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Things to do on a Sunday in New York

Have fun like there’s no tomorrow with the best things to do on a Sunday in New York including events, brunch and more

Written by
David Goldberg
&
Time Out New York editors
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Forget about work in the morning: you’ve got too much partying to do today, so here are the best things to do on a Sunday in New York. Whether you’re planning a day trip from NYC, looking for an awesome festival, or finally have the time to see some of the best museum exhibitions in NYC, we’ve got the rundown for your best Sunday Funday right here. And if you blew all your cash on Saturday, stick with our picks for the best free things to do in town.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

Featured things to do this Sunday

  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Coney Island

One of the last of its kind, this ten-act extravaganza of human oddities aims to satisfy nostalgic and progressive temperaments alike. Finally returning after a year of closure, the iconic spectacle adds a footnote to the controversial freak-show conversation by celebrating the talents of those “born different.” The lineup includes contortionists, sword swallowers, fire eaters and escape artists.

Things to do on any Sunday

Find the perfect brunch

Find the perfect brunch

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

  • Comedy
  • Stand-up
  • price 1 of 4

NYC’s long-form improv royalty (including UCBT and SNL folk) play pickup-game style in this famous long-running show. There’s no telling who will make an appearance on a given night, but the likes of Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch have been known to pop in. If you want to check it out for free, line up outside the theater (early!) for the 9:30pm show; tickets are distributed at 8:15pm. Play-it-safers can buy advance tickets for the 7:30pm show for $10.

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

Williamsburg’s craft-beer facility offers free, no-reservation general tours on Saturday and Sunday. Post-tour, join the crowds purchasing tokens for brewskis (one beer for $5, five for $20) to taste the standard and seasonal styles on tap. Sunday bonus: This is the only day that also includes Smorgasbrewery, in which five or six vendors from Smorgasburg dish out suds-complementing foodstuffs inside the brew house.

  • Nightlife
  • Greenpoint

Erstwhile New Yorker Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy brings her long-running London affair back home to Gotham. The concept is simple: It’s a good old-fashioned listening party, with each installment focusing on a selection from rock and pop’s discography of canonical LPs, all played on Murphy’s high-end audiophile hi-fi. Murphy’s album selection comes from all over the genre map: the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Click here to read our interview with Murphy. classicalbumsundays.com.

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  • Things to do

A seven-minute ride on a free ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn takes you to this seasonal island sanctuary, a scant 800 yards from lower Manhattan. Thanks to its strategic position in the middle of New York Harbor, Governors Island was a military outpost that was off-limits to the public for 200 years. It finally opened to summer visitors in 2006. Today, the island provides a peaceful setting for biking (bring a bike on the ferry, or rent from Bike and Roll once there), picnicking and general relaxation. The island often hosts events such as concert series, art exhibitions and club nights (see website for schedule).

Shop local at Artists & Fleas
  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

A rotating selection of around 60 vendors, including local designers and artists, sets up shop in this Williamsburg warehouse every weekend. The browsable mix includes everything from original T-shirts and handmade jewelry to reconditioned vintage bags and clocks made out of old hardcover books. But Artists & Fleas is as much about the vibe as the goods: DJs spin, food purveyors offer refreshments, and sundry Billyburgers wander the rows of booths in all their quirky finery.

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  • Movie theaters
  • Independent
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Does the eye-wateringly sweet taste of Frosted Flakes make you nostalgic for the cartoon-filled weekend mornings of your youth? If so, head to Spoons, Toons & Booze at Nitehawk Cinema, where Michael Austin, organizer of the ’80s Sing-Along, brings you a free all-you-can-eat sugary cereal buffet and a selection of 80-plus cartoons from the ’40s through the ’90s (DuckTales, Jem, ThunderCats, Captain Planet—you name it). You can spike your Cinnamon Toast Crunch with a shot of Baileys or Kahlúa for $5; there are some benefits to adulthood, after all.

Get down up high at Nouveau York
  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

Nouveau York hosts Neil Aline and Jérôme Viger-Kohler keep the fun coming up in the Standard Hotel’s penthouse boîte, with Aline and top guests (DJ Harvey, Club Cheval and Dimitri from Paris have played in the past) hitting the decks for a session of house, disco and more. nouveauyork.com.

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Hear live classical music at the Frick Collection
  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Few experiences in New York City can compare with taking in a lieder concert, piano recital or chamber-music performance in this stately old mansion-cum-art-museum’s elegant music room, where scores of prominent musicians have made their first local appearances. Show up early to check out the gallery, which is pay-what-you-wish from 11am to 1pm on Sundays.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Queens

Thrill seekers should head to this series of obstacles designed for team-building and scaring the crap out of you. Live out your Indiana Jones fantasy by scaling a bouldering wall, whizzing down the zip line, balancing on a high wire and getting catapulted from the Human Swing Shot, a device that lifts you 45 feet in the air before sending you into free fall.

