These awesome attractions make it easy to experience New York City
New York City has many nicknames. Whether you know it as the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, or The Capitol of the World, the city is one of the best. Not only is it home to notable landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center, but it is also brimming with a variety of fun to be had and unique hole-in-the-wall places to explore. This list is sure to have you feeling like a local by the time you leave.
^Have a picnic at Central Park
Central Park is easily the most famous park in the world. Made up of more than 750 acres, the park is completely landscaped and offers an impressive way to experience nature despite the urban location. The park is open from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM. Rent a bicycle and cruise along the walkways or go ice skating at Wollman Rink. Or, if you enjoy the lake life, rent a boat and sail along the sparkling waters. Other notable places at the park include the Literary Walk, Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn, and the carousel. The kiddos will enjoy visiting the Central Park Zoo and seeing all of the animals. For a relaxing afternoon, appreciate some of the beautiful statues like Alice in Wonderland, the Obelisk, and Balto, or relax in the Shakespeare Garden and The Loch. Pack up a picnic lunch or grab something from one of the many concession carts and spend the day enjoying the simple things in life. If you want to ensure that you do not miss out on anything, embark upon one of the Central Park Tours NYC for an immersive time in the park.
^Take a ride in a New York Taxi
If you have ever watched a movie set in New York, you have probably seen someone hailing a cab from the many busy sidewalks. The New York Taxi is one of the most iconic methods of transportation, and in such a bustling city, it's no wonder why. Not only will you be able to embark upon a unique New York-style adventure, but it really takes the hassle out of navigating the city's traffic. Plus, you can make conversation with your cabbie and learn all of the local secrets while you go along for the ride.
^See the Empire State Building
As one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Empire State Building is a symbol of the spirit of New York itself. With several observation decks, it's easy to get a great view of the sprawling metropolis below. You can also visit the many exhibits located within the building, including the Dare to Dream exhibit and the sustainability display. Head to the highest open-air observation deck in New York on the 86th floor or explore the many restaurants and shops within the main lobby if you want to grab a bite to eat. When the sun goes down, the stunning Tower Lights Display lights up the skyline, so make sure to stick around long enough to get the full experience.
^Remember the fallen at the 9/11 Memorial
Commemorating the victims of the tragedy that was the 9/11 terrorist attack, the 9/11 Memorial serves to honor the fallen and provide respect to the survivors of the events. 9/11 is known as the most striking tragedy in American history, and it claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. It also honors the six people who were killed in the World Trade Center attack in 1993. The memorial itself features beautiful twin reflecting pools where the towers once were. Each of them is almost an impressive acre in size, and the name of every person who died that day is inscribed there. Pay your respects and take in the solemn beauty of this monumental landmark.
^Treat yourself at Chelsea Market
If you're needing to fill your shopping needs, the Chelsea Market is the perfect place to do it. Located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, the market has attracted visitors for 15 years and is one of the most renowned indoor vendor gatherings in the country. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for that special someone or are simply wanting to treat yourself, you'll find an unimaginable collection of goods. More than 35 vendors set up shop at Chelsea Market and offer everything from wine and cheese to soups and other goods. Just a few of the most notable shops include Anthropologie, CorkBuzz Wine Studio, and even a barber shop. When you've worked up an appetite, discover what makes Chelsea Market famous by sinking your teeth into some of the yummy foods. Oysters, sushi, baked goods, and crepes are just the tip of the iceberg. The marketplace is open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 9pm and on Sunday from 8am to 8pm.
^Grab breakfast at Hot Bagels & Bialys
For a true Brooklyn morning, head to Hot Bagels & Bialys for a satisfying meal. With a wide variety of mouthwatering food, it's easy to start your adventures after a trip to this breakfast hub. The deli features fantastic options like a bagel with lox and cream cheese, an egg sandwich with meat, and turkey bacon with eggs. If you need that extra boost of energy, the restaurant has delicious cappuccinos and iced coffees great for any caffeine junkie. Also offered are delicious sandwiches for a light lunch on the go, so even if you aren't exactly an early bird, you can still try something yummy from this local hot spot. Delivery is available, too, for an added convenience.
