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SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Photograph: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

The 100 best things to do in NYC for locals and tourists

Experience the absolute best things to do in NYC with this epic guide to essential eats, drinks, culture, parks and more

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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November 2021: Looking for the best things to do in NYC? Things are back in business these days. Our iconic museums, big attractions, and favorite restaurants are back (with a few new rules, of course), but the city's cultural life has been reborn. As always in 2021, make sure to double-check with venues to see if programming is still on before you head out. We will be updating this list more often than we did prior to lockdown to reflect New York City as it continues to reopen.

From its art museums (The Met and Frick Madison) to its attractions (The Bronx Zoo and sunrises from the Empire State Building), New York City is the best city in the world. Its dining and drinking scenes, which are undergoing major changes, are still unbeatable and boast killer bars (Dante), restaurants (Lilia) and offering crazy new inventions (like a rainbow crepe cake). Every day, we're discovering something new and wonderful about our city, whether it's one of the best cozy spots, some incredible views, must-see art, or hidden-gem stores. Take this spring to do some incredibly fun things in NYC.

Consider below your NYC Bible. 

You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

Time Out Market New York
  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? This food-and-culture destination in DUMBO boasts some of the best dining in the city, all hand-picked by our editors.

Why go? Time Out New York takes all these amazing chefs, restaurants and dishes that we rave about online and gets them all together in one place for the perfect culinary sample of NYC—perfect for tourists and locals.

Don’t miss: The fifth-floor rooftop hosts regular live performances on its stage and ongoing art installations can be found throughout the Market. You can find out what's happening every week here.

95 best things to do in NYC

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown East

What is it? A heart-pounding immersive experience at Summit One Vanderbilt that sits atop the new 67-floor One Vanderbilt super-tall—a 1,401-foot-high—skyscraper.

Why go? It has a totally mirrored infinity room called "Air" that reflects the sky and city views over and over, making you feel like you're walking in the sky or on another plane of existence. Besides the absolutely breathtaking view of the city (where you can see all the major landmarks and bridges), is that it changes with the weather and time of day.

Don't miss: Two all-glass elevators called "Ascent" that travel up the outside of the building to 1,210 feet (and 120 feet off the observation deck, which is taller than Edge at Hudson Yards).

  • Comedy
  • Comedy

What is it? "Underground Overground Comedy," a comedy show that takes place in unexpected NYC shops and venues like a gym, a rooftop, a candy shop, a music studio and a barbershop in a train station.

Why go? Since it only lists shows on its Instagram and each show is pretty small, it feels exclusive when you're one of only a couple dozen being performed to.

 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

What is it? A hidden restaurant that serves exquisite sushi.

Why go? Two of its owners worked at NYC’s very top sushi restaurants before the pandemic, before finding this sparse space. When you’re good, you're going to shine in any setting, and these two are great. They’re serving their beautiful, meticulously sourced fish, sliced à la minute, to people ordering mostly take out and delivery. It’s like those stories you hear about retirees finding Warhols at a yard sales. 

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What is it? A zingy Broadway musical that unites English dynastic history and modern pop music. On a mock concert stage, backed by an all-female band, the six wives of the 16th-century monarch Henry VIII air their grievances in song, and most of them have plenty to complain about.

Why go? In this self-described “histo-remix,” members of the long-suffering sextet spin their pain into bops; the queens sing their heads off and the audience loses its mind. 

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

What is it? Bryant Park comes alive with holiday festivities, ice skating and shopping and food.

Why go? Its 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink is free to use and there will be year more than 170 kiosks to shop from for your holiday shopping list.

Don't miss: The Small Business Spotlight that gives four New York City-based minority-owned small businesses, with annual revenues of $1 million or less, an opportunity to showcase their products in a free booth at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. And don't miss The Lodge by Prime Video, a covered, outdoor après-themed area where visitors can grab a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, watch the ice skaters or admire the tree.

  • Shopping
  • Shopping & Style

What is it? The Museum at FIT's "Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion," explores "how the rose has influenced the way we look, dress, feel, and fantasize" with over 130 rose-centric garments, accessories and more. 

Why go? You'll see luxurious, hand-woven and embroidered 18th-century silks, 1960s-era stilettos, 1980s Halston gowns, contemporary gender-neutral catwalk trends and more.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Governors Island

What is it? Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of New York Harbor, Governors Island was a military outpost and off-limits to the public for 200 years. It finally opened to summer visitors in 2006. The verdant, 172-acre isle still retains a significant chunk of its military-era architecture, including Fort Jay, started in 1776, and Castle Williams, which was completed in 1812 and used as a prison. The 22-acre area containing the forts and historical officers’ residences is now a national landmark.

Why go? It's open year-round! The island is jointly run by the city, the state and the National Park Service, and it provides a peaceful setting for cycling (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Bike and Roll once there). The island hosts a program of events, such as concert series and art exhibitions (see website for schedule), and where else can you have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty? 

  • Attractions
  • The Bronx

What is it? The Bronx Zoo’s sparkling seasonal celebration featuring animated lights and LED displays of animals from around the world is back this year.

Why go? There will be 260 animal lanterns across five geographically representative lantern safaris from various corners of the world. This year are 79 new lanterns representing 30 new animal species.

Don't miss: The all-new walrus and guanacos! Not only that, but there will be a Forest of Color with 21 all-new larger-than-life lanterns representing toads, frogs, snails, sunbirds, turtles, moths, butterflies, and more. Entertainment will include holiday-themed music, ice carvings, costumed characters, stilt walkers, a holiday train, a wildlife theater, souvenirs and seasonal treats like hot chocolate and s’mores. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

What is it? Sushi Lab has expanded with a new intimate space with a 13-course omakase for $100 and laboratory touches across the experience.

Why go? The opening menu includes Wagyu beef, a tuna flight and a smokey miso soup presented in a beaker to pull the whole laboratory theme into focus. Sake, wine and beer are available, along with signature cocktails. The Mr. Chiri includes tequila, yuzu, red chili peppers and cilantro. The Morning Glory mixes gin, basil, grapefruit syrup and egg white. And the punny Pearfection is made with soju, pear puree, lemon juice and pea flower syrup.



  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Both Miracle and their sibling concept Sippin' Santa, are partnering with bars to feature new drink menus this holiday season.

Why go? Miracle is adding a Brooklyn location, at the new Williamsburg bar Thief, which will pause its Friesling service and go full-on North Pole as it's festively transformed to Miracle on Union. East Village bar The Cabinet will be Miracle on 9th Street and Boilermaker will be Sippin' Santa. Expect to be swept into a whole new festive world with each bar decked out from floor to ceiling in holiday everything. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Glowing igloos that can accommodate up to 10 guests at once and have warm red snuggies for use inside each one.

