13 Fun Things to Do in New York – Your Ultimate Guide for Exciting Activities

New York City, also known as the “Big Apple,” is a bustling and vibrant city that offers an endless array of things to do and see. From iconic landmarks to top-rated attractions, free activities to fun experiences, New York has something for everyone.

For first-time visitors, the top must-see attractions include:

  1. Visiting the iconic Statue of Liberty.
  2. Exploring the expansive Central Park.
  3. Taking a stroll through the bustling Times Square.
  4. Marveling at world-renowned art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  5. Walking across the historic Brooklyn Bridge.
  6. Catching a Broadway show.

But New York also offers plenty of free activities, such as:

  • Walking along the High Line, a public park built on an old elevated railway.
  • Visiting the majestic Grand Central Terminal.
  • Admiring the architecture and literature at the New York Public Library.
  • Taking a free ferry ride to Staten Island for stunning views of the city.
  • Paying respects at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

For those looking for more fun and unique experiences, New York has plenty to offer, including:

  1. Ice skating at Rockefeller Center in the winter.
  2. Seeing the city from a different perspective with a helicopter tour.
  3. Sampling delicious food on a food tour in Chinatown.
  4. Watching a sporting event at one of the city’s famous venues.
  5. Splurging on a shopping spree in the trendy neighborhood of SoHo.

In conclusion, New York City is a vibrant and exciting destination for travelers of all ages. With its countless attractions, free activities, and fun experiences, it is a city that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park
  • Take advantage of free activities like walking the High Line and visiting Grand Central Terminal
  • Experience the excitement of New York by going ice skating, taking a helicopter tour, and indulging in food and shopping in popular neighborhoods
  • What are the Top Attractions in New York?

    When it comes to planning a trip to New York, there are endless options for things to do and see. But which attractions should be at the top of your list? In this section, we will highlight the must-see attractions that you cannot miss during your visit to the Big Apple. From iconic landmarks to cultural hotspots, we’ll cover it all. Get ready to discover the top attractions in New York!

    1. Visit the Statue of Liberty

    1. Book tickets in advance online to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
    2. Arrive at Battery Park to catch the ferry to Liberty Island.
    3. After visiting the statue, explore the museum inside the pedestal for historical insights.
    4. Finally, take a stroll around the grounds for picturesque views of the New York City skyline.

    Did you know? The Statue of Liberty’s official name is ‘Liberty Enlightening the World.’

    2. Explore Central Park

    When you visit Central Park, maximize your experience by following these steps:

    1. Begin at Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.
    2. Continue on to the iconic Bow Bridge for breathtaking views.
    3. Take a leisurely stroll through the Ramble for a peaceful nature walk.
    4. Admire the stunning floral displays at the Conservatory Garden.
    5. End your day with a picnic at Sheep Meadow.

    Pro-tip: Consider renting a bike or opting for a guided tour to cover more ground and discover hidden gems.

    3. Take a Stroll in Times Square

    1. Start at Duffy Square, where you can snap a photo with the iconic red steps and the TKTS booth.
    2. Marvel at the bright lights and billboards as you take a stroll in Times Square.
    3. Pop into the flagship stores and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this renowned commercial hub.

    Pro-tip: Visit Times Square at night to experience the electrifying energy and vibrant nightlife of this iconic location. For more fun things to do in New York, check out Fun things to do in New York.

    4. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    1. Plan your visit ahead by checking the museum’s website for current exhibitions and special events.
    2. Consider purchasing tickets online to avoid long lines at the entrance.
    3. Explore the vast collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which includes ancient artifacts, modern art, and cultural exhibits.
    4. Join a guided tour for an in-depth understanding of the highlights and history of the museum.
    5. Take a break at one of the museum’s cafes or the rooftop garden for stunning views of Central Park.

    Did you know that the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art spans over 5,000 years of art from around the world?

