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Photograph: courtesy of Watermark

The best things to do in NYC this weekend

The best things to do in NYC this weekend include Memorial Day and Fleet Week events and outdoor festivals of all kinds!

Shaye Weaver
Edited by
Shaye Weaver
Contributor
Time Out New York contributors
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Looking for the best things to do in NYC this Memorial Day weekend? Whether you're the group planner searching for more things to do in NYC today, or you have no plans yet, here are some ideas to add to your list for this weekend. Check out these Memorial Day and Fleet Week events to celebrate the holiday, head to Coney Island, day drink at an all-day rosé festival, take in live Opera at Bryant Park, see an outdoor movie at the Intrepid and more. All you have to do is scroll down to plan your weekend!

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in NYC

Things to do in NYC this weekend

  • Things to do

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off for things to do in summer. It's the weekend that starts it all. NYC is finally reopening, which means New Yorkers are ready to party more than ever. Whether its heading to a massive barbecue, hanging out at the beach all weekend or taking a brunch cruise around Manhattan, there is a plethora of fantastic ways to spend your Memorial Day Weekend...

  • Things to do

NYC gives a warm welcome during Fleet Week to nearly 3,100 service members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard as they dock in the city for the weeklong celebration that overlaps with Memorial Day weekend. Read on for what you can do this year for Fleet Week in NYC!

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Over 190 performing arts organizations, artists, poets, puppeteers and film makers are coming together this weekend for the Lower East Side Festival at the Arts from Theater for the New City (155 First Ave.), which is themed "Artists Embrace Liberty And Justice For All." So far, expect performances from as David Amram, KT Sullivan, Phoebe Legere, Austin Pendleton and Malachi McCourt among others. Indoor performances will take stage from 6pm to midnight each day and from 10am to 6pm Saturday, vendors and food sellers, including booths from nearby restaurants, will set up in the closed-off block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. From 1-5pm on Satruday, an outdoor stage adjoining the theater will offer music and multi-discipline performances. On Saturday afternoon inside in the Johnson Theater, there will be performances by and for childrenm, and from 1-11pm in the Cabaret Theater, over 15 films curated by Eva Dorrepaal will be screened. On Sunday from 4-7pm in TNC's Community Theater, there will be a "poetry jam with prose on the side" featuring Melanie Maria Goodreaux. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

The Angel's Share by Death of Classical is kicking off at Green-Wood Cemetery on Friday, May 27, at 7pm, with Hot Dogs, Hooch, & Handel. It'll toast to the legacy of Green-Wood permanent resident (and inventor of the hot dog) Charles Feltman with an after-hours celebration that includes music by The Grand Street Stompers and a baroque ensemble performing "more Handel than you can shake a footlong at!" Tickets are $65.

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New York City Opera's The Barber of Seville
Photograph: Angelito Jusay

5. New York City Opera's The Barber of Seville

See the Barber of Seville from New York City Opera in the great outdoors at Bryant Park as part of its Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America. Head over on May 27 to see a free staged and costumed production of Rossini’s classic. Stout NYC will offer cheese and charcuterie boards as well as a selection of beer, wine, frosé, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.

 

On Saturday at 8pm, the iconic Pyramid Club, which helped define the East Village drag, punk and art scenes of the 1980s, is presenting a night of some of the best comedians in the city such as Ashton Womack (The Daily Show), LeClerc Andre (Jimmy Fallon), Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central), Jason Choi (SF Sketchfest) Katie Boyle (The Shift), Michael Rowland (Comedy Central). Come for the comedy and stay for the 80s party on the main level. Each ticket ($10-$15) comes with a free drink!

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Enjoy a Memorial Day-themed movie for free on Friday (5-9pm) aboard the Intrepid with a screening of Crimson Tide. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets to view the film outdoors, free of charge, on a huge inflatable screen on the flight deck. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. Light concessions will be sold onsite, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is not permitted. The movie begins at sunset.

Watermark, the 10,000 square-foot outdoor bar and restaurant located at the end of Pier 15, is hosting a Rosè All Day Fest on May 30, starting at noon, by palm trees and cabanas on the water, featuring unobstructed views of the Brooklyn skyline. The event will have a rotating lineup of DJs and endless rosé, frosé and bites hot off of the grill. Tickets start at $25.

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  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • East Village

You won't believe how seamlessly good comedy can work with pole dancing (you can read about it here). While stellar stand-ups deliver sets, pro dancers give the crowd something stare at. Think of it as a full-brain experience. Comics Dan Goodman and Joanna Ross will welcome talented pole dancers and comedians from across NYC. Every week's show features a different music theme from Cardi B to Frank Sinatra, Queen to Hamilton and Megan Thee Stallion to Led Zeppelin. This week's is K-Pop!

  • Shopping

The Hester Street Fair is back at Pier 17 for its 13th season! This time, it'll have an expanded footprint into Pier 16, which will have a food court with more seating. 

 

This weekend, there will be 60 vendors including Atelier NYC,Brooklyn MalibuDiane Teeter ArtNectarine x Strawbrry on Saturday and Fluorescent SkinMu HealingNew BedStuy and Sea and Oats on Sunday. There will be live DJs all weekend long, too, including DJ ILA on Saturday and Wyatt Owens joins us on Sunday. And don't worry, there will be plenty of food to eat from Maze MazeEmpanada PapaThymeless Catering and more on Saturday and Downeast LobstahPerros Locos Gourmet Sausages and Tacos El Guero and others on Sunday.

 

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Join comedian and musician Tessa Skara (High Maintenance, The Harper House, The Favorites Podcast) as she performs an hour of musical comedy, stand up, and (if the audience requires it) emotional labor. Named “the Angel Olsen of Comedy” by a drunk girl at Stonewall, join Tessa for a show about coming into your own while the world is ending, written by a lesbian whose most-listened-to emotion on Spotify is “yearning.” Expect songs about ex-husbands, celebrity assistants, and how it doesn’t get better, it just gets worse. Much, much, worse. The show is on Saturday at 7pm at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Bring your proof of vaccination.

12. Rising in the Heights

Enjoy a free outdoor festival that showcases public arts performances celebrating the rich artistic contributions of Latinx and Black cultures while promoting children's literacy through music and storytelling—produced by the Leadlights Ensemble, a string quartet that serves the Washington Heights community. The next free event is on Friday, May 27, and takes place at the Word Up Community Book Shop starting at 5pm. 
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The Lehman Center for the Performing Arts presents the "Purple Xperience," a celebration of the music and legacy of Prince on Saturday at 8pm. This tribute band hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota and has its own "world-renowned Princeologist" Cory Eischen on keys, Tracey Blake on guitars, a member of Prince’s 1990s band New Power Generation, Ron Long on bass, and Ron Caron on drums. The band is said to truly capture the spirit and sounds of Prince. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert).

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What are likely to become the most popular features of QC NY, the luxury spa that launched on Governors Island just a few months ago, are officially open for business: two sprawling outdoor tempered infinity spa pools looking over Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. New Yorkers have been hearing about the bodies of water since the spa first debuted, although they haven't been able to make use of them—until now. Beginning this Saturday, the pools will be accessible for the very first time since QC NY opened. Expect each pool to feature proprietary underwater hydro seats and loungers that massage, relax, increase lymphatic circulation and revitalize the body and mind. Yes, they will be heated as well.

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  • Art

A special interactive exhibition at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse (73 West St.) by Louis Vuitton and Nike is on view ahead of the launch of their “Air Force 1” by Abloh (which will be available in nine editions). Inside the exhibit, you'll see 47 editions of the iconic shoe—all designed by the late designer Virgil Abloh. It'll be on through Tuesday, May 31, daily from 10am–9pm and there are massive sculptures in various forms of movement across the city, including one on a skateboard next to Jane's Carousel in Dumbo.

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  • Bars

Many incredible eating and drinking destinations are poised in the sky like treehouses with cover charges. Among these rooftop bars are old New York throwbacks, party destinations and seaside terraces practically fashioned for Instagram. They each offer booze, some kind of view and an invitation for you to get high. Read on to see which ones are worth your time.

  • Things to do

Get ready for another summer of fun in the sun! New York City beaches are opening for swimming and sunbathing starting Memorial Day weekend! A visit to one—if not all—of the best beaches NYC has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky. Whether you’re planning weekend getaways, a camping trip, a stay at an oceanfront Airbnb or just looking for ways to cool off or with friends, these beaches in New York are a quick subway, ferry or bus trip away.

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  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

The largest nightclub in New York City opens its doors to the public this weekend with the hopes of heralding a return to NYC nightlife in the biggest way possible.