Popular things to do this Sunday

  • Music
  • Hell's Kitchen

All five boroughs will play host to a new free concert series dubbed Rise Up NYC scheduled to take over the town through September 12. Announced by Mayor Eric Adams last week, the shows aim at encouraging New Yorkers to enjoy what the city has to offer and reconnect with all the cultural pursuits that render it unique, even after the plagues of the COVID-19 pandemic.  "We are inviting all New Yorkers to come together to celebrate culture, music, and unity as New York City rebounds from the pandemic," said the politician in an official statement about the project. "Music and the arts were a lifeline for us all during the last two years, and I am here to say that New York City supports its local artists and communities. We are going to hit the right notes and turn the dial up to 11 this summer. We invite all New Yorkers to join us for world-class entertainment in the city that never sleeps." Already in full swing, the free series has tapped the likes of Mr. Vegas and Funk Flex to perform.  Below is the full schedule of events, which can also be found here.  Roy Wilkins Park, QueensMerrick Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard Saturday, August 13 Sunday, August 14 St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue Saturday, August 20 Sunday, August 21 Midland Beach Parking Lot 8, Staten IslandFather Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue Thursday, September 1 Orchard Beach, BronxOne Orchard Beach Road Thursday, September 8 Times Square, ManhattanBroadway Between 4

  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 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. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

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  • Things to do
  • Noho

Immersive art exhibit Arcadia Earth has reopened after being closed due to the pandemic, and it looks better than ever! The exhibit 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). This exhibit will not only leave 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!

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • price 0 of 4
  • Central Park

The summer's second Shakespeare in the Park offering is director Laurie Woolery and songwriter Shaina Taub's enormous musical adaptation of As You Like It, choreographed by Moulin Rouge!'s Tony-winning Sonya Tayeh. The production was originally planned for Summer 2020, and we interviewed Woolery and Taub about it back in 2017, when it was part of the Public's expansive Public Works wing. The principal cast—which includes Rebecca Naomi Jones, Darius de Haas, Ato Blankson-Wood and Taub herself—is joined by huge ensemble casts drawn from community organizations in all five boroughs. Click here to learn how to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Part of the magic of fairy tales is how they gain in repetition: Often though we’ve heard them, we still can thrill to each new telling, each variation on their familiar themes. So it is with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s dazzlingly fractured 1987 musical Into the Woods, which combines the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and more into a witty tragicomic farce that—instead of some tidy moral—ends with a complex look at morality itself. In the past decade alone, New York audiences have been treated to revivals of Into the Woods in Central Park and Off Broadway as well as a live-action Disney film adaptation. Now, after a smash spring engagement at City Center’s Encores! series, the show returns for a limited Broadway run in a focused, funny and thoroughly satisfying staging by director Lear deBessonet.  True to its semi-concert roots, this production is low on spectacle. The trees of David Rockwell’s ghostly set are tall, pale, mottled tubes suspended from the ceiling over an onstage orchestra conducted with flair by Rob Berman. The choreography, by Lorin Latarro, is simple and well-judged. The costumes are a weak spot—even dialed up to Skittles brightness for the Broadway transfer, they are mostly dull and sometimes perversely indifferent to their function—but it hardly matters. The emphasis is on Sondheim’s twisting, punning, verbose score and on the easy charisma of the performers, who seem to be hav

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Hundreds of items have been pulled from the New York Public Library's expansive and centuries-spanning archive to be put on display—many of them for the first time—in a permanent exhibition called "The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures." Inside the NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and its beautiful Gottesman Hall, are more than 250 unique and rare items culled from its research centers: the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Library for the Performing Arts and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The exhibit, which opens to the public on Friday, September 24, 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. We visited the stunning collection this week to find the top 10 must-see items at the NYPL Treasures exhibit so when you go, you can make sure to see them for yourself: 1. Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence Photograph: Max Touhey / NYPL Only six manuscript versions of the Declaration of Independence are known to survive in the hand of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson made this copy for a friend shortly after the July 4th, 1776, ratification of the Declaration, which announced to the world the American colonies’ political separation from Great Britain. He underlined words t

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  • Museums
  • Music
  • Midtown West

