Since global warming began, it's been getting harder to stay cool in the summer because, like the scientists say, the sun and earth are getting closer to kissing. Enjoy a climate-controlled activity with this Groupon.
$49 for "The Ride" New York City Luxury Bus Tour for One ($74 Value)
Departing from the intersection of 42nd St. and 8th Ave., The Ride's open-visiblity motor coaches take audiences on an interactive journey through the streets of Midtown. Along the way, passengers meet street performers—rappers, Broadway singers, and dancers—as well as scores of regular New Yorkers. A PA system allows audiences to communicate directly with those outside, and internal speakers bring the sounds of the performers and the street inside. A holiday-themed tour runs from late November until early January, during which the performers regale tour-goers with seasonal vignettes and music. See the complete tour schedule here.
Aboard the motor coach, Anderson Cooper sank lower in his seat, grinning and pulling his hat over his eyes as a friendly rapper called him out by name. But this rapper wasn't on-board the coach. Instead, he was spitting his rhymes from the sidewalk outside, performing for an audience on one of The Ride's interactive New York City tours. Though unique, Mr. Cooper's experience has been shared by hundreds of other famous personalities, tourists, and locals. Floor-to-ceiling windows cover the entire right side and roof of each of The Ride's custom built-motor coaches, breaking the fourth wall as they ensure that not only can passengers view the city, but the city can look back in. Due to their popularity, The Ride's tours have been chronicled by media outlets such as New York Live, Good Morning America, and The Today Show.
As each motor coach embarks on its tour through 4.2 miles of Midtown, guides encourage group participation with song, dance, and question-and-answer sessions, much like any good meeting with a tax accountant. With the aid of 40 plasma monitors displaying images and historical information, they also divulge facts about landmarks such as Central Park, 42nd Street, and Grand Central Station. As the bus travels alongside famous buildings and city sidewalks, passengers encounter a range of characters. Some are regular New Yorkers, but others are company performers in disguise. Rappers, dancers, singers, and actors leap from the crowd to entertain their mobile audiences with impromptu live routines, and sometimes pull audience members into the show. Surround-sound stereo, wireless microphones, and external speakers allow audiences to hear the performances from their seats, unlike pedestrians outside, who have to hop on a neighbor's shoulders to get a better view.