It’s time to start checking off your holiday shopping list, and Untapped New York is here to help! Every year we round up the most unique NYC themed gifts in a handy holiday guide. From book lovers and foodies, to transit nerds and urban explorers, check out our recommendations for the best NYC themed gifts of the season!

1. Autographed Copy of Secret Brooklyn

A copy of the book Secret Brooklyn

Whether you are shopping for someone who is new to Brooklyn or are a seasoned resident, Secret Brooklyn is the perfect guide to give. The book comes autographed by the authors and you can include a custom message! FREE SHIPPING with code BROOKLYN. Inside this book, written by Untapped New York’s founder Michelle Young and CEO Augustin Pasquet, readers will find nearly 150 quirky, off-the-beaten path, and hidden spots in New York City. Some of the fascinating sites revealed include a robotic church, a hidden rooftop garden, the smallest cemetery in New York City, remnants of a lost railroad tunnel you can get a drink in, and more. The recipient of this book will be able to track the footprints of a Revolutionary War-era mill in Marine Park, look for the wild parrots of Brooklyn, and locate a sunken yellow submarine, or hike on the former Ridgewood Reservoir, and more.


2. NYC Subway Traintrackr

Photograph Courtesy of Traintracker, 2020

Transit nerds will love this hi-tech NYC themed gift. Traintrackr uses live data received over WiFi to show the movement of MTA subway cars. The New York City subway map and train movements are displayed on a printed circuit board dotted with 599 red, green, blue, orange, yellow, white, and purple LEDs. The board shows all 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, W, Z and shuttle lines! Traintrackr has made PCB maps of transit systems all over the world, from the Boston MBTA to the London Underground. Get it here!


3. Custom New York Ornaments by Hoop and Hand

Custom ornaments by Hoop and Hand by NicoleImage Courtesy of Hoop and Hand by Nicole

Show off your love of New York with a custom, hand-embroidered ornament created by one of Untapped New York’s writers. Each ornament by Hoop and Hand is hand-stitched on a soft buffalo check patterned flannel and topped off with a big bow. You pick the fabric colors and what part of New York you’d like stitched to make it truly one-of-a-kind. Will you be outside of New York this holiday season, or want to connect with loved ones who live far away? Create your own two or three-state design and spread love all over the country! Untapped readers can save 15% off all items with code UNTAPPED15.


4. Untapped New York Tour Gift Card

Untapped Tour guide Mandy Edgecombe leads a Dutch New Amsterdam Tour

Give the urban explorers in your life the gift of adventure with an Untapped New York Gift Card. This gift card will be their passport to unlock the secrets of landmark New York City sites from Grand Central Terminal to the Brooklyn Bridge and to discover relics of the city’s past, from the hidden gems of Central Park’s North End, down to the remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam in Lower Manhattan. All of Untapped New York’s tours are led by expert local guides. On each tour, we will adhere to a strict set of safety measures to protect the health of both our guides and our guests. You can see all of our upcoming experiences here!


5. Books About New York City

Books about NYCBook covers courtesy of the publishers

Over the course of 2020 Untapped New York has covered the release of many enthralling books about New York City. Insiders even got to meet a bunch of the authors in our virtual book talks! Some of the books we loved and recommend this year include Art Hiding in NY, Suffragette City, Sittin In’, Enchanted New York, Posh Portals, 99 Percent Insivible City, and We Came to Here Shine, among others. These books include both fiction and non-fiction titles that cover a range of topics from a historic suffragette march and the magical goings-on of Broadway, to mid-century jazz clubs and the magnificent architecture of New York city entryways.

6. Water Tower Kits

Water tower kitImage via Boundless Brooklyn

For the creative on your list, let them get artsy with a water tower kit from Boundless Brooklyn. These mini versions of New York’s iconic water towers are made of 100% recycled material and offer a blank slate which you can leave plain, or decorate with your own design. These easy-to-assemble, customizable kits come in a variety of sizes from five to fifteen inches tall and make perfect decor for a home office! After seven years in business, Boundless Brooklyn will be closing on Friday, December 18th. That means right now the shop is offering its lowest prices ever, up to 50% off!


7. Membership to Your Favorite Museum

Brooklyn's City Reliquary MuseumImage Courtesy of the City Reliquary Museum

It’s been a rough year for museums as the pandemic forced them to close during lockdown, so this holiday season is the perfect opportunity to give philanthropic NYC themed gifts. This holiday season, show support for your local museum by gifting a membership or making a donation in someone’s honor. Museum memberships often come with perks such as free admission, access to special events, and gift shop discounts. The gift of a museum membership or donation helps ensure that these treasured institutions stick around and have the resources needed to care for collections and provide services to the community. Many smaller New York City institutions that Untapped New York has had the pleasure of partnering with for some of our Insider Events such as The City Reliquary in Brooklyn, The Dyckman Farmhouse in Manhattan, the Morris Jumel Mansion, The Tibetan Art Museum on Staten Island, can especially use support this year. Don’t forget about your local green spaces too, like the Elizabeth Street Garden and the Queens Farm. Check out our list of museum partners for inspiration!

8. Adopt Part of the Brooklyn Greenway

Photo courtesy Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

The Brooklyn Greenway is a 26-mile stretch of protected and landscaped pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. The route will connect Brooklyn’s iconic waterfront, parks and open space, commercial and cultural corridors, and new tech and innovation when it is completed in 2021. Right now, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is trying to close its $55,000 budget gap by the end of 2020. One way you can help meet that year-end goal is to adopt a plant or tree along the Greenway. Donations of plants and trees support the local ecology and are vital to bees, birds, and butterflies. Gifts range in value from a $50 Anise hyssop, a plant that supports honeybees and bumblebees, to a $2,500 Plaza planter on Atlantic Avenue or Imlay Street. Every adoption is made official with a digital certificate of recognition.


9. Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee Kit

Since it’s still best practice to stay home from the bar, this Irish coffee kit from The Dead Rabbit in New York City will satisfy beverage connoisseurs and coffee lovers alike. Each kit includes two branded glasses, Dead Rabbit coffee, Demerara sugar, nutmegs and a grater, a custom jigger and shaker. All you need to add is cream and whiskey to complete the concoction! Bushmills Irish Whiskey is recommended to make a truly classic Irish Coffee. The Dead Rabbit is one of the stops on our Dutch New Amsterdam Tour and Pub Crawl.


10. Apartment Wrapping Paper

Apartment building wrapping paper for your NYC themed giftCopyright: Window. by Nick Sellek

Extend the New York City theme all the way to the packaging with this apartment window wrapping paper. The paper design was created by London-based Etsy shop owner Nick Selleck, who uses his own photographs to create these unique designs. Your NYC themed gifts will look like mini-New York high rises! You can choose between a brown or red brick building.


Next, check out Photos: 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lit! and 6 Stunning Department Store Holiday Windows to Check Out in NYC 2020