    5. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

    1. Begin your journey by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side, taking in the breathtaking views of the city skyline and the East River.
    2. Marvel at the impressive architecture of the bridge, admiring its Gothic-influenced towers and intricate cable patterns.
    3. Take a leisurely stroll and capture unforgettable photos of this iconic New York City landmark.
    4. Listen to the bustling sounds of the city as you make your way across the bridge, fully immersing yourself in the vibrant urban atmosphere.
    5. Once you reach the Brooklyn side, take some time to explore the charming neighborhood of DUMBO, renowned for its cobblestone streets and thriving art scene.

    6. See a Broadway Show

    Check the show schedules to find a suitable date and time for your Broadway experience.

    Book tickets in advance to secure good seats and avoid any last-minute hassle.

    Research the show’s plot, genre, and reviews for a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

    Arrive early to fully immerse yourself in the ambiance and comfortably find your seats.

    Remember to turn off your mobile phone and refrain from talking during the performance to respect others’ enjoyment.

    Savor the magic of Broadway by immersing yourself in captivating storytelling, mesmerizing music, and spectacular performances.

    What Are Some Free Things to Do in New York?

    New York City is known for its bustling energy and endless attractions, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have a good time. In this section, we’ll share some of the best free activities the city has to offer. From strolling along the elevated High Line to paying tribute at the 9/11 Memorial, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that will still give you a taste of the Big Apple. So put away your wallet and get ready to discover the free side of New York.

    1. Walk the High Line

    When planning to explore the High Line in New York, follow these steps:

    1. Start at the southern end near Gansevoort Street.
    2. Enjoy the elevated views of the city skyline and Hudson River.
    3. Observe the various art installations along the way.
    4. Take a break at the sundeck to relax and soak in the atmosphere.
    5. End the walk at the northern end around 34th Street.

    Pro-tip: Visit during sunset for a breathtaking experience, and bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

    2. Visit Grand Central Terminal

    To fully experience Grand Central Terminal, follow these steps:

    1. Be amazed by the iconic celestial ceiling in the Main Concourse.
    2. Indulge in a meal at the Grand Central Market or the renowned Oyster Bar.
    3. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and architecture of the terminal.
    4. Visit the Whispering Gallery to witness its acoustic marvel.
    5. Explore Vanderbilt Hall for art exhibitions and events.

    After visiting Grand Central Terminal, be sure to check out the nearby Chrysler Building or take a leisurely stroll through Bryant Park.

    3. Explore the New York Public Library

    1. Begin your visit by exploring the iconic Rose Main Reading Room, a vast and beautiful space filled with natural light and rows of long oak tables.
    2. Discover the exquisite architecture of the library, including the famous stone lions, Patience, and Fortitude, guarding the entrance.
    3. Take a guided tour to delve into the history, collections, and impressive architecture of the New York Public Library.
    4. Explore the diverse range of resources, from rare books to digital collections, to gain an in-depth understanding of all that the library has to offer.

    While exploring the New York Public Library, don’t miss the opportunity to attend a literary event or exhibition to enhance your visit.

    4. Take a Ferry Ride to Staten Island

    1. Begin your journey by heading to the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.
    2. Embark on the Staten Island Ferry for a free ride with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and the city skyline.
    3. Once you arrive at Staten Island, take the time to explore the Staten Island Zoo or the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.
    4. As you return on the ferry, be sure to capture stunning photos of the city skyline.

    For an even more enjoyable experience, consider visiting the Staten Island Museum or trying some delicious local cuisine at one of the waterfront restaurants.

    5. Visit the 9/11 Memorial

    1. Plan your visit to the 9/11 Memorial during non-peak hours to avoid crowds.
    2. Respect the solemnity of the memorial and pay tribute to the victims.
    3. Consider visiting the museum to gain a deeper understanding of the tragic events surrounding 9/11.

    What Are Some Fun Activities to Do in New York?

    New York City is known for its bustling energy and endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Whether you’re a local looking for new experiences or a tourist exploring the city for the first time, there are countless activities to enjoy. In this section, we will discuss some of the most exciting and unique things to do in New York. From ice skating at Rockefeller Center to indulging in a food tour in Chinatown, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Big Apple. So, let’s dive into the fun and diverse activities that New York has to offer!

