The warm sunny weather of spring is hopefully here to stay and this week there are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy it. From outdoor movie screenings and a goat release to guided walking tours and arts and crafts workshops, find a unique way to enjoy the city this week with our Untapped Picks of things to do:

Thursday, May 16th

Spend an evening soaking up inspiration and drawing at the New York Transit Museum’s Subway Sketch Night. The event will be hosted by New York City-based illustrators and will begin with an introduction and short discussion. Then, visitors can explore the Museum and draw inspiration from the 1936 decommissioned subway station and vintage subway cars. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Sketch boards, paper and pencils will be provided, or you may bring your own art supplies. Tickets are required and include one beer provided by Coney Island Brewery!

Commemorate Lower East Side History Month at the Tenement Museum with a special Tenement Talk presented in partnership with Muslims for American Progress. New York Ramadan: Muslim Life on the Lower East Side will explore the little-known story of Muslim communities living in tenements on the Lower East Side. Speakers will include Abeda Khanam, an educator and community leader who grew up in a tenement on Orchard Street, Rashidah Ismaili, a poet and Benin-immigrant who lived in the Lower East Side during the Black Arts Movement and Ali Abbas, a writer and filmmaker.

Friday, May 17th

Attend a rooftop screening of Paris to Pittsburgh at Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages green roof space in Greenpoint. Presented in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the documentary screening will be followed by a panel discussion with co-producer Katie Dunn; Kit Kennedy, NRDC Senior Director, Climate & Clean Energy Program; WCS’s urban ecologist Eric Sanderson; and CCNY’s urban sustainability guru Hillary Brown. The film shows the efforts of individuals who are battling the most severe threats of climate change in their own backyards.

Courtesy of the Prospect park Alliance, Photograph by Martin Seck

Celebrate the season with the Prospect Park Spring Fling. This three-day festival will feature events for the whole family including an 1860s-style ball game, a themed ’90s roller disco, a staged reading of Molière’s The Misanthrope, and the Alliance’s Spring Fling Family Fair. All weekend the park will be running birdwatching and trail running events as well as walking tours of the park’s history. There will also be special activities at the Prospect Park Zoo! Some activities require advanced registration.

Discover the work of LQBTQ+ artists at The Queers & Comics Conference hosted at the School of Visual Arts. Over 140 LGBTQ cartoonists, scholars, publishers and librarians will participate in this historic event spotlighting five decades of queer cartooning. The conference features two keynote presentations, conversations with five featured guests and 36 lively panel discussions with slideshows. It presents a unique opportunity for LGBTQ cartoonists to network, build community, discuss their craft and foster new work, and for readers and fans to immerse themselves in this unique artistic community.

Saturday, May 18th

Get creative at the Craft in Focus Festival. This three day festival will transform Industry City in Brooklyn into an open workspace with hands-on workshops for people of all ages, master classes and demonstrations, focusing on master craftsmanship. Check out the full festival program and tickets to masterclasses and workshops here. Try your hand at making everything from leather bracelets and metal bracelets to violins and stone sculptures.

Also going on at Industry City this weekend, nearly 100 painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, and video artists, and others will open their studios for tours. Open Studios 2019 will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors will get a rare opportunity to talk with artists, see works in progress, and discover how each artist has customized a studio space to fit the demands of his or her artistic practice.

Penn Station-Vintage Photograph-McKim Mead White-Train Station-Remnants-Tour-NYCImage from Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

Uncover the remnants of the Beaux-Arts structure that was the original Penn Station on our Remnants of Penn Station walking tour with playwright and Untapped Cities Chief Experience officer Justin Rivers. As you walk through the modern day transit hub and learn about its past, present and future, Rivers will point out the indoor and outdoor old-station remnants hidden in plain sight, remnants left over from the McKim, Mead and White designed station constructed in the early 1900s. Guests will also get to view never-before-seen old station photos and take home a framable, reproduction ticket of the first commuter ride into Pennsylvania Station from 1910.

