New York at night is one of the most beautiful things in the world. While NYC needs no introduction, a city with the tagline – the city that never sleeps already tells you all the fantastic things to do in New York City at night, whether you are spending a few nights for the first time or the nth time.
Some people love it and a few hate it, but there is no denying that NYC at night is a splendour of lights with loads of nighttime attractions in NYC for everyone, including many to enjoy with your family.
The nightlife in New York City is one of the best in the world, which makes it one of the best party destinations in the United States.
From enjoying the best night skyline views to attending shows and joining quirky night tours, there are many types of diverse and unique things to do in New York at night apart from the pub and bar hopping.
Whether you are looking for fantastic romantic nights in New York or want to explore the city’s nightlife, we’ve got you covered.
Read this guide to discover the amazing things to do in New York at night, the best tours, and practical tips.
BEST TOURS TO EXPLORE NEW YORK AT NIGHT
Here are our recommended tours, including late-night tours in NYC to make the most of your time.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S EVE SPECIAL TOURS IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT
OTHER TOP TOURS(THROUGHOUT THE YEAR)
TOP THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT
HEAD TO TIMES SQUARE
One of the top things to do in New York at night, a most sought-after activity, is exploring the glitz and glamour of Times Square, an iconic landmark of the city.
Packed with neon lights, giant billboards, large crowds bustling about, street performances, people in various quirky and funny costumes, loads of eateries, restaurants, pubs, and plenty of shops are all quintessential Times Square.
Not just that, in Times Square, you can find late-night shopping and late-night dining and dancing at all the big names.
Some famous spots you should check out are the TKTS stall behind those iconic red steps and the gateway to discounted Broadway shows.
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The famous pedestrian-only zone comes alive after dark, with many free events and activities coming alive.
Plan to be here around midnight as every night from 11:57 PM until 12:00 AM, the billboards in Times Square sync up for Midnight Moment, a unique digital art installation that you will love, the largest and longest-running digital art exhibition in the world since 2012.
WATCH BROADWAY SHOWS
One of the top famous things to do in New York at night is watching a broadway show.
There are plenty of family-friendly options to choose from when you want to watch Broadway shows, from every genre, including big blockbuster musicals and comedic plays.
Over 40 theatres are scattered throughout the city, where you can see the latest hits and the classics like Hamilton, Les Miserables, and The Lion King.
Other top-rated shows include The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
Since Broadway night shows begin between 7PMor 8 PM, you can go for an early dinner or plan your other nightlife activities to continue your night fun.
There are also Broadway tours where you can get glimpses of how everything operates, which is a fun way to explore theatres.
Since the shows are top-rated no matter where you go in New York, millions of visitors flock for entertainment, especially as it is the perfect thing to do on winter nights in New York.
The average price starts from $40 per person and certainly goes higher. Apart from a wide variety of things to choose from, you can also get discounted tickets if you book online in advance to beat the higher prices.
If you’re on a budget, check out an Off-Broadway production or get same-day discounted tickets from TKTS.
You can also try Broadway Roulette for a few preferences, and they select a show for you at a price that fits your budget.
RECOMMENDED TOURS FOR BROADWAYS SHOWS
EXPLORE GRAND CENTRAL STATION
Among the famous landmarks in the Big Apple is the historic Grand Central Station, which is more than just a train station.
Located at the intersection of Park Avenue and 42nd Street, this landmark has appeared in many films, apart from being a central transportation hub for millions of Manhattanites.
It’s also one of the cool places to go in New York City at night as you have the advantage of visiting without the crowds.
Bright lights create a magical atmosphere in the main terminal after the sun sets and the crowd relatively reduces. Grand Central comes alive with a buzzing bar scene, shopping opportunities, and fantastic restaurants. Grand Central Station is open until 2 am.
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One of the highlights here is the fascinating acoustical phenomenon Whispering Gallery, located in a passageway on the lower level near the entrance to Grand Central Oyster Bar, where you can hear when another person whispers at opposite corners of the vaulted archway.
GO PUB CRAWLING
No trip to New York is complete without checking out at least a dozen pubs or bars from the hundreds scattered throughout the city.
You will need more than a few visits to the Big Apple to experience the nightlife in NYC thoroughly, but even if you are here only for a short time, you can still hop to the best bars in the city.
Manhattan has some of the best bars in the world, and the best way to explore some of them is on pub crawl tours taking you to the best ones in the West Village, an excellent value for your money and time.
Sample some of NYC’s best cocktails and beers as you jump from bar to bar at Greenwich Village or Brooklyn, other famous neighbourhoods for the best nightlife.
