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11 Things to Do in New York City

New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the world. It offers so many attractions that it can get a bit overwhelming to pick the ones you want. Even after growing up in NYC, when the time came to plan a trip back with my family, I had trouble deciding what we would visit. In the end, we all had a great time! So keep reading to find 11 suggestions on things to do in NYC.

11 Family-Friendly Things to Do in New York City:

1. Museums 

There are tons of museums in New York City, some so big that you can literally get lost in them for hours. A couple of the most popular ones are: The American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It takes just a tiny bit of research to find the different museums.

Related Read: Family Friendly Museums

The Met

2. Statue of Liberty

This can easily be the first thing that people think about when NYC comes out in a conversation. It is one of those places that you have to go to whenever you are in the city. It is an important landmark as well as a fun option for an adventure.

Statue of liberty

3. Bike Tours

When I lived in the city, biking through the streets sounded like a bad joke, it was really dangerous. That’s why, when I went back earlier this year, I was glad to see that there were bike paths and places where you can rent them scattered around the city. The biking tour along New York was one of my favorite activities.

bike path on a bridge in new york

4. Central Park

Another must-visit when traveling to New York is Central Park. But it is one big place and exploring it on foot will get you really tired. So, during our recent visit, I took my family on a pedicab tour in Central Park. Our driver was also a tour guide that explained everything to us and knew a lot of fun and historic facts.

Related Read: Things to do in Central Park New York

pedicab tour in central park nyc

5. Ellis Island

It might look like just a small piece of land off of Manhattan, but it used to be one of the busiest ports of the country. A place where thousands of immigrants entered the country. It is now a national park and an important touristic destination.

Ellis Island, NYC

6. Circle Line

It is a tour that has been offered in New York for a long time. A tour on the Circle Line consists of a ride onboard a boat around the island, from where you get magnificent views of the city. There are 5 different routes that allow you to see many different things.

Circle Line New York City

7. Central Park Zoo

While you are exploring Central Park, be sure to take some time to check out Central Park Zoo. It isn’t a very big zoo, but it is large enough to hold comfortably animals of around 150 species.

8. Empire State Building 

The Empire State Building was the tallest building of the world for over 40 years. It is also known as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. If you wish, you can also go up to the 86th floor to get a skyline view of the city. Do I need to say anything else? Traveling from the DC area? Tripper Bus will take you from Bethesda, MD, or Arlington, VA, and drop you off just a few blocks away for an easy walk to the famous skyscraper.

Empire State Building's Observation Deck

9. Art Galleries

You can also find a lot of art galleries in NYC. They are spread all over the place. What is it that you want to see, Asian art? Or maybe African? From the 19th century, maybe? Don’t worry. New York’s got your back.

10. Shopping

New York is one of the fashion capitals of the world. You can pretty much find any of the major brands here. But it’s not all about clothing. There are tons of stores all over the city where you can find pretty much anything you might want to buy.

11. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Station is the largest train station in the world. It is a building that still holds the chaos of thousands of people going through it every day, even after 100 years of being built.

Grand Central Station, NYC

I know that this article doesn’t cover half of the things that are available for travelers in New York. There are tons of  free things to do in NYC. But this list only includes a few of the highlights that can guarantee an amazing time in the city. Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments.


Things to do in New York City – 11 Attractions

7 thoughts on “11 Things to Do in New York City

  1. What a nice list for anyone who’s coming to NYC the first time! As a – family friendly! – alternative to the Circle Line, I’d recommend the East River Ferry from Wall Street Pier all the way up to either the last stop (34th Street) or Long Island City (1 stop from Grand Central Station). You get a great view of Manhattan’s skyline – and a peak at Brooklyn and Queens.
    Petrina | Moment: New York recently posted..Lebkuchen-Wolkenkratzer!My Profile

  2. Oh, New York! My favorite destination. I’ve been traveling to this place before and I just love how New York offered me everything from amazing food to cool destinations and of course, the different elegant restaurants and bars too. But that was when I was single and had all the time to party all night in NYC. Right now, I’ve got a family to bring in this concrete jungle and I can’t wait to visit the places you listed here in your post for my family and kids to explore and have a good time. Thanks for sharing!

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