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We have all at one point or another dreamt about taking the ultimate trip to the beloved New York City. Whether we have already made the trip to the Big Apple or not, planning out what to do can be really hard. From countless museums and tours to Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, deciding what to do in the city that never sleeps can get really difficult.

Aside from hitting up the typical NYC landmarks and attractions, check out some of these not-so-typical events to make your next trip stand out.

  1. Go and see a live recording of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon


If you happen to know the dates of your trip a month in advance you could get a chance to see a live recording of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Free tickets for the following month are released during the first week of the month prior. For example, tickets for a show time in April are released during the first week of March.

There you can watch how they record shows with a live studio audience, interact with the celebrity visitors, listen to the band and performers and even speak with Jimmy Fallon himself after the show!

Even if you happen to miss out on tickets, visiting the NBC store in New York is exciting. And maybe if you’re lucky, you can score free tickets there—they are always looking for people to sit in on new show recordings!

  1. Catch a #Ham4Ham show live and for free


If you’re a “Hamilton” fan (which if you’re not…why?) you could be one of the lucky who are entered into the $10 ticket lottery for tickets each day in the heart of New York. However, if you’re not too interested in catching a show or are one of the many unlucky people who have failed countless times to buy the sold out show tickets, you could catch a live, random performance by the “Hamilton” cast at this free event.

Typically, the #Ham4Ham shows fall on a Wednesday or Saturday where the cast members come out and perform something random for the growing fans on West 46th Street waiting to either hear if they won the daily lottery or see if they can catch a glimpse of the stars. While the #Ham4Ham shows are currently on a short pause for the time being, the lead producer Jeffrey Seller promises they will be soon to return. Mark your calendars and keep your eyes peeled.

  1. Eat at Ellen’s Stardust Diner

ellens stardust

If you’re in Time Square, New York and looking for a fun place to catch some food and get quality live entertainment, then Ellen’s Stardust Diner is the place to go. Unlike anywhere else, the diner transforms itself into a makeshift Broadway performance with young actors and actresses who want to make a name for themselves and work while in between shows. Some of the waiters are even internationally known and the food has a stage presence of itself.

At Ellen’s Stardust Diner, you can catch high quality food with even higher quality performers singing old and new Broadway show tunes as well as other all-time favorites.

So even if your list of things to do is packed with tours, shows and shopping, try and make time to squeeze in some of these not-so-typical events to really add to the New York experience. If you know of any other cool and unexpected things to do in NYC, feel free to leave a comment below!

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About The Author

Laurie Bengoa is a sophomore journalism major and a editor for WaveLength Weekly. You can catch her dreaming about her toes in the sand with a book in her hand. She is a firm believer in the fish with a bad fin and the motto, "Just keep swimming."

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