Hello, dear readers! Like most of you, we are NOT visiting all the places in person right now as COVID cases continue to increase across the country. We are, however, visiting lots of places online. And since the holidays are now upon us, we wanted to update this post from the spring to include some fun virtual holiday events, too!
Virtual Holiday Events
- The Nutcracker: Enjoy the holiday classic presented online by the New York City Ballet.
- Hip Hop Nutcracker: Or for a slightly less orthodox take, check out the Hip Hop Nutcracker instead!
- Christmas Carol: Another holiday favorite is the Christmas Carol, and you can enjoy a reimagined version presented online by the Classical Theater of Harlem.
- New Year’s Eve in Times Square: There won’t be any events open to the public, but you’ll still be able to ring in the New Year with a virtual ball drop in NYC>
- Rose Parade: For many, watching the Rose Parade is a holiday tradition. It will be a little different this year, but you can still enjoy it from the safety and comfort of your home.
NYC Tour Companies Providing Virtual Experiences
Here in NYC, there are a few tour companies we love, and they are all offering virtual experiences to keep New Yorkers (and anyone, really!) engaged and exploring the city, albeit from the comfort of our own homes.
- New York Adventure Club: NYAC has teamed up with several of their unique tour locations to offer virtual tours and presentations during the pandemic. They also have classes about wine, whiskey, tea, and more! There is no membership fee or special signup required – simply register and pay the posted fee for each event you wish to attend.
- Untapped New York: Become an Untapped New York Insider to gain access to free virtual tours and events about many of NYC’s hidden gems.
- Turnstile Tours: Turnstile Tours offers programming about NYC’s naval and military history, street food, modern-day manufacturing, and more. They have daily virtual events for $5 or you can buy an all-access pass for $35 which allows you to attend all of their virtual events and access recordings of past events, too.
- Bowery Boys: The Bowery Boys are best known for their popular NYC-centric podcast, but they started offering tours in the past year as well, several of which you can now join virtually. Or…you can travel through years of NYC history through their archive of free podcast recordings, too!
Virtual Visits to Popular NYC Attractions
- Broadway: Theaters are shuttered until May 2021, but we can still get your Broadway fix in the meantime through Broadway HD‘s streaming service (for a fee).
- Central Park: While most parks are open in NYC, they’re still a bit crowded, making social distancing a bit of challenge. If you still want to enjoy the park without leaving the safety of your home, take this .5-mile virtual walk instead.
- Statue of Liberty: Getting inside the statue in normal times is a challenge, but it’s even more difficult now due to COVID. Never fear, though – now you can visit the statue virtually!
- Ellis Island: Once you leave the statue, stop next at Ellis Island to complete your virtual visit.
- Empire State Building Observatory: Check out the views from atop the Empire State Building without ever leaving the house through the Empire State Building’s Live Cam!
- Brooklyn Bridge: Join Viewing NYC for a 30-minute virtual walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge. After you “cross” the bridge, check out some of their videos of other famous NYC attractions.
- Bronx Zoo: NYC’s zoos may be closed to the public, but you can still visit the Bronx Zoo’s animals virtually through a regular series of videos posted on Instagram.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Met is offering virtual walk-throughs of several exhibits, video commentaries by artists, live virtual events, and more. They even have a whole series of videos from their film archives.
- New York Botanical Garden: You can virtually stroll through the New York Botanical Garden and even take a virtual walk through their famous orchid show!
- Shakespeare in the Park: Though it’s not safe to sit in a theater at the moment (or in that line to get free tickets!), you can still watch summer 2019’s performance of Much Ado About Nothing online for free.
- One World Explorer: One World Observatory is still closed, but they have a video series featuring many of NYC’s most popular attractions, including the Cloisters, the UN, Coney Island, and more.
- New York Landmarks Conservancy: Get a virtual look at some landmarked NYC destinations in the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s “Tourist in Your Own Town” video series.
Great Resources for Exploring and Experiencing NYC Virtually
If you’re looking for even more ways to explore and experience NYC from the safety of your own home, check out these two sites:
- Eventbrite Online Events: Eventbrite has a massive assortment of online classes, presentations, live-streamed concerts, and more. You can even filter on free events if the lockdown has you living on a budget.
- Virtual NYC by NYCgo: Many NYC attractions are adapting to the new stay-at-home lifestyle, and the city’s tourist organization has a pretty comprehensive list of all your favorite locations’ virtual experiences.
We look forward to the day when we are able to get back outside and start pursuing new adventures, but in the meantime, we’re going to continue to keep close to home and to do our part to help stop the spread. As they say: This, too, shall pass.
You might not hear much from Visit All the Places in the coming weeks or months, but when it’s safe enough to start exploring again, I promise you’re going to hear all about it!