^Play hard at High Line Park
High Line Park is probably the most interesting park in the United States. The park stretches all the way from Gansevoort to West 34th and rests, elevated on a historic rail line, above Chelsea. Visitors can embark upon the High Line Park Historic Walking Tour, grab a soda at Brooklyn Soda Works, or catch a High Line Channel 14 show all while enjoying the fresh air. Sprawling gardens, observation points, and walkways make for a visually pleasing environment. In addition to offering plenty of things to do during the year, there are also a wide variety of seasonal events that take place annually. From a Halloween celebration to camps and other activities, High Line Park is always filled with fresh adventures. Local art collections are displayed periodically, so if you are a fan of aesthetics, make sure to check out the unique pieces.
^Enhance your palate during New York Oyster Week
New York Oyster Week combines everyone's favorite seafood with events, live music, and fun. Thrown every year to commemorate the cultural importance and impact of the oyster on New York City, the event attracts thousands to Governor's Island. The 2016 festival was held from September 16 to October 1 as it celebrated its 5th year. The festival is centered around favorite events like OystoberFest, ShuckEasy, the Brooklyn Oyster Riot, and the Old Seaport Oyster Revival. While learning about the ecological role of the oyster in places like New York Harbor and Long Island, guests will also be able to try delicious dishes. Some of the featured restaurants of the 2016 season included Oceana, Lighthouse, Cull & Pistol, and The Green Table.
^See The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty has always been a symbol of freedom and acceptance in the U.S. As it is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, it obviously must make the list. The landmark was gifted to the United States in 1886 to celebrate its newly gained independence, and it stands proudly among the sparkling waters of New York Harbor. Guests can also see the many plaques and presentation tablets that commemorate the architectural feat while taking in the beauty of the statue. Since many tours are available nowadays, seeing the statue has never been easier. Whether you want to view the statue under a starry sky on the Statue of Liberty by Night Cruise or explore the inside of her crown during the day, a visit to this American jewel is sure to be an experience you won't forget.
^Give thanks at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Filled with balloons, floats, and candy, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has become a holiday tradition for many in the United States. The original parade dates all the way back to 1924 and has been televised since 1952. Each year, guests flock to the streets for a morning of iconic performances and celebration while millions of Americans watch the festivities and commentary at home. Some of the most notable performers have been The Beach Boys, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Carrie Underwood, while some of the usual favorites include Sesame Street characters. And of course, the parade is also filled with balloons. From Spongebob and Pikachu to Snoopy and Scooby-Doo, kiddos and adults alike will be able to see giant, floating versions of their most beloved cartoons. If you are lucky enough to be in Manhattan during the season, check it out for an unforgettable experience.
^Find the perfect gift at South Street Seaport
Bursting with activities, live music, shops, and more, the South Street Seaport District is a historic district that is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. The area is also known for its fantastic and exclusive Design Market, where everything from pottery to shoes to candles are readily available for purchase. Comb the shelves for the latest novel at McNally Jackson, select your favorite salts or dried herbs at Farm Candy, or pick out a gift for your chic fur-baby at The Salty Paw pet boutique. There are also many great adventures to be had in this area. Take a ride on the New York Water Taxi or a visit to the South Street Seaport Museum. For first-time visitors, the South Street Seaport Walking Tour can help make the most out of your trip. If you have visited before, don't worry! There are always plenty of new events going on, so visit often.
^Take a trip to Roosevelt Island
Nestled in between Manhattan Island and Queens, Roosevelt Island is located on the East River. With many new parks and other activities added to the area, it is now home to a wide variety of things to do. Tourists can appreciate the local art at Gallery RIVAA or take a leisurely walk in the seven acres of Southpoint Park. Check out amazing landmarks like The Octagon housing complex, the North Point Lighthouse, the old smallpox hospital, and the Roosevelt Island Cat Sanctuary. If you're feeling adventurous, take a ride on the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram for some unforgettable views and a unique experience.
^Cruise the Hudson River
On the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise, guests will be swept away for an afternoon on the water. The activity makes for a romantic evening as well, so bring along your sweetheart. This particular tour lasts approximately three hours and offers guests stunning views of the cityscape and the river. While gliding by sights like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the World Trade Center, and Colgate Clock, a mouth-watering, seasonal meal is served. Some of the delicious items served on past cruises include crab chowder, braised short-rib, and roasted chicken; each meal is topped off with a sweet dessert. Live entertainment keeps the atmosphere lively and fun and makes for a light-hearted, yet classy evening.