The new club, Musica, opens in Hell's Kitchen at 637 West 50th Street with 25,000 square feet of space, including "The Whisper Room" lounge on its ground floor, a main floor and an open-air rooftop.

RECOMMENDED: Anna Delvey’s NYC art show at the Public Hotel was literal chaos

The Whisper Room has an opulent lounge with a bar, stage, private green room, kitchen, private luxury booths and state-of-the-art lighting and sound while the main floor has a giant event space comprised of three areas—two bars, a VIP lounge, cocktail lounge, intelligent lighting, and sound system. The rooftop has views of the Hudson River.

Musica is a joint project between Giuseppe Cipriani and Italian entrepreneur Tito Pinton, who owns the il Muretto club near Venice, Italy. Both of them worked with nightlife guru Rocco Ancarola and Francesco Belcaro of the Made in Italy Group to plan entertainment and musical performances, "providing New Yorkers with a nightlife experience unlike ever before," a release says.

Musica debuted in Italy first before coming to the U.S.

"We have been overwhelmed by the response to Musica in Italy and are so grateful that our service and entertainment is resonating so strongly with locals, celebrities, and industry elite alike," Pinton said in a statement. "We are so excited to bring the energy we’re known for in Italy to one of the top nightlife destinations."

On Saturday, its grand opening features Nic Fanciulli, Malone and resident DJs Hector Romero and Sasha Bardot. Check out its Instagram account to find out who's performing.

Musica opens on Saturday, May 21, at 637 West 50th Street and will be open Thursday-Saturday, 11pm-4am.

Musica nightclub
Photograph: courtesy Musica
  • Movies
  • Movies

NYC's beloved summer film series finally returns this month with live music, immersive performances, and filmmaker Q&As at 40 outdoor events! The Summer Series, running through the end of August, will see New York premieres of festival hits. This weekend, see Neptune Frost on The Roof of the Old American Can Factory on May 27. "A group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region's natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry."

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

The exhibit, which opened on Friday, explores NYC before computers when industries grew through pneumatic tubes, telephone operators, linotype and teletype machines, and card catalogs. The exhibit records how the city thrived in the 20th century without the use of digital technology (like smartphones and computers) but through the use of the time's own technology. It's broken up into four sections—libraries, the news media and journalism,  the New York Stock Exchange, and the age of skyscrapers and infrastructure—that outline what tools were used to build them up and keep them up with the times.

  • Art
  • Art

"Black Atlantic" is a new outdoor public art exhibit that has just taken residence across three piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park and explores the concept of Black identity in the United States of today.

Black Atlantic
Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

On view through November 27, the show is comprised of five giant sculptures installed throughout the park.

"'Black Atlantic' will illustrate a counterpoint to a monolithic perception of Blackness, and is reflective of the multitude of ways in which individuals can create a new vision within the context of American culture that is expansive, malleable and open to all," said artist and co-curator Hugh Hayden in an official statement about the exhibit.

Hayden's work, dubbed The Gulf Stream, is a rowboat that looks washed ashore but actually contains a "sculptural carcass."

On Elbows, by Dozie Kanu, on the other hand, is a concrete chaise lounge that sits on Texas Wire Wheels and is meant to resemble a slab car. You'll also notice a container filled with dark liquid next to it. Said material "pulsates to the rhythm of a heartbeat, suggesting the processes of the unconscious."

Black Atlantic
Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

On display is also a piece by Leilah Babirye dubbed Agali Awamu (Togetherness) and consisting of two groups of totemic sculptures made of hollowed three trunks decorated with welded metal and objects that look like jewelry. According to the press release, "these monumental totemic figures come together to represent a chosen, queer family, whose visibility in public space is a beacon of empowerment."

Then you've got Tau Lewis' work embedded into the landscape adjacent to Pier 2 and the Greenway. You'll notice three six-foot-wide iron discs with detailed surfaces created through a process of sand-casting. "As if they were fossilized and preserved in the Atlantic for millions of years, the grouping ruminates on the wandering of the ancient sea animal, the scattering of their fossils, and their coexistence with Black bodies throughout the diaspora," reads the release. "Each disc acts as a visual poem or map, contemplating the ocean as an illimitable black geography, and recounting the stories ingrained in the crinoid."

The fifth work on display is by Newark native Kiyan Williams. Ruins of Empire actually re-imagines the Statue of Freedom that currently sit atop of the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The original monument was actually built by slaves and this one consists of a statue made of bronze and platinum that seems decayed and sinking to the ground.

Black Atlantic
Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

The chosen location for the installation isn't random either. In fact, the waterfront area once served as a network between the United States and the continents of African and Europe.

"Black Atlantic—titled after the book by Paul Gilroy—explores these threads of connection and highlights the complex identities that have developed through the exchange of culture and ideas over centuries along transatlantic routes," explains the press release.

If the intense pieces of art have you craving for even more of the same, consider working your way through our list of best outdoor art in NYC available to view this summer.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge's entry to its adjacent Elephant Room has been rechristened The Hidden Gem, has been polished into a new point among the constellation of NYC’s latter-day speakeasy conceits. Cloistered from Magic Hour’s skyline view outside, The Hidden Gem is past a double set of pink doors. A bouquet of disco balls is arranged overhead with more on tables at curved leather banquettes and on the bar, which is also appointed with blooms and greenery. Its lighting is appropriately dim and its lines are sleek, in contrast to the characteristically Instagrammable cocktails like the bright red Cloud Nine with prosecco, cotton candy and a glitter rim and the Sex Panther with rum, pineapple, punch, lime and coconut cream, served in a vessel that mirrors the fruit, and copiously garnished. Both of those cocktails, and four more new additions, are available exclusively in The Hidden Gem, which is open Wednesday-Sunday from 3pm-12am. 

  • Movies
  • Drama

The people of Downton Abbey have never been relatable, but they’re really pushing it this time. One of them, gifted an unwanted villa (!) on the Riviera (!!), bequeaths it to a great-grandchild who would otherwise grow up without an estate to call her own (the horror!!!). Another welcomes a film crew into her home because their exorbitant fees will pay for a new roof. Those characters who lacked the good sense to be born into money end up in love, at least, and often slightly richer too. It’s an unlikely but pleasant fantasy where good things just happen, the rich are benevolent and the poor all muddle along nicely...

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  • Movies
  • Horror

Buckley is an all-in performer and her grounding presence enables Men’s promise to linger for the first act. She humors her temporary landlord, Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear), an affable country posho whose odd comments are framed as somehow loaded...

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Putting Green, an 18-hole course on a 15,000-square-foot tiered deck on the North Williamsburg riverfront has reopened at the former Con Edison site that now belongs to developer Two Trees. The course aims to serve two purposes—one, to provide a fun time to New Yorkers, and two, to teach them about climate change, green and blue infrastructure, animal habitats, energy, and emissions. Each hole offers up a different scene—hole 1 is "Down the drain," showing how litter and debris get washed down storm drains and into waterways. Hole 2, "Whale Fall Feast," shows what happens when a whale dies and sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Hole 15, is "The Big Oyster" by you guessed it, the Billion Oyster Project. Other holes feature polar bears, a windmill, a cow, and a depiction of sea-level rise. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

New Yorkers will get to enjoy more than 260 free (and awesome!) events through November, including sunset salsa lessons, a BBQ festival, fitness classes, science-related programs and tours of the park itself. Add to it all the new giant public rooftop park that will open at Hudson River Park's Pier 57 and you've got yourself a new must-visit summer destination. You can find the entire lineup of free programs right here, but we'd be remiss not to mention some standouts, including the always-popular Dance in HRPK event, which transforms the piers into large-scale dance floors. Bike lessons, live music concerts, yoga and mindfulness classes are also on the docket—completely gratis. It's worth mentioning that three of the park's most popular offerings—the Hudson River Dance Festival, the Blues BBQ Festival and the SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival—are all returning in-person this year.

