New York City is known not only for its size but also for its music, food, art, and culture. Those who visit NYC will never forget it and will always want to return. There’s no way to experience everything NYC has to offer in even a handful of visits. However, this list is meant to get you started.
Below is a list of things to do in NYC that are iconic, memorable, and spectacular. The list features things like museums, parks, landmarks, and shows. It is meant to give you a taste of NYC’s culture in only a few experiences.
1. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art
This museum features over 5,000 years of art from almost every corner of the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has 3 different iconic sites: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Bruer, and The Met Cloisters. Tickets for each site cost $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, and free for children under the age 12. Each site is conveniently located on Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, and in Fort Tryon Park. This really is one of the most famous art museums in the world and one of the most necessary things to do in NYC. The MET’s mission is to maintain the preservation of amazing works of art.
This museum is set up perfectly for people of all ages. It is easily accessible for anyone, from those who are wheelchair-bound, to those who are hearing impaired. It is a very large museum, so you’ll spend a lot of time walking. As each site is indoors, this experience can be enjoyed year-round, rain or shine. Each site is open seven days a week, except for The Met Breuer which remains closed on Mondays. Each site offers its own unique exhibits and amazing works of art the whole family can enjoy.
2. Relax in the Central Park
One of the most world renowned experiences in the city, Central Park is one of the top free things to do in NYC. This gorgeous park spreads over 843 acres of park. Central Park is home to beautiful fountains, sculptures, a reservoir, a carousel, endless gardens, and playgrounds. It is even home to the Central Park Zoo. Located between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, there’s no one way to enter or leave the park. It is always free to enter. This is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, take a breath of fresh air, or even take a tour of the park. Enjoy the water, dine at one of the many food service options, or visit the famed boathouse.
Central Park is open year-round and closes every day at 1 AM. If weather is extreme, the park may be closed for visitors’ safety. The park is even open on holidays, so it can be enjoyed any time. It would obviously be best to enjoy it in the warmer months, on a nice, sunny day. There could be lots of walking involved if you choose to try and see everything the park has to offer. There are paths that are easy to walk and there is enough there for everybody in the family to enjoy.
3. See a Show on Broadway
You can’t go to NYC without experiencing Broadway. This is the home to the world’s most famous Broadway shows like Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Chicago. Broadway is located in the center of downtown NYC, on Broadway. Prices for tickets will vary by show, popularity of the show, and show times. Each theater boasts its own amazing qualities, with some being more luxurious than others. Broadway offers numerous shows to fit the tastes of any guest. It is one of the most fun things to do in NYC.
Broadway can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The show you choose will determine which age group it serves appropriately. Shows like Chicago and Kinky Boots will be more suitable for adults, while shows like Wicked and School of Rock will be more than suitable for any young ones in your group. Broadway shows run year-round, although each show will determine the exact days of the week and times they perform.
4. Travel up the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. It is an absolute must on the things to do in NYC list. Travel all the way up the building, once the tallest one in the world, to the 102nd floor observatory to experience one of the most beautiful views of the NYC skyline. This building is full of history and heritage, rich with the city’s diverse culture. Tickets for the standard pass to experience the observatories of both the 86th and 102nd floors are as follows: $54 for adults, $51 for seniors, and $47 for children.
The Empire State Building is open every day of the year, from 8 AM until 1 AM. Rain or shine, this is a necessary stop when visiting NYC. Depending on how busy it is (which it usually is), you may be waiting in line for a long time. The building and tours however are handicapped accessible. Children and adults alike can enjoy everything the Empire State Building has to offer. If someone in your group is scared of heights, they may want to consider taking the tour and opting out of the observatory decks.
5. Take a Trip to the Statue of Liberty
This is the most famous symbol for freedom and liberty in the world. The Statue of Liberty arrived in the city in 1886. Take a short ferry ride to Liberty Island. There you can view the museum and climb stairs to take in the views at the statue’s pedestal. You can also take the trip up the Liberty’s crown. This will you give you an unforgettable view of the entire area. The Liberty Statue is one of the most rewarding things to do in NYC. You can purchase tickets for the ferry for $9 per child (ages 4-12), $18.50 per adult, and $14 per senior. This ticket gives you access to everything on Liberty Island, but crown access is an additional $3 per person.
The Statue of Liberty is open to view every day of the week, with additional hours during the summer and around holidays. Reservations for crown access typically sell out in advance so it’s best to plan your trip in advance. Viewing the Lady of Liberty is possible every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas day. Going to the island is a great experience for people of all ages, but keep in mind that those who tend to get motion sick or sea sick may not enjoy the ride over.
6. Learn about Recent History at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
One of the most sobering but essential things to do in NYC, the 9/11 reminds visitors to take pride in the country and to remember the Americans who lost their lives in the tragic 9/11 attack. The museum is located alongside the memorial at ground zero, at the intersection of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street. The memorial is free to visitors, but general admission to the museum is $24 for adults, $18 for seniors, veterans, and college students, $15 for children (ages 7-17), and free for children under 7. Additional tickets can be bought that include additional tours and tours of the memorial as well.
Both the memorial and museum are open every day of the week. The memorial is open until 9 PM every day, and the museum is open until 8 or 9 PM dependent on the day of the week. There is walking involved, but everything is handicapped accessible if the need arises. This is meant to be experienced by people of all ages, to help people all over the world remember not only the lives that were lost, but the lives that were brought together in unity and support.
NYC, arguably the greatest city in the world, is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. It is a melting pot of the greatest cultures in the world and is a symbol of what it means to unite under one city, with one goal: to be free. NYC has represented the American way for decades upon decades, showing what can be accomplished by melding cultures together. NYC has lots of amazing parks, museums, restaurants, theaters. This short list of things to do in NYC will give you everything you need to experience NYC in the best way possible.