101 things to do in New York: Your essential guide to Gotham

Discover what every local needs to tick off their NYC checklist in our roundup of the coolest and most quintessential things to do in New York.



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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    101 best things to do in New York City

    71. Have brunch

  • Photograph: Photograph: Peter Aaron/Esto

    101 best things to do in New York City

    72. Settle in for a screening at Film Forum

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    101 best things to do in New York City

    73. Make like a ghost and boo(k) it to the Village Halloween Parade

  • Photograph: Dan D'Ippolito/Brooklyn Brewery

    101 best things to do in New York City

    74. Tour a brewery

  • Photograph: Michael Anstendig

    101 best things to do in New York City

    75. Tour a winery

  • Photograph: Courtesy Breuckelen Distilling

    101 best things to do in New York City

    76. Tour a distillery

  • Photograph: Bryant Park Corporation

    101 best things to do in New York City

    77. See movies in Bryant Park

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

    101 best things to do in New York City

    78. Escape the sounds of the city in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • 101 best things to do in New York City

    79. Watch big-ticket premieres at the New York Film Festival

  • Photograph: Courtesy Heritage of Pride

    101 best things to do in New York City

    80. Show your Pride

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

101 best things to do in New York City

71. Have brunch

PB&J pain perdu at Recette

Have brunch

New Yorkers may not be a religious bunch, but we’ve got our own time-honored weekend morning ritual: brunch. Whether you’re dining with a group or rolling solo, here are the finest places to quell your a.m. hunger pangs (and/or hangover). Click through for our complete guide to pancakes, huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict, mimosas and other late-breakfast standards.


Settle in for a screening at Film Forum

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This cinephile haven has arguably the best roster of classic films in town—it’s almost as if the Criterion Collection opened its own theater. Many of FF’s revival screenings are presented in spiffy new prints and are occasionally introduced by the stars. The lineup of new international indies is top-notch too. If you view moviegoing as a nonchatty—or even solo—endeavor, this is the place for you. $12.50, seniors (Mon–Fri before 5pm) and members $7.

  1. 209 W Houston St, (between Sixth Ave and Varick St), 10014
More info
39th Annual Village Halloween Parade

Make like a ghost and boo(k) it to the Village Halloween Parade

Staggering, wild-eyed apparitions and shrieking harpies; you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just another night in the heart of the West Village. But this annual processional always packs some serious artistry. The event begins with a parade of puppets created by famed workshops such as Superior Concept Monsters, the Madagascar Institute, the Puppeteers’ Cooperative and Basil Twist’s studio. Sign up online during the summer to volunteer to operate one of these creations, and to help make some of them with various puppet groups on a day trip to the Hudson Valley. Would rather focus on your getup? That’s fine, just turn up on the night in costume to march behind the puppets, bands and dancers and floats (meet at Sixth Ave between Canal and Spring Sts; 6:30–8:30pm). Voyeurs can always line the route to watch the spooky sights, but plan on arriving early to bag a spot. Parade: Sixth Ave from Spring St to W 16th St (halloween-nyc.com). Oct 31 7–10:30pm; free.


Tour a brewery…

Drop in for one of of the 45-minute guided tasting tours or ten-minute (gratis!) walk-throughs at Brooklyn Brewery. During the former, you’ll sip four beers—including seasonal and rare Brewmaster’s Reserve pours. Don’t worry, you can still imbibe during the freebie tour by nabbing a pint ($5, five for $20) in the tasting room. During your stroll, peep the eight new fermentation tanks that were shipped over from Germany, each holding up to 45,000 pints at a time. Free tour: Sat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5pm; Sun 1, 2, 3, 4pm; free. Paid tour: Mon–Thu 5pm; $8; reservations required via brooklynbrewery.com/tours.

