The 60 Fun Things to Do in NYC

By: ROS Team November 24, 2021

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When it comes to cool things to do in New York City, you’ll find that the Big Apple has plenty to choose from. With its many world-class museums and nightlife, you won’t have any trouble finding fun things to do in NYC. If you happen to be in NYC and are looking for places to have fun, here is a list of things to do in New York City.

1. Visit a Van Gogh Exhibit

NYC has an innovative art exhibition that displays artist Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces in 360-degree digital composition. This immersive exhibit lets visitors experience Van Gogh in virtual reality with uniquely settled light and an equally riveting soundtrack.

Van Gogh Exhibit
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2. Take a Ride in a Luxury JetBoat

Art exhibits not your thing? Perhaps you’d enjoy some adventure outside on the water. Book a luxury jetboat ride and hold on to your hat! Jetboat rides are undoubtedly among the cool things to do in NYC. Enjoy the panoramic sights of lower Manhattan and Midtown while listening to live music. A boat ride is also a great way to capture an iconic picture with the Statue of Liberty.

A Luxury JetBoat
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3. Take in a Nighttime Theatre Performance

Another fun thing you can do in NYC is enjoy the theatrical performance called Moonrise. This show depicts the story of Goddess Salome through dance, music, scents, and art installations. The performances are immersive; all five senses will be engaged. You can even ask for different goddess-based cocktails to enjoy during the show.

Nighttime Theatre Performance
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4. Take an NYC Architecture Tour

New York City’s architecture is second to none. From historic landmarks to historical icons, nearly every building has its own story to tell. As you walk around NYC admiring its architecture, you probably won’t be able to help yourself by snapping pictures of everything you see around you. Times Square, Grand Central Station, and the Chrysler Building are great topics for conversation. It’s worth taking guided tours of some of NYC’s most popular buildings to get the inside stories and secrets about the buildings’ origins.

NYC Architecture Tour
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5. Visit Famous Filming Locations

NYC has been the location of choice over the years for some of the best movies and TV shows. Take some time to see some of the landmarks that are often featured on the big screen. Taking a walk around Manhattan means passing iconic spots where The Sopranos, Sex, and the City, and Gossip Girl were filmed. You can also re-live the glorious days of the sitcom Friends outside the apartment that was featured in the series.

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6. Appreciate the Street Art

NYC is the mecca for some of the best street art in the country. Despite some opinions, graffiti and street art have made the streets of NYC uniquely attractive. Bushwick, which lies on the north side of Brooklyn, is where you’ll definitely want to take in the street art. Barry McGee’s mural which depicts Brooklyn on walls is something you don’t want to miss.

Appreciate the Street Art
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7. Visit the Museum of Sex

The exhibit goes by the name of MoSex, and it showcases fascinating exhibits related to the study, science, and art of human sexuality. You may find that this is one of the most exciting museums in NYC.

Read Also: Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Museum of Sex
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8. Visit the Mythic Cotton Club in Harlem

The Cotton Club is one of the most famous jazz venues in the city. To many New Yorkers, it is a legendary nightspot in the Harlem district. You may even get to listen to recordings of some of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century, such as Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington.

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9. See the Catacombs of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

Are you looking to spend a night out? Visit the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and take a tour of the hidden and secret areas on the Basilica grounds. You can also arrange to take a tour of the only active catacombs in New York City.

Catacombs of the Basilica
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10. Bathe at AIRE Ancient Baths

The AIRE contains several unique thermal baths and offers relaxing massages. It was built in 1808 in an industrial building. Apart from baths, the AIRE has a diverse set of offerings designed to help delight and relax your body and spirit.

Bathe at AIRE Ancient Baths
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11. Enjoy a Bird’s Eye View of NYC

It’s not every day that you can take in the iconic NYC skyline.  It’s spectacular during the day, but it’s absolutely breathtaking at night.  One way to get a bird’s eye view of the city’s buildings and the Hudson River is by taking a helicopter tour; this is by far one of the most popular and fun things to do in NYC.

Bird's Eye View of NYC
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12. Indoor Skydiving

There may be few activities that will excite you more than skydiving. Try the indoor skydiving simulator at iFly Westchester. The great thing about this facility is you can experience skydiving with family and friends, rain or shine.

Indoor Skydiving
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13. Jam Out at Unique Candlelight Concerts

NYC is a city with many vibes, and jamming at concerts in a unique candlelit atmosphere is one of them. The experience is even better with dinner.  Sip wine while enjoying smooth jazz music as you unwind.

