New York City Festivals

Hi, I’m back with a new article about some of the festivals that might be on depending on when you want to make your trip to New York City (after winning our contest of course! Sign up here if you haven’t already!)

Here’s some familiar New York City festivals and not so familiar ones.  You’ll find out what’s going on during the year at our NYCityVacay Facebook Fanpage. Go there when you’re curious about what New Yorkers are up to at any given time of the year!

I listed one for each month of the year, if applicable:

1) January Winter Jazzfest

It’s a two-night jazz marathoners featuring well known jazz musicians and new up-an-comers. You buy one ticket to attend as many shows as you want during this musical marathon.

Here’s their suggested lineup for 2017:

(Video cortesy of youtube channel for

2) February Central Park Ice Festival

What could be more fun than watching a bunch of artists and technicians create something WONDERFUL in the middle of winter for you to feast your eyes upon!

Be sure to be dressed warmly now!

And of course before and after you view the icy sculptures, take a stroll in Central Park.

3) March  St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Every March 17, it starts at 11 AM ET and runs along 5th ave. It can start anywhere on the street so check before going.

Celebrations continue long into the night!

(Video courtesy of Talon Sei on Youtube)

4) April Tribeca Film Festival

This is actor Robert Diniro’s baby.

He shows “buzzworthy premieres, under-the-radar docs and breakout indies.” Passes are priced as high as $1,250 for total access to all events and talks to as low as  $10 for matinees and $21 for evening and weekend attendance.

This is truly one of the premier events among New York City festivals!

Visit this special event the last week in April.

5) May (and September) Washington Square Art Exhibit

Actually this event is held on two weekends in May and June for Memorial Day Weekend and also in September for two weekends starting on Labour Day weekend.

This art exhibit is a sidewalk show, not a street fair.

It showcases fine artists and craft artisans from around the New York metropolitan area and also attracts other American and International artists. People come from all over to view the work of these artists and artisans.

6) July 4th of July Fireworks

Come celebrate America’s birthday with a wonderful and famous display of Macy’s $1 Million fireworks at the Hudson River (east river).

Get there early!

7) October New York City Comedy Festival

Many of the worlds greatest and funniest comedians come from or first got started in this city. So it’s no surprise that this would be a much sought after event among New York City festivals.

This one rolls in in October every year.  Plan well because locals love their comedy and buy up the tickets!

(Video courtesy of TBS on Youtube)

8) November NYC Craft Beer Festival

Early November, first weekend of November. You’ll be able to sample some 150 rare and seasonal brews, ciders and meads from American and international brewers.

Find out more at

9) Also in November,  we can’t forget the New York City Marathon! New Yorker happily support the 30,000 marathoners who flock to the city every year.

It’s held the 1st weekend of November.

10) December Christmas Tree Lighting  at Rockerfeller Center occurs on the first week of December.

11) December 31 at Midnight.

You cannot forget about New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square! Here’s what it was like in 2016:

(Video courtesy of New China TV)

Pretty cool, huh?

Top Ten New York Highlights

New York is full of wonderful sights. I want to talk about what I think are among the top ten New York highlights.

Be sure you put them into your travel plans the next time you visit! You won’t be disappointed!

I will tell you this though, it was REALLY hard to decide what these Top Ten New York Highlights are in order, so I didn’t even try. So, at random I just picked the order to write about them. Here goes:

1) The Statue of Liberty

top ten New York Highlights
Top ten New York highlights

This statue was a gift from France to celebrate the USA’s 100th birthday (July 1, 1876.) It has become a symbol of freedom and enlightenment.

You’ll find it in New York’s harbor in the lower part of the island.

2) Ellis Island

Ellis Island is where the Statue of Liberty is located. So it just seemed natural to just go there!

Twelve million immigrants arrived to America here and their descendants now comprise 40% of today’s population – an incredible statistic that should make you stop and think about what it meant to come here to so many people!

3) Central Park

Top ten New York Highlight
Horizontal aerial view of central park during the fall or winter months.

This park is used ALL year round.  It’s huge and ALSO the home of the New York City Zoo.

Plan to spend a couple of days straight in here to see everything!

4) Fifth Avenue

Whereas I think that Rodeo Drive in Hollywood is not much different from many of the high-end malls in Los Angeles these days, I do think that Fifth Avenue in New York still has a mystique about it. The stores are still unique and designer.

It’s not just the merchandise, it’s also the architecture of grand old buildings such as the Grand Army Plaza and Millionaire’s Row which make this a standout street to visit.

5) The Rockerfeller Center

You could spend the whole day here! It’s a center piece of an informal museum with over 100 pieces of artwork. The Prometheus Statue is well known and you’ll see it all the internet. And right in front of it is a beautiful skating rink to be enjoyed all winter long!

(Video courtesy of WS Westwood on Youtube)

You can watch The Today Show everyday from  the sidewalk! Yeap, you would have perfectly GOOD reasons to spend an entire day here!

6) And what about the various museums? Among my favorites are The American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (affectionately known as MoMA) and the Solomon  R. Guggenheim Museum.

If you go to our Facebook Fanpage you’ll get updates on what’s going on there and in other museums.

7) Times Square

Cannot talk about New York without talking about Times Square. It’s close to the theatre district. It’s got great hotels over looking it.

This is really the part of New York that lends to its reputation that this is the city that does NOT sleep. You walk outside in the middle of the night and God, you swear it’s still daylight!

8) Empire State Building

Well, Art Deco is one of my favorite architectural and fashion eras – it certainly covered a lot of areas of art and design! So this building fascinates me.

Enjoy its beauty. Inside and out!

