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13 Things To Do In SOHO NYC Neighborhood

A visit to New York City sits atop the bucket lists of travelers from around the globe. There is so much to see, do, and experience in New York; it can be tough to narrow down the options. From the One World Observatory in Lower Manhattan to Central Park, and on to the famous Appollo Theater, there is a lot of territory to cover in NYC. To get the most out of your visit, it helps to take one bite of The Big Apple at a time. Fortunately, we have created this list so that you can start your day at the top of One World Observatory and move on to the best of everything SoHo. 

Many people have heard of SoHo, a trendy and creative neighborhood in New York City. What they may not know is that SoHo stands for south of Houston Street. This area is lively and unique. It’s a great place to shop, dine and explore. Here are 15 things to do in SoHo NYC the next time that you’re in the area.

1. Find Vintage Treasures

If you prefer to shop at thrift stores, you’ll enjoy Artists and Fleas. This marketplace welcomes new merchants and artists every two weeks. It’s a refreshing alternative to shopping at the other big-name shops in the area. More than 30 vendors are set up at any given time, which means that you can get lost among them. Artists and Fleas is the ideal place to highlight everything that SoHo is all about.

Even if you’re not in the mood to buy anything, this marketplace is worth a visit. Bring your family, friends or a date to discover some of the most unique sellers in NYC. The community also features special events, such as vintage nights, during which cocktails and live music are often available.

2. Get the Kids Into the Arts

If you have children, they will probably enjoy the Children’s Museum of the Arts. One of the best things to do in SoHo NYC for little ones, this museum has drop-in classes for kids under 5. Youngsters can get creative with art, stories and music. Parents are required to stay, and you’ll have just as much fun as your children.

The museum also has exhibitions that aim to acquaint kids and their families with creativity. The permanent collection showcases more than 2,000 pieces of art that have been created by children across the globe.

3. Get a Bird’s Eye View

Undeniably, the best way to start your day will be with a bird's eye view of New York City from One World Observatory. Getting an early start will allow you to experience the early morning light bringing the city to life. Purchase your tickets online and prepare to be enthralled from the moment you enter the pod elevator lifting you 102 floors above the city in under a minute.

Once they reach the top, they’re immersed in a panorama of all five boroughs. Walk to every window for an ever-changing, unparalleled view. Extend the experience by relaxing at ONE Dine, the bar and restaurant at the top of the tower.

The views from the top of One World Observatory in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere will shift your perspective. Also, be sure to stop into the Gallery at One World to pick up a memento of your amazing experience and have your moment captured in time with SEE FOREVER™ Imaging. 

You must buy tickets to the Observatory and make a reservation at the restaurant to eat there. During your visit, make sure to take home a souvenir.

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4. Munch on Something Freshly Baked

If you love a good bakery, SoHo is a perfect location for you. Dominique Ansel Bakery is famous for the Cronut, a flaky blend of croissant and donut. These treats sell out quickly. You have to get to the bakery early to snag one for yourself.

Georgetown Cupcake is a perfect place to go for dessert after lunch. The co-founders are TLC stars Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne. The menu features delectable classics. You can also buy blends to make Georgetown Cupcakes at home.

5. Explore an Inclusive Museum  

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art showcases creative venture from a queer perspective. It aims to be a home for LGBTQ artists, activists, scholars and allies. The exhibits focus on the conversation about the diversity of queer experiences, but the museum is open to everyone.

This is more than a museum. It’s a community. The collection has more than 30,000 items, and the library hosts a research library with more than 3,000 volumes. This is one of the few museums in NYC that offers free admission. A donation of $10 is suggested, though.

6. Visit the New York City Fire Museum

The New York City Fire Museum is located in a former firehouse and contains one of the most significant collections of fire-related items in the U.S. The museum is home to art, artifacts, photographs and other ephemera that pay tribute to the New York Fire Department’s history. You can also visit a memorial for the members of the fire department and EMS who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

The New York City Fire Museum is just as appropriate for children as it is for adults. Kids can try on a firefighter’s suit and learn about how a fire is put out. Every guest can get a strong dose of fire safety information.