Why go? In addition to admiring the spectacular views, you'll be able to order food and drinks from inside each bubble. On the libations menu you'll find a few types of hot ciders (vodka apple cider, hot virgin cider and apple pie cider among them), plus hot coffees and teas and an entire section dedicated to hot chocolate—both the boozy and the virgin type.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What is it? Anaïs Mitchell’s fizzy, moody, thrilling new Broadway musical. Ostensibly, at least, the show is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

Why go? It’s the newness of Mitchell’s musical account—and Rachel Chavkin’s gracefully dynamic staging—that bring this old story to quivering life. It feels less like a standard Broadway musical than a concert, a gathering, a happening. Most important, it has Mitchell’s score: a joyful combination of folk, pop, Dixieland and blues that will make you want to rehear it as soon as the lights come up. You’ll be singing it again in your head for days. 

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  • Theater
  • Interactive
  • Bushwick

What is it? A surreal look at the nature of ritual and ceremony, Bottom of the Ocean is the third production from Andrew Hoepfner’s company Houseworld Immersive, and draws on techniques that Hoepfner explored previously in Houseworld and Whisperlodge. It is staged at Gymnopedie, a multiroom space that has been created by restoring 5,500 square feet of the 19th-century basement at Bushwick United Methodist Church. 

Why go? No show in town offers as intimate an experience as this interactive experience in Bushwick that has been created to be performed for just five audience members at a time.

  • Things to do
  • The Bronx

What is it? An outdoor light experience that will brighten up the grounds with thousands of energy-efficient LED lights and festive installations.

Why go? After dark, you can walk this expanded 1.5-mile colorful experience with even more illuminated displays than last year, including plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations reflecting the surrounding gardens and collections with the Haupt Conservatory and Mertz Library Building as glowing centerpieces. It's all an ideal backdrop for a family holiday photo op. Plus, there will be dance performances, ice carving demonstrations and other seasonal activities (and snacks) to enjoy. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A trippy digital art that unfolds all around you inside Chelsea Market's old boiler room by Refik Anadol was originally on view at ARTECHOUSE.

Why go? Visitors to the show will also be able to order a cocktail at the XR Bar and scan their cocktail on the ARTECHOUSE app to bring it to life with augmented reality. Plus, about 1,000 unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from Anadol's work will be available to visitors via Nifty Gateway’s platform for $2,000 each.  

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts examines “Walt Disney’s personal fascination with European art and the use of French motifs in Disney films and theme parks."

Why go? Some unique gems are set to be presented in the show, including a film celluloid from a production of Snow White gifted by Walt Disney to The Met in 1938 and personal film footage of Walt and his family visiting Paris. 

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  • Art
  • The Bronx

What is it? The Bronx Museum of the Art's AIM Biennial "Bronx Calling" showcase of works that highlight the practice of everyday life in uncertain times. The 68 participating artists created works in response to multiple crises of health, grief, the environment and identity.

Why go? See Yan Chen’s 8-foot-tall "High Palate" sculpture highlights the basic need of shelter by having viewers experience the intimate space of a pallet (the roof of a mouth) on an architectural scale and Jesse Kreuzer's work looks at current issues in American politics with a monumental 8-panel and 30-foot-long painting of a chaotic moment during a protest.

  • Music
  • East Harlem

What is it? An exuberant exhibit about the music of the 1980s in New York City at the Museum of the City of New York

Why go? The show examines this transformative era through the lens of emerging pivotal music genres and the influence they played on New York’s broader cultural landscape. It highlights diverse musical artists from Run DMC to the Talking Heads and from Madonna to John Zorn through a series of key moments and more than 350 objects, including video footage, photography, artifacts

Don't miss: An MTV Music Awards Moon Person award statue, vinyl records from Madonna, Funky 4+1, Liquid Liquid, and Konk, a T-shirt and other ephemera from Keith Haring and DJ Larry Levan’s "Party of Life" event, music videos and rare concert footage including Grand Master Flash, Fort Apache Band, Lounge Lizards, Cyndi Lauper, and others. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" at The Brooklyn Museum explores the high fashion history of The House of Dior, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the brand's namesake Christian Dior founded the label. 

Why go? The exhibition will present over 200 haute couture garments as well as photographs, archival videos, sketches, vintage perfume elements, and accessories. Haute couture on view exemplifies the French couturier’s fabled silhouettes and will allow contemporary style enthusiasts to better understand how Dior influenced today's fashion. 

Don't miss: A showcasing 18-century-inspired gowns, a "colorama" display of Dior accessories, and a gallery of toiles (the full-scale, 3D mockups used to confirm finished designs) illustrating the dressmaking process.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Coby Club is a new, subterranean lounge opening on Seventh Ave that’s inspired by 1960s San Francisco nightlife.

Why go? The lush space pays homage to San Francisco Chinatown nightlife in the 1960s and one woman in particular who was at the heart of it: Miss Coby Yee, the glamorous dancer and owner of the iconic club Forbidden City. You can swing by for craft cocktails and small plates as well as live musical performances and other forms of live entertainment. 

Don't miss: The gold embossed phoenix-like dragons on the walls meant—in part—to represent the city’s nightlife dramatically rising from the ashes this year with a new sense of strength and optimism.

 

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  • Attractions
  • West Village

What is it? New York City’s hottest new attraction, Little Island, opened to the public in May 2021 and has since brought in plenty of visitors who flocked to see Manhattan’s newest “floating” greenspace.

Why go? It's filled with open lawns, colorful shrubs and trees and a secret garden. While entry is free to the park throughout the day, entering between noon and close requires a reservation.

Don't miss: The park’s amphitheaters, The Glade and The Amph, offer a spectacular view of the Hudson River.

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

What is it? Immersive art exhibit Arcadia Earth aims to inspire visitors artistically and ethically, as it uses 15 rooms to spotlight the environmental challenges that our planet is facing (such as overfishing, food waste, and climate change).

Why go? This exhibit not only leaves visitors in awe, but it will help support Oceanic Global, an organization devoted to raising awareness around our aquatic ecosystems. In addition, a tree will also be planted for every ticket sold, making it a perfect gift for your eco-conscious friends!

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? SuperReal is an immersive digital art show created by multimedia entertainment company Moment Factory in partnership with hospitality brand Cipriani, that transports visitors through dreamlike scenes in its gorgeous hall. Across 45 minutes, the show places viewers in five unique and abstract sequences that are both stunning and interactive.

Why go? One minute you could be daydreaming in a fairylike flower garden and the next you're caught in an epic thunderstorm or thrown into the middle of a tropical disco.

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Andy Warhol's photography is getting its own exhibit at Fotografiska this fall.

Why go? It will showcase more than 120 images, 20 of which have never been shown to the public before.

