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What To Do In Manhattan New York

Broadway And The Theater District

TOP 10 Things to do in NEW YORK CITY | NYC Travel Guide

Attending a Broadway show is one of the top things to do in New York City. Considered the pinnacle of American theater, this is the place to see the latest shows and the long-running classics.

Broadway usually refers simply to Broadway theater, which encompasses a large number of theater venues in the Theater District and along the street of Broadway. For the most popular shows, tickets should be purchased well in advance.

Shubert Alley is a famous pedestrian-only alley in the Theater District and home to two well-known playhouses: the Shubert on 221 West 44th Street and the Booth at 22 West 45th Street. Historically, aspiring actors would frequent Shubert Alley looking for opportunities to perform in a play sponsored by theater baron, Sam S. Shubert.

A Chorus Lineplayed at The Shubert for a record 6,137 shows. The musical Oklahomadebuted in 1941 at the St. James playhouse just down the street. Other legendary places include Sardi’s restaurant, where many famous actors met, and the Music Box Theater, where Irving Berlin staged The Music Box Revue in 1921.

Wander Around Two Vibrant Neighborhoods: Soho And Little Italy

Fashionistas, head to Soho. Foodies, make a beeline for Italy. Or, why not get the best of both worlds with an afternoon browsing the shops and boutiques of the former, followed by dinner in one of the typically Italian eateries in the latter?

SoHo is one of New York Citys most famous neighborhoods thanks to its large fashion houses like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, and is a hotspot for celebrity spotting. Little Italy, on the other hand, is a slice of authentic New York thanks to its family-friendly atmosphere and mouthwatering eateries .

New York City Events December 2021

NYC Insider Guide December Events and Activities Calendar

New York City Events December 2021 are filled with magic, dozens of holiday trees, sparkling lights everywhere, store window displays, holiday lights tours, ice skating, shopping, white snow, the smell of roasted chestnuts . Weve got some amazing holiday shows this year, like the Rockettes, Cirque du Soleil Twas the Night Before, The Nutcracker Ballet and more coming soon.

Broadway is Back with most shows already re-opened and the return of Dear Evan Hansen. New Broadway premieres this December include the long-awaited Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman & Sutton Foster, MJ the Musical, Company, starring Patti LuPone & Katrina Lenk.

There is nothing on the planet like New York in December, as the city is breathtaking this time of year. New York City in December can be quite cold and the city is more crowded than usual, but that is the price we pay to experience amazing New York City during the holidays.

Please check sightseeing and holiday hours for Christmas Eve and Day and New Years Eve .

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New Year’s Eve In Times Square

People from all over the world fly to NYC in December, especially during New Years Eve. They come here to experience the popular ball drop live while standing in the frigid December temperatures in the middle of Times Square. Live performances by famous artists are part of the outstanding program in Times Square every year. Its pretty much a big party.

In order to get a decent spot a view, we recommend arriving no later than 3 PM. Many roads around the event are closed off and condensed foot traffic on the streets is inevitable. Definitely, plan on walking for a good amount of time. Being part of this tradition will be very special.

Catch As Many Shows As You Can At The Broadway Theaters

6 Top Things To Do In New York City

No visit to Manhattan is complete without catching a Broadway show, its as simple as that.

While you cant go wrong with well-known classics like The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Chicago, and Aladdin there are plenty of newer, lesser-known musicals equally worthy of a front-row seat Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon, Matilda, the puppet-tastic Avenue Q, and the ever-relevant Newsical the Musical, just to name a few.

Hot tip: Head to the red TKTS stand at Times Square in the afternoon to see a last-minute show at a heavy discount!

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See A Free Comedy Show

New York is known for its comedy clubs. Though most do charge a cover price or require tickets, there are free comedy and improv shows such as these:

You can find free comedy at many other locations from Free Stand Up NYC.

If you can spend a little money, read our post on affordable comedy clubs in NYC.

Little Italy And Chinatown

One of the many wonderful things about New York is its diversity, and that is what youll experience when you visit Little Italy and Chinatown. The best part? These two completely different neighborhoods are right next door to each other. Thats the beauty of New York: You get to enjoy two equally fascinating but totally different neighborhoods within mere blocks of one another.

Lots of people visit both these neighborhoods in the same trip. We do for our neighborhood tour, adding in SoHo as well. Since theyre so close, you can get a taste of each in under an hour.

