Tour, Explore and Save During Attractions Week

Today begins NYC Attractions Week! During the next two and a half weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy 2-for-1 tours, culture and performing arts programs throughout the city. Below, we’ve picked out the adventures we think of the most for your time and money and a less traditional experience.

Like a Local Tours

Like a Local’s food tours are a great value AND a great adventure in eating. Try out the Flatiron Food, History and Architecture Tour for a taste of it all, culture, cuisine and comradery.

Madame Tussauds New York

There’s no denying it, Madame Tussauds is just plain fun! It’s impossible to leave without an endless supply of silly, pseudo celebrity selfies and a giant smile on your face.

One World Observatory

There’s nothing like seeing NYC from its highest point. The view from the top three floors of One World Trade Center and absolutely spectacular and give you a whole new perspective on the city you’ve come to enjoy.

Spirit of New York

If you’re looking for a meal with a view, look no further than Spirit of New York. Enjoy a leisurely river cruise while you eat, drink and dance the evening away!

Untapped Cities

For those of you who have been the city many times, this is the tour experience for you. Untapped Cities explores the lesser known history and places of NYC in a variety of subjects, including art, cuisine, transportation, architecture and more.

For a full list of participating venues, visit NYCGO.com.

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Alternative Ways to Ring in the New Year in NYC

There are few holiday traditions quite as famous across the globe as the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square. For many, there is no better way to celebrate the coming of a New Year than gathering in Times Square to watch the symbolic spectacle along with tens of thousands of like-minded individuals. But for those for whom standing in a cramped crowd for hours in freezing temperatures isn’t their cup of tea, The Roosevelt is helping you make the most of your New Year’s Eve with this list of alternative ways to ring in the New Year in New York City. No matter what you choose to do, make sure to stop by The Roosevelt’s own Madison Club Lounge and enjoy a $40 bottle of La Marca Prosecco, perfect for ringing in a wonderful new year.

NYRR Midnight Run

Run away from 2016 as fast as you can and cross the finish line in a brand new year. This four-mile run begins at the stroke of midnight and is illuminated by a fireworks display as runners trek across the city in celebration of the coming of 2017. Break out of the crowd and set your pace for the coming year.

Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour

Learn a little bit of New York history this New Year’s Eve and enjoy a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge. This walking tour encompasses both city hall and the Brooklyn bridge where some of the city’s finest tour guides will entertain you with many little-known facts about the city’s 19th century technical marvel.

Polar Bear Plunge

While it might not save you getting cold, plunge into the New Year with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. This icy cold dip into the Atlantic is a refreshing way to start the year and is sure to make a lasting impression. Make sure to register before the big day and bring something warm to wrap yourself in afterward.

New Year’s Eve Bike Ride & Outdoor After Party

Rather than stand or sit this New Year’s Eve, grab your bike or your skates and take part in an exciting way to, both, ring in the New Year and keep warm. The ride starts at Washington Square Park and culminates at Belvedere Castle with a party featuring fireworks, music, and plenty of dancing.

Pub Crawl

New York City has plenty of bars, and with the rise of craft beers in recent years, a night on the town means a night of sampling some of the finest brews from all over the country. Find a pub-crawl that fits your tastes or spend the time looking up New York’s finest bars (with a little help from The Roosevelt) to plan the perfect crawl of you own.

Dance Cruise

Celebrate the New Year from the sea surrounding the city with a New Years Eve Dance cruise. With drinks and appetizers provided for one flat price, revelers need only come ready for a good time and set sail toward 2017 in style.

 

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Ice Skating Beyond the Rock

During the winter months, New York City certainly sees its fair share of snow and ice and, when weather conditions conspire, walking and driving conditions themselves can become rather slick. This holiday season The Roosevelt is giving you a list of some of the best places to enjoy a little bit of seasonal magic in the form of ice skating around the city. Add a little fun to your holiday stay at the hotel and practice for future inclement weather with this list of some of our favorite places to skate in the city that are often overshadowed by the popular rink at Rockefeller Center.