^Appreciate art at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is bursting with interesting things to see. Attend galleries, listen to live poetry readings, or simply visit and check out the exhibitions. Just a few of the most notable exhibits include: the Robert Raphael Symposium (through Feb. 19, 2017), The Bronx Museum Community Mural, and Linda Cunningham (Oct. 31 - Feb. 19, 2017). There are plenty of different events entertain guests during the year and seasonal exhibits that make the museum fresh and exciting no matter how many times you visit. However, the permanent collection is fantastic too. It features more than 1,000 pieces from a multitude of artists including Martin Wong, Vito Acconci, and Juan Downey. If you are an appreciator of the arts, the museum is a must-visit attraction.
^Discover different cultures at Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Head to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center to learn something new. Founded in 1801 by Robert Richard Randall, the center is known for its charitable activities as well as its contributions to the artistic industries of film, music, theater, and dance. The attraction not only features a botanical garden, displays, artistic performances, and the Heritage Farm, but students can also take part in one of the many educational workshops to enhance their academic careers. If you are looking to expand your knowledge, enroll in one of these educational classes. Check out the art or catch a performance of shows like Hairspray and Steel Magnolias. Snug Harbor has also been the choice performing venue for artists like Willie Nelson, David Bowie, and Ingrid Michaelson. With so many different things going on, you're bound to have an amazing time.
^Thrill your taste buds at Eileen's Special Cheesecake
Eileen's Special Cheesecake is known for “New York's #1 Cheesecake”, and for delicious reason. The locally owned shop was opened in December of 1975, and since then it has been serving up some of the sweetest treats in Manhattan. Eileen has over 35 years of experience that is apparent in every rich, creamy bite. From cherry and blueberry cheesecakes to unique flavors like Bailey's Irish Cream, dulce de leche, and chocolate cappuccino varieties, your sweet tooth just met its favorite place. If you can't get enough, don't worry. Even if you don't live in New York, you can still order some of Eileen's heavenly desserts as shipping is available throughout the United States.
^Battle villains at Brooklyn SuperHero Supply Store
If you've ever wanted to channel your inner Batman or Wonder Woman, the Brooklyn SuperHero Supply Store in Brooklyn is your one-stop shop. The store is a nonprofit, and every purchase directly benefits local students and helps them hone their writing skills. More than 2,300 students are helped by this program each year, as it offers various workshops, tutoring opportunities, and storytelling activities. Mugs, capes, t-shirts, and even ‘superpowers' are just a few of the fun items for sale. The shop is located at 372 Fifth Avenue and is open from 11 am to 5 pm every day of the week.
^Ride the rides at Coney Island
Release your inner child at the famous amusement park neighborhood, Coney Island. Just a few of Coney Island's greatest attractions include Luna Park, where kiddos can ride the B&B Carousell, Brooklyn Barge, and the Coney Island Cyclone, as well as Coney Island Circus Boardwalk, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, and more. There are also beaches available for plenty of free fun and visitors can play classic carnival games to pass the time. Fun events like the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Film Festival, and various shows are put on throughout the year.
^Browse all things wacky at Obscura Antiques & Oddities
Obscura Antiques & Oddities is a unique place to find gifts. The shop has been in operation for over 20 years. Everything from Roman AK-47 Bayonet knives to bone dice and mummy head snow globes are available, so if you're looking for a fun and interesting present for that special someone, this is your shop. For tamer gifts, t-shirts and baseball caps are also sold. You can visit Obscura at 207 Avenue A in Manhattan from 12 - 8pm on Monday through Friday and 12 - 7pm on Sundays. Or, you can order some of the wacky goods online.
^Contemplate life at St. Patrick's Cathedral
One of the most stunning cathedrals in all of existence is the St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The building opened in 1879. The actual construction was funded completely by private donors, most of whom were poor immigrants. Its mission is to expand the influence of the Catholic church as well as to provide a symbol of peace, inclusion, and generosity for millions of people regardless of their religion denomination. Witness the stunning sound of the St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir or embark upon one of the tours offered within the cathedral. Mass is also held seven times a day, so if you are in the area and want to experience the church and its spiritual significance, make sure to attend.