Unique Candlelight Concerts
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14. Take a Stroll Around Soho and Little Italy

Take in the sights of NYC on a stroll of Little Italy and Soho. You may even cross paths with a few celebrities as you stride through the streets. You should be visiting iconic sights like Mulberry Street, Spring Street, and Columbus Park to see the history.

Soho and Little Italy
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15. Visit the Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a media museum located in Astoria, Queens. It was built on the foundation of historic Astoria Studio which was established in 1920, and it has an incredible collection dedicated to educating the public about history, art, technology, technique, digital media, and television.

Museum of the Moving Image
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16. Take a Virtual Reality Journey Through Arcadia Earth

This virtual reality activity gives visitors details about our planet and the impact human activities have had on its future. With project mapping, V.R., and interactive art installations, you can get a unique perspective of the world.

Virtual Reality Journey Through Arcadia Earth
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17. Have a Spa Day

NYC life is fast-paced, but you owe it to yourself to slow down every once in a while. What better way to do that than with a day at the spa? Some of the best spas in NYC include Aire Ancient Baths, Greenwich hotel’s Shibui Spa, MJ Treatment Spa and Wellness, and Natura Spa. You will get all types of innovative treatments for full body massage, facial, and mani-pedis. Visit any one of them for a full-on luxurious pampering of your body.

Spa Day
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18. Relax in Central Park

When in New York, do as New Yorkers do. So, what do New Yorkers love to do? Many like to visit the iconic green hub known as Central Park, which lies in the middle of Manhattan. This is a great place to spend some family time over a picnic. The Central Park Zoo is also a good place for kids. The great thing about Central Park is it has something for everyone.

Relax in Central Park
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19. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

If you’re looking for some adventure, rent a jet ski to ride in the Hudson River. There are several companies that offer jet ski experience such as NY Harbour Jet Ski Tour, NY Sunset and Wildlife Jet Ski Tour, and NY City Jet Ski Rental. You can rent them for hours as well as days. Or you can book a hot air balloon ride for more scenic views outside of the city such as Hot Air Balloon Ride New Jersey.

the Great Outdoors
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20. Take in the City from the River

If you get bored with the bustling streets of Manhattan, consider enjoying the waters of the Hudson River. It offers stunning views of NYC’s most famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Manhattan Skyline, etc. You can witness great icons of architecture, engineering, and American history.

the City from the River
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21. Experience New York City’s Famous Nightlife

NYC is indeed the city that never sleeps.  Some of the city’s most famous nightspots are the Rose Room at Triad Triangle and Broadway. You can also treat yourself to award-winning cuisine at any of the restaurants throughout the city. No matter your preference, NYC’s nightlife is in a class all its own, and you will not be disappointed.

New York City's Famous Nightlife
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22. Go Cycling Over the Brooklyn Bridge

Mass transportation is not the only way to get around NYC. Many New Yorkers and tourists alike get around the city on bicycles. Enjoy a relaxing bike ride across the East River via Brooklyn Bridge or any of the other bridges in the city. You can also join guided group tours. It’s a 2 hour tour where you get to explore Brooklyn and Manhattan. Unlimited bikes are available and you can meet the group at 38 park row, between Beekman Street and Spruce Street. Covid instructions are strictly observed. The expense for the whole tour is $49.99.

Cycling Over the Brooklyn Bridge
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23. Marvel at the Spectacular Views of Manhattan

New York City sunsets are breathtaking. One place to witness an NYC sunset is from the observation deck of the One World Observatory. This spot is the tallest observation deck in the city and offers a 360-degree view of New York and beyond. Other great spots to view the sunset are the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

the Spectacular Views of Manhattan
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In addition to sunset views at the deck, the One World Observatory has other attractions such as video guides, virtual reality experiences, and theatre shows. A breathtaking presentation is shown over almost 145 screens which highlight the famous faces, memorable moments, and iconic places. You can buy an online ticket for $58 for the visit. You can also cast your eyes at the Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty from the deck.

24. Experience Spy Life at Spyscape

If you or someone you know are fans of James Bond, you’ll probably love Spyscape. Dive into the mysterious world of spies and channel your inner spy at this interactive museum. Spyscape also includes an exhibition of spy archives, including one of the original cars driven by 007 himself.

