What to do in New York in February

By Go City Expert

February is my favorite time of year said no one ever. OK, it's got Valentine's Day, but it can be a long, grey slog until spring. We can help you get through the month with panache. Check out our list for events that will warm your spirits (if not your feet). Here's what to do in New York in February.

Lunar New Year Festival—Metropolitan Museum of Art

First off, celebrate the Year of the Rat with a day of events at the Met on February 1, from 11 AM-5 PM. Start the celebration off with a parade by the Chinese Center in Long Island Lion Troupe in the Museum’s Great Hall. Throughout the day, visitors can choose from such performances as the Sesame Street Puppeteers taking on Lunar New Year; it’s followed by a photo op with them. Participants will also find a calligraphy workshop on zodiac signs, as well as a workshop on making moveable dragon toys. Demonstrations by a tea master, complete with bubble tea tasting, as well as a hand-pulled noodle demonstration, will make sure visitors’ hunger is sated.

Black History Month

February 13-16
Next, the month of February offers numerous ways to celebrate Black History Month. Check out the Harlem Fine Arts Show at the Riverside Church. Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, it brings together artists and collectors to celebrate the African diaspora. Or try out a Harlem walking tour—Taste Harlem’s Historical Food Tour offers plenty of soul food as well as Caribbean and African cuisines, plus stories about Harlem’s architecture and rich history. These are great options for what to do in New York in February.

Winter Jam in Central Park

February 1

Snow Day! This free (yes, free!) winter festival in Central Park on includes a mountain of homemade snow, and it’s worth it just to see it. Plus, of course, there's plenty you can do on and in that snow. Presented by NYC Parks, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, I Love NY, and I Ski NY, the festival offers snowshoeing and sledding, dodgeball and flag football (?!), curling and ice bowling. Someone please try ice bowling. Plus, visitors will find photo ops with bobsleds and snowcats (large enclosed vehicles deigned to move on snow). There’s also puppet making (not sure where the snow fits in) as well as a heated New York Public Library Room, for those who like to observe their snow from a distance, from somewhere it’s warm and cozy.

Chinese New Year Parade and Festival

February 9

This year, the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival will be heading down Mott and Canal Streets at 1 PM, and lasting until 4 PM. It culminates on Grand Street near Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Dragon dancing, martial art performers and of course, gorgeous costumes, are the draw here, along with a festive atmosphere and chance to ring in the Year of the Rat.

Bronx Zoo - Name a Roach

Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like naming a roach for your beloved. This year, the Bronx Zoo gives you the option of attending “Roach Romance,” an after-hours program for adults on Valentine’s Day that includes wine, chocolate, and the chance to meet some of the animals up close. Bear in mind, part of the program takes place outside, but all paths are wheelchair accessible. If you decide just to go for the name-a-roach-option, you can certainly do that as well, along with purchasing roach-themed goodies like candles and socks. Do think carefully, however, about what this will say about your relationship...

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Image courtesy of Bronx Zoo[/caption]

Empire State Building

Who says visiting the Empire State Building is just for the warmer months? The weather may be slightly nippier during the winter, but you’ll have the same great views, and generally fewer crowds to contend with. Make sure to visit one of the observation decks to get the famed 360 views—you’ll be able to see Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and more. While you’re there, don’t forget the second-floor exhibits that guide visitors through the building’s construction and its more recent role in pop-culture history. Check out how you can use your New York Pass here.

Brooklyn WineFest

February 8

After Dry January, it's no wonder that Wine-Fest February is close behind. Brooklyn Wine Fest offers the chance to explore wine samples of hundreds of new wines from around the world, along with food, live music, and interactive games. (Better go easy on the wine, then.) Participants receive a souvenir five-ounce tasting glass, and can sample any wine on offer. You'll need a nibble or two with those drinks. Food offerings from vendors including Chavas Empanadas, Taste of Poland, Bang Cookies, and many more will also be available.

Looking for more ways to celebrate February in New York? Why not discover The New York Pass?

