Entertainment in New York City

Theatre, Opera, Museum in New York City

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New York City is full of classic tourist attractions and things to see like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Chinatown, Broadway, Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, and Central Park. What makes New York even more special is the ever-changing and trend-setting events, music, theatre, and art happenings. It is impossible to know about everything that is going in New York; you can just try to hang on for the ride.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy both the old and new in New York City. There are hundreds of different tours that go through New York. Whether your interest is in art, or architecture, or food, there is a tour for you.
New York City Onboard has tour buses that take visitors around the city with guides that hop on & hop off with them.
City Sights New York has 60 hop-on, hop-off buses with top-deck-only seating to provide you with the best possible views of New York City's attractions, neighborhoods and places of interest.
Gray Line New York is one of the biggest travel providers and offers a variety of bus tours and destination transportation.
Central Park Bike Tours allows customers to rent bikes and discover NYC on their own or participate in group tours of lovely central park.
Harlem Heritage Tours offers a unique set of products and services that serve to highlight the rich history of this New York neighborhood and its many contributions to American culture.
The NY Skyride is on the second floor of the Empire State building, is a virtual reality stimulator that "takes off" from the top of the building and then takes you on a trip throughout the city.
Sex in the City Hotspots takes followers in the footsteps of Carrie & Co. as they conquer New York City! Drink where they drink, shop where they shop, and gossip where they gossip.

Most museums, attractions, and history sites offer tours as well. Call the place you are interested in directly and ask what services can be arranged.

There are many different publications and websites that do their best to keep abreast of happenings in New York.
New York Magazine is a daily guide to culture in New York City. Features listings and reviews for theater, dance, art, television, music, books and readings, and more.
NYC Entertainment offers events ranging from cultural to TV tapings.
New York Post entertainment section gives readers the inside scoop on the latest entertainment and celebrity developments.
New York Event Guide has an extensive Arts and Events calendar for New York. The EventGuide's goal is to provide you with definitive answers to the perpetual quandary of "What Do You Want To Do Today?"
Goldstar allows people to sign up for newsletters that inform about events and discounts with reviews of new entertainment.

Discount Cards

A youth card or student card can offer you a lot of advantages abroad and is a recognition of your status. Two international cards will give you discounts and are essential for those taking a gap year or going backpacking:

What the Cards offer:

  • Valuable discounts on air, travel, bus and ferry, transport and accommodation (gap year backpacking discounts).
  • Access to over 33,000 discounts in over 100 countries.
  • Reduced admission to museums, galleries and historic states.
  • Access to student travel organizations in over 90 countries.
  • 24 hour emergency, legal and medical help line services.
  • Basic sickness and accident travel insurance.

You can apply directly online to get the cards (http://www.isiccard.com) or buy asking your University or youth centers.


Times Square was named after the New York Times erected a new building on 43rd Street at the turn of the 20th century. Marked through the decades by , theater, vaudeville, cabaret, performance halls, and cheap "grinder" movie houses, the square is now known as the site of the most famous New year's Eve countdown in the world.

The Empire State Building is a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark that soars more than a quarter of a mile into the atmosphere above the heart of Manhattan. The Observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass enclosed pavilion and from the surrounding open-air promenade.

The Statue of Liberty is not just a landmark of New York, but a symbol for America as a whole. This historic symbol of freedom stands tall in the harbor on its own 12-acre island. The Statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986. Unfortunately, tours have been postponed indefinitely, only the grounds are available.

Central Park was created by public-minded members of the old merchant aristocracy in 1857. Interested in maintaining the beauty of the growing city, they lobbied for the establishment of the first landscaped park in an American city. The park has many attractions:
Harlem Meer - 11 Acre Lake Area featuring 2 Playgrounds.
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center - Visitor center featuring environmental exhibits and programs.
Lasker Rink and Pool - public swimming pool that is transformed into an ice rink for the winter (Thanksgiving - March).
Conservatory Garden - The six-acre Conservatory Garden is Central Park's only formal garden is a colorful and quite retreat from the surrounding city. The Italian garden is the site of many wedding photography sessions.
North Meadow and Recreation Center - Indoor and outdoor recreational facility indoor climbing wall 12 fields for baseball, softball, and soccer.
Reservoir - a 106-acre water feature with a 1.5 mile running track surrounding it. 3 pedestrian cast-iron bridges cross a Bridle Path.
Great Lawn Park - 8 softball fields, soccer, basketball, and volleyball court.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - World-famous masterpieces are exhibited here.
Belvedere Castle - designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, this is a miniature Gothic castle. The Castle is home to the Henry Luce Nature Observatory.

Wall Street's Financial District is an area at the southern end of Manhattan. It includes Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange as well as other financial institutions.