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

This weekend over 150 churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and meeting houses state-wide will open their doors for special tours, concerts, and programs offered as part of the New York Landmark Conservancy’s annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend. This year’s theme, From Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York’s Religious Art and Architecture, highlights the broad spectrum of historical periods, faith traditions, and styles of religious architecture found in communities throughout New York State. Some activities required advanced registration, but most sites are open for visitors to come and go as they please.

Sunday, May 19th


Enjoy a spring afternoon in the park while uncovering the hidden histories behind some of New York City’s most famous sites on Untapped Cities Secrets of Central Park walking tour. Hear about the massive civic project that transformed the land into an urban pleasure ground, learn about the curious origins of the Central Park Zoo and the corruption scandal that caused a riot, discover the hidden meaning in Bethesda Terrace’s sculptures and the forbidden love that inspired the park’s most famous statue, and more!

Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour

Walk the original coastline and street grid of Manhattan and literally touch the vestiges of New York City’s colonial past on Untapped Cities’ Tour of the Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam. Armed with a copy of the Manhattan’s first map and the guidance of an expert Untapped Cities tour guide, guests will begin this tour at the site of an original Dutch fort trace the history of Dutch colonization in the 17th century through Lower Manhattan.

Tour of The Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam

Watch vintage 16mm film footage from NASA and the Cold War, listen to music on old vinyl records and handle other unique antiques at the “I Can See For Miles, History of Film/Photography/3D” Secret Speakeasy presented by the Museum of Interesting Things. The museum will take over a Soho loft for an evening of live performances, snacks, drinks and demonstrations of antique film and photography items, like camera obscuras, magic lanterns, 100 year old Kodaks and more!

Monday, May 20th

Take part in an engaging evening of conversation on the topic of Informal Urbanism presented by the Harvard Alumni Architectural and Urban Society. The Informal City: Its Vices, Its Virtues, Its Design will feature speakers Richard Sennett, Rahul Mehrotra, and Hashim Sarkis who will analyze the characteristics of informal urbanism as it has emerged around the world, and a discuss the challenges and opportunities that this ever-growing phenomena presents for the productive engagement of designers, planners, and citizens. Advance registration is required.

Tuesday, May 21st

The Riverside Park Conservancy is turning Gotham into “Goatham” by welcoming a herd of goats to Riverside Park for a summer residency. The goats, all retired from a local farm, will spend the summer helping to clear weeds on the sloped and hard to access terrain at the northern part of the park. Guests are invited to welcome the goats at 11AM and learn more about the park’s environment.

Learn about the The Restoration, Preservation and Conservation of Architectural Ornamental Plaster from Jean-Francois D. Furieri, Founder of Iconoplast and a third generation master plasterer, at a General Society Landmark Lecture. Furieri’s company’s studious techniques and generations-old skills are integrated with modern technologies to create a hands-on approach to this traditional craft. During his talk, Mr. Furieri will outline the history of plaster, new technologies in plaster, and describe a theatre restoration on 42nd street, recently completed by Iconoplast. Advance registration is required.

Wednesday, May 22nd

Go inside the historic home of founding father Alexander Hamilton on a private ranger guided tour. The Hamilton Grange National Memorial inside St. Nicholas Park is the only home that Hamilton ever owned and it sits on land that once belonged to him. On this tour, guests will gain access to the period decorated rooms the Hamilton family used while living in the home in the 19th century. You can join this free 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 events all year long.

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Thursday, May 23rd

Hear from Parkland Dad, Fred Guttenberg at the Center for Jewish History as he sits down with Matt Gutman, ABC News Chief National Correspondent, for a conversation about speaking out, fighting back, and challenging elected officials to do more about gun control. Fred Guttenberg never planned on leading a public life, but he saw no choice after his 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed along with 16 teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Determined to make a difference, Fred is now devoting his life to urgently advocating for stricter gun control and public safety laws. Tickets can be purchased here. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this event for free.

See our full list of upcoming public tours and Insider events!