It's good to be left alone to cogitate on a new year, a fresh slate...just not all day. Rather than staying cooped up at home, surrounded by leftovers and the boob tube, choose from this list of nine adventurous and relaxing activities in NYC and beyond to 2011 off right.
Winter Hike: Storm King Mountain
Get the heart racing, burn off the holiday calories and break away from the city on a six-mile intermediate hike with Outdoor Bound throughout Storm King State Park in the Hudson Valley. Enjoy 14 spectacular snowy overlooks and conquer two peaks in the highlands. $59
Start the New Year with a satisfying strike at one of five bowling alleys in the outer boroughs, including the family-friendly Melody Lanes (all you can bowl for $22) and Brooklyn Bowl, which is offering no cover from 2pm-6pm on 1/1/11.
A Chocolate Getaway
So you've sworn off sweets for 2011, even though the diet books and Joy Bauer say you have to reward yourself every once in a while. Go for a hard workout in the morning then make your way over the bridge to Fulton Ferry Pier where the Dominican Republic's Cacao Prieto has opened a pop-up chocolate shop inside the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Share something dark and enjoy the views of Manhattan.
New Year's Day Hangover Brunch
If you're in good enough shape after a night of bubbly and bumpin' and grindin', move past the usual Sunday brunch spots and hop the PATH train to Hoboken for a superb New Year's Day $19.99 prix-fixe feast at City Bistro. Whether it be Huevos Rancheros, buttermilk blueberry pancakes with cinnamon and vanilla syrup, or Gina's Salad of crispy prosciutto and warm breaded goat cheese, this neighborhood fave will not disappoint--especially for those fit to appreciate the unlimited Mimosas, Bellinis, and Bloody Marys.
Come On And Take a Free Ride
We've said it once, people, and we'll keep on saying it: the Staten Island Ferry is FREE. Go take advantage of a comp cruise across the Hudson River, with views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and Manhattan. Warm up with lobster bisque and a dry-aged porterhouse steak for two at Ruddy & Dean's, a short walk from the ferry terminal in Staten Island.
Spend the Day in a Cozy Café
Make the most of the first of the New Year with a delicious brew and a good book you haven't had time to finish (or start one you just got for the holidays) at one of these six cozy, quiet cafés in Brooklyn. If you're finally ready to work on that book, bring the laptop and enjoy free wi-fi with your eco-friendly beans and a crackling fire.
karaoke killed the cat at union hall
If your New Year's resolution is to become a pop star or caroling didn't sate your singing voice, stake out a spot in the limelight at Union Hall in Brooklyn, where a special edition of Karaoke Killed the Cat will be underway for free at 11:30pm. Have some Drunken Jamaican Wings, play a little Bocce, and get ready to rock the mic.
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of flying through the air, albeit on safety lines. Never tried the Trapeze? Well, what better time to try something new--and awesome like aerial artistry--than on the first day of a new year? Pull on those leggings, have a good long stretch, climb the ladder 23 feet, and commence flying. Slots sell out fast, so book now. (There are also Trapeze Schools in Boston or D.C. if you happen to be out of town for the holidays.) $65+$22 one-time registration fee.
brain cloud band by ahron r. foster
Baby it's warm inside at Barbès in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where an incredibly long and diverse list of spirits, a cozy ambiance, and free wi-fi are just a few reasons why you should spend your New Year's night here. You're in for a treat with the western swing band Brain Cloud who is set to perform its Tiffany radio-inspired tunes; you can't help but tap your feet and nod your head to the sounds of the fiddle.
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