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Photograph: By Arin Sang-urai / Courtesy of Asian American Film Thing | The Asian American Film Thing promises a night of narrative fiction, docs, animations, music videos, comedy sketches, experimental films, and more.

The best things to do in NYC this weekend

The best things to do in NYC this weekend include a sunset DJ set at the Met, the Transplants Comedy Show, and a Star Wars-themed baseball game.

Edited by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Contributors
Anna Rahmanan
,
Shaye Weaver
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Looking for the best things to do in NYC this 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: A sunset DJ set at the Met, the Transplants Comedy Show, and a Star Wars-themed baseball game (with fireworks!), the Asian American Film Thing, 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

Time Out Market New York
  • Music
  • DUMBO

Dance the afternoon away with Latin Mix Sundays, featuring Ronnie Roc & DJ Torres every Sunday from 1 to 4pm.

Special drinks will be available at the Time Out Market Bar to cool you down and spice things up between noon and 5pm, including specials like the Rum Punch Pouch ($12), the Very Berry Sangria ($12) and Modelo Drafts ($6).

With great music and tasty drinks, there’s no reason not to come hang out with us!

Things to do in NYC this weekend

  • Music

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is even more of a hotspot for younger patrons these days. This weekly music series will feature DJs such as Liondub, Kristin Barilli, the Brooklyn-based DJ collective Uklon, who are originally from Kyiv, Dominican-American DJ Toribio, and more. The Sun Sets series will run this summer on Friday and Saturday evenings, 5:30-8:30pm, from July 1 through September 3, and no reservations are required.

Friday, August 19: Rambo Springsteen
Saturday, August 20: Elon
Friday, August 26: Malik Hendricks
Saturday, August 27: Pablo Romero
Friday, September 2: Musclecars
Saturday, September 3: Analog Soul

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  • 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 Katie Boyle,  Lindsay Theisen, and Nick Simmons in this night of comedy, stand up and crowd work.

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

If you're not a paint and sip kind of person, try Act & Sip, a beer-fueled acting workshop in an Off-Broadway Theater with expert instructors. They pair students off with partners and hand over the pages to a scene from a well-known iconic NYC sitcom or movie, offering tips along the way to help performers conquer stage fright and discover their inner actor. This event is perfect for bachelorette parties, after-work outings, or just a fun night with friends to get on stage with a little help from liquid courage. You don't need any experience, but you must be 21 or older and BYOB.

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  • Movies
  • Gowanus

Th​is​ long-running Asian American Pacific Islander short film festival,​​ hosted by founder Angel Yau and producer Kate Moran, screens a range of narrative fiction, docs, animations, music videos, comedy sketches, experimental films and more by AAPI filmmakers. Also stay tuned for live perormances by Juicy Liu, Kurt Cruz and improv from Asian AF.

  • Things to do
  • Fireworks
  • Coney Island

However the Cyclones fare in their matchup against the Hudson Valley Renegades, the force will still assuredly be with them at this themed Star Wars game. Everyone—not just kids—can run the bases after the game. And after that, there's a post-game light saber battle and then a fireworks show.

 

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Governors Island

Get some retail therapy done at FAD Market with New York City’s up-and-coming brands, designers, and small businesses — offering a curated selection of handcrafted jewelry, apparel, stationery, skincare, tableware, home goods, and artisanal food at Governor’s Island this weekend. Shop from vendors such as Yvonne.b, Elaine McGovern Designs, Soldered Curves, and Yahlistic Natural Body Works. Also grab a sweet trea from Little Boxes NYC and play pétanque (a lawn throwing game similar to bocce and boules).