  • Museums
  • Hell's Kitchen

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)'s "Flower Craft" will showcase works of six botanical artists who have been inspired by nature’s "ephemerality and its inimitable palettes" and have interpreted nature in a sculptural form. Each week a new botanical artist will be featured in the Flower Craft gallery as will a curated selection of vessels made in a range of mediums. The exhibition also coincides with MAD’s first-ever "bee residency," two newly installed beehives on the Museum roof. The hives are now homes for "Queen Aileen," named for the founder of MAD, Aileen Osborn Webb, and "Queen Toshiko Takaezu," named for the famed female ceramic artist and dedicated supporter of MAD. Additionally, MAD will be holding flower craft studio classes with artists through May and June and the Museum’s free art-making and discussion workshop will take place on select Thursdays from 4–6 pm in the Flower Craft gallery. A Flower Power Pass may be purchased online and will offer discounted admission to the Museum for $45 (a $108 value) during the run of the exhibition for visitors to experience Flower Craft in its entirety. The Store at MAD will offer fresh bouquets by celebrated New York City florists Anthony Brownie, Kat Flower, Petal, and Julia Testa, as well as floral inspired, handmade products from a global roster of artists. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

This summer PDT revisits its al fresco concept with Calle San Marcos, a seasonal pop-up serving agave-forward craft cocktails and hot dog chef collaborations with Crif Dogs (where the original destination is hidden) in honor of PDT's 15th anniversary. Just like last year, the pop-up will take over part of St. Marks Place in the East Village, right outside Crif Dogs, where folks will get to order specialty cocktails concocted by PDT owner Jeff Bell and bartender Victor Lopez. The new imbibing menu is actually inspired by Lopez's hometown of Puebla, in Mexico and the game of loteria (think of it as a Mexican bingo).  Expect creative takes on the classics boasting a slew of Mexican ingredients. 

  • Museums
  • Hell's Kitchen

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)'s "Flower Craft" will showcase works of six botanical artists who have been inspired by nature’s "ephemerality and its inimitable palettes" and have interpreted nature in a sculptural form. Each week a new botanical artist will be featured in the Flower Craft gallery as will a curated selection of vessels made in a range of mediums. The exhibition also coincides with MAD’s first-ever "bee residency," two newly installed beehives on the Museum roof. The hives are now homes for "Queen Aileen," named for the founder of MAD, Aileen Osborn Webb, and "Queen Toshiko Takaezu," named for the famed female ceramic artist and dedicated supporter of MAD. Additionally, MAD will be holding flower craft studio classes with artists through May and June and the Museum’s free art-making and discussion workshop will take place on select Thursdays from 4–6 pm in the Flower Craft gallery. A Flower Power Pass may be purchased online and will offer discounted admission to the Museum for $45 (a $108 value) during the run of the exhibition for visitors to experience Flower Craft in its entirety. The Store at MAD will offer fresh bouquets by celebrated New York City florists Anthony Brownie, Kat Flower, Petal, and Julia Testa, as well as floral inspired, handmade products from a global roster of artists. 

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  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

For the month of May only, Off Broadway shows are offering a major discount on tickets. Those who show up to box offices 20 minutes before shows begin between May 9 and May 29 can get $20 tickets as part of the 20at20 promotion. Shows offering this promotion include ¡Americano!, About Love, After Happily Ever After, The Civility of Albert Cashier, André & Dorine, Colorblind, Drunk Shakespeare, Friends! The Musical Parody, Gazillion Bubble Show, H*tler's Tasters, Islander, Katsura Sunshine's Rakugo, Little Girl Blue, Mr. Yunioshi, Our Brother’s Son, Perfect Crime, Romeo & Bernadette, Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos, Sistas The Musical, STOMP, That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody, The Importance of Being Earnestly LGBTQ+, The Office A Musical Parody, The Play That Goes Wrong, Three Sisters and Vital's Wizard of Oz.

 

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  • Art
  • Art

The oldest gallery at the American Museum of Natural History has been completely overhauled into a stunning gallery that showcases the creativity, scholarship and history of the cultures of the Pacific Northwest. Opening to the public on May 13, the Northwest Coast Hall at AMNH has been curated by Peter Whiteley, curator of North American Ethnology at the Museum, and Ḥaa’yuups, Nuu-chah-nulth scholar and cultural historian, who worked with a group of consulting curators from the Coast Salish, Gitxsan, Haida, Haíłzaqv, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk, Tlingit, and Tsimshian communities. With input from these Northwest Coast cultures, this new gallery illuminates them as vibrant, living communities with thousands of "glorious works of art, spirituality, and ingenuity," the museum says.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The latest entrant to the speakeasy-theme scene opens tonight, Wednesday, May 11, in Times Square, with a couple more conceits on top of that designation: Sex and the 80s. Inside, The Woo Woo aims to evoke that last decade before widespread internet, its surrounding neighborhood of Times Square in those same, pre-Disney days, sex shops and, the reason for the season, speakeasies. These themes are executed with a combination of graffiti that reasonably approximates the style of the time, vintage nude mags and video tapes, rouge neon, throwback punk show posters and the whole password thing. Drinks include odes to the era like the Donkey Kong cocktail and a Prince-inspired tipple with a butterfly pea flower “purple rain” ice cube. They’re also doing a cotton candy-topped cosmo and snacks like sliders and spring rolls. The sex shop elements are ornamental at the moment, but may turn retail in the future. 

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TALEA Opens Grand Central Pop-Up
Photograph: Talea Beer Co.

35. TALEA Opens Grand Central Pop-Up

TALEA Beer Co, NYC’s first and only female-owned and operated production brewery, just opened a pop-up location at Grand Central (on the corner of Vanderbilt & 45th Street.) The space will be open daily from 4-7:30pm with five different beers on tap, including Weekender Lager, Sun Up Hazy IPA, Double Date Hazy DIPA, Power Couple Hazy DIPA, and Tropicberry Sour IPA, with cans and draft pours available to go. For all the non-beer drinkers, wine and cocktails are also available. Walk-ins are encouraged!

  • Art
  • Art

Prepare to take a walk inside your brain when visiting "Life of a Neuron," ARTECHOUSE's latest immersive exhibition opening inside Chelsea Market on May 14. The show, mounted in collaboration with the Society for Neuroscience, took three years to create—and for good reason. Neuroscientists and artists came together to reconstruct a human neuron from the prefrontal cortex, which anchors the exhibit and will help visitors follow the development of an "average" brain from pre-birth to death. That's no small feat.

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  • Art
  • Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is back with part two of this year’s flagship exhibition “In America” with “An Anthology of Fashion,” and the new iteration of the show is an even more expansive look at what has defined American fashion over the years. It is a visually splendid tour through hundreds of years of this country’s history told through clothes designed and worn by its citizens. Building on last year’s spartan, intellectually rigorous presentation of garments categorized by the expression of various themes, this year’s show explodes across most of the American Wing of the museum.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

A staple of the Washington, D.C. food scene, Captain Cookie & the Milkman is a superhero-themed cookie and ice cream shop that just opened its first New York location at 741 Broadway, smack-dab in the middle of the New York University campus right by Astor Place. Sweet tooths can expect a rotating menu of homemade cookies, made-to-order ice cream sandwiches and farm-fresh local ice cream and milk at the new venue. Decor-wise, expect a giant illustration of, well, Captain Cookie, to take over an entire wall (yes, he readily resembles Superman). The superhero will watch over you while you revel in a whole lot of cookies—from funfetti to double chocolate, ginger molasses, snickerdoodle and more. We also urge you to try the shop's delicious ice cream sandwiches. 

 

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Stranger Things fans, rejoice! The much talked-about immersive experience based on the Netflix show is officially launching at the Duggal Greenhouse within the Brooklyn Navy Yard on May 7. The destination makes for the ideal immersive experience space. In 2009, Duggal Visual Solutions decided to retrofit and reinvent the at-the-time dilapidated World War II facility. Across its 35,000 square feet, the facility now boasts 70-foot ceilings, glass paneling and waterfront views—basically, the perfect blank canvas to bring the Netflix series to life. 

Urbanspace Makers Market at Bryant Park
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out

40. Urbanspace Makers Market at Bryant Park

Food hall and marketplace curator Urbanspace is creating a Makers Market with 85 vendors from the Tri-State region to Bryant Park starting Friday, May 6. The array of vendors will be selling one-of-a-kind handmade items like handcrafted accessories, fine art and unique foods for the first three weekends in May. Vendors will include Hola! I’m Back (stoneware, jewelry and apparel from sustainable, upcycled materials), Otherworld (breakfast mixes including banana chocolate chip pancakes and apple cinnamon pancakes), Wandel (a biscotti-meets-cookie), Belle Threads (whimsical baby clothes), One Million Roses (wire sculptures), Hell’s Kitchen Hot Sauce, Made From Coins and Tibet Tree of Life (healing crystals, chakra stones, Tibetan singing bowls, incense, clothing and more). The market will run Friday-Sunday from May 6-22 from 11am-7pm.

