Alternative Things To Do in NYC Besides Watching The Super Bowl

Vintage photo on display at the Met's Gridiron Greats, a football themed exhibition

Although millions of us will join our countrymen this Sunday evening and watch the game on TV, there is also many others who have no interest in sports or advertising. Thankfully for those of you that fall into the second category, there are tons of alternatives to watching the Super Bowl and things to do in NYC this weekend. So if ordering take out food, drinking beer with your buddies, and watching football isn’t your thing, here are some other ways to spend your time this Sunday.

The Broadway show artwork for Beautiful: Carole King on Broadway, with a young women sitting on a string of piano keys

For Theater Lovers

On Broadway and off, it’s a great time of year for going to the theater and because of a couple of deals going on right now, now is the perfect opportunity to check out shows that are not the big name show but are intriguing . Until February 6th, in the Times Square area, Broadway Week is currently offering 2-for-1 tickets on all performances of 25 separate plays and musicals, including such big-timers as:

  • Kinky Boots
  • Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
  • Matilda
  • Twelfth Night
  • Waiting For Godot
  • Mamma Mia

You will find even more eclectic deals via Off Broadway’s 20at20. For 20 days only (ends February 9th), 20 different shows put all remaining seats on sale for $20 just 20 minutes before curtain. Among them:

  • The Gazillion Bubble Show
  • Bill W. and Doctor Bob
  • Showgirls! The Musical!!
  • Avenue Q

The poster artwork for the Museum of Moving Image's "Madden NFL: 25 Years and Running" exhibition

For Museum Lovers

A couple of museums are running football-themed exhibitions right now, and though they’ll be closed during game time, they’re worth checking out that afternoon. At the Met you have Gridiron Greats, a selection of never-before-exhibited football cards. You’ll get a chance to see cards from 1894 printed by the tobacco company Mayo, and a 1959 card featuring Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, who leaped to fame the year before with his heroics in the 1958 NFL Title contest- often simply called “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. Show ends February 10.

Out in Queens, at the under-appreciated Museum of the Moving Image, the always-awesome Jason Eppink has organized Madden NFL: 25 Years and Running, a retrospective look at the longest-lasting, most ridiculously-popular video game on the planet. The exhibition includes five playable games, including the 1988 original. Exhibit ends February 25.

Going to the movie theater on the Super Bowl you'll find an theater of empty red velvet seats

For Movie Lovers

Finally, Super Bowl Sunday is always a great night to go out to a tough-table restaurant and to see a movie. For restaurants, take a look at some of our past New York City restaurant reviews to find one that could be remarkably open for reservation on Sunday night.

All of my personal Top 10 movies of 2013 are now either in the theater (American Hustle, Nebraska, and Inside Llewyn Davis) or available for streaming. The latter category includes:

  • The powerful Fruitvale Station, about a black kid shot dead by the police in an Oakland subway station for literally no reason.
  • The tender and funny late-40s-something love story Enough Said, starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • The quirky and utterly charming Lake Bell indie, In a World…, set in the incestuous subculture of Hollywood voiceover stars
  • Short Term 12, about a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers which will make you laugh, cry, then laugh, then cry some more.

Did we miss any non-Super Bowl events, exhibitions, or activities happening in NYC this Sunday? For those of you not looking to get caught up in the hype, what are some other ways do you plan on spending your time?

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