Your perfect weekend: How to get into Open House New York and the New Yorker Festival

Find out how to make the most of these immensely popular NYC events.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Photograph: Jennifer Calais Smith

So here's the thing about this weekend: Reservations for two of the coolest events—the New Yorker Festival and Open House New York—have been available for weeks now, all but ensuring that a lot of panels and tours, respectively, are sold out. But fret not—here's how you can get around that.

The beauty of Open House New York is that while many of its tours require reservations—like the under-construction Four Seasons restaurant, or the third section of the High Line—there are so many excellent sites that you can visit without booking ahead of time. A few that we're excited for include the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, the tiny New York Marble Cemetery, and the Eero Saarinen–designed TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport. You can find a full list of events at, but be prepared: Even though you don't have to reserve a spot, you will likely still have to wait on line.

Meanwhile, the New Yorker Festival begins tonight, and if you're looking to snag tickets to an event, you may have a chance. Ten percent of the tickets for events held at the MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre go on sale at the theater tomorrow at noon; meanwhile, last-minute tickets can often be purchased at venues in the hour leading up to other lectures and talks. If you're desperate to see Lena Dunham talk about the new season of Girls, or a live performance from Vampire Weekend, that's your best bet. Check out the festival's website for more details.