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  • Museums
  • Hell's Kitchen

On select Friday nights from April to October, the Intrepid Museum opens its doors for free (tickets are usually $33), allowing visitors can explore the Museum and enjoy free after-hours programming. This month, visitors can head to the Space Shuttle Pavilion for a special presentation from "Astronautica: Voices of Women in Space"—a work of music, voice, and video by women composers that was based on the words of women astronauts and includes videos taken by the astronauts while onboard space shuttles. Museum educators will also be on hand with demonstrations and hands-on activities and local astronomers will be on the flight deck with high-powered telescopes to help visitors navigate the night sky and answer questions about astronomy and stargazing. Guests are welcome to bring their own binoculars or look through the telescopes of the experts. (There will be no access to the Submarine Growler or Concorde during Free Fridays and last entry is 8:30pm). Check the program schedule at intrepidmuseum.org.

Go check out the largest installation on the Highline to date, which took over 56 hours and 25,000 flowers to bring to life. At this Victoria's Secret pop-up, guests are walked through a sensorial experience to celebrate the newest "Bombshell" campaign starring Camila Cabello. Flowers were sourced from all over the world including New Zealand, Netherlands, France, South America and more with over 5,000 stems sourced from local farms. Throughout the week, an additional 15,000 stems of florals will be utilized throughout the week to keep the installation fresh with 1,000 stems a day to be handed out by Victoria's Secret. Throughout the weekend, there will be fragrance bars, bottle engraving, Mother’s Day card creations, family portraits and more:

  • Friday, May 6-Sunday, May 8 (noon-3pm): Create custom Mother’s Day cards with Ellen Weldon Designs
  • Sunday, May 8 (all day): Bring the whole family to snap your very own family portraits by Sophie Elgort

The Bombshell Gardens experience will be located on the High Line between 14th and 16th Street.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

With about 164 open streets (closed to traffic) around the five boroughs, New Yorkers have found new ways to utilize these new open spaces, from holding farmers' markets and free programming to live music and community barbecues. Street Lab even brought pop-up reading rooms, art studios, chalk murals and more, transforming city streets and other public spaces into vibrant community hubs of artistic expression, learning and fun. Now that things are heating up in NYC, we've teamed up with Jackson Chabot the Director Public Space Advocacy at OpenPlans, a non-profit group that advocates for livable streets and neighborhoods, to identify the 10 best Open Streets in the city that you should hit up this spring and summer...

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  • Art
  • Art

A new art installation that uses augmented reality is transforming Battery Park City into a bird watcher's paradise. Those who walk along Battery Park City's riverfront, from South Cove north along Rockefeller Park, will be able to access an invisible world of birds with their phones.  Named "Bird’s-Eye View," this new artwork by New York City-based artist Shuli Sadé showcases 30 species of birds that seek temporary or permanent refuge near Manhattan’s waterways via photographs and original watercolors by Sadé through the Adobe Aero app and a smartphone camera. All you need to do is scan one of 70 QR codes on any of the 14 signs along the water to view local birds and explore their habitats and migratory patterns.

  • Art
  • Harlem

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is exploring the work of Austin Hansen and the Black gaze in photography in "Been Seen," its spring exhibition. For 47 years, Harlem-based photojournalist, studio photographer, and documentarian, Austin Hansen ran a photo studio on West 135th Street that doubled as a gallery and exhibition space. Over his career, he photographed inside nightclubs, freelanced for the Amsterdam News, trained as a combat/war photographer in the Navy, and continued to document community life in Harlem. Now, some of his 500,000 portraits of African American families, clergy, political leaders, entertainers, writers, and community members are on view as well as correspondence, original photographs, news clippings, programs for special events held at many historic Harlem churches, and other social events in Harlem and elsewhere. The exhibit also features the work of seven contemporary photographers: Dario Calmese, Cheriss May, Flo Ngala, Ricky Day, Gerald Peart, Mark Clennon, and Lola Flash, whose practices explore identity, Black experiences, visual culture, and portraiture.

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  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

The Final Frontier will be just a train ride away at The Paley Center for Media with its new immersive exhibition, "The Visionary Universe of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," opening on Wednesday, April 27. The exhibit celebrates the latest series in the Star Trek franchise, Strange New Worlds from Paramount+ and the other acclaimed series in the Star Trek universe from across the decades. Through May 29, fans and visitors will be able to take photos in the captain's chair, see costumes and props from several series (Vulcan uniforms, set pieces including the USS Enterprise), sit in for special screenings and bring kids to weekend events featuring Paramount+’s hit animated original kids’ series Star Trek: Prodigy and much more. The Paley Center will be holding a preview screening of Episodes 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on May 1 at 1pm and daily screenings of premiere episodes on the big screen from various Star Trek TV series, including "The Cage," the 1965 pilot episode from the original Star Trek series. Screenings begin at 12:10pm daily.

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If binge-watching season two of Bridgerton on Netflix has got you in the mood for tea time, you're going to want to visit The Cauldron on Stone Street starting April 21 (National Tea Day!) through June 21, when the destination will launch a Bridgerton-themed tea experience complete with an in-house Lady Whistledown. The experience will last 1 hour and 45 minutes, during which participants will get to indulge in British macaroons, scones and mini sandwiches (make sure to indicate if you're vegetarian or vegan when booking a spot) while brewing two different teas. The series will be playing on a drop-down screen in the background as will the iconic Vitamin String Quartet songs that have peppered the second season of the show. (If you're anything like us, you've added them all to your Spotify playlist already.)

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Seven years after first opening its doors in Riverside Park at West 105th Street, Ellington in the Park has sprung back into action. Its sprawling beach-lite design remains the same, but new menu items abound, including drinks made to embrace NYC’s recently resurrected to-go drink program. Each of the restaurant’s cocktails will be available to take away, reps say. A very springtime-appropriate Lillet spritz is among new selections joining returning tipples like the margarita and fruity mimosa varieties. A trio of pizzas including the Margherita variety, hot dog options like the “old-fashioned” with brown mustard and sauerkraut and pretzel bites touch on some of NYC’s famous foodstuff categories. Salads, sandwiches and burgers are also available on the general interest menu. Ice cream is, of course, also featured on the returning bill of fare. 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

There's a new 80,000-square-foot rooftop park at Hudson River Park's Pier 57! The 2-acre rooftop park is now open to the general public from 7am to 10pm all year round. (The site will also serve as an outdoor screening location for the Tribeca Film Festival starting this year.) According to an official press release, other amenities will launch to the public in the fall. For now, it's a great place to catch some sun and views.

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  • Art
  • Art

If walking by the Garment District, make sure to wave hello to the fourteen gigantic sculptures with raised hands that have been installed around the neighborhood. Created by artist Santi Flores, the monuments are part of the Garment District Alliance's new public art exhibit, "Here," and you'll find them on Broadway between 38th and 41st Streets. The exhibition is completely free to the public and will stay in place through August 29. Needless to say, each piece makes for wonderful social media fodder—so don't be surprised if you notice a cluster of people surrounding the enormous structures with outstretched arms.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The days of ice skating at Rockefeller Center are over—a groovy roller skating rink is opening in its place this April with live DJs, concerts and performances as well as lessons. Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace, an iconic West Hollywood roller rink that became a "mecca of uninhibited fun," will operate a new roller rink between April 15 through October, according to Rock Center's owner, Tishman Speyer. The roller rink will come with a lot of fun too, including DJ sets, live music performances, concerts, roller boogie nights, food, a viewing deck and a store at the Channel Gardens that'll sell gear and merch from Flipper's.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

There’s a brand-new way to get your green fix in The Bronx! A new combination vegan restaurant and plant store opened on Wednesday in the Bruckner Building at 2417 Third Avenue. Mae Mae Café is now offering plant-forward dishes on a Latin-inspired menu, including Mushroom Mole Tacos (White onion, cilantro, sesame seeds, corn tortilla), Huitlacoche Quesadilla (Corn, lime, onion, radish, vegan queso blanco, coconut crema) and a Crispy Tortilla Salad (Romaine lettuce, black beans, watermelon radish, lime, onion, cilantro vinaigrette.) Who said eating your greens had to be boring?

  • Art
  • Art

Very soon, you'll be able to take in works by the legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat that have never been seen before. The forthcoming "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" is set to open on April 9 with 200 pieces of art inside the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea. The immersive exhibition will feature a wide range of mediums including paintings, drawings, multimedia, ephemera and artifacts that will both give a broader understanding of the artist but also offer a more intimate look at his life and work.

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  • Things to do
  • The Bronx

An immersive experience with massive, ultra-realistic dinosaurs that takes place on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo is back!