Of course, you can stay a lot longer if you want to have lunch or dinner here. Little Italy has seemingly endless options for pasta, pizza, and pastries plus a few annual celebrations that really bring the neighborhood to life. Coming from the Italian flavors of Mulberry Street, youll cross over Canal Street, the heart of Chinatown. Chinatown is like a city within a city. Chinese food, shopping, medicine, decor youll find it all here.

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Enjoy Free Skyline Views

New York is known for its skyline. You don’t need to pay any money to get spectacular skyline views day or night.

One of the most impressive free views is from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, located just across the East River from Lower Manhattan. Make sure to have that camera ready!

Read our post on where to find the best free skyline views.

New York Public Library

NEW YORK CITY: Midtown Manhattan – free things to do

The New York Public Library’s main branch was designed by architects, Carrere & Hastings, in the Beaux Arts style. The library, with its impressive rooms, is a prominent city attraction that has been featured in many movies and TV shows over the years.

Although colloquially known as the main branch, the proper name is actually the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. It opened in 1911 to immediate acclaim. An enormous library, the Main Reading Room alone stretches two city blocks, and the Periodicals Room holds 10,000 current magazines. The collection at this location is vast, to say the least.

Location: Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, New York

Stretching for eight city blocks from Broadway to South Street is the world famous Wall Street. This street and the surrounding area are home to some of the most important exchanges in the world, including the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ, and the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Also located nearby are the impressive Trinity Church and Federal Hall. Look for the bronze statue of Charging Bull at Bowling Green, on Broadway. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Financial District and a popular photo opportunity for visitors.

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Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often called the Met, is the largest art museum in the United States with 17 acres of space, and it receives millions of visitors per year.

The permanent collection contains works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art, plus American abstract expressionist paintings. Thats not to mention any traveling exhibits that are going on during your visit.

There are over 2 million objects contained in the museum, so expect to spend a bit of time there. Its a great activity for a rainy day.

> > Get tickets for a Met Tourhere.

Night 1 For New York City Itinerary: Manhattan Continued

Today was a jam-packed day of walking and wandering, and you may have logged in a dozen miles on your #Fitbit. I wouldnt blame you for keeping it a low-key kind of night, but this is the city that never sleeps and you should experience that.

Another awesome thing to do in Chelsea at night is hit up the art galleries. Its one of the best things to do in New York for free, and I cover all of that in the free things to do in New York section below.

You could catch a concert, dance show, or even a comedy show afterward. Consider heading to one of the best in NY, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

After catching an awesome live performance, go out in Greenwich Village or Chelsea for a taste of a more authentic side of New York with plenty of bars, restaurants, and things to do in New York at night. This area is also quite festive around the holidays!

Here, youll find anything from swanky cocktail bars and lounge rooms to dives with $8 beer pitchers and clubs in the Meatpacking District.

It would obviously be impossible to do all of these things in one night, so whatever you miss that you want to do, youll have time on your second night in New York.

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Locals Recommend: 9 Things To Do In Nyc

What should you do in NYC? We asked some New Yorkers. They gave us their best tips on how to explore the Big Apple, from hopping on the subway to finding the city’s best bagels to definitely getting out of Manhattan.

For personalized advice on things to do in NYC have a local plan your trip. They’ll help you see a side of their hometown that most tourists miss. Learn more.

Save Big On Things To Do In New York In December

Things To Do in New York City  Artistic Odyssey

There are New York City Coupons and Discounts available for almost everything one can do in NYC, except for a few exclusive events, shows and restaurants. This time of year, there are huge savings on shows, tours, attractions and other fun things to do in December.

Examples include Elf The Musical, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, The Big Apple Circus, Museums, Holiday Lights Tours, New Years Eve Parties and lots more. For updates and details, check the NYC Insider Guide to ALL our local steals and deals.

Back to Topof Best Things To Do in NYC in December

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Dont Miss The Amazing 9/11 Memorial And Museum

9/11 was an appalling and devastating day for America that will never be forgotten.

Construction began on building a memorial and museum five years after the twin towers fell in Lower Manhattan. Together, they would commemorate the 2,977 people killed on 9/11 and 6 people who died as a result of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

A further five years passed before a dedication ceremony was held on September 11, 2011 10 years to the day after the attacks. The memorial was built on the original sites of the twin towers and was opened to the public the following day.

9/11 memorial consists of North and South Pools. Two huge square shaped pools with shallow waterfalls dropping into holes.

The museum was opened in May 2014 and includes remnants of the original twin towers, thousands of images, recordings and timelines of events.

It is a harrowing experience but it is equally an important experience. As distressing as it is, the museum has been put together incredibly well for visitors to get a real understanding of the entire event.

