Okay fine, it would be impossible to do New York City in a day. Made up of the five boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island, the city’s neighborhoods are spread across the three islands and are home to hundreds of diverse communities. But let’s just imagine that there were more than 24 hours in a day, you didn’t need any sleep and had some sort of teleporting device to get you across the boroughs in less than a New York Minute. So with this in mind, here’s our 10 New York Local things to do, some of which will take you slightly off the beaten track and some of which couldn’t be more iconic if we tried.
Let’s say this hypothetical day is a Sunday, you’re hanging out with the family and looking for something kid-friendly to do. There’s a whole host of museums to choose from, ranging from art galleries to The Natural History Museum, so for visitors to New York and locals alike you’re spoiled for choice. A personal favourite would have to be The Met, not only for the exhibitions but the stunning architecture of the building itself, but there’s dozens worth exploring. From the family friendly New York Hall of Science to the more unusual Mmuseumm which can only hold three visitors at a time thanks to it’s location inside a freight elevator, there really is something for everyone (even if you think museums aren’t your thing).
Festivals and open air events
From music festivals to acting awards and film festivals, classic NY cook-offs to outdoor ice-rinks, there’s always a festival or event happening. Whatever your thing, there’s guaranteed to be something you’ll want to explore to make the most of (or in spite of) the weather, and the multitude of events and festivals on offer makes being a New York Local pretty special, although we would say that, wouldn’t we? Our local pick for fall would have to be Hangry Garden food market in Brooklyn: a food fest where you’ll enjoy the fall sunshine, delicious NY food and sip your prosecco or craft beer whilst playing shuffleboard and listening to local djs (okay we can’t guarantee the sun part but the rest of it won’t disappoint, promise).
It’s currently fall in the City, which means Halloween is coming. This is a huge event for us, with massive parties taking place in every borough. So before the day itself arrives, a local favourite thing to do is undoubtedly to prepare costumes, party plan and generally get into the spirit! This year our picks would be Blood Manor, a haunted house which believe us when we say is not for the faint hearted, and The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze. This collection of about 7000 carved pumpkins adorning the riverside is a pretty magical sight, and won’t leave you wondering why you took our advice scaring yourself witless à la Blood Manor. But no night of Halloween revelry would be complete without The Village Halloween Parade. This is how we kick off the celebrations every year, ‘cause what could be scarier than getting amongst a procession of zombies, witches and Donald Trumps?
For something off the beaten track, a New York Local spot worth a visit is Brooklyn Boulders. Located in Brooklyn (funnily enough), this spot doubles as a community space and climbing wall. With graffiti adorning the walls, this place is guaranteed to be a blast if you feel like doing something a little different and getting off the tourist trail, and what could be better than spending a few hours scaling a climbing wall with New York locals?
Photo credit: yourholidayhomes.com
So we might be cheating slightly here but we won’t tell if you don’t, since The Intrepid is technically another museum. But this one is onboard a collection of military ships, so I’m sure you’ll let us off sneaking it into it’s own section. A great one to do with kids, it’s a pretty cool thing to see while you’re in town. Oh, and did we mention there’s a space ship on board?
Home to New York City FC and New York Yankees Baseball team, head to The Bronx, see the stadium and stay for a game, whether you it’s football or baseball that’s your thing. For those of us whose teams these are, we take it pretty seriously, so grab the jersey of your new favourite player and come join us for game day!
South Street Seaport
From The Bronx back to Manhattan, South Street Seaport is one of our favourite areas to explore on the waterfront. If you’ve had enough of unearthing hidden gems in vintage shops or sampling classic NY street food by this point in the day, head out on a boat tour and see Ellis Island and the Empire State Building from the water. It might seem a bit touristy, but it’s great to see the city from another angle, and you’ll get that iconic NY skyline shot.
A Steak Dinner
We might be a little biased, but NYC has one of the most vibrant and diverse culinary cultures in the world owing largely to the city’s strong migrant history. Although you’ll be spoiled for choice, a local favourite is undoubtedly to start the evening by indulging in a steak dinner. We’re the home of numerous iconic steak restaurants, but a couple of our local picks would have to be Peter Luger and Sparks, both of which might be a little pricy but are New York institutions. You can thank us later.
It might seem a little obvious, but even for New York locals, Broadway is pretty special. Getting tickets to a show is a must, and with tickets available on the day for many there’s no excuse. So between your steak dinner and heading out for drinks, take a walk down Broadway, soak up the atmosphere and see a play, musical or comedy show.
If this had been a real day you’d probably be exhausted after all of that and quite possibly ready for bed. But since it isn’t, there really is no excuse not to head out for a night in the city that never sleeps. Our list of favourite things to do would be incomplete without checking out the nightlife, and we really do love to party! We’ve got pubs, clubs and bars catering to everyone’s tastes in every district, so we’ll see you out there...
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