Alright, New York aficionados and habitual brunch queue standers! Before you commit to that same old café or try to find solace in your fifth rewatch of a rom-com, consider this: NYC is always up to something. Peel back the curtain (or subway ad) with our sardonic guide on “Things to do in NYC this weekend.”
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In true ‘Loving New York’ fashion, expect a blend of the hilariously unexpected and the bafflingly brilliant. This weekend you’ll have the chance to enjoy a car-free 5th Avenue or to attend the lighting ceremony of the DUMBO Christmas tree. Santa’s Secret Immersive Holiday Experience is also a very popular thing to do in NYC! Check out our highlights for this weekend!
My tip: Here you’ll find lots of inspiration for what to do in New York City today.
NYC events this weekend
Wondering what events are happening in NYC this weekend? These are the best events this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – enjoy!
Things to do in NYC this weekend
DUMBO Holiday Tree Lighting CeremonyChristmas Tree in Dumbo
Enjoy a car-free 5th Avenue on December 3rd!Other Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
5th Avenue is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world and a must-see if you want to go shopping in New York! Fifth Avenue starts right at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and goes all the way to 143rd Street in Harlem. The length of 5th Avenue is over 11 kilometers – you will need about 2.5 hours on foot.
Join a free High Line Walking Tour on SaturdayWalking Tour in West VillageAdd to myNY added
The High Line Park takes you along the old tracks of the elevated railway to the Meatpacking District. Thanks to the initiative „Friends of the High Line“ the park exists at all, because originally the construction was supposed to be torn down. And the best thing? They offer free tours!
- Saturdays at 12:00 PM
- At the Gansevoort Street entrance
Go ice skating under the Brooklyn Bridge!Other Attraction in DumboAdd to myNY added
Enjoy a breathtaking view of New York City’s skyline while you show off your skating skills on the newest ice skating rink. Glide at Brooklyn Bridge Park will be open from November 15, 2023, to March 1, 2024, offering you an unforgettable winter experience. After you’ve had a blast on the rink right under the Brooklyn Bridge, you can recharge with a hot drink or a snack.
If you want to go ice skating here, you should book your time slot (50 minutes) in advance.
Santa's Secret Immersive Holiday ExperienceOther Events in Hudson YardsOur Highlight
Candy Cottage of Christmas MagicOther Events in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Experience The Candy Cottage of Christmas Magic in NYC, nestled by Rockefeller Center. Immerse yourself in a sugary wonderland, embark on a festive scavenger hunt, and create cherished holiday memories. Choose from standard, VIP, or group admission options and celebrate the enchantment of Christmas in the heart of Manhattan!
Sky Skate at The Edge: Go ice skating above the clouds (through January 14, 2024)Activities in Hudson YardsAdd to myNY added
For those of you who have always wanted to reach for the sky, you can now skate above the clouds! From January 10 until mid-March, you can enjoy the view of the city while gliding across the synthetic ice on The Edge’s indoor Sky Deck. Tickets include Edge admission, your 30-minute skating experience, and free skate rental. Get your tickets to New York City’s tallest skating rink now!
November 27 to December 14 – 2 PM to 8 PM
Bryant Park Winter VillageChristmas Market in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Starting in October (and running through March), it is time once again for the best winter market in New York City to open its doors. The Winter Village in Bryant Park is not only the largest Christmas market in the city but also by far the nicest on account of its adjacent ice rink and places to shop and eat. This along with its amazing location among all the skyscrapers makes for an amazing Christmas experience.
The Rockefeller Rink is finally open!Other Attraction in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Rockefeller Rink, just below the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree, is considered one of the classics. It’s open from October to April. Come here during the night and experience greatness. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is one of the most popular destinations to go ice skating in New York, which is why you are likely to wait in line to skate here. If this rink is on your bucket list, know that there are a few tickets you can purchase in advance to avoid standing in line for too long.
Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic GardenOther Events in Park SlopeAdd to myNY added
Brooklyn is home to many wonderful Christmas light displays, including the illuminated trail known as Lightscape, found at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This after-dark light spectacular features all-new works of art and many returning favorites. At this experience, visitors make their way through the winding trails of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s trails, which are all awash with artistic light designs.
Along the journey, you’ll encounter color effects on BBG trees, water features, monumental lighted sculptures, and more. Lightscape sold out last year, so book your visit on their website early.
Watch the Holiday Train show at the New York Botanical GardenOther Events in BronxAdd to myNY added
If you like to build railroad and train models, this show is for you. The Holiday Train show is definitely worth its money and will be held at the enchanting New York Botanical Garden. The exhibit will showcase 175 New York landmarks. All works of art are built on an 0,5 mile long track and the railways pass the skyscrapers of Midtown. We have already visited two special exhibitions in the NYBG and are always enjoyable. Therefore, we highly recommend this unique exhibition!
Visit Luna Park's first Frost FestOther Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton BeachAdd to myNY added
Dive into the enchanting holiday atmosphere spread throughout the park and embrace the winter wonderland at their inaugural Frost Fest! Prepare for the ultimate winter adventure at Luna Park, NYC’s renowned hub for fun, during their first-ever Frost Fest. Luna Park will transform into an exhilarating winter destination, featuring an ice skating rink, a selection of rides and attractions, festive lights and decorations, opportunities for photos with Santa, a holiday shopping experience, delectable seasonal food options to satisfy both locals and visitors, and much more! Get your tickets here!
Go shopping at Macy'sOther Shopping in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Macy’s at Herald Square is the flagship of Macy’s department stores and it shows! With more than 2100ft² this is the biggest department store in the USA! The 10 floors of shopping space have developed into a NYC icon for shopping over the past 150 years and as soon as you set foot through its doors, you will see why.