Wollman Rink

Perhaps as iconic as the Rockefeller Rink itself, Wollman Rink in Central Park is frequented by casual skaters looking for a leisurely session on the ice. For those who don’t take to skating naturally, Wollman is the perfect beginner’s spot, featuring the world’s largest learn-to-skate program in the country.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink

When it comes to the holidays, the Winter Village at Bryant Park has it all and, between shopping and sampling delicious dinners, a little bit of skating is all that’s needed to make the season right. The ice-skating rink is always free and open late, but those without skates will need to rent a pair. Crowds vary depending on the time of day but during off-peak hours the rink offers plenty of space to try your hand at some tricks.

Abe Stark Rink

Switch up the scenery with this seaside skating rink, offering weekend revelry for all who wish to enjoy some slippery fun. Originally a saltwater pool, this transformed rink keeps the Coney Island excitement going during the holiday season when the theme parks are closed. Sessions last for three hours, giving new and experienced skaters alike plenty of time to show their skills.

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

Hockey may be most closely associated with the holiday season, but at the Sky Rink there’s no need to wait until the temperature drops. Open year round this indoor ice rink welcomes skaters of all levels, as well as hockey players and figure skaters to help both beginnings and pros alike hone their skills.

World Ice Arena

The holiday season transforms the World Ice Arena into something a little more magical than its normal classes and skating education. Weekends bring an exciting opportunity to skate with Santa while Christmas Day invites guests from all over the area to enjoy a white Christmas gliding across the ice.

Staten Island Skating Pavilion

While this indoor skating rink is also open year round, it caters only to hockey teams and freestyle figure-skaters during the week.  Public sessions are available on the weekend, however, providing ample time to get acquainted with slick surfaces that may appear around the city.

City Ice Pavillion

Skate above the rest of the city on the only rooftop rink in the big apple. Featuring a separate second synthetic rink to help with spillover, this enchanting rink helps those who want to do laps stay safe from the more aggressive skaters looking to play around with a stick and puck.

Aviator Sports and Events Center

Ice skating is just part of the adventure waiting for visitors to Aviator Sports. Beside its two large skating rinks, this complex features a gym, arcade, rock wall, bungee jumping, and air hockey, turning it into a veritable winter wonderland of entertainment for kids and thrill seekers of all ages this holiday season.

Ice-Skating at LeFrak Center

Prospect Park is full of ambitious projects, and the Lakeside area may be one of it’s most ambitious. With various seasonal activities all year long, the LeFrak Center offers visitors a chance to enjoy the scenery year round, but only offers ice skating during the colder months. Enjoy the holidays surrounded by the scenic views of Lakeside and witness one of the city’s largest projects brought to life in holiday splendor.

 

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National Lager Day and the Best Craft Bars in NYC

There’s never a bad time to enjoy a refreshing cold beer, but on December 10th, make your favorite flavor known and raise a glass to National Lager Day. Craft beers have flooded bars around the world in recent years, becoming a culture all their own and allowing beer drinkers to branch ot and try new styles of beer they had never before considered. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just a casual consumer, there’s likely to be a craft brew out there that’s a perfect pour for you. If you’re looking to discover your next great pint, check out this list of some of New York’s finest craft breweries and celebrate National Lager Day the right way, with a glass in your hand.

Start your National Lager Day early with a trip to The Vander Bar at The Roosevelt today and pour yourself a special seasonal Brooklyn lager, brewed by locals for enjoyment in New York city. Then come back tomorrow and add the Madison Club Lounge to your list for a perfect brew paired with a meal that compliments fans of hops and malts alike.

Blind Tiger Ale House

281 Bleecker St. (at Jones St.)

When you think of great craft beer in New York City, there’s one name known from SoHo to the West Villages: Blind Tiger. This cozy pub has been serving up fresh drafts and delicious microbrews since 1995 and offers an impressive array of brews alongside fun events like meet-the-brewers nights. For something a little more filling, try the incredible bar menu.

Proletariat

102 St. Marks Pl. (between 1st Ave. and Ave. A)

The best craft beer is brewed in small batches and served in small taprooms. At Proletariat a cozy barroom consisting of just 10 stools makes simplicity its mantra, serving up a variety of bottles alongside a delicious menu of 10 rotating drafts from across the country.

Alewife Queens

5-14 51st Ave. Long Island City, NY

This Long Island gem is the place to go if you’re looking for hard to find brews. With a selection of 28 taps dispensing everything from old world classics to new American brews, Alewife offers a charming location with a balanced selection to please every palette. With the holiday season in full swing, Alewife can even host your next holiday party and make it warm and bubbly.

