In New York City, there’s no shortage of film locations. You may feel like you recognise every block and street corner from some of your favourite films and television shows. If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the movies, while also getting some valuable sight-seeing done, this guide is for you.
Go ice skating at Wollman Rink (Serendipity)
One of your bucket list activities during a winter visit to New York City should definitely be to go ice-skating at Wollman Ice Rink. But did you know that noughties classic ‘Serendipity’ was also partly filmed there? Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) go ice-skating on the rink itself, which is all kitted out for Christmas with sparkly trees and the hint of snowfall. How magical! Experience this movie moment by ice-skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park, tickets available here.
Head to the Top of the Rock
One of New York City’s most iconic buildings, the Rockefeller has been featured in many a hit film, including Christmas classics ‘Scrooged’, ‘Elf’ and ‘Home Alone 2’. See the reason why so many movies have showcased this location, by zooming straight to the Top of the Rock and getting a birds-eye view of the twinkling city below. During the winter, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is also open, located underneath the Big Apple’s most recognizable Christmas tree. Skate beneath the Christmas magic, by purchasing tickets here.
Have a snowball fight in Central Park (Elf)
If you’re lucky enough to experience snowfall during your winter New York City break, you’ll be able to relive one of the funniest movie moments of all - the snowball fight in Elf! Loads of the film is set in this famous park, however this scene sees Michael hiding behind the rock in Pinebank Arch, while Buddy shows off his snowball fighting skills. Grab some (willing!) participants and hold your very own match - will you be as good as Buddy? You can see this and other notable film locations in Central Park when you take this walking TV & movie sites tour.
Grab a quick bite at Katz’s Delicatessen (When Harry Met Sally)
This New York establishment has made a name for itself, even without the major film influence, having been family run for over 100 years and serving some of the best cured meats in the area. However, film-fans have been flocking to Katz’s since the release of eighties rom-com classic ‘When Harry Met Sally’, which features the diner in one of its most iconic scenes. Yes, Katz’s is the location where the ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ diner scene occurred, and you can even sit at the table where Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) sat too. This year, the Deli even hosted a ‘scene reenactment contest', which sounds absolutely hilarious. Loads of other famous faces have eaten in the Deli too - the walls are adorned with photos of many of the stars. Take the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour and explore other locations in the movie, as well as some other famous TV and movie sites.
Warm up in The New York Public Library (Ghostbusters)
New York City can get dreadfully cold in the winter, so where better to warm up than surrounded by some of the world’s best minds? Eagle-eyed movie fans will also recognise the beautiful building as being home to one of 'Ghostbusters’' most beloved scenes. While you may not find any ghouls getting up to ghastly pranks in the reading room, the Fifth Avenue branch of the library is a still a great place to get your movie-geek on and perhaps even become inspired too. Want to see the hotel featured in Ghostbusters as well? This NYC TV and Movie will take you there, along with some other recognizable locations from the screen.
Spend a festive night in The Plaza Hotel
If your budget allows it, it’s certainly worth splashing out on a night in The Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue, which provides stunning views of Central Park. Not only is the hotel a bucket list place to stay in the City, but it’s been featured in multiple blockbuster movies, including 'Sleepless in Seattle', 'Home Alone 2', 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Bride Wars'. If you’re really star-obsessed, you’ll also be pleased to hear that a whole range of famous faces have even stayed or performed in The Plaza too - John Lennon, Truman Capote, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Marene Dietrich and Yoko Ono have all graced the building with their presence, so you’re in good company! Consider yourself the next Carrie Bradshaw? You’ll love this Sex and the City Hotspots Tour, which features The Plaza Hotel along with over 40 other iconic series locations.
Image credit: thepizzasnob.net
Enjoy classic Italian-American pizza at Pizzaland (The Sopranos)
If the front of Pizzaland looks strangely familiar, you’re quite right! This unassuming pizza joint features in the opening credits of 'The Sopranos', and while it may be slightly further afield in neighbouring New Jersey, if you’re fans of the show it’s certainly worth a visit. Pizzaland dates back to 1965, when legend has it that Frank DiPiazza won the squat brick building in a card game, and decided to open a pizzeria. Thankfully, the building and decor hasn't changed much since then! Sopranos influence aside, the restaurant is worth a visit for the unique pizza alone, which is cooked in an authentic and original pizza oven, producing an almost crustless thin yet still soft pizza. Get a guided tour of the Jersey suburbs and see where Tony and his mafia buddies hung out in this On Location Sopranos Tour.
Image credit: mcgeespubny.com
Drink a ‘Creamsicle’ at McGee’s Pub (How I Met Your Mother)
This huge three-floored Irish pub is the inspiration for one of the most popular recent fictional pubs - MacLaren’s from ‘How I Met Your Mother’. See where the gang love to hang out and exchange anecdotes, and maybe even tell a few stories of your own. True fans will love the HIMYM Dinner Specials menu too, which features dishes like ‘TedMosbyIsAJerk.com’ (chicken jerk wrap), ‘Wings “But Um”’, ‘Slapsgiving Mini Pizza’ and ‘Best Burger in New York’. They also have HIMYM-themed drinks, such as ‘Creamsicle’ (Smirnoff Whipped Cream Flavoured Vodka & orange juice), ‘Robin Sparkles’ (Crown Royal, apple pucker & cranberry juice), ‘S.O.B.’ (Sobieski Vanilla Vodka & ginger ale) and ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ (coffee liquor & root beer). The real pub is where creators Carters Bays and Craig Thomas used to drink, and the stars of the show have even been through a few times too, so keep your camera handy! Visit this famous establishment and more in the NYC TV & Movie Tour.