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Looking for fun activities to do in NYC? You have come to the right place. As a Native New Yorker, I can give you plenty of ideas on fun stuff to do in NYC.
If you’re visiting New York City for the first time, chances are you’re still at a loss as on what to do first. The truth is, I can’t blame you for feeling this way.
With all the hype generated from seeing NYC both on television and in the movies, experiencing everything the Big Apple has to offer should be a priority. I have to be honest in letting you know that one day in NYC won’t be enough to take in all of the attractions. There are tons of fun activities in NYC depending on your interests.
With that being said, below is a priority list of the best activities you can experience, so you’ll have only the most wonderful memories to take back home with you when you leave New York City.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 1. Attend a Sporting Event
- 2 2. Visit the Statue of Liberty
- 3 3. Go on a New York City Scavenger Hunt
- 4 4. Experience New York City Food
- 5 5. Enjoy the New York City Skyline
- 6 6. Go Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patching
- 7 7. Explore One of NYC’s Chinatowns
- 8 8. Go for a Walk or Bike Ride along the Hudson and/or East Rivers
- 9 9. Experience NYC’s Finest Book Shops
- 10 10. Go on a Street art tour
1. Attend a Sporting Event
New York City is famous for its glamorous sporting events. You have to remember that The Big Apple is home to major sports teams like the Knicks, the Mets, the Giants, and the Yankees to name a few.
Besides baseball and basketball, New York also has three hockey teams in the Devils, the Rangers, and the Islanders. Also worth noting is that NYC is home to some of America’s biggest sporting events like the US Open and NYC Marathon among others.
Just make sure to check out events’ schedules in advance, so you’ll know which ones are happening by the time you arrive. A visit to NYC wouldn’t be complete without seeing the city’s world-famous arenas like Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium.
2. Visit the Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty has been New York’s most prominent symbol for decades, which is why it only makes sense for a first-timer to visit it.
The good news is there are boat tours available that can take you not only to Lady Liberty herself but to Ellis Island as well. While some may consider this as something that’s not that big of a deal, the truth is, the experience is worth it especially once you come face to face with the world-renowned statue. It’s just an entirely different adventure you can’t afford to miss.
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3. Go on a New York City Scavenger Hunt
If you’re out in New York City to celebrate a loved one’s birthday, a bachelorette party, or if you’re looking for some team building activities, going on a New York City scavenger hunt is an excellent idea.
Companies like CityHUNT offer scavenger hunts and a host of other games that will not only strengthen your bond but also allow you to explore some of NYC’s finest attractions.
There’s no better way to experience NYC than by going on an adventurous scavenger hunt.
4. Experience New York City Food
The extensive variety of cuisine options available in The Big Apple is sure to tempt your tastebuds! While New York offers a ton of great places to eat, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a hearty or tasty meal.
You have a lot of options to choose from if you want to savor some of NYC’s most iconic foods like those giant slices of pizza, mouth-watering pastrami, New York Cheesecake, and tasty bagels…there’s something for every preference and bank account!
Whatever you desire, there will certainly be restaurants and other eateries that will suit your mood, as well as your budget. If you are a certified foodie, visiting NYC is one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make!
5. Enjoy the New York City Skyline
Besides the food and the busy streets, New York City is also known for its breath-taking skyline, so much so that there are lots of ways for you to experience these magnificent vistas.
The Big Apple currently offers three observation decks for your viewing pleasure. You have the one located in the One World Observatory, otherwise known as the Freedom Tower. There’s also one found in the Empire State Building and another one at the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center.
6. Go Apple Picking and Pumpkin Patching
The Big Apple is not just about city life. If you’re the outdoor type and want to experience a whole new adventure, NYC has a lot of farms and orchards that allow you to harvest Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, and McIntosh apples.
What’s great is that a lot of these apple-picking locations offer more activities the family will enjoy, such as hayrides, weekend festivals, and pumpkin patches. Most of them are open nearly year-round, giving you a lot of flexibility to plan ahead.
7. Explore One of NYC’s Chinatowns
Every country has a Chinatown that features fun shops, lots of groceries, and fancy restaurants. It’s a shopping and food haven, to say the least, and NYC has not one, but three!
Whether you are in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (which features the Fei Long Food Court), Flushing’s Chinatown, or Manhattan’s expansive Chinatown downtown, you’ll never run out of choices when it comes to food and shopping for a variety of products.
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8. Go for a Walk or Bike Ride along the Hudson and/or East Rivers
One of the best ways to spend sunny New York mornings and/or bright afternoons is strolling along either the Hudson or East Rivers, from Manhattan or Brooklyn. You can do this via a long river walk or enjoying a bike ride.
The good news is, whatever you choose, you and your family will be treated to some of the most fantastic views The Big Apple has to offer. If you love posting stunning pictures on Instagram, this is one strolling opportunity that you can’t afford to miss.
9. Experience NYC’s Finest Book Shops
We all know the phrase “knowledge is power,” something we usually connect to the habit of reading. Whether you are an occasional reader or a certified bookworm, nothing compares to the smell and texture of a new book’s fresh-printed pages, something NYC has an abundance of through any of its famous bookstores/book shops.
Astoria Book Shop, The Strand, Books are Magic, and McNally Jackson have just about everything you could be looking for, from poetries, mysteries, cookbooks, to rare and old out of print classics. If reading is more than a hobby, these shops will definitely meet, and exceed, your expectations.
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10. Go on a Street art tour
New York City is super famous for its street art. As a New Yorker, I truly love exploring different neighborhoods and discovering new street art. If you are a fan, I recommend for you to go on a street art tour to explore unique and off the beaten path places to enjoy art outside of our traditional museums.
There’s a reason why New York is considered one of America’s most famous cities. More than the sights and sounds, it has a lot more to offer in terms of food, people, and culture. While a whole day in The Big Apple won’t be enough to see everything, there’s always the option to come back for more; don’t you agree?
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