Grand Central Station was opened in 1913 after about 10 years of construction. Shops and restaurants abound here and the 12,000 square foot Vanderbilt Hall hosts many public events. In the main terminal, there is a spectacular ceiling mural painted by Paul Helleu.

The Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, is known for its Christmas tree, ice skating, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Radio City Music Hall and numerous shopping and dining opportunities. Rockefeller Center is a great destination for visitors any time of year.

The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, spans 265 acres and is home to over 6,000 animals. Open 365 days a year, hours are between 10am - 4pm in the winter, and $15 admission.

Coney Island was established in the 1870s, is one of the earliest amusement grounds in the country.

These are just a few of the attractions of New York City. The list is practically endless, but here are some sites that will help define what you want to see: http://officialsite.com/, gonyc.about.com/od/bestofnewyorkcity, www.thingstodo.com/states/NY, and http://www.nyctourist.com/.


The city has theatre at all levels, from modern existential productions to intimate dinner theatre to the ever famous Broadway. New York Magazine Theatre offers show times, reviews, and a variety of theatre events. http://nytheatre.com/ and http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/ are complete guides to Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off Broadway. Includes reviews, listings, features, ticket information, theatre company mini-pages. There are several must sees when in NYC:

Seeing a show on Broadway in NYC is one of the most popular events for New York City tourists. theatrical performances presented in one of the 39 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located in the Theatre District, New York (plus one theatre in Lincoln Center) in Manhattan.
Radio City Music Hall has been the "palace of the people" since its doors opened December 27, 1932. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett are only a few of the celebrities to grace its stage.
The Isaac Stern Auditorium is the largest hall at Carnegie Hall and seats 2,804. It is the premier classical music performance space in the United States since its opening in 1891.

For something less large scale, Off-Broadway shows are smaller, more intimate, less expensive, and located in diverse neighborhoods where culture abounds in the form of great local restaurants and shops. Theatres like the Box are another option. The Box is a new destination on the Lower East Side for fine dining and theater. Delacorte Theater offers something entirely different with open-air theater in the summer and the New York Shakespeare Festival.


The Metropolitan Opera has been one of the world's leading opera companies from its opening in 1883. This is one of the premier opera locations in the world.

The Avery Fisher Hall includes the New York Philharmonic, the annual Great Performers at Lincoln Center festival, the Lincoln Center Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Recent renovations have greatly improved the acoustics. After over 35 years of operation, Avery Fisher Hall has gained its status As one of the best places in New York to observe classical music. The hall seats 2,738.


Culture bursts out of every avenue in New York and museums are plentiful. Museum Mile on the upper east side is packed solid with historical collections. This tree-lined stretch along 5th Avenue hosts the El Museo del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, Jewish Museum, National Design Museum, National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), and the Goethe House German Cultural Center.
Of these incredible collections, the Gugenhein and the Met are the most famous. The Guggenheim is housed in one of the most unique buildings in New York City. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum is shaped roughly like a teacup or an upside down terraced hill. The amount of artwork on display is impressive and a self-guided audio tour helps understand the work. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is truly gigantic. Its tall columns and windows, immense stairways and water fountains make it appear as an emperor's palace and going through the collections is a whole day or two affair.

Outside of the Mile, many, many more museums exist.

    Ellis Island Immigration Museum is located in the New York Harbor. This is the site in which approximately 12 million steerage and third class steamship passengers were processed between 1892 and 1954. Immigrants who entered the United States through the port of New York were legally and medically inspected at Ellis Island. In 1990 Ellis Island was renovated and transformed into a museum dedicated to educating visitors about the immigrant experience.
    The Museum of Modern Art, or "MoMA", has a collection of more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. MoMA also owns some 14,000 films and four million film stills, as well as 140,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, all part of the Museum's library.
    The Whitney, one of only a few museums in New York City that focuses entirely on American art, has a distinctly contemporary look of sharply angled, polished gray stone and glass.

Even children's museums come in all shapes, interests and sizes in New York. www.ny.com/kids/museums.html offers an extensive list with age distinctions. For free days, check out www.ny.com/museums/free.


Along with events, NYC has numerous celebrations. For over a 100 years, the Westminster Kennel Club Show has drawn dog lovers from across the nation into Madison Square Gardens in mid-February. Many festivities have to do with the different ethnicities that make-up the city. The Chinese New Year celebrations in February are colorful and vibrant. St. Patrick's Day, on March 17th, comes complete with an Irish Pride parade. The Puerto Rican Day Parades on June 9th come down straight Fifth Avenue. Gay Pride Marches in June are a huge event that draws a huge crowd - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight. The parade is the culmination of an entire week of pride activities. Central Park is a beehive of activities and events in the summer with various free dance, music, theater, and art happenings. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a long-standing tradition with large balloons and is televised nationally. The beginning of the New Year is especially exciting in Times Square during the New Year's Eve party.

Update 2/01/2009


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