New York Botanical Garden

Things To Do

Click here for A Tour of Chocolate Shops in New York

The places listed here are a small representation of some of the things you can do while in New York. Some of them may seem a little unusual and are generally places that you won't hear about on the typical New York City sites. Also take a look at the Offbeat links listed on the New York Links page.

These recommendations are from third parties. I do not have any personal information about these places. Take the recommendations but make allowance for the fact that tastes vary and you may find a different experience than what you read here.

This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the World Trade Center Memorial in NYC

Free Things To Do For Families in NYC from New York City Travel.

New York Calendar Calendar of events in New York from NewYorkology

Hidden Subway Station

There is a hidden subway station in lower Manhattan that is no longer used because when longer cars came into use, the curved track in the station caused wide gaps between the platform and the cars, which was deemed unsafe.
Why visit:
Opened in 1904 to be the showcase of the subway system, it is stunningly decorated: see this entry in the Trevelettes blog for more info and photos.
How to visit:
Get on the #6 train heading toward lower Manhattan. (The 4, 5 and 6 trains use the same route, make sure to catch the #6) Normally its last station is Brooklyn Bridge and they used to make everyone get off so the train could go to the terminus to turn around. However, they now allow passengers who want to to stay on the the train for this procedure and you can see the station as it passes through (it will not stop at this station.)


Manhattanhenge information from the Hayden Planetarium website.
On two days every year, the setting sun lines up precisely with the east-west streets of Manhattan. In 2012 these dates are May 29th, and July 12th. When this happens, a glow of light is created that illuminates both the north and south sides of these streets, resulting in a rare and glorious effect.
From the website:
For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible. But ensure that when you look west across the avenues you can still see New Jersey. Clear cross streets include 14th, 23rd, 34th. 42nd, 57th, and several streets adjacent to them.

  • Manhattan Art & Antiques Center
    1050 2nd Avenue between 55th Street and 56th Street
  • The Annex
    Outdoors on 6th Avenue between 24th Street and 26th Street
  • The Garage Indoor Antique Show
    112 West 25th Street
Art Galleries in Chelsea

Art Galleries in Chelsea website
Chelsea is a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan between about 7th and 10th Avenues and extends from 14th Street to 23rd Street. Many art galleries have relocated here and most have free admission.
New exhibitions open on Thursday evenings: dress appropriately (most openings are glamourous events) and enjoy some free wine and hors d'oeuvres as you mingle with the other guests and maybe an artist or two.

Big Screen Plaza

Big Screen Plaza website
30 x 16 ft big screen — check the website for a schedule of what will be showing on the screen.
Address: 851 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave), New York, NY between 29th and 30th St. behind the Eventi Hotel
Telephone: 212.533.4100
Subway: Closest stations — 34th St/Herald Sq on the N, Q & R lines or 28th St on the 1 & 2 lines

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea website
The Brooklyn Flea runs many markets in all boroughs of New York, including Manhattan.
From the website: Founded in April 2008, Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City's top attractions, operating flea markets every weekend of the year that feature hundreds of top vendors of antique and repurposed furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles and antiques, as well as a tightly curated selection of jewelry, art, and crafts by local artisans and designers, plus delicious fresh food.

Union Square Greenmarket

Union Square Greenmarket website
North and west sides of Union Square Park. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
From the website: The world-famous Union Square Greenmarket began with just a few farmers in 1976, has grown exponentially over the past 35 years: in peak season, 140 regional farmers, fishermen, and bakers descend upon Union Square to sell their products to a devout legion of city dwellers who support local agriculture with their food dollars.

Section of the Berlin Wall in NYC

Located on the north side of 53rd Street between 5th and Madison Aves, across the street from the College of Design and Fashion.
Grafitti painted on them by artists Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny.

Chef Restaurant Supply

Located at the corner of Houston Street and Bowery Street

The Counter Spy Shop of Mayfair London

Located on Madison Avenue, between 49th Street and 50th Street
I haven't had the chance to check it out yet, but I saw it and thought the name was interesting.

The Crystal District

The five blocks along Madison Avenue between 58th and 63rd streets.
Houses more luxury crystal outlets than any other quarter mile in the world.

Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant website
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 06:30 AM until the doughnuts are sold out. (Closed Monday)
379 Grand Street
Telephone: 212.505.3700
Subway: Closest stations — Essex St on the J, M & Z lines or Delancey St on the F line

Fifth Avenue Pavilion, International Shopping Center

Located at the corner of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue
A long low building with various stalls on both sides of a central aisle.

