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NYC Bucket List: 85+ Things to Do in New York

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Ultimate NYC Bucket List

Are you looking for the best things to add to your NYC bucket list?

There’s a reason New York is known as The City That Never Sleeps. There’s always something going on in New York, to the point where it’s impossible to be bored or run out of things to do!

NYC Bucket List

Whether you live in New York or are just visiting, there are honestly more things to do in the city than you could ever accomplish in a lifetime. But who says you can’t try?!

As a native New Yorker who grew up in the city, I put this ultimate NYC bucket list together based on my own experiences, and the many things I still want to do in New York! You’ll find ideas related to famous sights, the best food, cultural events, and seasonal activities.

Make the most out of New York with this NYC bucket list!


NYC Bucket List



Whether you’re looking for outdoor or indoor activities, active or relaxed, free or splurge-worthy, there is no shortage of incredible activities to do in New York.

Here are some of the best to add to your NYC bucket list.

Rent rowboats from the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park

Take in views of the city from the Top of the Rock

Wander through Times Square at any hour of the day

Ride the free Staten Island Ferry and get amazing city views

Take the Roosevelt Island Tram

Have a picnic in Central Park

Watch the New York Knicks play at Madison Square Garden

Walk the Chelsea High Line

Take a boat tour around Manhattan

Whisper to a friend at the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

Go on a photography tour of NYC

Catch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium

Rent a Citi Bike to explore New York

Tour Gracie Mansion, home to NYC’s mayors

Take a spin on the Central Park Carousel

Sing at late night karaoke in Koreatown

Snap a photo in front of the iconic Flatiron Building

Go gallery hopping in Chelsea

Climb the super modern Vessel at Hudson Yards

Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Dine al fresco on Stone Street, the oldest street in New York

Admire the architecture of the Oculus

Buy a book from the Strand, NYC’s oldest and largest bookstore

People watch in Washington Square Park

Splurge on a helicopter ride above the city

Attend a live TV taping


NYC Coney Island



New York has something going on at every time of the year!

Christmas in New York is probably the most popular time to visit, but there’s plenty to do regardless of the season.

These are the best seasonal bucket list things to do in New York.

See the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Watch the Radio City Rockettes at Christmas

Go ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park

Watch the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island on the Fourth of July

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square

Attend the Governor’s Ball music festival in the summer

Watch the New York City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker 

Admire the Fifth Avenue window displays at Christmas

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Brave the crowds to do holiday shopping at Macy’s

Stroll around Central Park during the fall to see the leaves changing color

Watch the Village Halloween Parade

Behold the marvel of Manhattanhenge

Watch (or run in!) the New York City Marathon in November

Do holiday shopping at the Bryant Park Winter Village

See the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn

Watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July

Dress up like Santa Claus for the annual SantaCon


NYC Bucket List Ideas



New York is one of the cultural capitals of the world. You’ll find unbeatable entertainment, world-class museums, and staggering art collections in NYC.

Don’t miss out on these incredible cultural activities for your NYC bucket list!

See a Broadway show

Spend hours getting lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Watch a performance at Lincoln Center

Score tickets to Shakespeare in the Park

Spend a tranquil afternoon exploring the Met Cloisters uptown

Admire art at the Guggenheim

See more modern art at the MoMA

Take in a concert at Carnegie Hall

Watch a jazz show at the Apollo in Harlem

Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Go to a comedy or improv show

Admire the collection at the Whitney Museum

Learn about NYC’s past at the Tenement Museum


New York City Bucket List



New York is a foodie paradise. It’s no surprise that New York is known as the “melting pot” because you’ll find mouth-watering cuisine from all over the world.

Here are some of the best foods to try while in New York!

Get a slice at Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village

Try the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery

Go to a Korean BBQ in Koreatown

Indulge in chocolate chip cookies from Levain Bakery

Eat soul food at Sylvia’s in Harlem

Try a cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery

Feast on dumplings in Chinatown

Eat one of New York’s best hot dogs at Papaya King

Take a dinner cruise around Manhattan

Splurge on brunch at Sarabeth’s

Try a classic New York bagel (my favorite is from H&H)

Eat a pastrami sandwich from Katz’s Delicatessen

Try a Michelin starred restaurant

Take an NYC food tour

Have a bagel and lox from Russ & Daughters

Indulge in food trucks street food at Smorgasborg


New York Bucket List


Outside Manhattan

Manhattan is New York’s most populous borough, and by far the most visited by tourists. However, there are tons of things to do in Manhattan’s other four boroughs too.

Here are the best NYC bucket list ideas outside Manhattan.

Spend the day strolling through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Check out more modern art at the MoMA PS1 in Queens

Spend a day at the Luna Park amusement park in Brooklyn

Get amazing views of the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO

Take a walk through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park

See the animals at the Bronx Zoo

Find the “real” Little Italy on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx

Participate in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn

Go thrift shopping at Brooklyn Flea

Stroll the picturesque brownstone-lined streets of Park Slope

Try food from around the world at the Queens Night Market

Visit the Snug Harbor Botanical Garden in Staten Island


New York City


NYC Bucket List Ideas

You could spend every day trying something new in New York, and never run out of things to do! I hope this NYC bucket list gave you some new ideas for what to do next.

Now go out there and make the most out of New York!

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