5 Awesome Attractions to Experience While in NYC

5 Awesome Attractions to Experience While in NYC

The Flight Deck of the USS Intrepid (©Katie Labovitz)

I got to explore a lot of great museums and buildings in the city this year. Here are just five of my favorite experiences from 2016.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Hell’s Kitchen): To coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the original “Star Trek” series, there was an interactive exhibition, “Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience,” where participants trained to become a member of Starfleet, including partaking in the Kobayashi Maru simulation. (Because of my top-notch communication and diplomacy skills, I was recommended for a Command position when training was complete.) The Starfleet Academy Experience ran through the end of October, but there is literally a boat-load of other amazing exhibits still on display! The space shuttle Enterprise is housed in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the USS Intrepid’s Flight Deck. There are also over two dozen aircraft from the U.S. armed forces, as well as from all over the world. The Intrepid itself is a National Historic Landmark and was once an active aircraft carrier in World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War, among other tasks. It was decommissioned for good in 1974 and then opened as a museum in 1982. 

Empire State Building (Midtown West): The most iconic building in the city also has one of the best views in town. I ended up atop the building with my brother and his students (all in from Ohio) as a last-minute participant on their field trip and found myself as in awe of the sights as much as the rest of the crowd, even though I’ve lived here for a few years now. This city is so alive and to see it breathing from way high up is a real treat. Whether this is your first or fiftieth trip to NYC, a jaunt to the top of the Empire State Building is a must.

Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour (Midtown West): Though I had twice been in Radio City Music Hall for performances, I never had the chance to actually look around and appreciate its architecture and art deco décor. The Stage Door Tour was amazing in that you get a tour of the entire building—the lobby, lounges, statues, the Roxy Suite and more. I loved learning the history of this performance venue and seeing all of the beautiful photos from people who put on shows there. One of the Rockettes did a Q&A session with us and gave us some insight on what her experience has been. If you love behind-the-scenes tours, this is definitely something you should check out.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (Upper East Side): When I was at the museum in July, there was an engaging Pixar exhibit (“Pixar: The Design of Story”) where we saw concept artwork from the company’s popular films, as well as got to design our emotions like those from “Inside Out.” While that exhibit closed in September, present exhibits like “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse,” “Ellen DeGeneres Selects” (an exhibit curated by the beloved television host) and more are on display for all to enjoy. I particularly liked the Models & Prototypes Gallery on the second floor—so intricate! 

Museum of the City of New York (Upper East Side): I’m not from NYC, so getting to experience an interactive, comprehensive exhibit of the city’s 400-year history was both educational and entertaining. In the museum’s newest exhibit, “New York at Its Core,” guests get to experience displays about NYC being a “Port City” (1609-1898), “World City” (1898-2012) and take part in the “Future City Lab,” where you can, among other things, digitally build an apartment building in a Sims-esque program. This permanent exhibit deals with the four themes of money, density, diversity and creativity and is a great way to share the city’s rich history in an easy-to-understand way. Other current exhibits presently on display include “In the South Bronx of America” (through January 8, 2017), “Gay Gotham” (through February 26, 2017) and “Mastering the Metropolis” (through April 23, 2017).

The "New York at Its Core" exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York (©Filip Wolak)

Add new comment