^Find something unique at the Brooklyn Flea
For thrifty shoppers, the Brooklyn Flea is a popular shopping destination. Founded in 2008, the Flea sets up each weekend, offering many different vendors' wares. With an expansive collection of flea and food booths, you're bound to find something to your taste. The stands are lined with everything from textiles and Post-It-Note art to antiques and vintage clothing. Some of the favorites include Alphaville, Bogart & Moore, and Kate Durkin. Hungry shoppers can try foods from Asia Dog and Blue Marble or, if feeling adventurous, sink their teeth into a ramen burger. Or, grab a beer from the Brooklyn Brew Shop. From April to November, you'll be able to enjoy the fresh air as the market takes up residence outside. A trip to the Brooklyn Flea makes for a great afternoon in the city.
^Cool off at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
When in Chinatown, the perfect pit stop for a treat is Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. The shop has been in operation for 30 years and is filled with a rainbow of homemade flavors. Lychee, taro, durian, and red bean are some of the more interesting flavors, while vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are available for the classic ice cream lovers. Ice cream cakes are also sold. The shop is open everyday from 11 am to 10 pm, so stop by to satisfy your sweet tooth.
^Observe the animals at the Bronx Zoo
For those who are interested in exploring wild animals, the Bronx Zoo is a place you absolutely must visit. It is known as the largest metro zoo in the United States and attracts over two million visitors each year. Originally opening in 1899, its vast history and dedication to the preservation of animal species have made it a cornerstone of the environmental efforts to protect wildlife. The zoo is home to a variety of creatures, including tigers, gorillas, and reptiles. Adults and kids alike will enjoy getting up close to some of the zoo residents with activities like camel rides, penguin feedings, a children's petting zoo, and sea lion feedings. After seeing all of the stunning creatures, head to the Dancing Crane Cafe or one of the seasonal concession stands to fill up and refuel. Guests can also participate in yearly events that are sure to be fun learning experiences.
^Catch a ride at Grand Central Terminal
Not only is Grand Central Terminal one of the most stunning architectural masterpieces in New York, but it also serves as the transportation hub for most of the area. Located in Midtown, the station connects subways to various parts of NYC, so if you're looking for the local experience, board one of the trains on your journey around the city. Or, it's worth it just to see the beauty in person, as it attracts millions of tourists each year. As well as providing bus services to the city, it also features countless events throughout the year such as concerts and holiday fairs. It is also comprised of various shopping and dining options. Update your tech at the Apple Store, enhance your wardrobe at Banana Republic, or treat the kiddos at Kidding Around Toys. When you've worked up an appetite, you can grab a bite to eat at favorites like Chirping Chicken, Frankies Dogs on the Go, Hale and Hearty Soups, or Jacques Torres Chocolate.
^Tour the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
To discover something new while in NYC, check out the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Founded in 1982, the museum displays many exhibits, of which the Intrepid aircraft carrier is the centerpiece. It is also established as a National Historic Landmark. Other exhibits display various artifacts, interactive activities, and historic videos. Guests can also see the Concorde Alpha Delta G-BOAD, which broke records for crossing the Atlantic Ocean the fastest; the Space Shuttle Pavilion where you can see the Enterprise prototype and seventeen other exhibit stations; the Submarine, Growler; and 28 restored aircraft. The museum also hosts events throughout the seasons, which must be why a million people decide to visit it annually.
^Walk around the gardens at the New York Botanical Garden
Whether you have a green thumb or you manage to kill cactuses, a trip to the New York Botanical Garden is sure to spark some inspiration. Bursting with colorful plants, trees, and gardens, the Botanical Garden serves as a great break from the gray skyscrapers and bustling sidewalks of the city. Comprised of 250 acres, a Rose Garden, Children's Adventure Garden, multiple arboretums, a forest, and a wetland trail are just a few of the points of interest. There are also countless exhibits on display throughout the year, including a current exhibit called Celebrating The New York Botanical Garden: 125 Years, which runs until February 19, 2017. Each year, events like the Holiday Train Show and Valentine's Day weekend keep visitors coming back for more.
