10 Things to do on President’s Day in New York

By Go City Expert

President’s Day was originally designed to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. It’s a federal holiday held on the third Monday of February. These days, it’s meant to celebrate the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln. But, it's often seen as a way to celebrate every U.S. president. It’s also a day of various happenings around the city. If you want to know how to celebrate the day, read on. Here are 10 of the best things to do on President’s Day in New York.

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

President's Day coincides with the start of mid-winter break for public schools in the city. So, there are lots going on for families. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan has two new exhibits worth checking out. The first, 'Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning City', is an interactive exhibit. It invites viewers into a comic-book-inspired New York, guided by a trio of pigeons. It's focused on early-learning brain skills. The other is called "Inside Art," and it features larger-than-life sculptures and installations with which visitors can interact. One of the 10 things to do on President's Day in New York!

Photo copyright January Stewart

The Intrepid

Next, it’s Kids Week at the Intrepid! From February 15-22, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is offering more than 120 family-friendly events centered around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Families can check out maker spaces, live shows, a pop-up planetarium, animal shows, and more. On President’s Day itself, families can catch a performance by the Gazillion Bubble Show, hear author Drew Brockington (CatStronauts) and watch a presentation by the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Start checking off your list of the 10 things to do on President's Day in New York!

Monday Night Magic

Every Monday evening, the Players Theatre presents Monday Night Magic, with a special President’s Day show on February 17. Monday Night Magic (MNM) is New York’s longest-running Off-Broadway show; it’s been on the scene for more than 20 years. The show is characterized by its lack of Las Vegas-style frills—this is magic, pure and simple. Each show features four performers on stage; during the intermission, at least two magicians present close-up magic throughout the theatre. How does this tie into President’s Day? No idea. We imagine there's a little sleight of hand in there somewhere.

Brooklyn Bridge Bike Rental

If you were just thinking, ”I really need to get out more,” and by “out,” you mean an invigorating bike ride across the Brooklyn Bridge, you’re in luck. Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tours & Rentals offer both self-guided and guided bike tours; get yourself a set of wheels and go! The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see spot (and a must-ride-across one as well.). Open in 1883, it’s now a national historic landmark with incredible views; it was once called the eighth wonder of the world. Grab some pals and get out there!

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

President’s Day is a great day to reflect on this country’s history—and no better place to do it than Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The former was once the entry point into New York; more than a third of all Americans can trace their ancestry to someone who arrived at Ellis Island. It’s now a historical museum with plenty of interactive exhibits. The Statue of Liberty, of course is, well, the Statue of Liberty. Inspired by Libertas, the Roman god of freedom, Lady Liberty was a gift from France to the U.S. and is a symbol of democracy and freedom from oppression.

Kingston Restaurant & Bar

Looking for a more unconventional way to celebrate President’s Day? How about one with lots of Mimosas? Every holiday Monday, The Alumni Group offers Mimosa Mondays to close out the holiday weekend. For an extra $20, patrons can add an hour and a half of cocktails including mimosas, to their brunch entrees at Kingston Restaurant & Bar. Specializing in Caribbean and jerk food (think pineapple mango salsa, jerk chicken, curry shrimp), it’s a great end to a cold winter weekend, and one of our 10 things to do on President's Day in New York.

Photo courtesy Kingston Bar & Restaurant

Carnegie Hall

The old adage says that the best way to get to Carnegie Hall is to practice, but you can also attend Who are the Brave, a program of patriotic and original works by American composers and conductors, including Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein. The Distinguished Concert Orchestra and Conductors perform; student and senior discount tickets are available at the box office.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s revolutionary Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat turns 50 this year (!) and Lincoln Center is celebrating with an anniversary concert on President’s Day, February 17, at Lincoln Center in David Geffen Hall. The concert will feature more than 200 singers from across the United States, as well as the New York City Chamber Orchestra.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

George (Washington, of course) couldn’t cross, or even gaze at,-the actual Delaware River in New York—but you can look at him looking at it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located in the Museum’s American Wing, the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze is one of the museum’s most well-known works of art. What could be more appropriate for President’s Day? You’ll find plenty of other depictions of George as well as Abe (Lincoln) and some other U.S. presidents as well. (And there’s a fun activity—a president hunt!)

BAM Oscar Movies

And finally, missed some of the Oscar-nominated movies? Bam, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, is offering you a chance to catch up on some of the nominees this President’s Day. The all-day screening includes Knives Out, the 2020 Oscar-nominated animated and live-action shorts, and even Best Picture Winner Parasite. You can even catch up on lesser-known films like Cane River, which was lost in 1982; the negative was recovered in 2013. The film tells the story of African Americans fighting class and racial tension in Louisiana. Pick and choose, or see them all!

