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!
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!
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
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
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 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
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
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!
More Bucket List Ideas