You can enter one of New York City’s most exclusive parks tomorrow only — but there’s a catch

Dec 23, 2019

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Tomorrow, Gramercy Park will open to visitors for one hour only.

This small, block-long green space nestled between East 21st and East 20th streets in the historic neighborhood of the same name is arguably one of the most exclusive places in New York City (except, perhaps, for Rao’s). That’s because it’s the only private park in Manhattan and access is guarded by wrought-iron gates.

You need a very rare, very expensive key to enter Gramercy Park, and there are fewer than 400 of those in existence. As The New York Times explained, keys are given only to those who rent or own property directly on Gramercy Park; or are members “in very good standing” of elite clubs and congregations such as the National Arts Club, the Brotherhood Synagogue and Calvary-St. George’s Church, among others. Guests staying at the ritzy Gramercy Park Hotel get access to the park too, but must be escorted in and out — the key remains with hotel staff members. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.

But for one day and one hour only, the rules change.

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Every year on Christmas Eve, the park opens to the public for one hour, and one hour only. During those magical 60 minutes, people come together to sing carols and celebrate the holiday season. Call it a Christmas miracle, if you will.

According to 6Sqft, the event is run by the Trustees of Gramercy Park, with the nearby Parish of Calvary-St. George’s leading the music. If you attend, keep in mind that dogs, alcohol, bikes, smoking, playing and feeding animals are strictly forbidden. The park will open from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24.

New York City is pretty magical this time of year. If you don’t find yourself in the Gramercy neighborhood this Tuesday, don’t fret. There are still plenty of other things to see and do during the holidays in the Big Apple.

Related: How to get to New York City with points and miles 

Of course, if you want to avoid the crowds — and cold — you might want to push your visit back a few months. Whatever you choose, check out our top picks for the best points hotels in the city. You can even use Marriott points to get a free night at the Gramercy Park Hotel (read: access to Gramercy Park) because it’s a participating member of Design Hotels. Just be prepared to splash out, as award night at this Category 8 property start at 70,000 points per night on off-peak dates.

Need to bolster your Marriott balance? Sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, and you can earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Consider that one night at the hotel — and your golden ticket (er, key) to the most elite park in New York City.

Featured image courtesy of zxvisual/Getty.

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