Don't miss: The Polaroid portraits of celebrities, artists, and friends. You'll see Debbie Harry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dolly Parton, Grace Jones, Keith Haring and Giorgio Armani). Notably, among the Polaroids are nine photos from the "Ladies and Gentlemen" series of trans women, drag queens and civil rights icons that Warhol paid to pose for him like Marsha P. Johnson, but it also includes anonymous women whose portraits offer an intimate lens into their life and times. 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? The world's largest collection of Harry Potter merch is now at Harry potter Store New York (935 Broadway in the Flatiron District).

Why go? Every detail of Harry Potter Store New York has been intricately designed, from the decor sitting on the shelves above all the incredible merch (yes, there are full house robes) to the design of the store itself, which has a room full of gorgeous HP stationary by MinaLima, massive models of Fawkes the Phoenix and a moving griffin as well as a spiral staircase that descends into a space made to look like the Ministry of Magic.

Don't miss: Throughout the whole store, props from the films are displayed among the merchandise, from the major characters' actual wands to some of Voldemort's horcruxes like Tom Riddle's journal and the Ravenclaw's diadem.  You can see these all up close but also scan a code next to them with the Harry Potter Fan Club app that'll give you information about the items and a single letter that you will need to solve a puzzle. If you do, you'll get a reward at checkout.

 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Putting Green is an 18-hole course on a 15,000-square-foot tiered deck on the North Williamsburg riverfront.

Why go? The course aims to serve two purposes—one, to provide a fun time to New Yorkers, and two, to teach them about climate change, green and blue infrastructure, animal habitats, energy, and emissions.

Don't miss: Each hole offers up a different scene—hole 1 is "Down the drain," showing how litter and debris get washed down storm drains and into waterways. Hole 2, "Whale Fall Feast," shows what happens when a whale dies and sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Hole 15, is "The Big Oyster" by you guessed it, the Billion Oyster Project. Other holes feature polar bears, a windmill, a cow, and a depiction of sea-level rise. 

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? two-part exhibition that consists of galleries and a total of nine vintage cars dotting the museum’s first floor and Sculpture Garden until October 10. The exhibition pulls its name from a 1964 Oscar-nominated cartoon by the British animation team Halas and Batchelor (most famous for their adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm).

Why go? MoMA says the show examines “the car as a modern industrial product, transportation innovator, and style icon, as well as the generator of fatalities, traffic-choked environments, and ecological disaster in the oil age.” And, at the end of the day, the younger ones are sure to be impressed by all the cool cars.

Don't miss: There are plenty of gems on display for true autophiles, including a 1973 Citroën DS sedan, an Airstream Bambi trailer and a rugged, fifties-era Jeep Truck.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? The venue formerly known as Fat Cat has reemerged with a new name, new games, and custom ice cream. Cellar Dog (75 Christopher St.) is reviving the Fat Cat tradition of late-night basement gaming, with an updated concept for 2021.

Why go? Games include pool tables, ping pong, shuffleboard, foosball, checkers and chess, as well as antique and novelty arcade games including Pac Man and many more. Live jazz and additional entertainment will also be booked throughout the week.

Don't miss: It has restored historic furniture familiar to the space, added contactless ordering, updated restrooms with touchless hand dryers, an Apple pay option and has a menu with small bites like movie theater-style nachos, grandma-style pizza, pretzels and custom ice cream. Wine, seltzers, and a variety of beers on tap will be served to drink. 

 

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Ms. Kim's, a new K-town karaoke lounge is from Korean beauty entrepreneur Anna Kim that combines sophisticated style with sing-alongs.

Why go? Ms. Kim's offers both communal space and soundproof private karaoke rooms, so guests can customize their experience as it suits their needs.

Don't miss: Signature drinks from the main bar, which start at $16, that include ingredients like butterfly pea flower, herbal infused syrups and top shelf spirits., and its menu of Japanese and Korean finger foods.

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  • Art
  • Public art
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A new, reflective and immersive artwork at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street Park section.

Why go? "Rehearsal" is made up of five large-scale geometric sculptures clad with hand-painted glazed tiles, panels featuring photographs of New York City in the 1980s and '90s and Roman and Greek antiquities, and mirror-polished stainless steel. They range in height from 7 to 13 feet and are encased in more than 1,000 warm and cool-toned clay tiles that were hand-painted by the artist in her Berlin studio. The installation is meant to give passersby a moment of reflection and see themselves in the reflective artwork as "actors in their own urban narrative" as it is located at the iconic terminus of Washington Street, where the Manhattan Bridge frames the Empire State Building. 

  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

What is it? "Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen" is a new Times Square exhibition of the fabulous costumes of Broadway including Moulin Rouge!, The Lion King, Wicked, and Chicago. A few costumes from smash television shows and films will be in the mix, too, including pieces from Saturday Night Live and the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.

Why go? The show aims to not only provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes stage and screen experience but also play a major role in New York’s ongoing revitalization. All proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which first launched last year with a goal of raising over $20,000 for out-of-work members. 

 

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  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

What is it? The Museum of Sex a's "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back.

Why go? It has an 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. 

Don't miss: A spiral slide that drops you into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

  • Bars
  • Roosevelt Island

What is it? Roosevelt Island's first-ever rooftop bar and lounge.

Why go? Located on the 18th floor of the hotel, the "jewel box" space opens up to incredible views of the boroughs, the bridges and the East River, which shine like stars at night.

Don't miss: Art from artists like Julia Chiang, Spencer Lewis, Alake Shilling, JPW3, Chris Martin, Brian Belott and Ida Eklbad, selected by Venus Over Manhattan partner Anna Furney and designer/creative director Darren Romanelli (aka Dr. Romanelli or DRx). Artist Sophie Parker and her botanical studio, Wife NYC, will also make custom arrangements and sculptural artwork for the lounge.

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  • Museums
  • Central Park

What is it? The Jewish Museum's new exhibit that explores the subject of art looting during World War II.

Why go? Afterlives will include works by major artists that were looted from Jewish collections during the war as well as treasured pieces of Judaica and rare examples of Jewish ceremonial objects from destroyed synagogues.

Don't miss: works by such renowned artists as Pierre Bonnard, Marc Chagall, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Camille Pissarro, among others; and rarely seen archival photographs and documents. 

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

What is it? "The Polonsky Exhibition of New York Public Library’s Treasures" spans 4,000 years of history and includes a wide range of history-making pieces, including the only surviving letter from Christoper Columbus announcing his “discovery” of the Americas to King Ferdinand’s court and the first Gutenberg Bible brought over to the Americas.

Why go? It's free.

Don't miss: Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence; The stuffed animals that belonged to the real-life Christopher Robin and inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories; Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, as well as a letter from her husband Leonard Woolf to her longtime lover Vita Sackville-West documenting its discovery following her suicide; the set model for the Off-Broadway production of In The Heights and more.

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A brand-new immersive visual experience atop the One World Trade Center.

Why go? Through a series of interactive visual installations, visitors to One World Observatory will step into a narrative voyage exploring the past, present and future of Lower Manhattan. 