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Things to Do in NYC Under 21 on Vacation

For anyone that’s ever seen a movie or TV show based in New York City, one of the coolest things about “The City That Never Sleeps” seems to be the legendary nightlife, but don't be fooled; there's plenty of things to do under 21 in NYC. 10 Amazing Things to Do in NYC Under 21 on Vacation What are you supposed to do if you want to have the full NYC tourist experience but you’re under 21? Luckily, New York City is a culturally diverse and welcoming city with fun for tourists and visitors of all ages. So while it may seem like you have to miss out on some of the nightlife action, there’s plenty for you to see and do in the city, you won't even miss it! Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. 1. Big Bus New York   There are few better ways to get to know the city of New York than with the fully guided, comprehensive sightseeing Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour! This is the perfect start to any trip to The Big Apple because you’ll have access to all of the tops sights and iconic landmarks throughout the city. Your friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will be there to fill you in on all the rich history of NYC and make sure you’re ready to get out and explore. Getting in: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. 2. Central Park Bike Tours   Central Park is one of the true jewels of NYC and home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the US. This expansive park has lakes, sculptures, food, live performers and more. So what’s the best way to explore it all? On a bike of course! Choose from a comprehensive guided bike tour or rent a bike for yourself and head out on your own little adventure. Either way, you’re sure to marvel at all the different sights and sounds. Getting in: Central Park Bike Tour tickets and rentals are included with The New York Pass. 3. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum   Visit one of the most recognizable and beloved landmarks in the US with a trip out to Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty has represented freedom and hope for millions of Americans for decades and is one sight that shouldn't be missed on your trip to NYC. With breathtaking sights and a rich history that will leave you full of hope and awe, this iconic New York City tourist stop will be one to remember. Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum and ferry tickets are included on The New York Pass. Please note: tickets for access to the pedestal and crown levels in the Statue of Liberty are sold separately and require advanced reservations. You will not be granted admission with The New York Pass. 4. American Museum of Natural History This is one of the largest and most interesting natural history museums in the country, if not the world! With a gigantic collection of artifacts and exhibits that will transport you to new worlds, it’s easy to spend an entire day hanging out and learning at the American Museum of Natural History. Whether you’re into animals, plants or different time periods in human history –this museum has it all. Getting in: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included on The New York Pass. 5. New York Transit Museum   Have you ever wondered just how New York City’s famous underground mass transit system was developed? Take a trip to Brooklyn Heights to get a closer look at just how the NYC subway was planned and built. With a series of interactive exhibitions and installations, you can see just how the Metropolitan Transit Authority has grown over the years and get a first-hand look at how the trains work. Getting in: New York Transit Museum tickets are included on The New York Pass. 6. The Empire State Building   Take in one of the most breathtaking views of New York City from the observation deck of the iconic and historic Empire State Building. With 360 degree panoramic views of the city, you can get an up-close look at the most famous landmarks in the state and take plenty of snaps of the skyline too! Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included on the New York Pass. 7. Madame Tussauds New York   Who doesn’t want to take a few selfies with their favorite Hollywood stars in NYC? While you may be able to spot a few famous faces in Manhattan, the best place to get a great snap with your favorite stars is at Madame Tussauds New York. This fun and interactive museum is located in the heart of Times Square and is a guaranteed good time for all. Getting in: Madame Tussauds New York tickets are included with The New York Pass. 8. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum   If you’re interested in modern art, then the Guggenheim Museum is one stop that you have to make during your trip to NYC. Featuring some of the 20th century’s finest art pieces and collections, you’ll love spending an afternoon exploring here. In fact, this museum is beautiful inside and out, making it a great spot for a photo op! Getting in: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass (plus Fast Track Entry!). 9. Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour   While New York City has plenty of iconic landmarks, one of the most interesting and beautiful has to be the Brooklyn Bridge. With a rich history and gorgeous design, this tour is sure to keep you enthralled from beginning to end. Highlights of this tour include the Brooklyn Bridge, unique views of the Statue of Liberty, and the New York Stock Exchange. Getting in: Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. 10. Rockefeller Center Tour Get to know the history behind one of the city’s most beloved landmarks and enjoy some insight into the mind of John D. Rockefeller Jr. with this fun and interesting guided tour. Get to know the historic Rockefeller Center as well as the surrounding streets to get a feel for one little piece about what life in NYC is all about. Getting in: Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. Fall in Love with New York City at Any Age While you may not be able to head out to the city’s hottest nightclubs during your visit if you’re under 21, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an amazing time getting to know The Big Apple a little better. With great museums, amazing food and so many wonderful landmarks to explore, there are tons of things to do in NYC under 21. Don’t let being underage keep you from enjoying a fabulous and memorable trip to New York City! Instead, take the city by storm and be sure to check out one or more of these fun activities. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission Lots of the fun things to do in NYC under 21 on vacation are included on The New York Pass. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, taking a tour or enjoying art at a museum, an NYC sightseeing vacation is easy to plan with The New York Pass. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can do more when you sightsee and make the most of your time in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here. To visit the above attractions all on one pass choose a New York Pass. The more you do, the more you save!
Casey Makovich
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Things To Do In NYC For Families On Vacation

