Hello Untapped New York readers, Insider members, and tour goers! It’s been a long four months since the onset of coronavirus shutdowns in New York City. Despite all the challenges you’ve been through and the city has been through collectively, we have enjoyed seeing all the faces in our visual experiences for Insiders multiple times a week. Thank you to everyone who remained an Untapped New York Insider member, joined us anew, read our articles, donated to keep Untapped New York going, tipped our virtual guides and speakers, and sent us amazingly positive messages by email or social media. All of these gestures, large and small, have been sustaining us.
We’ve been working hard to bring back in-person experiences in a safe way in the new COVID era. Although tour operators were able to operate again in Phase 3, we chose to wait until Phase 4 to perfect our new safety measures. Today, we’re excited announce the return of our in-person tours (with significant health and safety measures) and a fresh new line-up of experiences.
Upcoming Gowanus Canal Sunset Canoe Tour!
Your safety and the safety of our staff is our highest priority. We have implemented a series of measures in accordance with guidance issued by federal, state and local authorities to ensure the well-being of our guides and guests who join our walking tours. You can see the full list of measures below. We have reduced the size of our tours to just 10 guests or less, and we are especially excited about the deployment of our state-of-the-art radio system on all tours so that all guests can hear the guide while standing at a distance from all other people on the experience. In this re-launch, we are offering an exciting range of outdoor (or predominantly outdoor tours) for public booking including brand new experiences like a Gowanus Canal canoe tour and a walking tour of Victorian Flatbush.
Upcoming tour of Victorian Flatbush!
In addition, we have dropped our cost for private tours by 50% to $175 per private tour, so if you get together a group of five it’s worth getting a private tour! If you are an Untapped New York Insider, we are offering 2 for 1 tickets for a limited time (check your email for code). And thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Shug-Hong Young, a cardiologist at Mather Hospital and SUNY Stony Brook, we will be offering 100 free tickets to our tours to frontline workers who assisted in the fight against coronavirus. To qualify, please email [email protected] with your hospital/work ID, the department you work for, and sentence or two about your work. Scroll down below to see all the tours and read about our new safety measures.
All of our guides have been specifically trained on how to safely conduct walking tours in the current health context. This includes all the measures below and much more, such as no longer passing visual materials to guests but instead showing them from a distance, how to sanitize their equipment after each tour, and more.
We now only accept up to 10 guests on our public walking tours, a 33% reduction from what were allowing prior to the pandemic. We are not increasing our prices, and are still paying our guides the same rate because we believe that is the right thing to do.
All our guides and guests above 2 years old are required to wear a mask during the length of the tour. Please bring your own mask.
We adapted the route of our tours to allow for social distancing, this means less busy sidewalks and more stops in spacious areas.
State-of-the-art radio system
We are equipping all our guests and guides with a state-of-the-art wireless radio-guide system which allows to maintain social distancing. Guests will be able to hear our guides perfectly even while standing many feet apart in a loud environment.
Our state-of-the-art radio-guide system is sanitized between each use.
Contactless Booking and Check-In
All our guests are invited to book our tours via our website, as we no longer allow in person booking or cash payments. With contactless check-in at our tours, there is no need to bring print-outs of your tickets or show your tickets. All we need is your name.
We have increased our offering of outdoors tours as it is the safest place to gather at the moment.
Discounted Private Tours
Don’t want to join a tour with other people? Our private tours now start at $175 instead of $350. You’re welcome
Gowanus Canal Canoe Tour
Take a Sunset Canoe Ride in the heart of Brooklyn! Join Untapped New York and The Gowanus Dredgers for a secret, one of a kind, personal sunset cruise in canoes above Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. After a short presentation where you and your crew are outfitted with safety gear, we embark on a narrated voyage filled with questions and conversation on how recreation can have a positive influence on improving and encouraging environmental awareness and activism in an urban setting.
Paddle along our Gowanus Canal to see a hidden side of Brooklyn, including the underside of bridges and our transforming industrial neighborhood. Discover the fun of canoeing as you explore the history of our Brooklyn neighborhood’s rich past, present, and future. Please note that kids must be at least 40 lbs in order to participate.
Victorian Flatbush Tour
Discover the spectacular mansions and history of this unique Brooklyn neighborhood. Flatbush is a neighborhood that best encapsulates the full history of Brooklyn — from its 17th-century Dutch colonial history to 19th-century residential growth to a population boom of working-class immigrant communities in the 20th century. Untapped New York tour guide Jeremy Wilcox will explore this progression and show you how centuries of history are preserved within a small area. You will also see part of Flatbush’s greatest treasure: its spectacular mansions (including the Japanese House) developed at the end of the 19th-century by developers looking to break away from the Brooklyn brownstone mold. Several small historic districts, mansions, and church grounds dating back to 1654 are some of the highlights you will see on this unique tour.
The Hidden Gems of Governors Island
Explore the fascinating history of this island at the southern tip of Manhattan while uncovering many of its secrets! The istory of Governors Island spans from the days of early European explorers, through Dutch colonial times and the twentieth century to the present day. The extensive military history of the site will be revealed while visiting the National Monument, Fort Jay, Nolan Park and the former houses of commanding officers along with Castle Williams which was built as a fort for the war of 1812 and also served as a confederate prison.
