Explore The History Of Organized Crime At The Museum Of The American Gangster
The Museum of the American Gangsteris a two-room museum located at 80 St. Marks Place in the East Village in Manhattan. In this building that was once one of Manhattans most notorious speakeasies, youll find the most emblematic figures of the American prohibition period such as Al Capone. Learn more about NYCs darkest part of history.
Eat Real New York Food
There are plenty of great places to eat in New York City and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on some of the world’s tastiest foods.
We offer suggestions of where to find the best versions of iconic New York foods, such as pizza, bagels, pastrami, or knishes, as well as restaurants that will suit your mood, budget, and location.
You might also consider taking one of our pay-what-you-like food tours in NYC.
There are also some more specific food tours that focus on snacks like pizza and gelato in Greenwich Village.
Holiday Pop Up Brooklyn
The Miracle holiday pop-up phenomenon is back this year with Miracle on Union, taking over Williamsburg cocktail bar Thief. Look for over-the-top holiday decor and the seasonal cheer that goes with it. Specialty drinks will be served and bespoke Miracle glassware will be for sale to knock a couple of names off your gift-giving list.
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Watch A Live Japanese
East VillageBatsu in Astor Place is a Japanese game show parody where improv theater-trained performers compete in various challenges to avoid all manner of bizarre and painful punishments. If you are brave enough to be a contestant, be prepared for some weird tasks like drinking soy sauce out of a hairy mans belly button. It will keep you both entertained and a little uncomfortable, and really its just a good excuse to drink a ton of sake. — Alexandra S.
Tour The Federal Bank Of New Yorks Gold Vault
Set in the basement of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the Gold Vault, which holds around 497,000 gold bars weighing a total of about 6,190 tons. Much of the gold arrived during and after WWII when countries wanted to store their gold in a safe spot. The vault remains the worlds largest known depository of monetary gold, and you can visit during a free hour-long tour Monday through Friday. Tours fill up quickly, so reserve your space on The Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorks website in advance.
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Take A Tour Of The New York Public Library
The New York Public Librarys Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Midtown Manhattan has a storied past, touching on some of the most important moments in world history. During World War II, Allied military intelligence used the librarys Map Division for research, and the library collected materials from the left and the right during the McCarthyism era, despite objections. Sex and the City fans may remember it as the setting where Carrie wanted to marry Big. Now, you can visit the iconic institution with a free one-hour daily tour.
What To Wear What To Bring New York City In December
Bundle up December in New York City ranges from cold to freezing cold, with some occasional unseasonably warm days. As a year-round rule, layers are always a good idea when traveling to NYC. But make sure to pack hats, scarves, gloves, waterproof shoes/boots, sweaters, coats, umbrellas and so on. It is always advisable to bring a small knapsack for warm winter accessories, as temperatures can change quite a bit while youre walking around.
Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in December
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Remember Why You Love Nyc From Its Many Observation Decks
Throughout fallMultiple locationsOne silver lining of the pandemic: there has never been a better time to explore our citys wonderful collection of sky-high observation decks. What should be on your punch list? The Empire State Building, of course, but we also recommend One World Observatory , Edge , and Top of the Rock for Midtowns most spectacular views. Diehard view seekers might want to pick up a New York CityPASS C3, which offers access to all but One World Observatory on a single ticket.Cost: Varies
Throughout fallCitywideRemind yourself of NYCs supremacy with dough on a whirlwind tour of bagels. Eat your weight in lox, schmear, and poppy seeds with Tompkins Square Bagels, Russ & Daughters, and/or Black Seed Bagels. If you decide to eat em all in one day, just drink a lot of water, OK? Otherwise youll end up as salted as that gravlax you pounded.Cost: Varies
Throughout fallCitywideWhile the citys parks can sometimes be packed on weekends, head to the road less travelled for some more fresh air: an off-hours , hike. With plenty of green space in every borough, our lesser-known parks have miles and miles of hiking trails for some serenity from our city sidewalks. Pick a path in your local park, leave the headphones off for the chorus of nature, and get some fresh air in your lungs.Cost: Free
Izzy Baskette is an editorial assistant at Thrillist.
View The Stunning New York Skyline
Now there is the brand new “The Edge” at Hudson Yards.
Each has its own vantage point, as well as different prices of admission, varying wait times, and opening/closing hours.
Read our post which breaks down the pros and cons of each to help you choose which view is right for you.
You can still get incredible views of the city for free.
