Of course it’s not possible see it all in NYC! But we are talking about seeing the usual tourist activities that everyone must go through when visiting the great city; The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, MoMA, The Met, Top of the Rockefeller and so on. When you feel satisfied with your amount of visited rooftop bars, museums and Broadway shows you might be ready to discover where the actual culture and deep soul of NYC hides. We’ve listed five alternative evening activities to do in New York City when you have seen it all!
Speakeasy bars are hidden bars with a history going all the way back to World War 2. Because it wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol, hidden bars appeared all over New York City. The rumour of the bars went mouth to mouth and it was a secret how to get into the bars! Every speakeasy bar is different and therefore every way to enter is different. Some you have to walk through pharmacies or barbershops to get to a hidden backdoor that leads the pass way to the bar. Others you have to go to an old telephone booth and talk with the host over the phone to get shown the way to the actual bar. When you enter the bars you will notice that alcohol is often served in teacups, because it was illegal to drink alcohol and if the police found the bar everyone would lie about drinking tea. The walls are likewise covered with posters of the old laws like ‘It is illegal to drink spirits’ making you feel like a naughty underage kid drinking alcohol for the first time. What all the speakeasy bars have in common is that they often serve food and drinks and have a fun and lively atmosphere, which creates the best foundation for a good night out in the city.
Speakeasies and how to get in:
2. Jazz clubs!
Jazz clubs are definitely a good alternative to the cold seasons of winter and spring and New York City is the home of several soulful Jazz clubs that will remind you what music is really about. You can choose to drop by or book tickets to specific Jazz artist every night every season. Often you can choose to dine at the clubs while sipping wine or drinks making the music even more euphoric to experience. Most clubs offer the more traditional jazz that most people enjoy, but some have more experimental shows where you really can explore what Jazz can offer alternative music. Grab your lover or close friends to enjoy a sensual and lively evening in one of New Yorks soulful Jazz clubs.
3. Burlesque shows!
Another fun experience to have in New York that appeals to groups of friends that want to have a fun evening out, is going to a Burlesque show! This might inspire you or push your boundaries depending on who you are, but it will for sure entertain you and make a good foundation for conversations around the drinks table. At multiple locations, there will be a service of food and beverages and the atmosphere is always very chatty and full of life. A perfect alternative for making a good base for a fun night out in NYC!
Duane Park is an all-night experience with dinner and drinks while watching the show. The price is more expensive, but it is a beautiful and fun experience and as mentioned a whole evening deal. For information:
Nurse Bettie is a late night show that doesn’t include dinner but offers cheap drinks and happy hour. This is a very good alternative for a cheaper experience.
4. Sleep No More Theater! At McKittrick Hotel
The Sleep No More Theater is an interactive theatre, where you as the audience become a living part of the play. The play is a horror story so be sure that you don’t have a weak soul before entering the theatre setting. You will be handed a facemask that you have to wear throughout the play, which means that the whole audience walks around wearing spooky masks. During the play, you can walk around the whole interactive theatre gathering bits and pieces of the whole story ending in a grand finally. You can get drinks in the bar but even the bartender has a role to play in the story. It is truly a really fun and different experience to have and it will with guarantee make an impression on you. If you have ever watched Gossip Girl or Sex and the City you might be able to remember the main character of these series going to this theatre.
The McKittrick Hotel
5. Karaoke bars in Chinatown!
Chinatown is the place on earth with the biggest community of Chinese people outside China and is especially known for amazing Chinese food and cheap beverages. But what Chinatown also has to offer is hidden karaoke bars that have the most hilarious atmosphere! These karaoke bars are hidden in the back of Chinese restaurants and bars, so you wouldn’t know that they are there if you walk past the restaurants on the street. In most locations, you can book a private room allowing your company to go all Britney behind closed doors, which might be a relief for some people. If you are however all about karaoke with China Towns authentic residents you are more than welcome to join them in the main karaoke room.
Inhabit Karaoke Lounge:
39 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
40 Mulberry St, New York, NY10013