GO GHOST HUNTING IN NYC
Like other bigger cities, NYC has its share of spooky neighbourhoods known for its infamous and bizarre tales of ghosts and paranormal activities.
One of the fun things to do in New York at night goes on ghost tours to explore this quirky side of the Big Apple.
There are many types of tours in different areas of NYC, ranging from themed tours to trips taking you to haunted parks, restaurants, and university campuses, with most of them covering Manhattan, where you’ll hear all about crimes, mysteries, and hauntings of bygone decades.
Here are our recommended ghost tours you should try:
WALK ACROSS BROOKLYN BRIDGE
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous New York landmarks in the United States. And a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is easily one of the best free things to do in NYC at night.
Although the bridge is open 24 hours, it is best to be here at night to enjoy the spectacular night views of New York.
The best way to experience it is to go from the Brooklyn side to Manhattan traversing a mile-long pedestrian walkway.
You can get to the bridge in Brooklyn by using either the underpass on Washington Street or by going to the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place.
To walk across the bridge from Manhattan, enter from the northeast corner of City Hall Park.
Crossing the bridge by foot takes approximately an hour including the time to photograph and admire the views.
You can capture fascinating shots of Manhattan’s iconic skyline across the water and the Brooklyn side of the city. Sunset and sunrise are also the best times to enjoy fantastic views of New York from the Brooklyn Bridge.
If you’re hesitant to walk alone at night after 10 PM, it is best to join a guided tour of Brooklyn Bridge where you will get to know about the history of the bridge and its many stories.
ADMIRE THE GORGEOUS VIEWS FROM ONE WORLD OBSERVATORY
Among the top observation decks scattered around the city for watching the stunning skylines of New York at night is the One World Observatory, the tallest building in New York City.
Comprising the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors of One World Trade Center at 285 Fulton St, a significant city landmark, you are guaranteed fantastic views of NYC at night thanks to this impressive 1,268-foot-tall sky deck overlooking all of Manhattan from the financial district.
On these floors, you will find an observation deck and a restaurant. While seeing New York City at night from the observation deck is a fabulous experience, dining at One World Observatory at their One Dine and Bar located on the 101st floor is also one of the most romantic things to do in NYC at night.
Choose from a wide variety of diverse cuisines best enjoyed with many craft beers, fine wines, and stylish cocktails.
You can join any tours and experiences open to visitors here, including VIP tours, apart from dining, drinking, and shopping.
The observation deck is open until midnight during summer months and until 8 PM from September throughout winter.
ADMIRE THE VIEWS OF NYC ON A SUNSET CRUISE
Watching the sunset and the illuminated nights is one of the awesome things to see in NYC at night, offering you unique, gorgeous views from yacht or boat at sunset.
There are many types of sunset cruises to choose between sailing along the Hudson or the East River.
Some will take you out on the Hudson River to enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline.
There are other cruises that will take you around the Statue of Liberty, and you’ll typically also get to see the One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and Ellis Island.
You can also choose dinners or jazz and other types of musical cruises depending on your mood. No matter what you choose, you will love the splendid views of New York at night making the ride a memorable experience.
TAKE THE FERRY TO THE STATEN ISLAND
One of the top things to do in New York hops on its many ferries to check out the attractions surrounding the city.
Suppose you are wondering what to do for an unusual activity to enjoy in New York at night. In that case, you should take advantage of the Staten Island Ferry, the best-known passenger ferry connecting Staten Island with Manhattan.
The best part is that it’s one of the best free things to do in New York city at night. Yes, you can take this free ferry ride where you will be treated to fantastic views of the city skyline illuminated by millions of dazzling lights from water for about 30 minutes.
You will go past Liberty Island, home to the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Make a night of it by visiting a bar or restaurant on Staten Island for a quieter nightlife with relaxing bars and restaurants than the crowded and bustling Manhattan nightlife.
The 30 minutes ferry goes back and forth from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to St. George Terminal on Staten Island.
It is one of the best things to do at night in New York City, as the views from the ferry are gorgeous on the way back to Manhattan. Try to sit on the front upper level for the best panoramas.
For a longer route, board the ones from Pier 11 at downtown Wall St that goes to 90th St near UES nearby Central Park and vice versa, navigating up or down the East River, which will be over an hour.
Check the Staten Island Ferry schedule here.
RECOMMENDED TOUR – To do a complete night tour of the highlights of landmarks at night, we highly recommend this Tour of New York City at Night, which also covers the ferry trip to the Staten Island around 4 hours.
