Raise your hand if you are the worst gift giver ever? Yeah me too. I NEVER know what to get anyone so I usually just end up buying them an Amazon gift card and a scratch-off lottery ticket that says, “Dream Big”. But if you’re like me, not to worry because this list of New York gift experiences will put an end to all of your gift-giving woes.
Okay, let me slow my roll and explain.
See, when I think of giving gifts for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I always think of giving my loved ones something tangible, something that I can wrap up in a shiny pink bow.
But if I think about it:
The best gifts that I’ve ever received are experiences with people I love, not things. I know, super trite and gag worthy but I’m actually being serious.
I have no idea what my mom gave me for most of my Christmases. But what I do remember is the year that she gave me tickets to see Wicked.
I was so excited that I started screaming and jumping around all over the place, while practically squeezing the life out of my mom. The next thing I know, the dog’s freaking out and my dad’s yelling at everyone because we might disturb the neighbors.
Good times, good times.
But in spite of all the calamity, I will forever cherish the memory of me and my family seeing Wicked, even if my dad hated every minute of it and was a total curmudgeon the entire time.
So for me:
The material goods fade away, break, or go out of style. But the memories? You guessed it, they last a lifetime. I know, how Oprah of me but it’s true.
That’s why I’m creating this list of epic New York City gift experiences and amazing gift experience ideas for travelers.
Not only would I love to receive any and all of these New York City gift experiences, but it’s a great way to create a lasting memory with someone you love. Plus, they’ll be uber happy that you went all out to create some unique New York experiences with them.
How someone feels after receiving one of my “awesome” gifts.
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1. The Lion King on Broadway (One of my fave New York City Experiences)
This is one of the best, distinctly New York gifts that I have ever received. First of all, I think pretty much everyone, besides my dad, knows and loves the Lion King, the classic struggle of a young lion cub to overcome his self-doubt and become the king that he was always meant to be.
But pretty much every chick, and most guys too, will love this. Plus, it’s been on Broadway since the dawn of time and really, it’s BROADWAY. Nothing that makes it to Broadway is that bad (okay there are notable exceptions but this one isn’t one of them).
Attending a Broadway show is an absolute must during any trip to NYC, and this is the best way to get quality, Lion King Broadway tickets with premium seating options.
What if you can’t afford $150 for a Broadway ticket? Hakuna matata! Not only do I have a great guide on how to find cheap Broadway tickets, but Todaytix is a great way to score Broadway tickets for less.
The best way to look fancy without having the budget of a trust fund baby.
***I haven’t seen it but I’ve also heard that Aladdin is an amazing Broadway show and another great option for all the Disney fans out there***
2. New York City Deluxe Helicopter Tour
Umm, who doesn’t want a once in a lifetime, bird’s eye view of Manhattan’s iconic skyline, from a helicopter? Exactly, one of my favorite New York City gift ideas on this list.
Before you consider this New York City gift though:
Make sure that the person you are giving this to is NOT scared of heights. My mom hated heights and a gift like this would have sent her straight to the emergency room.
But for all the normies out there:
There really is no experience more exciting than a helicopter ride over Manhattan. Nowhere else can you find better views of New York City than from a helicopter with some EPIC, floor-to-ceiling convex windows.
Feel free to be duly impressed.
Just pay close attention to the informative tour narration because during your flight, you’ll be introduced to such iconic attractions as Central Park, Hudson River, New York Harbor, the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, the World Financial Center, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and more.
Anyone you give this to really will love you forever.
***Not sure what to get the man in your life? Yeah me too. I hate shopping for guys. I mean, it’s not like you can get then a jock strap or a nudie calendar. That’s just weird. But something that most guys seem to love (my dad took me and I wanted to leave the entire time. I was only five though so that could have had something to do with it) is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Maybe it’s a military thing but guys seem to love this place.***
3. New York City Cupcake Tour (One of the many Diabetes Inducing, New York Food Experiences)
I love cupcakes, I love cupcakes, I love cupcakes hey, hey, hey, hey.
Sorry, I had to profess my undying love for this piece of gastronomic bliss.
Whoever invented the cupcake is genius. Sure, I love cake but making it small enough so that I can sample (purely for research purposes) multiple slices in one sitting, yeah that’s Einstein-level genius.
So if you have a saber tooth tiger size sweet tooth, like me, then this New York City Cupcake tour is for you. Because yes, I’ve done this food tour and absolutely loved it!
And who wouldn’t?
Everybody loves cupcakes! Even Aunt Mildred enjoys them since she can eat this dessert without her false teeth. And kids? Well, what kid doesn’t love a tour where you get to eat six different cupcakes?
Precisely my point. I rest my case.
Now while on this tour, you’ll sample desserts from Molly’s Cupcakes (my fave and the definitive holy grail of cupcakes), Baked by Melissa, Crumbs Bake Shop, Milk & Cookies, Amorino (for gelato), etc.
Excuse me while I speed dial my nearest bakery.
So get ready to embrace your inner child on this ultimate New York City food tour and experience the sugar high of a lifetime!
4. Sex and the City Hotspots Tour – A Unique New York Experience
If you want to give your lady love something that will make her swoon, this is it.
Okay, if she’s under the age of 25, Sex and the City may be a bit before her time, in which case the Gossip Girl tour might be a viable alternative.
But back to Sex and the City.