Dinosaur Safari asks visitors to the zoo to traverse a path filled with 52 life-sized dinos and pterosaurs through a wooded area, where they will see the largest flying animal to ever live (the Quetzalcoatlus) and, of course, the Tyrannosaurus rex and the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. When it first opened in 2019, it was a ride that used shuttles to introduce people to the dinos. Now, it's a 1/4 mile-long walk-through experience with 52 dinos rather than 40.

To make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages. 

  • Art
  • Art

The Whitney Biennial has been a long time coming. Originally meant to open in 2021, the 80th edition combines three years of planning as well as 63 artists and collectives to present an event that has been described as both "dynamic" and timely by its curators. "Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept," which opens April 6, is broken up into two experiences on the fifth and sixth floors of the Meatpacking District building. Each one presents a completely different atmosphere—on the sixth floor is a cavernous, labyrinth-like gallery, and on the fifth floor is an open and airy room where works are displayed together. The exhibition mimics the range of emotions we felt during the past two years, from fear and pain to joy and hope, and everything in between. And while Edwards and Breslin started planning out the exhibit before the turning point that was 2020, they were able to incorporate works that question and reckon with these major moments in our recent history. Artworks—even walls—will change and performance will "animate" the galleries and objects. The changing nature of the exhibition reflects these uncertain times.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Just a few weeks ago, the iconic Kim's Video and Music—the video and music retail store that first opened in the East Village back in 1986—made its grand return to New York City, opening inside the newly launched Alamo Drafthouse location on Liberty Street. You'll find all the films at the Alamo store which, as an on-site plaque makes clear, is actually dedicated to the municipality of Salemi "and its commitment to the promotion, maintenance and return of the collection."

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

The return of Smorgasburg is upon us! Now in its twelfth year, the annual, weekly outdoor food festival will return to several New York City locations, and beyond, as of this Friday, April 1. More than a dozen new vendors are slated to join the lineup of 60+ returning food artisans. (Pandemic kitchen hobbyists should know that new vendors are still being accepted, and can apply for consideration online.)

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

The Brooklyn Flea is undoubtedly one of the most popular flea markets to hit in NYC if you're looking for the best selection of throwback wares and records, which you certainly wouldn’t find in just any vintage clothing store or record store in the city. The food selection is also top-notch since the creators also operate one of the city’s best food markets: Smorgasburg. The Brooklyn Flea DUMBO kicks off the weekend of April 2 and 3, 2022, from 10am-5pm. Brooklyn Flea also operates in Chelsea year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, 8am-5pm, and the new Hester Flea on Saturdays, 11am-6pm.

  • Art
  • Art

A new outdoors installation has just taken up residence by Greenwich Village's Ruth Wittenberg Triangle, at the intersection of Greenwich Avenue, the Avenue of the Americas and Christopher Street—and it would be very hard for you to miss it. "Faces of the Wild" features nine, six-foot-tall sculptures depicting critically endangered animals. The monuments are based on the many photographs and sketches that the artists behind the works have taken of wildlife over the past 15 years.  The depicted animals include the northern white rhino, the chimpanzee, the addax, the western lowland gorilla, the polar bear, the red wolf, the African forest elephant, the hippopotamus and the lion. "These animals come from all over the world, from the African savannahs to the rainforests of Indonesia," reads an official press release about the installation. "They are all beautiful, instantly recognizable, yet in desperate need of help.

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Catbird at Rockefeller Center
Photograph: courtesy of Catbird

61. Catbird at Rockefeller Center

Catbird jewelers will be zapping on its signature 14k Forever Bracelets to willing customers during a limited residency inside the iconic dome glass elevator at Rockefeller Center. The bracelets are good to commemorate a trip to the city, to surprise a friend, or to add to your Forever stack in this quintessential New York setting. Catbird Zaps at Rockefeller Center will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in April from 11am-7pm. Appointments are highly encouraged but some walk-ins are available. To make an appointment, click here.

  • Art
  • Hell's Kitchen

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is hosting its first global survey exhibition dedicated to the use of clothing as a medium of visual art, March 12 to August 14. The work of 35 international contemporary artists, from established names to emerging voices, will be on display, and you'll see how they made or altered clothing for expressive purposes via sculpture, installation, and performance art to transform dress into a critical tool for exploring issues of subjectivity, identity, and difference.

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Serra by Birreria at Eataly Flatiron has changed its decor to celebrate the arrival of spring. The bright, airy space—where natural light streams in through wide windows and a high glass roof will take on a greenhouse fashion—is intended to evoke the Italian countryside. The dining room will be festooned with faux blooms so you can swing by for a fresh spring selfie any time and save the visit to the Botanical Garden for the weekend. The installation features climbing vines and flowers among its photo ops...

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

It's not every day that a new nightclub opens in New York City, especially one that harks back to an old sort of New York—when nightclubs were the city's premiere destinations for some after-hours fun. Which is why Daphne, a new subterranean spot under Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown, is so special. Upon entering the massive 2,500-square-foot space, patrons are pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful silk pink flower installation by art studio Floratorium. Dazzling disco balls also permeate the premises, calling back to a time when the dance club you frequented was just as important as where your apartment was located. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The Cactus Shop in Williamsburg is a plant store by day and a speakeasy cantina by night, complete with a lovely outdoor courtyard perfect for the spring-ish nights that have graced New York in the past week. It's clearly not a speakeasy in the most authentic sense of the word, but it certainly boasts that same sort of vibe. Inside, patrons will revel in heartwarming yet vibrant decor that is actually sourced directly from Mexico alongside the just-as-authentic drinkware (think black clay and hand-blown glasses). Pay particular attention to the skeletons and sugar skulls that are placed just so all over the destination and call out to Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations (did you know that, in Mexican culture, the skulls represent both death and rebirth?). The menu is prepared by chef Eduardo Domingues. He's actually from Sinaloa, one of Mexico's 31 states, so you can expect the food to be stellar. 

  • Things to do
  • Midtown East

The AKC Museum of the Dog is opening a timely exhibit of 10 life-sized, carved-wood allegorical memorials of military dogs from WWII and Afghanistan by sculptor James Mellick. Visitors will see the artist's collections "Wounded Warrior Dogs" and "Over the Rainbow Bridge," along with the museum’s permanent collection, which includes sculptures, paintings, collars, vests, photographs and more. Mellick says that the exhibit of wounded and rehabilitated dogs aims to draw attention to the service and heroism of dogs in the military. The Wounded Warrior Dog statues are carved from cedar, walnut, sycamore, cherry,
poplar, maple and more, laminated and painted to showcase beautiful life-size dogs who fought alongside veterans and often aided in the completion of successful missions. The AKC Library and Archives will also feature photographs and documents of the WWII U.S. Marine Corps "Devil Dogs" during the time of the main exhibit. Throughout the installation, there will also be events and veterans invited to speak on their experiences and the history of dogs in the military. For these dates, check the events calendar at museumofthedog.org

 

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  • Art
  • Queens

As soon as you walk into the Queens Museum, Christine Sun Kim's massive graphic artwork greets you, reminding you that we're all in this together. "Time Owes Me Rest Again" is a mural on the monumental 40-by-100-foot wall surrounding the Panorama of the City of New York. Each word is drawn to represent the five words in the title—"Time," "Owes," "Me," "Rest," "Again"—in American Sign Language. Each word is represented by the movement of the signing hand coming into contact with the signer's body. "These drawn notations echo and bounce off each other to render a lethargic feeling drawn from the societal and systemic inequity that persists between Deaf communities and the hearing power structures," the museum says. The meaning of the words also reflects on the fatigue people have from the pandemic. Many Queens residents near the museum (in Corona and Elmhurst specifically) are immigrants from Latin America and Asia and were among the hardest hit in 2020. There's a screen nearby that animates the words as they're meant to be felt against one's body.

  • Art
  • Queens

Follow Lacy’s history as an organizer and socially engaged artist over the course of 50 years in a series of artworks that undo stigmas and subvert oppressive norms across feminism, violence against women, racism, gender identity, and aging. The earliest works in the exhibition are records of Lacy’s solo performances, including "Net Construction (1973)," "Prostitution Notes (1974)" and "Cinderella in a Dragster (1976)," whose confrontational nature established Lacy as a perceptive observer and daring critic of social issues and urban life. These works capture lives society may consider more taboo on the fringe. Later works include "International Dinner Party (1979)"—in which she staged a worldwide dinner as a tribute to Judy Chicago—and "Crystal Quilt (1985-1987)," which demonstrates the experience of how older women are represented in the media. Her newest work, "De tu Puño y Letra, Quito, Ecuador (2014-2015)," is one of the moving pieces. Lacy gathered men in a bullfighting ring in Quito, Ecuador, to record them reading letters by Ecuadorian women on childhood, the body, and domestic and gender-based violence.

