20 Fun Things to Do in NYC at Night

9 min read
The Manhattan skyline at night with water in front
New York City has an amazing nightlife scene with many exciting things to do

New York City is consistently ranked as one of the most-visited destinations in the world. The iconic city features activities for all types of travelers and is home to numerous world-famous landmarks.

Along with there being lots to do and explore in the daytime, you can find a multitude of fun things to do in NYC at night. Activities to try include dinner and sightseeing cruises, going to broadway shows, listening to jazz, and much more. If you're after some new things to do at night in the city that never sleeps, read on for 20 fun suggestions!

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20 Fun Things to Do in New York City at Night

New York City Things to Do Map

Using the map of New York City things to do, you can explore all the things to do.

One of the fun things to do in NYC at night is walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the fun things to do in NYC at night

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous New York landmarks in the United States. Although most people choose to cross the bridge in the day, doing so at night is highly recommended.

On your walk, you’ll get to appreciate the views of the illuminated New York City skyline and can take some unique pictures. Being on the bridge for sunset is a great idea too. Starting your night walking across the bridge also means you can check out the nightlife in the destination at the end of the walk over the bridge: Manhattan or Brooklyn.

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A suspension bridge over water with a boardwalk on one side and skyline on the other
You can get great views of the NYC skyline at night from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Hang out at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a pretty sustainable park close to the start of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. Hanging out in the park for a few hours and taking in the nighttime views of Manhattan is a fun and laid-back thing to do during the evening.

You can bring a blanket, drinks, and snacks and watch the twinkling lights across the water. In August, the park also hosts outdoor movies after dark which are well worth checking out.

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The inside of a train station terminal with arch windows, stone walls, and US flag
Visiting Grand Central Terminal at night is a magical experience

Wander around Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station is the best known station in New York. Everyone traveling to the city has to go to see the stunning Grand Central Station. Although many choose to visit in the day, it’s also one of the cool places to go in New York City at night.

After taking some beautiful photos of the station under the night sky from outside, head inside to explore. The station will be much quieter at night and is magical, with bright lights illuminating the famous main terminal.

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Illuminated billboards on tall buildings under the night sky
Going to Times Square at night is a must when in NYC

Visit bustling Times Square

Times Square is one of the most-visited places in New York City, and the iconic area looks its best at night. As it becomes dark, the many illuminations in the square light up the area. Having admired the many lights and billboards that fill Times Square, you can check more attractions.

Things to do in the evening include exploring the many shopping outlets, which stay open until late and choosing from a multitude of dining options. Places to eat range from pizza shops to chain restaurants and high-end dining venues.

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The NYC skyline with Empire State Building under a pink sky
The views of NYC from the Empire State Building are some of the best in the city

Go to the top of the Empire State Building

A great way to see NYC lit up at night is by going to the Empire State Building observation deck. The Empire State Building is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and has stood in New York City since 1931.

You can go to the Empire State Building observation deck until 11 PM, so there’s no excuse not to visit the building in the evening. Once on the viewing deck, located on the 86th floor, you’ll be able to take in stunning nighttime views of NYC.

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An orange passenger ferry on the water in front of the Statue of Liberty
Enjoy NYC views on the Staten Island Ferry before discovering the borough’s nightlife

Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is a well-known passenger ferry connecting Manhattan and Staten Island. Hopping on the ferry is one of the fun things to do at night in NYC. On the 25-minute ride, you’ll get to appreciate breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty lit up under the night sky. Conveniently, riding the ferry is free!

If you want to make a night of it, you can grab a cab to some of the bars and restaurants on Staten Island. These nightlife spots are a little quieter and more relaxed than bars and restaurants in Manhattan.

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Bar hop on a West Village pub crawl

Manhattan has some of the best bars in the world, and an ideal way to see them is on a pub crawl. This tour will take you to the hottest drinking spots in the trendy West Village, and good times are guaranteed!