^Visit a new world in Little Italy
Little Italy is one of the most colorful neighborhoods in NYC. If you want to take a trip to a different country without leaving the city, it's an amazing destination. Filled with authentic Italian restaurants and shops, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with gelato and pastries or find the perfect souvenir to remember your trip. There are also plenty of tours to embark upon if you're not quite sure where to start and plenty of festivals and events take to the streets during the year. A visit to this section of New York is bound to be an eclectic experience that you'll always cherish.
^Meet your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds
While New York is home to plenty of A-List celebs that you might get a glimpse of, it is easy to get star-struck when meeting them in the flesh. For a less embarrassing or overwhelming encounter, head to Madame Tussauds for photo ops with some of your favorite wax replicas of actors, musicians, athletes, and other famous people. The NYC location features wax replicas of fan-favorites like Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, and YouTube star, Jenna Marbles. Events are also held to bring a unique twist to the star-studded encounter.
^Find unique items at the C.O. Bigelow Apothecary
Established in 1838, C.O. Bigelow's is known as the oldest apothecary in the US. Here, guests can buy a multitude of products. Everything from hand lotion and lip balm to homeopathic remedies and medicines are readily available for purchase. Shipping is also available throughout the United States, so you can always get your favorite items even after you leave the city. The store is located at 414 6th Avenue and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 9 pm, Saturday from 8:30 to 7 pm, and on Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
^Commemorate a famous Beatle at Strawberry Fields Memorial
The Strawberry Fields Memorial is comprised of 2.5 acres and is located in Central Park and allows Beatles' fans to “Come Together” to honor John Lennon. It was dedicated on October 9, 1985. The placement of the memorial is significant, as it was designed around the exact spot where Lennon was assassinated. The landmark is both beautiful and poignant and is a must-visit spot for fans of the late activist and musician.
^Dive into the ocean at the New York Aquarium
Even though the New York Aquarium is currently going through a little bit of construction, it still remains open to the public. It is known as the oldest aquarium in the United States and opened in 1896. It operates to save wildlife through various conservation methods and education. Guests will still be able to see the Sea Lion Celebration at the Aquatheater, animal feedings, and see animals like the Green Moray Eel and the Cownose Ray at the Conservation Hall.
^Watch a show at Apollo Theater
Located at 253 West 125th Street in Harlem, the Apollo Theater is most notably known for its influence on African American artists. It was opened in 1914 under a different name and officially became the Apollo in 1934. It was also deemed a New York City Landmark in 1983 before it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The theater was popular during the swing era and was deeply rooted in vaudeville-style music. Some of the most famous performers include James Brown, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Aretha Franklin. Currently, the theater hosts an amateur night, where local artists compete to kick off their musical careers. Over a million people visit the theater annually.
^Start the year off right with New Years NYC
Each year, millions of people watch the ball drop at Times Square during the New Year's Eve celebration. Ring in the new year by crowding the streets, making New Year's resolutions, and taking in fantastic shows. Past celebrations have been filled with performances by stars like Daya, Luke Bryan, and Wiz Khalifa. Then, end the night with the Midnight's Kiss as the ball drops and confetti rains down on the crowd. There is no better way to begin a new year than starting it off in the greatest city in the United States.
^Curl up with a book at New York Public Library
If you're a proud bookworm, check out the New York Public Library for one of the most impressive bibliophilic experiences. Just behind the Library of Congress, the NYC library is the second largest public library in the country. The collection of books is sprawling, comprised of 53 million items, so you're sure to find a title to enjoy during some leisurely reading time. The library also features exhibitions throughout the year, author talks, and other events. Even if you don't take the time to sit and read a book, at least see the beauty of the ornate architecture.
^Taste the foods at Gotham West Market
Gotham West Market at 600 11th Avenue is a one-stop place where you can fill your foodie needs. You can get sushi rolls or sushi burritos, coffee, ice cream, and Mexican food all in one place. The food court features ten different vendors: Uma Temakeria, Indie Fresh, Ample Hills Creamery, Blue Bottle Coffee, The Cannibal, El Colmado, Genuine Roadside, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, Choza Taqueria, and NYC Velo. This wide variety allows for a dining experience that is next to none. Head to Hell's Kitchen, day and night, for yummy cuisine as late as midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
^Pay your respects at Grant's Tomb in Riverside Park
Grant's Tomb allows guests to visit the resting place of Ulysses S. Grant and his wife. Here, they can pay their respects and soak in the greatness of the late president, who led the Union to victory in the Civil War. The mausoleum was built in 1897 and can be found in Riverside Park. Nearby is a visitor center where guests can purchase souvenirs and visit the bookstore. Also surrounding the memorial is the beautiful art piece, The Rolling Bench. Comprised of elaborate mosaics, the piece was built with the help of children in the area. Group tours are available to explore and learn about the mausoleum and the life of the man who is honored there. There are even a few events held at the tomb, including annual Free Outdoor Summer Mobile Concerts sponsored by Jazzmobile, Inc.
