Things to Do and Have Fun in New York City

Free and Dirt-Cheap Things to Do in New York City

New York City, often referred to as “The Big Apple,” is a vibrant, dynamic, and culturally rich metropolis that offers an incredible array of activities and experiences for both residents and tourists. From iconic landmarks and world-class museums to diverse culinary delights and breathtaking parks, the city that never sleeps has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore a curated list of things to do and have fun in New York City , whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local.

1. Explore Central Park

Central Park is an oasis of greenery in the heart of Manhattan. Whether you’re strolling through the picturesque pathways, enjoying a picnic by the lake, or rowing a boat on the Central Park Boating Lake, the park offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Don’t miss the Central Park Zoo, Conservatory Garden, and the iconic Bethesda Terrace.

2. Visit the Statue of Liberty

A symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty is a must-visit attraction in New York City. Take a ferry to Liberty Island, explore the pedestal and museum, and soak in breathtaking views of the city skyline from the crown. Reserve tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

3. Experience Broadway

New York City’s Broadway district is renowned for its world-class theater productions. Catch a Broadway show at one of the historic theaters like the Majestic, the Lyric, or the Palace. From musicals to dramas, there’s a performance for every taste.

4. Tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to as “The Met,” is one of the largest and most prestigious art museums in the world. Explore a vast collection of art spanning millennia and cultures. Don’t forget to visit the rooftop garden for stunning views of the city.

5. Wander Through Times Square

Times Square is the bright and bustling heart of New York City. Known for its dazzling electronic billboards and constant activity, it’s a sensory overload of sights and sounds. Visit at night when the lights shine their brightest.

6. Discover the High Line

The High Line is a remarkable urban park built on an old elevated railway track. Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens, art installations, and unique viewpoints of the city’s architecture. It’s a serene escape above the city streets.

7. Savor International Cuisine

New York City is a culinary melting pot with an array of international cuisines to try. From authentic Italian pizza in Little Italy to mouthwatering dim sum in Chinatown, you can embark on a gastronomic journey around the world without leaving the city.

8. Take a Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

For a budget-friendly and picturesque view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, hop on the Staten Island Ferry. It’s a free ride, making it an excellent choice for a scenic tour.

9. Explore the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

MoMA is a haven for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts. Marvel at works by iconic artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Van Gogh. The museum’s constantly changing exhibitions ensure there’s always something new to discover.

10. Shop on Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue is synonymous with luxury shopping. Explore flagship stores like Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s a great place for people-watching and admiring the elegant window displays.

11. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Stroll across the historic Brooklyn Bridge, an architectural marvel that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. Enjoy panoramic views of the East River, the Statue of Liberty, and the city skyline. It’s particularly enchanting at sunset.

12. Experience the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a poignant tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Explore artifacts, personal stories, and exhibitions that honor the lives lost and the resilience of the city.

13. Ride the Coney Island Cyclone

For a dose of nostalgia and thrilling fun, head to Coney Island and ride the iconic Cyclone roller coaster. This historic amusement park offers classic rides, carnival games, and a lively boardwalk.

14. Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Channel your inner explorer at the American Museum of Natural History. Delve into exhibits on dinosaurs, space, human evolution, and much more. Don’t miss the famous T-Rex skeleton in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.

15. Enjoy a Jazz Night in Harlem

Harlem is synonymous with jazz music. Experience the soulful sounds of live jazz in one of Harlem’s historic clubs, such as the Apollo Theater or the Cotton Club. It’s a night of music and culture you won’t forget.

16. Go Ice Skating in Rockefeller Center

During the winter months, lace up your skates and twirl on the famous ice rink at Rockefeller Center. The iconic Christmas tree and surrounding decorations create a magical atmosphere.

17. Visit the Cloisters

Escape to medieval Europe without leaving New York City by visiting the Cloisters. This branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to European medieval art and architecture and is set in a stunning park overlooking the Hudson River.

18. Attend a Sporting Event

New York City is home to some of the most famous sports teams, including the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, and Rangers. Catch a game at their respective stadiums and arenas for an authentic New York sports experience.

19. Take a Helicopter Tour

For a unique perspective of the city’s skyline, consider taking a helicopter tour. It offers breathtaking aerial views of landmarks like the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty.

20. Relax in Central Perk (Friends Experience)

If you’re a fan of the TV show “Friends,” don’t miss the Friends Experience in Manhattan. Step into the world of Ross, Rachel, and the gang and even enjoy a coffee at Central Perk.


New York City is a city of boundless energy and endless possibilities. Whether you’re interested in art, history, food, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of the city streets, there’s always something to do and discover. This diverse and dynamic metropolis invites you to explore its iconic landmarks, cultural treasures, and hidden gems, ensuring that you’ll have a memorable and fun-filled experience in the Big Apple. So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, get ready to fall in love with New York City’s unmatched charm and endless entertainment options.