11 Amazing New York Experience Gift Ideas

aerial view of nyc skyline
by Anisa // 0 Comments

When it comes to buying gifts, most people think about buying things.  When the person you are buying for already has everything or is trying to be a minimalist, that might not be a good idea.  How about giving them memories that can last a lifetime?

If you are shopping for someone that is planning to visit NYC or currently lives in New York City, give them something that they will never forget.  A New York experience gift can help them see and do more in New York.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

statue of liberty - one of those special new york experiences
New York is one of those cities that you have to experience.

The Best New York Experience Gifts

NYC is like no place on earth.  It has a special energy and many unique experiences that you can only have in the Big Apple. Where else can you climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, see the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge?

The city has so much to offer visitors and residents, but it can be expensive.  That’s why a NYC experience gift will be popular.

Let me share my recommendations for the best experience gifts in NYC.

Important: If you are booking a experience for someone for a specific date, make sure that it can be rescheduled or check with the recipient and confirm that the date works before purchasing.

#1 New York Attraction Pass

view from top of the rock with a binocular
A New York Attractions Pass can help you see more in NYC.

If you are shopping for someone who is visiting New York for the first time, a pass that gets them into all the top attractions would be a fantastic gift.  Not only does it save the recipient money, but allows him/her to do more during their trip.

There are several different NYC attraction passes to choose from.  Some like the New York Pass and the New York Sightseeing Pass allow the holder to go to as many of the included attractions as they can during the pass validity.  These passes include top NYC sights as well as some lesser known things to do like Madame Tussauds and the Downtown Experience.

If you want a more affordable NYC tourist pass, check out New York CityPass.  It includes admission to six of New York City’s top attractions including the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 9/11 Memorial Museum.

In the event that you are shopping for someone that lives in NYC, the Go City NY Explorer pass is a good option because they can take their time visiting the attractions.  You can choose the number of attractions and they will have 60 days once they activate the pass to visit the places of their choice.  Find out more here.

#2 New York Photo Tour

photographer taking a picture of female doing yoga in front of the brooklyn bridge
You’ll want a professional photographer to capture those NY experiences for Instagram or as a personal memento.

When you travel, you want to get pictures of your party in front of the iconic spots, but it’s not so easy to get quality ones. You can only take so many selfies and it’s hard to find a random stranger to take a photo. That’s where a photo tour comes in handy. You get a skilled photographer that knows the best photo spots in NYC.

In New York City, I recommend NYC Photo Journeys which is run by a fellow blogger and long time NYC resident, Jessie Festa.  Since it’s a private tour, you can tailor the itinerary to your interests. Maybe you want to check out the street art in Brooklyn or see the High Line?  Just let your guide know.

Not only is a photo tour a fun experience, but you will also get professional quality photos to help you remember your trip.

**Use the code TTTNYC,  to get $10 off any tour with NYC Photo Journeys.

If NYC Photo Journeys is unavailable, you can try Flytographer too.  If it’s your first time using Flytographer, you can get $25 if you use the code TTTPHOTO.  Get more details here.

#3 Helicopter Tour

aerial view of downtown Manhattan NYC
Look at this view of downtown Manhattan!

Taking a helicopter ride should be on everyone’s bucket list.  I will never forget my helicopter ride in Niagara or my helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon.  I have been meaning to do one in New York City, but have put it off because of the cost.

While there are now five observation decks in NYC, a helicopter ride takes things to a whole new level.  Imagine soaring over the city to see iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and Central Park.  Think of the photographs that can be taken.

A helicopter ride in New York City is a once in a lifetime experience that would make an amazing gift.  Read reviews and get more information about a HeliNY Helicopter ride here.

Alternatively you might like this nighttime helicopter ride so you can see the bright lights of the city.

#4 Tinngly New York Experience

chrysler building
Tinngly is way to experience NYC in a sustainable way.

With Tinngly, your recipient will get to choose from a wide array of NYC experiences with no expiration date. You can send the gift in an email or Tinngly also offers to send it in a beautiful box.  

Some of the options they can choose from with the Discover New York experience gift include a jet ski adventure, cooking classes and food tours, a helicopter ride, two nights in a hotel, and more.

I should also add that this is a sustainable gift. Even if you choose the gift box option, as it is made from fully recycled materials and printed using eco-friendly inks. Plus, for every gift experience – even a couple of laps in a high-performance sports car – Tinggly will offset CO2 carbon emissions by a whopping 200%. In addition, Tinggly will remove 11lbs (5kg) of plastic from the planet’s rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Learn more about the Tinngly Discover New York experience gift here.

#5 NYC Dinner Cruise

view of Manhattan at sunset from the water
You will get a spectacular view of the skyline and sunset on your dinner cruise.

A boat cruise or ferry ride offers fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline.  It’s the best way to see the Statue of Liberty and the iconic bridges.  When you make it a dinner cruise, it can be one of the most romantic things to do in New York City.