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Visit The Intrepid Sea Air And Space Museum
Have you ever been on a submarine? You can do just that at this museum, which proudly charts Americas military and maritime history from Word War II to the space race.
Explore the Space Shuttle Pavilion and be amazed at original artifacts from the Marine Corps and NASA. There is an aircraft carrier and a supersonic reconnaissance plane to check out too.
B Classic: Tour The Statue Of Liberty
If you want to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty, you might want to do the tour. You can combine this with Ellis Island too if you wish.
If you choose this option, you definitely want to get the New York CityPASS, as it is one of the included experiences. Avoid the touts, and head to the Statue Cruises terminal .
Cost: $18.50 per adult or free with the NYC CityPASS
Metropolitan Museum Of Art & Met Cloisters
The Met is NYC’s most visited museum for very good reasons: 5,000 years of art from all over the world, two million individual objects and 17 acres of exhibition space. It’s massive, astounding and seemingly inexhaustible. Frequently but unfortunately bypassed, the Met’s uptown Cloisters were cobbled together from authentic sections of European medieval monasteries. Tickets cover three-day admission to both branches, as well as the new Met Breuer.
Go Play Some Pinballs At Sunshine Laundromat
From hidden speakeasies to underground museums, NYC is full of hidden treasures. The Sunshine Laundromat might just be the most quirky place in NYC. On the surface, Sunshine Laundromat is a regular laundromat where locals come to clean and dry their clothes.
However, behind one of the laundry machines is a hidden room filled with numerous antique pinball machines and a bar. With its dingy decor, dim lighting, and brick walls, this secret room is strange, but unique at the same time.
With a lively but not too loud atmosphere, It is an excellent place to spend an evening with your friends . Challenge them to a game of competitive pinball or just have a beer from their affordable bar. There are also really cool board games that you can play with.
Even if you ask native New Yorkers, chances are, they might not even know about this place!Note: The bar only serves beer .
- Opening Hours: Temporarily closed due to restrictions
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Freebie: Brooklyn Botanical Garden
On Fridays before noon and for young kids under the age of 12 , the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a great spot to visit for those trying to save some cash. Located in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, the garden contains thousands of different plants, trees, and flowers.
It truly is an amazing place to have a picnic, take a walk, and spend time with the kids. A fun time is guaranteed at this amazing location, and those who attend are bound to learn something. Most days admission costs a few dollars but during the right times it is totally free!
Take The First Virtual Reality Journey Through Earth
Learn more about this globe we call home and how our small actions can affect its future in the first multi-sensory and augmented reality journey through Earth.
With AR, VR, project mapping and interactive art installations, Arcadia Earth will take you on a journey to see the world from your own perspective.
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Nyc Insider Guide December Events Calendar
Check out all our cool events taking place in December: Concerts, NYBG Holiday Train Show, Holiday Shows , Nutcracker Ballet and so much more.
Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in December
See Some Weird Architecture At The Vessel
After almost a decade of construction, the strange-looking building called the Vessel has finally opened up to the public. No one knows exactly what it is, some say it looks like a beehive, some say a rib cage, but in the end, I think it is open to interpretation.Whatever it is, I think everyone can agree that the Vessel is an architectural masterpiece and a . A piece that the future can look at it and immediately say, Oh, thats New York City isnt it?Everyone is allowed to see the Vessel but you must make a reservation to climb up. Luckily, same-day reservations are free and given on a first-come-first-served basis.For more information, check out here.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 9 PM | Sunday 11 AM to 7 PM
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How Much Money Does The Citypass Save You
The total cost to enter all of these attraction separately would cost $215.45, but the New York CityPASS is just $132. Thats a 41% savings!
Thinking you only want to go to a few of these sites? There is a New York C3 PASS that allows you to choose 3 of these attractions for $83 a 25% savings!
The other perk of the CityPASS is you wont have to wait in the ticket line at most of the attractions. We got to skip the ticketing line at most places which was pretty convenient.
Book your New York CityPASS and get ready to see some of NYCs top sights!
*Weve denoted some of the attractions that are part of the CityPASS with an asterisk so you can see if it makes sense for you to purchase the pass. Prices are from March 2019.
Check Out A Free Comedy Show
Laughter is the best medicine, and the only thing better than a comedy show guaranteed to make you laugh is a free comedy show guaranteed to make you laugh. Head to the Knitting Factory Brooklyn in Williamsburg every Sunday night for a free comedy show that will be sure to end your week on a high note.
