New York City’s unique holiday atmosphere, infinite lights and décor, and incomparable offer of exciting shows and seasonal activities make it the ideal holiday destination. Despite all the joy and wonder that Christmas in NYC exudes, your trip deserves proper planning… especially if you’ll be visiting the Big Apple for the first time! Here are some tips to help you plan your perfect holidays in New York:
You never really need an excuse to drink more beer, but this year’s NYC Oktoberfest is giving you some anyway! Enjoy it!
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair). Held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. The celebration is one of the best NYC events in September, featuring some of the best beers in NYC as well as traditional favorites and delicious food.
Take in the beautiful fall foliage while guzzling brews at some of the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York, not to mention more celebrations with our fantastic « Beer Cruises ! »
Why is Oktoberfest in September?
The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12–17 in 1810 to honor the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Supposedly, the celebration date was changed to the third week in September in the U.S. due to cold-weather concerns.
Where is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest celebrations take place in all five boroughs in New York at various public spaces and beer gardens. The largest events include Oktoberfest in Central Park (Sept 16), Munich on the East River (Sept 29–Oct 8) and Watermark’s Oktoberfest (Sept 15–17, Sept 22–24, Sept 29–Oct 2).
What activities should I do ?
Drink and eat at bars but not only ! There are so many different options especially with the beautiful weather. What I would suggest you is to go on a cruise !
How about enjoying a leisurely cruise as you explore the beautiful fall foliage and the historic splendor along the Hudson River. Harlem Spirituals offers you the most memorable experience of your trip in New York !
Indeed, embark with us on a full-day cruise on the Hudson, from New York City to Bear Mountain. Admire the breathtaking scenery along the way and enjoy German food, beer, and entertainment during ! If you want to book this cruise, CLICK HERE!
Looking for a shorter escape?
If so, I would recommand our second option : The Clipper City Craft Beer Tasting Sail ! Indeed, set sail on New York’s largest sailing vessel, featuring craft beer, cheese and charcuterie while enjoying sailing by the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a wonderful activity, perfect time to spend with friends !
Craft beer experts will help you appreciate the wonderful world of Craft Beer while enjoying breathtaking views of the city. With over 1,500 brewers now making delicious brews all over the country, choosing and appreciating beer has become an art form to rival its cousin wine.
Taste several outstanding ales and lagers paired with cheese and charcuterie while you drink in the magnificent views of the NYC skyline. Last thing, don’t forget your camera, you will be able to take amazing shots ! If you want to book this wine tasting activity, CLICK HERE !
If you have any question about this article, feel free to send a message on Facebook !
The United States Open Tennis Championships is a hard court tennis tournament. It is the modern version of one of the oldest tennis championships in the world, the U.S. National Championship, for which men’s singles was first contested in 1881. Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final tennis major comprising the Grand Slam each year; the other three, in chronological order, are the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.
The 2017 United States Open has just begun!
The US Open is held annually, starting on the last Monday in August, and lasting for two weeks into September, with the middle weekend coinciding with the Labor Day holiday. The main tournament consists of five event championships: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for senior, junior, and wheelchair players. You can follow the results HERE!
The tournament, which serves up the world’s best tennis players in our backyard, is celebrating its 20th year at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. The venue, named for the tennis champion Arthur Ashe, has evolved a great deal since opening in 1997.
2 options to visit Queens while you’re enjoying the tennis tournament!
The Queens is the easternmost and largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City. It is geographically adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn at the southwestern end of Long Island, and to Nassau County further east on Long Island; in addition, Queens shares water borders with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx.
The Triboro tour from Hip Hop to hipsters with Lunch
Your New York City adventure begins! Visit the three largest boroughs of New York City including Queens! Grab a seat on our climate-controlled coach to The Bronx, often referred to as the “Boogie-Down Bronx” and the only borough of New York City that is attached to mainland USA. Explore the South Bronx known for its influence on Latin music and greatly recognized for its impact on global pop culture with the emergence of Hip-Hop, Breakdance and Urban Graffiti.
See the new Yankee Stadium and The Grand Concourse; known for its many iconic Art Deco buildings. Head on over to Queens; New York’s 2nd largest and most ethnically diverse borough. See Astoria with its exciting local art corridor of murals and stop at Socrates Sculpture Park; the only NYC metropolitan area dedicated to large scale sculpture and art installations in an outdoor environment. See Long Island City’s expanding waterfront community with one of the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions, and studio space in New York City.
Finally: Brooklyn! Synonymous with all things trendy and artisanal, Brooklyn abounds with energy and diverse cultures. Stop in Williamsburg, the “hipster capital of the world” and a great place to “People Watch”. Spend some time exploring its cool and laid back atmosphere with unique cafés and local shops.
Indulge in an authentic down-home BBQ lunch in Downtown Brooklyn then see DUMBO a unique neighborhood nestled between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. If you want to book this tour with us, CLICK HERE !
Our 2 hours Champagne & Limo Private Tour
It’s a chic way to visit Queens ! Experience the City’s lights in VIP style! Sit back, enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne and enjoy the sights. Your tour begins when we pick up your party at your hotel location in your very own private stretch limousine.
