As the end of the week approaches, you’re often left asking yourself the age-old question “What am I doing for fun?” Sure there are plenty of things to do, but why waste time on the same boring things. You can go out to eat, have a drink, or catch the latest flick, but let’s be serious, you can do that anywhere anytime. Let’s dive into some of the über-cool, “only in New York” activities you’ve long been wanting to check out, but just haven’t had the mental bandwidth to think of it.
Sleep No More
This interactive and creepy, but creative, spin on Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of my favorite activities in New York City. At your arrival to Sleep No More, you’re handed a playing card (your hotel “room key”), a mask and are admitted to the McKittrick Hotel Lobby Lounge. As you wait your turn listening to live jazz tunes in a 1920’s style speakeasy, it’s not long before you’re whisked away by a hotel attendant for an individual 2-hour, no-talking adventure throughout five floors of an old warehouse (modeled after an old boutique hotel) on New York City’s West Side. During these wild, heart-racing two hours, you follow actors and approach scenes in different “hotel rooms,” looking for clues to decipher the story. After all is said and done, everyone gathers back in the lounge to discuss their action-filled adventure (no two people have similar experiences, and no two visits are alike), or head up to their gorgeous rooftop for some crafty cocktails and stunning views of the city. But wear comfortable shoes, as you will be active for the full time.
There’s no shortage of food (and good food at that) in the Big Apple, and when someone puts them all in one convenient location for your fabulous feasting needs, I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. These gastronomical gatherings help you to see and taste New York City like a local, and whether you’re into pizza, pasta, or just purely delicious eats, there’s a food tour (or two) right up your alley. So, depending on your noshing needs you may want to check out Foods of New York Tours, which includes tastings of pizzas, cheeses and sweets – Oh My! Or if you want to make your way to Brooklyn, you can also scope out the A Taste of Brooklyn tour by Live Like A Local Tours for some of the best bites around town!
Swanky Magic Show
Sure we’ve all seen the rabbit in the hat trick or heard the words “Abracadabra”, but when Steve Cohen waves his wand, you’re in for something special. Since 2000, Cohen, also known as “The Millionaire’s Magician,” has wowed wondering observers at his swanky show. Housed in a rather surreptitious suite at the famed Waldorf Astoria, this Manhattan magician uses his quick fingers for some thought provoking, mind blowing magic tricks. Chamber Magic has become such a hit; it’s sold out weeks in advance. So, if magic is your muse, hurry up and snag your seats, because just like his magic tricks, they’re disappearing quickly!
Originally a form of political mockery or social satire, Burlesque dance was often frowned upon by many. But some have appreciated and participated in this underground art form turned it into a boundary-pushing, bold way of communicating a message. These often scandalous, but sensual performances took the stage by storm and are still around ‘til this day. And as New York City often does, it takes ownership of things and makes them even more fabulous. Here in the City that Never Sleeps, you can pop into any number of Burlesque Houses for a night of sensual seduction and daring dance. One of the oldest and best-known spots, The Slipper Room, has become a local favorite offering shows several nights a week. Not too far from there, Duane Park offers a more sophisticated version of the salacious show, with a beautiful décor and dynamite cocktail list. And while there are plenty more sexy-movement maisons to visit, I highly recommend starting with these two staples.
Escape the Room
Ever feel like there’s no way out and you have to find your way to get away? Well, this is the real life version, and it’s going to take a lot of sleuth work and team building to find your way out of this one. Based on a mobile app and computer game, this fun, interactive experience is one like no other. Locked in a room with no way out, you’ll use your inner detective to search for hidden compartments, secret passageways, and clues to plan your Great Escape. Much like a scavenger hunt, you have a set time frame in which to use your resources to “figure it out”. And while you might not succeed at every turn, it’s the journey that makes it all worthwhile. You can go on your own, with your significant other, or even make it a corporate team building experience, either way, there’s no way you won’t have fun at Escape the Room! ■