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New York Day Trip Travel Tips and Review of Cirque du Soleil Zarkana

Updated on April 14, 2015
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden | Source
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall | Source

During a recent trip to New York City, I noted a few travel tips that I will follow next time for more successful travel. If you are planning a day trip to the big apple sometime soon, here are some travel tips to remember:


Check the weather report for your destination location:

Check the weather at least one day ahead of time, as well as the morning of your trip to plan accordingly with regards to attire and supplies. Even if the weather is calling for a sunny, hot day, consider that you still might need to bring a jacket or sweater for air conditioned trains, planes, theaters or restaurants. In my case, the weather prediction was party cloudy and 50% chance of rain. I decided to bring one compact umbrella small enough to fit in a handbag or backpack. While waiting in line, it started raining lightly, and then heavily. We weren't sure how long we would be in line, and because there was a group of us and no one had umbrellas, we decided to quickly buy some umbrellas from a vendor. It was well worth the money, because after the show, it was like a monsoon outside (no exaggeration), and it took about 15 to 20 minutes to find a taxi cab back to the train station. Here is a picture of the roads looked like in the evening when traveling (see right):

Buy tickets ahead of time: When I was in New York to see a 3pm show at Radio City Music Hall, we arrived at 2pm, and there were 2 lines forming, a shorter line, where they were letting ticket holders in, and a second line which was already a block long, for anyone buying tickets. For the Cirque du Soleil or any show, for best seating and to avoid having to wait in line for tickets at the door, buy online, ahead of time. There are many websites where you can buy tickets. You can go to and search for "cirque du soleil zarkana tickets" or go to and then click on the Tickets link. When buying tickets online, try to find a website that has a diagram of the theater so you confirm the location of your seating. Select a reputable website for purchasing tickets, and be sure that it is a secure website (https:).


Don't bring water bottles to Radio City Music Hall: Since it was going to be a long day, we decided to bring a backpack with a half dozen water bottles for everyone. When we got in line at Radio City Music Hall, they did a bag check so all bags had to be opened. They said no liquids allowed including water bottles, so all our water bottles had to be thrown away. Inside, they were
selling water bottles for $5.00 each (quite expensive).

Use the restroom before the show starts: The restroom in Radio City Music Hall is located downstairs off the main lobby. If at all possible, use the restroom before the show starts, or during the show. After the show, everyone in the theater (which holds approximately $6,000 spectators) moves out to the lobby quickly, and lines form quickly at the restrooms, especially the women's

Traffic Jam
Traffic Jam | Source

How to hail a cab in New York City: After the show, as spectators left the theater, many waited outside for transportation. There was also heavy rain falling, and it was challenging hailing a cab. Since there were so many people trying to hail a cab near the theater, we walked a few blocks away from the theater, where there were less people and it was a little easier hailing a cab. Eventually, we were able to hail a cab. However, I did notice that many cab drivers drove past and didn't stop, so the day after the trip, I looked online to try to find information about the light on top the cab. Here's what I learned:

  • When the light in the center is lit, and the cab number is highlighted, the cab is available.
  • When the cab number as well as the side lamps are lit, the cab is off-duty.
  • When no lights are lit, the cab has passengers and which they are bringing to a destination, so they are not available.

Review of Cirque du Soleil Zarkana

I have seen two other Cirque du Soleil shows, including the "O" show with water which was absolutely amazing (my favorite Cirque du Soleil show thus far). I think once you see the "O" show with breathtaking effects in water, it's not easy to compare it to any other show. Therefore, I give the "O" show 10 stars.

Zarkana was an excellent show, and included many of the common hire wire, juggling, strength and balancing acts, but all done exquisitely and to perfection. There was one instance when one of high wire performers fell on the net, but the rest of the show was exciting to watch, so it didn't take away from the rest of the show, and everyone was glad there was a net.

My rating of Zarkana: 9 out of 10 stars. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 was because some of the story was a little confusing to follow, but I think overall, it was an exciting show, and well worth seeing.

I would recommend getting very good seats, even it is a little more expensive. There are so many exciting things going on, so you want to make sure you are able to see the whole stage and all the performers.

Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall | Source

Here is a trailer from the Zarkana show:

To compare Zarkana with another show, here is a trailer from the O show (performances combined with water):


In conclusion, planning ahead when going to New York or any destination is a must for a more successful trip! Of course there are things like mother nature and the weather which you cannot change, but if it does rain, having an umbrella handy, or a jacket with a hood will help you be better prepared for the weather. Sturdy sneakers can also help if you plan on doing a lot of walking. Finally, I would recommend doing a little research online ahead of time, including reading reviews for shows before purchasing tickets, checking nearby restaurants and checking online maps and directions for your destination.

Have you seen Zarkana, and if so, did you like the show?

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© 2012 Amelia Griggs


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