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To understand New York City, we think you have to live it, if only for a little while. The City that Never Sleeps waits for no man and with so much to see and do, it’s the experiences you’re a part of that will stay with you long after the dream ends. After all, who just wants to just look at the Big Apple? We, for one, would rather take a big bite. Here's our guide to five really cool things to do in New York.
New York Trapeze School
Here’s a unique NYC experience we love: flying through the air with the greatest of ease, with trapeze lessons from high-flying, high-energy experts. While their impressive indoor facility is open year-round, a stunning outdoor location resides in Hudson River Park (Pier 40, April to October), and provides an outstanding view as you learn to trust a stranger with outstretched arms. Their motto is “Forget Fear. Worry about Addiction®” and we’ve found it’s best to visit time and again.
231 West 29th Street, Chelsea, New York, +1 212 564 7150, www.newyork.trapezeschool.com. Check website for class times.
While the Staten Island Ferry never fails to give us a thrill (and not just because it’s free), this elegant, 80-foot schooner is a fantastically upscale way to view the harbour between April and November, get up close to the Statue of Liberty, and experience the wind in your hair with family and friends. The service is top-notch, beverages are complimentary, and the ride is smooth, without fail.
Chelsea Piers, Pier 62, West 22nd Street and Hudson River, Chelsea, New York, +1 646 336 5270, www.sail-nyc.com.
The Rockette Experience
Presented in conjunction with MSG Entertainment, if like us you’ve dreamed of dazzling a crowd with hyper-precise high kicks, we suggest a “Rockette Master Class”, taught by a bona fide Rockette from New York’s famed dancing troupe. These two-hour sessions feature authentic Rockette choreography where you learn tap, jazz and, of course, the world famous kickline routine. They include a question-and-answer session and take place in the actual Rockette rehearsal hall.
Broadway Dance Center, 322 West 45th Street, New York, +1 212 582 9304, www.broadwaydancecenter.com. Check website for class times.
New York Helicopter
Anyone can – and should – see the city from the ground-up. Sightseeing buses are great and informative, but a spectacular helicopter tour of the city’s greatest landmarks is something too few visitors take advantage of. We like them because they offer a wonderfully distinct vantage point on the magic and madness that is NYC, and help you understand the unlikely spectacles that are Ellis Island, South Street Seaport, the Brooklyn Bridge, and so forth, from the air.
Downtown Manhattan Heliport, 6 East River Piers, Financial District, New York, +1 212 361 6060, www.newyorkhelicopter.com.
VIP Classes and Tastings at La Scuola di Eataly
Overseen by Dean Lidia Bastianich – one of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurateurs (Felidia) and partner to Mario Batali – we’re big fans of the school within the sensational Italian food market, Eataly, as it offers a wide selection of technique classes with true experts and chef’s kitchen tastings in an intimate setting. Learn about artisanal produce, winemaking, and perhaps even some Italian along the way!
The outdoor location resides in Hudson River Park (Pier 40), May through October. Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, Chelsea, New York, +1 877 280 0541, www.eatalyny.com. Check website for class times.
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning