The search has ended! If you need to entertain someone in NYC or simply get them a present, here are the top recommendations from the experts on the best NYC gifts and experiences.
Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar (UWS)
This one-of-a-kind music bar was founded by the famous songwriting team Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson. The bar is known for its Thursday night open mic, showcasing incredible talent from all around the world. Stop by for great food and cocktails, unforgettable live music, and a piece of special Motown history. Don’t be surprised if you see a familiar face, as celebrities are known to drop by.
Club Groove and Cafe Wha? (Greenwich Village)
These two music bars share the same owners, as well as true love for live music. From upcoming artists debuting their acts at Groove to the world-famous Cafe Wha? House Band, you can catch world-class music at these spots any night of the week.
Join for Prince and Aretha Franklin tribute shows or my personal favorite, the Tuesday Night Funk Band!
Leah Harris, an NYC-based musician and lifestyle influencer Musician, Influencer, Brand Strategist Leah Harris Music
One of the best things I have experienced in New York is the helicopter tour all over the city. That feeling is beyond comparison. It feels like you’re put straight out of a music video. The bird’s eye view of this fascinating city is definitely worth the money!
Aleesha Dane, the lead editor at Relaxing Space
Enjoying Macbeth First-Hand
Sleep No More has got to be the best thing I’ve experienced in New York. You’ll be walking around the hotel wearing a mask and experiencing a Shakespeare play first-hand. Follow your intuition and explore the floors on your own. One-on-one encounters with actors might get you confused, possibly scared, but in the end, you’ll remember this experience for the rest of your life.
Mike Miller, Editor-in-Chief, Wilderness Times
Fairytale-themed Party; Let’s Dress Up
Let’s Dress Up is a fairytale-themed play and party space for kids in the heart of Manhattan. It has been on East 85th Street for over a decade. They host themed events where kids ages 3-8 can dress up with all the accessories and sit down to tea served from real china.
A truly unique and magical New York City experience…as their tagline says, because once upon a time is now.
Samantha Myers and Judy Famigletti, Co-Owners, Let’s Dress Up A Certified Women-Owned Business
New York Transit Museum
The most memorable experience I had was with the New York Transit Museum. We all know that every museum’s goal is to bring history alive, but NY Transit Museum takes it to another different level. It’s like a subway time machine. You won’t just be able to see what subways looked like years ago, but you will be able to experience, live and breathe how transportation progressed throughout the years.
What I love about it is — it’s very rich in history and experiences. The museum itself is fun and interactive, so you won’t get bored just by looking at old stuff. Lastly, each corner of the museum is Instagram-worthy, so I’m sure every area is worth the memories and snapshots.
New York Transit Museum Store
If you are looking for souvenirs to buy memorabilia and pick up some nice stuff for your loved ones, you can drop by at their store Annex in Grand Central. You have a variety of souvenirs to choose from: jewels, accessories, apparel, books, home decors, toys.
Arvie Narido, Gift Researcher for GiftRabbit.com
New York is so extensive and diverse that you could live here for four lifetimes and not experience all the things the city has to offer. Here are some that I can recommend:
City Winery just opened a sprawling 32,000-square-foot space at Pier 57 in Hudson River Park, with waterfront views and an expansive wine menu featuring at least 1,200 different bottles from 20 other countries.
New York Helicopter Tour
City Lights Skyline Experience. Even lifelong New Yorkers have never seen the city quite like this. Board a helicopter after dark to spend half an hour soaring high above the glittering skyline. The Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, and countless other NYC landmarks will be fully displayed in all their glittering glory.
The helicopter flight ends with a loop around the Statue of Liberty for one final moment of New York City pride.
Step off the crowded sidewalks of 59th Street into Central Park, and you’ll hardly realize what lies before you. Along the way, you will pass fountains, sculptures, monuments, bridges, and arches, plus 21 playgrounds, a zoo, a winter ice-skating rink, and even a castle. But you’d hardly notice the four major crosstown thoroughfares, which cleverly disappear into foliage-covered tunnels.
Anton Radchenko, Founder of AirAdvisor
Play Chess In The Park
As someone who’s traveled to NYC numerous times over the last 12 years, I’d say the most unique experience would be to play chess in the park. You may not encounter a world champion player, but these guys will give you a run for your money. If you’re looking for an experience that will embed you into New York City street life, this would be it.
Jack Miller, the founder of How I Get Rid Of