Don't miss: The Horizon Grid that presents a brief history of lower Manhattan through a thoughtfully animated visual journey and a series of iconic events and locations viewable from the observatory.

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? A new whiskey distillery, the first to open (legally) in Manhattan since Prohibition, with luxe decor inspired by the decadence of 100 years ago. 

Why go? The 28,000 square foot venue has a fully functioning distillery, a tasting room and several drinking and dining venues, including an underground speakeasy and full restaurant to open this fall. The menus are heralded by Executive Chef Adam Raksin, who formerly worked at Per Se

Don't miss: A tour detailing the whiskey-making process ($35), a culinary cocktail pairing experience ($145) and a hands-on mixology class ($110). 

  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

What is it? The city’s longest continually farmed site in the city (it’s been in operation since 1697), the 47 acres feels like an entirely different world compared to Manhattan.

Why go? You can feed and pet the barnyard animals, including sheep, ponies and goats, hop aboard a hayride and come back during the fall harvest season when you can go pumpkin picking and attempt to find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze (yes, that’s a corn maze). Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way out for fresh fruits and veggies grown on the premises!

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  • Movies
  • Movies

What is it? Bryant Park Movie Nights is back with its outdoor screen and ample room to spread out on your blanket.

Why go? Bryant Park Movie Nights will take place on Monday nights and, for the first time, also on Tuesday nights, in order to better accommodate high-interest. As always, the events will be free to the public and each screening will begin shortly after sunset (typically between 8pm-9pm). You can find out more information here.

Don't miss:
Monday, September 13: Moonstruck
Tuesday, September 14: MOULIN ROUGE!
Monday, September 27: The Phantom of the Opera
Tuesday, September 28: Mrs. Doubtfire

 

 

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Williamsburg

What is it? This woman-owned brewery opened its first taproom in Williamsburg in March, serving up its refreshing, summer-like, fruit-forward beer

Why go? It's NYC's first-ever woman-owned and run brewery and taproom and it does beer differently than any other brewery — it's good for beer beginners and aficionados alike.

Don't miss: The Beer cocktails that use brews rather than seltzer or liquor, including The Talea Punch.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Hell's Kitchen

Theater review by Adam Feldman

Red alert! Red alert! If you’re the kind of person who frets that jukebox musicals are taking over Broadway, prepare to tilt at the windmill that is the gorgeous, gaudy, spectacularly overstuffed Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Directed with opulent showmanship by Alex Timbers, this adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 movie may be costume jewelry, but its shine is dazzling. 

The place is the legendary Paris nightclub of the title, and the year is ostensibly 1899. Yet the songs—like Catherine Zuber’s eye-popping costumes—span some 150 years of styles. Moulin Rouge! begins with a generous slathering of “Lady Marmalade,” belted to the skies by four women in sexy black lingerie, long velvet gloves and feathered headdresses. Soon they yield the stage to the beautiful courtesan Satine (a sublimely troubled Karen Olivo), who makes her grand entrance descending from the ceiling on a swing, singing “Diamonds Are Forever.” She is the Moulin Rouge’s principal songbird, and Derek McLane’s sumptuous gold-and-red set looms around her like a gilded cage.

After falling in with a bohemian crowd, Christian (the boyish Aaron Tveit), a budding songwriter from small-town Ohio, wanders into the Moulin Rouge like Orpheus in the demimonde, his cheeks as rosy with innocence as the showgirls’ are blushed with maquillage. As cruel fate would have it, he instantly falls in love with Satine, and she with him—but she has been promised, alas, to the wicked Duke of Monroth (Tam Mutu), on whose patronage the club depends. Also, Satine is dying of consumption, as a classic red-handkerchief moment reveals.

Like the film, John Logan’s script trades in unvarnished melodrama. The characters function mostly on the level of archetype: They exist to flesh out the songs, which happily include many of the most memorable pop hits of our time. More than 75 of them are crammed into the musical’s two and a half hours, ranging from Offenbach and Bizet to Walk the Moon’s 2014 earworm “Shut Up and Dance.” The movie’s tentpole tunes (“Nature Boy,” “Your Song,” “Come What May”) have been augmented by dozens of others, spliced into updated megamedleys—the terrific arrangements and orchestrations are by Justin Levine—that keep the audience in an ongoing game of Name That Tune. (Wait, was that Outkast? Pink? Queen? Adele? Beyoncé? Britney Spears? Regina Spektor? David Bowie? Yes.)

Moulin Rouge! is one showpiece after another: Olivo and Tveit singing the stuffing out of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and the Police’s “Roxanne,” respectively; a party scene in which absinthe glows like kryptonite as Christian pursues an elusive vision of Satine as a green fairy and his friends—including the club’s louche emcee Harold Zidler (Danny Burstein, with his signature mix of tenderness and verve)—sing Sia’s “Chandelier”; and, best of all, a thrilling dance explosion set to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and led by the magnetic Robyn Hurder and Ricky Rojas.

The musical gives lip service to proletarian ideals, as enunciated by its version of the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Sahr Ngaujah), but its appeal is the opposite: As Broadway shows become pricier and pricier, here is one that looks and feels expensive. It’s a very fancy heart-shaped box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, and though you know exactly what you’re going to get, each bite is still a little surprise: sometimes gooey, sometimes nutty, sometimes fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes stale but mostly delicious. And if it’s any consolation to the haters, Moulin Rouge! may turn out to be the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals—if only because, among its particular type of jukebox musical at least, it’s hard to imagine how it can be topped.

Al Hirschfeld Theatre (Broadway). Book by John Logan. Music and lyrics by various artists. Directed by Alex Timbers. With Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Tam Mutu, Sahr Ngaujah. Running time: 2hrs 40mins. One intermission.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam
Follow Time Out Theater on Twitter: @TimeOutTheater
Keep up with the latest news and reviews on our Time Out Theater Facebook page

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The Frick Madison is now open 945 Madison Avenue—the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Met Breuer—while Henry Clay Frick's mansion undergoes a massive renovation. This new stint will last two years, and while the Brutalist building by Marcel Breuer is a huge departure from the Gilded Age mansion, the space is offering a much different and rare look at the collection, according to museum officials.

Why go? Unlike at the Frick Mansion, the Breuer building is a clean slate—stark in contrast, which actually helps to attract the viewer's attention to individual works. Eyes aren't busy looking at ornate furniture here. It's all about seeing the smaller details in the artwork that you might have overlooked at the mansion. According to Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper, "It's a different Frick than you’ve ever known."

Don't miss: The room reserved for three Vermeer paintings and Bellini’s St. Francis in Room 13.

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  • Music
  • Music

What is it? City Winery just announced the return of live entertainment at its new flagship location at Pier 57 in Hudson River Park by releasing its spring lineup.

