(1/18-1/24) Looking for what to do in NYC during corona? There's more to do in the city now than there's been in months, including the reopening of many of the city's cultural destinations. This detailed map of restaurants shows 11,000 venues now serving; included in that number are more than 5,000 places where you can eat outside (many with plenty of warmth to get you through cold nights). Read on for more in-person reopenings and other things to do in NYC this week!
NEW YORK'S ACTIVITY AUTHORITY
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FREE SKATING CONTINUES
Photo: Angelito Jusay.
The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, which has the city's only free-admission skating rink, stays open in midtown through March 28th. In addition to the rink, you'll find options like The Lodge Deck, with heated outdoor seating and a full-service cocktail bar; the Curling Café, where you compete at iceless curling (visitors can rent curling lanes and accompanying tent packages for either 1-4 or 5-8 guests on Wednesdays-Fridays 3:30-9pm, with extended weekend time slots Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30-9:00pm); and the Igloos, where can reserve your very own heated Cozy Igloo with family and friends while enjoying hot chocolate, salted caramel hot apple cider, mulled wine, or charcuterie boards. The Shops have been extended as well, with a European-inspired open-air market connecting you with artisans from around the world.
VALE RINK IS BACK
HIT THE RINK AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Beat The Bomb, an immersive video game experience based in Dumbo, Brooklyn is opening up with new experiences and safety measures. The ultimate social distancing activity, Beat The Bomb is perfect for families, small groups, learning pods and quaranteams who are looking for a new kind of challenge—kind of like an escape room. The hour-long experience features a series of four games broken out into different rooms, allowing for a unique flow that separates groups for better distancing. The goal: earn time on the bomb clock by beating levels. Then disarm the paint bomb before time runs out… or GET BLASTED! (PPE has always been a part of the experience, but it's really coming in handy now.) beatthebomb.com
WHAT TO DO IN NYC DURING COVID
Despite the coronavirus, there's still plenty to do in the city. Stay in the loop with:
VIRTUAL TOURS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Ahead of an in-person reopening, UN Visitors Services is presenting virtual tours and briefings, hosted by the UN's legendary multilingual tour guides. Online visitors can learn about the organization's roles and can get insider angles on famous spaces like the General Assembly Hall and Security Council. Tours are available for groups or "UN Kids." visit.un.org
OUTDOOR ART AT THE UN
A new outdoor exhibit, #TheWorldWeWant, is now available to view outside United Nations Headquarters. The exhibit is a special collection of photos curated from more than 50,000 images from over 130 countries, as a way to hear directly from the peoples of the world about their priorities for the future. The photos featured are from #TheWorldWeWant, a global photo contest hosted and organized by the mobile app Agora in support of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. This outdoor exhibit, found along First Avenue between 46th St and 47th St, is free and open to all and will be on display through the end of the year. un.org/en/exhibits/page/un75
YANKEE STADIUM VIRTUAL TOURS
Yankees Stadium holds many stories inside its walls. Experience the historic team’s history from your own grandstands with Yankee Stadium Tours' new virtual visits. The Yankees are holding tours twice a week, every Tuesday at noon and every Thursday at 2pm, for about half an hour each. You can reserve a spot here, and prepare to learn more about New York. The tour features iconic sites like Monument Park, essentially the Yankees’ Hall of Fame, honoring the franchise's greatest players, managers, and coaches. You can also get a peek at the New York Yankees Museum, which features historic jerseys, baseballs, and more detailing the Yankees history. Book now, as tours are quickly reaching capacity.
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE CITY?
City Guide brings you “Everything to Do NYC,” a community of people helping each other get everything we can from the city. Looking for a restaurant? Ask ETD. Want to share a great find? Let us know about it. It’s your go-to group for how to get everything you can from everything in New York. facebook.com/groups/everythingtodonyc
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square invites guests of all ages to experience the unbelievable mysteries of our world. Home to rare artifacts and thrilling interactive exhibits, this one-of-a-kind attraction is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the unusual, the unexpected, and the unbelievable. Hours have just been updated to 7 days a week, 11am-6pm (the last ticket is sold one hour prior to closing). For a safe experience, new initiatives include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules; hand sanitizer stations throughout the attraction; limited capacity; face coverings required for all guests and staff; new signage; and temperature checks for staff. In addition, interactive exhibits will remain closed until it's safe for them to open. ripleysnewyork.com
Top of the Rock, a stunning perch atop Rockefeller Center, offers wholly unobstructed views of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the rivers, and all of Central Park (its size can only truly be appreciated when seen from above). The Grand Viewing Deck on the 69th floor offers unparalleled views of the city and the 70th Floor is an open-air perch with completely unobstructed views—no glass or anything. Top of the Rock reopened to the pubic on Thursday, August 6th. Social distancing is easier here: Top of the Rock has more open-air viewing space than any other observation deck in New York City. New hours for the Observation Deck are daily 1-9pm; guests will enter from West 50th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Aves., and proceed with timed tickets to the glass stairs upon entry. Visitors without a pre-purchased ticket will be directed to the box office. Capacity will be limited, masks are required, and hand sanitizer is available throughout the attraction. Note that kids 12 and under will get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket through Labor Day. topoftherocknyc.com
