Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Upcoming NYC Tours

By Alison Durkee

New York is now in the throes of the holiday season, where the cold weather sets in while the city lights up with festive decorations and holiday cheer. Close out the year and enjoy the city at this festive moment by taking in these winter walks and tours.

Holiday Happenings: Take in midtown’s grand holiday decorations while learning about the city’s fashionable history on ProwlerNYC’s walking tour, which explores the history of elite shopping on Fifth Avenue and its grand department stores (various dates). Another famed street with Christmas ties, 34th Street, will be the subject of a walking tour on December 23, and New Yorkers can spend their Christmas mornings underneath one of the world’s most famous Christmas trees as the Municipal Art Society offers a morning tour of Rockefeller Center. Those looking for some more mystical fare this holiday season can join Boroughs of the Dead on their Ghosts of Christmas Past tour, or head uptown to enjoy Trinity Church Cemetery’s annual holiday tour (December 16). New Yorkers can also step into the past at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, whose holiday candlelight tours will let guests enjoy the holiday season of 1830, complete with refreshments, confections and music.

Image: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York/Flickr

Artistic Adventures: Dive into the downtown arts scene this December with gallery tours of Chelsea (December 8) and the Lower East Side (December 22), or go even further down by heading underground for a subway art tour exploring artworks in 10 subway stations around the city (December 29). To learn more about some of the artists who have called the city home, join Tompkins Square Library manager Corinne Neary and street photographer Michael Paul on a walking tour of the East Village December 8, which will be centered on the neighborhood’s gay and lesbian writers and artists. Of course, the city streets hold plenty of artistic value in themselves as well; learn more about Manhattan’s soaring Art Deco skyscrapers on a tour of the city’s architecture and ’20s-era glamour (December 26-30).

Park Promenades: New Yorkers have plenty of chances to discover all Central Park has to offer this December, thanks to guided tours exploring the park’s North Woods (December 13) and major landmarks in the “heart of the park” like Bethesda Terrace and Strawberry Fields (December 24). Discover the windy Ramble section of the park on a walking tour December 26, or bring the entire family for special family tours of the area December 28-29, which will give kids the chance to do some hands-on exploration of the park’s architecture and ecosystems. New Yorkers can also get a wintery look at Bryant Park on a winter wonderland photo walk December 29, or head out to Brooklyn to enjoy one of the city’s oldest green spaces on weekly trolley tours of Green-Wood Cemetery (various dates).

Indoor Investigations: Those hoping to escape the cold this December can also tour some of the city’s most interesting indoor spots. Join New York Adventure Club this month for special tours of Final Frontier Design (December 30), which designs space suits for NASA astronauts, and Fantasma Magic’s Harry Houdini Museum (December 29), which will include a special close-up magic demonstration. Untapped Cities will also offer a variety of special tours this December, including special looks at the Woolworth Building and Masonic Hall. New Yorkers can also head downtown any day for daily tours through the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum, which focus on the building’s former immigrant residents, or discover an NYC icon on daily docent-led tours of Grand Central Terminal.

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