Why go? The lineup exciting for two reasons—it signals a return to live shows after a year of streaming old performances online and the concerts mark the opening of City Winery's brand new flagship location, following the closure of its beloved Varick Street one.

 

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A new citywide program is bringing arts and culture to the five boroughs’ streets. Similar to those (very lovely!) programs which allowed for pedestrians to enjoy streets while they were shut down to cars and dine in the middle of thoroughfares, the new Open Culture program will allow for ticketed, socially distanced performances, workshops and classes in the streets. The program will run through October 31. 

Why go? Over 150 events have already been approved to take place in the city. It's been so long!

Don't miss: An interactive map, also found on the official city website, shows all of the spaces around the city that can be used for the live events. To stay on top of upcoming events through the program, you can check out the official NYC event permit site. You can also reference this list of the 100+ eligible streets in the city, to find the brand-new outdoor arts hub closest to you.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Noho
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? An all-day café by Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera (of Cosme)

Why go? It's one of our top spots to get food and drinks. The spot is all about the nuances of Mexican and Central American cuisine through high-end dishes. 

Don't miss: Dishes like its bright sea-bass aguachile; its al pastor is perfectly sweet and tangy, cauliflower demonstrating that humble vegetables can be elegant; and the mole negro.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? The new king of the New York slice. 

Why go? With its charred-wood–fired pies, Paulie Gee’s quickly became a cult favorite in Greenpoint. So when they unveiled a spin-off slice shop a few blocks away in 2018, it naturally got the neighborhood’s attention. The decor mimics the old-school New York dollar-slice shop, from the ’70s faux-wood Formica tables and letter-board menu to the red plastic trays and the paper plates on which each slice is served, but the ’za is the real deal.

Don’t miss: Opt for the classic cheese slice, just as as lovely as the pepperoni number or the Hellboy,which takes the pepperoni slice and douses it with sweet-and-spicy Mike’s Hot Honey. Discover all of our favorite places for pizza in NYC

Get crafty at Brooklyn Craft Company
  • Shopping
  • Arts, crafts & hobbies
  • Greenpoint

What is it? A DIY mecca with workshops on all kinds of crafting skills, from knitting to macrame.

Why go? They'll put your hands to work and your mind at ease. 

Don't miss: There's an online store where you can purchase the necessary supplies you'll need.

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Order some bagel and lox at Russ & Daughters
  • Shopping
  • Specialist food and drink
  • Lower East Side
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Russ & Daughters has been serving lox, herring and other specialty foods on the Lower East Side since 1914.

Why go? "Russ & Daughters is already is our go-to spot for Jewish apps shelling out the best lox in town, so while you’re there why not stock up on sweets?" asks Time Out's Jake Cohen. He reccomends their black & whites, which are a stunning iteration of the classic, yet simple cookies, all baked out of their location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Don’t miss: The Super Heeb, a mix of horseradish cream cheese, wasabi-flavored roe and sublime whitefish salad that forms a holy trinity with an unholy name.

  • Restaurants
  • Prospect Heights

What is it? A hidden tea salon by vintage shop 1 of a Find.

Why go? The locale is meant to be a respite, where you can catch a break from the energetic buzz of New York’s metropolis. Diners can choose from over 20 teas, from lavender earl grey blends to green tea jasmine. In the kitchen, head chef Carlos Jimenez gets creative with his ever-changing menu, but guests can always find traditional scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches.

Don't miss: Antiques and artifacts from Brooklyn's long history strewn about the salon.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Beloved pasta-focused eatery from Missy Robbins.
 
Why go? Robbins revamps a former auto-body shop as a 70-seat dining room decorated with handmade tiles, natural-wood tables and iron-casement windows. You can enjoy their outdoor dining now. Robbins oversees rustic plates like cacio e pepe frittelle, spaghetti with anchovies and a wood-fired leg of lamb with Roman spices. A small adjacent take-out café serves pastries and paninis.


Don’t miss: The ricotta gnocchi, delicate cheese dumplings covered in a thatch of vibrant, verdant broccoli-basil pesto studded with nutty pistachios, or the bow-shaped rigatoni, rendered sweet from crushed San Marzano tomatoes and spicy from a prodigious zap of chilies and black pepper.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Whether you’re interested in the world below our feet, or the cultures of faraway lands or the stars light-years beyond our reach, the American Museum of Natural History is bound to teach you a few things you never knew.

Why go? With new safety protocols, you can spend a whole day just looking at the taxidermied animals that hail from across the world and the ocean, study the human species and the evolutionary origins of humans and our near (now extinct) cousins, spend the day like a geologist, and be filled with child-like awe in the presence of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Wooly Mammoth and the Apatosaurus in the fourth floor’s world-renowned fossil collection.

Don't miss: The first new planetarium show in seven years, "World's Beyond Earth."

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Carroll Gardens

What is it? A Thai restaurant that will keep you coming back for more self-inflicted pain.

Why go? It may not be scientifically proven, but spicy food is addictive—especially at Ugly Baby. The servers at this tucked-away spot in Carroll Gardens will warn you over and over to be careful. But you’ll go against their advice and end up begging for more of the cooling cucumbers to ward off the heat.

Don’t miss: The “stay-away spicy Udon Thani’s duck salad” or the khao soi. 

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Union Square

What is it? An outdoor, year-round market seasonal fruits and vegetables, farmstead cheeses, artisanal breads, fresh-cut flowers, wine and more.

Why go? You’ll find yourself shopping elbow-to-elbow with top chefs for all manner of regionally grown culinary pleasures.

Don't miss: Cooking demonstrations, beer & spirits pop-ups and book signings. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? Doughnut fans surely know about Fany Gerson’s cult-favorite treats at Dough Doughnuts. Now she’s gone out on her own with Fan-Fan Doughnuts and the menu looks as good as ever. Be prepared for long lines outside— it’s worth the wait.

Why go?  From Mexican cinnamon to the glazed braided doughnuts, fans area already lined up for our city’s favorite morning dessert, and the menu is consistently changing with new sugary surprises.

Don't miss: Get your hands on a Mensch fan-fan, filled with praline cream and topped with choc-choc glaze and toasted hazelnuts, before they sell out.

Stroll into Eddie's Sweet Shop
  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Forest Hills

What is it? If you want a real trip down memory lane, this old-school soda fountain and diner will tap right into the New York nostalgia you're craving.

Why go? This Forest Hills gem has been in business for more than 100 years and still that attracts all generations to come in for a homemade scoop. "Aside from the famous sundaes, the chocolate egg cream is one of the most famous in the whole dang city—and that’s saying a lot," says associate Food & Drink editor Alyson Penn.  

Don’t miss: The sundaes are still served in the same metal tins for the perfect retro touch. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Park

What is it? The world's most famous green space. 

