A person sits on a bench overlooking the New York City skyline.

City Guide / New York City

Moving to the Big Apple? 8 Fun Things to Do in NYC

By Bri Hand | Aug 31, 2021

If there’s one thing New York City isn’t short of, it’s fun. There’s a reason they call it the city that never sleeps because there’s always something to do in New York. From buzzing nightlife to lazy days in the park, this city has plenty of activities to offer. 

If you’re looking to call the Big Apple your new home but you’re wondering what to do in NYC, read on for some of the best things the city has to offer, including:

  • Food and dining
  • Arts
  • Sports 
  • Broadway performances
  • Beach locales
  • Comedy clubs
  • Nightlife and entertainment
  • Outdoor attractions

1. Try some new food

Indulging in the city’s many cuisines is one of the best things to do in NYC. New York is one of the most diverse cities in the country, ranking No. 4 on U.S. News’ top 10 list

With so many different cultures coming together in this melting pot, it’s no surprise that it’s full of new cuisines to try. 

For a fun and delectable day in New York City, try mapping out your own food crawl. Try at least three different cuisines you’ve never had, and discover some new go-to spots in the process. Here are some delicious restaurants in the area:

  • Arepas Cafe: Located in the heart of Astoria, Queens, this cozy eatery offers authentic Venezuelan cuisine, fun decor, and hefty portions for an affordable price. While Arepas Cafe specializes in arepas (stuffed cornmeal cakes), you can also try some of their other house specialties, including fried plantain sandwiches (patacones) and cheesy corn pancakes (cachapas). 
  • Veselka: Veselka has gathered some fame in the NYC area since it opened in 1954 (and for good reason). This delicious Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village is known for its mouthwatering pierogies, always served with sweet applesauce, tangy sour cream, and sauteed onions on the side. Veselka is also open 24 hours a day, making it a beloved spot for late-night bar hoppers. 
  • Casa Adela: This authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in Alphabet City is known for its flavorful chicken dishes. Transport your taste buds with Casa Adela’s tender, rotisserie chicken, cafe con leche, and oxtail sancocho. 
  • Da Long Yi: In the mood for traditional, fresh, and spicy Chinese food? Look no further than Da Long Yi in Chinatown. This restaurant embraces the authentic hot pot cooking style of the Szechuan province. With a large pot in the center of their table, customers can boil up their choice of vegetables and proteins in the fiery, flavorful broth. 

2. Visit a museum

New York City is known for its plethora of famous museums. Whether you’re interested in science, art, or history, this area has a museum that’s sure to please each of its residents. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this list of the city’s most interesting museums:

3. Cheer for your favorite team

New York City has plenty of teams for any sports lover. If you’re looking for a chance to kick back, have a drink, and watch a game, skip the sports bar and head to where the real action is:

  • Baseball: Baseball fans can check out a game at Yankee Stadium, or see the Mets play at Citi Field. For a more casual experience, catch a minor league game in Coney Island and cheer on the Brooklyn Cyclones. 
  • Basketball: New York is home to two thriving NBA teams: the Knicks and the Nets. If you’re looking to stay in Manhattan, you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of a Knicks’ game at the famous Madison Square Garden. Nets fans can head over to the newly built Barclay’s Center in Prospect Heights. 
  • Hockey: The New York Rangers are the city’s major-league NHL team, and their games are also hosted in the lively Madison Square Garden. For a more relaxed experience, locals can also catch college hockey games at the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink. 
  • Football: Although the city of New York is home to the Jets and the Giants, the teams technically play their games in New Jersey. For a fun day trip, head out to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford—it’s only a 30-minute drive or a 45-minute train ride away.

4. See a Broadway show

When you think of New York City, there’s a good chance Broadway stands out. Why? Broadway is big in New York. 

