What do you do on your first day in New York City (NYC)? Shop of course! Okay, really we had an excuse. We had flown into NYC on Sunday during the day and had to stay awake until bedtime so we spent the rest of the day walking and walking and walking. Monday, jet lagged and up partying in bed since 3am, we decided our first full day in NYC was the best day to head to Woodbury Common.
What’s a trip to the US without a trip to one of their infamous outlet villages – did you notice that I said “village” not “mall”. That’s because these places are giant-sized, like all things American! Many people on a trip to NYC may miss Woodbury Common. Fair enough I say, there is A LOT to do and see IN NYC. Plus, it is a day-trek out to Woodbury Common. But this outlet village is one that I do love visiting! Having said that, I still wouldn’t go unless there were a few things I had in mind to purchase, because as I said, there’s a lot to do already in NYC!
Decision to go to Woodbury Common being made, we were on the Shortline Bus (from Port Authority) by 8:15am – and that’s after walking six blocks cross town, a couple more blocks up and down, and then consuming a full breakfast. That’s how early we were out of the hotel!
Outlet shopping at its best
Woodbury Common is a behemoth of a shopping village. Honestly the largest outlet I’ve been to – though I haven’t been to that many – so perhaps I’m not the best judge. But really, I don’t need anything bigger when it comes to shopping. This is a full-day excursion as it is and my feet can only take so much walking (and I love walking too, trust me!).
It is also good to note that one or two decent food outlets have sprung up since our last visit – namely Shake Shack, Le Pain Quotidien and Yo Sushi. I’d include my favourite fast food chain, Chipotle, but the press on that hasn’t been favourable lately (um food poisoning anyone?) – so I steered clear this trip! There’s even a Pinkberry and a Magnolia Bakery outlet now, so good snack break if required. On the coffee front, not so good! But we’re here to shop and go, not to sit down and eat! Eating here is purely functional.
The highlights of our shop
A new ski suit for Miss 12 was definitely on the list. She had grown out of her ski gear too quickly and went on her spring break ski trip with mine, and well, I don’t like sharing. We found her a complete ski outfit, jacket and trousers for well under a $100 from Spyder. OK… there was not a huge selection in the kids’ section, thus, you may not necessarily get the colour you were necessarily looking for. It was requested that no pink made it into her ski outfit… Pink made it in, truly and loudly! But really, how many season(s) will she be able to wear this outfit before she hands it down to Miss 10? Note however, there was a much larger – and pricier – selection of Ladies’ gear that she could have worn and grow out of in no time, of course.
There was a line out of the Kate Spade outlet that day. 70% off everything in the store! No kidding! No, I didn’t queue. I don’t queue. I don’t care if it is 70% off, I just don’t do queuing. We were lucky that a crowd of people exited the store when we went closer to see what the fuss was. We were able to walk straight in! I may not queue, but I am a busy body, and I would like to know why people are queuing! Misses 12 and 10 got pretty new handbags! Definitely not on the list.
Nike always has good bargains going. The Man got a pair of much needed new sneakers. I wish I could’ve been bothered looking – but I was spent!
There were many things on our list that we could not find in the shops, but as happens when you go shopping, you never get everything you want on your list. You may, however, get many items not on your list! Surely that balances things out?
Some notes that may help
- We took the Shortline bus to Woodbury Common, you can buy your tickets online, but you will still need to go to the Shortline ticket counter at Port Authority to print off physical ticket – don’t ask, it’s on the instruction manual!
Visit this website: https://woodburybybus.com/Woodbury/Home
You can usually get $5 off the ticket price so it’s $37 for an adult and $16 for a child
If you do go by (Shortline) bus and decide to leave the outlets at around 5pm, be prepared to wait…a long time. I’d say we waited 4 busloads and arrived back in Manhattan at 7:30pm. We did however, miss the peak hour traffic, so we may have arrived back at Port Authority at the same time as those who made the 5pm bus.
The journey back was just 45 min… you do the math, that’s how long we had to stand in line for – despite not doing queues!! Consider tag-teaming after 4pm or so!
- An idea may be to take a train out of Manhattan and then rent a car (it is cheaper to rent a car outside Manhattan than inside the city). It could be a more convenient and cost effective option anyway, especially if there are a few of you.
- Be prepared to walk… a lot, it’s a massively spread-out “village”, so wear good walking shoes.
- This point is only if you’re short on time and on the OCD spectrum. Get there early! Or print off the map and plan your route – I am not kidding when I say it’s a behemoth of a mall. Mark out the shops you definitely need to visit and stick to your schedule and route. I’ve never done that. As a result, this trip, we literally did several lovely long u-ey’s! My feet were done for the rest of the week! Plus I get a bit excited, when faced with this many shops, to follow a schedule! This is despite being on the OCD spectrum.
- No kidding, but people do bring a suitcase with them, you can store it at the bottom of the bus, then in lockers at the Outlets. OR you can just buy yourself a suitcase from the luggage stores there (Samsonite and Tumi both have stores there).
- It’s been noted that some shops produce items specifically for their outlet store, so it’s a bargain for a reason.
- BEWARE that just because the shops are “factory outlets”, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cheaper! Google is your friend! We were in the market for a new suitcase as the humidity in Singapore had melted the wheels off one of our suitcases….however we’d checked out some prices at Macys the day before and found it much cheaper at Macy’s.
I think we were at Woodbury Common from 10am – 5pm, though didn’t physically get back into the city until 7:30pm. We had a quick lunch, then a much needed coffee break. There were way too many loops around the outlets, we visited way too many shops we didn’t intend on visiting and we definitely spent well enough.
Was it worth our time this trip?
Yes, I think the savings, even on just that one ski outfit for Ms 12 was well worth the effort.
- Was it one of those things that, if we didn’t go, would we have wondered if we’d missed bargains?
- Would we have spent too much elsewhere? Though, being a holiday, would we have cared so much?
- Would our time have been better spent elsewhere or in the city?
So many questions! But, because we had a whole week in NYC, I’m glad we made the trek. I guess the questions above are the ones you need to ask yourself before you make the effort to go out there!
If you do find yourself in Woodbury Common, enjoy the shopping and good luck with the bargain hunting. I’d love to hear your tips as I’ll be back in NYC before the year end, I’m sure! Be sure and like us on Facebook so you can keep up with my adventures out of #deepestdarkestsuburbia.
Please note that images are stock photography from Stocksnap.io and not actually of Woodbury Common. Sabina was far too busy shopping to take pics of her adventure.