There is way more to the trip than what that Lucy did. I have to humbly share some of the good deals we came across so that you know how cool I am.
1. Hotel - we stayed at the Navy Lodge (a standard hotel like operation run by the Navy - similar to AF visiting officer quarters) on Staten Island under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge. It is part of the Fort Wadsworth complex. Cory loved the Fort and cannons. The 'deal' was that we stayed for under $100 a night and stayed in a semi-secure area away from the craziness of the Big Apple. The room had a full size fridge, sink, stove top, and microwave. There was a small playground outside the hotel and a quiet beach on the Fort as well. We were just a few miles away from the Staten Island Ferry. We paid a small fee to park at the dock and then enjoyed a FREE ride to downtown Manhattan every day. One last thing I have to add, the kids loved playing hide and seek in the hotel room. Nothing to do with where we stayed or anything other than they loved hiding in different "parts" of the one-room hotel setup.
2. Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) office on Fort W. They had discount tickets to the Statue of Liberty (that included access to the monument - that was otherwise unavailable unless booked well in advance from National Park Service and also saves us hours and hours in line because we had special 'load anytime access' tickets instead of a timed ticket from the normal website). They had daily pass tickets available for purchase for unlimited rides on NYC subway. They also had good advice on things to do in the city. We got the hint to go up to the Top of Rock at Rockefeller Center instead of the Empire State Building.
3. Top of the Rock. I read a little on-line and was considering this vs Empire State Building. Quick survey of the on-line forums leads you to believe ESB has long lines and not so friendly setup, while the Top of the Rock was less popular with crowds/group tours but offered same view with no hassle. Thanks to Navy MWR I knew they also had a huge military discount (not advertised) reducing price to $10 per person. And just as billed there was no wait, a very friendly staff, and awesome views of the city.
4. Times Square - Toys R Us Ferris Wheel: The store was four stories and had a huge opening in the center. We paid just $4 per person to ride around the Ferris wheel 5-6 times. The ride was 5-10 minutes long. When we compare that to a $10 elephant ride that lasted for less than 60 seconds at the Circus a few days earlier...we thought it was a deal. The kids had smiles on the entire time. They were excited about what car they would get to ride in (they were all decorated with different characters/themes - Cory, Riley, Dad were in the Little People Bus - Mary, Lucy, and Mom were in the M&M car) and excited to see the floors of toys as they went around. Inside the store they had cool decorations.
Lego (Statue of Liberty, ESB & King Kong, and a NY Hot Dog Cart--just to name a few!).
We were only IN the city for 2 full days but we had tons of fun!!