newyear1By Matthew D. Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso

Happy 2010; a bit belatedly. I want to share an incredible experience I had with my family this New Year’s Eve in New York City. With a little help from some savvy friends, we had an evening that I don’t think my family will ever forget.

If you’ve watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV, I’m sure you can imagine how exhilarating it is to be there and feel that energy. You’re personally experiencing and sharing an annual event that’s world famous and viewed by billions.

A Family Experience
But having children with you can make it a lot more challenging. Your younger kids are not thrilled about the cold or the (to them) towering crowds. Well, this year I found out that if you know a few inside secrets, New Year’s Eve in NYC can be outstanding for everyone in the family.

Jessica and I had Evan (14), Matt (12) and Clay (4) with us. I had a chat with Kitt of Discover New York with Kitt Garrett (a Virtuoso On-Site of course!) and she put me in touch with a great restaurant called Tony’s di Napoli on 43rd Street. Family-style Italian, table sharing and a terrific show featuring Broadway performers.

The Countdown Begins
We had a terrific evening, and about 30 minutes before the ball drop, we headed outside. We were guided inside the barricades and led to a prime spot right in front of the police substation in Times Square. Literally a million people were standing behind us and New York’s finest (NYPD) were personally watching over us. Incredible! An officer asked Jessica and Clay if they’d like to warm up in the sub-station, so while the older kids and I stayed in the cold with the revelers, they were offered a cookie and a chair. Clay even got to meet the Chief of Police! Jessica and Clay stay stayed happily indoors until about five minutes before the ball drop.

Finally, the countdown began and the glittering ball seemed to drop directly toward us. I got some terrific shots. Everyone was excited and oohing and aahing. It was perfect. A New Year’s to remember and a fantastic start to 2010. All thanks to some inside advice from a native New Yorker and Virtuoso On-Site!

Click here to learn more about the one-of-a-kind travel experiences that a Virtuoso travel advisor can create for you.