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Industry City, with all its artisans, tasty restaurants and unique shops, is now a major hub for Japanese culture and cuisine. Japan Village, which is both a food hall and supermarket full of Japanese groceries, has expanded upward with a 20,000-square-foot second floor it's calling The Loft. Here, visitors can basically step into a representation of Japan with cool shops with items straight from the country as well as fun experiences like tea ceremonies and cultural classes.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Lady M's cakes are so beautiful that we sometimes feel bad cutting into them. And yet, leaving them untouched would be a sin akin to blasphemy as they are just as delicious as they are visually striking. This season, the iconic cake shop has raised the bar even further with a delicious Tres Leches Mille Crêpes cake, already available for pickup at various Lady M locations. The traditional Latin treat boasts layers of milk-soaked vanilla sponge cake made with a combination of three milks and a hint of toasted coconut. "Handmade cream infused with blonde chocolate is gently brushed between every crêpe layer, finished with a light whipped cream topping and a sprinkling of crunchy coconut flakes," reads an official description of the delicacy. The price? A very worth-it $98.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The roaring 2022 speakeasy-inspired bar boom reverberates apace this week with the opening of Dom (styled as DOM) a subterranean cocktail lounge in Gramercy. The “retro-future” space, replete with high ceilings and fancy furnishings intended to evoke “the image of a modern age La Dolce Vita lifestyle” seats 50, exclusive of a private tasting room. Art programming across various mediums is planned for a gallery space and exhibition wall.  Dom’s opening cocktail menu is divided into the categories Health and Beauty, Pain Killers, Stress Relievers, Aphrodisiacs, Pharmaceuticals, Stimulants and Euphoric Enhancers. Many drinks incorporate liqueurs like walnut elderberry from owner Albert Trummer’s own eponymous line. The cognac-flavored cigar leaves in the barrel-aged negroni (a Pain Killer), and unspecified herbs from the South of France in the large-format house absinthe (a Euphoric Enhancer) are among other noteworthy ingredients. Trummer’s previous ventures include the ultimately headline making Apothéke.  Snacks like cheese, charcuterie, oysters and caviar will also be available. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are also theoretically welcome.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Pearl Alley, located at South Street Seaport's Pier 17 is one such spot. Anchored by Dante Winter House, a seasonal pop-up by the beloved and highly acclaimed West Village Bar, this new venue may just get your outer borough crew socializing at the edge of Manhattan. From now until winter's end, Dante has transformed its coffee bar into the Oysters & Martini Bar, which is open every Wednesday–Sunday from 4pm until late. Oysters are being supplied by Massachusetts-based Island Creek Oysters and will be $21 for a half dozen or $41 for a full dozen. Speciality martinis are $17 each.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Kitsby, a dessert shop in Brooklyn, has just introduced a new menu item that will surely entice you to visit Williamsburg, where the shop is located. Dubbed The Kit, the signature offering is a tray of bites that represents "second generation baking." Consider it Kitsby's very own Asian American spin on afternoon tea. The tray, which costs $38 per person or $70 for two people, comes with ten sweet and savory pastries. These include a black sesame financier, a five-spice shortbread, an asiago lop cheong roule, a mocha mousse cake plus a slew of other bite-sized treats. You'll also get to choose one entrée to go with your order. 

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Good news for those that love Ramen Misoya—the popular East Village destination dedicated exclusively to miso ramen. The eatery has just opened a second location, and this one boasts a cool, speakeasy-style ambiance. It's not that easy to find the new spot, so let us help you out. The West Village location at 535 Hudson Street has a below-ground entrance on Charles Street. (Look for a small sign on the wall above the stairs.) Once you enter the premise, you'll notice a second set of doors. (They're bright orange!) Walk right in and you'll find yourself in the main dining room.  

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  • Art
  • East Harlem

Head to the Museum of the City of New York to see 100 photographs selected from the more than 1,000 images recently gifted to the Museum by the Joy of Giving Something (JGS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the photographic arts. Images range from documentary-style to quirky and from architectural to atmospheric. “Celebrating the City” features works by more than 30 creators new to the MCNY collection, including multiple images from Helen Levitt’s dynamic and celebrated street photography; Sylvia Plachy’s playful and eccentric examination of the people, animals, and moments of NYC; and Michael Spano’s slice-of-life city shots spanning the 1990s and 2000s. Other key figures in 20th-century photography are incorporated into the show, including Ilse Bing, Bruce Davidson, Mitch Epstein, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, William Kline, Saul Leiter, Alfred Stieglitz, Rosalind Solomon, and Paul Strand, to name a few—all capturing indelible, sometimes implausible, intimate, and often incredible moments of the city. You'll even see a llama in Times Square, fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge, polar bears playing in a pool at the zoo as well as subways, skylines, shadows, and stolen moments.

  • Comedy
  • Gowanus

Looking for a treat? Head to Ample Hills' Gowanus Scoop Shop rooftop for a comedy show hosted by Savannah DesOrmeaux (X Change Rate) and Jenny Gorelick (NY Comedy Festival) featuring a heavily female, queer, and non-binary line-up every Friday. Pizza and ice cream will be available for purchase at the show.

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  • Art
  • Art

Drive-Thru might be the coolest thing to check out around town this weekend. Billed as a "drive-in movie theater," Drive Thru is actually a free public arts installation aimed at pedestrians that will showcase a rotating selection of films by eight different local artists exploring unique perspectives on city life. You'll find the outdoor theater at the Plaza at 300 Ashland through April 14. In addition to highlighting films dissecting the immigrant experience, the current status of minorities in the country, the ecological impacts of urban life and more, the destination will also host a slew of live performances. 

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  • Drinking

Fraunces’ announced its latest concept in November–an intimate room above The Independence Bar is soaked in a shade of cerulean across its paneled walls, with pops of color on tufted red banquettes and gilded picture frames. Beer, wine, all manner of cocktails and a dedicated list of gin and tonics are all available, in addition to broad-appeal snacks, apps and entrées. Live piano music, of course, is also on the menu. The Piano Bar Upstairs is open Thursday-Saturday from 5pm to 11pm. 

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Bring your dog to the AKC Museum of the Dog at these special after-hours events called Furry Fridays. The next event is Friday, February 18 (6-8pm) and Friday, March 4 (6-8pm). Tickets are $20 per person and $5 per dog. The Museum of the Dog has more than 180 sculptures and paintings of four-legged furballs as well as a “Meet the Breeds” table, which provides info on all 193 AKC recognized dog breeds, and other interactive fun.

  • Art
  • Art

When it comes to displays of public art in New York, this might be our favorite installation yet: a slew of massive, polygonal-shaped animal sculptures have taken up residence all over Park Avenue in Murray Hill and they will stay put through February 2023. The outdoor exhibition is presented by the Patrons of Park Avenue (POPA), a group that supports the care, maintenance and planting of the malls of Park Avenue in the neighborhood. They are the works of French artist Idriss B. Although Mojo the Gorilla—a very large and very yellow gorilla—might be the most striking animal of them all, he joins a roster of just-as-awesome-looking sculptures between 34th and 38th Streets. On 34th Street, New Yorkers will get to meet Rexor the Tyrannosaurus Rex, for example. Up on 35th Street, they'll come face-to-face with Baloo the Bear and Diego the Sabertooth Tiger. Manny the Mammoth is comfortably sitting at 38th Street and Park Avenue while Urus the Buffalo and Dundee the Crocodile call 37th Street home. You might also notice Mojo2 the Gorilla—who, unlike his yellow brother, is actually red, somewhere on the Avenue. Murray Hill has basically transformed into an urban zoo—and we're so into it.

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  • Restaurants
  • Crown Heights

If Agi’s Counter were in your neighborhood, you might just be there every day. It’s like a cafe in a Netflix original series where the whimsical main character spends long afternoons scribbling improbably artistic annotated sketches in a Moleskine notebook. Still, Agi’s stops short of veering into twee by virtue of its own genuinely darling character. The menu is brief but already buzzy a couple of months and alterations after Salamon (Buvette, The Eddy) opened his first solo spot. The leberkäse ($15) seems to be the most frequently recommended: A breakfast sandwich worthy of NYC canon that places a thick slice of pork pâté, pear mostarda and a fried egg between two hearty hearty slices of toast that ably stand up to the substantial fillings. It's a giddily rich way to start the day and large enough to share. Lunch includes a nosh plate ($17) with the aesthetic appeal that you’d expect at any august NYC restaurant. Thin, palm-sized spelt crackers are suspended in a generous portion of pâté alongside a dense, piquant Hungarian pimento spread, pickled cauliflower and cucumber and deviled eggs topped with a sunny dollop of egg mousse and a pop of dill. The plate is poised on a silver stand, literally elevating the very notion of a snack plate.

