Despite being the City That Never Sleeps, New York does close down a bit on Christmas Day, with all sorts of museums, shops, restaurants, and other businesses giving their staff a break for the holiday. But for those of us who do not celebrate or won’t be spending all of Christmas at home squabbling over politics with family, there’s still plenty to do in town, especially if you get a little creative. Here are seven great options.
All posts by Rebecca Fishbein
With its lit-up streets and sidewalk tree-sellers, New York is at its best during the holidays, especially if you can avoid tourist-clogged areas like Rockefeller Center and Times Square. There are lots of lovely festive spots to celebrate seasonal cheer, including local bars and restaurants that transform their spaces into holiday wonderlands, complete with themed drinks, bites, and lots of Christmas lights. Here are some of our favorites.
New York is a prime spot for holiday shopping, in large part because of big department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, designer flagships that line the Upper East Side, and whatever hell awaits you in the Disney Store in Times Square. But true New Yorkers should avoid the major shopping hubs, and instead seek gifts and other goods in some of the city’s slightly less crowded and infinitely more interesting ‘hoods, including the many holiday markets and pop-up shops found across the five boroughs. Find our favorite neighborhoods for holiday shopping this season, ahead.
Photo via Pixabay
Autumn is wonderful in New York City because you can finally take the subway without getting smushed up against someone’s back sweat. It’s wonderful outside New York City because you can take in the changing leaves and crisp air, and there are few places better to do that than a local farm. Some of the best spots near town offer apple and pumpkin picking, in addition to a slew of other fall-ready activities, making it easy to bring some of autumn home with you (as well as to enjoy the great outdoors a short distance from the city smog). Ahead, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite spots.
A downside to living in a thriving city is that air pollution makes for poor fall foliage, though some spots in town—Wave Hill, Pelham Bay Park—still boast colorful leaves at the end of October. But if you take a short trip outside the city limits, you can see some beautiful autumn colors, all within a day’s drive. Sadly, the best fall foliage sightseeing trip is no more—Amtrak retired its glass-domed Adirondack train in 2018. But there are other spots to take in the season; here are our seven favorites.
New York is too big to feel like a college town. But, in many ways, it is one, serving as home to New York University, the New School, the CUNY schools, Columbia University, Fordham University, and Manhattan College, to name a few. These students can be found all over the city, but they throng thicker in some spots—ones that sit closer to their respective campuses and also charge way less for drinks than some of this city’s definitively non-student-friendly $18 cocktail bars. Here are some of our favorites.
There are few summer pleasures more sublime than drinking aboard a boat, though, in New York City, those are hard to come by unless you’re buddies with a yacht owner. The good news is, there are a handful of bars actually located onboard barges and boats, where you can sip wine and watch the sunset as the waves bob below. Here are our favorites; and do note the Staten Island Ferry is an unofficial boat bar, too.
Warm (if not particularly dry) weather is finally here, blessing New Yorkers with lots of time for beach trips and outdoor sports. Warm weather also offers up the opportunity to combine those two activities, and thanks to the city’s long list of available watersports, you have quite a few aquatic choices in the summer months, from kayaking to sailing, to surfing in the Rockaways. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites.
New York City has some great local beaches, like the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Brighton and Orchard Beaches. But when you need a short break from all the spots you can hit via the subway, it’s worth remembering that there are some great beaches just a quick drive or NJ Transit/Long Island Railroad-ride away. Here are some of our favorite day beach trips from the city, from up-and-comer Asbury Park and Long Branch in NJ to long-time favorites like Fire and Shelter Islands.
Even if you’ve never managed to keep a succulent alive for more than a month, there’s no denying that apartment greenery is having a moment. Luckily, New York is full of plant shops and other great spots offering classes and workshops to locals looking to shore up their green thumbs and maybe not kill a plant the second it crosses their threshold. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the 10 best, from terrarium and flower-crown making to botanical mixology to the principles of hydroponics.