Top 10 Activities For Your Holidays in New York

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The holiday season in New York City is indisputably one of the best times to be here. As if the city didn’t have enough going on, the number of activities and attractions nearly triple during this time of the year. Anyone who’s ever spent Holidays in New York can tell you that there is a lengthy list of things to do by the end of it. With so much happening, here are our top 10 activities to best enjoy the holiday season in the city that never sleeps!

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know New York?

Quiz: How Well Do You Know New York?

Test your knowledge of Gotham City with this short and fun quiz to see if you know more the average New Yorker :) Get all the answers right to receive a 10% discount on all our Harlem Spirituals/New York Visions tours!

It's a common fact that millions of visitors from all over the world flock to New York ever year. Yet only a happy few really get to truly experience the Real New York. Yes, Midtown Manhattan is stunning and we all love it. However it's only a tiny slice of the apple. The truth is, even some New Yorkers don’t know everything about this town. New York City is much more than just one neighborhood. In fact, each of its five boroughs and over 300 neighborhoods brings something to the table; Manhattan and Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are all incredibly diverse communities that all add so much life to this city. New York City's diversity stretches across its five boroughs including Manhattan and is filled with adventures and off the beaten path destinations that only a few tourists venture to.

Join one of our guided NYC adventures to expand your knowledge of the city. Stroll through trendy Dumbo, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and more Brooklyn neighborhoods on the Brooklyn Walking Tour which also includes an all day pass to the ferry so you can cruise the New York harbor! Explore the Boogie-Down Bronx on both our Hidden Treasures of The Bronx with Lunch at City Island and the Bronx Tour with Bronx Zoo Experience. Or if you want to see it all, take our BBQ & BBQ tour - From HipHop to Hipsters, a Triboro tour that'll take you to the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, and end on a tasty note with an authentic BBQ Lunch.



Where is the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial Arch of Grand Army Plaza?
Manhattan
Staten Island
Brooklyn
Queens
Hint: http://goo.gl/Bq81oj

Which one of these neighborhoods is NOT in Queens, NY?
Astoria
Long Island City
Jamaica
Weeksville
Hint: http://goo.gl/ZLO90K

Which NYC building is considered to be the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere?
1. 30 Rockefeller Center
2. Chrysler Building
3. Empire State Building
4. One World Trade Center
Hint: http://goo.gl/PpKLqX

Where did Soul Food originate in the United States?
Cotton Club
Harlem
Southern US
Jamaica, Queens
Hint: http://goo.gl/67cDpV

Where is the famously known New York Stock Exchange?
Federal Hall
Wall Street
Town Hall
Union Square
Hint: http://goo.gl/U1rSfB

What is the name of the most famous (baseball) stadium located in the Bronx?
Barclays Center
Shea Stadium
CitiField
Yankee Stadium
Hint: http://goo.gl/yhM2IW

Which NYC Zoo is America's largest metropolitan zoo, and features more than 4,000 animals?
Prospect Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Queens Zoo
Hint: http://goo.gl/0B3VKC

In which NYC borough can you find the neighborhood known as City Island?
Staten Island
Queens
The Bronx
Brooklyn
Hint: http://goo.gl/yhM2IW

Which of these venues host the beloved and legendary “Amateur Night”?
Cotton Club
Lenox Lounge
Shrine NYC
Apollo Theater
Hint: http://goo.gl/DKuxyq

The Statue of Liberty is clearly visible from Battery Park.
True
False
Hint: http://goo.gl/U1rSfB

Name


Email


If you are human, leave this field blank or you will be considered spam:

We hope that you’ve had fun taking this Quiz! If you would like to know more about the Big Apple, join us on our tours; we’ll take you off the beaten path to explore the real New York!

Disclaimer: Participants of this quiz who answer all the questions correctly will be automatically eligible to get a 10%discount on our tours (including our brand new tours). To receive the discount, participants need to confirm to the following eligibility criteria:

1. You must be over 18 to qualify

2. You must have a valid Facebook ID/ Twitter handle (as applicable)

Winners will be notified via email on Friday, June 3rd 2016. All submissions must be sent before June 3rd.

