New York City Activities
The Photo Hunt
Spend an hour learning tips and tricks tricks for shooting images of portraits, cityscapes, architecture, nature, still life, and more from award-winning photographer Roberta Fineberg. Then, during your second hour, explore different New York environments from the iconic to the obscure in a small group led by Roberta (no bigger than 10). Choose from Uptown, Midtown, Downtown, or night photography. After you've taken your photos, there is a half hour workshop where you learn how to make the best of your snaps. Private party bookings available.
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
Outdoor gardens are social-distancing gold. Particularly with timed tickets, which is how the NYBG will reopen to the public on July 28. Hop online to reserve an hour of fresh air and a little adventure, or bring the joy of the garden into your home (with a bit of learning baked in) via an online mini camp for kids in grades three through five. The camp is two hours of live Zooming with NYBG educators and combines creative nature discovery and healthy cooking projects—making it perfect for kids whose attention span taps out after too much online engagement. The website is also stacked with online resources and downloadable activities to do at home.
New York Public Library
5th Ave. at 42nd St., Times Square
The iconic seat of the NYPL takes pride of place on Bryant Park in Midtown. While it is still an important research institution, it's also a landmark we like to visit for many reasons beyond the book-lined shelves, from the Children's Library housing the original Winnie the Pooh Dolls, to the Rose Reading room, where anyone can grab a seat and work in peace and quiet, to the excellent bookshop, full of NYC-themed storybooks and classic reads. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the exhibitions themed around the library's holdings and the stunning Beaux Arts 1911 building itself.
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. 6th St., Williamsburg
This gritty Williamsburg concert hall has debuted many an indie and new wave band. It's one of our favorite venues in the city, second only to the Bowery Ballroom (it's from the same family), as the sound is great and it's nice and intimate. You can stand and watch on the ground floor, but there's more low-key, tiered standing areas upstairs for those inclined to claustrophobia. Fall highlights: Julien Baker, Bastille, Shovels & Rope, Bon Iver, and more.
Museum of Mathematics
11 E. 26th St., Nomad
While the name might invoke childhood memories of fear and loathing for the subject, this super interactive museum might inspire an affection for math. It revolves around hands-on rides and activities that employ mathematical concepts to function—a tricycle with square wheels that rolls across a track, a chair that drifts across a pool of acorn shapes—meaning that a few hours spent here will be both fun and insightful.
30 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side
Whether it's your first time or you're a season ticket holder, an opera at the Met, with its shimmering gold curtains, monumental Chagall murals, starburst chandeliers, and red carpets, is one of the most unforgettable experiences in New York. From a classic Verdi to a contemporary John Adams opera, the production value, from the singers to the costumes and the sets, is pretty spectacular.
The High Line
This elevated public park that runs from the Meatpacking District all the way to Midtown is perhaps the best thing to happen to the city’s landscape in decades. Set on abandoned railway tracks suspended above the city streets, the restoration project by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in conjunction with James Corner Field Operations began in 2006 and continues to this day, now focused on a huge development in the original Rail Yards at the end of the line in the west 30’s. Boasting views of the Hudson, a seasonal landscaping program, and art installations throughout, the High Line draws crowds of city-dwellers and tourists looking for a little respite from the streets below.
Grand Central Terminal
89 E. 42nd St., Times Square
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.
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.
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.
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