Experience Spy Life at Spyscape
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You can also discover some of the real-life gadgets used by actual spies around the world and uncover the truth about code-breaking. You can even put some of your skills to the test by using them to crack clues in several Spyscape challenges.

25. Spend an Afternoon at Modern Pinball NYC

Pinball is a timeless game. But now you can not only learn about the science of pinball but you can also experience the fun of dozens of vintage and modern pinball machines at Modern Pinball NYC. It is located at 362 3rd Ave NY 10016. kids can have unlimited fun for $18.

Modern Pinball NYC
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26. Look at Artwork by Banksy

Banksy is a British artist whose real identity still remains unknown and subject to speculation. He shows his artwork on publicly visible surfaces such as walls. He has been active since 1990 and deos satirical street art and dark humor with graffiti. In 2014, he was awarded Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards. This exhibition is offered in 15 cities in the US, Asia, and Europe, and it is now being shown in NYC.

Artwork by Banksy
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27. Visit the Museum of Natural History

Another fun thing to do in NYC is to visit the American Natural History Museum. It is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, NYC. The museum complex comprises 26 interconnected buildings which house 45 permanent exhibition halls.

the Museum of Natural History
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The museum collection features over 34 million specimens of plants, animals, minerals, fossils, rocks, and human remains. The admission fee in the museum is $23 for adults, $18 for students with ID, and $13 for children (age 3 to 12).

28. Go to a Baseball Game

Baseball is as American as apple pie, and what better way to spend time in New York city than catching a baseball game at iconic Yankee Stadium. Root for the home team, or their competitor, under a brilliant New York sky.

a Baseball Game
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29. Take a Bus Tour

You can move about the city on foot, on a bicycle, or by hot air balloon. But don’t rule out moving about NYC by bus. Bus tours give you a chance to see the city on your terms, as you can choose when and where to get off. Bus tours include a plethora of sites on their routes, including iconic locations like the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park.

a Bus Tour
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30. Watch a Broadway Show

Broadway is the central and bright-beating heart of NYC’s performing arts circuit. Most people will agree that there’s no experience quite like watching a Broadway show. There are plenty from which to choose — The Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, and Jersey Boys just to name a few.

a Broadway Show
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31. Go to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Have you ever been curious about what life would be like in a submarine? If so, consider a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. This museum is jam-packed with artifacts from America’s military and maritime history. The Museum showcases the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the cruise missile submarine USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed a-12 supersonic plane, and the space shuttle Enterprise.

the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

32. Cheer On the Knicks at Madison Square Garden

If you’re a basketball fan, make plans to catch a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.  It is simply known as the Garden or by its initials as MSG. It is located in midtown Manhattan between 7th and 8th avenues. The garden is used for professional basketball and ice hockey as well as boxing, concerts, circuses, and professional wrestling.

the Knicks at Madison Square Garden
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33. Be Entertained on The Ride

Take this interactive bus tour and enjoy a unique fun-filled perspective of NYC. The Ride combines live shows that feature dancers, vocalists, and comedians with sightseeing. The tour is interactive, which means you have an opportunity to showcase your talents through the streets of the Big Apple.

Entertained on The Ride
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34. Take Pictures With Your Heroes at Madame Tussauds

Take pictures with the likes of George Washington, or shake hands with the Incredible Hulk as you explore this mind-boggling world of wax. This museum is filled with life-like wax figures of pop stars, politicians, and athletes. This is a great opportunity to pose with your favorite celebrity, even if it is just the wax version.

Pictures With Your Heroes at Madame Tussauds
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35. Spend a Night at Brooklyn Mirage

Party until sunrise at Brooklyn Mirage. This entertainment complex provides a one-of-a-kind party venue–one that features thousands of plants. Dance to the latest tunes over the KV2 Audio System while meeting new people over drinks.

Spend a Night at Brooklyn Mirage
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36. Dine at Wafels & Dinges’ Waffle Truck

Wafels & Dinges is popular among the NYC food truck scene. This food truck travels all over the city and serves up unique sweet and savory waffles.  You can purchase the DE Kompleet Set ( 16 wafel + Quartet of Toppings) for $84.

Dine at Wafels & Dinges' Waffle Truck
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37. Meet Some of NYC’s Aquatic Residents

The New York Aquarium on Coney Island is one of the cool things to do in NYC. You can see sharks, sea lions, and even a giant octopus. You can also take a virtual ocean journey and experience what it’s like to live in the deep blue sea.  Also, consider visiting the marine life at the Lost City of Atlantis-themed Long Island Aquarium.

