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.
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.
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.
St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, and though its modern iteration seems to have devolved into a daylong drinking activity, it’s still a good time to reflect on New York’s Irish heritage. Irish immigrants have been coming to New York since the colonial era, but in the 19th century, they were one of the biggest groups in the city, making up about a quarter of the population. Their cultural influence is everywhere, but there are some spots in town where it shines through the most. Here are our favorites.
It’s sometimes hard to see New York’s romantic potential, considering the city’s sheer quantity of subway rats and mysterious street sludge. But despite some of New York’s less love-inspiring qualities, there are a lot of beautiful, heart-stopping spots that set the right tone for romance, even if you have to contend with yellow snow on your way home. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorites, from a medieval monastery to a cozy restaurant haunted by Aaron Burr to tried-and-true favorites like the top of the Empire State Building.
New York is home to world-class institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and MoMA. But this city’s museum scene has more to offer than just the Temple of Dendur—in fact, it’s full of smaller, way funkier spots serving up found art, oddities, and history, including the history of this ever-odd city itself. Here are 10 of our favorites.
You may have thought NYC’s wildlife predominantly consisted of subway rats and the giant cockroaches that find their way into your apartment each summer, but it appears there’s more to this city’s animals than pests. Indeed, New York is actually full of unique birds, mammals, and insects that help contribute each day to our shared ecosystem. It’s also full of walking tours, boat tours, driving tours, and other activities that’ll give you an opportunity to get a good look at the wildlife around us, both in the city and just outside of it. Here are some of our favorites.
Photo via Richard BURGER/Flickr
One of the true marks of a New Yorker is an aversion to Times Square, where slow-walking out-of-towners clog sidewalks, costumed characters try to hug you for tips, and overpriced suburban chains like Olive Garden and Applebees abound. But a few bright spots exist amid the touristy madness and Broadway shows, and they’re worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, if not a specific trip (seriously, avoid Times Square at all costs if you can).