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New York City skyline on February 15 2021
Photograph: By tetiana.photographer / Shutterstock

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

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan
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February 2024: Looking for the best things to do this winter in NYC? Our iconic museums, big attractions, and favorite restaurants have the coolest exhibits, shows and menus right now. This month, welcome the chilly weather with outdoor festivals, must-see museum exhibits and buzzy Broadway shows.

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 are still unbeatable and boast killer bars, restaurants and offering creative new inventions. Every day, we’re discovering something new and wonderful about our city, whether it’s one of the best parks, some incredible views, must-see art, or hidden gem stores.

Time Out editors comb through our exhaustive things to do lists, restaurant reviews and theater reporting to highlight and select the best of the best for this ultimate guide each month.

So, consider below your NYC Bible. 

Time Out Market New York

The 100 best things to do in NYC

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

What is it? A new exhibit at The Tenement Museum called "A Union of Hope: 1869." The exhibition tells the story of the Moore family who lived in Soho during and after the Civil War.

Why go? It's the renowned museum's first exhibit highlighting a Black family's story.

Don't miss: The chance to walk through re-creations of the family's two-room tenement, see a neighborhood map from that time, explore Census records, and hear readings of newspaper excerpts. 

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

What is it? Chinatown’s annual Lunar (Chinese) New Year Parade is back on February 25, 2024 with dragon dancing, stunning outfits, martial art performers and more.

Why go? It's a stunningly beautiful parade with floats, performances, and dragon dances—and it's the year of the dragon, which is extra special! This year will be the parade's 26th anniversary.

Don't miss: All the other Lunar New Year events around town.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown WestOpen run

 

What is it? The musical Spamalot, which expands the spirit of Monty Python and the Holy Grail into a delightfully silly two-act Broadway show.

Why go? Jokes about medieval legend now take a back seat to metatheatrical tomfoolery about musical theater as a genre. Winking at Broadway conventions in a succession of zanily oversold numbers, it is essentially an ongoing parody of itself. 

 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

What is it? Two New York City hotels are offering outdoor spa experiences this winter—The William Vale in Brooklyn and The Rockaway Hotel + Spa in Queens.

Why go? A chance to experience dreamy cedar saunas, hot tubs and a plunge pool for a relaxing retreat.

Don't miss: The skyline views at The William Vale, which you can enjoy from a barrel sauna or a cedar hot tub. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? "Women Dressing Women," a new fashion exhibit at The Met showcasing 80 garments by 70 makers, from couture gowns by well-known designers like Donna Karan to political garments by Katharine Hamnett to plus-size outfits by Ester Manas.

Why go? This refreshing exhibit hands the mic to pioneering women designers who dress women of all shapes and sizes. The exhibition shows how female designers have reclaimed the body—and are reclaiming the message in fashion.

Don't miss: "Women Dressing Women" highlights rare pieces from the collection, many of which are on view at The Met for the first time.  

  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

What is it?Moulin Rouge! The Musical pop-up on the rooftop at M Social Hotel in Times Square with a Broadway karaoke experience.

Why go? Decked out in red decor and lit with chandeliers, this pop-up promises to heat up the colder days and makes an especially fun night out for Valentine's dates. 

Don't miss: Themed cocktails, like The Rouge, Baby! and The Sparkling Diamond. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is honoring poet Langston Hughes and his friendship with photographer, filmmaker, and U.S. Foreign Service Officer Griffith J. Davis in its exhibit "The Ways of Langston Hughes." 

Why go? The free exhibit at the Schomburg Center's Latimer Gallery in Harlem will include photographs of Hughes and Davis, who met in Atlanta, as well as more of Hughes' friendships through letters, artwork and other memorabilia.

Don't miss: Not only will the exhibit bring to life an important era in New York City’s history, but it is also an intimate look into the friendships that thrived during the Harlem Renaissance. Among other items on display will be a watercolor painting by Joseph Barker of Langston Hughes' home and a letter from Hughes to his playwright friend, Lorraine Hansberry.

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  • Restaurants
  • Carroll Gardens

What is it? Untable, a new restaurant in Carroll Gardens, calls itself an "unconventional" Thai restaurant. 

Why go? It serves some of the best cocktails in the city, the most vibrant tom yum purée you'll likely taste, knockout tiger shrimp and a fried rice that's out of this world.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A major exhibit by the Museum of the City of New York titled "This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture" explores the contradictions of life in NYC through the lenses of visual art, television, film, music, theater, literature and fashion.