Why go? "Many visitors fight through the crowded streets to enter Central Park around 59th Street—where there’s not much to see—and by the time they reach the best bits, they are too winded to enjoy them," says Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. Instead, he suggests taking the subway to 72nd Street and Central Park West, then head east to hit up Strawberry Fields, the Sheep Meadow, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, the Bethesda Fountain, the Naumburg Bandshell, the Loeb Boathouse, the Hans Christian Andersen Monument, the Conservatory Water’s model boats and the Alice in Wonderland statue, all in a “New York hour.”

Don’t miss: Head to the shore of the Lake at 72nd Street and rent a rowboat or take a gondola tour. 

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? A world-famous landmark that towers above Manhattan.  

Why go? The main deck on the 86th floor is the highest open-air observatory offers stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more. If you want to get higher, head to the 102nd floor's indoor observation deck for a full view of Central Park. And for some background, duck down to the "Dare to Dream" exhibit on the 80th floor, which honors the 3,400 people who built the 1,454-foot skyscraper and features original photographs, architectural sketches and construction notes. 

Don’t miss: Want to admire the ESB from a distance with a strong drink in hand? "For about $20, you can grab a drink, tip the bartender and take in amazing views from Rockefeller Plaza’s Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room," notes Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? A recently-opened cafe and molino in Bed-Stuy that brings a taste of Oaxaca to NYC.

Why go? The appealing menu of homemade tortilla-based Mexican dishes, including mushroom tlayuditas, hibiscus and chipotle salsa tetelas, and squash blossom quesadillas. Don’t skip the drinks either—oat milk horchata and hibiscus agua fresca hit the sweet spot.

Don't miss: Buying a fresh batch of tortillas to take home for later.

Throw back a pint at McSorley’s Old Ale House
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? NYC’s oldest continuously operated saloon.

Why go? "Not only do we love a bar with character, but if you make the trip, you’ll be able to join the ranks of past patrons like Abe Lincoln and John Lennon," says Jake Cohen. In traditional Irish-pub fashion, McSorley’s floor has been thoroughly scattered with sawdust to take care of the spills and other messes that often accompany large quantities of cheap beer. Established in 1854, it has became an institution by remaining steadfastly authentic. 

Don't miss: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale. Both beverages have a lot more character than PBR, though at these prices, it won’t be long before you stop noticing. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

What is it? San Ambroeus' newest gelateria in SoHo is a 700-square-foot space at 267 Lafayette Street.

Why go? Folks get to choose from over 16 different flavors of both gelato and sorbetto—from classics the likes of vanilla, strawberry and pistachio to the out-of-this-world panettone, croccantino, stracciatella and passion fruit.

Don't miss: Two vegan flavors also make the menu alongside a variety of homemade toppings like shaved milk chocolate, salted caramel hazelnuts, orange sponge, lemon confit and more.

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • East Village

What is it? Founded in 1927, Strand is perhaps the most beloved indie bookseller in NYC.  

Why go? With more than 2.5 million new, used and rare tomes—or as the sign outside says, 18 MILES OF BOOKS—Strand absolutely crams its shelves, with many new titles sold well below list price. Bibliophiles can spend hours checking the staff picks, classic novels, poetry, novels and nonfiction. We suggest walking up to the third floor, where early editions and rare signed copies are available for purchase.

Don’t miss: “Perusing the $1 shelves,” says Rachel of Washington Heights.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Upper West Side

What is it? An iconic Upper West Side bagel counter. 

Why go? Is there a more distinctly New York (or at least NYC- beloved) dish than the bagel? Maybe. During morning hours? Absolutely not. The fact is that we do this weekend wakeup must—or afternoon stomach-padder, depending on how last night went—better than anyone. And although Tal Bagels provides by no means the most calming bagel experience in New York—for that, head to High Street on Hudson or Sadelle's—OG New Yorkers know that they're best eaten hunched over on park bench or at a bagelry counter top anyway. And we can't think of a better spot than this.  

Don't miss: The everything bagel toasted with scallion cream cheese. Still hungry? Discover all of the best bagels in NYC

  • Music
  • Coney Island

What is it? New York is the city where street art was born, and it’s still the best place to see it in the world. 

Why go? Catching art on the street is a far more visceral experience that seeing it on a museum wall. For proof, check out the Bowery Graffiti Wall on the corner of Houston and Bowery to see what world-class street artist is currently on display (past artists have included Banksy, JR and Shepard Fairey) or  peep the rotating lineup of artists at Coney Island Art Walls.

Don’t miss: If you’re looking for an arty outing after dark, head down to the Lower East Side for the 100 Gates Project, which displays impressive works on the grates that cover businesses at night. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Financial District

What is it? Inside the highly sought-after Art Deco residential building, 70 Pine Street, resides the first collaboration between James Kent, longtime chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and executive chef at NoMad, alongside Jeff Katz, managing partner of Del Posto. This year, they've managed to replicate their interior fine dining feel with a gorgeous outdoor dining set-up that's a must-try.

Why go? Here, elevated meals are crafted by New York’s fine dining elite. You can ball out like a banker without breaking your piggy bank.

Don’t miss: “Pastry chef Renata Ameni’s satsuma orange ice cream is served with a hat of toasted marshmallow and crumbles of honeycomb, tasted like a creamsicle and comes with a big enough scoop for sharing," says Time Out's Emma Orlow. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Greenpoint

What is it? An old-school bakery famous for their doughnuts.

Why go? “Start Sunday with a Bavarian cream from Peter Pan; it’s a total hangover cure,” says Ana of Greenpoint. Peter Pan isn’t a gourmet doughnut shop by any stretch, and in this neck of the woods, thank God for that. Its freshly made fried sweets and legit 1950s environs, complete with an S-shaped counter, means it’s busy daily with regulars. But trust us: The lines are worth it.


Don’t miss: Pair your doughnut with one of the bakery’s tasty egg creams.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A ridiculously photogentic neighborhood teeming with tree-lined streets and Brooklyn brownstones. 

Why go? “Walk the fruit streets of Brooklyn Heights," suggests Dana in Crown Heights. Those streets (Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple) do indeed, as she puts it, "have that Brooklyn-from-the-movies feel.” And there's a nifty backstory: In the mid-1800s, prominent Brooklyn Heights resident Lady Middagh saw the “pretentious” street names in her ’hood—those named after Brooklyn’s wealthy families—and decided to take matters into her own hands by changing the street signs by cover of darkness to Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple. 

Don’t miss: Head to the water and hit the Brooklyn Promenade, a one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River overlooking an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. 

  • Restaurants
  • Flushing
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? A closet-size mecca for dumpling aficionados.

Why go? We recommend the the No. 6: a dozen pork wontons, doused in roasted chili oil and topped with a smattering of diced pickled vegetables, which arrives on a Styrofoam plate. Despite more than 30 items on the menu, it’s the dish everyone seems to order. 

Don't miss: Still hungry? Plan a food crawl and eat your way through Flushing

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  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Murray Hill
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? An old-school, 24-hour Jewish delicatessen that's now open for indoor dining, pickup and delivery orders.

