If you are in New York City and are looking to enjoy a sports game, a concert or horse racing, then be sure to make your way to the Meadowlands. The stadium, more commonly known by its former name of Giants Stadium, is a brand new venue, and it serves as the home field for both the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, though it is in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The complex is conveniently located as you can hop on a train at Penn Station in New York City and arrive at Meadowlands Stadium in about twenty minutes. If you don't feel like making the trek to and from New York City, there are also plenty of hotels near the Meadowlands that you can choose for your accommodation.
The Meadowlands Stadium is just one building that makes up the giant Meadowlands Sports Complex. The Izod Center is the main entertainment venue at the complex. It is the home court of the New Jersey Nets basketball team and also hosts various other entertainment events. If you are looking to see a concert, an ice show, motocross, a circus show, or even professional wrestling on your trip to New York City or New Jersey, be sure to check the events calendar for the Izod Center. There is regular seating, suites and general admission tickets (standing room only) available for the majority of events.
The third building that is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex is the Meadowlands Racetrack. The racetrack will provide ample entertainment for those wanting to gamble a bit of money or for those who just enjoy the fast-paced environment of horse racing. The Meadowlands Racetrack is an affordable night out with tickets starting at just $1.00 per person and free parking. If you'd like to take in some horse racing while enjoying a gourmet meal, you should consider dining at the Pegasus restaurant. It offers stunning views of the New York skyline, delicious meals, and a buffet dining option. If you prefer to be more in the action of the Meadowlands Racetrack then you should dine at the Terraces Restaurant. It is located right by the finish line and offers the best seats in the venue. It is a casual dining restaurant that serves a mix of American and contemporary foods. If traveling to the complex in the summer, be sure to take advantage of Paddock Park where you can picnic under the stars while watching the races on television monitors.
The Xanadu Meadowlands is also another new addition to the Meadowlands Complex. If you are looking for an active day trip or a night out to experience something unique, a visit to the Xanadu Center is in order. For those who enjoy high-adrenaline sports and an all-around fun should definitely take a day to explore everything the center has to offer. It boasts year-round indoor skiing, the largest Ferris wheel in North America, the Movie Experience, indoor sky diving, and Lucky Strike Lanes. If you are traveling with a family, there are numerous family-friendly activities to partake in. The Legoland Discovery Center allows visitors to see how the famous blocks are made and build your own models. MagiQuest at the Funplex is also a great activity for families; it is an interactive game where you explore a kingdom and earn powers with your motion-sensing wand.
If you are visiting New York City and need a night away from the city that never sleeps, there are plenty of hotels near the Meadowlands to suit your needs. If you are seeing a late show or the game you are attending goes into overtime, you won't have to worry about braving the crowds to exit the parking lot or catch the train. The Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott are the closest hotels to the Meadowlands complex. Both offer outstanding amenities including an indoor pool, lounges, and a fitness center. The Fairfield Inn is also another one of the hotels near the Meadowlands. It is just a quarter of a mile away, offers affordable prices, and has a free continental breakfast. If you don't feel like booking a room where all the action of the Meadowlands Sports Complex is there are plenty of hotels in the surrounding New Jersey area, such as Lyndhurst, Hasbrouck Heights, and Secaucus.
Whether you are looking to spend a few days exploring the complex at your leisure or planning to spend a fun-filled day at the Xanadu Meadowlands topped off by a concert, game, or time at the racetrack, the Meadowlands Complex is a destination that should be included on your itinerary. It is an ideal day-trip from the hustle and bustle of New York City, and it truly offers something for every traveler.
Image: MjaMes1408 (flickr)