NYC’s Aquatic Residents
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38. Get Your Fine Art Fix

You don’t have to leave the city to find some of the best art in the world.  Art connoisseurs and amateurs can both appreciate the exhibits on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Fine Art Fix
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This art museum is one of the largest in the country and features paintings by Rembrandt as well as an actual ancient Roman bedroom. If contemporary art is more your speed, head to the Museum of Modern Art. It is located at 11 West, 53rd Street, Manhattan. Selected collection highlights include The Bather by Paul Cezanne, The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau, and many other great artists.

39. Party Like a Rockstar

The Output Club is a popular nightclub located at 74th Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY. The club is known for its techno scene.

Party Like a Rockstar
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40. Get a Tattoo at Bang Bang

Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy is located on the lower East Side of NYC. Keith Scott is an American celebrity tattoo artist. He is regarded as one of the most popular tattoo artists in the city. He is especially popular with superstars such as Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber.

a Tattoo at Bang Bang
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41. Join a Scavenger Hunt

If you’re searching for something different to do in New York City, a scavenger hunt is a great option. Not only do you get to use problem-solving skills but you also get to see a unique side of New York City and many of its iconic landmarks as you search and locate clues. To be honest, it is one of the cool things to do in NYC with your friends. There are several companies that conduct the scavenger hunts such as NY Midtown Scavenger Hunt Adventure, Central Park Adventure,  NYC Midtown Exploration, Game, and Tour. Grand Central Station is often the starting point.

a Scavenger Hunt
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42. Learn about the History of Organized Crime

New York City was once a hotbed for organized crime. You can learn more about its infamous gangsters at the Museum of the American Gangster, located at 80 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village in Manhattan. The building itself was once one of Manhattan’s most notorious speakeasies. The museum also features an exhibit on Al Capone, one of the most popular figures of the American prohibition period.

the History of Organized Crime
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43. Treat yourself to an Orchestra Night

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1842. The New York Philharmonic is one of the oldest orchestra companies in the world and is the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. It was founded in 1842 by the American conductor Ureli Corelli Hill and performed at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 2004, they performed the record-setting 14000th concert.

an Orchestra Night
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44. Root for Your Favorite Team at MetLife Stadium

MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Giants and the New York Jets football teams. The stadium is located in nearby East Rutherford (New Jersey). The stadium is state-of-the-art, and you’ll enjoy rooting for the home team, or their competitor, in this unique venue.

Your Favorite Team at MetLife Stadium
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45. Chase Ghosts at the Ghostbusters’ Firehouse

If you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters movie franchise, this is a must-see spot in NYC. The fictional Ghostbusters headquarters building, once the firehouse for Ladder 8, is one of the oldest working firehouses in the country.  It is located at the intersection of Varick Street and 14 North Moore Street in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan.

Ghosts at the Ghostbusters’ Firehouse
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46. Escape the Room

Escape rooms have become increasingly popular for their puzzles; attendees have an hour to solve a series of riddles and puzzles using hints, clues, and strategies to earn their freedom out of a locked room. There is no age limit for most rooms, so people of all ages can have fun there. Many people rate it as one of the most fun things to do in NYC.

Escape the Room
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 47. Discover Harlem

Harlem is a popular neighborhood that is considered by many to be a pillar of African-American culture and the arts. Major landmarks include Abyssinian Baptist Church, Apollo Theatre, Astor Row, Metropolitan Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Church, Minton’s Playhouse, and many more.

Discover Harlem
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48. See Hilarious Drunk Shakespeare

This show is as unique as the city itself.  Come and watch five professional New York actors. One of them acts with at least five shots of whiskey. It is currently performed at “The Gallery at Green Fig” at 570 10th Ave, 4th Floor (near 42nd Street), NYC. There have been more than 2000 performances as of January 2019. One actor among the five takes a few shots of whiskey in front of the audience and starts performing a play which is followed by the other sober actors.

Hilarious Drunk Shakespeare
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49. Eat a Legendary Di Fara Pizza

You can’t fully talk about NYC without talking about food, especially its pizza. Di Fara Pizza is a family-owned pizzeria and is considered by many to be one of the best pizzas in the city. It is located at 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NYC. Domenico DeMarco has owned and operated it since 1965. They serve a hand-made 8-slice pizza for $30.

