The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps. Gotham. No matter what you call it, it’s one of those places that many of us only dream of visiting. If you’re one of the lucky few, you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of things to do in New York. Art, culture, parks, festivities during the holiday season – these are just the tip of the iceberg.
The city pulsates with life and action and you can feel the energy when you walk the streets or even when you sit back and see people going about their daily lives. If you love a bustling city, New York is right up your street. Check out these fun things to do on your holiday.
1. Visit Central Park
One of the most iconic places in New York and a common filming location – think Enchanted, Spiderman 3 and Sex and the City, to name a few – Central Park is a sprawling urban park with a wealth of attractions to explore. Boating, ice skating and bird-watching are just some of the activities to indulge in. If you’re looking for things to do in NYC with kids, make your way to Victorian Gardens Amusement Park in the south end. You can enjoy rides, live shows and great food.
2. Visit the Strong National Museum of Play
There’s no dearth of exciting activities for kids in the Big Apple and one of the best things to do in Rochester NY is to visit the Strong National Museum of Play. It showcases the history of play through interactive exhibits and historical materials like dollhouses, construction sets and trains. You can also pick up souvenirs from the Everything for Play! shop and munch on goodies at Taco Bell Express, Pizza Hut Express, Subway, Louie’s Sweet Shoppe and Bill Gray’s Restaurant.
3. Spend time at Coney Island
One of the top things to do in New York with kids is to head to Coney Island and explore the exciting amusement park rides. The Cyclone in Luna Park and the Wonder Wheel in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park are a couple of must-tries if you and your family love a good thrill. If you’re here in summer, visit on Friday and stay till evening to see the fireworks.
4. Ice skate at the Rockefeller Center on Christmas
Few places are as lively as Times Square during the festive season and if you’re wondering about things to do in New York at Christmas, you can start your fun here. Just steps away is the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink where you can ice skate under the huge illuminated Rockefeller Christmas tree.
5. See the Times Square Ball drop on New Year’s Eve
If you’re lucky enough to spend the winter holidays in the Big Apple, one of the best things to do in New York in December – more specifically New Year’s Eve – is to watch the ball drop at Times Square. Parties, live music, food, drink – it’s the perfect place to say goodbye to the year and welcome the new one!
6. Visit the High Line
A unique location and spectacular views are just some of the highlights of the High Line. Walking along the disused historic freight line above the streets on the West Side is one of the most popular free things to do in New York. There’s a lot to see not the least of which are the gardens and art projects. If you get hungry, you can head to Terroir at The Porch, Tastalu and Boogie Down Grind Café.
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7. Check out Grand Central Terminal
It’s not often that you visit a railroad terminal to spend the day. But when you’re in New York, you absolutely can’t miss a visit to Grand Central Terminal. It’s like a small city with shopping, dining and cultural experiences under one gigantic roof. Open from 5.30am to 2am, you can shop at the 60 stores and dine at the 35 eateries. Before you know it, you’ll have spent an entire day here!
8. Take the ferry to Staten Island
Another fun thing to do in NYC is to take the ferry to Staten Island and check out what it has to offer. Historic Richmond Town takes you to the 17th century with its old buildings and restored sites. Meanwhile, the neighbourhood of Willowbrook is home to the recreational Willowbrook Park with playgrounds, tennis courts and hiking trails letting you unwind. If you’re traveling with kids, take them on the Carousel for all Children, an accessible roundabout with panels that depict scenes from Staten Island.
9. Take in a Broadway show
One of the top things to do in New York is to attend a Broadway show. It’s the pinnacle of theatre the world over and watching performers enact classic and contemporary plays is a treat like no other. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin and Kinky Boots are just some of the shows to watch. Log on to the official Broadway website for a complete list of shows.
10. Go on a tour of the Statue of Liberty
Last on our list of what to do in New York is – you guessed it – a tour of the iconic Statue of Liberty. Try to get tickets for the pedestal or the crown as the grounds-only option won’t give you access to the monument. Tickets are limited and advance reservation is needed to tour within. If you’re planning your New York vacation in the holiday season, you’ll have to book tickets to the statue several months before.
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