EXPLORE GREENWICH VILLAGE
Given the tons of bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and entertainment venues, it is no surprise that Greenwich Village is one of the most happening neighbourhoods in NYC.
Exploring Greenwich Village in Manhattan should be one of the best things to do in New York City at night, whether you are looking for themed restaurants, on a ghost-hunting tour or looking for a night filled with bar hopping or tasting your favourite cocktails.
Greenwich Village became NYC’s cultural and entertainment centre in the 1960s and has remained one of the trendiest neighbourhoods.
Walking along the beautiful streets in Greenwich Village, head to one of the best bars or clubs for drinks, followed by dining at one of the many excellent venues overlooking gorgeous night skyline views.
Top that off by heading for some desserts, bar-hopping, or a ghost tour looking for eerie paranormal activities.
STOP AT WASHINGTON PARK
While exploring Greenwich village, one must-stop includes Washington Square Park, one of the relaxing green spaces in the city that allows you to enjoy a laid-back night in New York.
During evenings, stop by the park to watch street performers entertaining, and enjoy people-watching.
RECOMMENDED TOUR – NYC: Food Tasting and Washington Square Park Walking Tour
EXPLORE THE TOP MUSEUMS AT NIGHT
How about spending your night at the many famous museums of NYC?
One of the top things to do in New York at night if you love museums and art is to visit many of New York City’s most famous museums, which offer late closing hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
You can also avoid the daytime crowds and enjoy the exhibits leisurely.
The following NYC museums stay open late:
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commonly known as “The Met,”is the largest in NYC and one of the most famous museums and the largest in the United States.
They hold late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays until 9 PM providing free entry and allowing you to enjoy the world’s best collections with your loved ones.
Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, the Met is known for many things, including the exclusive Met Gala every spring, its iconic steps, and its collection of over 5,000 years of art worldwide.
Although many guided tours end around 5 PM, you can purchase a self-guided tour with museum admission until closing, which is highly recommended especially if you are visiting for the first time.
After checking out this fantastic museum, head to its excellent rooftop wine bar open until 10 PM to admire the views of Manhattan and Central Park at night.
RECOMMENDED TOUR – NYC: The Metropolitan Opera Tickets
Brooklyn Museum, known for its pretty Beaux-Arts building is one of the largest museums in the city.
Known for its exquisite art collections worldwide, do not miss visiting this museum if you are in NYC on the first Saturday of every month as it is open until 11 PM.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim, known for its quirky architecture, is another famous museum, open until 6 PM on all days except Tuesday. Plus the museum hosts Art After Dark on select Fridays.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Another museum in NYC for art lovers is the Whitney Museum of American Art, famous for the best collections of galleries of 20th and 21st-century art, including the works of Pop artist Andy Warhol and Abstract Expressionist George O’Keeffe, among others. It’s open until 10 PM on Fridays.
CHECK OUT RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
You cannot complete your visit to NYC without checking out the largest indoor theatre in the world, Radio City Music Hall, one of the major entertainment venues for music lovers since its opening in the 1930s.
Book one of the performances by the most renowned bands in the world, ranging from rock and roll to R&B.
For more depth and to learn about the history of the iconic hall, it is best to join one of the behind-the-scenes guided tours that give glimpses of the past and architecture.
If you are in New York for Christmas, take advantage of the spectacular Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, an annual 90-minute show dating to the 1930s known for its high kicks, precision dancing, and all-around good cheer, along with the appearance of Santa on stage.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT
SEE NEW YORK FROM THE EDGE
A new entry among the five observation decks is the Edge, one of the best things to do in New York at night. Edge is the highest open-air observatory deck in North America located near the Vessel in the Hudson Yards complex.
Towering 100 stories above the streets of Manhattan, the Edge Observation Deck offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the city. You can spot the brilliantly lit Midtown Manhattan on one side, downtown on the other, and the Hudson River, Hoboken and even New Jersey.
Open until 10 PM every night, there are many combinations of outdoor and indoor spaces for viewing, and this one high-up spot is worth a visit especially if you want to photograph some epic starlit shots of the skyline amidst fewer tourists.
You can take your experience to the next level by getting the outside edge attached to the harness, and climbing up 1,000+ feet from the ground.
WATCH SPORTS EVENTS AND GAMES
Whether you love sports or not, one of the fun things to do in New York at night is attended sports and games that give you glimpses of New York’s game culture.
We recommend buying tickets for basketball, baseball or hockey games, and thanks to so many different teams and matches, no matter when you are here, you will get chances to watch at least a few of the games.
