Guide to Open House New York Weekend 2018

Church Architecture St Patrick's Cathedral Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Have you ever looked up at NYC’s wealth of skyscrapers and wondered what really goes on up there? Or how about the charming brownstones in the West Village–what does the interior of those gorgeous little structures look like? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having behind the scenes access to the inner workings of JFK Airport (I mean, who hasn’t?) Your dreams are all about to come true during the 2018 Open House New York Weekend, taking place from October 12th to 14th! We got the full scoop for you below, so all you have to do is take note and have fun!

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What Is Open House New York Weekend?

Open House New York Weekend is an annual event which happens over the course of a weekend every October. It’s the opportunity to go behind the scenes of some of NYC’s most significant buildings, and to talk to the people who have taken a huge role in designing, building, and preserving these important structures all over NYC.

Why Would I Want To Go Into These Buildings?

Besides the fact that most of these spaces are closed to the public the rest of the year (hence making it a pretty unique New York experience!), you’ll also have the opportunity to hear tours, talks, performances, and other special events while you’re there. The main topic of conversation is how to build a better New York…a theme I think we can all get behind.

center for architecture exterior
Aloha Jon, Wikipedia Commons, license info, photo has been cropped. Center for Architecture.

Does It Cost Anything To Attend?

Nope! Open House New York is 100% free for “Open Access Sites.” For “Advance Reservation Sites,” you will be required to make a $5 per person donation online, simply to keep people from registering for a slew of tours they don’t intend to actually attend.

Do I Need To Make Reservations?

There are over 140 buildings which are considered “Open Access Sites”, meaning no reservations or tickets are required. In addition, there are 130 “Advance Reservation Sites,” which fill up quickly, so make sure you register online!

Where Can I Find A List Of Buildings To Tour For Both Open Access and Advance Reservation Sites?

The full lineup of places is listed here. You can download a digital copy or check out their list of locations that have physical copies of their guide available.

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Is Open House New York A Family Friendly Event?

Absolutely! In fact, some of the sites even offer special programming designed with kids in mind, including tours, crafts, and other activities. Due to safety reasons, some sites are adult only. In order to make the most of your visit, search ahead of time on the website using “family friendly” filters.

Is There A Way To Skip The Lines?

There sure is! A limited number of Passports will be sold for $150 (all tax deductible), which will have you and one other person skip to the head of the line at all the Open Access Sites. Since the Advance Registration Sites are ticketed, it is not valid for those.

outisde of mount vernon hotel
I, Dmadeo, Wikipedia Commons, license info, photo has been cropped. Mount Vernon Hotel.

Will There Be Open Houses Taking Place In My Neighborhood?

Lucky for us New Yorkers, the open houses will be happening all over the city, making it super simple to attend no matter what neighborhood or Glenwood building you live in! One of the sites we’re really anticipating this year is the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden (nestled on the border of the Upper East Side and Midtown East, not far from The Bamford and The Bristol!), a beautiful place to take a breather from the stressors of everyday life. We’re also patiently awaiting access to the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (situated in Midtown, and the perfect kid-friendly event to attend!) and the Cathedral Church of Saint John The Divine (a true worldwide architectural gem, worth the trip to Morningside Heights!).

Any Tips For Making The Most Out of Open House Weekend?

Of course! Make sure you spend the time to figure out the spots that are of highest importance for you to see ahead of time. If they are ticketed, go ahead and purchase your tickets as soon as possible. After you have your weekend lineup, spend a bit of time mapping out transportation routes to and from different spots. A bit of planning ahead will save you loads of time on the day of! And finally, be aware that you will be engaging in a lot of walking and standing throughout the weekend, so wear comfy shoes!

What venue are you most looking forward to seeing at Open House NY? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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