Lower Manhattan Events
by nycgo.com staff, 05/29/2013
- events in nyc/
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Lower Manhattan is filled with can’t-miss events and activities, many of them free. Read the below to learn what’s going on, and be sure to check back, as we’ll be adding new listings throughout the season.
October 31–November 14
Canstruction at Brookfield Place
The purpose of this annual event at the World Financial Center is twofold: families can take in exquisite structures designed entirely from cans of food (past creations have included giant electric mixers, rocket ships, cartoon characters and castles) and each can will be donated to City Harvest at the end of the exhibit. While the event is free, families are encouraged to contribute a can or two of their own to feed the hungry. For more information, visit construction.org.
The first of many hints that Accomplice is no ordinary tour comes in the form of an anonymous confirmation call about “that thing you’re doing tomorrow,” complete with instructions to meet near a red boat at South Street Seaport and, of course, to keep your plans secret. Indeed, while there’s ample walking and sightseeing during this interactive theater experience, the “guides” remain utterly committed to their roles while enlisting participants’ help as accessories to a nefarious criminal plot. For more information, visit accomplicetheshow.com.
Ongoing (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Every Tuesday and Thursday year-round, local farmers sell fresh produce and other edible homemade goodies at the Bowling Green plaza. The market runs from 8am to 5pm. For more information, visit grownyc.org.
Children’s Museum of the Arts
This museum nurtures young artists and displays their work. Hands-on workshops taught by working artists give budding creative folk the chance to develop their skills in the visual and performing arts while also, of course, having fun. For more information, visit cmany.org.
Dining on Stone Street
The City’s oldest paved street (at least according to legend) hosts a plethora of dining and drinking establishments. Enjoy everything from pizza to pub fare to upscale grub (not to mention beer, and plenty of it). This stretch of Lower Manhattan is a lively after-work spot. For more information, see our guide to Lower Manhattan.
Free Ferry Rides on the Staten Island Ferry
More than a means of transportation, the Staten Island Ferry is an attraction unto itself. For no charge, visitors can take a 25-minute voyage by water from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island, glimpsing the Statue of Liberty and stunning vistas of New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. For more information, visit siferry.com.
Free Lower Manhattan Walking Tours beginning at the statue of the charging bull
Among the many attractions covered on this free tour are Federal Hall, Wall Street, Trinity Church, Fraunces Tavern and the Brooklyn Bridge. For more information, visit freetoursbyfoot.com.
Free Tours at Federal Hall National Memorial
Lower Manhattan’s Federal Hall served as the first US Capitol Building, the site of George Washington’s first inauguration and the place where the Bill of Rights was officially passed. Though the original building has since been demolished, the current structure—built as the US Customs House in 1842—serves as a national memorial operated by the National Park Service. Brush up on your American History 101 at Federal Hall with a free tour (either on your own or with a guide); no reservations necessary. For more information, visit nps.gov.
Free Tours at the Federal Reserve
Reserve your spot at least a week, if not months, in advance for this tour of the Fed, the largest and most influential all the banks in the Federal Reserve System. Get an overview of the bank’s operations, gain admission to the bank’s onsite museum and, best of all, enjoy a guided tour of the vault, 80 feet below street level, which contains around 7,000 tons of gold bullion. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, that ain’t exactly chump change. For more information, visit newyorkfed.org.
Free Tours at Tweed Courthouse
Named for the infamous Boss Tweed—one of the most corrupt and, lamentably, most powerful figures to ever take up politics in NYC—Tweed Courthouse is one of the City’s most impressive architectural landmarks. Explore the building, which today is the headquarters for the Department of Education, with the help of a seasoned guide who will provide enlightening insights into the building’s grand courtrooms, soaring rotunda and intricate design details. For more information, visit nyc.gov.
Juilliard Artists at 180 Maiden Lane
Every Tuesday, select music students from the Juilliard School perform an hour of free music at this office building in the Financial District. For more information, visit nyc-arts.org.
Liberty View Ice Rink at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park
This 60-by-120-foot rink, located in Battery Park City, affords skaters views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Twirl around the ice, learn to play hockey or just enjoy the scene. For more information, visit libertyviewicerink.com.
Movie Screenings at 92YTribeca
Downtown culture spot 92YTribeca offers several screening series year-round. Films span the spectrum, from indies fresh from the festival circuit to beloved classics. For more information, visit 92y.org.
Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance (MOAF) celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of America in its financial capital. Combining historical artifacts with interactive displays, the museum takes visitors through the story of Wall Street from its beginnings through today. Both educational and interesting, the museum is a great place for kids and adults to learn about money, markets and the economy. Throughout the winter, MOAF will host a number of special events, including walking tours and informative talks. For more information, visit moaf.org.
National Museum of the American Indian–New York
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian–New York features year-round exhibitions, dance and music performances, children’s workshops, family and school programs, film festivals and video screenings that present the diversity of the native people of the Americas and the strength of their cultures from the earliest times to the present. It’s located in a splendid Beaux-Arts building, one of the museum’s three national locations. For more information, visit nmai.si.edu.
The 9/11 Memorial is a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, at the World Trade Center in NYC, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The memorial includes two reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size, located within the footprints of the former Twin Towers. They feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America and, when fully complete, will be surrounded by a grove of more than 400 oak trees. Admission to the memorial is free but requires the reservation of a visitor pass; reservations can be made at 911memorial.org.
New Amsterdam Market at Fulton Fish Market
New Amsterdam Market is held every Sunday, 11am to 4pm, at the historic old Fulton Fish Market near the South Street Seaport. The market brings together butchers, bakers, grocers and other regional vendors and is steadily adding to its prepared-food lineup. New Amsterdam also has themed days at the market that highlight different kinds of food—from cured meats to hot breads, jarred products, even imported organic stone-ground chocolate. For more information, visit newamsterdammarket.org.
New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion
A gift from the Netherlands in celebration of the 400th anniversary (in 2009) of Henry Hudson’s arrival to what would become New York City, the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion is an “outdoor living room,” complete with ample shade and a visitor information booth, and is conveniently juxtaposed with transportation hub Peter Minuit Plaza. It’s definitely worth stopping by and taking a look at the Pavilion’s space-age architecture. For more information, visit nyc.gov/parks.
New York Water Taxi
Many of New York City’s most famous landmarks are best seen from the water—the famous skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, the Statue of Liberty. New York Water Taxi offers one-hour guided harbor tours, sunset cruises and the only hop-on/hop-off boat transit, with stops along the NY waterfront. Visitors can enjoy a luxury trip aboard the Zephyr Statue of Liberty Express, which departs from Pier 16 at the South Street Seaport. For more information, visit nywatertaxi.com.
The Skyscraper Museum
Located in Battery Park City, The Skyscraper Museum pays homage to the City’s tall-building history, with an especially close look at the development of the downtown skyline and at NYC’s place in the context of modern architecture. Enjoy photographs, mini-replicas, book talks and educational programs highlighting New York City’s high-rise history. The Skyscraper Museum also hosts a series of Saturday-morning family programs. For more information, visit skyscraper.org.
Ongoing (Tuesdays and Fridays)
Staten Island Ferry Terminal Greenmarket
Tuesdays and Fridays year-round (with some exceptions), local farmers sell fresh produce and other edible homemade goodies inside the Whitehall Ferry Terminal building. The market runs from 8am to 7pm. For more information, visit grownyc.org.
Due to the temporary closures of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Statue Cruises is offering two separate sightseeing excursions that include close passes by Lady Liberty. Now available are the 60-minute Statue of Liberty Harbor Cruise and the 60-minute Premium Harbor Cruise (aboard the state-of-the-art yacht Hornblower Hybrid). Both feature narration and food for purchase. All cruises depart and land in Battery Park, and there are no stops in between. CityPass and the New York Pass are accepted. For more information, visit statuecruises.com.
The Wall Street Experience
Explore world-famous financial landmarks such as the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve and Wall Street guided by real Wall Street insiders. While meandering through the narrow, winding streets of Lower Manhattan, you will hear exclusive stories from “inside the trenches”—the kind of titillating stuff about the financial crisis that has scored extensive news coverage for this tour, which aims to demystify and personify Wall Street. Bring your camera and your questions. For more information, visit thewallstreetexperience.com.
Wall Street Walks
Become an industry insider with a walking tour of the world’s financial capital. Wall Street Walks provides guided walking tours in Lower Manhattan, focusing on the financial and stock markets, as well as on American and New York history. Tour guides all have real-life Wall Street experience and can separate truth from legend as they recount stories, explore architecture and teach the history of Wall Street and New York City. For more information, visit wallstreetwalks.com.
Wine Classes at New York Vintners
Enjoy the weekly Wine 101 classes offered by this downtown wine shop. Seating is limited and fills up fast, so make sure to book in advance. For more information, visit newyorkvintners.com.