Continue reading

Blog

How to Get Around in NYC

One city, 8 million residents, countless opportunities to get lost. Chances are, unless you know New York City very well, you will find yourself lost or on the wrong path once or twice. Don't beat yourself up if that happens to you, even native New Yorkers take the wrong train or walk in the wrong direction on occasion. To minimize the amount of time you waste getting lost, it's a good idea to get familiar with the plentiful transportation options New York City has to offer. [spacer height="20px"] The New York City Subway [caption id="attachment_1195" align="aligncenter" width="1051"] 7 Train in Queens | Photo by @nyclovesnyc[/caption] By far the most efficient way of getting around is the New York City Subway. Though the intricate web of colors and letters and numbers may seem daunting, this trusty old system will take you pretty to and from pretty much every corner of New York City. The NYC subway is one of the oldest in the world, and frankly, it shows. The vestibules are often smelly, dirty and congested and the old-fashioned trains are often late, or in desperate need of repair. Despite this, Most New Yorkers use the subway every day for their commute in place of driving, and you should too. Follow alert.mta.info for current delays or reroutes. The best way to navigate the subway is to get really familiar with the infamous Subway Map. This work of art will tell you everything you need to know, as long as you know roughly where you are and where you're going. Once you have found your destination stop and identify the line you have to take, you have to pay attention to whether the train is going Uptown or Downtown. The Uptown and Downtown terms are relative to where you currently are, typically if you're heading North (or to the Bronx or Queens), take the Uptown train and if you're headed South (or to Brooklyn), take the Downtown train. For easy navigation, you can pick up a hard copy of the map at most subway stations, or you can download it onto your phone. Several handy apps are also available, if you like to get thorough. If you're unsure about local customs, please familiarize yourself with Subway Etiquette. Keep in mind that each single ride on the subway is $3, or $2.75 with a preloaded MetroCard. If you're here for a while, you can get an unlimited weekly MetroCard for $32 or a monthly for $121. A new physical card will run you $1. [spacer height="20px"] Municipal Buses [caption id="attachment_1197" align="aligncenter" width="1295"] MTA Bus Map[/caption] Much like the subway, the municipal buses are run by the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority). They are available in every borough and offer transportation to some areas the subway just doesn't reach. For most MTA buses, you can use the same MetroCard you purchased at the subway station (Express buses do not accept unlimited MetroCards). Unlike the Subway, the buses actually operate on a schedule decently well (many New Yorkers may disagree with this statement). Again, all you really need here is the schedule and a Bus Map and you're good to go! Unlike the subway, your phones will work here the whole time. [spacer height="20px"] Citibike (and other bike rentals) [caption id="attachment_1198" align="aligncenter" width="993"] Citibike rack | Photo via Siegel+Gale[/caption] Biking around New York has become not only a popular pastime, but also a popular mode of transportation. Health/earth conscious New Yorkers have opted for two wheels in place of cars and congested subways. If you don't own a bike, or for whatever reason can't ride yours, there are plenty of options out there. Perhaps the most popular is Citibike, a bike sharing program, available all over the city, offering short-term bike rentals. Citibike offers either yearly membership, or a day pass for short-term visitors. With the day pass, you can ride as many times as you want, for $12. Remember that you have 30 minutes before you have to dock again. Download the Citibike app to get information about the closest docking stations, including real-time availability map. If you would rather get a better bike for a rental, without being limited to the 30-minute timeline, you can try Central Park Sightseeing, Central Park Bike Rent or Blazing Saddles. Blazing Saddles offers cruiser rentals down at South Street Seaport, and pier 84, while the other two companies offer rentals and tours in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge. You can rent from a [spacer height="20px"] Hop on Hop off Bus [caption id="attachment_1199" align="aligncenter" width="1139"] Big Bus Tours[/caption] One of the most scenic and informative ways to see New York is on top of a Big Bus double-decker bus. These buses go around in several loops, have a tour guide and stop by most of the major attractions. You can either take Big Bus as a sightseeing tour and do the whole loop (each loop is about 2 - 2.5 hours) or hop on and off wherever is convenient for you. Keep in mind that the buses go in NYC traffic and can be quite slow. It's not the best transportation option when you're in a rush, but it's a great way to get acquainted with the city when you first arrive. Each New York Pass holder receives a free 1-day ticket, covering the Downtown, Midtown and Uptown loop. [spacer height="20px"] Foot [caption id="attachment_1230" align="alignright" width="1500"] The High Line | Photo via TimeOut New York[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] The most popular way of getting around in NYC, hands down, is walking. New York City is one of the most walkable cities, due to its concentration on a relatively small piece of land. You can technically walk the entire island of Manhattan in the span of a day. When visiting New York, it's a good idea to bring a pair of comfortable shoes, because unless you want to shell out big bucks for taxis, chances are you are going to do quite a bit of walking regardless. Manhattan above 14th St. is very easy to navigate on foot, because the streets are organized in a grid. 12 Avenues go North to South and 200 some streets cross them East to West. The boundary between East side and West side is 5th Avenue. Things get more complicated Downtown, where there is no street organization to speak of. It's recommended to fire up Google Maps while strolling below 14th St. [spacer height="20px"] New York Water Taxi (and other ferries) [caption id="attachment_779" align="aligncenter" width="2845"] New York Water Taxi[/caption] Most of New York City is essentially a cluster of islands, as such it is intertwined with a body of water, which presents a great opportunity for water-based transportation. There are many ferries servicing the New York City Waters, one of them is the New York Water Taxi, which offers stops all along the New York Harbor for you to hop on and off. For transportation to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, use the Statue Cruises Ferry departing from Battery Park. For transportation between Brooklyn and Manhattan, you can use the East River Ferry, or the New York Water Taxi. If you're looking to sightsee on the river, check out the Best Cruises in NYC. [spacer height="20px"] Taxi One of the most quintessential transportation methods in NYC has to be the signature yellow cabs. Taxis are convenient, quick, and you take take them pretty much anywhere. The drawback is the cost, if you rely on taxis only for all your transportation needs, it'll cost you. Certain routes and times of day may also make you delayed due to traffic. Yellow cabs are most popular in Manhattan, but you can catch one in outer boroughs as well, except the cars will be green. New York City taxis are heavily regulated, so you don't have to worry about getting ripped off if you hail a cab, but please remember the etiquette attached to riding in a taxi. Regardless of how far you go, please remember to tip your cab drivers, preferably in cash. [spacer height="20px"] Uber (and other ride share programs) [caption id="attachment_1231" align="alignright" width="2000"] Uber | Photo via The Bubble[/caption] Uber has become insanely popular in recent years. Ride share programs have a few advantages over taxis. They tend to be cheaper, you can call them from an app, wherever you are, and you don't have to tip. You can call an Uber, Lyft or Juno, at any time, wherever you and and in a few minutes your car will be waiting for you. One draw back is that during peak time, in popular areas, Uber has surge pricing, so you can end up paying much more than you would in a taxi. If you need a ride on a Friday night in West Village, you may be better off hailing a taxi than calling an Uber. in outer boroughs, rude share apps are almost always more accessible.
Go City Expert
Blog