  • Things to do
  • Film events
  • Soho

Go back in time to a secret speakeasy for a Vaudeville-themed evening. See a century-old Vaudeville performer's show suitcase with all their old-school makeup, costumes, and clippings. Plus, hear recollections about Vaudeville's past in the Lower East Side. Also check out some 16mm films, featuring Louis Armstrong and Judy Garland as a cat. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Opening through August 28 by the plaza on Broadway between 32nd and 33rd Streets, the custom-built installation is a 120-foot-long walk-through experience featuring a variety of sections, each one “an immersive and abstract take on New York, its people and its culture,” according to an official press release. Visitors will kick-start their experience descending a giant slide that will catapult them into an ocean of 500,000 translucent balls. Talk about a unique ball pit. Other standout moments include a peek at the "glitterball dome" consisting of 100 shimmering disco balls suspended from the ceiling, a sight inspired by the city's iconic Studio 54. A rotating cast of DJs and MCs will take the stage by the dome, so participants will actually get to catch live musical acts throughout the day as well.

Learn to Love Yourself Saturdays: Silent Disco & Portrait Series
Photograph: courtesy of City Parks Foundation

10. Learn to Love Yourself Saturdays: Silent Disco & Portrait Series

On four consecutive Saturdays, August 13–September 3 (3-6pm) head to The Park Avenue Underpass (between 124th & 125th Street), for a Silent Disco/Portrait Series from the National Black Theatre. You’ll hear original, commissioned sonic soundscapes from five artists that’ll be incorporated into a three-hour mix session by DJ Stormin’ Norman that you’ll hear through headphones. When you’re not dancing, you can get a free portrait taken of you and your friends by a master portrait photographer.

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  • Dance
  • Contemporary and experimental
  • Financial District

The free annual Battery Dance Festival, formerly known as the Downtown Dance Festival, takes place outdoors at Robert F. Wagner Park, in front of the sparkling New York Harbor. For its 41st edition this year, it is offering both in-person and streaming options. The lineup includes multiple U.S. or world premieres, and the participating companies include visiting groups from Singapore, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada. The first seven shows are general admission, but reservations are required for the 6pm finale on August 20 (which is held indoors at the Schimmel Center). 

  • Things to do

Summer Streets is back for 2022! Summer Streets is the epic Manhattan tradition that opens up miles of thoroughfares for walkers, runners, bicyclists and people-watchers of all ages. You won’t want to miss the complimentary rest stops which normally include fitness classes, a dog park, arts and crafts workshops, plus walking tours that explore NYC parks and some of the most beautiful NYC buildings. This is truly one of the best NYC events in August! And did we mention it’s free? No RSVP or tickets are necessary, just come and enjoy all that the wide-open outdoor space of the city has to offer.

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Harlem Week
  • Things to do

Harlem’s historic community’s rich artistic heritage on full display during this “week” that is actually 10 days of live events celebrating the people, arts, culture and food of Harlem. Themed around “Inspiration, Impact, and Legacy,’ the first week will include a salute to Harlem luminaries, featured musical performances, virtual dance parties, livestreams and cornerstone events such as the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run/Anti-Gun Violence Health Walk, and A Great Day in Harlem. This year’s celebration will also commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the NBA, legendary Rucker Park and Harlem inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a teen takeover of the Apollo Theater, Great Jazz on the Great Hill in Central Park and more.

 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Brooklyn vinyl lovers are in luck because the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library has just opened a Vinyl Lending Library to its cardholders, giving them access to 400 albums spanning genres (hip-hop, pop, classical, country, show tunes and more) that they can listen to on-site as well as borrow for up to three weeks. You just need your library card. Listening stations can be found on the first floor.

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  • Art
  • Art

A 6-foot platform has taken residence smack-dab in the middle of one of Brooklyn’s most iconic blocks by Washington Street in Dumbo. The podium, dubbed the Six Foot Platform, functions as a stage for 11 different interactive art exhibits that run the gamut in terms of genre. Expect dance performances, music-related shows, painting installations, poetry sessions and much more to make use of the platform as a home base through September 10 from 1pm through 8pm.  You can a calendar of performances right here.