If you’re looking to pay the big bucks, you can catch a live performance of Broadway’s biggest hits like “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” and “Wicked.” Interested in something equally as fun, but a little more affordable? Branch out to an off-Broadway show—”Jersey Boys,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Stomp” are some of the hottest off-Broadway productions in the city. 

5. Head to the beach

When thinking about NYC, beaches don’t often come to mind, but locals know that the city is home to dozens of coastal destinations. Some of New York’s best beaches are only a train ride away from downtown, including:

  • Coney Island: Coney Island is perhaps NYC’s most well-known beach. This oceanside neighborhood is like a blast from the past, with food-filled streets, amusement park rides, and a boardwalk straight out of a ‘50s love song. You can also check out the aquarium for an even closer look at Coney Island’s aquatic creatures.
  • Brighton Beach: For a less crowded experience, the nearby Brighton Beach is perfect for a quiet getaway. Brighton Beach offers tennis courts, movie screenings, and some of Brooklyn’s best Russian restaurants, all within walking distance. 
  • Rockaway Beach: Rockaway Beach is located just a bit further, on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Locals love Rockaway Beach because it offers a similar boardwalk atmosphere to Coney Island—only without the flocks of tourists.

6. See a comedy show

There’s a reason so many famous comedians got their start in NYC. This city is ripe with comedy clubs—both big and small—that feature hilarious performances from locals and well-known comedians alike. 

The heart of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village is where you’ll get the most bang for your comedy buck. It’s known for its famous locale, The Comedy Cellar, where comedians like Sarah Silverman, Robin Williams, and Bill Burr have performed. If you come on the right day, you never know who you may see!

For a more indie comedy scene, there are plenty of other clubs to choose from. Some of the neighborhood’s best comedy spots include:

Many clubs also host open mics for newcomers looking to give comedy a try. If you’re ever feeling funny in NYC, you know where to go!

7. Dance the night away

No list of NYC activities would be complete without the mention of the famous nightlife the city has to offer.

To put it plainly, New York City is one of the only places in the country where bars and nightclubs are open until 4 a.m. Combine this late curfew with a fun bar on every corner, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for the perfect New York evening.

If you’re looking for a place to dance, the area’s best dance bars and nightclubs include:

  • Le Bain: Over on the West Side, Le Bain is a dance-heavy nightclub on the roof of The Standard Hotel. With its large dance floor, great views, and even a pool, customers can spend their entire night enjoying everything Le Bain has to offer.
  • 1Oak: Another popular spot in NYC, this high-energy nightclub is frequented by celebrities and locals alike. The buzzing Chelsea nightclub also offers live DJ performances, bottle service, and multiple dance floors. 
  • Tao Downtown: Tao offers the best of both worlds: a lively club scene and delicious Asian-fusion cuisine. If you’re looking to start your night with a tasty meal, and finish it off dancing to a live DJ, Tao in Chelsea is the place to be. 

8. Get some sun at Central Park

Central Park is a green paradise in the heart of Manhattan. Comprising over 1.3 square miles, Central Park is filled with different areas for lounging, sunbathing, and playing games that are sure to please families and kids alike.

For the traditional Central Park experience, head out to the massive Sheep’s Meadow Area with friends or family. Sheep’s Meadow is the perfect place to lay down a blanket, have a picnic, and take in the wonderful views of the Upper East Side. 

If you have family visiting, take the kids to the charming Central Park Zoo to enjoy the wildlife. You can also take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to see the sights from all parts of the park. 

Discover everything NYC has to offer with Landing

There are plenty of fun things to do in NYC, from indulging in diverse cuisine to dancing the night away at a popular club. But to truly enjoy the offerings of NYC full-time (or for the time being), you’ll need a place to lay your head—okay, okay, we sleep sometimes

That’s where Landing comes in.

With Landing, you can find hundreds of furnished apartments in NYC with short-term and flexible living options. This way, you can spend less time house hunting, and more time exploring the Concrete Jungle. 

Browse our available apartments in New York City, or contact us to learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you.

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.