Why go? In this landmark exhibition, the museum showcases more than 400 iconic NYC items, from Carrie Bradshaw’s tutu to poetry by the Young Lords. 

Don't miss: A collection of hundreds of film clips paying homage to the city.

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A new show at MoMA exploring what Pablo Picasso created during a three-month period in France during the summer of 1921.

Why go? For the first time since they were created, MoMA's "Picasso in Fontainebleau" reunites the cubist "Three Musicians" with the classical "Three Women at the Spring." 

Don't miss: A representation of the 20-by-10-foot garage space in which Picasso worked during his time in Fontainebleau. Museum-goers can step inside and imagine creating such large paintings in a small space.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Titled "Divine Pathways," this monumental art installation is made up of more than 1,100 lengths of blue, red and gold fabric. Each ribbon measures 75 feet in length (approximately seven stories high). Find it inside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights.

Why go? Not only is the work of art beautiful, it's located inside the world's largest Gothic cathedral. 

Don't miss: Public programming offering a chance to write yourself into the work by scrawling hopes, dreams and prayers onto the ribbons. Register here

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Sports & Fitness

What is it? Wild Captives, the nation’s first female- and LGBTQ-owned archery studio, which is now open in Brooklyn. It's a place where everyone can "be their own superhero." The studio in Brooklyn’s Industry City offers empowering and fun hour-long introduction to archery classes every weekend for $45/person.

 

Why go? Each intro class includes a chance to learn about different parts of the bow and safety requirements. After the lesson, you'll get a chance to shoot the bow trying to pop a balloon pinned onto the bullseye. 

  • 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, but it's finally open to the public. 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 with fun activities for every season. The island provides a peaceful setting for cycling (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Blazing Saddles once there). The island hosts a program of events, such as concert series and art exhibitions (see the park's website for schedule), and where else can you have a picnic directly across from the Statue of Liberty? 

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

What is it? The architecturally stunning new wing at the American Museum of Natural History officially called the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation. 

Why go? Scientific wonders—including a butterfly vivarium, an insectarium and a 360-degree immersive experience—fill every inch of the space.

Don't miss: With an insectarium and a butterfly vivarium, bugs get center stage at the Gilder Center. Why? Insects are the most diverse group of animals on the planet—and they play a critically important role in our world. 

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  • Comedy
  • Comedy

What is it? True to its name, comedians perform in the buff at Naked Comedy — and the audience is welcome to get naked, too. The show runs monthly in Brooklyn.

Why go? The comics who perform at The Naked Comedy Show say it's a way to push themselves, and they promise it's a lot of fun. Plus, they insist, you'll never meet a more attentive audience.

Don't miss: The show! Sign up here for updates on upcoming events.

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  • Shopping
  • Sample sales

What is it? Every week, the city’s fashionistas flock to top-notch sample sales to grab beautiful frocks at a fraction of their original price, plus accessories, outerwear, shoes, home finds and more—why not take a page out of their book to stock up on some awesome holiday gifts instead? 

Why go? To score some designer goods for less whether you're updating your wardrobe, shopping for gifts or refreshing your apartment.

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The Big Bubble Experiment, an exhibit at New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens, celebrating beautiful, buoyant, beguiling bubbles.

Why go? The exhibit encourages kids of all ages to experiment and discover through the joy of playing with bubbles. That includes blowing, stretching, popping and looking closely to see what happens at each move. 

Don't miss: A chance to stretch large sheets of bubble film showcasing the medium's rainbow iridescence—and offering an excellent selfie opportunity.

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  • Attractions
  • West Village

What is it? Since it opened, Little Island has 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. It's free to visit.

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

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  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

What is it? The House of Cannabis (a.k.a. THC NYC) is a weed museum in Soho.

Why go? While the museum boasts plenty of mind-bending multi-sensory bells and whistles, it also showcases art, highlights science and confronts the social justice issues baked into cannabis prosecution.

Don't miss: The Euphorium, a massive spinning record you can sit or lay on while listening to music, from The Doors to Santana. With the room's impressive light show and hazy vibes, it's like a merry-go-round for adults.  

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A colorful floral archway at Marsha P. Johnson Park in Brooklyn in honor of the park's namesake, the late transgender activist.  

Why go? Beautiful large floral sculptures in pink, blue, red and yellow decorate the top of the archway, with gem-like petal designs along the sides.

Don't miss: Johnson adopted the full name Marsha P. Johnson with the "P" standing for "Pay It No Mind." "To her, this was a life motto and a response to questions about her gender," according to the New-York Historical Society.

