Today we’re debuting a new feature focusing on “only in NYC” experiences. This fun-filled column will uncover some of the most unique and epic family destinations in New York City. Strap on your safety belts, grip those handlebars and come along for the ride!
Welcome to The Vessel, the most fascinating architectural landmark to hit New York City in several years. Families can not only gawk at this stunning work on the West Side near Chelsea, but they can also climb it to experience a unique vantage point of the city. On your ascent, you’ll be treated to sweet views of the Hudson River, Empire State Building, The Shed, High Line and over the Equinox Hotel’s pool.
This honeycomb shaped oddity designed by Thomas Heatherwick, nicknamed “the shwarma,” is the focal point of the Hudson Yards redevelopment project. Our family were thrilled to be one of the first to visit The Vessel during its opening weekend in March 2019. It’s so impressive that we visited seven times since. We believe it’s the most exciting new, permanent attraction to hit NYC since One World Observatory at One World Trade Center.
We raced, meandered, paused and soaked in the breathtaking views from the different platforms. The best part is that visiting the Vessel is completely FREE. However, you have will need to go online to reserve your timed tickets in advance or reserve tickets onsite for the same day at one of the interactive kiosks in the plaza.
Here’s some fast facts and other helpful information families will need before you visit:
- If you plan to visit during a regular weekday, you will most likely receive tickets to visit the stunning landmark instantly. If you visit on a weekend, your timed tickets might mean a wait time of an hour or two
- The Vessel features 154 different staircases, 80 platform landings and approximately 2,500 steps so you can get some great exercise while soaking in the views
- The structure does have a beautiful, glass elevator that is ADA compliant, and it is meant to be used strictly for guests with disabilities. Shhhh, my children are obsessed with the elevator so if you visit on a slow day, you might have an opportunity to hop aboard the sleek ride
- “The Vessel” is a temporary name so we wouldn’t be surprised if it earns a new name next year. (You can suggest one on Hudson Yards website.) We just hope it doesn’t sell out to a corporate sponsor.
- The best comparison to The Vessel we could come up with is “Cloud Gate,” better known as The Bean,” in Chicago, but this is even cooler.
The Vessel plaza at Hudson Yards leads directly onto the High Line Park. Families can make a day of it and stroll the High Line, eat or shop in the new Hudson Yards mall, and — someday — venture to see forever at soon to be opened, Edge. Edge is slated to be the tallest, outdoor observation deck in New York City and features a glass bottom which might be tricky for a dad like me who suffers from vertigo.
Stay tuned for our next “only in NYC” adventure.