The Big Apple is rightfully famous for its world-class offerings in theater and the arts. Classical music, ballet and opera aficionados should be sure to take in a performance at the Lincoln Center ( website ) or Carnegie Hall ( website ). Most first-time visitors to New York are interested in at least visiting Times Square at night, if only to experience Broadway lights. Times Square and West 42nd Street have definitely been cleaned up in the past decade or so, but the result, many believe, has been sterile and “disneyfied.” If you’re interested in taking in a show, be sure to check out the Theater Development Fund ’s booths, which sell last-minute tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows, as well as other dance and music events. Discounts range from 25-50% off of full price; booths are located at TKTS @ Times Square (47th Street & Broadway) and TKTS @ South Street Seaport (corner of Front and John Streets, rear of the Resnick/Prudential Building at 199 Water Street).  For discounted tickets you can buy in advance, try BroadwayBox.com.  Depending on the show and the time, you can secure tickets to top events at 30-50% off the published prices, and you can get the tickets in advance without waiting in line at TKTS. New York City is also the home of Off-Off Broadway -- live performance that is fresh, unapologetic, edgy, and affordable.  To see what's playing go to United Stages

Additional venues housing a variety of performances and events are:

  • Apollo Theater , ( website) 253 West 125th Street; – legendary Harlem theater now a national historic landmark known since 1934 for its Amateur Nights, where African-American entertainment greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson and James Brown first got noticed
  • Blue Note , ( website) 1312 West 3rd Street; – world-famous Greenwich Village jazz club and restaurant booking only top acts
  • Dance Theater Workshop (DTW), founded in 1965, is a fantastic institution dedicated to the growth and exposure of contemporary dance in New York City. People in the "downtown-dance" scene always know DTW is the place to see the best of current and emerging artists who are moving dance forward.  
  • Javits Center, ( website) 655 W 34th Street;  – large conference center hosting events such as Kosherfest, New York Pizza Show and Gay Life Expo.
  • Convene (website):  NY largest operator of conference centers with four locations in Manhattan. 
  • Madison Square Garden , ( website) 4 Pennsylvania Plaza; -- home of the New York Knicks (basketball), Rangers (ice hockey) and Liberty (soccer), the Garden also serves as a venue for rock concerts and other forms entertainment events
  • Radio City Music Hall , ( website) 1260 Avenue of the Americas;  -- theatre funded by John D. Rockefeller that is a prime example of American Modernist Design; best-known for its annual “Christmas Spectacular,” including the world-famous Rockettes kick-line