Food on Foot Tours: A Traveler's Guide

The famous Artichoke Basille's Pizza [spacer height="20px"] New York is known to be a melting pot of all sorts of individuals from around the world. Different walks of life have brought varying styles to the city and with such a wide spectrum of culture, comes an array of tastes. Seemingly on almost every block in the city you can find a great local restaurant offering dishes that may not be native to New York but the natives still love them. The Food on Foot Tours offers an in-depth look into some of the communities in New York where you can find some of the best dishes from around the world. Not only do tour participants get an idea of where to find some of these mouth-watering meals, but they also get to learn about the cultures that produce them. Some of the guided tours offered will travel through the East Village, Midtown, Brooklyn and many other food-centric NYC neighborhoods. This allows visitors to become more familiar with areas outside of the usual Manhattan attractions. Another great feature of the Food on Foot tours is the fact that they offer the vegetarian option for tourists who do not eat meat. The Food on Foot Tours are not like other food tours in New York City. You get to eat real food (not just samples) with your tour guide, Corey, who's expertise in local cuisine is unmatched. You will eat food like a real New Yorker, at the restaurants most beloved by locals. Along the way you will try some of New York's best pizza, tacos, sweets, street food and get a really good idea why New York is such a popular foodie destination. You can take the Food on Foot tour for free with your New York Pass, but don't forget to book ahead of time, as these tours are popular and tend to fill up. New York Pass holders are able to reserve Food on Foot Tours for free. How to Book In order to book your reservation for a Food on Foot Tour, you'll need to visit www.foodonfoottours.com. Once you're on the website, you can click the red box that reads "Click Here : Purchase all Guided Tour & Pass Holder Tickets". From there you will be directed to a calendar where you will select the specific tour that you are looking to reserve. Select the date for the tour and click the bar with the >> to confirm. This will bring up a box for you to schedule the amount of tickets. You're going to enter the amount of people going on the tour in the 'Gold Tickets' drop down. When asked "Will you be using Gold Tickets?" select Yes. From there, you will be prompted to enter your name. In the "Do you have a promo code?" section, enter NYPFoodFun. Under "What type of pass do you have?" select NY Pass. The next box will ask you for your pass number/confirmation number. You can get your pass number from the physical New York Pass card. It will be a nine digit number on the bottom left of your pass. If you don't have your passes yet, you can use your order confirmation number (starts with NYP). You will need to click on the NY Pass holder agreement At the bottom of the page, you will be prompted to enter your contact information as well as your card information (Don't worry, you will not be charged, unless you fail to show up for the tour). To finish off your reservation, you can simply click the "Complete your Booking" button all the way at the bottom. Once you're done booking, make sure you show up for the tour at the specified location and enjoy your tour. For other walking tours and attractions you can visit with your New York Pass, visiw our website.
Go City Expert

Have a 5% discount, on us!

More savings? You're welcome. Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, vacation inspiration and much more.

  • Thick check Icon