Discount code will need to be redeemed  before July 31st, 2016. In the event of any questions, please contact: digitalmedia@harlemspirituals.com stating the name of this Quiz (“How Well Do You Know New York?”) in the subject line. 

NYC Neighborhood #7: Downtown Manhattan

NYC Neighborhood #7: Downtown Manhattan

Downtown Manhattan is more than just the city’s main business center and financial district. In and around this concrete jungle of bank towers and office buildings, there are some really important and beloved pieces of New York City’s history. Unlike any other areas of New York City, our picturesque Downtown (also known as Lower Manhattan), provides a spectacular backdrop for nearly any types of situation.

This neighborhood still radiates the old New York charm and it still has some sites dating back to when NYC was known as New Amsterdam. Downtown also hosts a number of iconic landmarks and attractions, museums, public artworks and performing arts centers. All can be best seen on our New York, NY tour, which really shows the many facets of Manhattan and the contrast between its various neighborhoods. But, if you want to see Downtown Manhattan when it comes alive at night, take the New York by Night with One World Observation Center (priority admission). On this NYC night tour, beside taking in sweeping views of Manhattan Skyline from different angles, you will also stop by the Meatpacking District, New York hottest and trendiest neighborhoods these days. You’ll also drive through many neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan such as SoHo, Nolita, West Village, and Chinatown. And there’s just so much more to do in this area that you can continue exploring Downtown on your own. This post can be used as your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Lower Manhattan.

1- Art 
Whitney Museum

(Photo by Shinya S. – Flick)

With its art-centric communities like Chelsea, Lower East Side, Soho and the West Village, Downtown Manhattan boasts quite a few galleries. Starting with Milk Studios and Gallery, a place where the world of fashion, art and nightlife all mingle together. At the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center, and the Ivy Brown Gallery things vary in nature, with exhibitions encompassing photography, paintings and sculptures from both well-known and up-and-coming artists. Then, there is the White Columns, which claims to be the New York City’s oldest alternative non-profit space and was established in 1970. The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art both curates modern American art and are definitely must-sees when you are in the area. Additionally, there is a Children’s Museum of the Arts, which is a fantastic establishment for parents who want to introduce their kids to art early on.

2- History

1200px-Nyc_city_hall_july2006b(Photo By Aude – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5)

So much of New York’s history still lives Downtown. It was here on Wall Street that President George Washington took his inaugural oath of office (more specifically at the Federal Hall). Lower Manhattan hosts lots of significant sites such as City Hall, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Woolworth Building, One World Trade Center, and the National September 11th Museum; which – by the way – you can explore at night on our New York by Night with One World Observation Center tour that includes a ticket and express entrance to the One World Observatory. Beside the historical spots, there are several other important NYC landmarks that can be found in this area including: Battery Park, Castle Clinton, the Charging Bull, the Museum of Chinese in America (located in Chinatown), the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the African Burial Ground, and the South Street Seaport that encompass a maritime museum where visitors can stroll past eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings located alongside its cobblestone streets. There are even art galleries related to Manhattan’s importance as an island and a port city. Downtown also has many religious institutions with really beautiful architectural details like the Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel.

3- Food

South_street_seaport_(Photo By Jan Ainali)

Describing Downtown Manhattan as a fun “hot spot” is still an understatement. If anything, Downtown Manhattan’s abundance of restaurants, boutiques, lounges and bars is the most concentrated in the entire city. With practically countless possibilities for late night dining, drinking, and socializing. In terms of eateries, there is a diverse mix of restaurants in Downtown among them you can count Mediterranean, Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Indian and traditional American cuisine. Some of the most popular restaurants choices are: Cipriani, Beauty & Essex, STK Downtown, Nobu, Morimoto, Toro NYC, Catch, Dos Caminos, and TAO Downtown. Other Downtown food destinations that are worthy of a visit include the Spice Market and the Chelsea Market. South Street Seaport, known as the place that used to be America’s busiest port, also provides some great places for shopping and dining. For sugary treats, you can wander into the nearby shops or go straight to the areas’ most famous joints like Duane Park Patisserie, Magnolia Bakery, or to Dominique Ansel Bakery for their famous Cronuts! For those looking to enjoy a little casual meal and drinks with spectacular views, you are already in the fun zone 🙂

