Experience New York in the best possible way: At eye level and on your own two feet. Our tours are quirky, offbeat, and just plain fun. We show you new ways to look at neighborhoods, museums, even Central Park. We’ve got tours for adults, families, kids, and everyone in between, from “Harry Potter”-inspired wizarding tours to ones on comic-book history. And we’re always happy to customize.
Tours for Families
Cabbages and Kings: Walks inspired by classic children’s books: We think there’s a new way to explore museums with your family, or even on your own. Ways that involve games, activities, fun takeaways, iconic kids’ books, and an irreverent attitude. Come join us.
Griffins, Goblets, and Gold: A Harry Potter-inspired tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Boy Who Lived is 20. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK (it was released, of course, as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US the following year), we’ve launched a new Harry Potter-inspired Wizarding tour in the Metropolitan Museum. See part of an actual castle. Search for Horcrux-like artwork. Find objects that resemble those in the books…and maybe do a little magic. All houses welcome! (Appropriate wizarding gear is encouraged.)
These tours are in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Bloomsbury Publishing, Arthur Levine Books, Scholastic, Little, Brown or Warner Bros.
Mixed-Up at the Met: A Mixed-Up Files tour in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic children’s book From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, join us for a tour that looks at some of the places and spaces that Claudia and Jamie would have discovered when they ran away to the Met. Plus, we’ll take you inside a real-life mystery involving an angel statue that’s every bit as amazing as the one in the book. While you’re there, learn about other iconic kids’ books that take place in and around the Museum, from Percy Jackson to Harriet the Spy.
Please meet at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
Saturdays: 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM; Sundays: 11:00 AM
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 3:30 PM
And by request
Email us to book a tour!
And that’s how you museum.
Down the Rabbit Hole: A Children’s Book Tour of Central Park.
Curiouser and curiouser! Take advantage of a unique way to experience Central Park: Through places, spaces and objects featured in well-loved children’s and young adult books. Pay a visit to the Alice in Wonderland statue loved by generations of children and the boat pond featured in Stuart Little. Stop by (and take a spin on) the iconic carousel featured in Catcher in the Rye, and stroll on over to the Hans Christian Andersen statue, plus a few more classic stops. We’ll even give you sketching materials so you can capture your experience. Especially recommended for families with children 7 and up. Optional: Meet and greet with Alice! 11:00 am. Please meet at 972 Fifth Avenue.
Ever After: A Fairy Tale Tour of Central Park.
With a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, a castle that could have sprung from Cinderella, and even three bears, Central Park often seems to have leapt right from a fairy tale. Explore the places that make the park so enchanting in this tour: You’ll wander by a cottage that hosts fairy-tale puppet shows, visit spots where the move Enchanted was filmed and experience what it’s like to be in a fairy tale. Especially recommended for families with kids 8 and up. Optional add-on–Have dessert with a children’s book author! 11:00 am. Please meet at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
Bird’s Eye View:
Tour the photography collections at major New York City museums, learn how to really look at photographs, and take photos of your own. Designed for families with kids 8 and up. Other collections also available. 11:00 am. Please meet at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
Literary Legends: A Central Park Tour
Where do Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns all hang out together? Find out on this literary tour of Central Park, which takes you to such iconic spots as Bethesda Fountain (highlighted in many literary works), the beautiful carousel (featured in Catcher in the Rye), and the park’s mall. You’ll also hear about the park itself, and some of its other noteworthy spots, such as the Imagine Memorial, dedicated to John Lennon. 11:00 am. Please meet at 1 Central Park West.
For the truly hardy, pair this with West Side stories: Culture and Characters of the Upper West Side, which begins at the Dakota, where this tour ends up. 11:00 am. Please meet at 1 West 72nd Street.
Public tours: $35 for adults; $25 for children
Private tours: $45 for adults; $35 for children
Camp, school, and group rates available
It Started on Yancy Street:
A downtown tour for true comic-book fans that ends at the store Forbidden Planet. Many surprises in store. (Pun intended.) Meet at 109 Delancey Street
Look-Up in the Sky!:
Movie lovers, this one’s for you. Check out sites that appeared in movies like The Avengers and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, pop into a comic-book store, and more. Meet at 330 West 42nd Street.
From the real-life model for the Avengers’ mansion to a Marvel staff hangout, this one has something for everyone, including the option to visit MoCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. Meet at 1 East 70th Street.
(e.t.c. is not affiliated with or endorsed by any comic book publishers or other content producers.)
All comic-book tours available Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 am and 3:00 PM; family tours on weekends at 11:00 am. Please ask about other times by appointment as well.
Signs of the Times: Forgotten Signs and Storefronts of the Lower East Side
One of New York’s oldest neighborhoods, the Lower East Side has been home to immigrant families, traditional Jewish delis, Yiddish theater and fantastic signage.On this tour, you’ll catch a glimpse of all those and more. Stop by small neighborhood stores and look closely at the neon and painted signs that represent a forgotten era. Discover how the neighborhood has changed–and how it’s stayed the same. Visit the deli in which both Enchanted and When Harry Met Sally filmed scenes. Check out what is perhaps the last surviving knish store in Manhattan. And end on a sweet note at a candy store that’s been around since 1937. 11:00 am. Saturdays and Sundays. Please meet at 3 St. Mark Place.
West Side Stories: The Culture and Characters of the Upper West Side
Home to artists, writers, actors and great bagels, the Upper West Side of Manhattan has its own distinct flavor. On this tour, you’ll see the storied building that was home to both Lauren Bacall and John Lennon and also figures in numerous novels and movies. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe. And along the way, you’ll learn about some of the movies that were filmed in the neighborhood, the buildings that give the UWS its character(s), and the personalities that helped shape the area. You’ll pop into the legendary Zabar’s, and even stop for a cappuccino and a pastry at one of two classic patisseries. Optional: Abbreviated or full version of a literary tour of Central Park.