If you love or follow Baseball, you should check out a few matches at the iconic Yankee Stadium during the game season between March to October.
For Basketball matches, plan your trip between October to April to watch the two leading teams, The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, play in Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.
If you are in New York in winter, one of the best matches is an ice hockey game, a mandatory winter activity for many New Yorkers during the game season starting in October.
BIKE AROUND CENTRAL PARK
While Central Park is one of the major tourist spots in NYC, packed with crowds during the daytime, it is best explored after the crowds dissipate.
One of the fun things to do in New York at night is biking around Central Park at night, admiring the stunning night views of the city as New York basks in thousands of lights.
It is safe to bike at night in Central Park without worrying about going off-track.
LAUGH OFF AT COMEDY SHOWS
One of the best things to do in New York at night is laugh, as NYC has fantastic comedy scenes catering to different audiences.
Whether you do multiple shows on the same night or spread them across a few nights, laugh clubs are one of the funniest things to do in NYC at night.
From world-famous headliners to next-generation up-and-comers, you can enjoy all types of shows at the famous ones, like the Gotham Comedy Club, the popular Comedy Cellar in the West Village, New York Comedy Club, Carolines On Broadway, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, and The Comic Strip Live.
You can watch celebrities winning the night with their funny lines if you are lucky. Plus, there’s a club for every budget — whether you want to watch at your favourite clubs or a pocket-friendly night packed with laughter, you are spoiled with choices in NYC.
The Comedy Cellar, opened in 1980, is the place you should check out if you have time to hit only one club for a night of fun. They host long lines every day of the week, running for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Since every night features a different lineup at the Comedy Cellar, the place is undoubtedly worth your time and money.
For budget-friendly laughter night, check out The Lantern Comedy Club or Upright Citizens Brigade, offering stand-up and improv shows.
Most comedy clubs in New York City begin their shows around 7 PM most nights and are open late, usually till around midnight, perfect for planning dinner.
JOIN A NIGHT BUS TOUR
One of the unique ways to get glimpses of NYC at night is by joining a bus tour at night.
On these fascinating guided bus tours, the local guides give you excellent narratives of the major landmarks, attractions, local stories and facts.
It is the best way to make the most of your time and money to quickly check out all the major NYC attractions, especially if you are short of time.
You can easily access these night bus tours in multiple languages with a hop-on hop-off ticket.
Also, these open-top double-decker buses offer flexible routes that allow you to jump on and off at any stops near top landmarks and neighbourhoods.
Some famous attractions you will stop by include Times Square, Pier 17, SoHo, Battery Park, Chinatown, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library, and the Greenwich Village.
ATTEND A TV SHOW RECORDING
If you watch American sitcoms or TV shows, you are in for a treat to get closer. One of the fun things to do in New York at night for fans is to attend the live recordings, including late-night New York City talk shows.
You can attend the filming of many TV shows at The Rockefeller Center, home to the NBC store, located near Central Park.
It is the venue for many famous shows and events, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
You can also enjoy attending the filming during the daytime to watch Good Morning America, The Today Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan.
The shows like the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert start recording in the late afternoon, while Saturday Night Live starts around 8.30 PM. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah starts Monday to Thursday from 6 PM.
No matter the timings, it is best to be at the venues in advance. Most tapings are free, and you need to apply in advance by checking on the websites and applying or entering the lottery system and hanging tight on a waitlist.
PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF
How about playing a few rounds of Gold amidst gorgeous views and drinks? If you are looking for offbeat things to do in New York at night, head to Manhattan’s NoMad neighbourhood to play a round of golf after midnight in NYC in its many themed indoor courses.
Order your favourite cocktails and try the local specialities at the many types of food trucks on the premises.
VISIT A NIGHT MARKET
A night market is the best place to experience the local New York vibes. Exploring a night market is one of the fun things to do in New York City at night.
If you are in NYC from April to November, attend the Uptown Night Market, happening every second Thursday of each month.
From live performances to excellent food, drinks, and beautiful art created by local artists will keep you busy for at least a few hours as you check out more than a hundred vendors in this chic night market.
WATCH A SHAKESPEARE PLAY IN THE PARK
One of the fun things to do in New York at night if you are a fan of Shakespeare’s classics is heading to the famous Central Park.
A favourite artsy nighttime activity of New Yorkers, every summer from July to September, you can enjoy a Shakespearan play in Central Park.
The Delacorte Theater hosts Free Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park. Due to its popularity, securing a ticket can be tricky as you must go to the park the same day as the play and wait in the queue. Tickets get sold out quickly, so it is best to be there a few hours ago.