9) The Dakota

This apartment building is the site of John Lennon’s (the former Beatle) murder. It is located at 1 West 72nd St at Broadway.  It is unfortunately closed to the public but if you just happen to be passing by…

10) United Nations (UN) Headquarters

The mission of the UN is to spread peace and economic and social well being. Human relations are often complex and countries are made up of humans. So it continues to try to accomplish what could be regarded as impossible to please everyone!

It was formed in 1945 and 193 members meet in the General Assembly.

So there you have it! A very difficult list. As I said at the beginning this list of Top Ten New York Highlights is just a random list of what I thought are great places to visit while in New York.


Top 10 Things To Do In New York On Rainy Days

Ok, so you can’t always hit perfectly good weather when you’re on a trip on vacation.

The weather can turn on you and New York rainy days will surely happen.

Of course you want to have a good time. So why not just plan for those days when the weather gets wet. There’s plenty of things to do indoors in New York City. Let those New York rainy days make you explore options that you might not consider.

You just got to be open minded about it and allow yourself to have fun NO MATTER what. That’s the mark of a great travel experience!

So I’ve listed these, not in any particular order, but as the ideas came:

1. Shopping. There’s tons of shopping you can do in New York, but you can wander around for hours in New York’s massive Macy’s department store. Or visit the Shops of Columbus Circle, near central Park, where you can spend the day indoors, shopping and eating. Great to do when New York rainy days hit your vacation!

2. Chelsea Market. It’s completely indoor with unlimited entertainment, between the Artists & Flea market, the bookstore, and the home goods shops.

3. Fat Cat in the West Village. You can drink beer while playing ping pong, shuffle puck, Scrabble, or pool. And they have live jazz too later in the day!

4. Museums. Most of these places take a day to go through anyways! So for rain days, check out The American Museum of Natural History – which is good for the kids and adults alike. There’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art to name just two.

5. Afternoon tea. You might not associate New York with afternoon tea, but one of the places you can find it is at the Ritz Carlton Central Park. Delicious teas and finger sandwiches. Makes my mouth water while writing this!

6. New York Aquarium. Ok, so it’s wet OUTSIDE, but let’s go visit some creatures that don’t mind living in water all the time. Love this place. Rain or Shine!

7. Baked in Brooklyn. This is a pottery studio which is also family-friendly. Located in Williamsburg, you can paint bowls, mugs, plates, piggybanks and more! NOTE: The pieces take a week to to be glazed and fired, so Baked in Brooklyn is a good stop if you’re going to be in town for an extended vacation.

8. New York Public Library. Not just for the books – look for some of the 90,000 events they hold every year in various locations. Events posted daily.

9. Sports. Depending on the time of the year, you can take in NHL games with the New York Rangers (September to April), NBA games with the New York Knicks (October – April), NWBA games with the New York Liberty (May – September) or the Millrose Games, the world’s longest-running indoor track & field meet (February). Sports venues make a lot of sense when New York rainy days happen. Enjoy!

10. The Strand. For book lovers – and I’m one of them – a gigantic book store that offers 18 MILES of new, used, and rare books. Talk to the most knowledgeable staff in the city if you can’t find something!

Top 10 FREE Things to do in New York!

New York City is one of my favorite cities to visit.

And it’s especially great when you can find some little gems that people might not think about.

So here are my top 10 free things to do in New York City! This news will make you happy.

Let’s start with #10:

10. Upright Citizens Brigade

New York has produced and attracted many of America’s great comedians. From Jack Benny to Jerry Seinfeld, there’s always stand up comedy.

And at select nights during the week, you can get in free. Just go to to find out what’s going on when you’re in town.

9. El Museo del Barrio

Every third Saturday of any month, El Museo del Barrio celebrates Super Sabado, showcasing 800 years of Latino art and culture.

8. New York Public Library

This library hosts many free lectures and readings. Look it up for their schedule.

7. Want a free beer?

The Brooklyn Brewery has free tours on the half hour every Saturday and Sunday and you can get a sample of their brew during the tour too!

6. Open House New York

Experience some of the finest architecture in the city including churches and government buildings, held in October every year.

Now let’s explore the top of the list of top 10 FREE things you can do in New York City.

5. Chelsea Art Galleries

Over in Chelsea many art galleries have FREE entry on Thursday nights.

There are often free openings with free refreshments and little nibbles to enjoy along with the art. Take advantage of the art and a drink too!

4. Downtown Boathouse Kayaks

You probably wouldn’t think this was possible, but you can get a kayak for FREE at certain locations along the Hudson River and also Governor’s Island.

I know some of you would really love some water sports.

3. TV Shows

Guess what?  You can be part of a TV show audience for FREE at one of the famous TV shows that are produced in New York City.

Click here to get pick a show and get tickets! Pretty cool huh?

2. New York Philharmonic in the Park

The city’s Philharmonic orchestra appears in Central Park during the summer months and in all five boroughs of the city.

Bring a blanket to sit on, some drinks and snacks and enjoy an evening of beautiful music.

And finally the NUMBER ONE thing in our top 10 FREE things is …..

1. Staten Island Ferry

This is such a pleasant surprise and it’s FREE!

The ferry will take you past many landmarks including New York Harbour, the Statue of Liberty and the magnificent New York skyline. Plus many others.

And you don’t pay a thing for the tour. No wonder it’s a top #1 choice of many tourists and residents alike.

If YOU LOVE New York City and you’d love to visit it either the first time or as a repeat visitor, ENTER our contest for a 3 Day Free Vacation in New York City right here.

Imagine yourself at various times of the year, being there.

Keep up-to-date with some pretty neat ideas and events at our Facebook page as well as come back for more in-depth news in our blog.

WIN a holiday in New York city!