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Which Museum: Met Or American Museum Of Natural History
If you have a short time in New York or arent much of a museum person, we would encourage you to choose just one. We saw both, albeit briefly, and wished we would have spent more time in just one so we didnt feel as rushed.
Both museums are impressive and everyone has differing opinions on which is the best. We felt like the American Museum of Natural History was better for families with children, while we personally enjoyed the MET a bit more. Bonus: The rooftop bar at the MET has nice views!
Insider Tip: The MET has free hour-long highlight tours every 15 minutes between 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have a short amount of time, this is a good way to get the inside scoop on some of the museums most noteworthy pieces.
The guide did a good job of showing us very different pieces from wood carvings to paintings to stained glass to armor to statues. Its a good way to pack a lot into a short amount of time!
Foodie Tip: If you go to the American Museum of Natural History, dont miss the famous cookies at Levain Bakery just a few blocks away. You wont regret it!
Metropolitan Museum of Art : $25 per person or FREE with NYC CityPASS
American Museum of Natural History: $28 per person or FREE with NYC CityPASS
Head To An Outdoor Film
A post shared by Rooftop Cinema Club on Apr 9, 2020 at 9:28pm PDT
If youre in the city during the summer, theres nothing better than catching a flick under the stars.
Locals Tip: Book tickets ahead of time and arrive early to free events. They fill up fast.
A post shared by New York Helicopter ? on Jan 20, 2020 at 4:35am PST
Take in the city lights with a birds eye view from a helicopter tour. Its something Ive been wanting to do for ages.
Obviously this is a bit of a splurge, but why not go all out for a special night in the city. Itll be a tour youll never forget.
These are some of the most popular helicopter tours available!
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Freebie: Alexander Hamilton Estate
Alexander Hamilton has received a ton of recent interest due to the Broadway hit Hamilton. For those interested in one of our founding fathers, the opportunity to see the only house he ever owned is available in New York. Better yet its free!
Located in Harlem, this historic home is a popular location for visitors and New Yorkers alike. A great place to learn something and take the kids to, this historic home offers educational tours and the opportunity to explore the physical home of George Washingtons right-hand man! Make sure to swing by this spot if you are looking for a fun activity.
The Intrepid Sea Air And Space Museum
Those interested in maritime history should head to the banks of Hudson around Midtown to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum – which features an aircraft carrier turned museum.
The Intrepid was established as a museum in 1982, but previously the structure served as an aircraft carrier both in the Pacific Theater of World War II and in the Vietnam War. Exhibits at the museum explore the vessel’s service history as well as general exhibits on naval history of the 20th century.
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Freebie: Staten Island Ferry
During the summer, New York City is known to reach almost unbearable temperatures. What better way to beat the heat than a ride on a boat? Unforunteatly, most boat outings in New York cost quite a bit of money. For those on a budget, however, there is a far cheaperin fact, free opportunity available.
The Staten Island Ferry is completely free to its passengers and is a great way to spend a couple hours avoiding the heat on the concrete. Whether going to Staten Island or merely just taking a few hours on the water, this free experience is well worth it. The ferry goer will be provided with a breeze, time on the water and breathtaking views of the New York City skyline.
Other Great Ice Cream Shops In Nyc:
Tipsy Scoop: Boozy ice cream? Yes, please! Tipsy Scoops claims to be the perfect blend of artisanal ice cream and a hand-crafted cocktail. Choose from classic flavors like Chocolate Stout & Pretzel and Strawberry White Sangria Sorbet.
OddFellows: Come here for super unique ice cream sandwiches and really good coffee. Their flavors rotate often, but youll find options like Caramel Cashew, Buttermilk Honey Blueberry and Ricotta Plum & Thyme.
Morgensterns Finest Ice Cream: Known for its unlikely flavor combinations like salt & pepper pine nut and cardamom lemon jam. They were best known for their coconut ash, which featured activated charcoal. This black ice cream was all over Instagram until the Department of Health recently banned all foods with activated charcoal in the city. But even though the days of this ultra-popular ice cream is gone, there are plenty of other unique flavors to choose from.
Mikey Likes It: Small shop with creative flavors named after references to pop culture, like Ice Ice Baby and Pink Floyd .
Soft Swerve: Calling all soft serve lovers! This small shop serves colorful ice cream and has fun topping choices like toasted coconut, sprinkles or Fruity Pebbles. These cones are an Instagram favorite!
Still not satisfied? Check out this huge list of ice cream shops in NYC.
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