Take the flower lined paths built by the Trust for Governors Island on your way to the Hills, passing by playgrounds and hammocks while in a lush natural setting right next to the greatest city in the world. The hills was created from the landfill of demolished military housing and offer some of the best views of Manhattan, of the Statue of Liberty and are the perfect place to reflect on the past, present, and future of Governors Island.
Hidden Gems of Coney Island
Join Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer, Justin Rivers, on a tour that moves through the past, present, and future of “America’s Playground”. You will see firsthand why Coney Island was the birthplace of American amusement culture by hosting America’s first amusement park, roller coaster, and hot dog. You will also experience what Coney Island was like at the height of its mid-century popularity by examining the footprints of the famed Elephant Hotel, Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park.
Learn the secrets of iconic rides like the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and the famed B&B Carousel. The tour will conclude at Nathan’s Famous where you hear why those hot dogs became so famous on the site where they have been served for over 100 years.
Hidden Gems of the Financial District
Acre for acre there is more history in FiDi than anywhere else in the country and most of is buried under strata of infrastructure or hidden in plain sight. From the spot where American government and capitalism once lived across the street from each other, to some of the buried secrets of NYC’s past and present, this Wall Street tour goes digging through the layers of history that helped to define not only New York City, but the entire country.
On this tour you will discover Wall Street’s turbulent history still visible today, trace the nearly hidden footprint of an old Dutch wall, see exactly where Washington stood when he was inaugurated, decode the most cryptic gravestone in Trinity Churchyard, pay a visit to Alexander Hamilton and his wife, touch one of the oldest standing structures in lower Manhattan, unearth a chunk of the old 18th century Battery wall buried in the subway system, step into a 19th century candy store hidden in the basement of an office building, and discover the site of NYC’s long-standing slave market.
Remnants of the World’s Fairs
Didn’t make it to the 1939/40 or 1964/65 World’s Fairs? Well here’s your chance! Explore the many remnants of the World’s Fairs in today’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park including time capsules, Andy Warhol mosaics and more! Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has lived many lives from marshy tidal wetlands to an early 20th Century ash dump, to the site of not one, but two World’s Fairs. This Flushing Meadows tour explores the past, present, and future of this 900-acre park which was an obsession of the late “Master Builder,” Robert Moses. Join Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers as he leads you on a journey through Flushing Meadows’ many unnoticed treasures.
Public Art Tour of Lower Manhattan
Discover why lower Manhattan is often considered like one of the world’s largest open-air Art gallery. On this unique walking tour you will admire artworks from renowned artists from the 19th and 20th centuries including: Keith Haring, Jean Dubuffet, Isamu Noguchi, Daniel Chester French and many more. You will discover the surprising and sometimes controversial stories behind over a dozen statues, sculptures, paintings… and even a garden.
Walk down Broadway and then meander through Battery Park as you discover tens of art installations along the way. Deconstruct the image of each piece of art, discuss what is known about it and share your reactions. Sample art not only from different eras but also art that has different purposes: propaganda, place-making, reflection, honoring an ideal or group, whimsy, and more.
Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam
Discover the many hidden Dutch relics south of Wall Street, as you trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667. where New York began and see what is left of Dutch New Amsterdam in today’s lower Manhattan! In this small group walking tour, you’ll hear about New York’s founding myths and facts while standing in the very spots where they all happened. With New York City’s first map in hand you will trace the streets of Manhattan in 1667 while discovering the many hidden Dutch relics south of Wall Street.
Physically touch history as you spend time finding out how Bowling Green got its name and why it’s been so important in our city’s history! Among the many relics you will experience on this tour are the foundations of New York City’s first City Hall (which was also a tavern!), the long forgotten oyster pasty cannon, the original battery wall and so much more! This New Amsterdam tour is led by an expert guide from the Untapped New York team.
Greenwich Village Coffee Tour
Discover the surprising history of coffee in New York City while exploring Greenwich Village, its iconic birthplace. On this unique walking tour we will learn how New York and coffee go hand-in-hand both in cultural and economic development. We will hear the story of one of the most successful coffee entrepreneurs of the early 20th century, who’s first shop was in Grand Central and who was a woman!
In between sampling coffee at some of the retailers that popularized America’s favorite beverage, you’ll get a crash course in coffee history from its ancient discovery in Africa to its sustainable farming movements of the past few years. We will also highlight many of Greenwich Village’s hidden historical gems, like the Minetta Brook, and explain their connection to coffee. By the end of this experience you will have tasted: an espresso, a drip coffee, chocolate covered coffee beans and a cappuccino… so you will be caffeinated!
Secrets of Grand Central Tour
Did you know there is a hidden tennis court inside Grand Central Terminal? Or that its ceiling is backwards? Discover the many secrets of this New York City icon! Close to a million people pass through Grand Central Terminal every day, yet very few know the many stories and secrets which you will learn on this tour. On this unique walking tour you will discover the origins and history of the Beaux Arts train station, from its glittering glory days to disrepair and modern quests to save it.
Our top rated tour guides will make you experience what most miss: its hidden features, design quirks, and much more. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or stroll through the Grand Central for the first time, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, and experienced something new and extraordinary. This tour of Grand Central Terminal is great for history or architecture buffs alike.
We’ll be adding more experiences, so stay tuned on our tours page for updates!