  1. Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th St, (between Berry St and Wythe Ave)
Book online
Red Hook Winery

…or a winery

Red Hook has become a stronghold of the Brooklyn DIY food-and-drink movement, with artisanal chocolate, vermouth and other goodies spilling from the cobblestoned community. In April 2012, the ’hood upped its quota of locally sourced fare with the opening of Red Hook Winery, which uses New York State grapes exclusively to make riesling, sauvignon blanc and other wines. On weekends, the warehouse hosts 30-minute public tasting tours (three samples $5, six samples of reserve wines $12) and private paired tastings with Saxelby cheese ($15 and up). 347-689-2432, redhookwinery.com. Public tour: Sat, Sun noon–4pm. Private tour: E-mail info@redhookwinery.com for reservations.

  1. Red Hook Winery, 175 Van Dyke St at Pier 41, 325A, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Breuckelen Distilling

…or a distillery

Labels from Sunset Park’s Breuckelen Distilling seem more and more commonplace at bars throughout NYC. The two-year-old craft-spirits producer uses only New York–grown barley, rye and corn for its gins and whiskeys. During the hour-long free tour, check out the American-oak barrels that age Breuckelen’s booze, and meet the distillers. Afterward, wet your whistle with a sampling ($3) in the tasting room next door. 347-725-4985, brkdistilling.com. Sat 2pm; free; e-mail info@brkdistilling.com to confirm the space is open.

  1. Breuckelen Distilling, 77 19th St between Third Ave and the East River, Sunset Park, Brooklyn

See movies in Bryant Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The novelty of watching a movie while surrounded by midtown’s hustle and bustle makes HBO Bryant Park Film Festival’s showings a huge draw, so arrive before the gates open: Blanket-toting New Yorkers are known to storm the lawn at 5pm sharp like hyper tweens vying for the front row at a Bieber concert. Year after year, the lineups are stellar, and while Monday-night dates for 2013 haven’t been announced yet, we’re told the fest will be back between June and August. Free; see bryantpark.org for details.

  1. Sixth Ave, (between 40th and 42nd Sts)
More info

Escape the sounds of the city in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Those searching for a little peace and quiet would do well to spend a few hours in this verdant oasis. The garden—which abuts two other neighborhood gems: the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park—was founded in 1910 and features thousands of types of flora, laid out over 52 acres. Each spring, check out the Sakura Matsuri Festival, during which more than 70 trees bloom along the Cherry Esplanade. Equally impressive are serene spots like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first Japanese-inspired garden in the U.S., and the Shakespeare Garden, brimming with plants (such as primrose and crocuses) mentioned in the Bard’s works. Start your journey at the Visitor Center, an eco-friendly portal (it has a green roof filled with 45,000 plants) that opened in May 2012.

  1. 990 Washington Ave, (at President St)
More info
New York Film Festival 2012: The Gatekeepers

Watch big-ticket premieres at the New York Film Festival

This annual treat for cinéastes celebrates its 51st season in September 2013, boasting world premieres of big-budget features and indies. Check out our NYFF in mid-September for the full schedule. Prices vary; see filmlinc.com for details.

  1. Locations vary
  2. Times vary; Sept 27–Oct 13
New York City Pride March

Show your Pride

Each June, New Yorkers band together to toast its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents during Gay Pride Week. The big event remains the closing Pride March—it goes down on June 30—when an überfestive procession (and audience) show their stuff along Fifth Avenue; there are a slew of bashes held throughout the city during that week as well.

  1. June 24–30

Users say

Cesar marin
Cesar marin

I love your 101 things to do in ny city, you are missing a couple of good ones like, Chelsea market, eataly at 23rd and 5th ave, go for a bike ride , run in the Hudson River park , Central Park , Kite fly ad the Hudson River park, Sunset under the Brooklyn bridge, cup cakes at magnolias bakery etc, etc.


This is great!! I've used loads, I also found a little gem called The Moth! They host weekly events around the city. If you go on their website. I'm new to the city and met lots of people there. Had a very fun night!!

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