^Uncover history at the African Burial Ground Memorial
Originally used in the 17th-18th century as a mass grave site for both freed and enslaved African Americans, the African Burial Ground was discovered in 1991 when construction began on a planned federal building. The burial grounds stretch an impressive 6.6 acres. It became a landmark in 1993, and currently, has a Visitors' Center that is filled with gorgeous artwork and a memorial. There are many tours available to teach guests about its interesting history, and events are held at the memorial to commemorate its rediscovery. The visitor center is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and the Memorial is open from 10 am to 5 pm.
^Watch a documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival
If you are a cinephile, the Tribeca Film Festival is an exciting adventure. The very first festival was held in 2002 and worked to ignite the colorful neighborhood of Tribeca in Lower Manhattan. Each year, thousands of filmmakers submit their work, and an estimated 3 million travel to the city to watch the screenings offered each year. Some of the most famous Tribeca Film Fest entries include Let the Right One In and War Witch. The 2017 festivities run from April 19 to the 30, and there are multiple showcases, events, talks, and more to celebrate the film industry.
^Party in the Streets During the Atlantic Antic
The Atlantic Antic is an annual celebration held within 10 blocks of Brooklyn., spanning across the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, and Downtown Brooklyn. 2016 rang in the 42nd annual festival. Each year, festival-goers fill Atlantic Avenue for a day of celebrations, events, shopping, music, celebrations of culture, and fun. Merchants line each corner, offering everything from food to handmade crafts, and live street performances provide a lively atmosphere. Pony rides and other children's activities also take place, making the event great for the entire family. make sure to head to Atlantic Avenue during the holidays as well for their seasonal celebration.
^Study the paintings at Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art displays a stunning array of paintings and exhibits that are sure to delight art appreciators of all ages. It is known as the largest art museum in the U.S. It was founded in 1970 and features a collection of unique pieces, including statues, clothing, paintings, sculptures, and texts, it even has an original Monet piece, Houses on the Achterzaan, as well as artifacts dating all the way back to late 8000 BC. From Greek to Egyptian to Islamic to asian art, there is something for every taste. The museum is opened from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Sunday through Thursday and 10 am to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
^Celebrate the festivities at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is a culturally unique event that takes place at Flushing Meadows Park each year. The 2017 festival takes place (tentatively) on August 12 - 13. The celebration itself features a rousing competition, as paddlers take to the water to maneuver their boat in an exciting race. Guests can not only cheer for their favorite team, but they can snack on delicious foods and participate in fun activities as well.
^Fly above the city on ZIP Helicopter Tours
On one of the ZIP Helicopter Tours, tourists will be able to see the city like never before. From a bird's eye view, see the most famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Ground Zero, Governor's Island, New York Harbor, and more. The tours range anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and include a wide variety of sights and sounds to experience. Bring along the entire family on this journey, because you're bound to make some lasting memories in the skies over NYC.
^Go fishing at Lemon Creek Park
Though the Big Apple is known for its bustling city life, it is nice to get out and enjoy nature and a bit of peace and quiet. Lemon Creek Park in Staten Island is perfect for those who need to break away for a bit, offering opportunities for birdwatching and fishing off the pier. The creek runs into Prince's Bay and is surrounded by beautiful red clay cliffs. It was officially used as a park beginning in 1962. Other activities that go on at the park include astronomical observations, historic houses, and kayaking. Wildlife that call Lemon Creek home include shellfish, bass, horseshoe crabs, monarch butterflies and even one of the only purple martin colonies in the state.
