So you’re in New York and you’ve already conquered most attractions? The city has so much more to offer than its must-sees, like the Empire State Building or the MoMA. In fact, there are is a myriad of not so typical fun activities in NYC. To inspire you, we’ve compiled a list of fun things to do in New York City for you.
My Top 20 Fun Things to Do in New York City
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for the most fun things to do in NYC with your friends, coworkers, family or kids, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of the top fun stuff to do in New York City.
1. Race against time at an escape room
The Escape Room hype has only increased in recent years and New York has not been spared. They are still one of the most fun things to do in New York City. The idea? Use your teamwork skills to solve puzzles and complete a themed challenge within 60 minutes. Regardless of whether you make it, you’ll have a great time!
As an avid player with experience of over 300 games, I have to say that I played some of my favorite games in New York. I highly recommend Escape the Room NYC located in the Flatiron District. The Clocktower has been my favorite there! Other companies I can recommend are Clue Chase and Exit Escape Room. Playing an escape game is one of the most fun things to do in NYC with your friends and family!
2. Train your laughing muscles at a comedy show
What can be more fun things to do in New York City than watching a comedy show? New York is home to many well-known comedy clubs (Comedy Cellar, UCB …) and many famous comedians. My go-to? The Magnet Theater in Chelsea! To me, this small improv club is simply the best! If you want to check it out go there on a Friday Night. You can see The Friday Night Sh*w or and Premiere: The Musical. Both shows are outstanding. Other days are good too, but nothing compares to Friday Night. Tickets are $10 per show that night – very reasonable.
- 254 W 29th St | 1 2 to 28 Street Station
3. Defy gravity at iFLY
One of the most fun activities in New York City is located just across the Hudson River in Paramus. You can learn how to fly at iFLY! Hasn’t that always been everyone’s dream? It certainly is not as easy as it looks, but an incredible feeling every time! I’ve been there twice already and definitely will go again sometime!
- 211 NJ-4, Paramus, NJ 07652 | Route 4 Jitney towards Paterson
4. Spend the afternoon at the Modern Pinball Arcade
We somehow ended up at the Modern Pinball Arcade on a rainy day and never stopped raving about it. If you’re looking for fun stuff to do in NYC, this is a great go-to. It’s a tiny place, but it’s surprising how long it can keep you entertained. It was the perfect way to spend the day and to be frank, we didn’t leave until evening. Should you come here, know that there are no time limits on tickets!
- 362 3rd Ave | 46 to 28 Street
5. Unleash your inner spy at SPYSCAPE
Even though SPYSCAPE is technically a museum, it also feels like a playground. Besides learning about the history of spies, you get to beat many challenges, mental and physical alike. In the end, you will find out what type of spy you are, based on your individual results. It’s incredibly interactive and there’s no doubt for us that this is one of our top NYC fun things to do. Read more…
- 928 8th Ave | NRQW to 57 Street
A novelty experience just opened its doors at Chelsea Market: ARTECHOUSE NYC. The immersive and groundbreaking digital art installation uses artificial intelligence to showcase images of New York City in a dynamic and eclectic environment. Upon opening, the experience at ARTECHOUSE has become one of the most fun activities in New York City. Read more…
7. Cheer on your favorite sports team
When talking about fun things to do in NYC, we could never forget sports! The sports scene in New York is literally GIANT. You will get carried away by the enthusiastic atmosphere, especially in Madison Square Garden and the Yankee Stadium. The good news is that sports are on pretty much all year round, giving you a chance to experience a game live whenever you’ll be in New York.
8. Explore the city from above on a helicopter ride
No other city’s views will compare to New York’s, which is why taking a helicopter flight here will be an unparalleled experience. Flying over the concrete jungle will give you so much adrenaline and the views; they are out of this world. If you are looking for fun stuff in New York, consider a ride if you haven’t already. You’ll have several different options and price ranges to choose from!
9. Indulge in an irresistible dessert
Eating is one of the most fun things to do in NYC and anywhere! Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you must try some of New York’s unique desserts. The city offers you anything you can think of. Spot Dessert Bar, located in the Food Gallery 32 in Korea Town, will make your dessert dreams come true! “The Harvest” (see photo) is a yummy dessert with berries, cheesecake, Oreo crumbles, and chocolate pearls. They even give you sauce to “water your plant”. If you find yourself Downtown, try out Cookie Do, Wowfulls or Insomnia Cookies.
10. Take a chance at Broadway Roulette
Broadway Roulette is a way for you to snag Broadway tickets for $60. How does it work? You select your preferences on the website (date, matinee/evening, musical/play, shows you don’t want to see) and pay per credit card. You will be notified the morning of your performance and only then will know which show has been selected for you! Included are Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and other top-notch musicals. If that’s not one of the most fun activities in NYC, what is? There’s also a family-friendly option as well as an Off-Broadway Roulette!
11. Get teleported into Virtual Reality
The VR trend is on the rise! When I first tried it, I could not believe how immersive it really was. Needless to say, it immediately had to be included in our list of fun things to do in New York City! Participating in the experience felt like being part of a video game! If this is not one of the most fun things to do in NYC, then we don’t know! You’ll only believe it when you do it! VR World is one of the largest VR Centers around, offering you a great number of different experiences. Read more…
- 4 E 34th St | 46 to 33 Street
12. Experience the live taping of a TV Show
If you’re looking for something fun in New York that is unique to the city, go to a live taping! Many popular TV shows call New York their home, giving you plenty of opportunities to experience one live! The best part about it is that all tickets are free. However, it can be a little tricky to obtain the tickets, which is why we’ve created a guide for you. For us, there is no doubt that a live taping belongs on the list of fun things to do in New York! New York shows include The Daily Show, The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live!