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7. Tour the Cast Iron Architecture

Walking around SoHo can put you in a creative mood. Just looking at the architecture is inspiring. The area is known for the distinguished cast iron facades that flank the streets. Most of the 250 cast iron buildings in NYC are located in SoHo.

The ornate designs are beautiful to look at. They’re also historic. The style of architecture was popular in the 1800s because a mold could be used to produce multiple pieces. However, the style fell out of fashion by the 1900s. Now, certain areas of SoHo are considered to be historic areas. You can relive the past just by walking around and appreciating the architecture.

8. Get Creative at the Drawing Center

The Drawing Center is the only non-profit fine art institution in the nation to concentrate on exhibiting drawings. It’s an art gallery that exhibits modern and historic drawings. It’s so influential that it has been referred to as a small museum.

The Drawing Center’s mission is to support upcoming and emerging artists as well as to showcase the diversity of drawings throughout time. It’s a great place to go to start a conversation about art, creativity and culture.

The Michael Iovenko School Programs offer free art education to public school students. You can also join other guests during drawing workshops that encourage you to explore your imagination.

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9. Go Shopping

SoHo is renowned as a shopping destination. Home to stores like Zara, H&M, Prada, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Nike, it appeals to all styles and budgets.

You can design your own shoes at the Converse Specialty Store. The MoMa Design store is an ideal place to pick up a gift for someone special.

The best time to shop in SoHo is during the week. Tourists flock to the area on the weekends, making it more crowded. The hustle and bustle is part of the appeal of NYC. If you love people-watching, then you’ll enjoy shopping in SoHo on a Saturday or Sunday.

10. Brunch It Up

If you’ve spent any time in NYC, you know that the locals love a good brunch. One of the most fun things to do in SoHo NYC is to hit up a restaurant during that leisurely time between breakfast and lunch. It’s like the New York version of the siesta. You can put your feet up, enjoy some drinks and grab a delicious meal.

SoHo is one of the best locations for brunch in NYC. Some restaurants, such as Jack’s Wife Freda, are packed on weekend mornings. You might be better off checking out Ruby’s Café, which is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the other best places for brunch in SoHo include Balthazar, The Dutch and The Cupping Room Café.

11. Immerse Yourself in Literature

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll love SoHo. McNally Jackson is an independent bookstore that’s loaded with two floors of good reads. The bookstore also has a café, which is perfect for people-watching, and many quiet spaces for getting peaceful with a book.

Housing Works Bookstore Café & Bar is a shop with a philanthropic mission. The entire inventory is donated, and the store runs almost entirely on volunteer time. Whether you want to shop, drink or relax, you can stop by and put your feet up. The bookstore also hosts free event many times each week.

12. See an Indie Film

There are many independent cinemas in the city. One of the best things to do in SoHo NYC is to catch a film at one of the locations in the area. Angelika Film Center has free screenings and regular show times for independent films. It also features foreign movies and a few box office hits.

If you keep an eye on the website, you might be able to catch a question-and-answer session with a director. The cinema also has a gourmet café, making it a great place to catch a snack and unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

Film Forum focuses on foreign films and documentaries. It’s the only independent, non-profit movie theater in the city and has been around since the 1970s.

13. Grab Some Drinks

No matter where you go in NYC, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink at one of the many bars and lounges. The Crosby Bar is elegant, spacious and inviting. The full windows give you a tree-lined view of the city. When you look out front, you’ll spot the trees at the entrance. The rear view looks out onto a garden. Crosby Bar is open all day and serves food as well as drinks.

Botanica Bar is hip and laid-back. It’s located in a basement and offers a great selection of craft beers and cocktails. Visit on Sundays if you want to sing your heart out to some karaoke.

(Updated Novermber 12th, 2019)

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