Alternatively, you can apply to their website through the online lottery to get a ticket.
ENJOY GORGEOUS VIEWS FROM THE TOP OF THE ROCK
If you are game to capture stunning views of the skyline from another tower, head to Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock, which offers some of the most fascinating views of the skyline of New York at night.
Since it is conveniently located in the heart of Rockefeller Plaza in the middle of Midtown, you can easily make a quick stop at the Top of the Rock at night.
Check out the unparalleled 360-degree panoramas, from Central Park to Lower Manhattan and everything in between, including the view of the Empire State Building and other important landmarks.
RECOMMENDED TOUR – NYC: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket
One of the fun things to do in New York at night with your friends is bowling, as NYC has plenty of venues offering bowling until 2 AM, particularly on the weekends.
Brooklyn, West Village and Greenwich Village have many venues where you can enjoy bowling with a few rounds of drinks and snacks with your friends, perfect if you are wondering what to do in NYC after midnight.
TAKE A CARRIAGE RIDE AROUND CENTRAL PARK
One of the best things to do in New York at night is take a carriage ride around Central Park.
One of New York’s most famous attractions in the middle of Manhattan, enjoy a ride through this massive park to check out the Upper West side, comprising pathways, ponds, fountains, and lots of illuminated displays, especially if you take the carriage ride surrounded by snow in winter, which magically transforms the landscapes of this beautiful park.
RELAX AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
After you have had your fill of admiring the stunning skyline views of New York from Brooklyn Bridge, the best way to unwind after this walk is heading to Brooklyn Bridge Park, a pretty park close to the start of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn.
Bring a blanket, carry your picnic dinner, get your drinks and snacks, and watch the twinkling lights across the water. In August, the park also hosts outdoor movies after dark worth enjoying with your loved ones.
STROLL IN LUNA PARK
One of the popular hang-out places among locals and tourists is Luna Park, home to Coney Island, a famous family entertainment venue packed with rides, carnivals, and beach days.
You can choose from over 40 rides, attractions, and local eateries and souvenir shops. Plus, it is free to enter.
At night, stroll along its beautiful boardwalk overlooking pretty views, sit by the beaches, or try the famous hot dogs in summer as you can enjoy mini picnics at night in Luna Park with your family.
GO ACROSS THE WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE
It may not be as popular as the other bridges in NYC, but if you are looking for a quiet night walk on one of the bridges in the city, the Williamsburg Bridge, stretching over the East River, is a great bridge to cross during a warm summer night in New York.
You can travel across this bridge from the Lower East Side of Manhattan into Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or vice versa.
You can access it from the footpath on Delancey Street on the Manhattan side or Berry St between South 5th and South 6th Streets on the Brooklyn side.
GO HOPPING JAZZ CLUBS
Listening to jazz in New York at night is one of the fun things to do whether you are a music buff or not. Harlem, one of the most colourful districts in NYC, is packed with excellent jazz clubs offering something for everyone.
To make the most of your time, we recommend joining for a guided evening Harlem Jazz tour, especially if you are new to Jazz scenes in New York.
You will be treated to the best music clubs catering to Jazz lovers and learn the history of the neighbourhoods and the clubs in this almost 4 hours long tour.
Manhattan is home to many jazz clubs, and if you are on a budget, many bars offer free concerts almost every night of the week.
If you are in Greenwich Village, check out Zinc Bar, one of the many basement funky jazz bars in the neighbourhood, famous for regularly hosting big names.
Zinc Bar has a cute vintage theme and neat decor that perfectly matches the music. Another big name in Greenwich is Blue Note, the unofficial jazz capital of the world.
One of the oldest jazz clubs you should check out is Village Vanguard, which has been bringing the best Jazz performances to New Yorkers since the 1960s in their tiny basement.
Recommended tours for Jazz lovers:
ATTEND A SHOW AT APOLLO THEATRE
Many places in New York City offer world-class theatre experiences in all-budget ranges. One such venue that makes for a lovely experience in NYC at night is Apollo Theatre, the iconic landmark known for its rich history, spacious seating capable of occupying over a thousand visitors, and celebrating African American culture and performance.
Hosting thousands of classic performances since its construction in 1934, the theatre draws huge crowds regularly for its musical nights, plays, comedy shows, and sometimes even electronic music.
To know more about the history of this legendary theatre and its central role in shaping the theatre culture in the city, join one of the
guided behind-the-scenes access tours.
