  3. Comment below (on the blog’s page) why downtown Manhattan is special to you!

Winner chosen Saturday, June 17th, 2017 at 5pm EST.

The Mint Chip Mama - The Ride, Photo Credit Alexis Qualls

Photo Credit: Alexis Qualls

Published by The Mint Chip Mama

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (10, 6, and 4). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member (and former president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. For more updates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

18 thoughts on “The Downtown Experience, powered by The Ride

  1. I have wanted to try The Ride! Downtown Manhattan is special because it is so full of life and history. It is constantly evolving, so there is always something new to see, but the history endures.

  2. Downtown Manhattan is special to me because I love finding new places in NY to see. I live in Jersey so NY is close but I only go a couple of times a year and try to take it all in and enjoy.

  3. I live in South Jersey and went to Coney Island before, I know that in Manhatten but not sure what part. Anyway we can get a break from the kids for a day trip would be awesome! Thank You!

  4. Moving to nyc has been a childhood dream come true. I have only dome walking tours so it would be awesome to get to experience a city tour in a different way and I would get to see more than you actually do walking

  5. I first got my break after culinary school working downtown for my internship and then first jobs. The city is a magical place that holds many memories for me. Would be a treat to see things through this POV as a tourist and not someone rushing to be somewhere. Hope we win! With 2 kids and a 6 day work week, and all of my EMT work adult time is a rare commodity

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