Things To Do
Ever wonder why there is so much hustle and bustle in New York? It’s because everyone has something to do! When New Yorkers aren’t working they’re usually living on the edge of culture, entertainment, and the latest trends.
Being a Tourist: If you’re just transitioning into New York City life, you’ll definitely want to play tourist for the first couple of weeks. This means going to the top of the Empire State Building, climbing the Statue of Liberty, getting jostled by the crowds in Times Square while ogling at its lights, spending a day at the Met and taking the Circle Line cruise around the island. even for long-time residents, the Circle Line is a great way to get acquainted with New York, the skyline, and the city’s history.
Museums: New York is home to nearly 100 museums featuring artistic, historical, scientific, and cultural exhibits. The most popular New York museums include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Natural History. For art, architecture, and history lovers alike, nothing compares to the sanctified beauty of The Cloisters. The Central Park Zoo, The Bronx Zoo, and the New York Aquarium offer a glimpse of wildlife to the New York urbanite.
Theatre: From the perennial Lion King and Phantom Of The Opera to periodic gems like The Columnist and Death Of A Salesman, Broadway is a great chance to be wowed by critically acclaimed plays, famous actors, and fantastic sets. But off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway have equally exciting productions by upcoming writers and artists, many of which allow the audiences to get up close to the action and the actors.
The real beauty of New York is that there are theaters all over the city from Times Square to the East Village showing new shows, experimental theater, and musicals at places like the Public Theater and The Atlantic Theater Company.
Music & Dance: Keep an eye out for classical music and dance at the Lincoln Center, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and your favorite singers and bands at the Beacon Theatre or the Bowery Ballroom. There are always hundreds of other performances both indoors and outdoors, by day and night across the five boroughs. A good way to keep track of what’s going on is via Time Out New York.
Film: You can always watch the latest superhero movie or romantic comedy at an AMC or Regal Theater but take full advantage of the many other venues for film screenings in the city. The Film Society of Lincoln Center plays international and independent films and is host to the New York Film Festival (NYFF). The Film Forum shows classics and more independent films. Summer is a great time to catch all sorts of movies outdoors – on rooftops and in Bryant Park.
Watch A Game: Not many cities in the world can boast of two major league baseball teams, two NBA teams, two NFL teams, and a grand slam tennis tournament, all of which together make New York a real sports lover’s paradise. Even Cricket and kabbadi fanatics will be able to find a local game or two. So whatever your sport, practice your cheers, grab your cap and head out to one of NYC’s sporting arenas for heart-thumping, adrenaline pumping action. While you’re in New York, make sure to see A Game At The Garden, The Nets, The Giants, The Jets, The Yankees, The Mets, or US Open Championship.
Ride A Bike: A great way to explore NYC is on a bike. Sometimes, a bike goes further than all other forms of transport. If you’re a biker, keep an eye out for events like the Five Boro Bike Tour and Escape New York. If you don’t want to ride in a group rent a bike (you can get one for as low as $7/hour or $20/day) and ride through Central Park, across the Brooklyn Bridge or wherever you want (traffic laws allowing).
Parks: There is no better way to spend a fine day in New York City than to spread out on a lawn in one of its parks with some coffee and a good book. If you must work then you can do that outdoors too with WiFi available in parts of Battery Park and Central Park, with more WiFi connectivity on the way. You can fish, play ball, swim, kayak, ride the carousel, and attend a concert or a play in Central Park and many other NYC Parks.
Shopping: As one of the fashion capitals of the world, there is an endless supply of boutiques and shops in NYC. The top neighborhoods and streets for shopping include department stores like the famed Macy’s, Century 21, Bergdorf Goodman, and other smaller boutiques and shops offering high end to low cost clothing. Shopping in New York is like a game—trying to mix and match high-end fashion pieces with street vendor accessories. From South Street Seaport to Chinatown to Madison Avenue, shopping in New York is a riveting adventure.
Being a tourist is one of the most efficient ways to become familiar with NYC and become an expert tour guide for your future visitors. Nothing says, “I’m a real New Yorker” like giving an authentic tour to your friends. For more of New York’s tourist highlights, see: Top NYC Tourist Attractions.