High Line Park

High Line Park website
The High Line park runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues.
The High Line was originally an overhead rail line constructed in the 1930s, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's streets. Section 1 of the High Line (to 20th Street) is open as a public park, owned by the City of New York.
You can get up to the park at Gansevoort Street and at 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th Streets.


The section of 47th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue is just loaded with jewelry stores. I can't tell you if it is a good place to find bargains, but it sure looks like a good place to find any kind of jewelry you may be looking for.
This section of 47th Street is also called "Diamond and Jewelry Way".

Harry Winston Jeweler

Harry Winston Jeweler 718 Fifth Avenue, at 56th Street.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library website
Discover, Connect, Get Inspired
455 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
between 40th and 42nd Streets
Telephone: (212) 340-0863
Subway: Closest stations are 5th Ave or Grand Central
There are many other branches around the city.

The Museum of Television and Radio

25 West 52nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues
All I know right now is that I saw this place as I was walking by.

  • Guss' Pickles
    Others claim to be Guss' Pickles or affiliated with Guss Pickles but that is not true!
    87 Orchard Street, New York, NY
    Telephone: 718.933,6060
  • The Pickle Guys
    As far back as 1910 there have always been numerous pickle stores on Essex Street. Today The Pickle guys is the only pickle store that exists on Essex Street.
    49 Essex Street, New York, NY
    Telephone: 212.656.9739
Riverpark Farm at Alexandria Center

Riverpark Farm website
430 E 29th St. New York, NY 10016
Email: for general inquiries
A unique green space that supplies fresh produce to the Riverpark restaurant, owned by renowned chef Ton Colicchio.

Have dinner (8 to 12 people) in the garden at the Riverpark Farm Table.
From the website:
All-inclusive Farm dinners include food, an open wine bar and private access to the Farm with views of New York City's skyline.
Email: for farm table inquiries

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in the East River and is considered part of Manhattan. The many lovely parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas on this two mile long island (800 feet wide at its broadest point) are open to residents and visitors alike.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Click on the Visit Us tab to get local information

  • The Tram You can get to the island by subway, bus or car, but if you going you might as well take the tram. It is one of the only aerial tramways used for public transportation in America. You can get access to the tram at 59th Streetand 2nd Avenue. The 4-5 minute ride across the East River, parallel to the Queensboro Bridge, will give you spectacular and sweeping views of New York City from 250 feet above the ground.
  • Blackwell Island Lighthouse Park At the northern end of the island stands the lighthouse surrounded by a park which is a perfect picnic area with free barbeque pits and is also a good place to fly a kite if you are so inclined. The island was originally owned by the Blackwell family and was know and Blackwell Island. The original ancestral home still stands near the center of the island. There is a sign near the lighthouse that tells its history.
  • Chapel of the Good Shepherd Opened in 1889 and renovated several times, this late-Victorian Gothic church, which greets visitors of all religions, is something you shouldn't miss.
  • Renwick Smallpox Hospital ruins At the southern end of the island you can find the ruins of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, also surrounded by a beautiful park. Renamed Welfare Island in 1921, there used to be insane asylums, prisons, nursing residences and hospitals on the island. Most of these buildings have been lost.
  • Cherry Blossom Festival If you are in the area in late March or in April, be sure to visit the island to see the cherry blossoms. No need to go all the way to Washington, DC for that.
SoHo Billiards

Located at 298 Mulberry Street, the corner of Mulberry Street and Houston Street.
The SoHo section of Manhattan is supposed to be SOuth of HOuston. SoHo Billiards is on the northern side of Houston Street. So technically, it is not in SoHo.

Sail the Hudson

Sail the Hudson website
Enjoy the view of New York City on beautiful sailing sloops! See Downtown Manhattan, the Battery, Ellis Island, Governors Island, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty from the water in a Coastal Sailing Sloop. Impressive outing for customers and clients! Call 201-887-8700

Queens County Farm Museum

Queens County Farm Museum Located in the town of Floral Park in the Queens burrough of New York, Queens County Farm Museum occupies New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland and is the only working historical farm in the City. You will probably need a car to be able to visit this site.
Address: 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY
Telephone: 718.347.3276

Bryant Park
There are several places in the city that have ice skating rinks in the winter.
This one is in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library.
Bryant Park is also a popular place in the summer, with lots of outdoor vendors, etc.

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Contents © Copyright 2001 Author: Lee Briggs except where noted. All rights reserved.