CHECK OUT THE MANY SPEAKEASIES
One of the most amazing experiences for an NYC night is going to a speakeasy that will transport you back in time to the 20s and 30s, the era of secret and prohibited bars.
New York has kept the speakeasies to maintain the secret bars across the city, one of the fun things to explore in New York at night.
Apart from tons of personality, these intimate secret bars serve excellent drinks and food, especially cocktails.
These secret bars, keeping up with the traditions, are hard to find if you are new in the city, so we recommend going on guided tours to cover the best speakeasies in NYC and also to get to know the beginning of prohibition and the establishment of underground liquor scenes.
There are plenty of speakeasies and bars in NYC, so you will need a few nights to cover most of them. It is hard to pick a few favourites but visit McSorley’s Old Ale House, the oldest Irish pub in the city.
Some other speakeasies to indulge in some hide and seek games are Employees Only in the West Village, famous for its decor earning it one of the top spots in the top bars in the world, and The Garret and Angel Share.
The Back Room, established in the 1920s, is another popular bar known for its history, colourful ambience and excellent cocktails in teacups in the Lower East.
Attaboy may be small, but this long and narrow bar is one of the top speakeasies in NYC, and so is Bathtub Gin, another fun bar hidden at the back of a working coffee shop.
CHECK OUT SEAPORT
There are many interesting neighbourhoods in New York worth checking out, with Seaport being one of them. Among the cool things to do in New York City at night is exploring one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city dating back to the 17th century.
Plus, since it is conveniently located right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, you will be treated to splendid views of the skyline and the river.
Stroll the historic cobblestone streets of Seaport to pass through amazing pubs, rooftop bars and restaurants, fine clubs, cool cafes, art galleries, shops and old buildings.
ROMANTIC THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT
GO ON A ROMANTIC DINNER CRUISE
If you’re looking for a romantic evening in New York City, a dinner cruise is a perfect way to enjoy the city.
Most cruises leave from Manhattan, and you have plenty of cruises to choose from, depending on your budget and time.
Relax on a boat, and admire the skyline of New York while enjoying various culinary delights with rounds of music in the background.
There are many boat cruises available at night, including sailboat tours, dinner and jazz cruises, and most of these trips across the Hudson and East Rivers take you to the statue of liberty and pass by other landmark attractions in New York including One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island.
No matter which cruise you choose, you will have a perfect romantic night in NYC. It is best to book your tour in advance to take advantage of special discounts and requests.
WATCH MOVIES UNDER THE STARS
One of the most popular seasons loved by New Yorkers and visitors is the warmer months when outdoors feeling blissful.
It is the perfect time to enjoy many activities during the daytime and especially at night in the city. One of the romantic things to do in New York at night is watch movie screenings outdoors.
There are many places to enjoy movie screenings in the city. One is the famous Bryant Park, the heart of Midtown Manhattan, amidst the skyscrapers behind another top attraction New York Public Library.
It may not be too massive for the size of New York, but Bryant Park is one of the fantastic places to spend an evening taking a stroll, people-watching, and, better, enjoying free movies on the lawn. Get your picnic blankets and snacks to watch shows, movies, and even musical events here.
You can also head to Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, two other popular parks in NYC for outdoor movies run by The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
If you prefer drive-in types, head to Skyline Drive-In, an iconic Brooklyn theatre opens most nights of the week and shows a mix of new releases and old favourites. The price is between $10-$15 per person. You can enjoy fantastic views of Manhattan night skies.
ATTEND BALLET AT LINCOLN CENTER
One of the romantic things to do in New York at night with your special someone is watching a ballet at Lincoln Center, one of the top landmarks in NYC for theatre lovers.
The Lincoln Center, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, near Central Park is the heart of the city’s art and theatre culture. It is home to the New York Philharmonic, the vast 4000-seater Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, David Geffen Hall, Vivian Beaumont Theater, Alice Tully Hall, and Josie Robertson Plaza.
As the centre hosts hundreds of events and performances of world-famous artists and top institutions throughout the year, you will probably be treated to one or more splendid performances and events.
Depending on when you are here in New York, you can witness famous music concerts, ballets, dance performances, film screenings, art exhibitions, opera shows and more,
During Christmas weeks, attend the beautiful spectacle Nutcracker.
Each company organizes and sets up events, with most productions offering accessible tickets booked on the TDF website.
If you want to experience a classic night of theatre, book a show at the Metropolitan Opera, famously known as the Met, is one of the world’s most prestigious classical music institutions, renowned for its brilliant singers, conductors, and composers since 1880.