Our deluxe private vehicles with tour guide will pick up guests from their lobby and treat them to customized itineraries including tours of Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Travelers can select the neighborhood and theme of the tour. Private tours are available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese. If you want to book this tour with us, CLICK HERE !
If you have any question, don’t hesitate to send me a message on Facebook !
Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. Sadly, it is also considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. A lot of New Yorkers are going to enjoy their last recreation before going back to work ! So if you are in New York during this time, here are some activities you could do !
Watch a Broadway show for half price !
Broadway Week 2017 is coming and if you ever wanted to see a Broadway show but didn’t want to pay full price, now is your chance to get two for one tickets for some of the best shows playing on Broadway in September. The deal is offered by Broadway producers and NYC & Company which lets you buy two-for-one tickets to certain shows for a limited time.
When is Broadway Week?
Broadway Week in NYC runs from September 4th, 2017 through September 17th, 2017.
What should I see ?
This year, there are 23 Broadway shows to choose from. Some of the Broadway shows included in the two-for-one deal include: “1984,” “Groundhog Day,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Aladdin,” “Anastasia” and “Kinky Boots.” So there are plenty to choose from if you’re looking for a date idea or family-friendly outing.
It’s a perfect activity to do with family or even if you are traveling by yourself ! A deal is a deal ! The variety of shows currently on Broadway proves that there’s something for everyone and this is the perfect time to experience it.
How can I book my ticket(s) ?
Very easy, we can help you to get the tickets you want. Harlem Spirituals has built partnerships with the best Broadway companies and boutiques. We always have the best prices and seats available in the market.
Enjoy a cultural Jazz tour and taste the local Soul Food with us !
Come and relive the high-stepping, fun-loving nights of the 1920s! Join us for a great night out in Immortal Harlem. Tour the neighborhood with one of our professional city guides and learn about Harlem’s role in the history of Jazz in addition to the roles of its most noted jazz musicians who gave New York its musical edge.
What is it and what will I see?
See the site of the original Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington and Lena Horne spent hours wowing crowds from around the world. Drive past the site of the Savoy Ballroom where Benny Goodman and Chick Webb fought it out during their “Battle of the Bands,” and where the Charleston, “Lindy Hop” and the “Big Apple” dances were firmly cemented into American culture.
Visit the world-famous Apollo Theater, where Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald won the popular “Amateur Night.” Pass by Minton’s Playhouse, where bebop was born and where Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk started the tradition of musical jam sessions.
Discover one of Harlem’s hottest clubs, where jam sessions and musical collaborations go on into the wee hours of the morning. Dinner is at Sylvia’s legendary restaurant – “The Queen of Soul Food” (Family style dining).
When is it ?
On Mondays, swing dance the night away to the beat of a terrific, twelve-piece band. Free dance lesson included! We pick up the tab for your first two drinks at the Jazz club.
On Thursdays, experience the essence of Harlem and enjoy the convivial atmosphere as you mingle freely with the locals, while enjoying the sounds of a jazz or rythm & blues band. We also pick up the tab for your first two drinks at the Jazz club.
What is “Soul Food?”
Soul Food is the traditional African American cuisine that originated in the South of the United States. It consists of spicy ribs, collard greens, freshly cooked corn bread, black eye peas, and not to mention the best crispy fried chicken!
When someone hears of the words “New York” the first images that usually come to mind are those of Times Square and its giant luminous boards, Central Park and its mythical lake, or Greenwich Village and its brownhouses, typical of the New York architecture. Today, I choose to widen your horizons and make you discover districts like the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn, each seeped in history and culture in their own unique way.
To live like a true New Yorker let’s get off the traditional tourist path of Manhattan. This time around, I am taking you deep into the real New York! No need for a bulletproof jacket, I have secured the place for you 🙂
The Bronx is the most northern of the five boroughs of New York City, within the U.S. state of New York. It is geographically south of Westchester County; north and east of the island and borough of Manhattan to the south and west across the Harlem River; and north of the borough of Queens, across the East River. Of the five boroughs, the Bronx is the only one that has the majority of its area on the U.S. mainland and, with a land area of 42 square miles (109 km2) and a population of 1,455,720 in 2016. The naming of « the Bronx » originates from Jonas Bronck, a swedish immigrant who was the first to colonize this area in the 17th century. That part of the land was designated by the Siwanoy Native Americans « Rananchqua », later on the settlers named it « Broncksland » or « Bronck’s farm » and finally « the Bronx »
The birthplace of the Hip Hop Culture
It is true that The Bronx does not benefit from a very flattering image as it has been considered one of the most dangerous districts of New York for a long time. Countless criminal acts and gang wars happened there in the Seventies and Eighties.
Today, the neighborhood is very far from its former reputation, and the memories the district has preserved from this “Golden Age” are the graffitis and local paintings. Street Art is inspired by all these actors of the streets and the pionniers of Hip Hop which have made the Bronx a legendary place in that field.