All tours: $35 for adults: $30 children 12 and under.
Tours are most interesting when you see what you want to see; learn about things you really want to know. We–or you–can craft a tour based specifically around your interests: a collection area (i.e. Egyptian art, Impressionism, 20th Century), theme (children in art; seasons) or a tour that focuses on a collection’s highlights. Museums include The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Whitney, The Guggenheim, The Rubin, The Jewish Museum, The Cloisters, The Queens Museum, and more. Your call, your tour, our expert guides.
Photography Behind The Scenes:
Bootcamp: Introduction to Collecting Photography:This non-stop, fact-filled “boot camp” provides a bird’s-eye view of the fine art photography marketplace and abundant tips how to buy with success. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, you’ll walk away with the tools to become a more thoughtful and smarter collector.
- Half day – Classroom only
- Full day – Morning: classroom Lunch
- Afternoon: Choice of behind-the-scene visits to prominent 57th Street photography galleries or preview a photography auction (depending on sale schedules).
- Location: Phillips Auction House
450 Park Avenue at 57th Street
A Visit To A Photographer’s Studio: Join Alice Sachs Zimet and visit prominent fine art photographers, often represented by well- known galleries and in the collections of prominent museums. This program is by request only. Please email us for info.
NYC Photography Gallery Tours: Join collector, educator and advisor Alice Sachs Zimet for behind-the-scenes visits to some of New York’s most prominent photography galleries to meet the dealers and see images up close. Attendees will learn the questions to ask when purchasing fine art photography as well as the resources available. Choose tours to galleries in Chelsea, the Lower East Side or Midtown Manhattan.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm, bi-monthly
- Chelsea Gallery Tour: Meets at Yancey Richardson Gallery
(525 West 22nd St, street level)
- Midtown Gallery Tour: Meets at Gitterman Gallery
(41 East 57 St, 11th Floor)
Bird’s Eye View (for Families)
Tour the photography collections at major New York City museums with an educator and collector, learn how to really look at photographs, and take photos of your own. Designed for families with kids 8 and up. Other collections also available.
- Saturday and Sunday morning, 10:00 am
COST: $40 per person, plus museum admission
- Meet at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue
Visit With A Museum Curator:
Join Alice Sachs Zimet and spend time on site with a curator at a well-known museum. Time permitted, you’ll also visit the permanent collection as well as any special exhibitions. Institutions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, NY Historical Society, Jewish Museum and more.
This program is by request only.
All Behind the Scenes programs
$50/ person, plus museum admission. Minimum four people
Dance Your Way Through the Met
See the works of art that depict dance through the eyes of a dancer. Explore ballet, folk and other genres to understand dance’s prominence in the visual arts. Degas, Matisse and Pollock are explored, alongside Indian representations of Shiva and Dogon (African) dance masks.
Note: This tour can also be taken as part of a two-part program that includes a follow-up lecture with a dancer and an art historian.
The Artist’s Eye
Learn to see paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a whole new way: By demystifying the process of looking. How does an artist see? What are the visual cues needed to understand a painting? How can we learn to see through this lens? This tour will help participants understand the visual process of composing a painting, and will examine works of art from the 16th century through the presents; artists may include Titian, Turner, Monet and Rothko.
When Jerry Cohen’s father opened Economy Candy in 1937 on the lower east side, it was a typical corner candy store of its day. Today, Cohen’s son runs the store with his family.
The store sells hundreds of kinds of chocolates, candies, nuts, and dried fruits, including all the old-time candy you had as a kid. Many items are sold in bulk and at a discount.
Also check out the “curiosities,” which range from tin banks to pencil cases. Hear about the history of the store, and if you like, shop while the store is closed to the public. Who doesn’t want to be a kid in candy store?
Grin and Beer It
Venture forth for a tour of Manhattan’s largest microbrewery, followed by a talk with a brew master.
The Hispanic Society of America
Enjoy an insider’s view of the beautiful treasures housed here, as a staff member shows and describes priceless art unavailable to the general public. These collections, from ancient medieval Iberia, Spain, Portugal and Latin America, are unparalleled in their size and scope outside the Iberian Peninsula. Tour the collections, including galleries closed to the public, as well as parts of the library, and see outstanding maps, photographs, and much more.
The New York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society: We’re delighted to offer a unique partnership with The New-York Historical Society, one of New York’s great resources.These packages, for up to 12 people, are designed to introduce families to the Museum and provide access to experts and objects in the collection not available to the public. Smaller private tours are also available.
Experience the American Civil War through Objects
The War Between the States remains the country’s deadliest. Investigate some of the war’s causes, conflicts and consequences, and explore documents related to the Civil War era. Follow this with a museum-designed game of Civil War adventures and a chance to practice quill writing.
Included: lunch or snacks during the classroom activity, signed copies of History of the Civil War in 50 Objects by historian Harold Holzer
The Argosy Experience
Love rare books and antique maps? Come with us to the Argosy Bookstore, founded in 1925 and now in its third-generation of family ownership. Featuring antique maps and prints, autographs, and more, the bookstore offers a rare opportunity for bibliophiles to tour the store with an expert, shop, then have a private workshop on topics such as Collecting (learn what makes certain items collectible), or Autographs. Then, start putting together your own collection. Please email for more info.
Broadway Up Close Walking Tours
We love working with companies that are unique, a little offbeat, and great at what they do. That’s why we’re so pleased to have teamed up with Broadway Up Close Walking Tours, a terrific company that offers a behind-the-scenes look at Broadway theaters and history. Hear stories, get inside info, and find out the real deal about the Great White Way in these two-hour treks. Email us for info.