4- Entertainment 

Downtown Manhattan(Photo by Gigi NYC)

While Downtown is known for its energy and its reputation as the New York City’s “playground”, there are few places more enjoyable than this portion of the Big Apple especially at night, regardless of the season. Our New York by Night with One World Observation Center tour is especially a great place to start uncovering Downtown. This area has practically endless options of restaurants, nightclubs, lounges and bars, many of them with accessible rooftops offering amazing views of the Hudson River, downtown Manhattan and its surroundings. There are also plenty of choices if you are looking for concerts, live shows including Off-Broadway productions, standup comedy and more! Le Poisson Rouge, Pianos, the Highline Ballroom, and the Comedy Cellar are all great entertainment destinations in Downtown Manhattan. Metrograph, a newly opened indie movie theater, offers a unique experience accompanied by drinks & food. If you’re in the mood for some shopping instead, there’s the remarkable Brookfield Place, a mall where designer labels can be found under one roof alongside with glorious Hudson River and skyline views. Although this neighborhood seem too small to have gardens, you can still embrace nature in places like Zuccotti Park, Tompkins Square Park, Washington Square Park and the Downtown portion of the High Line Park. Already been on the Staten Island Ferry? Get an overview of Manhattan Island by cruising the harbor aboard one of these NYC cruises. Some of the best choices, we recommend the Clipper City Twilight Sailing Cruise, the Shearwater Champagne Brunch Sailing Cruise, and the Dinner Cruise with Live Jazz Music.

 

Downtown Manhattan, for anyone who isn’t familiar, is a world of exploration and adventure that is waiting for you to enjoy endless shopping, dining and entertainment. Plus, our New York by night and New York NY tour are both perfect for wandering the streets of Downtown after exploring the in-and-out of this area with a local expert. Where would you rather be, Downtown, Midtown or Uptown Manhattan?

12 Stunning Images of New York City at Night

12 Stunning Images of New York City at Night

New York, the city that never sleeps, not only lives up to its name but it also reveals a completely different vibe at night than it does during the day. In contrast with some major cities, the lights of the Big Apple skyline are beautifully placed to illuminate the city in a very photogenic way. Exploring New York City at night will allow you to experience just that and see for yourself that there is way more to see in NYC at night than Times Square’s brightly lit billboards. Join our New York by Night with One World Observation Center to enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Big Apple from the 102nd floor of the One World Observatory (and without even having to wait in line to get in!) Then take a walk downtown through the Memorial Plaza and the 9/11 Memorial Twin-Reflecting pools, before crossing the East River over to Brooklyn for more spectacular views of the city. And conclude your night visit with a promenade through the Meatpacking district; one of New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods that is especially a must-see on weekends! No doubt this guided visit will leave you mesmerized…

And as a foretaste of all the magic you’ll witness during our  NYC by night tour, here are 12 stunning images of NYC at night:

1. NYC by night from the Empire State building

NYC at night(Photo by Daniel M.)

2. The Flatiron District at Night

Flatiron at Night(Photo © 2014 Jens Schott Knudsen)

3. Lower Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manathan Skyline(Photo by Loïc L)

4. Downtown Manhattan (around City Hall)

City hall(Photo by Betty T.)

5. Manhattan Skyline at night with the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge- Manhattan skyline(Photo by Flickr-U.)

6. Manhattan’s financial district from the Brooklyn height’s promenade

Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights(Photo by Flickr-U.)

7. So many emblems in one photo

NYC skyline(Photo by Michael M.)

8. The Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge captured at once

Skyline+bridge(Photo by Tom R.)

9. Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline at night

15052762986_28dcf6fece_h(Photo by Maciek L.)

10. Manhattan at night from the Top of the Rock

Manhattan at night(Photo by Yann)

11. Under the Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn

Dumbo Brooklyn(Photo by Dan S.)

12. Ground Zero -9/11 Memorial 

9/11 Memorial (Photo by Stephen W.)

Whether you want to have a romantic evening in Gotham or spend time with family and friends, our New York by Night with One World Observation Center tour will suit your plans for an exciting evening. So, come out at night because New York City arguably looks its best when all the bright lights illuminate its famous skyline.