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Sip local at Great Jones Distillery
Photograph: Courtesy Great Jones Distilling

25. Sip local at Great Jones Distillery

What is it? Great Jones Distilling Co. is Manhattan’s first and only legal whiskey distillery in over 100 years.

Why go? The 28,000-square-foot venue features a fully functioning distillery, a tasting room and several drinking and dining venues, including an underground speakeasy and full restaurant called The Grid.

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

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? Auditory art by the late artist Max Neuhaus. The installation called "Times Square" sounds like the echo of a bell ringing. It's hard to place this droning tone among all the other noises there, especially because the sound emanates from a typical grate right beneath your feet.

Why go? It's a revolutionary art project that's been a part of the city for decades but most people step right over it. It's easy to miss, but once you hear it, you notice it every time you walk past.

Don't miss: This art! Head to the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza between 45th and 46th Streets (between Broadway and Seventh Avenue) and listen. We recommend visiting in the early morning when the area's a little quieter. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Soho

What is it? A new classic restaurant inspired by the iconic dive bar.

Why go? Divided into “dive” and “high dive” categories, selections like the former’s jalapeño corn dog poppers and burgers are a treat. The latter’s shrimp cocktail and crab mac and cheese are quite nice, too.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

What is it? Sushidelic, a psychedelic Kawaii-themed sushi restaurant complete with a sushi counter conveyor belt and plenty of kitschy, neon decor. It's now open at 177 Lafayette Street.

Why go? It's the first project in the U.S. by Japanese artist Sebastian Masuda, who is known as the leading figure behind the Japanese concept of "kawaii," as well as for his particular unique aesthetic and style.

Don't miss: The six-course "Pure Imagination" sushi tasting. The playful menu starts with an appetizer that looks like a dessert, the main course that is served in a sundae glass and the dessert looks like sushi.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it: The 13,650-square-foot permanent space at 725 Exterior Street near Yankee Stadium is geared for infants through kids in fourth grade, with site-specific installations and exhibits focused on patrons’ relationships with the neighborhood. 

Why go: The destination currently boasts a 35-foot-long water table kids love, plus an exhibit where guests will get to look at animals and plants through a microscope.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? World Spa, a 50,000-square-foot space offering a slew of authentic spa experiences from all around the world smack-dab in the middle of Brooklyn.

Why go? Visitors get to indulge in Eastern European banyas (Russian steam baths with wood stoves), Finnish saunas, cleansing Himalayan salt therapy sessions, Turkish and Morrocan hammams (types of steam baths), Japanese onsens (hot springs) and much more. 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? The touring show, "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," is now open in Herald Square, and it’s going transport you. 

Why go? This experience presents more than a display of props and costumes. Through the use of dramatic lighting, set design, interactive technology and even scent, the exhibit will make you feel like you are actually there—in Hagrid’s hut, in potions class, dining in the Great Hall, learning how to fight the dark arts, fighting the Battle of Hogwarts and more.

Don't miss: Countless photos opps. There are numerous scenes set up for you to enjoy being photographed in, from Hagrid’s Hut and his giant chair to Professor Umbridge’s all-pink, cat-encrusted office.

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A 19,380-square-foot space with 40,000 historical images and over 4,000 artifacts that celebrate the late Jackie Robinson, who was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.

Why go? Visitors will also get to explore an immersive experience “to better understand the racism and prejudice Robinson encountered beyond the baseball field, as well as stories of his lasting influence on sports, politics and entertainment today.”

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown WestOpen run

What is it? A viciously hilarious treat crafted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez, who cowrote Avenue Q. The show brims with cheerful obscenity, sharp satire and catchy tunes, making it the most exuberantly entertaining Broadway musical in years.

Why go? The high quality of the writing, design and direction. It's more than a collection of offensive jokes about female genital mutilation, bestiality and Mormon kitsch. You'll be left laughing your head off and saying, "wait, did they just say THAT?" 

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A "crazy mini-golf course" and entertainment complex straight from London with three nine-hole golf courses across 23,000 square feet under 20-foot-high ceilings.

Why go? "Crazy golf" is a British spin on mini-golf, but it's for a 21-and-over audience since craft cocktails are served by caddies on the course. At Swingers NoMad, expect six cocktail bars with signature classic cocktails from London and D.C., as well as 12 cocktails created specifically for NYC, private rooms you can rent, an opulent clubhouse and four gourmet street food vendors—Sauce Pizzeria, Miznon, Fonda and Mah Ze Dahr Bakery.