If you loved the music and cool jazz scene in Disney and Pixar's movie Soul, you'll want to make a beeline to The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, which has been transformed into the film's Half Note jazz club. Showcasing incredible artifacts from major players in Harlem's jazz scene, including Duke Ellington’s white grand piano, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' tenor saxophone, a player piano and a working 78rpm Victrola, "The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure" highlights the many different cultures and creators who influenced this genre. The exhibit is a traveling exhibit, first hitting Epcot in Orlando, followed by the New Orleans Jazz Museum in New Orleans and the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri before coming to Harlem. RECOMMENDED: Eight ways Pixar's 'Soul' gets NYC right Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York It's a surreal experience to see Ellington's piano in person—it's the one he wrote many songs on at his sister's apartment and it still has the residue of his "DNA," according to National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Tracy Hyter-Suffern. Ellington's family recently gave it to the museum on permanent loan under one condition—it has to be played. (It's already been a part of a few events, including a dueling pianos event with Lafayette Harris Jr. and Sean Mason set to entertainment by tap dancers.) The exhibit also recreates a living room with furniture, black and white photos, sheet music and a player piano and record player as if it was pia

  • Things to do
  • Coney Island

This new boozy brunch on Coney Island is a home run! The Brooklyn Cyclones debuted a brand-new rooftop boozy brunch for the 2022 season that offers some pretty stunning views. Guests will be able to take in views of the baseball game, the ocean and Coney Island while, of course, sipping on unlimited beer, mimosas and Bloody Marys—courtesy of The Murphs Famous Bloody Mary Mix. (And at $49, the bases aren’t the only things that are a steal!) Service starts at 1:30pm (game time is 2pm) and includes breakfast breads and spreads, fruit, yogurt, Cyclones brunch sliders, hashbrown potatoes 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman A Strange Loop is a wild ride. In a Broadway landscape dominated by shows that often seem designed by corporations for audiences of focus groups, Michael R. Jackson’s musical is the defiant product of a single and singular authorial vision. This wide-ranging intravaganza takes a deep dive, often barely coming up for breath, into a whirlpool of ambition and frustration as Jackson's seeming alter ego—a queer, Black writer-composer named Usher (Jaquel Spivey)—struggles to define himself amid traps of sex, race, family, body image, religion and entertainment. It’s screamingly funny and howlingly hurt, and it’s unmissable.   Smartly directed by Stephen Brackett, the show caused a sensation in 2019 when it premiered at Playwrights Horizons; now, after multiple top-ten lists and an armful of honors (including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award), it has reached Broadway without compromising its conflicted, challenging, sometimes actively family-unfriendly content. The songs are welcomingly tuneful and clever, but as Usher warns us in the opening number: “A Strange Loop will have Black shit! And white shit! It’ll give you uptown and downtown! With truth-telling and butt-fucking!”  All of that is true—including, graphically, the last part—but it barely begins to describe the show’s discombobulating melange of anger, joy, neurosis and honesty. In this very meta musical, Usher is the only real character: the unstable “I

  • Art
  • Lower East Side

A massive retrospective of William Klein's work featuring nearly 300 works including photographs, paintings, films, photo books, and other media from his expansive and boundary-pushing six-decade career will be on view at ICP until September 12.  It's the first one of its kind in the U.S. in over a generation—Klein was primarily known as a street or fashion photographer but he was an artist of many mediums. The show will explore his life and career through a kind of timeline showing his development as an artist in wildly inventive photographic studies of New York, Rome, Paris, Moscow, and Tokyo to bold and witty fashion photographs; from cameraless abstract photography to iconic celebrity portraits; from excerpts of documentary films about Muhammad Ali, Eldridge Cleaver, and the Pan-African Festival of Algiers to scripted films about the beauty industry, imperialism, and consumer culture. "This exhibition at ICP is a homecoming of sorts for Klein, who was born in upper Manhattan in 1928 and began his photography career on our city’s streets,” said ICP Director David Little. “He then became a truly international artist, living most of his life in Paris and capturing the unique character of global cities in his renowned photobooks. Klein is a living legend of image-making, and ICP is honored to celebrate a prodigious career that influenced and inspired generations.”

Free things to do this Sunday

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • price 0 of 4
  • Central Park

The summer's second Shakespeare in the Park offering is director Laurie Woolery and songwriter Shaina Taub's enormous musical adaptation of As You Like It, choreographed by Moulin Rouge!'s Tony-winning Sonya Tayeh. The production was originally planned for Summer 2020, and we interviewed Woolery and Taub about it back in 2017, when it was part of the Public's expansive Public Works wing. The principal cast—which includes Rebecca Naomi Jones, Darius de Haas, Ato Blankson-Wood and Taub herself—is joined by huge ensemble casts drawn from community organizations in all five boroughs. Click here to learn how to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • price 0 of 4
  • Upper West Side

Hudson Classical Theater Company concludes its 2022 summer season of free alfresco classics with a new look at the not-so-great Scots of Shakespeare's tragedy, in which a nobleman and his wife descend into a nightmare of disquiet after planning their monarch's murder. (The company took a previous stab at the play back in 2007.) Reservations are not required.

