‘Tis the season! Every year we round up the most unique NYC themed gifts in a handy holiday gift guide. From architecture lovers and foodies, to transit nerds and urban explorers, check out our recommendations for the best NYC themed gifts for everyone on your list!
1. Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide (2nd Edition)
Written by Untapped New York co-founders Michelle Young and Augustin Pasquet, Secret Brooklyn: An Unusual Guide features over 125 of the borough’s hidden and bizarre places. This new edition features 20 new secret locations! This guide is written by and for New York City residents. Discover secret museums, go on an urban safari for wild parrots, enter the oldest building in New York City, watch a performance of robots in a church, step inside a grocery store frozen in 1939, and more. You can get an autographed copy directly from Untapped New York (shipped to you or picked up from our Brooklyn office) or a non-autographed copy on Amazon. You can also bundle it with our Untapped New York tote bag for a discounted price and get free shipping using the code BROOKLYN.
2. Vanmaps by Vanshnookenraggen
For the transit geek in your life: Vanmaps sells geographically accurate maps of the New York City subway, which our Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers recommends and uses in his popular underground subway tour. According to Vanmaps, “Unlike a traditional subway map which just shows train routes, stations, and a simplified geography for easier navigation, the Track Map shows how the system actually looks; each track, each switch, each station platform and each train yard is shown in a clear and clean design.” There’s a Complete and Geographically Accurate map, an IND Second System Track map, and maps of individual subway, LIRR, and Metro North lines.
3. Canned Cocktails by Death & Company
The perfect gift for any craft cocktail lover, these just-released ready-to-drink cocktails were created by the bartending geniuses behind Death & Company, one of the best hidden bars in New York City, in collaboration with the Craft Spirits Cooperative. Available either as singles or a four-pack, there are three flavors: Moonsail Fizz (Bimini gin, red bitter liqueur, passion fruit, vanilla syrup, and lime), Aurora Highball (Woody Creek Distillers vodka, Clear Creek pear brandy, Junmai sake, green tea, and mint syrup), and Ranger Buck (Woody Creek Distillers bourbon, American amaro, ginger syrup, and birch). They’re available nationwide at drinkfellows.com.
4. Untapped New York Gift Card
Looking for the perfect present for the urban explorer in your life? This holiday season, give the gift of discovery! We are very pleased to offer gift cards for our Untapped New York tours which can be used to purchase tickets for any of our public and private tours. You can buy gift cards in any denomination or buy a specific tour of your choice. They can be applied to any of our exciting experiences including the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, Underground Subway Tour, Remnants of New Amsterdam, Hidden Gems of the Financial District, the Remnants of Penn Station, and more!
5. Concrete Jungle Candle by Aerangis
This Concrete Jungle candle by Aerangis captures the pleasant scent of Midtown on a wet fall day. “My first visceral impression of New York City came stepping out of a subway station somewhere in midtown Manhattan one wet fall morning. I was mesmerized by the metallic colors and endless layers of granite, glass, and metal facades on the countless structures towering over me.,” recalls Alicia Tsai, who founded Aerangis after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s cosmetics and fragrance program and working alongside some of New York’s top fragrance leaders. This candle was inspired by her olfactory memories and features notes of cedarwood, hyacinth, and bergamot.
6. Finger Lakes Riesling by Artisans and Curators
Support local winemakers and gift this best-in-class wine from the Finger Lakes. Artisans and Curators SMALLHOLDINGS label is produced from hand-harvested grapes in the highest vineyard in the Finger Lakes. Their latest release, made by esteemed winemaker Hans Peter Weis, features dry and semi-dry Riesling wines with good acidity and minerality, and in the semi-dry wine, a touch of sweetness. Their Dry + Semi-Dry Horizontal bundle includes two bottles for $56.
7. The Carlyle Book
This beautiful new coffee table book is perfect for anyone who loves classic New York and specifically the classic New York Hotel, the Carlyle. Published by Assouline, the book celebrates the hotel’s 90th anniversary with never-before-seen photographs of the Carlyle Hotel from its earliest archives up to today and its beloved Bemelmans Bar, one of our favorite bars where a drink is served with a work of art. There are also exclusive interviews with the hotel’s A-list guests and a lovely essay by Lenny Kravitz, who reminisces about his many memories of the hotel starting in childhood.
8. Fort Ticonderoga Poster by The Pursuit of History
Inspired by 1930s WPA posters featuring America’s national parks, the Pursuit of History — a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Americans to their history — is launching a series of limited-edition posters celebrating historic sites neglected by the WPA. They tapped illustrator Larry Stuart to create three prints, two of which are being released now, while the last one will be released in March 2022. Each poster is 100% made in the U.S.A. and will have a limited run of 200 prints. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the posters will go to the site the poster depicts.
9. Untapped New York Insiders Membership
Give a passport to New York City’s secrets with an Untapped New York Insiders Membership! Untapped New York Insiders is a members-only club with free access to the city’s most off-limits places, events from the city’s leading cultural institutions, discounts to Untapped New York tours, and more. You can purchase a gift membership for a few months or the whole year. There are three different tiers of membership which each offer exciting perks. Previous Untapped New York Insider events include an after hours tour of the catacombs at Greenwood Cemetery, a first look at the Treasures exhibition at the New York Public Library, and a tour of Olde Good Things, which salvages artifacts from NYC landmarks, to name a few. You can see all upcoming Insider events here!
10. An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City
For the architecture lovers on your list, this gorgeous new book about New York City’s most beautiful Beaux-Arts buildings will make the perfect gift. Much more than just a pretty collection of photographs, this tome published by Images Publishing dives deep into the stories behind landmarks like Grand Central, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library, and the Frick Collection. As Julian Fellowes writes in the foreward, “Accompanied by sumptuous images from renowned photographer Jonathan Wallen, we glimpse inside these architectural masterpieces, learn a little about the men and women who commissioned and designed them, and read the fascinating stories that each of them share—some scandalous, some mere rumor, and some so notorious that they have become intertwined with the central, developing narrative that continues to be New York City.”
11. Bees Knees Honey Gift Set by Bushwick Kitchen
For your friend or family member who loves to cook — or just enhance their takeout pizza with some spicy honey — this trio of flavored honeys by the Bushwick Kitchen is the perfect gift. It comes with three flavors: meyer lemon, spicy, and salted honey as well as a cute dish towel featuring a map of Brooklyn. Aside from pizza, these honeys are great paired with cheese, biscuits, fried chicken, and ice cream.
12. Beer Making Kit by Brooklyn Brewshop
You know that friend who’s obsessed with craft beer and is always talking about making this own? This beer making kit by Brooklyn Brewshop will finally let him stop talking about brewing beer and actually do it! The kit comes with everything needed to brew a nice hoppy IPA, including two types of hops, yeast, all-grain mix, and all the necessary equipment.
13. Untapped New York Tote Bag
Our Untapped New York tote bag is just the thing for your friend or family member who wants to show their New York pride. It has an illustrated NYC designed by the Downtown Doodler and our logo, printed on both sides of the bag. Bundle it with an autographed copy of Secret Brooklyn for a discounted price! Use the code BROOKLYN to get free shipping.
This black heavy canvas tote bag with bottom gusset is made to carry a heavy load and to last years of usage with its durable reinforced stress points. 3″ gusset helps to carry more items. Printed in the USA. Bag dimensions: 15″W x 15″H x 3″D with 21″ handles.
Next, read about 11 festive holiday events in NYC for 2021!