Grand Central's Holiday Train Show

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas in New York City. If you’ve already paid a visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, shopped to your heart’s content at the city’s holiday markets and snapped photographs of all the department store holiday windows on view, here’s an alternative events guide, featuring some of the most quirky and exciting activities unfolding this weekend.

From festive train shows to holiday movie screenings, here are a few of our favorite options. Happy holidays Untapped readers!

11. Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Ellis Island Hospital

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The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex—once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center)—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, Untapped Cities is bringing you behind-the-scenes for an unique exploration of the abandoned facility; on this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.

While Ellis Island has become one of New York City’s top tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors per year, the 22-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine its backstory as one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. Join us for our upcoming hard hat tour, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we’ll uncover its many, buried secrets.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital