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Elf is officially 15 years old this year! We can’t believe it either. Elf tells the story of a human that grew up in the North Pole, only to discover that his true family is from New York City, a festive yet different place to celebrate the holidays. To celebrate the anniversary, here are 15 things you can do in New York to channel or inner Buddy the Elf.


  1. Enter Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Except we recommend a car instead of walking through, ya know, just to be safe.

  1. Visit Macy’s on 34th Street.

Although Gimbel’s, the store where Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) works in the film, closed in the 1980s, Macy’s is your next best bet. A digitally altered version of the store is present in the film.

  1. Take the Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour.

See Central Park in all of its glory, the spot where the iconic snowball fight went down, and take a picture with Bethesda Fountain, the fountain that is nearly torn to pieces by Santa’s sleigh towards the end of the film (plus many more movie sites from Home Alone 2, Enchanted, and more!) Plus, in November 2018, take an ELFie on the Central Park tour to get a free Holiday Tour gift certificate.

  1. Pass by Walter’s apartment.

Located on 55 Central Park West. It’s also the apartment where Dana (Sigourney Weaver) and Louis (Rick Moranis) live in Ghostbusters.

  1. Take a picture at the scenic Queensboro Bridge.

This is the spot where Buddy runs away to once he realizes he won’t fit in with his new family and then spots Santa’s sleigh in the sky.

  1. Get your shoes shined in Grand Central Terminal.

But maybe keep the giggling to a minimum, unlike Buddy.

  1. See the view from the top of the Empire State Building.

If you recall from the film, Buddy’s true father Walter (James Caan) works in the Empire State Building, and you can see a pretty nice view of the city from the top.

  1. Hail a cab!

Instead of interpreting it as waving like Buddy does, hail your own cab anywhere in the city. You’ll feel like a true New Yorker!

  1. Get some coffee.

It might not be the world’s best, but what would a cold day in New York be without a warm coffee to share it with? Maybe try Café Lalo, a stop on the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour.

  1. Spin in a revolving door!

There are tons! Pick a hotel or office building and spin away… but not too much or you’ll get sick like Buddy did.

  1. Eat some spaghetti.

And bring your own syrup. There are plenty of amazing Italian restaurants in NYC, but if you can’t decide, go to Eataly in the Flatiron District for all of the Italian food your heart desires.

  1. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

Home to the biggest Christmas tree, this is where Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) and Buddy share their first kiss.

  1. Satisfy your elvish sweet tooth.

We recommend Dylan’s Candy Bar for some colorful candy. They have multiple locations around the city, and you can even visit one of the locations on the Gossip Girl Tour.

  1. Leap-frog across a crosswalk!

But um, you can keep going across even if a car is turning! Elves may not have the right of way but pedestrians do.

  1. Take the Holiday Lights & Movie Sights Tour.

See Elf filming locations, including many of the ones listed here, in addition to other holiday classics like Home Alone 2, Eloise at Christmastime, Scrooged, and Miracle on 34th Street. Plus you’ll see the famous holiday displays in the department store windows. Plus, in 2018, take an ELFie on the tour to celebrate!