CHECK OUT THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING AT NIGHT
Located in the midtown area and formerly one of the tallest buildings in NYC for a long time, the Empire State Building, an Art Deco-style structure, is one of the grandest in Manhattan.
One of the famous landmarks and the city’s symbol, the Empire State Building, is best to explore any time of the day, but it is one of the top things to do in New York at night.
Apart from fewer crowds compared to large groups during the day, you can enjoy some of the incredible 360-degree views of the NYC skyline at night from the top of the Empire State Building, open to visitors until 11 PM.
No wonder it’s a popular place for couples to propose marriage, apart from being one of the top spots to watch spectacular sunsets.
Two viewing areas with observation decks on the 86th floor and the 102nd floor offer splendid night views of the city and all of the city’s significant landmarks.
You can buy express VIP tickets to skip the long lines and make the best of your time.
RELAX AT ANCIENT BATHS
There is nothing better than pampering yourself with a spa night after spending your day wandering through the Big Apple.
There are plenty of excellent places for a spa night, and one of the top romantic things to do in New York at night is the AIRE Ancient Baths in Tribeca.
You can choose between soaking in thermal baths, a relaxing massage, a wine and bath experience or enjoying a Himalayan salt scrub or particular types of facials.
Rejuvenate at this luxurious spa amidst an aromatic candlelit atmosphere transporting you back in time to Roman and Greek bath times.
Book in advance to enjoy a relaxing night spa at AIRE open until 11 PM every day of the week.
ENJOY ICE SKATING IN WINTER
If you are in New York in winter, one of the best things to do in NYC at night is head to the popular The Rink at Rockefeller Center, located right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, to enjoy a few rounds of ice skating.
Holiday seasons are best enjoyed with ice skating, a romantic activity amidst millions of glowing Christmas lights and displays and snow sprinkled everywhere.
You can also head to the winter village at Bryant Park and the Wollman Rink in Central Park, two more popular venues for festival-style ice skating in NYC.
ATTEND A COOKING CLASS
If you are a foodie, one of the romantic things to do in NYC at night with your beloved is sign up for a cooking class.
With so many different cooking classes in NYC, you can choose from the many cuisines and types based on your liking.
Many of these start early in the evenings, so you can plan your evening date to begin with a fun cooking class, whether you are going to learn to cook Indian or Mexican or Japanese!
WATCH A BURLESQUE SHOW
One of the romantic things to do in New York at night if you are feeling naughty or looking to spice up your night a bit is heading to the Slipper Room in Lower East Side to watch one of their best burlesque show in New York City.
Apart from the rich shows by famous artists, one of the things that make Slipper Room the top entertainment venue is its perfect ambience with intimate settings, blood-red lighting and curtains.
They are also famous for offering fun combo-themed shows where burlesque meets comedy, magic, acrobatics, and live music best enjoyed with your favourite drinks.
UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK
FLY OVER NEW YORK AT NIGHT ON A HELICOPTER
Flying over the city after dark is a romantic thing to do in NYC at night well as one of the unusual things to do in New York at night.
Apart from unforgettable thrills and adventure, touring the city that never sleeps from the sky is a bucket list activity. You can choose a New York sunset tour or a night tour to see the shining city’s stunning night views.
Admire the magnificent views as you fly over many world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, the Hudson River, Yankee Stadium, Coney Island, Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler Building, and Central Park.
There are many tours to choose from, so whether you’re looking for quick 15-minute or hour-long rides, you can select the tours, including your preferred narration type.
Here are the best recommended tours:
OTHER TOURS FOR GROUPS
EXPLORE NEW YORK CATACOMBS
One of the unusual things to do in New York City at night is to check out the historic underground tombs or Catacombs, an eerie attraction.
These catacombs usually closed to the public during the day and are known to few people, lie hidden beneath the 200-year-old Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Nolita next to SoHo in Little Italy.
If you descend below street level, you’ll find ancient tunnels, 35 family crypts home to bishops and priests of bygone years, and 5 clerical vaults.
Travel back in time to get glimpses of the history of the catacombs on a guided candlelight tour lasting 90 minutes, which offers a unique experience while getting to know the overlooked history of this Manhattan church.
TRY AN ESCAPE ROOM
One of the fun things to do in New York at night is to challenge your friends to a few hours of escape room puzzles. From cracking codes to looking for clues in the locked room, this is an event packed with fun for about an hour.
Many escape rooms are scattered throughout the city, especially in Brooklyn and Manhattan, one famous being The Escape Game NYC, located in Midtown Manhattan.