13. Join a guided food or beer tour
Eating is always fun! But do you know how to explore the best food spots by yourself? Let a guide show you around and show you some of New York’s best-kept secrets by exploring small, local stores. Food tours are always fun, especially in NYC! For those of you who are feeling more thirsty than hungry, you may prefer a Beer Brewery tour instead.
14. Enjoy Broadway songs at Gayle’s Broadway Ros
When someone is looking for something fun to do in NYC, I always recommend this restaurant. As of May 2019, New York is home to yet another fun experience. At Gayle’s Broadway Rose in Midtown Manhattan, waiters and waitresses will sing Broadway songs to you while you are enjoying good food and some of the best milkshakes in the city. Read more…
15. Swing at Pier 35
Pier 35 in NYC is a newly developed eco-park located on the often-overlooked section of the East River Esplanade. Designed by SHoP and Ken Smith Workshop, the pier features four wooden swings that were the highlight of my visit. Exploring the pier was so much fun, I love to recommend it when someone is looking for things to do for fun in NYC. Read more…
16. Enjoy food from Grandmas around the world
Yes, there are many fun things you can do in New York City but this one is truly unique. As you know you can find any type of food in New York, no matter what cuisine you are searching for. For a more unique dining experience, head to underrated Staten Island to eat at Enoteca Maria. Nonnas is a restaurant where the food is prepared by grannies from all over the world. And you know that Grandma always cooks the best food! You won’t be disappointed!
- 27 Hyatt St | free Staten Island Ferry to St George
17. Go for an alternative show
Broadway Shows are great, no doubt, but maybe you are looking for a more fun active thing to do in NYC? In that case, we suggest Drunk Shakespeare or Sleep No More. Both are immersive theatrical experiences. Sleep No More is located inside the McKittrick Hotel, above which you find the amazing rooftop bar Gallow Green – a great way to spend the evening before the theater! I mention Sleep No More whenever someone asks for cool things to do in NYC!
18. Test your knowledge at Trivia
Who doesn’t like a fun trivia night? One of the best companies that have hosted our trivia games is Geeks Who Drink. They host trivia events across the entire country, including New York. Bring along your smartest friends and compete. Geeks Who Drink offers the best trivia event for us because of their use of multimedia components as opposed to simply asking questions. This makes trivia so much more enjoyable! It’s a fun thing to do in NYC on a night out.
19. Have a fun night out at a Dueling Piano Bar
We first discovered Dueling Piano Bars in Nashville and immediately looked for one upon returning to New York. To keep things short: we were successful and had a blast! At Bar Nine, for example, you can suggest any song you like and they will most likely play it for you (a tip may help!). The best part of it is the crowd celebrating and singing along. Because it is one of the most fun things to do in NYC, it can get super crowded, so be sure to arrive earlier rather than later.
- 807 9th Ave | CE to 50 Street
My Personal Best Fun Activities in New York City
Now, you’ve read about the most fun things to do in New York City during your trip but what are my personal favorites? If I had to choose three fun activities in NYC, I would choose Gayle’s Broadway Rose, a comedy show and ARTECHOUSE. These three experiences would make a great plan for a fun day in New York. I’m always looking for more fun stuff to do in NYC, so keep an eye out for regular updates!
Fun Things to Do in New York City with Kids and Family
Kids can get bored easily – we have all been there! Thankfully, New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and will not let you down. During your trip, you’ll be surprised at how many choices you have if you want to experience some fun things to do in NYC for kids. So let’s dive right into our top 8 family fun activities in New York City.
Fun Free Things to Do in New York City
Ask anyone who’s been to New York and they will agree that the city is expensive. Many people think that there is no fun stuff to do in NYC for free, but they are wrong! Even despite the outrageous rent, grocery and ticket prices, there’s a good number of fun free things to do in New York City that let you explore the city on a budget.
Fun Activities in New York City for Adults
There’s no other place in the world that offers more fun activities in New York City for adults. Besides the best museums in town, parks and other sightseeing you can experience, we covered all the fun things to do in New York City for adults. From sky diving to kayaking and super fun beach days to ping pong.
Fun Cheap Things to Do in New York City
Explore and get to know the city that never sleeps on a budget with my tips about fun cheap things to do in NYC. Most people don’t even know much about fun inexpensive things to do in New York City because they have the misconception of NYC being super expensive where ever you go. Don’t get me wrong, it can be. Today you’ll learn how to save some money during your stay in NYC.
Fun Things to Do in New York City at Night
They say it’s the city that never sleeps. New York City is by far one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. There is so much to do and see both during the day and at night. Some of the major attractions offer long hours for you to experience the most fun things to do in New York City at night.
Fun Activities in New York City for Couples
New York has many faces. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it here. That’s also the case if you’re looking for things to do with your significant other. Whether you’re looking for fun activities in NYC for couples or even some fun romantic things to do in NYC, we’ve got some inspirations for your special day.
Fun Group Activities in New York City
Are you coming to New York City with a group of friends, your entire family or are you looking for a team-building activity? There are a lot of fun group activities in NYC that are worth checking out. When it comes to fun group things to do in New York City the list is endless. From sports to relaxing boat trips and a very different bus tour to the best event on my favorite island in New York.
Fun Things to Do in New York City for Teens
When I first moved to NYC my younger sister was still a teenager when she visited me for the first time. So I had to come up with a bunch of fun things to do in NYC for teens to keep her happy and occupied. But what are the most fun things to do in New York City with a teenager?
Fun Things to Do in New York City in the Winter
Winter in New York is a wonderful time to explore the city. It might be very cold outside, so you may want to dress accordingly. There are so many fun things to do in NYC in the winter that you shouldn’t miss. New York is lucky enough to experience a lot of snow during the winter season which makes our fun winter activities in New York even more exciting.
I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!