With so many attractions and activities, an NYC family vacation is bound to be a memorable trip. Seeing the Big Apple is an unforgettable experience that children of all ages can appreciate regardless of their interests. It's also an educational experience allowing sightseers to tour some of the most iconic landmarks in American history. NYC has something for everyone in the family. If you're planning a family vacation to New York, you'll make the most of your trip for you and your family if you put some research into which sights you'll see. We've put together a list of some of the best places in NYC to bring the whole family. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum A New York City must for all visitors. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are located at the southern tip of Manhattan. This site is one of the most important historical sights that kids visiting New York for the first time will want to see to get a greater understanding of not only New York history, but American history as well. From Battery Park, sightseers can take a free ferry to Ellis Island. The ferry ride itself is an interesting experience that gives passengers panoramic views of New York harbor. Once at Ellis Island, visitors can learn about New York's long history as a hub of immigration and the 12 million immigrants who first arrived in New York via Ellis Island. Admission: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets are included with the New York Pass. Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall Centrally located in Midtown Manhattan below Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall offer history, art, culture, and entertainment. Rockefeller Center is an iconic landmark that was originally commissioned by the wealthy Rockefeller family in the 1930's. Nowadays, Rockefeller Center is a National Historic Landmark. It's also a significant building architecturally as it showcases the Art Deco style of the early 20th century at its peak. Inside the Rockefeller Center, there is shopping, dining, and the Top of the Rock which offers birds-eye views of Midtown. Outside Rockefeller Center, there is a skating rink that young visitors can take advantage of during the winter months for some exercise. Visitors during the holiday season can also catch a glimpse of the famous Christmas tree that is put up each year in Rockefeller Plaza. The Radio City Music Hall serves as a venue for concerts throughout the year and is home to the famous Rockettes. This dancing troupe puts on a Christmas Spectacular each year that never fails to put the audience in the holiday spirit. Admission: Rockefeller Center Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Admission: Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum Although a newer addition to NYC's tourist offerings, this has quickly become one of the biggest attractions in the city. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was constructed as a tribute to the victims of the World Trade Center attack in 2001. The museum details the history of the event and shows different types of artifacts related to the attack. Set some time aside to get the full experience from this unforgettable landmark. The museum itself contains more than 10,000 artifacts, and the memorial contains two reflecting pools for sightseers. Admission: 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass. Central Park With The Family Central Park is one of the most scenic destinations in New York and offers a variety of activities for families, making it the perfect NYC family vacation thing to do. Make unforgettable memories with your family on a group bicycle or walking tour that explores Central Park sights you'll recognize from some of your favorite films. Even New York natives can get lost in the extensive grounds of Central Park. Among the many family activities in the park are boat rides, touring Central Park zoo or exploring Belvedere Castle. A day in Central Park will tire out even the most energetic kids. The park also provides great photo opportunities thanks to some of the beautiful scenery. Admission: Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Yankee Stadium For sports-loving families, Yankee Stadium is an interesting sight to visit both during and outside of the baseball season. Yankee Stadium is open for tours throughout the year, and the stadium has artifacts from baseball history on display. Yankee Stadium is a good destination for families wishing to get out of Manhattan and see some other boroughs. Located in the Concourse neighborhood of the Bronx, Yankee Stadium gives New York visitors a chance to ride the subway and experience everyday life for a typical New Yorker. Admission: Yankee Stadium Classic Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission Many of the great attractions in New York City have something special in store for the entire family. Whether you're interested in sightseeing, taking a tour or enjoying art at a museum, an NYC family vacation is easy to plan with The New York Pass. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, you'll be paying the admission price for your entire family at the door for each venue. Consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can save more and see more. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Casey Makovich
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NYC Observation Decks: One World Observatory vs. Empire State Building vs. Top of the Rock

