New York Activities
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West & 79th St., Upper West Side
Just across the street from Central Park, this sprawling space—established in 1869—is home to more than 32 million specimens: Enormous dinosaur fossils, a stampede of elephants in the main hall, and a host of gorgeous dioramas are just the start. Post visit, head to Shake Shake across the street for a grilled cheese and milkshake.
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx
Open since the end of the 19th-century, this world-class zoo—at 265 acres, one of the largest on the globe—is home to animals from the far reaches of the planet, including several endangered species and many now thriving rescues. While the idea of keeping animals in captivity can be troubling, we take comfort in the almost true to life quality of the animal's habitats, and the fact that the zoo contributes to important research and the protection of wild animals.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are covered in acres of gorgeous plants and flowers. From the Japanese Tea Garden to the Lily-Pad exhibit, this is a great place to stroll or spend a day with the kids (there are lots of pit-stops for snacks throughout). Hours change seasonally, so check the site just in case.
This massive, man-made, historic park in the middle of Manhattan might just be the thing that makes city life bearable for so many of its citizens: With acres of green space, it’s a public oasis offering incredible playgrounds, swimming pools, public concerts, running tracks, dog parks, gondola dotted lakes, a boathouse, a wonderful zoo, and the John Lennon Memorial. It’s a wonderful place.
23rd St. and Hudson River Park, Chelsea
Situated on a pier along the Hudson River, this gigantic sporting complex operates out of the "if you build it, they will come" mindset. And it’s true: Here, you’ll find year-round ice skating, a rock climbing wall, gymnastics, soccer, a driving range, and more, all situated under one sprawling roof.
Parkside & Ocean Ave. Entrance, Prospect Park, Lefferts Garden
The Congo Square Drummers started gathering in Prospect Park informally in 1968, and it's been going every since: You can still catch this drum circle every Sunday, from April through October, 2pm to dusk. It's particularly fun for kids.
10 E. 21st St., Flatiron
With a packed schedule of full-time and part-time courses and events, this educational institution offers tons of classes for the modern worker looking to change jobs, enrich their career, or start their own business. From classes on UX, to digital marketing, to management, the curriculum is a practical one, developed so that you can take what you learn and actually apply it.
Grand Central Terminal
89 E. 42nd St., Midtown
Metro-North commuters come into the city each day via this Beaux-Arts gem, but it's a worthwhile stop for anyone curious about the city's rich history. Among the many highlights are the iconic constellation mural above the Grand Concourse, and the Oyster Bar, which we love for its famous interiors, built in 1913 under the arches of the train station. In addition, we're always fans of a drink at the Campbell Apartment, an authentic, dimly-lit, old-fashioned bar nestled in the building, where you have to dress up for admission. And, if you need a quick snack, the Dining Concourse houses many NYC highlights like Junior's, Shake Shack, and an outpost of Murray's Cheese.
109 W. 17th St., Chelsea
We’re pretty smitten with the concept here: Founder Alison Cayne transformed a carriage house into a cooking school/supper club, where area chefs lead classes on everything from cooking Vietnamese food with fresh herbs to gluten and allergen-free baking. Once the meal is made, participants grab chairs and eat the spoils together.
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, Soho
Though the International Culinary Center is one of the country’s best institutes for turning out chefs, sommeliers, and managers, they offer one-day crash courses for home cooks, too. The classes are wonderfully specific, with the intent of 24-hour mastery, whether you want to try your hand at cupcake decoration, fondant, or the basics of sushi.
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