On the first Friday of each month, NYC’s top jazz, soul, and funk musicians play at the lounge in Great Jones Distilling Co. This month’s musical guest is Scatter the Atoms That Remain, which is co-led by acclaimed pianist Davis Whitfield along with drummer and composer Franklin Kiermyer. During their set, nibble on a curated menu of ‘jazz club bites’ and artisanal cocktails using mostly locally sourced and house-made ingredients, including the Great Jones whiskey that’s distilled onsite. Reservation Slots are 7-8:30pm and 9-10:30pm. It’s $25 plus a two-drink minimum.

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  • Shopping
  • Astoria

The Queens Craft Brigade is back in time for its five year anniversary market in Astoria, Queens. The independent, queer-owned market brings together talented makers exclusively from around the borough and has created monthly curated events featuring artwork, jewelry, fashion, crafts, and more at Katch Astoria. This time, vendors include Camille at the Wheel, Paige’s Candle Co, Cissy’s Art Cafe, Lilasuds, Caryn Cast, Kate Durkin, Paulina Pizza, and more.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Times Square already feels like a jungle but, this August, expect to see parrots, elephants, giraffes, lions and crocodiles in the neighborhood as well—albeit virtually. A new app-based augmented reality experience called Concrete Jungle has just debuted, literally transforming the public plazas into a playground for animals. After downloading the app, users will get to access five different viewing environments, each one home to a different group of animals plus virtual games and in-app photo capabilities alongside a virtual animal companion. The zones include birds, insects, jungle, reptiles and savanna.

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

A former Cold Stone Creamery employee has mastered the specific art of throwing ice cream in the air and catching it with scoopers before serving it to customers. Now, he has decided to turn his art into a brick-and-mortar business with CATCH’N Ice Cream at his new shop in SoHo at 65 Bleecker Street. Customers can expect the staffers at CATCH'N to chop, fold and throw the treat (with toppings!) before serving it in a cup. Interestingly enough, the balls of ice cream will be pre-scooped by a dedicated machine, so the spotlight will really fall on the acrobatics after a customer places an order.

  • Art
  • Art

ArtsDistrict Brooklyn, also referred to as AD/BK, is a new immersive arts venue set that opens this week. To celebrate the opening of the venue, sure to become part and parcel of New York’s larger devotion to all things experiential, AD/BK will host the U.S. premiere of Limitless AI, a 70-minute show that first debuted at the Atelier des Lumières museum in Paris. Two other shows will be mounted on premise simultaneously: Flight and Séance. Both created by London-based company Darkfield, the two immersive, audio experiences will be presented in complete darkness inside customized 40-foot shipping containers. How cool!

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Your next vacation may be just two blocks off the L Train, thanks to this new venue. Vacations Bar and Rooftop, at 321 Starr Street in Bushwick unites the lively Bushwick spirit and charm with the nostalgia and relaxation of that perfect vacation spot. Lightly tropical-themed, the venue is colorful and bright and decorated with postcards across three separate bars—each their own destination. The bars are inspired by islands near and far (think Manhattan and Puerto Rico, and a few Caribbean destinations in between).

  • Art

A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum presents a pivotal three-year period in the history of art and culture in New York City 1962-1964, when the world was rapidly changing. Across two floors, the immersive exhibition presents more than 180 works of art, including painting, sculpture, photography, and film, alongside fashion, design, dance, poetry, and ephemera.

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  • Music
  • Music

The Opera Next Door is continuing its outdoor performance legacy with a Summer Stoop Concert Series, free for all to enjoy. To enjoy the performance, neighbors bring blankets and chairs, plus picnics if they desire, filling the public space with an attentive audience eager to listen to the free music. Follow @theoperanextdoor on Instagram for performance updates and clips of the spectacular city acoustics.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

A roving cat robot that sings, tells jokes and serves food at Dimmer & Summer, a new dim sum spot in Cobble Hill at 196 Smith Street between Baltic and Warren Streets. Opened by restaurateur Kenny Mei this past weekend as an homage to his Chinese roots, Dimmer & Summer offers traditional Northern and Southern Chinese dishes with a New York flair (like the robo-cat server, of course). It works. There’s just something about robots serving you delicious fare that excites us just so.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

