BIG List of Fun Things to See and Do in New York City!

New York City Travel Tips at TheFrugalGirls.com

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Planning a trip to New York City??

A special thanks to frugal friend Anna for sharing this fun NYC photo!

Check out these Fun and Frugal Things to See & Do in New York City, shared by your frugal friends right here and on The Frugal Girls Facebook page

Natella said: “New York City offers on average 50 free events a day, year round; these events range from free tours of various neighborhoods; free jazz and classical music concerts, and gallery openings; free staged readings; free talks/lectures/seminars at NYU and Columbia U; free reading by famous authors; free screenings, etc.  You can find it all at ClubFreeTime.”

Dawn said: “I grew up in NY and worked in NYC.  Spend at least a week and go during the holidays.  See the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and Santa at Macy’s.  Definitely see the Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium Windows to the World.

Shauna said: “I went for New Years… best time of year! Macy’s is a must, the side of the building says “Believe.”  The Harbor Lights Cruise and the Empire State Building at night were beautiful!”

Tanya said: Empire State Building as well as Statue of Liberty tickets can be purchased online ahead of time.  This saved me a lot of time standing in line.  It is worth planning in advance to go to the museum and into the Statue of Liberty. I love NY!”

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Melanie said: “This is making me miss NYC. :) I definitely second the recs to buy certain tickets ahead of time.  Standing in line, particularly as we come up to hot/damp summertime in the northeast, can be kind of brutal.”

Tina said: “Have to go to The High Line.  The High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side.  Was by far one of the best things I have done in NYC.  I have been alot and this was something new that I have never been to and will go again.”

Brooke said: “We did an evening dinner cruse that was amazing!!  Bateaux New York – Glass top boat, super dinner, we loved it!!”

Rose said: Staten Island Ferry is FREE for a harbor tour.  The rebuilding of the Trade Centers is also a must see.”

Jessica said: “If money is an issue, stay in Brooklyn and use the subway to get around. Get a week subway pass.  Download a Subway App for your smart phone, to get routes to take.   When you go to a Broadway Show, get Cheap Broadway Tickets when you buy them the morning of the show.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.”

Jennifer said: “See The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and the 9/11 Memorial.  Have a plan when you get there for the things you really want to see.  Don’t get too distracted or your time will be gone.  It is easy to get side-tracked there.”

New York Pass

Stephanie said: “I have been to see the daytime shows, The View, Rachael Ray, and The Chew — by far, being my favorite! Bryant Park is beautiful, with a lot of really nice shops, and an amazing restaurant!!  See the outside of Madison Square Garden, the inside of Penn Station, and Central Park…all a must see ♥ “

Jennifer said: “It’s been about 15 years, but Ellis Island is a must!  I also recommend taking a Gray Line Tour.  We took the night tour and loved it!  Got to go up the Empire State Building at night.”

Rebecca said: “Be sure and take the Red Bus Tours.  The information they give on the sights is really great. You can also hop on and off for two days.”

Elizabeth said: Times Square of course!”

Jasmine said: Madam Tussauds, M&M’s World, Hershey’s Time Square, Canal Street Rockettes during the holidays, as well as Macy’s and Rockefeller Center.”

Tiffany said: “Times Square at night, The Village, eat a giant slice of NY style pizza, take a Horse Drawn Carriage ride through Central Park, see what all the street vendors have to offer (and ask what’s under the table), take a ride on the train, and visit SoHo of course!”

Allison said: “Frozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity! YUM”

Megan said: “You must see Times Square, do some shopping on Canal Street, Radio City Music Hall, Toys R Us (even if you’re a grown adult), Macy’s, visit Lady Liberty of course, Central Park (including the Strawberry Fields Memorial to John Lennon and on the street corner is the building John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in), see a Broadway Musical, go to the top of the Empire State Building… I could go on and on.
That is by far the most amazing City I have ever been to!  My most memorable experience ever… getting to dance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Oh… and you have to visit Ground Zero.  I ♥ NY!”

CJ said: Rockefeller Center is better than Empire State Building, because you can see the Empire State Building.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not to be missed.  If you want to see a lot, spend money on the NY City Pass — but you have to use fully to get your money’s worth.”

Karen said: “Definitely do the Top of the Rock over the Empire State Building!!  Economy Candy rocks!!  Floor to ceiling candy! I also loved shopping the SoHo cute boutiques, that are reasonably priced and right on Broadway.  Of course cupcakes from Crumbs or the Cup Cake Stop =) “

Kat said: “Go to Times Square, Children’s Museum on Staten Island, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center Memorial, the beach, the list never ends…”

Lori said: “I went for my 40th birthday in 2010, such a great city!  So much to do!!  I climbed to the crown on the Statue of liberty, awesome!  Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and you must see the Rockettes on Broadway! And of course, go to the Top of the Rock Central Park and the Carnegie Deli!!  I need another trip to NYC!!”

So… have YOU every been to New York City before?

What are some of your favorite places to see, things to do, restaurants to eat at, etc? Leave a comment & share!

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See Also:
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6 Responses to BIG List of Fun Things to See and Do in New York City!

  1. Tanya says:

    Empire State Building as well as Statue of Liberty tickets can be purchased online ahead of time. This saved me a lot of time standing in line. It is worth planning in advance to go to the museum and into the Statue of Liberty. I love NY!

  2. Melanie says:

    This is making me miss NYC. :)I definitely second the recs to buy certain tickets ahead of time. Standing in line, particularly as we come up to hot/damp summertime in the northeast, can be kind of brutal.

    Great recs overall. Thank you!

  3. Tina says:

    Have to go to The High Line. ( The High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side.) Was by far one of the best things I have done in NYC. I have been alot and this was something new that I have never been to and will go again when it is all open. Check ourt their web page at http://www.thehighline.org/

    • carolee says:

      I commented already but walking the high line is great. With great views. We would get on at Chelsea market, another great place to see just a few blocks from union square.

  4. Aubrey says:

    I live in NY, and the only thing I would disagree with here is the carriage rides in Central Park. There’s several organizations trying to get them removed from the park since it’s dangerous and unsafe for the horses. Every time I see them, it makes me so sad.

    The other ideas are good, and the High Line is AWESOME!

  5. Erica says:

    I lived in NYC for 8 years and this is really making me miss it! I second the Staten Island Ferry — you pass the Statue of Liberty, and, at sunset, the water shimmers like gold. You can also grab a bite to eat and even a beer on board! This was one of my favorite places to take visitors, especially if they only had a few days or couldn’t do all the walking at the Statue of Liberty.

    Visit Washington Square Park and the Village if you’re a fan of Friends or Tom’s Restaurant on Broadway and 110th if you’re a Seinfeld fan. While you’re in Morningside Heights, check out the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the classical campus of Columbia University. You will be surprised at the unexpected open space in the midst of Manhattan.

    Central Park — the Mall, the merry-go-round, the castle, concerts, etc.

    The Met (Metropolitan Museum) has full room installations — the Temple of Dendor in the Egyptian Wing, the Frank Lloyd Wright room, an Italian palazzo, Japanese garden, sculpture garden in the American Wing, hall of armor. Not to mention the photography, sculpture and paintings!

    The Frick — it was a mansion, so the works of art are meant to be seen as part of each room and the furniture is coordinated with it.

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