  • Things to do
  • Flatbush

Kings Theatre, the legendary theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is re-launching historic tours of its opulent space this month. During the 75-minute tour, you'll discover historical and architectural highlights, beginning in the majestic grand lobby from 1929. You'll also be ushered through ornate speakeasy lounges and both levels of the 3,055-seat auditorium and see the baroque stylings of this opulent theatre, the “Queen of Kings”, the Robert Morgan Wonder Organ and gaining insight into the daily workings of the theatre. You can upgrade your experience with two drinks and access to one of the theatre's private speakeasies for a post-tour destination. Built in 1929 as one of the five original Loew’s Wonder Theatres, Kings Theatre was initially a movie palace and live performance venue featuring vaudeville reviews. After closing down in 1979, the theatre sat dormant until undergoing a restoration in 2013 which included the repair of the original lobby furniture. The theatre reopened as Kings Theatre in 2015 with Diana Ross as the debut performance.

Some tours are already sold out, but the theatre will be holding these twice a month through at least May.

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  • Art
  • Central Park

The Jewish Museum is hosting the first U.S. museum survey of the Lithuanian-born filmmaker, poet, critic, and institution-builder Jonas Mekas, who helped shape the avant-garde in New York City and beyond. Coinciding with what would be his 100th birthday, the exhibition includes 11 films, photography, and previously unseen archival materials that explore the breadth and import of Mekas’s life, art, and legacy in the field of the moving image. Mekas spent five years stateless and homeless in a Nazi work camp and then in Displaced Persons camps throughout Germany before emigrating to New York City with his brother Adolfas in 1949. He quickly became entrenched in the avant-garde community and his artwork reflected his refugee experience. 

In conjunction with the exhibit, Film at Lincoln Center will screen a selection of Mekas’s most essential film and video works as well as some rarities, from his first feature-length film, Guns of the Trees (1962), to the reflective and deeply moving final features that concluded his career, from February 17 through 28.

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

Kinky’s Dessert Bar just opened at 181 Orchard Street with very explicit decor—a ton of sexually provocative posters and magazine covers adorn the walls and an upstairs seating area—the two-floor destination will function as both a bar serving drinks and desserts and, eventually, an event space. Conceived as a sex positive space that celebrates all sorts of sexual persuasions, Kinky's main focus is the erotic, penis-shaped waffle that has become a staple at night markets all over Taiwan as well as a menu filled with all sorts of cookies and cupcakes. Yes, the treats are just as delicious as they are visually entertaining. (We tried them!) Standouts include the oatmeal raisin cookie Lick Me, the So Anxious vanilla cupcake made with creamy vanilla buttercream, the I Like it Rough (a red velvet cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting) and the Beg for More Banana—a waffle filled with homemade banana pudding and glazed with a banana cream.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

The authorized biomusical MJ wants very much to freeze Michael Jackson in 1992: It’s a King of Pop-sical. Expertly directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, MJ does about as well as possible within its careful brief. In and of itself, it is a deftly crafted jukebox nostalgia trip. Lynn Nottage’s script weaves together three dozen songs, mostly from the Jackson catalog. The music and the dancing are sensational. And isn’t that, the show suggests, really the point in the end? Doesn’t that beat all?

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Serafina, the Italian restaurant group with the familiar yellow awnings and several locations in NYC and beyond, quietly started operating its latest, Serafina in the Sky, earlier this year. On Wednesday, February 16, it will officially open the space’s speakeasy-themed lounge annex, UnPublished. It shares its menus with Serafina in the Sky, which serves crostini, charcuterie, and guacamole Italiano to start, plus salads, pizza, pasta and general interest entrées. Beer, wine and cocktails are also available. UnPublished boasts a disco ball, chandeliers and candlelit velvet banquettes inside, and a terrace with a retractable roof outside. It can accommodate 100 guests, provided they know the way in. No, not through the curtain, the nebulous way in. To make reservations, guests must obtain and call a ghost number, privy to a small few,” a press release reads, in part. “Less connected guests can try their luck at the door.”

 

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  • Restaurants
  • West Village

Sushi 456 quietly opened on Hudson Street in the former Takashi space this past August. It has no known PR or apparent email address, and its social media presence is scant. It is, however, a more polished looking spot than its similarly analog contemporaries. Sushi 456’s fish is flown in from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market and occasionally U.S. providers a few times a week before it’s expertly formed into blossoms of hirame, fanned-out rectangles of bluefin tuna arranged like a hand of three card poker, thick squares of king salmon and little cucumber cups overflowing with buttery uni or popping crimson ikura pearls.  Plenty is available à la carte for $4 (tamago) to $14 (Japanese uni). Sets like an attractively plated five-piece sashimi lunch are available for $35 in the afternoon, when the understated space is a pleasant, peaceful place to have lunch alone...

  • Museums
  • Music
  • Midtown West

If you loved the music and cool jazz scene in Disney and Pixar's movie Soul, you'll want to make a beeline to The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, which has been transformed into the film's Half Note jazz club. Showcasing incredible artifacts from major players in Harlem's jazz scene, including Duke Ellington’s white grand piano, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' tenor saxophone, a player piano and a working 78rpm Victrola, "The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure" highlights the many different cultures and creators who influenced this genre. To tie it all into Soul, there are maquettes (small sculptures) of its characters Joe Gardner and Dorothea Williams and virtual experiences via the Play Disney Parks app. The floor of the museum has been changed with brick walls and street scenes. There are windows that "look out" into scenes of the movie like the owner of the barbershop cleaning up and Joe's student playing their trombone in the street.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

 

Marianne Elliott’s Company is the most satisfying Broadway revival of a Sondheim show in history. Its contemporary setting and gender switches help; with a woman as Bobbie, and the sexes of several couples swapped around, the text plays out in exciting new ways. (The sequence for the instrumental “Tick Tock,” for instance, now evokes the notion of a biological clock.) The comedy of the modernized book scenes is squeezed to the hilt by a cast that includes musical-theater überdiva Patti LuPone, harnessing her imperious earthiness to outstanding effect, and Broadway pros like Jennifer Simard—who can make any line a laugh line—Nikki Renée Daniels and the Christophers Sieber and Fitzgerald. Katrina Lenk holds strong at the center, bringing her formidable charisma and individuality to the role of Bobbie; you understand why everyone in town seems to want her to themselves. 

  • Restaurants
  • Lower East Side

Everything at 8282 makes sense. The second restaurant from the pair behind now-closed Pado opened on Stanton Street in November. Billed as modern Korean, selections from 8282’s banju menu are prepared and presented to effectively share, and its anju options can easily act as apps or sides.  The boneless K.F.C. ($14) is the star of the smaller plate section. Four chunky cuts of chicken thigh splattered with soy garlic sauce are pleasantly jagged on the outside with juicy interiors. The larger, kitchen-sliced skirt steak with roasted potatoes ($26) rivals steakhouse classics, successfully grilled to the dedicated carnivore’s target mauve and tender beyond expectation. The accompanying mushroom purée is subtle enough that serious fungi fans will want more. Dakgalbi kimchi-bap ($21), which features cheesy rice covered with gochujang-marinated chicken and a wispy tangle of fragrant seaweed, is 8282's essential dish. The best bites are the scorched bits at the bottom of the skillet its served in: Crunchy and caramelized, they're warmly combined like the cheese fell in love with the rice. 