Bronx Alehouse

216 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 10463

One of the greatest reasons to visit the Bronx, this world-class bar pours a pint for every patron and encourages all of its visitors to try a little something new. Whether you have a favorite or are looking for something new the Bronx Alehouse offers 16 domestic taps, 30 bottles, and one rotating cask. Join the club and sample 100 different types of beer to have your name added to the pub’s wall of fame and leave your legacy in the big city.

Spuyten Duyvil

359 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Broooklyn, NY 11211

Another believer in the less-is-more approach, this bar keeps its selection small with only six drafts and one cask available at any time, but ensure that the beer it serves its patrons is fresh and approved. If you’re looking for variety, Spuyten has it by the bottle load, with over 100 choices ready to crack open and enjoy with the best that the city has to offer.

Torst

615 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Slip into this Manhattan Avenue bar if you’re looking for drafts that are hard to find elsewhere in the city with a rotating 21-tap menu that features rare brews from across Europe and North America. With a unique selection of beer you won’t find anywhere else in the city like hearty smoked stouts, this bar draws beer fans of all kinds to sample the flavors of the season.

The Pony Bar

637 10th Ave. (at 45th St.)

Those looking for better beers in Hell’s Kitchen will delight in making the trek over to The Pony Bar. With 20 taps serving everything from your standard beers to heavier brews like stouts and porters, this bar is fit to please. Pair your drinks with a delicious selection of bar food and place your bets on the best place to spend your evening in the Kitchen.

 

 

 

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The Roots of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Christmas is a holiday fraught with endless forms of symbolism and, as we approach the coming holiday, New York City prepares once again to welcome the most iconic Christmas symbol again, tonight starting at 7:00 pm. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree tradition is entering its 84th year this holiday season, continuing a rich history of bringing light and the spirit of Christmas to, not only New Yorkers but, people across the world as well.

New York Times Associated Press Rockefeller Christmas Tree 1931
(New York Times/Associated Press) Rockefeller Christmas Tree 1931

Unofficially begun in 1931, the tradition began when construction workers at the Rockefeller Center site got together to purchase a 20-foot balsam fir decorated with garlands handmade by their families. Two years later, the newly opened Rockefeller Center officially began the tradition, holding its first annual lighting ceremony. Only three years later a second tree was added to commemorate the opening of the Rockefeller Skating Rink and, with that, a true holiday tradition was born.

As America entered WWII, the tree lighting ceremony had to be altered each year to account for the changing state of the country. The décor of the tree featured more red white and blue in order to inspire patriotism, and, in 1942 when war materials were scarce, Rockefeller Center displayed three small trees rather than the traditional single large one. This year also became the first year that the tree was replanted after the holidays to help conserve resources. While the tree remained unlit in 1944 due to wartime regulations, the end of the war saw the end of the darkness for the famous tree, illuminating it once more with six new ultraviolet light projectors. By the 1950’s the tradition and tree had grown so large that it took twenty workers nine days to decorate it on scaffolding surrounding the tree. This fame only continued to grow with the first televised tree lighting, with NBC highlighting the event on The Kate Smith Show.

Since its debut as a 20-foot balsam, the Rockefeller Tree has grown in both fame and size, with 1998’s tree being flown in on the world’s largest transport plane from Richfield, Ohio. The year after that, the largest tree in the tradition’s history was displayed, a monstrous 100-foot spruce, from Killingworth, Connecticut. In order to make use of the tree beyond its lighting, the Rockefeller Tree has been recycled since 1971. Originally used to make mulch, the Rockefeller tree began serving a higher purpose in 2006 when it was given to Habitat for Humanity each year, where it’s milled, treated, and made into lumber to help build homes for those in need. Alongside going to help those in need, the tree remains energy conscious, with a switch to LED lights in 2007, saving over 1,200 kilowatts of electricity per day.

This year’s tree is a 94-foot beauty from central New York, donated by Angie and Graig Eicler, and will feature 50,000 rainbow LED lights alongside decorations and the now famous star, first placed on the tree in 2004. Whether you’re watching from home, or witnessing the spectacle firsthand, tune in tonight and experience a tradition known around the world as the start of the Christmas season.

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