We spent almost 4 hours in the 9/11 museum alone, with another 30 minutes walking around the memorial grounds with North and South Pools.

  • Tickets are US$ 26 per Adult and you must select a date / time of entry.
  • The museum is also included with New York CityPASS.
  • Find more information here.

Tasty Things To Do In New York

Go on a food tour

One of the nicest things to do in New York is eating. The selection of restaurants , the street food scene, the eateries available are all incredible and it would be a pity to miss out. A cool way to enjoy the food on offer is by taking a food tour.

Greenwich Village is the best area for a food tour. You can book yours here.

Have a slice of pizza

New York thin crust pizza is pretty tasty and world-renowned. For as heavy and greasy as it is, this is comfort food at its best and I recommend trying it!

There are many places in town where you can grab a slice of pizza which you absolutely have to eat with your hands. Among the best ones there are Artichoke Basilles Pizza and Julianas Pizza.

Try a bagel

You dont know what a good bagel is until you try one in New York. Go for both a savory and a sweet bagel the latter is usually packed with fruits and cinnamon, spread with sweet cream cheese savory ones often come with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Ess-A-Bagel is the place to go.

Visit Chelsea Market

Chelsey Market is a cool place to visit if you are hungry or simply a foodie. The building where the market is located occupies one entire block so you get the idea of how big it is. It inevitably attracts lots of visitors too. There are 35 vendors at the market, so you get quite a good selection of food. My favorite place there is Miznon, an Israeli chain that focusses on delicious stuffed pita.

Get ice-cream

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Admire The Collection At The Whitney Museum Of American Art

For those looking to explore some of New Yorks more contemporary art, the Whitney Museum of American Art which boasts over 21,000 works from over 3,000 artists is an excellent starting point.

Located in Manhattans Meatpacking District and operational for almost a century, the underrated attraction houses works from well-known American artists like Andy Warhol, as well as emerging talents all while giving visitors a chance to interact via pop up installations, workshops, and more.

Take A Backstage Tour Of Radio City Music Hall

Midtown Manhattan | New York Layout Explained (with Map)

Since its construction in 1932, Radio City Music Hall has been the ultimate place for live entertainment, hosting the MTV Music Awards, Grammys, and so much more and its still going strong today.

Besides regularly welcoming all kinds of famous names on stage, the venue also offers stage door tours expect to see the celebrity guest book, meet a Rockette, and learn about the magnificent art deco building.

As the home of the legendary Rockettes, if your travel dates line up, see if you can score a ticket to the world-famous Christmas Spectacular!

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How Many Days To Spend In New York

Spend at least five days in order to see New York like a local. Manhattan is the ultimate walking city, densely packed and not very long or wide. You won’t have to go very far and you’ll find Broadway plays to see, districts and restaurants to explore, drinks to be had, bookstores and botanical gardens to browse. And dont miss a walk on the Highline or the Brooklyn Bridge!

See Grand Central Station

Now, you might be wondering why Id say to see a train station when recommending the best things to do in Manhattan? Well, for me at least, this is a truly stunning station to see.

Honestly, the main concourse is almost palatial and its well worth a gander whilst in the area. Plus, its not too far from the Chrysler Building thats still one of my favourite skyscrapers in Manhattan.

Oh, and you can easily walk across from here after visiting the Morgan Library, too.

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Snap A Selfie In Front Of The Flatiron Building

An Instagrammers delight at a crowd favorite among architecture buffs, the 22-story Flatiron Building is an NYC landmark thats definitely worth admiring on your trip.

Located below Madison Square Park, it was designed by Daniel Burnham back in 1902 and has since been featured in dozens of movies ever since. With its distinct triangular shape and another architectural marvel, The New York Life building next door, you cant miss it!

Hear The Bell Ring At Wall Street

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The epicenter of Americas stock market, Wall Street is named after its location on the actual wall that once protected Dutch settlers New Amsterdam colony back in 1653.

Today, youll find skyscrapers towering all around this street , as well as the Charging Bull bronze statue and some of Manhattans most impressive architecture.

A range of free public and paid VIP walking tours that operate in the area offering unique insights into the nitty-gritty of the finance world.

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Stroll Through Central Park

This pastoral escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets is everything you imagined it would be.

With wide-open spaces, rides, zoos, sculptures, shade trees, ponds, and lakes, there are so many things to do.

Watch this 32-minute long abridged version of our live guided tour.

Our guide to Central Park has information about the activities in the park as well as a downloadable and free self-guided tour.

Other ways to explore the park are with our GPS-led audio tour or one of our pay-what-you-wish guided tours of Central Park.

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