Don't miss: Taking your photo on the winner's podium.

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

What is it? The Free Black Women’s Library, a new free library in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood, which also serves as a social art project, a reading room, a co-working space and a community gathering center.

Why go? All 5,000 books in the library's collection are written by Black women and non-binary authors. Anybody can visit the space to read, work or hang out. If you want to take a book home, simply bring a book written by a Black woman or Black non-binary author, and you can trade. Whether you decide to bring the book back after you're done reading or keep it for your collection is up to you.

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  • Restaurants
  • Midtown West

What is it? A lovely, lofty and spacious restaurant with French-adjacent dishes, including escargots and chicken liver mousse and excellent pasta, bison and duck. 

Why go? Le Rock’s best plates are high enough above what most of its contemporaries are cooking to catapult it to the realm of very good. 

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  • Art
  • Art

What is it? A free, monthly self-guided tour of local art galleries on the Lower East Side. 

Why go? Participating galleries and studios stay open after hours to allow visitors to interact with the work and the neighborhood in a new way. And yes, it’s all free!

Don't miss: It takes place the third Thursday of every month, from 4pm–8pm, with dozens of spaces to stop into, all organized via Google Map

  • Art
  • Art

What is it? The New York version of "The Bean," the iconic public artwork by Anish Kapoor that all but defines the city of Chicago. After five years of work, the sculpture officially called "Cloud Gate" is now on view in Tribeca. 

Why go? The mirrored piece weighs 40 tons and is 48 feet long by 19 feet high and sits right at the base of the 60-story tower found at 56 Leonard Street, by many referred to as the "Jenga building" given the particular design reminiscent of the classic game.

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  • Sex and dating
  • Sex & Dating

What is it? The Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Date Nights" gives visitors an opportunity to become acquainted with artwork with informal drop-in gallery chats, the chance to listen in on gorgeous live music and sip on yummy cocktails.

Why go? It's pay-what-you-wish!

Don't miss: Performances like include the celebrated contemporary string quartet ETHEL in the American Wing Café as well as a special edition of Juilliard’s ChamberFest featuring performances in the European Paintings galleries.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? The luxurious Italian wellness spa QC NY (by QC Terme Spas and Resorts) on Governors Island.

Why go? The spa has relaxation rooms (each with its own meticulously curated personality, scent, and music), themed saunas, Vichy showers, infrared beds, foot baths, hydro jets, steam baths and other amazingly lush experiences.

Don't miss: The upside-down relaxation room. When you walk in, it's like you're walking on the ceiling—furniture and even a chess board have been painted and affixed to the actual ceiling to create this illusion.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Japan Village at Industry City, which is both a food hall and supermarket full of Japanese groceries, has expanded upward with a 20,000-square-foot second floor it's calling The Loft.

Why go? You'll step into a representation of Japan with cool shops with items straight from the country as well as fun experiences like tea ceremonies and cultural classes.

Don't miss: Daiso, Book Off and tea ceremonies, which are announced on The Loft's website.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Fraunces Tavern's intimate Piano Bar Upstairs.

Why go? The room above The Independence Bar is soaked in a shade of cerulean across its paneled walls, with pops of color on tufted red banquettes and gilded picture frames. Beer, wine, all manner of cocktails and a dedicated list of gin and tonics are all available, in addition to broad-appeal snacks, apps and entrées. Live piano music, of course, is also on the menu. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

What is it? Sands of Persia, a dessert bar and hookah lounge, serving up Turkish sand coffee brewed in a pan filled with sand and heated over an open flame.

Why go? Given New Yorkers' dedication to all things coffee, this not-generally-known method of brewing is sure to delight many palates.

Don't miss: The sweets menu (Fingerlime Chiffon Meringue, the Persimmon Wide, the Desert Sunset and the All is Well brownie with soft serve), a mocktail and zero-proof drink list, as well as hookah.

  • 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.

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  • 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. 

  • Sports and fitness
  • Sports & Fitness

What is it? Ping pod pods—appropriately called PingPod—that have popped up around NYC recently. 

Why go? You can play at any time of day. The whole booking process is totally autonomous for some futuristic fun. Balls and paddles are provided, and you can even buy some drinks and snacks while you're there.  

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? Coby Club is a new, subterranean lounge 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.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown WestOpen run

What is it? Lin-Manuel Miranda's retelling of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's biography—the greatest American musical in decades. 

Why go? The show offers a sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda’s uniquely personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith.