NYC Cycleboats is back in New York Harbor this summer with the only boat you can drink and cycle on in the city’s waters. You and your crew can sign up (individually starting at $39 or $649 for the whole boat) for a 90-minute, boozed-up jaunt across the water. It’s completely BYOB so you can enjoy the beer, wine or hard seltzer of your choice (there’s ice, water coolers and cup holders on board) and take a seat on your respective pedal stations. You move your legs like you would on a bike and with your collective power, you help move the boat.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

NYC Ferry has just announced a new express route that’ll pick up beachgoers in Manhattan and bring them straight to Rockaway for just $8 a ticket. Starting this weekend on Saturday, July 23, the Rockaway Rocket will take riders from Pier 11/Wall St. to Rockaway Beach 108th Street at Beach Channel Drive every Saturday, Sunday and holiday through September 11. There are no stops in between!

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  • Art
  • Central Park

Get a closer look at more than 60 kimonos at the Met Museum that will show how these traditional Japanese garments transformed over their history. Across the gallery, these gorgeous kimonos will be paired along with Western garments, Japanese paintings, prints, and decorative art objects in thematic and chronological order, from the costumes worn for Japan’s traditional forms of theater, Noh and KyĹŤgen, to the western-influence of the second half of the 20th century.

  • Art
  • Midtown West

MoMA has reunited the six paintings, ceramic and three sculptures that Matisse depicted in his 1911 "The Red Studio" painting for the first time in over 100 years! Matisse painted a large canvas to depict his studio in the outskirts of Paris that was filled with his paintings and sculptures, furniture, and decorative objects. These objects have been saved and are finally back together since they left the studio. Created between 1898 and 1911, these objects range from familiar paintings, such as "Young Sailor (II)" (1906) to lesser-known works such as "Corsica, The Old Mill" (1898) and other objects.

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

There's a new spot in NYC to take in the gorgeous summer sunsets—it's on Governors Island. Now through October 31, the island's historic Soissons Landing and its bars and restaurants will be open late every night of the week. Previously, the last ferry off the island typically left before the sun set. The area will be open until 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays so that visitors can enjoy delicious food and drink from Island Oyster, Taco Vista and Gitano Island, and stay later at QC NY Spa.

  • Things to do
  • Battery Park City

"The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do" is a new 12,000-square-foot exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage that features over 750 original objects and survivor testimonies from the cultural center's own collection. In an effort to educate folks of all ages and backgrounds about the horrific events that led to the possibility of the Holocaust even happening, the exhibit is, according to an official press release, "rooted in the objects donated by survivors and their families, many of whom settled in New York and nearby places." 

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Portside, Brookfield Place's second seasonal waterfront pop-up, is officially open for business now through September and its on-site schedule of activities and programs looks incredibly fun. From 9am through 9pm daily, the free and open-to-the-public outpost will look like a nautical-inspired oasis complete with beautiful views of the New York Harbor. You can see the full roster of events right here, but we'd be remiss not to mention some standouts, including the beach read book club, which will offer participants a complimentary library of free books (one per person!). You can also sip on champagne while learning how to shuck oysters from professionals that belong to Red Oyster USA, enjoy an outdoor dance party, create a monogrammed beach tote that you'll likely use for the rest of the summer and partake in a seashell crafts hour. Outdoor seatings for groups of any size plus food and beverage options from Tartinery round out the awesome experience.

 