Eat a Legendary Di Fara Pizza
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50. Enjoy Some of the Best Speakeasy Bars in NYC

Although the Prohibition era is over, that should not take away the thrill and excitement of secret bars. If you want to do something unique and worth remembering, you have to find those speakeasy bars and have fun there. If you can’t find anyone, then visit ‘Le Boudoir’ at 135 Atlantic Avenue near Henry Street or ‘Attaboy’ at 134 Eldridge Street and have fun.

the Best Speakeasy Bars in NYC
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51. Have the Best Steak in the U.S.

Steak lovers should plan to include a visit to Peter Luger’s Steakhouse, which is located in Brooklyn. In addition to steak, you can have Luger Burger, Creamed spinach, a variety of salads and desserts. The steakhouse serves some of the best cuts of meat east of the Mississippi River and, possibly, the world. Steaks cost 65$ for one person and $130 for two persons.

the Best Steak in the U.S.
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52. Try the Famous Pastrami at Katz Delicatessen

Katz Delicatessen was founded in 1888 and is filled with history. Brothers Morris and Hayman established it. In 1903, Willi Katz joined them and changed the name to Iceland and Katz. In 2017, Katz opened its first auxiliary location in the DeKalb market hall.  It is located on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and serves kosher-style sandwiches. If you’re looking for a premium pastrami sandwich, this is the place for you.

the Famous Pastrami at Katz Delicatessen
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53. Stay in Marie Antoinette’s Quarters at Le Boudoir

Developed with Marie Antoinette in mind, Le Boudoir is a bar that many consider the best in the city. There is a hidden door at 135 Atlantic Avenue near Henry Street, which adds to the bar’s theme of mystery and mystique.

Marie Antoinette's Quarters at Le Boudoir
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54. Buy a Unique Cocktail at Attaboy Bar

Attaboy Bar is a semi-hidden and intimate cocktail bar. It is located on the Lower East Side, and it is unique in that patrons must ring the buzzer at 134 Eldridge St. to place their drink orders.

a Unique Cocktail at Attaboy Bar
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55. Go to Ripley’s Believe It or Not

This museum is home to rare art collections and other peculiarities from around the world. It features more than 500 exhibits, which are divided into 20 themed galleries. Whether or not you believe what you see, it’s still worth a visit.

Ripley's Believe It or Not
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56. Tour Manhattan’s Chinatown

The Chinatown District is a highly-populated neighborhood in lower Manhattan. It’s a popular draw for tourists and foodies thanks to its unusual attractions and Asian restaurants such as the Museum of Chinese in America in center street in Lower Manhattan, Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association near Manhattan Bridge, Aji Ichiban, Canal Street for fashion and clothing, and the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Tour Manhattan's Chinatown
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57. The New Victory Theater

New Victory is a theater in the heart of Times Square. It is the first and only full-time performing art theater in NYC for families and kids. Usually, the evening show starts at 7 pm (21:00). They have a lot of variety to perform such as plays, dancing, circus acts, puppet shows, and more. You may filter your search by date or age.

The New Victory Theater
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58. Visit Contrasting Neighborhoods

If you’re looking for places to have fun in NYC, visit some of the diverse districts of NYC.  Stop at the “Joker Steps” at 167th Street in Highbridge in the Bronx for photos. The stairs served as one of the filming locations for the 2019 film “Joker”.

Visit Contrasting Neighborhoods
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The Bronx has lots of gritty and trendy places that spotlight cross-cultural cuisine and incredible street art. Visit Flushing Meadows-Corona Park which is a public park in the northern part of Queens. Its main attractions are Citi Field, the home of the NY Mets Baseball team, and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the current venue for the US Open Tennis Tournament.

59. Laugh at the Iconic Comedy Cellar

There’s an adage that goes, “He who laughs last, laughs best.” The Comedy Cellar is a Manhattan-based comedy club that was founded in 1982. Many of New York City’s top comedians perform at the club; check the Comedy Cellar’s website to see who its featured comedian will be when you plan to be in the city.

Laugh at the Iconic Comedy Cellar
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60. Eat Burgers at J.G. Melons

A tasty burger is a beautiful thing, and J.G. Melons’ burgers are as simple as they are delicious. The eatery was founded in 1972, and it has been ranked as the best burger in NYC by restaurateur Danny Meyer.

Eat Burgers at J.G. Melons
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Conclusion

When in New York City, do as New Yorkers do; they work and have fun. While you are in the city, make it a point to do the same.  There are lots of fun activities that are sure to add even more excitement to your time in the city that never sleeps.