Leisure in New York City

Leisure in New York
Updated 2023-10-04 08:50

Regardless of the season or the weather, New York is a city that remains both vibrant and lively all year round. From cycling to street markets and museums to Broadway shows, there are many things to keep you entertained. We've collected a selection of different activities to do, some more suited to the summer months and others better for winter.

When the weather is nice in New York

Cycling in New York

New York has a different feeling in the warmer months. People are more relaxed; there are block parties, and everyone seems to be picnicking in the park. One of the best ways to explore New York City on warmer days is to jump onto your bicycle and head into one of its lush green parks. If you're in New York for a few months, it's worth purchasing a secondhand bike on Craigslist; otherwise, the Citi Bike network is a good option.

Travel by ferry in New York

In 2015, the City of New York massively improved its public transport system by improving an efficient six-route ferry service that connects several key city boroughs, like Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Queens, and the Bronx. Compared to travel agencies that offer expensive rates for day trips and boat rides, the NYC ferry is very affordable – a 10-trip pass costs $27.50.

Street markets in New York

New York's vibrant street markets are best during the summer months. From the bustling Union Square Greenmarket to the trendy Brooklyn Flea Market, these open-air markets showcase artisanal foods, handcrafted goods, vintage treasures, and international delicacies. Visitors can find unique items, encounter local artisans, and indulge in global cuisine.

During cold weather in New York

Museums in New York

New York is home to enough museums that almost all tastes and interests can be catered to. Modern art lovers can head to MoMA, Whitney, and the New Museum while people who enjoy antiques and history can opt for the Metropolitan Museum or the Museum of Natural History. If you are fond of New York City history, the New York Transit Museum and the Museum of History of New York are necessary. Museum tickets can be quite expensive, but you can always enjoy Free Museum Days. Some museums open their doors to the public for free once a week at a specific hour, whereas others use a Pay As You Wish system.

Shows in New York

If you're a theatre or musical buff, then seeing a Broadway show is an absolute must. That is where iconic musicals and plays like Chicago, The Lion King, and Hamilton are showcased. Tickets are expensive, but if you queue up at the TKTS stand in Times Square or purchase your tickets well in advance, you may enjoy lower rates. Aside from Broadway, you can also enjoy opera and ballet shows at the Lincoln Center or consider Off-Broadway for some more affordable theatre offerings. For those who fluently speak English or can understand the language, attending a one-man show at the famous Comedy Cellar in West Village is a must-do activity if you enjoy stand-up.

Head to the ice rink in New York

In winter, people in New York love going to rinks. Some of the most famous ice rinks in New York are the Wollman Rink in Central Park, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, and the Bryant Park Rink. These operate between November and March. With Manhattan's skyscrapers looming in the background, skating at these rinks feels like a quintessential New York experience. During December, these rinks tend to be packed with tourists, and for a less busy experience, you can head to the Lasker Rink, which is in the north of Central Park, or to LeFrak Centre in Brooklyn.

Useful links:

NYC Ferry

Free Museum Days

List of Shows in NYC

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