Why go? NYPD Sergeant Abe “Sarge” Katz opened the restaurant in 1964, and the building still has the burgundy vinyl booths, Tiffany’s lamps and a wall of celebrity photos to prove it. Sarge’s offers all the classic deli sandwiches—corned beef, pastrami, reuben—plus the Monster. Billed as the city’s largest sandwich, it is indeed a towering stack of corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye.

Don’t miss: The bacon egg and cheese sandwich. "The contrasting textures of gooey cheese and eggs with crispy bacon makes for a breakfast to behold whether you’re eating it at 8am or 11pm," says Time Out's Jake Cohen. 

  • Shopping
  • Bookstores
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Support your local bookstore! This cozy bookstore is straight out of a bygone era with shelves packed with a skillfully chosen range of titles. Due to building work, the've temporarily relocated to 238 West 10th St.

Why go? “Three Lives & Company is kind of amazing to me," says actor Charles Busch. "I don’t know how they manage to be here when large chains are closing. It’s a place where you really can feel comfortable browsing and picking up a book, and they always have interesting stuff you won’t find at Barnes & Noble. You’ll find some rare biography that was printed in England that’s usually not found in this country.” Focusing on literature (primarily fiction and narrative nonfiction), Three Lives also has a dedicated NYC section and an especially large travel shelf.

Don’t miss: The incredibly knowledgeable and well-read staff will not only help you pick out your next beach read, they’ll also fulfill custom orders.

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  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

Though not as easily accessible by public transit as most NYC museums, this Queens County treasure is well worth the bus trek or car ride. As the city’s longest continually farmed site in the city (it’s been in operation since 1697), the 47 acres feels like an entirely different world compared to Manhattan. Feed and pet the barnyard animals, including sheep, ponies and goats, hop aboard a hayride and come back during the fall harvest season when you can go pumpkin picking and attempt to find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze (yes, that’s a corn maze). Don’t forget to stop by the store on your way out for fresh fruits and veggies grown on the premises!

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Greenwood

What is it? A beautiful final resting place in Brooklyn filled with Victorian mausoleums, cherubs and gargoyles.  

Why go? If you were alive in the 19th century, one of your goals in life was to reserve a place to rest here. Today, this cemetery boasts over 560,000 residents—including Civil War generals. But there’s more to do here than grave-spot: Check out the massive Gothic arch at the main entrance or climb to the top of Battle Hill, one of the highest points in Kings County and a pivotal spot during the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

Don’t miss:  A fan of all things spooky? “Take one of the moonlight tours of the cemetery," suggests Joseph of Gowanus.  

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Greenwich Village

What is it? A 9.75-acre public park that serves as the beating heart of Greenwich Village. 

Why go? It's one of the most iconic spots in NYC and has a ton of history, serving as the backdrop to many civil rights movements, celebrations and more.

Don’t miss: "Listening to the Piano Man [Colin Huggins] play in Washington Square Park—it’s so cool watching him wheel out his grand piano, and he’s an amazing performer,” says Sophie of the West Village. Most buskers are content to use instruments that are, you know, portable. But Huggins, the self-proclaimed “crazy piano guy,” is more ambitious. On nice days, he wheels out a baby grand to perform beautiful renditions of classical pieces.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Flatiron

What is it? Madison Square Park is a green oasis in the Flatiron district—not to be confused with Madison Square Garden.

Why go? There’s always something going in the environs (three streets by one avenue block) from outdoor art exhibits to free concerts. The park is also home to the first Shake Shack, which still consistently see lines that would make the hottest clubs jealous. Tourists go for Shake Shack, workers go to eat their lunch, pooch owners go for the dog run, guardians go for the children’s playground… and because the park  is snaked with benches it lends for the best leisurely people-watching.

Don’t miss: Stepping onto the southwest corner of the park is debatably the hallowed grounds on which baseball was born.

 

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  • Attractions
  • Zoo and aquariums
  • The Bronx

What is it? The biggest metropolitan zoo in North America. 

Why go? If you’ve got a hankering to reconnect with wildlife, check out this Bronx go-to. With more than 265-acres of animals and wildlife, you won’t be able to see everything in one day, so consider taking a two-hour tour of the Congo Gorilla Forest, World of Reptiles or the Himalayan Highlands exhibits. Be sure to pay a special visit to the American Bison, too, which was declared America’s national mammal.         

Don’t miss: Strapped for cash? “The Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays,” points out Danny of Flushing. 

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx

What is it? A sprawling public park in the Bronx. 

Why go?
“Explore the trails around Pelham Bay Park. It’s actually the largest public park in New York City and there’s so much to see there, ” says Greg of City Island. Pelham Bay Park isn’t just the end of the 6 line—it’s a green space three times bigger than Central Park. Among its treasures: two golf courses, a massive historic mansion, a 13-mile saltwater shoreline along the Long Island Sound, plenty of hiking trials and, for you bird watchers, a hearty population of osprey.


Don’t miss:
The Bronx’s only public beach, Orchard Beach

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A perfect place to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.  

Why go? This one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River is a favorite destination of residents, tourists and couples looking to make out next to an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. Breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty are both visible from here, but the Promenade wasn’t originally built for aesthetic reasons: City planner Robert Moses originally wanted the Brooklyn Queens Expressway to run through Brooklyn Heights. After lots of opposition from the local community, the promenade was built to insulate the mansions and tree-lined streets nearby from highway noise and has been doing so since it opened in October 1950.  

Don’t miss: Be sure to break off the path and head further inland to explore the beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn Heights. 

  • Music
  • Music

What is it? A new series at The Shed—the much-discussed cultural center in Hudson Yards featuring a retractable roof. Aptly called "An Audience with...," the five-night performance series will kick off on April 2 through April 22. 

Why go? The opening night of the programming will feature singer and cellist Kelsey Lu. Musicians from the New York Philharmonic will take the stage on April 14 and 15 while soprano Renée Fleming will treat audiences to her mesmerizing voice on April 21. The next night, on April 22, comedian Michelle Wolf promises to make everyone laugh. 

Don't miss: The series is just a kickoff to the destination's spring/summer programming, which includes the always delightful Frieze New York art fair, set to take over the space in May.

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Manhattan

What is it? A true feat of 19th century engineering and arguably the one walk every local and visitor must take. 

Why go? This essential trek is "is so romantic that is has the power to turn platonic relationships into something more,” claims Javier in Little Italy. And you'll hear no arguments from us. The 1.3-mile-long stunner was the world's largest suspension bridge when it opened in 1883 it has remained an iconic landmark of the city ever since. 

Don’t miss: The Brooklyn side of the bridge ends in gorgeous Dumbo, where you can explore Brooklyn Bridge Park, gaze at Lady Liberty, visit the Brooklyn Flea on Sundays.

