Things to Do in Manhattan

Things to Do in Manhattan


When it comes to fun activities in Manhattan, you have no shortage of options, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you’re looking for popular tourist attractions and family-friendly events, or fine arts exhibits and free outdoor activities, there are a whole host of options for you to choose from. If you are spending time in Manhattan and wondering how to go about setting up an itinerary for your day, we’ve compiled a short-but-sweet list of a few of our favorite ways to while away a few hours in the city. Pick one or two for a more relaxed day, or try them all if you have a weekend or so.

Free Things to Do in Manhattan

1. Visit the Museum of Modern Art on Friday night. The museum offers works from Pablo Picasso, Paul Gaugin, Edward Hopper, Elizabeth Murray, and many others. Admission is free on Friday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., as is the sculpture garden daily from 9:30 to 10 a.m.           

2. Stroll around Central Park. See the Imagine Mosaic or Belvedere Castle, go for a run, or have a picnic on Cherry Hill, all for free. It's clear why Central Park gets an estimated 38 million visitors annually.

3. Watch a late-night show during the day. Whether you are a fan of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, or another talk show host, you can join their audience for free. Tickets typically come out a month in advance, though last-minute standby tickets are sometimes available.

4. Ride the ferry to Staten Island. As the southernmost borough, Staten Island is often overlooked. Visitors to the island can check out Fort Wadsworth, The National Lighthouse Museum, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

5. Dip your toes in the water. A wonderful option for sand and sun is Manhattan Beach Park. If you want amusement park rides, boardwalks, tourist attractions, and fabulous food, then head over the bridge to Coney Island.

6. Take a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Federal Bank is said to hold the largest gold repository in the world with roughly 7,000 tons. Tours of the facility are available weekday afternoons.

What to Do at Night

1. Take a bus or walking tour of the city. If you haven’t visited the Big Apple before, this is an excellent way to learn the rich history of New York and see all the attractions. A first visit may seem overwhelming, but a well-planned tour is an easy way to acclimate yourself.

2. Check out a Broadway show. Broadway is composed of more than 40 theaters playing some of the most commercially successful and popular shows on the planet. There is something for everyone, as current options include Aladdin, Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods, SpongeBob SquarePants, and The Phantom of the Opera.

3. Get a bird's eye view from the Empire State Building. Open until 2 a.m., the Empire State Building offers the highest observation deck in the city. You can get stunning 360-degree views of New York from the One World Trade Center Observatory and Top of the Rock, too.

4. Attend one of the many sporting events. New York is home to two NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS, and MLB teams, as well as the U.S. Open in late August and early September. There’s bound to be a game nearby while you’re in town.

Final Words

The list of things to do in Manhattan could go on forever. We didn't even get around to mentioning stargazing on High Line, taking a picture at the Brooklyn Bridge, or visiting some of the best pizzerias in the world. Whether you are looking for a glitzy night out or want a budget-friendly evening, there are options. Now get out there and enjoy the city! New York awaits.

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