This week is packed with exciting ways to get out and explore New York City! From free guided walking tours led by local residents and scavengers hunts with amazing prizes, to a birthday party for the subway and an 18th century celebration of George Washington, check out our Untapped picks for things to do this week:

Friday, May 3rd

Today marks the kick off of a three-day series of free walking tours all over New York City for the Municipal Art Society of New York’s annual Jane’s Walk NYC. This global festival features volunteer-led walking conversations inspired by urban activist Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walk encourages people to share stories about their neighborhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and connect with visitors and neighbors alike. Some walks require advanced reservations.

Discover some of the most surprising places in Brooklyn at a book launch for the second edition of Secret Brooklyn written by Untapped Cities Founder Michelle Young and CEO Augustin Pasquet. This event will take place at one of the secret locations featured in the book, Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages, an ecological rooftop green oasis in an oil spill zone right near the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Guests will get a special tour of the Kingsland Wildflowers rooftop space and learn about the work of local ecologists then hear stories from Michelle and Augustin about some of the over one hundred locations featured in Secret Brooklyn.

Saturday, May 4th

See how well you know New York City at the Museum of the City of New York’s Keys to the City: Ultimate Scavenger Hunt. This fundraising event will take participants through the Lower East Side, Two Bridges, the Financial District, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO on the hunt for locations to photograph based on clues. Winning teams will be awarded with special prizes fro the museum including family memberships and private tours! Untapped Cities readers can get $5 off by using the code “KEYSUNTAPPED” at checkout!

Cherry Blossom Festival, Photograph Courtesy of Randall’s Island Park Alliance

Celebrate the blossoms of spring and Japanese culture at the Randall’s Island Cherry Blossom Festival. Activities wil inlude paper flower and kite making, Japanese folk dancing and drumming, dressing up in summer kimonos (yukata), and enjoying performances from Taiko Masala Dojo Drummers, Minbuza Folk Dancers and Taisan Tanaka Calligraphy. This event is free and open to the public at Fields 62 & 63, Urban Farm from 12:00PM until 4:00PM.

View haunting images from Ellis Island’s photographic archives in life-size as part of a site-specific art installation inside the island’s abandoned hospital complex on a special behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital. The blown up images were pasted on the walls, floors, doors, and furniture of the complex by world renowned artist JR. On the tour, guest will get to explore spaces of the hospital that have been off-limits for over sixty years such as the contagious disease wards, the morgue and the laundry facility.

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

Sunday, May 5th

Uncover tales from the golden age of the Port of New York on Untapped Cities new Tour of NYC’s Maritime History. Learn about infamous sea captains Adrian Block and William Kidd, walk along the historic east side slips including Old Slip and Coenties, and hear about old buried ships on both the Hudson and East River shores on this tour led by Untapped Cities Chief Experience Operator Justin Rivers.

Tour of NYC’s Maritime History

Go inside the historic homes of Greenwich Village with the Village Preservation’s Spring House Tour Benefit. This annual fundraising event allows guests access into the landmarked homes of the historic district to see restored interiors, private gardens and appreciate the architecture of the neighborhood. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you enter our members-only raffle for the chance to win a free pair of tickets!

Celebrate the 115th birthday of the New York City subway at the NY Transit Museum’s Party on Wheels. This event marked the only time of year when vintage trains from the museum’s collection leave the station for shuttle rides. At this family friendlt event, guests will get ride vintage R-1/9 subway cars right from the museum platform to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station and back, make arts and crafts, take pictures and sing Happy Birthday! If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you enter our members-only raffle for the chance to win a free pair of tickets!

Monday, May 6th

Attend the METa Gala, a one-night-only event a The Williamsburg Hotel created to raise funds for a New York City art exhibition of young and emerging artists. This “Camp” themed costume party will feature live musical performances and immersive art installations of different forms. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this party for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long! If you are not an Insider, the first 50 Untapped Cities Readers to buy tickets, will get 10% off Regular and VIP entry tickets by using the code “METAUNTAPPED” at check out.

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Tuesday, May 7th

Discuss the issues facing New York City’s waterfront with the onset of climate change and explore, through various perspectives, how to solve those issues at the 2019 Waterfront Conference. This conference on a boat will feature keynote speeches and panel discussions with elected officials, academics, artist and professionals from a variety of fields. Untapped Cities Founder Michelle Young will be leading a panel on communicating climate change through art. Untapped Cities readers can get 10% off tickets with code “untapped” at checkout!

Wednesday, May 8th

Party like it’s 1789 at the Second Annual George Washington Inaugural Ball at Federal Hall National Memorial. This black-tie affair commemorates the 230th anniversary of the historic event which took place at the site. Guests will get to enjoy historic food, drink and period entertainment including. If you have it, 18th century attire is also encouraged for this one-of-a-kind evening. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this party for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

Join archaeologists at the Museum of the City of New York to learn about the working and living conditions in 18th-20th century New York City for laborers at Uncovering the Lost Lives of Workers: The Archaeology of Labor. This talk is presented in conjunction with the museum’s new exhibition City of Workers, City of Struggle: How Labor Movements Changed New York. The archaeologists will discuss the lasting impact of labor on workers’ bodies, both female and male.

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the very first transatlantic flight which took off from the Rockaway Naval Air Station in 1919. This historic event, completed by a US Navy Seaplane NC-4 assembled at the Air Station, will be commemorated with a special exhibition on display at the Rockaway Artists Alliance’s T-7 Gallery in Fort Tilden. There will also be a special outdoor celebration featuring a flyover from both the Coast Guard and the New York City Police Department Aviation Unit, a water display from the New York City Fire Department’s Marine Division, a street dedication and a visit to the new exhibition nearby. The ceremony begins at 10:00am. 

Gain access to the a private social club started in 1889 by renowned actor Edwin Booth. On our Special Access tour of the Players Club, guests will view architectural work by Stanford White, walk inside Edwin Booth’s bedroom, where you can find the skull that was used in his famous 100 consecutive performances of Hamlet, visit the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library, view the Players Club’s impressive art collections, and get an up-close look at Mark Twain’s poker table!

Insider Tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park