The best NYC dinner cruise is Bateaux.  The boat has a glass ceiling so you have excellent views without having to be on the outdoor part of the boat.  They also serve a three-course dinner with a live pianist.  It is truly a luxury experience.  Read reviews and get more information here.

Alternatively, there are other more economical (but still excellent) options.  This one includes a buffet dinner and DJ. 

#6 NYC Movie or TV Tour

Anisa in front of the restaurant from Seinfeld
Anisa in front of the restaurant from Seinfeld during her NYC TV and Movie tour.

Countless movies and tv shows have been filmed in New York City.  It can be fun to go on a tour to see where some of your favorite scenes were shot.  You could also get some fun photos.

There are several different excursion options that could work depending on the person’s preferences.  I loved the When Harry Met Seinfeld and Sex and the City tours

It was also fascinating to do the NBC Studio tour where you get to see where Saturday Night Live is filmed and more.  You may even see a celebrity at work.

entrance to the nbc studio tour
You can take a tour of the NBC studios in New York City.

If you are looking for something superior, what about a private classic movie location tour with a knowledgeable guide?  It includes seeing more than 60 filming locations.  You will learn movie trivia, insider details, and see the movie clips that correspond with sites onboard a comfortable coach.  Read reviews and get more information here.

#7 NYC Food Tour

ny pizza with pepperoni
NYC has the best pizza along with so many other special foods.

You are never short of amazing food options when you are in New York City.  Think of all the pizza, burgers, steaks, bagels, tacos, ramen, desserts, food trucks, and more. The problem is that you can only eat so much especially if you are in NYC for only a short trip.

A food tour can be a way to sample some of the best foods that New York has to offer.   Many focus on a particular neighborhood and you can learn about the area’s history along with its best bites.

Foodies would be thrilled to receive any of these popular NYC food tours as a gift.

#8 Broadway Show Tickets

Hamilton is the most popular Broadway show in years! "Inside Broadway Tour: Discover NYC's Theater District" - Two Traveling Texans
Hamilton is the most popular Broadway show in years!

New York has arguably the best theater scene in the world.  If you are shopping for a theater lover, then you can’t go wrong with Broadway tickets or even the Inside Broadway Tour.

You can choose either a play or musical from an ever changing list of shows.  When you are not sure which one to choose, go for one of the Tony Award winners or stick with a classic like Wicked, The Lion King, or Chicago.

Broadway tickets can vary in price based on the show and how you buy them.  Check out my suggestions for how to get cheap tickets for Broadway shows.

#9 Pub Crawl in New York City

cocktail in a wine glass with a popsicle and view of nyc skyline
Whatever type of nightlife you like, you can find it in NYC.

The nightlife in New York is legendary.  With all the choices of places to go, it’s the perfect place for a pub crawl.  You will get to check out some of the hottest bars and make a few friends along the way.

You can choose from several different types of pub crawls.  Would you prefer going to speakeasies, trendy clubs, or rooftop lounges?  Maybe you want to stick to one neighborhood like the West Village?

Check out the most popular bar crawl options in NYC here.  Many of these tours allow you to skip the line.

#10 New York Sports Tickets

Yankee Stadium field in the Bronx NYC on a spring day
New York City has a great baseball tradition. Go see a game if you can.

If you are shopping for a sports fan, they would appreciate tickets to a game in NYC.  Not only are the stadiums quite iconic, but the environment at the games in the city is something special.

In Manhattan, you can see the Knicks or Rangers at Madison Square Garden.  In the Bronx, the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium.  The Mets play at Citifield in Queens.  In Brooklyn, you have the Nets.  While the Jets and the Giants are called New York teams, they actually play in New Jersey.

I recommend purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster or Stubhub.

#11 New York City Skyline View

the edge observation deck in nyc with lots of people and amazing views
The Edge is a new observation deck in NYC.

Can you say you have been to NYC if you didn’t go to an observation deck?

Nothing compares to the view you get from one of the five observation decks in NYC.  It’s as close to what you would see from a helicopter as you can get without flying.  When you look at it that way, the observation decks are a bargain.

Of course, you can choose from One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, or the Empire State Building, but now there are the brand new options The Edge at Hudson Yards and Summit One Vanderbilt.  I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these options.

Experience Gifts Ideas for People Who Love NYC

As you can see, there are a range of special experience gifts for those visiting or living in NYC.  You can help that special someone create memories that will last a lifetime.  That’s worth more than most things.

What have been some of your favorite New York experiences? 


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rockefeller center building with text New York Experience Gift Ideas 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we will receive a small commission for some purchases made using links in our blog with no additional cost to you.  Please be assured we would not promote any product unless we believe that our readers will also benefit.  The commission does not influence the editorial content of this site.

Last Updated on January 11, 2023

About the Author

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.