5 Must-See Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

5 Must-See Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is huge! And contrary to popular beliefs this borough is not just all about artists and hipsters. Like many parts of New York City, Brooklyn is very diverse and culturally vibrant. While Manhattan gets the most attention, people tend to forget that right across the East River is a very exciting world of its own.

Although more and more people are now going to Brooklyn when visiting NYC, it’s still far from being a tourist hub. If you want to be ahead of the curve on this one, you can experience Brooklyn now in a whole new way with Harlem Spirituals – NY Visions’ tours. Besides, Brooklyn is home to many trendy spots, charming neighborhoods, some of the finest landmarks and attractions in NYC, and even the hippest New Yorkers; All of which are covered in both our Brooklyn Walking tour with an all day Ferry Pass and on the BBQ & BBQ – Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens Tour with BBQ Lunch.

Without further ado, here is a quick tour of the five (5) must-see neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

1. Park Slope

A photo posted by Nawapan (@nawapan01) on

If you already have plans to go to Brooklyn, be sure to not miss this area because this residential neighborhood with its charming tree-lined streets and brownstones is perfect the perfect scenery for a nice walk. Other reasons to see Park Slope include all the cute boutiques, parks, concert venues, bookstores, historic landmarks, and beautiful architecture of course! Park Slope is also notably very child-friendly. Sure, there are strollers and a lot of vintage shops, but that’s all part of what makes it so special. Some of the hotspots in this area are Union Hall, the popular bar with bocce courts, the Barclays Center, and The Bell House.

2. DUMBO

  A photo posted by Joshua Neyhart (@maniacmiler) on

As the neighborhood right of the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO spreads only about 20 blocks. But, this tiny cobble-stoned area under the Manhattan Bridge has gone from an “artists only” territory to an exciting hub for everyone. Our Brooklyn walking tour is especially fantastic when it comes to checking out all that DUMBO has to offer because nearly every block in this neighborhood offers something captivating to see and they are all within walking distance! It’s also in Dumbo where you can find popular sites such as The River Café, Superfine, Pianos lounge, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the famous Jane’s Carrousel, Rockwood Music Hall (which made our list of top NYC nightlife spots), St. Ann’s Warehouse, and arguably two of the best pizzerias in Brooklyn: Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s.

3. Williamsburg

A photo posted by danieladisnan (@danieladisnan) on

This neighborhood is not just home to a prospering art community. It’s also a hub where anyone can enjoy a slice of authentic Neapolitean brick oven thin crust pizza accompanied with a freshly made cannoli for dessert. Besides being a pop-culture darling, Williamsburg also host Smorgasburg, a food festival that is made up of local vendors who set up their shops weekly in East River State Park. Other notable places that you should also check out after taking a tour of this neighborhood is the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery, Union Pool, Brooklyn Bowl, and the Knitting Factory (which is definitely not a place where you knit).

4. Brooklyn Heights

As the country’s very first suburb with distinctive brownstones, Brooklyn Heights also claim a promenade where you can catch a sight of the best view of Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn. Considering the fact that all of Brooklyn Heights has been officially labeled as a historic district, there is a lot of interesting Brooklyn Heights factoids that you can learn of on our tours in Brooklyn.

5. Downtown Brooklyn

A photo posted by αdαm αref (@adamaref) on


If there is one word that would perfectly describe Downtown Brooklyn it is transformation. This Brooklyn neighborhood, known for being the 3rd largest business district in the city, is now boasting with a mounting list of residential buildings and is also rapidly becoming a lively 24/7 hub. This part of Brooklyn claims many cultural offerings such as the Brooklyn Museum, BLDG 92, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for history buffs, the Brooklyn Historical Society. Asides from the ever-growing list of new restaurants, Junior’s (cheesecake & desserts), a shrine to the old Brooklyn, is also still located here.

Despite everyone having an opinion on Brooklyn, it’s truly a diverse and incredible place to visit. Furthermore, there’s a whole world of awesomeness waiting for you right across the River if you know where to go. Whether you are in the Big Apple on a short stay or live in New York City, but haven’t gotten the time to explore Brooklyn, book a tour today to get to know this borough a little bit more. Did we leave out a neighborhood you were hoping to see on this list? Share it with us in the comments below!