^Visit the Alice Austen House
History buffs, rejoice! The Alice Austen House features plenty of interesting exhibitions to capture your mind and teach you something new. Alice Austen is known as one of the most famous female photographers. She captured an amazing 8,000 photos. She also dabbled in landscaping and tennis and led a unique life. The collection boasts photography from this great woman, including lovely pieces detailing historic life in New York. See photographs like German Sailors, Mr. Langford, and Quarantine Island. Also included are stunning pictures of Chicago's World Fair. There are also a variety of events to participate in.
^Enjoy a play on Broadway
Theater-lovers know that, for quality entertainment, Broadway is the place to go. Broadway is located in Midtown Manhattan and is home to 41 theaters. Some of the most famous Broadway performances include Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and more. In the 2017 season, fantastic shows are coming to the stage. Make sure to catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Anastasia, and Miss Siagon as they head to the Theatre District. There is always something new to see in this part of NYC, and you are sure to have an amazing night out on the town by seeing your favorite Broadway stars in award-winning plays and productions. Or, if you just want to explore the area, take the Broadway Theater District Walking Tour. No matter what you do, Broadway is a great place to do it.
^Kick off the holidays during the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony
Known for its sprawling acreage and various shops and events, Rockefeller Center has been a cornerstone to NYC since its establishment. Get a head start on holiday shopping at places like Anne Fontaine, Coach, and the LEGO store. Or, simply sip on some hot chocolate while enjoying the spirit of the area. Despite the wide array of things to do, one of the most popular reasons people visit the area is for the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event kicks off December and the Christmas season. Held on November 30, 2016, the event is free to the public. Watch the huge Christmas tree being lit while enjoying the Rockettes perform and basking in holiday cheer. It's perfect for creating new memories that will last for years to come, so make sure to add it to your itinerary.
^Go to a concert at Radio City Music Hall
Another famous concert venue, Radio City Music Hall, is located on the 12 acres of Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation. The Music Hall itself opened in 1932 and has played host to a multitude of famous artists and performers. In 1978, it was even noted as a city landmark. Visitors can catch the Rockettes perform or see some of their favorite musical stars as they grace the stage. Just a few notable, upcoming concerts include Miike Snow, Opeth, and, of course, the renowned Christmas Spectacular. Before the show, make sure to get a look at the beautiful art displayed in its halls.
^Catch a performance at Madison Square Garden
Looking for an exciting night out on the town? Head to Madison Square Garden for a true New Yorker evening. Everything from rodeos to sports events to concerts play at the venue, making it one of the most popular destinations in the area. Catch a show from some of the greatest artists in the industry before heading to one of the many bars and clubs located in the area. Farley's, the Bar at the Garden, and DraftKings Fantasy Sports Lounge are just a few of the local favorites. You can also have a memorable dining experience with a wide variety of restaurants. Whether you want to dine on some sushi at the Atlantic Grill or carnitas at Dos Caminos, there is something to suit everyone's tastes. From food to fun, Madison Square Garden the place to be.
^Head to a baseball game at Yankee Stadium
For baseball fans, going to a game at Yankee Stadium is one of the most coveted experiences. Probably the most famous stadium in the history of the sport, Yankee Stadium provides a top-notch experience to sports-goers. Built in 2009, the current stadium features 25 different concession stands and sports bars, high definition screens to capture all of the action, and comfortable stadium seats. For the full experience, guests can also visit the New York Yankees Museum. Just a few of the interesting artifacts housed there including the ‘Ball Wall' of autographed baseballs and the locker of Thurman Munson. So whether you're rooting for the Yankees or want to cheer on the visiting team, a baseball game is an amazing addition to your stay in NYC.
^Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
Spanning across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is heralded as one of the most impressive architectural feats in the city. The bridge itself has a vast history as it was completed in 1883 and is known as the connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though the structure's building process was at first extremely controversial due to rumors of corruption among funding partners, nowadays it is known as a symbol of industry and innovation. Numerous events occurred on the bridge, one including a tragic stampede as well as the crossing of P.T. Barnum's elephants. It also has appeared in many movies, including Spiderman and Godzilla. Below the bridge itself sits the Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as the East River, which it spans across. Many different cruises and tours pass over the bridge, so you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn about this iconic landmark while taking in stunning views.
Though there is plenty to see and do in NYC, these 50 bucket list items are some of the best activities in the city. Check them out, and you'll be feeling like a local New Yorker in no time.