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  • Things to do
  • Upper West Side

Just in time for Black History Month, the New-York Historical Society is bringing Frederick Douglass’ vision of freedom, citizenship and equal rights to life in a new ongoing special installation opening on February 11, 2022. A range of artifacts and documents illustrate Douglass’ vision, including illustrations from the popular press of the time and scrapbooks of articles by or about Douglass compiled by his sons that also documented his work to usher in a more just country. Visitors will also see speech excerpt from his contemporary, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, who raises the question of gender in step with Douglass’ ideas about racial equality. Political cartoons and a copy of an editorial that Douglass wrote about Chinese immigrants’ right to belong in the U.S. in the Chinese American newspaper are also on view. The maquette of a statue of Douglass erected on the campus of the University of Maryland in 2015, which was gifted to the late Congressman John Lewis, is also on display and a recreation of the Douglass statue, painted to be lifelike, greets visitors to the Museum at the 77th Street entrance.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Hell's Kitchen

Dinner at Mari’s high-gloss, muted-hued chefs counter or in the comfortable dining room beyond starts with a beautiful hansang. Clockwise to the center: An opaque acorn jelly, oyster with makgeolli mignonette, eggplant jeon (on a skewer like an insider wink to Kochi), Wagyu tartare and a sensational sphere of one or two-bite crispy egg rice, best tasted in that order.  It’s real "kid in a candy store" stuff, all exquisitely executed save for maybe one too many drops of sauce on the tartare, which almost obscures that inimitable beef flavor that people pay a premium for. Each element’s expert preparation and presentation would be notable on their own. Combined in this tantalizing fashion, they articulate the abundance to come and easily establish Mari’s quickly earned best-of status.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

NYC’s newest entry to the micro category of subway bars–pour houses adjacent to the otherwise dry MTA–opened on New Year’s Eve. Nothing Really Matters is the latest from Adrien Gallo, whose previous endeavors included Double Happiness and Grand Banks. It’s located between the entrance and the turnstile in the downtown-bound 1 train station at 50th Street and Broadway. The cinematic subway entrance that leads to Nothing Really Matters is next to the Duane Reade on 50th Street near Broadway. The facade is adorned in signs for the newsstand and barbershop that previously operated in the station’s small retail areas. An illustrated haircut legend is still on display. Trash is strewn about. It looks like a subway station from 1984’s GhostbustersInside, the long oak bar is backed by rows of bottles lit from below, illuminated like a boozy skyline snapshot. There’s a disco ball in the corner and the bathroom is covered in glitter wallpaper. Cocktails like the Empire State (vodka, maple, spiced apple, lemon), Knickerbocker bramble (bourbon, rosemary-blueberry compote, lemon) and the Time Out (Jamaican hibiscus, ginger, soda) are named in nods to New York. Classics, low- and no-ABV options are all on the menu.

Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos
  • Things to do
  • Midtown East

Every Saturday night at 10pm, two piano men battle it out to prove who is truly the master of all 88 keys, with a playlist decided entirely by the audience. Whether you’re in the mood for Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera or current chart toppers, these pianists are up for the challenge. But they expect you to do your part by singing along, but from home. Find tickets and request songs here: bit.ly/SRRshows

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Ninety Nine Franklin is hidden behind an espresso shop at—you guessed it: 99 Franklin St. It serves top-notch cocktails throughout the night. First, head to the daytime cafe, which opened in mid-2021, and notice a slightly open door at the back of the premise. Walk in and be greeted by a dark but welcoming room with a sleek-looking bar and modern finishes throughout. There's also a heated patio in the back, complete with a round fireplace! Ninety Nine Franklin, the speakeasy, opened towards the end of 2021, turning the address into a full-day operation. The espresso shop is open from 8:30am to 4pm daily, serving very well-made coffee drinks plus breakfast and lunch. The bar is closed on Sundays and Mondays but opens at 6:30pm every other day of the week (closing time is midnight on Tuesdays through Thursdays and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays). 

  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • Astoria

Head over to Q.E.D. Astoria for stand-up each Friday night with the Transplants Comedy Show. As the name suggests, the comedians on stage are not originally from New York City, so they'll be telling jokes and stories about NYC and their hometowns. Hear from hosts Katie Boyle and Lindsay Theisen and comics like Rallo Boykins, Zubi Ahmed, Annick Adelle, Santi Espinosa, Brittany Carney, Bridget Geiran and Lindsay Adams.

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  • Things to do

"Andy Warhol: Revelation," a new exhibit opening on Friday at the Brooklyn Museum, seeks to do just that. Featuring over 100 objects—from some of Warhol's own belongings to the artist's drawings and rarely seen prints—the show explores the Pop genius' career through the prism of his religion. Although not as grand as expected given the heftiness of the subject, the exhibit does a great job at showcasing as-yet unexplored portions of the life of an artist who has been the subject of countless shows and profiles throughout the years. 

  • Things to do
  • Hell's Kitchen

On Location Tours is once again offering its popular On Location Tours Sex and the City Hotspots Tour as both a public and private sightseeing experience. This bus tour highlights several famous NYC buildings and locations featured in the series Sex and the City, all from the comfort of a heated bus this winter. Each tour guest will also receive a free Magnolia Bakery cupcake (and those over 21 can sip discounted cosmos at the famous NYC bar ONieal’s).

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  • Music
  • Music

At first glance, the concept behind Ornithology Jazz Club, a new music destination in Brooklyn, sounds like an oxymoron. Found smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood, Bushwick, usually known for its allegiance to EDM music, the only thing odder than its function is Ornithology's menu—which is entirely vegan. In addition to the musicians that take on the stage every night (check out an updated performance schedule right here), the destination hopes to differentiate itself with an elevated food menu. Generally, jazz clubs aren't necessarily known for their food offerings—but at Ornithology the fare is meant to be just as exciting as the music.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Nightlife revelers looking for an interesting new destination will be delighted to hear about Nina's, a new cocktail bar inside the NoMo SoHo Hotel at 9 Crosby Street that doubles as a gallery displaying the works of some of the city's top-rated emerging artists. Now in soft-launch mode (it'll be officially open for business on December 16), the destination seeks to hark back to the "DNA of SoHo," when the neighborhood was all about the arts. To that intent, all the works displayed on the walls are by graduates of the New York Academy of Arts—whose founding was inspired by Andy Warhol in the 1980s. Every six weeks, a new roster of art following a specific theme will be hung on the wall and available for sale. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

A new, more high-end destination has opened at the South Street Seaport, combining a love for singalongs with delicious tabletop grills. Upstairs at Ssäm Bar is Momofuku's latest restaurant, this one located at Pier 17 (89 South Street, to be precise), on the second floor of Momofuku Ssäm Bar. While overlooking the East River, you'll get to sing your heart out to your favorite karaoke songs in one of two private rooms (each one accommodates up to 10 people) where you'll also get to order from the entire Asian-influenced menu. And because there is no karaoke without cocktails, here's a bit about that: from the Psycho Beach Party (mezcal, cynar, passionfruit, pineapple and blood orange) to the Toki Hot Toddy (Suntory Toki whisky, genmaicha tea and lemon) and the Suit & Chair (chai-infused rum, rockey's liqueur, ginger, salted plum and a chinotto float), you probably never have had such high-end drinks while screaming your lungs out to Prince's "Purple Rain." 

More things to do in NYC this weekend

  • Things to do

Fall in NYC is everything you could hope for in a season. First, the city gets delightfully spooky for Halloween. With thrilling Halloween events and Halloween festivals happening in every borough, it’s easy to get in the spirit of things! Aside from pumpkins and funky costumes though, you can keep the autumn excitement going by leaf peeping around the city, warming up with whiskey, parades, virtual parties and so much more. Autumn in NYC is tough to match!

  • Things to do

'Tis the season to get spooky! But beyond the best Halloween events, but there are also plenty of other awesome NYC events in October 2020. Use our events calendar to plan the quintessential month for leaf peeping and spotting fall foliage, pumpkin picking and more things to do in fall.

Kick off fall with some epic cultural events, you don't want to miss happening like Open House New York, Oktoberfest and new haunted pop-up drive throughs.

 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2020

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  • Things to do

Get ready ghouls and girls for an epic Halloween in NYC! The city is bursting with terrifying haunted houses, Halloween parties and more pumpkin-packed events. Whether you enjoy getting seriously spooked while watching the scariest horror films of all time or prefer to celebrate Halloween by leaf peeping while visiting some of the greatest fall getaways from NYC, we’ve got you covered.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in fall

The 50 best things to do in NYC for locals and tourists
  • Things to do

AUGUST 2020: New York City has gone through the proverbial fire and is now starting to come out the other side with our favorite museums, big attractions, and restaurants reopening after months of closure. While things are still a bit precarious, we're hoping these openings signal the light at the end of this long tunnel. We're eager to get back to the cultural institutions, shops, restaurants and iconic places that make New York City the best city in the world.

Check back as we will be updating this list more often than we did prior to lockdown to reflect New York City as it reopens.

Every day, our staffers are eating, drinking, partying, gigging and generally appreciating their way throughout this fair town of ours. Which makes pinning down the most essential New York activities kinda…tough. We need to include the classics, naturally—art museums in NYC, stellar New York attractions, killer bars and restaurants in NYC—but also spotlight the more recent or little-known gems that we truly love. Consider the below your NYC Bible. 

Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList.

You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

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