Go inside the hull of a cargo ship, see what’s growing in an urban farm on Randall’s Island, uncover the remnants of Queens’ two World’s Fairs, and find more ways to explore New York City this week with our Untapped picks of things to do.

Friday, September 20th

Photograph Courtesy of Randall’s Island Park Alliance

See what’s growing on the urban farm at Randall’s Island. Home to New York City’s only rice paddies and 100 beds of vegetables, herbs and other plants, the urban farm serves as an environmentally-sustainable farm, outdoor kitchen, and place of education. You can join a free behind-the-scenes tour of the farm if you are an Untapped Cities Insider!

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Go inside the hull of a cargo ship on Untapped Cities’ Maritime History Tour. This guided tour of Lower Manhattan will reveal the structures and monuments that tie the modern city to its seafaring history as one of the most important and busiest ports in the world. Hear tales of pirates and sunken ships, see where old slips used to be, learn about floating churches and more!

Tour of NYC’s Maritime History

The 16th annual Animation Block Party brings a diverse three-day program of animated shorts and keynote feature films of all genres and styles to BAM Film. The film festival is dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional, and student animation with film from around the world.

Saturday, September 21st

Uncover what remains from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. On this tour led by Untapped Cities Chief Experience Office Justin Rivers, see the spot of a hidden time capsule set to be opened in 5,000 year, learn how the park was transformed from a marshy wetland to a heap of ashes to parkland, and more! Each guests will take home reproductions of World’s Fair Maps from both 1939 and 1964.

Tour the Remnants of the World’s Fairs at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Photo copyright Skyviewsurvey.com, courtesy Queens County Farm Museum

The 37th Annual Queens County Fair comes to New York City this weekend for two days of country festivities. The first county fair was held in Queens way back in 1693 and this weekend you can take part in traditional activities like pie eating and corn husking contests, tractor pulls, hayrides, carnival rides, and midway games. There will be a Bavarian beer garden featuring traditional live music and dance as well as craft and food vendors. This traditional agricultural fair boasts blue ribbon competitions in produce, livestock, arts and crafts and more. Don’t miss the best part, The Amazing Maize Maze which is shaped like the Unisphere!

It’s free museum day! Pop into your favorite participating New York City museum and present a Museum Day Pass for free admission for two people. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. Participating museums include the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Museum of Food and Drink, AKC Museum of the Dog and many more!

Sunday, September 22nd

Travel back in time to New York City’s seedy past as you uncover the Remnants of Gritty Old Times Square. Meet real life characters like the King of the Peeps, the woman who built a gay and S&M porn empire and the slumlord with two suitcases filled with gold and five wives. See the sites of once sordid establishments that lined 42nd Street when it was the Deuce and the Great White Way when it was a red light district.

Gritty Old Times Square

Explore the storied past of Governors Island on Untapped Cities begins-the-scenes tour. Dive into the natural, military, and cultural history of this partially man-made island with an expert guide.

The Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour

Create your own musical instrument out of recycled materials with Bash the Trash at Sony Square. This family friendly event will be directed by the husband-and-wife creative team of John Bertles and Carina Piaggio. Bash the Trash features a national roster of over thirty musicians and teaching artists, weaving together science, music and environmental awareness. This event is free and open to the public.

Explore the abandoned hospital complex on the south side of Ellis Island. Filled with haunting life0sized images pulled from Ellis Island’s archives, the 29-building complex has sat unused for over sixty years. On this behind-the-scenes hard hat tour, you will gain access to spaces usually closed to the public including the morgue, laundry room, and former contagious disease wards.

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

Stop by the Brooklyn Book Festival Day and Marketplace at Brooklyn Borough Hall and the surrounding area. The festival is the largest free literary event in New York City. There will be an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors who will be giving interviews.

Monday, September 23rd

Photo by Sara Kerens, TSQ Arts

Take part in a 14-year tradition as the Met Opera hosts a free, live transmission of the season-opening opera, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, on the iconic screens of Times Square. There will be ushered seating at the screening for the first 1,500 audience members. Guests can enjoy food and drink offerings from the Times Square Market food kiosks on the plazas during intermission. House opens at 5:00pm in Duffy Square and the show starts at 6:00pm.

Get a private tour of the American Merchant Marine Museum while it is closed to the public and enjoy a picnic on its lovely grounds that overlook the Long Island Sound. Housed inside a former Gold Coast mansion on the north shore of Long Island, the museum boasts an extensive collection of nautical art, seafaring instruments and Marine artifacts that tell decades of maritime history. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join this exclusive tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today today to gain access to behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

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Climate Week NYC kicks off today with events all over New York City. From panels and lectures to comedy shows and workshops, the week-long series of events are centered around sustainable living, dealing with the effects of climate changes, and activism. There are more than 200 events taking place from Monday through Sunday, September 29th.

Whether you’ve never stepped inside or you travel through it everyday, Grand Central Terminal is a treasure trove of secrets and fascinating stories ready to be revealed. On Untapped Cities Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour, peek into hidden tennis courts, see the world’s largest Tiffany clock, spot the major design flaw in the terminal’s grand atrium and more!

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Celebrate five years of secret speakeasies with the Museum of Interesting Things. The theme of September’s secret speakeasy is Prohibition. At this party in a SoHo loft there will be artifacts from the museum that guest can actually handle, vintage film screenings and vinyl records playing. There will also be live performances by Zero Boy
from his Gangsterlogues.

Tuesday, September 24th

Historian, preservationist, and voice of Daytonian in Manhattan Tom Miller discusses Audrey Munson, a model of classical beauty who personified the Beaux-Arts ideal of womanhood in Landmark West’s special event “American Venus”: A Path from Fame to Ruin. Known as “The Perfect Woman”, “Miss Manhattan”, and “American Venus,”Munson’s figure can be found in Riverside Park, Columbus Circle, Straus Park, the Municipal Building, the Manhattan Bridge, Columbus Circle, the Pulitzer Fountain, and Grand Army Plaza. View clips from a long-lost of silent film starring Audrey and determine whether she was Purity personified or “injurious to public morals” as you uncover her story. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can get 2-for-1 tickets using the code found in the Insider’s Facebook group!

ARO, CetraRuddy Architecture

Go behind-the-design of some of New York City’s most exciting architecture projects at the studios of renowned architecture firm CetraRuddy. On this special tour led by principals at the firm, guests will see the process that goes into designed projects like the soon to open photography museum Fotografiska New York (which is inside a historic landmarked building!) and the Lincoln Square Synagogue. You can join this tour for free if you are an Untapped Cities Insider! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

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Wednesday, September 25th

Go inside a 19th-century social club that caters to the stars. On this special access tour, guests will see multiple rooms inside the members-only Players club, a club founded by American actor Edwin Booth in 1889 along with fifteen friends and colleagues including Mark Twain and General William T. Sherman. Today’s notable members include Jimmy Fallon, Ethan Hawke and Tommy Lee Jones, whose portraits hang in the club’s grand staircase.

Insider Tour of the Players Club on Gramercy Park

Thursday, September 26th

See how the New York City transforms for Amazon’s hit series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at Landmark West’s special event, Casting the Upper West SideAt this talk, members of the production team on the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series will share personal stories and before-and-after photographs to show how they turn back the clock and transport audiences to the 1950s. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

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