Any red-blooded, American woman over the age of 30 knows and probably loves Sex and the City.
I mean, it’s an American cultural icon that erased some of the taboo surrounding open discussions of sex.
I am woman hear me roar…about my vibrator.
It’s also a show where New York City was just as much a main character as Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte.
So why not relive the good, the bad, and the ugly on this Sex and the City Hotspots Tour?
Except for the part where Berger breaks up with Carrie via post-it. No bueno. I still get annoyed by that. Like really?
But take a break from the mundane reality of everyday life for five minutes:
And dive into the ultra-posh and uber glamorous world of Sex and the City as you visit the bar owned by Steve and Aidan, the church where Samantha meets “The Friar”, the furniture store where Aidan designed his pieces, the store where Charlotte bought her Rabbit, etc.
You’ll get a cupcake (and we all know how I feel about those) and a guided bus tour too! Just leave the kids at home because as you can imagine, a sex toy shop is not a great place for a five-year-old.
5. Greenwich Village Food Walking Tour
Walking food tour of New York City?
Yes, please! Not only do I get to eat my face off, but I can easily justify eating more because I’m burning so many calories by doing all this walking. Makes total sense right?
Good, glad we agree on the truly important things in life.
Besides, when you visit NYC, it’s your duty to eat as much as humanly possible since New York City has some of the best food in the world. So if you think about it, it’s really a cultural experience that you just cannot deprive yourself of.
Organized food tours are usually the most efficient way to try some of the best food in New York City.
So, what kind of yumminess does this Greenwich Village, food walking tour provide?
You’ll start the tour with cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery (FYI the cupcakes are good but the banana pudding is amazing), followed by NY style bagels with cream cheese (I personally love Ess-A-Bagel near Grand Central), then an Indian vegetable roll, and topped off with TUMS, I mean a slice of thin-crust pizza from Joe’s Pizzeria (see my picks for the best pizza in NYC).
And added bonus?
Along the way, you’ll see such iconic NYC locations like Washington Square Park and NYU.
Guess I’ll just need elastic waist pants for the New York dining experiences on this tour. Because really, who doesn’t love a food, baby?
***You can also check out this 2-hour chocolate tasting tour and satisfy the not so recovered chocolate addict in your life.***
6. Buffet Dinner Cruise Around Manhatten
Whenever someone says buffet, I run about as fast as Tom Hanks in the movie, Forest Gump.
But that’s another story.
Getting back to the important things in life. This buffet and dinner cruise will take your New York City vacation up a notch and make it just a bit more special (AKA a great way to seal the deal with that honey you’ve been dating).
There’s no better way to enjoy a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline than from New York Harbor.
You get an all you can eat buffet, live music, a DJ spinning the beats for one epic dance party, and a complimentary alcoholic beverage of your choice. They even have a rooftop deck where you can take your drinks, relax, and enjoy the beauty of Manhattan as it unfolds before you.
So as long as your ship isn’t the RMS Titanic, you’ll probably have a pretty EPIC time.
Unless you hate fun.
In which case, I don’t have the skill set to help you with that.
***A fan of the infamous booze cruise with five of your closest gal pals? Then check out this 2 hour, Alive After 5 Happy Hour Cruise ***
7. 2-Hour Wine Tasting on a 1920s Style Yacht
Yeah, I don’t drink, so I have no idea if these wines are fab or drab or if they’re paired with the right cheeses or whatever. All I know is that this looked like a hopping good time for any wine enthusiasts out there.
Cuz if you think about it:
This is a wine tasting on steroids since you’re not stuck in some dank and dingy wine cellar, tasting rando wines.
You’re on a super fab,1920s style yacht, where you are livin’ la vida loca while cruising around New York Harbor. That and you get to try five expertly chosen wines that are paired with the perfect cheeses (for all the hipsters out there, not to worry because they’re artisinal).
And you really can’t go wrong with cheese, unless you’re lactose intolerant. Then I’ll eat yours because I wouldn’t want you to get sick or anything.
I’m kind like that.
But check out this 2-hour wine tasting on a 1920a style yacht, and let me know what you think. Just don’t make the same mistake I did because when I read the 1920’s part, I immediately thought it meant that you had to dress up like a flapper.
Whoops. That would make things SUPER awkward.
***Ready to get crunk in NYC? Then take this 2.5-hour craft cocktail tour where you can explore some of NYC’s coolest bars and microbreweries. Honestly, I have no idea what a microbrewery is but it sounds like a place where hipsters congregate. Me? I’ll be in bed by 8 pm watching the Golden Girls. Yup, no shame in my game.***
***Wait, one more thing and then I swear I’m done. So, if you like to go out after the sun sets, (and of course you do because you’re normal, unlike me. I call that Netflix and jammie time) then you can try a Meatpacking District After Dark Tour. For over two hours, you’ll get to bar hop with a knowledgeable local, while enjoying the gritty glam that is the Meatpacking District; think old industrial warehouses that have been converted into trendy nightclubs. The perfect place to be if you want to party like a local. ***
As promised, a selection of my favorite New York gift experiences! Have you tried any of them? Would love to hear what you think about these New York City experiences.
I also hope that you found some useful New York City gift ideas in here because man, the struggle to find a gift that someone will actually enjoy is all too real. And there are only so many times that you can give someone hand lotion from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
So if you’re digging these NYC themed gifts then pin this now and read it again later!