If you’re planning a visit to New York City, you don’t have to stick to the tourist-only spots during your trip. Going to the top of the Empire State Building can be fun but it’s certainly not going to give you a look at the real fun and flavor the city can offer. Instead, why not try some of these other great activities during your stay in the Big Apple.
Outdoor Films in Tompkins Square Park
Almost anyone can see a movie in a cinema even in New York City but how many times can you watch a classic movie under the stars in a gorgeous park. Tompkins Square Park is located in Manhattan in the East Village. It covers more than 10 wooded acres in the heart of the city and is home to a different film showing every two weeks from the end of June through the middle of July. The 2008 line-up of films has a little something for everyone: the futuristic action of the 1980’s classic Blade Runner to the psychotic thrill of The Shining to the hilarity of the Big Lebowski. The best part is that the movies are free to the public so this is not only a cool thing to experience but also one of the cheapest in NYC.
New York’s Museum of Sex
Leave the children at home when you venture to this one-of-a-kind museum located on Fifth Avenue which opened in 2002. Some of the most respected names in the study of human sexuality and its history have helped craft the multiple exhibits you’ll find in the museum. More than 15,000 artifacts are housed in the museum, plus it contains an enormous multimedia library that contains footage in everything from 8mm to DVD. Exhibits on the Sex Life of Animals, Four Centuries of Graphic Sex in Japan, and How New York City Transformed Sex in America have all been on display at the museum.
Amateur Night at the Apollo
The legendary Apollo Theater was the starting point for some of the top performers in the world thanks to their Amateur Night. Every Wednesday night since 1934, new talent has graced the stage and competed for the tile once won by Mary J. Blige, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson. Now you can attend this amazing event and get your first glimpse at the next wave of talent firsthand. If you’re not in town on a Wednesday, you could also schedule a historic tour through this beautiful theater.
Take in a Unique Restaurant Experience
No place in the world has as many one-of-a-kind restaurant experiences as New York City. Take the Ninja New York Restaurant where “real” ninjas serve your food and make use of secret ninja spells to keep you entertained. The entire restaurant is designed in the style of a feudal castle. Prices aren’t too bad either. If you want something with a little more American history take a trip to Nathan’s which is the first hot dog stand in New York and some would argue still the home of the most delicious frankfurters in the city. You could also head to Katz’s Deli where you might rub noses with celebrities such as Al Gore, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Danny Devito.
Who wouldn’t go to New York City without taking in a Broadway show? Some of the most famous musicals such as The Nutcracker, have been held here and it’s almost a guaranteed must-see for any fan. However, you need to book your tickets well in advance because most of the top shows sell out fast and early. Of course, if you can’t get seats for one of these shows, you can find some great performances off-Broadway, too. Some of the most popular shows include The Jersey Boys, Wicked the Musical and Young Frankenstein.
Watch a Television Show Taping
Many of the shows that are recorded in New York are open to a live audience. Imagine being able to watch David Letterman’s Top Ten list or Jon Stewart’s Moment of Zen live and in person. You can if you go to their web sites and secure your tickets early. All of the tickets are free but you’ve got to get them early if you want to secure a seat at one of the showings.
Sports in New York
And of course there’s all kinds of sports to see. New York has some serious professional sports. First, New York is a baseball town. The New York Yankees and the New York Mets have a fanatical fan base and going to Shea Stadium or Yankee Stadium is a memorable experience. But hurry, since this is the last year for the legendary Bronx’s Yankee Stadium. Of course if it’s the winter, check out the Knicks or the Rangers and Islanders too. Fall time? Then see either the New York Jets or the Super Bowl champs New York Giants.
Explore NYC with Your Dog
Now you don’t have to enjoy the Big Apple alone. Bring your canine companion along. The two of you can take a horse drawn carriage ride around the city or go on a walking tour through Times Square. You can also go shopping together at some of the city’s most upscale stores, compete at the first agility park open to the public, and be pampered with a stay at the Hilton.