    1. Go Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

    • Check the ice skating schedule at Rockefeller Center for available times.
    • Arrive early to avoid long lines and secure your skating session.
    • Rent skates and any necessary equipment on-site if you don’t have your own.
    • Enjoy skating amidst the iconic cityscape and the festive atmosphere.
    • Capture the moment with a photo in front of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

    2. Take a Helicopter Tour of the City

    Taking a helicopter tour of the city is an exhilarating and unique way to see New York’s iconic landmarks. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is important to choose a reputable tour company with experienced pilots and excellent safety records. Be sure to arrive early for the tour to complete necessary paperwork and safety briefings. It is also recommended to wear comfortable clothing and secure any loose items before boarding the helicopter.

    During the tour, listen carefully to the pilot’s instructions and take in the breathtaking views. After the tour, share your amazing experience with friends and family and cherish the unforgettable memories.

    3. Enjoy a Food Tour in Chinatown

    1. Embark on a culinary adventure in Chinatown by immersing yourself in the lively streets filled with authentic Asian eateries and bustling markets.
    2. Discover traditional bakeries and indulge in a variety of delicious treats, such as egg tarts and pineapple buns.
    3. Feast on a variety of delectable dumplings and steamed dishes at renowned restaurants offering dim sum.
    4. Uncover hidden gems as you explore the bustling streets, from bubble tea shops to bustling noodle houses.
    5. Complete your food tour by savoring iconic dishes, such as Peking duck or hand-pulled noodles, at acclaimed Chinatown eateries.

    4. Attend a Sporting Event

    • Be sure to check the event schedule for games of your favorite team or sport.
    • Purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot.
    • Arrive early to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere and avoid missing any pre-game activities.
    • Show your support for the teams and join in on the cheers with the passionate crowd.
    • Experience the local sports culture by trying the stadium’s specialty food and drinks.

    I recently had the opportunity to attend a sporting event in New York and it was an incredible experience. I watched a baseball game at Yankee Stadium and the energy of the crowd and the excitement of the game made it unforgettable.

    5. Go on a Shopping Spree in SoHo

    If you’re ready for a shopping adventure in SoHo, follow these steps to make the most of your experience:

    1. Research: Take the time to look up the unique boutiques and flagship stores in SoHo.
    2. Plan: Map out your route to cover all the must-visit shops and make the most of your time.
    3. Budget: Set a spending limit to avoid overspending and prioritize your purchases.
    4. Explore: Immerse yourself in the trendy atmosphere and discover hidden gems.
    5. Indulge: Treat yourself to stylish fashion, designer goods, and artistic finds.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some must-see art exhibits in New York City in December 2023?

    Some must-see art exhibits in New York City in December 2023 include The Met and Frick Madison’s current exhibits, which have been carefully selected by Time Out’s editors.

    What are some of the top things to do in New York City for first-time visitors?

    Some top things to do for first-time visitors include catching the sunrise from the top of the Empire State Building, exploring the city’s eclectic boroughs, and trying out the city’s diverse and delicious food options, like Little Italy.

    What are some of the coolest exhibits to see in New York City in December 2023?

    Some of the coolest exhibits to see in New York City in December 2023 include The Met and Frick Madison’s must-see exhibits, which have been carefully curated by Time Out’s editors.

    What are some of the best parks to visit in New York City in December 2023?

    Some of the best parks to visit in New York City in December 2023 include Central Park, Prospect Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offer beautiful views and outdoor activities even in the chilly weather.

    What are some unique and fun things to do in New York City in December 2023?

    Some unique and fun things to do in New York City in December 2023 include exploring the active catacombs at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, taking a spooky ghost tour, and experiencing indoor skydiving at iFLY Westchester.

    What are some of the top activities to enjoy in December in New York City?

    Some of the top activities to enjoy in December in New York City include checking out the city’s holiday festivities, seeing must-see museum exhibits, and catching a buzzy Broadway show.