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Liberty Island
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Since 1886, the most famous copper statue in the world has held her torch high in New York Harbor as the quintessential symbol of American liberty. 

Why go? The statue’s massive pedestal houses an observation deck as well as exhibits detailing the fascinating history of the 305-foot copper statue gifted to the U.S. from France to celebrate the friendship of the two nations. Check out the original torch and read the bronze plaque with Emma Lazarus’s poem “A New Colossus” (you know, the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free). 

Don’t miss: Strapped for cash? "The Staten Island Ferry is free and sails near the robed icon," points out Time Out New York's Rocky Rakovic. "What’s more, it travels fast enough that your trip won’t take up the whole day, but it’s slow enough that you can nurse a beer and find the right angle for a nice Instagram of you and the old green gal." 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Chelsea

What is it? Chelsea's above-ground park and garden set on old train tracks offers a natural respite and 1.4 miles of car-free walking space set between the daring skyscrapers of Manhattan's west side.

Why go? The High Line just opened in July and now has timed entry to lessen the amount of visitors. It's been months since the park has been open to the public. It was sorely missed.

Don't miss: Works by Sam Falls and Lara Schnitger that were part of the park's En Plein Air exhibit are still up. Look for four ceramic archways supported by the steel rail tracks from the High Line’s original railway and a large-scale sculpture Sister of the Road, made in painted aluminum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

What is it? Brooklyn Bridge Park, with its grassy expanses, copious bike paths, public art displays, basketball courts and soccer pitches, has a lot of new attractions within it.

Why go? The Pier 2 Uplands, three-acre site that includes a 6,300-square-foot lawn and a water play area, and the new Squibb Bridge just opened. There's also a new Public Art Fund display to check out called Reverberation made of large-scale bells by San Francisco-based sculptor Davina Semo.

Don't miss: Brunch or dinner at Fornino's on the waterfront.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park

What is it? A 526-acre sprawling public park in the heart of Brooklyn. 

Why go? “Go to Prospect Park on a clear evening, lie in the grass, and watch the bats and the stars,” suggests Cat of Park Slope. While bicycling, warm-weather picnics and weekend runs are a must at this park, you can do pretty much any outdoor activity your heart desires: there’s bird-watching, baseball, basketball and more.

Don’t miss: We recommend roller skating or renting a paddle boat at LeFrak, which transforms into an ice skating rink in the winter.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A 1,131-foot-high-observation deck atop 20 Hudson Yards that opens in March 2020.

Why go? To take in panoramic views of the entire city on a 7,500-square-foot triangular platform. 

Don’t miss: If you’re terrified of heights in the open air, but want in on the action, there’s also a champagne bar inside the 100th floor where you can sip cocktails with the same 360-degree views of NYC.  

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Upper East Side
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? A renowned art museum and architectural icon with works by Picasso, Peggy Guggenheim’s trove of Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist works, as well as the largest collection of Kandinskys in the United States.

Why go? Designed by original starchitect Frank Lloyd Wright, it's arguably the only New York museum that shows art inside a work of art. 

Don't miss: What makes the building a global icon is its stunning interior rotunda and oculus. There, along its ascending ramps, you’ll find a world-class collection, as well a full slate of temporary shows.

  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? An observation deck affording one hell of a view. 

Why go? Not only does it have the trippiest elevator in the city, One World Observatory is also a fierce contender for best views in the city. Ride up to the 102nd floor surrounded by a VR-like film, then admire the 360-degree views at the top of the tower. 

Don’t miss: Gawk at the entirety of Manhattan and the Empire State Building on one side and the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges on the other—and then Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty on the other.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? After nearly 50 years in its Marcel-Breur-designed building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street, the Whitney Museum decamped in 2015 to a new home in the Meatpacking District. 

Why go? Founded in 1931 by sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt, the Whitney is dedicated to presenting the work of American artists. Its collection holds about 25,000 works by more than 3,500 American artists. Check out musts by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper (the museum holds his entire estate), Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Claes Oldenburg. 

Don’t miss: Art editor Howard Halle suggests Hooper's 1930 masterpiece Early Sunday Morning.   

Pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Financial District

What is it? A moving tributes to the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 andFebruary 26, 1993.  

Why go? Designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad, two of North America’s largest man-made waterfalls mark the footprint of each tower, framing the perimeter and cascading into reflecting pools almost an acre wide. The trees surrounding the area add to the mood of somber, tranquil reflection: Each one was selected from a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center site, with others brought in from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the other places directly affected on 9/11. 

Don't miss: The museum provides a complete picture of the courage and compassion demonstrated locally, nationally and internationally after the attacks, and it’s interspersed with pieces of the towers and other debris recovered by those who risked their own lives to save others

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Midtown West
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? Institution housing one of the world’s finest collections of art from the 18th century through today.

Why go? Around nearly every corner of the venerated museum is a seminal piece by an artist trumpeted in art history or coveted by contemporary collectors. During the height of tourist season, around Christmas and again in late spring and summer, expect a shoving-match just to catch a momentary glance at Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Don’t miss: Can't swing the $25 entrance free? Art editor Howard Halle suggests coming during MoMA's free Friday nights (4–8pm).  

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Chelsea

What is it? Donald and Shelley Rubin’s impressive collection of Himalayan, Indian and Buddhist art and artifacts on display.

Why go? Spiritual types will love this museum, which is dedicated to Himalayan and Buddhist art and features lectures, movies, music and more. The museum is layered over five gallery floors in the old Barney’s New York space on 17th street. The awe-inspiring works range from classical to contemporary giving visitors a well-rounded experience with Eastern cultures.

Don’t miss:  “Catch Buddhist talks at the Rubin.”—Sophie, Prospect Heights

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  • Shopping
  • Shopping centers
  • Chelsea
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? One of New York’s most notable food halls that boasts more than 35 vendors. 

Why go? While this hot spot for foodies and shopping addicts  can get congested with tourists during peak hours, it’s worth throwing some elbows for Middle Eastern bites from Miznon, tacos from Los Tacos No.1 and halva from Seed + Mill. Aside from finger-lickin’ fare and sweet merchandise, the attraction offers historical charms such as the market’s iconic fountain, which was crafted using discarded drill bits and exposed pipe from the former Nabisco factory. 

Don’t miss: "The folded cheeseburger pita from Miznon," suggests Jake Cohen. 

  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Washington Heights

What is it? Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections.

Why go? “My favorite place in New York is the Cloisters, even though I barfed there once in sixth grade on a field trip," says Lena Dunham. "I just think it’s the most beautiful, peaceful place." Indeed it is. Soak it all in by following a path that winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages. (It was built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters.)  

Don’t miss: The famous Unicorn Tapestries, the 12th-century Fuentidueña Chapel and the Annunciation Triptych by Robert Campin.  

More great things to do across the globe

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