Visiting one of New York City's iconic observation decks is a must-do lifetime adventure. There’s an endless amount of fun things to do and historical landmarks to see, but a visit to an observation deck (or two, or three...) is one of the most memorable things you can do on your trip to NYC. Plus, it's a great way to 'see' everything there is to see in NYC. New York City is home to 3 of the best observation decks in the world: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Observatory. We've put together a comparison of New York's most popular observation decks so you can get an idea for what the difference is between the Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock vs One World Observatory so you can decide which one suits what you want to do and see best. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. 1. The One World Observatory The One World Observatory is an icon of the city skyline with its amazing spire. Travelers can take one of its 70 elevators up to three observation decks in under 50 seconds; it's an elevator ride that feels like a launch. The views: One World Trade Center is located on the south-western side of the Manhattan peninsula (close to the tip of the peninsula), so you'll get close views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, and Manhattan. You can see Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the Financial District. You'll be able to see the Empire State Building (though your view will be farther than from Top of the Rock) and Top of the Rock (though you might need to reference a skyline map to pick it out from its surrounding buildings!). All around, it has views that stretch from Westchester and Rockland counties to New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Long Island in addition to the mighty metropolis of NYC. Then, step into the Main Observatory and view high-definition footage of Manhattan’s streets. Enjoy some artisanal cocktails the bar One Mix and indulge in some culinary delights at One Dine. The structure and its observatory decks are a rebirth of downtown Manhattan after the tragedy of 9/11. Experience the city's rebirth. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are sold separately from The New York Pass. 2. The Empire State Building The Empire State Building (ESB) shows 360-degree views of the city. At night, this international icon displays dazzling light shows to celebrate various occasions, which are often synchronized to music. In addition to its 86th-floor observatory, there's the Top Deck. You can see up to 80 miles away and get a full picture of the city. The views: the Empire State Building is located right in the middle of Manhattan, so from its top Observation Deck, you’ll get one-of-a-kind vistas of the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the brilliant city streets below. You'll also be able to see New York City's other popular observation decks; the view from ESB of One World Observatory is much closer than the view you get of it from Top of the Rock, and similarly, the view from ESB of Rockefeller Center is much closer than the view you get of it from One World Observatory. Be sure to check out the Dare to Dream exhibit, which pays tribute to the builders and architects who helped create this historic landmark. There are period photographs, mementos, architectural sketches, and more. If you plan your visit to the Empire State Building around meal time, consider dining at its STATE Grill and Bar for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In exceptional Art Deco design, it showcases New York State’s winemakers, brewers, and farmers. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass. 3. Top of the Rock The Top of the Rock is a must-do on any tourist's bucket list. The Top of the Rock Observation deck is nestled in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Ascend 70 floors up and take in a sweeping view from three indoor and outdoor viewing decks.There are indoor viewing areas on the 69th and 67th floors Rockefeller Center is chockful of beautiful architecture, culture, and rich history. Take it in with a guided tour through its gardens and significant buildings. The views: the Top of the Rock is located just south of Central Park, right in Times Square, so you'll get the best views of Central Park when compared to other observation decks. In the other direction, you'll be able to see the Empire State Building framed by the sprawling city, the Bank of America Building, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, and more. From Top of the Rock, the view of the Empire State Building is closer than the view of the Empire State Building from One World Observatory. After you pass the Swarovski chandelier in the lobby, there are artifacts and photos outlining the history of Rockefeller Center and an open-air deck on the 70th floor. Compared to the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock is less claustrophobic. Admission: Top of the Rock tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Biggest Differences Between the Top New York City Observation Decks Each observation deck experience provides an educational and informative experience on your way up to the observation deck complete with exhibitions and displays. The locations: where each building is situated will impact your views from each of the observation decks. See the image above for a better idea of where each observation deck is relative to the others. The exhibits: One World Observatory, being the most recently built, features a more modern design and feel and its exhibits explore the development of downtown Manhattan and the impact of 9/11 and how the One World Observatory building came to be. Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building both offer a classic and nostalgic New York City experience that highlight the history of the city with a particular emphasis on the American dream and the eventual prosperity post-Great Depression era. The views: the biggest difference between One World Observatory vs Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock is the view you'll get at the top. Of course, whichever observatory deck you choose to visit, you won't see that building in the skyline. One World Observatory (southern-most building): views of the Hudson River and the city skyline looking north from the southern tip of Manhattan Empire State Building (middle building): views from the middle of Manhattan with One World Observatory visible to the south and Rockefeller Center visible to the north Top of the Rock (northern-most building): views of Central Park to the north and views of the Empire State Building and One World Observatory to the south Popular Things to Do Nearby In addition to these 3 observation decks (One World Observatory, the Empire State Building, and Top of the Rock) there are other great sites and activities worth checking out while in NYC. Central Park This world-famous park is 36 acres of beautiful streams, waterfalls, rocks and winding trails. It’s ideal for strolling and a wonderful sight from each of the observation decks.Take a romantic paddle around the lake or even a Venetian Gondola ride at Loeb Boathouse. Savor some great fare like crab cakes at the Central Park Boathouse Restaurant. Monkey around at the Central Park Zoo. There’s even pot-bellied pigs, penguins and sea lions. You never have to wait for the carnival to come to town in NYC.In the summer, head to Victorian Gardens for an all-American day of juggler performances, cart rides, and funnel cake. In the winter, hit the ice for some ice-skating. The Statue of Liberty You can take a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Visit the crown and see panoramic views of Brooklyn. This colossal copper statue was designed by artist Frederic Bartholdi. It’s the symbol of freedom.The Liberty Island Museum is located in the lobby of its pedestal and chronicles the history of freedom. At the pedestal, you can great views of New Jersey, New York, and the New York Harbor.Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Brooklyn Bridge The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s noblest landmarks. It stretches over Brooklyn, Manhattan and the East River and delivers amazing views. Take a walk across its promenade above the roadway and feel the city’s vibe. It only takes about 40 minutes.Getting in: the Brooklyn Bridge is free and open to the public. Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour tickets and Bike Rentals you can use to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge are included with The New York Pass. Grand Central Terminal The Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest railway station and a magnificent public space. It’s modeled after an ancient Roman bath and features glimmering chandeliers, an amazing concourse, and a robin’s egg-blue ceiling displaying the constellations.Getting in: Grand Central Terminal is free and open to the public. The American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum on the globe and without a doubt impressive. It stretches four city blocks and showcases 45 exhibition halls with over 30 million artifacts from outer space, the sea, and the land. Don’t miss it. Getting in: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with The New York Pass. Metropolitan Museum of Art Roam the labyrinthine corridors of the colossal Metropolitan Museum of Art where you view more than 2 million works of art showcasing 5,000 years of history.Its Egyptian collection features stone sarcophagi inscribed with hieroglyphics and pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.Other highlights include the American Wing with collections of American Arts. There are also stunning Islamic galleries with metalwork and ceramics. Its roof garden serves up fabulous views of Central Park and the city skyline.Getting in: The Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets can be purchased online. The High Line Just years ago, the High Line was a railroad track carrying freight trains. Today, it's a railway-turned-beautiful city retreat situated high above the busy city streets.Take a stroll along the path and check out the park's many features, including picnic tables, seating, curving walkways, and well-manicured gardens while you take in the unique views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Getting in: admission to the High Line is free and open to the public. Remember to Save on Observation Decks and New York Attraction Admissions New York City's top 3 observatory decks are at the top of many tourists itineraries. They're all popular attractions, but how can you manage to afford the admission price at each? New York Pass grants you free admission to two of these Observation decks, with Empire State Building tickets and Top of the Rock tickets, plus, admission to over 90 additional attractions in NYC. Get a New York Pass and start saving on admission to top attractions during your trip. For more information get the New York Pass here.
Casey Makovich

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