This week, get out and explore an iconic New York City landmark or a new place in the city you’ve never been. From menorah lightings for the last night of Hanukah to holiday baking classes and whimsical art exhibits, here are our Untapped picks for things to do this week in New York City:
Friday, December 7th
Uncover the secrets of the Freemasons, the largest fraternal order in the world, while touring the many elaborate room of New York City’s Masonic Hall and Grand Lodge on a private tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. The Masonic Hall, built in 1910, is made up of over a dozen meeting rooms, each with a unique style that ranges from French Gothic to Egyptian. You can join this private tour if you are an Untapped Cities Insider. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Saturday, December 8th
Discover the hidden time capsules, works of art, and impressive structures that were left behind by the events of the 1939-1940 and 1964-1965 World’s Fairs in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Untapped Cities’ remnants of the World’s Fairs walking tour. Your expert guide will lead you through the park and illuminate the its hidden history. Plus, every guests gets to take home reproductions of World’s Fair Maps from both 1939 and 1964!
Sunday, December 9th
Celebrate the final night of Hanukkah at the Yellowstone Municipal Park with the lighting of an 18-foot menorah! The event is free but registration is required. The celebration starts at 6pm and will feature live music, a chocolate coin drop by the FDNY, a show by Mad Science, and a burger cart from JJ’s Holy Cow.
Discover the secrets hidden within the Brooklyn Bridge, a 135 year old landmark, on Untapped Cities’ Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour. This iconic symbol of New York City has many surprising stories, such as the fatal stampede that took place opened day, the secrets champagne vaults and Cold Ward fallout shelter hidden in its depths, and the rumor curse on the family of engineers who built its. Uncover all of the secrets on this expert led tour!
Belvedere Castle. Image via Stig Nygaard
Did you know that Central Park was once the site of a former African-American village? Or that it was previously home to an infamous casino, where alcohol flowed throughout the Prohibition? For almost 160 years, Central Park has been the green heart of the city, serving as a pastoral haven for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Even so, it still holds many secrets that have yet to be discovered. On this walking tour of Central Park, explore the history behind some of its best-loved and hidden sites.
For an alternative way to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah, head to the Highline Ballroom for the 12th Annual Menorah Horah! featuring burlesque duo The Schlep Sisters – Minnie Tonka and Darlinda Just Darlinda. The evening will feature music from DJ Momotaro, Rara Darling and Madame Brassiere, laughs, latkes and burlesque from premier burlesque stars Sapphire Jones, Zoe Ziegfeld, The Great Dubini, and Allegra, with Host Bastard Keith.
Monday, December 10th
See nearly 40 eccentric holiday wreaths created by fine artist,designers and creative individuals at the 36th annual Wreath Interpretations exhibition at the NYC Parks Arsenal. The wreaths are made of various unconventional materials like Jordan almonds, piano keys, foam ears, and plastic bottles and draw inspiration from themes ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to traditional toys. This whimsical exhibition is free and open to the public.’
Lisa and Corduroy in Her Bedroom. Courtesy of Kerlan Collection, Children’s Literature Research Collection, University of Minnesota via MCNY
Step into illustrator Don Freeman’s New York on a curator led walkthrough of a A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York, the latest exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. This exhibit features a wide variety of drawings, paintings, publications, and prints, as well as the artist’s original studies and sketches of the beloved children’s book character Corduroy. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider,, you can join this special tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Tuesday, December 11th
Show your support for presenters competing in the 2018 Annual Holiday TransitSlam at the Transit Center. Slammers have exactly 6 minutes and 20 slides (at 18 seconds per slide) to get the audience to laugh and applaud in order to win special prizes at this Pecha Kucha-style event.
Learn about the power of music and sound in film at Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies’ final class of the semester, The Frequency of Fear: The Power and the Glory of the Motion Picture Soundtrack. The class will be taught by Dean Hurley, audio collaborator to David Lynch and supervising sound editor and music supervisor for the third season of cult sensation Twin Peaks. Hurley will explain the deep importance of score to cinema, sound to life, and music to mayhem.
Wednesday, December 12th
Brush up on your cookie baking skills for the holiday season at Sugar and Spice: A Cookie Master Class with James Beard Award-winning chef Dorie Greenspan. Greenspan will sit down with The New York Times’ James Beard Award-winning food columnist Melissa Clark to spill the secrets of making the perfect cookies for the holidays at The Greene Space, for the second event in their Holiday Eats series.
Go behind-the-scenes at the Brooklyn Army Terminal on a tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. This tour of the 4 million square foot terminal will lead you through the stunning atrium, where freight trains once pulled in to directly unload supplies, new raw spaces in Building A, the food manufacturing hub in the annex, an enclosed bridgeway that has lain untouched for 40 years, and a rooftop. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special New York City events all year long.
Thursday, December 13th
Set your eyes to the sky for one of the best meteor showers of the year, The Geminids Meteor Shower. This event is expected to produce up to 120 multi-colored meteors per hour at its peak and you can watch it all happen at the Van Cortlandt Nature Center in Van Cortlandt Park where all meteor gazing equipment will be provided.