Looking for some Nifty things to do in winter in the Big Apple? Try these on for size:
Dance on the Big Piano. Located on the top floor of the FAO Schwarz toy store on 5th avenue this is the giant floor piano that was the star in the movie BIG. OK, Tom Hanks was technically the star but let’s be honest: The piano kind of stole the show 😉 If you are a kid at heart (immature) like me, you will get a little thrill from dancing on it.
Dine like a ninja at Ninja New York. The interior is designed to resemble a traditional Japanese village and the waiters double as stealthy ninjas. Depending on what you order, you might be expected to headbutt your food or look for hidden messages. It’s a bit corny and on the pricey side, but if you like offbeat dining, this is a fun place to infiltrate…err..eat.
Go to a risque muppet show on Broadway. Avenue Q is like an adult version of Sesame Street or the Muppets. It had me laughing so hard I was doing the weird kind of laugh-you know, the one where something strikes you as so funny that you can’t control the sounds coming out of your mouth. If you haven’t seen it, GO. It is hil-a-ri-ous! Advisory: Contains full puppet nudity and sex scene. For deals on tickets try the TKTS ticket booths. Same day tickets are sold for up to 50% off on select shows.
Get yelled at by the Soup Nazi…OK, probably not by him but from his staff (the shop is called the Original Soupman.) The soup Nazi…you know, from Seinfeld.
Check out the talent at the Apollo theater in Harlem. Built in 1913 as a Burlesque venue, it officially became the Apollo music hall in the 1930s. If the walls could talk they would surely have a tale or two to tell. Amateur night at the Apollo (which still goes on) was enormously popular back on the day and jump-started the careers of the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross & The Supremes,The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey,and Lauryn Hill.
And while you are in Harlem, go shoe shopping; rows upon rows of fabulously funky footwear.
Holy cannoli! Dine in Little Italy and try some cannoli for dessert, especially if you haven’t tried it before. I feel that my life was more complete after having tasted my first one.
Get royally ripped off at a money exchange booth in Times Square. It’s a quintessential New York experience. You can skip this one if you want but then you are not really experiencing the Big Apple are you?
Ride the carousel in Central Park or take a horse carriage if you prefer authentic smells and sounds. If you go in winter like I did, be prepared to not feel your toes for the last 20 minutes of the ride.
Take photos of cross-dressing Statues of Liberty (because you can just barely make out the real one through the fog). To keep warm, the buskers posing as Lady Liberty had to wear about 7 layers of clothes, making them appear a lot less statuesque as the real deal.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot, preferably when it is snowing. If you aren’t freezing your tushy off, it doesn’t count.
Any other nifty things to add to the list? I went to New York in the winter so would love to hear some warmer weather experiences.
I went to New York in the winter too, with my wife, but maybe my idea of nice things to do was more traditional. We went up to the top of the Empire State building at midnight, saw a Billy Joel show on Broadway, had a meal in a revolving restaurant watching the city go by, went to see ‘Liberty’ when the wind died down, walked through Central Park in the snow, strolled along the city streets each night late, with a coffee, and visited about a dozen famous places. We took the subway one day, just so we could say we did. Instead of eating at the hotel, we breakfasted at a different deli’ each morning. Did I mention we froze our asses off a lot of the time?