New York restaurants come and go, but Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is forever. The famed eatery—which only has one location, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan—turns 77 this year and is only getting better. After being on pause for several months, takeout and outdoor dining have returned. Expect classic favorites of home-style Sicilian cuisine like rigatoni Sorrentino, linguine with clam sauce, veal rollatine Marsala, and chicken Contadina. Hours will be 4-9pm Wednesday-Sundays; customers can make reservations by calling 212-247-3491 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. patsys.com
The west side's beloved elevated park, The High Line, is open albeit with capacity at the park greatly reduced. Free timed-entry tickets are opened every two weeks on Mondays. A limited number of walk-up passes will also be available at the entrance, but advance planning is recommended. Traffic will only flow in one direction, starting at Gansevoort Street. All visitors must enter at the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, and move northwards. In this first reopening phase, the High Line will be open only to 23rd Street. Citywide safety protocols will also apply here, including the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering and maintaining 6-foot social distancing. thehighline.org
Hershey's Chocolate World is the place to go in NYC when your sweet tooth starts kicking in. Located in the heart of Times Square, the newly reopened store features chocolate experiences for everyone to enjoy. At Hershey's Kitchens Bakery indulge in a chocolate-filled brownie or peanut butter blossom cookie. Relax with a refreshing Hershey's chocolate spritzer or warm up with a Hershey's melted hot chocolate. If you can't make it to the Hershey chocolate factory tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hershey's Chocolate World in Times Square is the next best stop. Hours are now 11am-7pm. hersheys.com
Benjamin Prime combines modern elegance with traditional steakhouse classics, while also showcasing signature standouts from highly regarded sister property Benjamin Steakhouse. After perfecting both steakhouse and seafood concepts in their arsenal, Benjamin Restaurant Group is highlighting the grill at Prime, serving up USDA prime dry aged steaks and succulent seafood in unique ways. As of Wednesday, July 8th they are open again for outdoor dining! Hours are 11:30am-10pm on the weeknights and 4-10pm on Saturdays. Don't miss the return of the Power Lunch Menu, weekdays from 11:30am-4pm; Just $39 covers an appetizer like crab cake or lobster bisque, followed by entrees like a USDA Prime junior New York sirloin, and desserts like a classic New York cheesecake.
Havana Central’s all-day menu boasts the best in Cuban cooking. Dig into classic dishes like Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, jerk-seasoned chicken wings, "ropa vieja" beef stew, mango salmon, and vegetarian paella. You can once again enjoy it in person, as outdoor dining comes to Times Square, daily noon to 9pm (tables available on a first-come, first-served basis). You can also dive into this great cuisine with pick up and contactless delivery. Cuban family meals, grocery boxes (fruit, chicken, and vegetables, order by 5pm Wednesday for pickup after 1pm on Friday), and Caribbean cocktails to go are all also available—12oz and 32oz mojitos are highlights (tropical flavors optional). Note that Havana Central has expanded its delivery zone: covering 16th to 79th Sts., both east side and west. havanacentral.alohaorderonline.com
Statue Cruises is once again out and about in New York Harbor. Tickets may be purchased in advance (strongly encouraged) from the Statue Cruises website or at Gangway 5 in Battery Park. Statue Cruises is encouraging social distancing to the greatest extent possible, reducing the capacity on board vessels by 50%, requiring all employees and guests to wear face masks at all times, ensuring thorough deep cleaning of vessels throughout each day, requiring daily temperature checks of all Statue Cruises personnel, utilizing contactless payment systems, providing sanitizer stations on both vessels and the islands, and much more. With the season of giving here, Statue Cruises is giving back to first responders and the frontlines. Statue Cruises has launched First Responder Fridays where firefighters, police officers, EMTs, doctors, nurses, and hospital workers will be able to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on Fridays through February for free. statuecruises.com
A NEW DOWNTOWN DISCOUNT
For the first time ever, Hornblower Group, One World Observatory, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum have launched the Official Downtown Experience combo ticket package. Make a day of it downtown and get one reserve admission ticket for Statue Cruises, the only ferry serving the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; a flex admission to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum; and a flex ticket to One World Observatory. The $74.99 price reflects a 20% savings. Available now.
IT'S ALL HAPPENING AT THE ZOOS
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
COVID couldn't stop New York's zoos—the Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and the most famous of all, the Bronx Zoo. (Famous for a good reason—there are 8,000 animals there, spread across a habitat that includes 265 acres of hardwood forest). Guest health and safety are the top priority, with social distancing, limited capacity, one-way paths through the park, and touchless interactions. Open exhibits at the Bronx Zoo include the African Plains, African Wild Dogs, American Bison, Baboon Reserve, Big Bears, Birds of Prey, Children's Zoo, Himalayan Highlands, Sea Lion Pool, Tiger Mountain, and the Wild Asia Monorail. Visit the Bronx Zoo's Know Before You Go section to learn more. You'll need to get your ticket in advance (no tickets will be sold at the gates). A touchless entry will let you in, but you must have a face covering, and follow spacing markers to ensure social distancing. bronxzoo.com
TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS
Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice.
VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOM
Missing escape room adventures? NYC fave The Escape Game has some great play-at-home editions including Unlocked: The Heist—Vol. 1: Chasing Hahn, which includes all the pieces of the original mission kit, ready for play in quarantine. They've also just launched a new series, The Escape Game Remote Adventures. These are escape games you play with your friends, family, and co-workers on Zoom from anywhere in the world. Players progress through the room using an online clue bank, a live Game Guide, and a 360-degree view of the room. theescapegame.com/remote-adventures
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