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  • 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, including a room full of gorgeous HP stationary by MinaLima, massive models of Fawkes the Phoenix and 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.

  • 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.

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

Don't miss: Restored historic furniture familiar to the space, contactless ordering, updated restrooms and a 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. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

What is it? Ms. Kim's is a K-town karaoke lounge 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. Also check out the menu of Japanese and Korean finger foods.

  • Bars
  • Roosevelt Island

What is it? Roosevelt Island's first 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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  • 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 and fascinating.

Don't miss: Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence; stuffed animals that belonged to the real-life Christopher Robin and inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories; Virginia Woolf’s walking stick; the set model for the Off-Broadway production of In The Heights and more.

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Williamsburg

What is it? This woman-owned brewery with locations in Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Bryant Park and the West Village serving up perfect pints.

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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  • 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 offers a much different and rare look at the collection.

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. 

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

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 and February 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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Get creative at an '80s-style risograph workshop
Photograph: Courtesy Lucky Risograph/Wei Yun Chen

62. Get creative at an '80s-style risograph workshop

What is it? A class on the speedy way to screen print layers of paint-like ink in order to create vibrant designs for posters, comics and illustrations.

Why go? It's a bit more complex but produces a really cool result you can call your own.

Don't miss: NYC has several incredible riso studios to visit offering private sessions including Lucky Risograph and Secret Riso Club.

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Make something 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.

Order some bagels 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 stock up on sweets while you're there. The classic black & whites, a stunning iteration of the classic cookies, are a must.

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

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  • 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.

  • 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? 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 planetarium show "Worlds Beyond Earth."

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Union Square

What is it? An outdoor, year-round market featuring 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 and spirits pop-ups and book signings. 

  • 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, 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.

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  • 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 city.

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

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Park

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

Why go? Explore Strawberry Fields, the Sheep Meadow, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, the Bethesda Fountain, the Naumburg Bandshell, the Loeb Boathouse, the Hans Christian Andersen Monument, the Alice in Wonderland statue, all in a "New York hour." To get the closest access, take the subway to 72nd Street and Central Park West, then head east.

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

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  • 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 offers stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more. For some fascinating historical 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: You can now watch sunrise from the open-air observatory, with Starbucks coffee and pastries in hand. 

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? We love a bar with character, plus you’ll be able to join the ranks of past patrons like Abe Lincoln and John Lennon. 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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  • 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.

  • 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

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  • 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. 

  • 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. 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? Be sure to walk the fruit streets of Brooklyn Heights (Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple) for 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 under 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. 

  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

What is it? 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.

Why go? 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.

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  • 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 hosted around Halloween.

  • 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: The chance to people watch, from admiring skateboarders' tricks to enjoying some music by buskers.

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  • 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 dotted 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. 

  • 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. 

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  • 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 teeming with natural wonders. 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.

  • 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. 

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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 truly romantic, whether you're falling in love with yourself, a partner or the city itself. 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.

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  • 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 icon so you can get a peek. 

  • 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? It's an innovative reclaimed space that inpsires no matter how many times you've walked along it.

Don't miss: A rotating display of artworks that fill the space. Plus, there's a beautiful new bridge called the Moynihan Train Hall Connector, which allows pedestrians to walk all the way from the Meatpacking District straight to Penn Station using the elevated park.

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  • 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, holdas a lot of fun attractions.

Why go? The Pier 2 Uplands, three-acre site that includes a 6,300-square-foot lawn and a water play area, and the Squibb Bridge.

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

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park

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

Why go? 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.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A 1,131-foot-high-observation deck atop 20 Hudson Yards.

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.  

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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: The views of the art inside are what you're here for, of course, but don't miss the skyline views from the museum's rooftop bar.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

What is it? A museum located in the historic Seaport District that tells the story of New York as a port city. There's an extensive collection art and artifacts, a working 19th-century print shop, and a fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of "Where New York Begins."

Why go? You can step aboard the famous 1885 Wavertree. Plus, admission is pay-what-you-wish.

  • 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 entrance free? Visit during MoMA's free Friday nights, held on select evenings.

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  • 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.

  • 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. 

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  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

What is it? Part visual splendor, part olfactory wonder and part ooey-gooey sensory fun, Sloomoo Institute’s slime museum welcomes all ages to its home in Soho.

Why go? While Sloomoo is a highly Instagrammable experience, the founders hope you’ll spend some time away from your phone and immersed in the moment during your 90-minute visit to truly have the slime of your life.

Don't miss: The DIY slime bar where you can make your own slime to take home. 

  • 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? 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.  

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