  • Things to do
  • Chelsea

Nationally-recognized comedy show, UpDating, deals with dating hang-ups front and center at this live romantic experiment. Two New Yorkers will be paired on-stage for a blind date, and you get to join in on the magic (or the meltdown). The show comes from NY-Based Comedian Brandon Berman and Dating Blogger Harrison Forman. For more details you can check out UpDating's Instagram @updatingshow.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Superstorm Sandy devastated New York City, destroying homes and businesses, but it also flooded the New York Aquarium so badly that parts of it have been closed to the public for the past decade. Now, after completely rebuilding these galleries with help from FEMA, New York State and New York City, NY Aquarium is finally reopening in full, complete with a new climate change exhibit called "Sea Change." The exhibit is in the space beneath the Sea Cliffs exhibit and features underwater viewing of the California sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and African penguins. This is the final public exhibit to reopen from damage by Sandy, the aquarium says.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Governors Island continues to be the hottest destination in New York this season, with a new beach club dubbed Gitano Island officially staking its claim in the area. The effort follows the Tulum-inspired tropical jungle restaurant, Gitano Garden of Love, which operated four successful seasons smack-dab in the middle of SoHo in Manhattan. The new venue on Governors Island is over 27,000 square feet of space on the island, right next to the ferry terminal overlooking the Manhattan skyline.  Warning: When visiting, you'll feel like you've traveled to Mexico via ferry. Expect 30-feet-tall coconut palm trees to line your surroundings, plus a mezcal bar, two dining patios, a state-of-the-art DJ tent and a VIP all centered around a serene water feature.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Open as of June 25 at the Museum of the Moving Image, "Living with The Walking Dead" features original costumes and props, concept art, storyboards, scripts and prosthetic makeup material that highlight the show’s origins, production and impact. It'll also has multiple screening series and public events over a six-month span for those interested in the show and learning more about behind the scenes. All in all, there are 500 objects including more than 300 props and production materials to see.

  • Movies

The Museum of Modern Art is hosting a horror film screening series now through September 5 with more than 100 features and a selection of short films.

 

Set in the museum’s Titus Theaters in the Black Family Film Center will have weekly themes— Slasher, Horror of Place, the Undead, Creatures, Folk Tales, Women Make Horror, Body Horror, Eco Horror, Messaging Race, and Messaging Gender—that show how the genre expresses our society's lurking fears and anxieties.

The exhibition features films from 19 countries, including genre benchmarks from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, starting with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and spanning the 1970s into the 1990s; 21st-century films from emerging voices in Guatemala, Ireland, Iran, Laos, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Zambia; and a focused look at emerging independent women filmmakers making horror over the last decade.

Tickets to individual showings must be reserved in advance.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Central Park has opened a new immersive, musical and theatrical experience at its own Wollman Rink! The ongoing happening is officially dubbed The DiscOasis and it will stay put through October 1. First off, New Yorkers will get to partake in a variety of programs and theatrical performances with live DJs and special guests throughout the experience's run. There will also be open skate sessions during the day and food and beverage offerings all around the area. The iconic Nile Rodgers joins in on the fun as well, curating a special playlist of "skate-worthy, groove-inducing tracks for each night's local DJ to spin fresh for skaters and dancers."

  • Things to do
  • Financial District

Most New Yorkers know that Fraunces Tavern is the site of General George Washington’s famous farewell to his officers at the end of the American Revolution, but most don't realize it was also home to the nation’s first executive governmental building that housed three offices of the Confederation Congress. It housed the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of War and offices of the Board of Treasury from 1785 to 1788. To recreate what that was like, Fraunces Tavern has a new exhibit (open as of June 22) that recreates the Department of Foreign Affairs' office based on a cashbook that detailed the purchases for the department. The exhibit features about 60 objects, most of which are authentic to the period and many of which have never before been on public display, including tables, chairs, desks, maps, newspapers and other items.

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  • Things to do
  • Upper West Side

Insects are misunderstood but a new macro photography exhibition at AMNH hopes to change that. Photographer Levon Biss has photographed 40 endangered species (selected from specimens in the Museum’s world-class research collection), which will be shown as large-format photographs as large as 4.5 by 8 feet in the Akeley Gallery and the adjacent East Galleria.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The William Vale just launched a new bespoke, nine-hole mini-golf course dubbed VALE(mini)GOLF. For $15 per round ($10 for kids 12 and younger), guests will get to play on the new course on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon through 9pm and Fridays and Sundays from 11am through 9pm. Bonus points: $1 of each player's admission fee will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC). The organization has actually partnered with the hotel to launch the new endeavor.

