How to get a real taste of the Big Apple


New York City Marathon

6 November

New York's marathon ranks as one of the world's most prestigious city road races, drawing around 85,000 athletes and more than 10 times as many spectators. The very first course - in 1970 - was four laps of Central Park, but today it slices its way through the city's five boroughs from Staten Island, through Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan, finishing in Central Park. Spectators can line the route from start to finish or check out a host of other activities, including an exhibition of photography from last year's race, a firework display at the finish line on the eve of the marathon and free street entertainment on the race day. (00 1 212 423 2249; www.nycmarathon.org)

Chocolate Show

10-13 November

Kickstart the holiday season with a visit to the Chocolate Show, held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building in fashionable Chelsea. The show is preceded by a chocolate fashion show on 8 November, then opens two days later with demonstrations from top chocolatiers, tastings, chocolate art and stalls. Exhibitors include Chocolate Bar, a NY shop specialising in retro chocolates, and more adventurous flavours such as pumpkin spice. There is also a host of artisan producers from France, Switzerland and Japan. There are cookery classes and storytelling for children. Tickets cost $25 (£14); free for under-12s. (00 1 866 246 2692; www.chocolateshow.com)

Grand Central Terminal Holiday Laserlight Show

21 November-31 December

The Beaux-Arts splendour of this New York landmark has been transformed each Christmas since 1999 by an installation of lights, which illuminate the vaulted Sky Ceiling. Snowflakes, Christmas trees, Frosty the Snowman and more are projected onto the ceiling for six minutes on the hour and half hour between 11am and 9pm daily. Expect to see children lying on the floor and commuters craning their necks. There's also an annual Holiday Fair in Vanderbilt Hall, which brings together a host of stalls selling hard-to-find Christmas goods and stocking fillers. (00 1 212 340 2210; www.grandcentralterminal.com)

Macy's 79th Annual Thanksgiving Parade

24 November

Thanksgiving rivals Christmas festivities in the US and the biggest celebration takes place on the streets of New York. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade first took place in 1924 and the helium balloons that have subsequently become a parade icon were first used in 1927. Today the balloons have grown in a typically audacious style, measuring up to 60 feet in length and depict popular culture characters from Sesame Street's Big Bird to George Washington. Around two-and-a-half million visitors line the route from Central Park West to Macy's Herald Square so spectators are urged to take up their viewing positions early. It takes place 9am to noon and is free. (00 1 212 494 4495; www.macysparade.com)

Winter Restaurant Weeks

23-27 January and 30 January-3 February

Little Italy, Chinatown, Little India, Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking district... New York's gastronomic possibilities are endless - that's only 20,000 restaurants to choose from. But you can narrow it down during the two Restaurant Weeks when more than 100 of these eateries offer bargain fixed-price menus. A three-course lunch will set you back just over $20 (£11) and $35 (£19) for dinner. The Summer Week's participants range from upmarket delis and steakhouses to the ultra-chic Myriad restaurant group, which includes Nobu. Booking is advised as tables sell out fast. (00 1 212 484 1222; www.nycvisit.com)

St Patrick's Day Parade

17 March

New York's Irish community commemorates the death of the fourth-century missionary with one of the world's biggest St Patrick's Day parades. The route works its way up 5th Avenue from 44th to 83rd Streets past St Patrick's Cathedral, with a trail of musicians following the Irish 165th Infantry and 150,000 marchers. The parade is markedly less commercial than other NYC parades, and remains one of the city's greatest traditions, drawing huge crowds. The parade runs 11am-2.30pm. (00 1 718 793 1600; www.saintpatricksdayparade.com)

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game