During Christmas time Macy’s windows are beautifully decorated and will get you into the holiday feeling!
Enjoy a delicious Brunch at Ophelia LoungeBar in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Every Sunday you can get the ultimate “Top of the Tower” cocktail brunch at Ophelia. In addition to carefully selected cocktails like Ophelia’s Mimosa or a Watermelon Refresher, you’ll get a great à la carte menu with delicious crab, Belgian waffles and more. You’ll also find a selection of 3-tiered brunch towers on the menu, giving you everything your heart desires. How about smoked salmon or a savory quiche with caviar, for example?
My tip: These are the best brunch spots in NYC right now!
Enjoy skyline view from The SummitBuilding in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
The New York City skyline is one of the most famous and recognizable skylines in the world. It’s a city filled with skyscrapers and tall buildings. In most recent years, it has been expanding which made way for new observation decks. The newest observation deck is located at the top of the One Vanderbilt Building and is called The Summit. This deck is the second-highest outdoor deck in NYC which follows the Edge and has been open since October 2021.
Visit an art exhibitionGallery in Lower East SideAdd to myNY added
The bitforms gallery is a contemporary art gallery that features mid-career artists utilizing the latest technologies in New York City. The Bitforms gallery was founded in 2001 with the idea that A world-renowned contemporary visual art gallery, bitforms is home to established artists and those on the rise.
bitforms is a cutting edge gallery that represents established and emerging artists with new technologies in their work. It’s no surprise that technology is recognized an important niche in the market at large. Nowadays we are used seeing images projected onto tablets during live performances but not that long ago this was unheard of.
My tip: These are the best art exhibitions in NYC right now!
Immerse yourself in the world of illusionsMuseum in West VillageAdd to myNY added
The Museum of Illusions is one of the most fun museums in NYC for kids and adults right now. It’s an interactive museum that will make you question your sense of reality with optical illusions. The museum guarantees a great time, lots of laughter, and the funniest photos. The exhibits will stimulate your cognitive abilities in a way that it will be hard for you to believe your eyes.
Go see a Broadway ShowBroadway Show in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
If you are on vacation in New York, you should see one of the many great musicals. One of them is Wicked. For 10 years this famous musical has been on Broadway. It tells the so-far mysterious story of the Witches of Oz around the green-skinned witch Elphaba and her special friendship with the witch Glinda.
For more shows and musicals check out my article about the best Broadway shows in NYC here.
Rent a bike in Central ParkBike Tour in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
There are numerous ways to go sightseeing in NYC. One great way is by biking. You can familiarize yourself with many districts and streets that you might not discover on foot or on a bus tour. If you just want to discover New York by bike for a few hours, the classic bike rental is the cheapest option.
Central Park in winter is so beautiful, but don’t forget your gloves when it gets cold!
The House of CannabisMuseum in SoHoAdd to myNY added
There’s a new museum in New York City: The House of Cannabis (THC NYC)! Spread over three floors, there are a total of ten different immersive exhibits that guide visitors through the many dimensions of cannabis. On this multi-sensory journey, you’ll learn about cannabis’ influence on music, fashion, and art, as well as the history of cannabis culture.
The ground floor features a store and cafe, as well as a meet-up space for social events. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Explore the Brooklyn Public LibraryBuilding in Prospect HeightsAdd to myNY added
The Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza was designed in the 1930s by architects Alfred Morton Githens and Francis Keally. The main facade of the building is made of limestone and features a relief of the writer Walt Whitman, whose works are kept in the library. Another feature of the Brooklyn Public Library is the entrance, which is flanked by two 30-foot-high columns made of granite. Inside the library, many details have been preserved, such as the original light fixtures and furniture.
Take a great picture of 42nd Street and the Chrysler BuildingOther Attraction in Murray HillAdd to myNY added
The Tudor City Bridge is a small bridge over 42nd Street and it is just a short walk away from Grand Central Terminal. The bridge itself is not that exciting, but the view over 42nd Street to the west including the Chrysler Building is even more beautiful. Definitely a great photo opportunity – and completely free.
Dive into the history of BroadwayMuseum in The BatteryAdd to myNY added
The Museum of Broadway in New York City will be the first and only museum that is fully dedicated to the importance and history of Broadway. Here you will learn everything about the beginnings of Broadway and the Theatre District and their development to the present day, including information about the most famous musicals.
Enjoy delicious sushiJapanese Restaurant in Hudson YardsAdd to myNY added
Suram Sushi & Ramen is a Japanese restaurant located near Hudson Yards. On the menu there are various sushi creations as well as ramen. The restaurant is quite small, but has a modern interior and the service was perfect during our visit! The staff was attentive and very friendly, the sushi was freshly prepared and was incredibly good!
My personal recommendation: Salmon Crispy Rice! The rice is deep fried, which gives the sushi a really nice crunchy texture. The salmon on top is just sensationally delicious!
Watch a movie at an AMC TheatreOther Art & Culture in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
AMC theaters in New York City offer an exceptional cinematic experience in the heart of the Big Apple. With multiple locations across the city, AMC theaters boast state-of-the-art technology, comfortable seating, and a wide range of film options, from blockbusters to independent releases. Whether you’re catching the latest Hollywood hit or immersing yourself in a cinematic masterpiece, AMC theaters in NYC provide moviegoers with a top-notch setting to enjoy the magic of the silver screen.
My tip: You can save money if you book your tickets right here!
More things to do in NYC this weekend
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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!