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

A bucolic 1920s English country golf club is on its way to NYC's concrete jungle! But with a twist. Swingers NoMad, a "crazy mini-golf course" and entertainment complex straight from London, opened on Friday, June 17 and bringing with it three nine-hole golf courses across 23,000 square feet under 20-foot-high ceilings. "Crazy golf" is a British spin on mini-golf, but it's for a 21-and-over audience since craft cocktails are served by caddies on the course, and at Swingers NoMad, there will be six cocktail bars with signature classic cocktails from London and D.C., as well as 12 cocktails created specifically for Swingers NoMad, private rooms you can rent, an opulent clubhouse and four gourmet street food vendors—Sauce Pizzeria, Miznon, Fonda and Mah Ze Dahr Bakery.

  • Things to do
  • Upper West Side

A new New-York Historical Society exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of "Title IX," an addition to the Education Amendments Act of 1972 that banned discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal assistance. From now through September 4, you can see how activists and lawmakers helped secure the advantages of education for all students. On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, the exhibition immerses visitors in the spaces shaped most profoundly by the legislation and highlights the crucial work of activists in demanding that their institutions and government live up to the law’s promises.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Brooklyn brewery Talea Beer Co. opened its first taproom in Williamsburg in early 2021, two years after it went from an idea to “the only exclusively female-founded brewery in NYC” by co-owners LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson. The duo set out to create “easy to love” beers that “cater to the palettes of both craft beer newcomers and connoisseurs.” Their light, bright, airy space quickly became a local favorite for its fruit-forward brews and seasonal suds. And on Tuesday June 14, Talea expanded south with a new spot in Cobble Hill.

  • Music

When the city heats up, so too does SummerStage, one of the most anticipated summer concerts known for its free tickets and stellar line-up. The scope of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage 2022 is so vast we wouldn't blame you for being a bit bewildered by the whole thing. Here's a quick FAQ to get you started with SummerStage 2022...

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  • Art
  • Lenox Hill

Art from some of the top African-American artists in the comic book industry is now on view at the Society of Illustrators until October 29. The exhibit is co-curated by journalist and writer Karama Horne ("Marvel’s Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual of the Dora Milaje") and artist/writer Shawn Martinbrough ("How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling," "Thief of Thieves," and "Red Hood"), whose work will be featured along with over sixteen other talented artists. It'll showcase both independent and mainstream creators, such as Dawud Anyabwile, founder of the landmark Brotherman Comics, the longest-running, independently published American Black comic book and Eisner Award-winning, DC Comics and Marvel artist Denys Cowan, co-founder of Milestone Media. Also featured are Eisner Award-winning artists Afua Richardson ("Black Panther World of Wakanda," HBO’s Lovecraft Country), Alitha Martinez ("Batgirl," "World of Wakanda") and John Jennings (Octavia Butler’s "Parable of the Sower"), as well as veteran artists Larry Stroman ("Alien Legion," "X-Factor") and Darryl Banks ("Green Lantern") and more.

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

It's going to be a full summer of concerts on The Rooftop at Pier 17.  The Seaport's summer concert series under the stars will feature more than 60 shows including from artists like Simple Plan, Sum 41, The Offspring, Pusha T, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Blondie, DEVO, Deftones, The Head and the Heart, Flogging Molly, Bikini Kill, Mayday Parade, Jason Mraz, Rise Against, The Used, Dashboard Confessional, Franz Ferdinand, Jason Isbell and more. 

  • June 11: Grits & Biscuits Block Party
  • June 12: Bayside / Thrice
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  • Things to do
  • City Life

If you're looking to cool off at some place other than the best public pools and the top hotel and rooftop pools in NYC, consider a visit to Roosevelt Island, where the annual Pop Up Pool Party installation just debuted by the body of water. Artist, Hratch Arbach actually painted the entire pool deck by himself with assistance from folks within the Roosevelt Island community. It took them two weeks and 75 gallons of paint to complete the project. Both Manhattan Park residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the pool. Find more information about how to register for a pass right here.

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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.

