By Jessica Allen
If, like millions of other Americans, you’re due for a tax refund from Uncle Sam, you’ve come to the right place. We combed the city for the best ways to spend your tax return, from pampering your face at the spa, to taking selfies with critters and making the world a better place. Go ahead and treat yourself! Hey, you only live once.
568 Broadway, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10012
If your skin could use a refresh, book yourself an appointment at bliss. Among the services offered at their three NYC locations is the spa’s signature “Peeling Groovy” facial, a mini-microdermabrasion facial, manicures and pedicures, a lime-and-ginger salt body scrub, firming treatments, waxing and targeted massage. Just what you need to work out any tax-related kinks! Make sure to stock up on some of their heavenly products too, so you can re-create the experience or look at home.
2300 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10460
Consider this to be the gift that keeps on giving. A membership to the Bronx Zoo not only gets you into several notable attractions, including the Butterfly Garden and JungleWorld, but also means free admission to the Central Park Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Queens Zoo. So, really, it’s like four zoos in one. The Wildlife Conversation Society, which oversees these special places, “saves wildlife and wild places through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.” Lofty mission, admirable goals, and more tails than you can count!
21 Dey Street
New York, NY 10007
1 (877) 350-2121
Spread your tax return even further by heading to one of the city’s largest discount department stores: Century 21. Here you’ll find everything you could possibly need to (re)outfit yourself, your child, your significant other, and your house. From handbags to heels, makeup, headphones, jumpsuits and jeans — Century 21 has it all — for far, far less than you’d normally pay. The flagship store in Lower Manhattan boasts some 220,000 square feet of retail space across seven levels.
Downtown Manhattan Heliport
6 East River Piers
New York, NY 10004
NYC simply doesn’t look the same when you’re hundreds of feet in the air. The Big Apple Tour takes you above and around Ellis Island, the Freedom Tower, Governors Island, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and the USS Intrepid. The Liberty Private Tour will give you a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty before flying over New Jersey and near Yankee Stadium. You’ll soar like a bird, fly like an eagle, and experience an unforgettable slice of the city.
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY
Expecting a big return? Like really, really big? Consider booking a table at Per Se, one of the best, and most expensive, restaurants in all of the five boroughs, if not the whole world. Since 2004, this French restaurant, overseen by Chef Thomas Keller and overlooking Central Park, has offered exquisite tasting menus — a chef’s tasting menu and vegetable tasting menu are each offered daily, with many ingredients sourced from area farmers and foragers. Think veal saddle served with spring onions and English peas, duck foie gras, milk-poached asparagus, avocado with radishes — all carefully prepared and beautifully plated.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.