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  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • price 0 of 4
  • Hell's Kitchen

Hip to Hip offers a rare look at one of Shakespeare's weirdest plays (often coattributed to ne'er-do-well George Wilkins): a kind of Ancient Mediterranean Flash Gordon adventure that includes shipwrecks, contests to win a princess’s hand, a pirate abduction, a virgin in a brothel and a guest shot by the goddess Diana. The show is performed in alternation with Much Ado About Nothing at locations throughout the boroughs and Jersey City, so check out the Hip to Hip website for details.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • price 0 of 4
  • Hell's Kitchen

Theater for the New City takes its 46th annual Street Theater Company show on the road, bringing agitprop to outdoor locations throughout the five boroughs. Crystal Field and Peter Dizoza's family-friendly (but corporation-hostile!) satirical musical, directed by Field, celebrates beleaguered educators trying to make a difference at a time when no one seems especially keen to learn anything at all. The cast of 22 is buttressed by giant puppets and moving scenery. Visit TNC's website to find out where the show will be playing when.

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  • Theater
  • Puppet shows
  • price 0 of 4
  • Midtown West

Octopus Theatricals reaches out to family audiences throughout New York with a mobile puppet show, bringing its solar-powered stage to Manhattan West, Zuccotti Park and Brooklyn Commons for free lunchtime and afternoon performances in late July and August. The show includes brief marionette plays by Dipika Guha and Jen Silverman and an original musical; theharacters are voiced by theater Andy Groteleuschen, L Morgan Lee, Teresa Avia Lim and Adrianna Mitchell.

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • price 0 of 4
  • Governors Island

Get some retail therapy done at FAD Market with New York City’s up-and-coming brands, designers, and small businesses — offering a curated selection of handcrafted jewelry, apparel, stationery, skincare, tableware, home goods, and artisanal food at Governor’s Island this weekend. Shop from vendors such as Yvonne.b, Elaine McGovern Designs, Soldered Curves, and Yahlistic Natural Body Works. Also grab a sweet trea from Little Boxes NYC and play pétanque (a lawn throwing game similar to bocce and boules).

Movies to see this Sunday

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

Joaquin Phoenix is devastating as a monster-in-the-making in this incendiary tale of abuse

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Concerts to see this Sunday

  • Music
  • Hell's Kitchen

All five boroughs will play host to a new free concert series dubbed Rise Up NYC scheduled to take over the town through September 12. Announced by Mayor Eric Adams last week, the shows aim at encouraging New Yorkers to enjoy what the city has to offer and reconnect with all the cultural pursuits that render it unique, even after the plagues of the COVID-19 pandemic.  "We are inviting all New Yorkers to come together to celebrate culture, music, and unity as New York City rebounds from the pandemic," said the politician in an official statement about the project. "Music and the arts were a lifeline for us all during the last two years, and I am here to say that New York City supports its local artists and communities. We are going to hit the right notes and turn the dial up to 11 this summer. We invite all New Yorkers to join us for world-class entertainment in the city that never sleeps." Already in full swing, the free series has tapped the likes of Mr. Vegas and Funk Flex to perform.  Below is the full schedule of events, which can also be found here.  Roy Wilkins Park, QueensMerrick Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard Saturday, August 13 Sunday, August 14 St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue Saturday, August 20 Sunday, August 21 Midland Beach Parking Lot 8, Staten IslandFather Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue Thursday, September 1 Orchard Beach, BronxOne Orchard Beach Road Thursday, September 8 Times Square, ManhattanBroadway Between 4

  • Music
  • DUMBO

Dance the afternoon away with Latin Mix Sundays, featuring Ronnie Roc & DJ Torres every Sunday from 1 to 4pm. Special drinks will be available at the Time Out Market Bar to cool you down and spice things up between noon and 5pm, including specials like the Rum Punch Pouch ($12), the Very Berry Sangria ($12) and Modelo Drafts ($6). With great music and tasty drinks, there’s no reason not to come hang out with us!

Looking for the perfect Sunday brunch?

The best brunch in NYC
  • Restaurants

Consult our comprehensive guide to the best brunch NYC has to offer and enjoy the perfect late breakfast this weekend

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