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  • 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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  • Comedy
  • LOL

Equinox is actually offering a broader NutriDrip menu that could confer you other extraordinary powers. Think pre-workout energy boosts, for example, or a vitamin cocktail meant to recover your muscles after a harsh training session. The staff will also offer a concoction meant to support immunity after a long weekend out East perhaps. You'll be able to get the drip at the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards and at the gym's East 74th Street location.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

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  • 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. 

  • 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.

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  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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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  • 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

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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  • 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.

  • 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."

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  • 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.)

  • 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.

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  • 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. 

  • 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.

 

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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.

 

  • 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. 

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  • 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.

  • 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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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. 

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.

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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
  • 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...

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  • 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.

  • 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
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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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  • 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
  • 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." 

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  • Music
  • Music

There is something about the talent of musicians in uptown Manhattan that simply cannot be authentically replicated in other New York neighborhoods—and the folks at the Cloak Room, a relatively new jazz speakeasy in Hamilton Heights, know that. Taking over the space previously occupied by Hogshead Tavern, which permanently closed during the pandemic, the Cloak Room opened this past September. Using the lockdown as an opportunity to re-invent, Hogshead Tavern co-owners Tara Wholley and Ady De Luna decided to move away from the structure of the bar that had become a neighborhood favorite and instead honor the musical legacy of Harlem by opening a spot dedicated to jazz.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Overthrow Hospitality—the group behind New York favorites Amor y Amargo, Ladybird and Death and Co., among others—has just debuted an attention-grabbing champagne and absinthe bar in the East Village that is inspired by... hell. Café de L’Enfer, which literally translates to "hell cafe" from the French, opened earlier this month and the decor is just as striking as the cocktails, developed by mixologist Sother Teague. The destination, which calls out to the famous Victorian-era Cabaret de l'Enfer in Paris, is filled with touches of the underworld. Expect skulls, deep red booths and ogre-like statues to adorn the dark space, located directly above Amor y Amargo.

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

There's a brand-new dumpling destination downtown, and it's over a year in the making. Dumpling Lab, founded by Hunan Slurp's Chef Xiaomei Ma and partners Chao Wang and Lu Dong, brings even more contemporary Chinese food to the East Village with its new seafood-focused menu, inspired by the Chinese city of Tsingtao. Mackerel Dumplings made with Spanish mackerel, pork, chive and dried shellfish are a menu standout. To embrace the diversity of Tsingtao's culinary culture, Ma also added dumpling flavors like organic chicken dumplings with wood ear and corn, plus zucchini and cucumber dumplings with eggs and vermicelli.

  • Things to do
  • Chelsea

The Rubin Museum is offering a unique exhibit that delves into the power of difficult emotions and how to turn them into positive ones—something many of us would benefit from these days. On the third floor of the museum, the Mandala Lab uses fun and interactive tools to explore jealousy/envy, attachment, pride, anger and ignorance and shows visitors how to turn them into wisdom of accomplishment, discernment, equanimity, mirror-like wisdom and all-accommodating wisdom, respectively. How this is done is through four quadrants across the floor, based on the Sarvavid Vairochana Mandala, a Tibetan Buddhist mandala that is used as a visualization tool to help achieve enlightenment. Each quadrant represents an emotion and has a playful activity to navigate it, including a "gong orchestra," a "breathing alcove" and a "scent library."