Celebrities who grew up in the Bronx
If you are a fan of Pop Culture, you know Jennifer Lopez aka Jenny from the block lived a big part of her life in the Bronx. She mentionned it quite a few times during interviews. Some other amazing stars have lived there : Woody Allen, Lauren Bacall, Peter Falk, Fat Joe, French Montana, Billy Joel.
What you don’t want to miss in the Bronx
The Yankee Stadium, homebase of the NY Yankees baseball team. You do not have to enter the arena but if you have the opportunity to be close by, go snap a picture in front of it ! It is a staple of NY culture.
The Italian district around Arthur Avenue, the “real” Little Italy and its farmer’s market with fresh produce. If you wish to travel down to south Italy without leaving New York, you should absolutely head over this district full of Mediterranean flavors. Most of the craftsmen are Italian immigrants who arrived in New York about forty years ago. They are always willing to have a conversation with visitors while having coffee! If you are a fan of cheese or charcuterie, search no more and buy their fresh produce. They are, at least, half cheaper than those sold in Manhattan.
Identity of the Queens
In 2013, its population was of 2,296,175 habitants. The Queens accommodates the international airport of New York-John F. Kennedy as well as the airport of New York-LaGuardia. Created on November 1st, 1683, it was baptized in honor of the queen consort Catherine de Bragance, wife of the king Charles II of England.
The Queens: A true melting-pot
The district is quite cosmopolitan and is composed mainly of districts accomodating the middle class, as well as upper middle class districts where one can find hotels, large parks and golf courses. It coincides with the county of Queens (administrative unit of the State of New York). However, strictly speaking, the latter does not function like a county, as it does not have any power and depends entirely on the municipal authority.
The personalities who grew in the Queens
He can be seen everywhere these days, the most emblematic figure to date to represent the Queens is no other than the current president of the United States, Donald Trump! Other celebrities resulting from other horizons also were born in this cultural melting pot: 50 cents, Ja Rule, Nicky Minaj or Lucy Liu.
The not-to-be-missed places:
Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park is where the team of baseball the New York Mets, plays. It was the first stage to host a concert (the Beatles on August 15th, 1965). The park of Flushing Meadow also hosted the World Fairs of 1939 and 1964.
The residential district of the millionaires of the Queens: You will be able to admire the prettiest houses which can remind us of Californian residences with green lawn, white picket fences and swimming pools.
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of New York. It is part of the county of Kings (Kings County), administrative unit of the State of New York. However it does not operate like a county strictly speaking, because it does not have any power and depends entirely on the municipal authority. With a population of more than 2,636,735 habitants in 2015, it is the most populated district of New York.
Historical facts about Brooklyn
The Dutch were the first Europeans to colonize the Western area of Long Island, which was hitherto inhabited by the Carnasie Amerindian tribe. They established themeselves in Midwood in 1624. They bought the territory to the Mohawks which extends itself to the current districts of Gowanus, Red Hook, Brooklyn Navy Yard and Bushwick. The Village of Breuckelen (named after the town of Breukelen in the Netherlands) became authorized by a dutch Company of the Western Indies in 1646 and became then the first municipality of the Nieuw Nederland.
Williamsburg: the quintessential hipster neighborhood of Brooklyn made of small diy artist boutiques, street art, coffee shops, trendy bars and vibrant nightlife.
Dumbo: It is one of my favorites part of Brooklyn, bordering the waterfonts, it is ideal to take a picture with the buildings of Manhattan behind you. The possibility of taking a boat to join the city is also a good idea to admire the environment with impressive architecture.
Bushwick: The area a little less popular than Williamsburg but is up and coming, a lot of young people relocate there as it is cheaper.
Personalities associated with Brooklyn
Jay-Z, Mike Tyson, Aaliyah, Al Apone, Cindy Lauper, Barbra Streisand, etc: the list is long!
Would you like to take a tour with us ?
Harlem Spirituals can take you along an unforgettable adventure…
Discover the heart of New York ! After meeting with our tourguide in Times Square, get on the bus to get started on your tour of NY. First stop : the Bronx, also known under the appelation « boogie-down Bronx » and the only burough attached to the american continent. Explore the South Bronx, famous for its influence on latin american music and its involvement in the rise of the hip hop culture : breakdance, graffitis. Go admire the Yankee Stadium and Grand Concourse, the main street of the Bronx known for its many art deco buildings.
Continue your adventure in the Queens, second biggest borough of New York that will surprise you by its diversity and culture richness. Admire Astoria’s street art and murals and stop by Socrates sculpture park : a nice area by the water hosting sculptures and art out in the open.
Visit Long Island City, growing neighborhood with the most art galleries around, museums and art studios of NYC.
And finally, Brooklyn! A real example for fashion and crafty work, Brooklyn is also the most populated burough and one of the two (Queens being the other one) that is the most diverse culturally. Discover Williamsburg, the « hipster capital » with its numerous trendy coffee shops, small vintage boutiques, wolrd restaurants and art galleries. This former industrial neighborhood is today the home of the most hip community around, and its waterfront provides one of the most spectacular views of manhattan bordering with many green parks.
The tour ends in DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a dynamic part of Brooklyn with a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the skyline, before the bus takes you back to Times Square.