Some of the escape rooms also offer quirky seasonal themes to many fun themes, from prison breaks to historic missions. No matter your choice, you are guaranteed one of the most fun times in New York City at night.
ENJOY A NIGHT OF MAGIC
If you are into magic and illusion-themed shows, you will love attending the night show by Steven Cohen at Chamber Magic, one of the fun activities in New York at nighttime.
Unlike usual Broadway shows, you will be treated to 90-minutes of pure, mind-bending entertainment packed with close-up magic and illusions in a beautiful venue at Chamber Magic held weekly at The Lotte New York Palace hotel by the Rockefeller Center.
Also, another best thing about watching this show by the experienced illusionist is that the show is for small crowds, guaranteeing an intimate, thrilling experience.
TAKE A NIGHT TRAM RIDE TO ROOSEVELT ISLAND
If you do not think one of the fun things to do in New York at night is boarding Roosevelt Island Tram, know that the Roosevelt Island Tramway is no ordinary tram.
It is an aerial cableway ferrying people across the East River – connecting the Upper East Side of Manhattan with Roosevelt Island. Beginning at the Roosevelt Island Tram Station, you can get down to Roosevelt Island at night to enjoy gorgeous aerial night views of New York City.
SPEND A NIGHT IN A MUSEUM
If you want to take your museum visit in NYC to the next level, one of the fun things to do in New York at night is enjoy sleepovers in some of the famous museums in the city.
The American Museum of Natural History offers different sleepovers for different age groups, making it a perfect night out with your kids, looking for dinosaur fossils and learning about history and more.
The prices are higher at about $400 per adult and $150 per kid, but ideal if you like to plan a special night with your family.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, located on the shores of the Hudson in Hell’s Kitchen on Pier 86. also hosts slumber parties and overnight stays, perfect for science lovers.
Here you can check out many interactive exhibits, including the enormous aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid, running simulators of fighter jets or submarines.
Check out the awesome planetarium with kids to go on intergalactic journeys and take the fun flashlight-guided tours of the flight deck during the slumber parties.
WALK ALONG THE HIGH LINE
One of the unusual things to do in New York at night is walk along the High Line, a former railway line on Manhattan’s west side that has been converted into a dynamic park.
This celebrated green space runs for 1.45-miles-long with public art, and you can witness stunning illuminated skyline views along with a crosstown view.
The High Line closes between 7 PM and 11 PM depending on the time of year.
RECOMMENDED TOUR – New York City: High Line and Greenwich Village Combo Tour
ENJOY A DRAG SHOW
If you want to experience a new level of burlesque or cabaret shows, New York is home to some of the best drag performance artists in the world. Attending one of the drag shows is a fantastic thing to do in New York at night.
Although many burlesques and cabaret shows here are run entirely by drag artists, drag shows give you glimpses into the rich, distinct and colourful world of art forms.
One of the best things to do in NYC at night to revel in the joyful party mood is attending drag shows. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose from the famous to the quirky ones, including 3 Dollar Bill, Club Cumming, Barracuda Lounge and Lips.
ENJOY GLAMPING AT GOVERNORS ISLAND
One of the few islands near NYC where you can spend a night checking around is Governors Island, a small island and public park located just offshore Manhattan, open all year round.
How about glamping on your trip? Glamping at Governors Island is one of the fun things to do in New York at night during the late spring and summer.
They are not your primary glamping sites but luxurious glamping retreats where you can enjoy staying in a fancy tent to watch the bustling city from across. Enjoy delicious food and drinks, along with impeccable views of the Manhattan skyline.
You can get to the island for free as ferries to the island are free of cost, departing from many different downtown stations in NYC.
CHECK OUT THE VAN GOGH EXHIBIT
There is nothing better for art enthusiasts than treating themselves to an immersive experience of Van Gogh’s classics and other famous illustrations in the art world.
One of the fun things to do in New York City at night for art lovers is stepping into a futuristic world of colour and art through the Van Gogh Immersive Experience held at Pier 36 NYC on the banks of the East River.
You will be exploring a range of stunning multimedia displays, virtual reality installations, and ultimate recreations of the arts, taking you into a magical world of skills, including millions of pixels displaying images onto surfaces.
Also, it is one of the best places to admire the splendid views of the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges across the river.
BEST TOURS TO EXPLORE NEW YORK AT NIGHT
Here are our recommended tours, including late-night tours in NYC to make the most of your time.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S EVE SPECIAL TOURS IN NEW YORK AT NIGHT
OTHER TOP TOURS(THROUGHOUT THE YEAR)