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

When Crown Shy opened at the base of the beautiful 70 Pine Street in 2019, it was eerily clear that it was that year’s best new restaurant. Saga, from Crown Shy’s chef James Kent and restaurant partner Jeff Katz, will open on the 63rd floor of that same obscured-in-plain-sight Art Deco building. It is its own restaurant, but comparisons are inevitable. While even an accomplished drinker can get out of dinner at Crown Shy for about $125 on the high end, the minimum spend at Saga will be $245 for an eight-to-ten course tasting that includes one welcome cocktail. The intro drink itself is an obvious narrative device, but let’s go back half a page in any case. To enter Saga, you will pass through 70 Pine’s lobby to the elevators, where you will be escorted dozens of floors up by a host who will speak a bit to the building’s history. The air pressure will change before the doors open to Saga’s lovely bar, which mirrors Crown Shy’s, writ small. As subtle as it is, the lighting might be the first thing to catch your eye. Soft beams enhance the space’s Deco finishes and recall happy times downstairs, or cue new ones to come. Both restaurants share the lighting designer David Weiner, who has created a pattern so unmistakably Crown Shy, or, now Saga, it should be patented. But this is not a drinking bar. You’ll collect your welcome cocktail before you’re shown to one of Saga’s many terraces that make you realize, if you’ve managed not to so far in life, why some people chase money so hard. There are many good views in New York City, but this one feels particularly rich, imbued with the spirit of the building’s top three floors’ almost unbelievable original intended use as an early 20th-century financier’s private home. 

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Great Jones Distilling Co. opened to the public on August 21, as Manhattan's first and only legal whiskey distillery in over 100 years. Over six years in the making, the 28,000 square foot venue will feature a fully functioning distillery, a tasting room and several drinking and dining venues, including an underground speakeasy and full restaurant to open this fall. The menus are heralded by Executive Chef Adam Raksin, who formerly worked at Per SeVisitors can book several different experiences, including a tour detailing the whiskey making process ($35), a culinary cocktail pairing experience ($145) and a hands-on mixology class ($110). The craft whiskey made at Great Jones starts with grains sourced exclusively from New York state. Exclusive bourbon and rye is available only at the distillery. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Roosevelt Island has its first-ever rooftop bar and lounge open to the public. Panorama Room just opened atop the newly opened Graduate Roosevelt Island hotel on the southern end of the island and the views are really unparalleled — perhaps even the best of any rooftop lounge. Located on the 18th floor of the hotel, the "jewel box" space by Med Abrous and Marc Rose, who are food and beverage partners of the hotel and co-founders of the hospitality group Call Mom, opens up to incredible views of the boroughs, the bridges and the East River, which shine like stars at night. Designed by James Beard Award-winning design firm Parts and Labor Design, Panorama Room is visually dramatic. Its palatial vibes are set by luxurious velvet vintage-inspired tubular lounge sofas, chrome and marble touches, mosaic tile columns and its giant, tubular acrylic chandeliers that hover above the massively long bar. It's not only luxe but it's somehow simultaneously futuristic and retro. 

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Ms. Kim's, a new K-town karaoke lounge from Korean beauty entrepreneur Anna Kim, combines sophisticated style with sing-alongs. Envisioned during the pandemic, when we all just needed to belt out our frustrations, and spend some much-needed time outside of our homes with friends, Ms. Kim's offers both communal space and soundproof private karaoke rooms, so guests can customize their experience as it suits their needs. In the main lounge and bar, mixologist-approved cocktails take the place of the ubiquitous karaoke bar beer pitcher. Ingredients in the signature drinks, which start at $16, include butterfly pea flower, herbal infused syrups and top shelf spirits. Fine wine is sold by the glass or bottle, and beer is available on tap or by the bottle. For soju, the 46-proof Hwayo - 23° is available by the 375 mL bottle. Fridays will also bring live music to the bar, for those who prefer to sway to the sounds of jazz, rather than sing. To eat, Ms. Kim's offers a short menu of Japanese and Korean finger foods, like vegetable or shrimp tempura with four types of salt, three types of fried dumplings, and chicken karaage with garlic ginger soy sauce.  

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  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The venue formerly known as Fat Cat has reemerged with a new name, new games, and custom ice cream. Cellar Dog (75 Christopher St.) is reviving the Fat Cat tradition of late-night basement gaming, with an updated concept for 2021. Opened by Backal Hospitality Group (BHG), Cellar Dog will remain a live music and game hall, making the most of the 9,000-square-foot underground space. Games include pool tables, ping pong, shuffleboard, foosball, checkers and chess, as well as antique and novelty arcade games including Pac Man and many more. Live jazz and additional entertainment will also be booked throughout the week.

 

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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