When on the tour, you’ll meet with other tourists to hit up four pubs and bars. At each spot, you’ll get free admission and amazing drinks deals. This fun pub crawl is the perfect way to meet new people, find new favorite drinking spots, and have an overall great night out.

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A pond with trees surrounding and skyscrapers in the background at night
See beautiful Central Park in style at night by taking a carriage ride

Take a horse and carriage ride through Central Park

Central Park is one of the, if not the, most famous parks in the world. The 843-acre park sits in the middle of Manhattan and attracts thousands of locals and tourists every day. A fun way to see the park at night is on a horse and carriage ride.

You’ll be taken through the most scenic parts of Central Park, taking in the scenic lit-up paths and surrounding illuminated skyscrapers. Landmarks in the park you may ride past include Bethesda Fountain, Belvedere Castle, and the Central Park Zoo.

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A building with lit-up billboards for broadway shows with people walking in front
No matter when you visit NYC, there's always an incredible broadway show to see

Watch a Broadway show

One of the world-renowned night activities in NYC is going to a broadway show. New York City is home to 41 broadway theaters and well-known shows that have been on Broadway include Hamilton, Les Miserables, and The Lion King.

Of course, the shows that are on will vary based on when you visit, but no matter what show you get to see, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing and memorable night out. If you can’t catch a show or want to learn more about the New York theatre district, you can also take a Broadway tour!

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A stone arch in a park with a Christmas tree in the archway and buildings behind it
Going to Washington Square Park is a fun thing to do at night in Greenwich Village

Explore Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is a picturesque area of Manhattan that’s a little more residential than some parts of the city. It’s an exciting area to explore in the day but is also a must-visit spot at night.

Things to do in Greenwich Village at night include walking along the beautiful streets, visiting Washington Square Park, getting dinner at one of the numerous amazing restaurants, and stopping for dessert at Magnolia Bakery. There are also multiple fun bars to check out, including Marie’s Crisis Cafe, a piano and cabaret bar.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art at night with people sitting on the steps in front
You can view the stunning artworks at the Met until late on Friday and Saturday

Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a major North American Landmark. It’s known for its breathtaking art collections, and the array of events hosted there, including the annual Met Gala. Visiting the museum when in Manhattan is a must, but why not do so at night?

On Friday and Saturday, the Met is open until 9 PM, allowing for late evening viewings with less crowds than in the day. While many guided tours end around 5 PM, you can purchase a self-guided tour with museum admission until closing time.

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Relax at AIRE Ancient Baths

Going out in New York City doesn’t have to involve crazy parties and getting home late. If you’re looking for some of the more chill places to visit in NYC at night, heading to AIRE Ancient Baths is for you. Visiting AIRE is also one of the fun non-touristy things to try in New York City.

AIRE has just eight luxurious spas worldwide, with one being in New York’s Tribeca. Relaxing treatments to choose from include soaking in thermal baths, getting a massage, and enjoying a Himalayan salt scrub. There’s even a wine and bath experience - the perfect way to unwind after a long week.

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Nighttime aerial view of NYC with skyscrapers lit-up under a dark sky
Get the most incredible aerial views of NYC on a nighttime helicopter ride

Fly over NYC on a helicopter tour

What better way to see New York City at night than flying over it on a scenic nighttime helicopter tour? You can choose a variety of time slots to fly in, including during sunset and after dark.

Once in the air, you’ll enjoy aerial views of all the major landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park. Your pilot can also offer more information on the New York landmarks you see from above. Taking a nighttime helicopter ride over NYC is something you’ll never forget.

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One World Trade Center surrounding by other skyscrapers with water in front
Enjoy an amazing meal and breathtaking views at the One World Observatory restaurant

Have dinner at One World Observatory

The One World Observatory comprises the 100th, 101st, and 102nd floors of One World Trade Center. These floors feature an observation deck and a restaurant. While seeing New York City at night from the observation deck is memorable, getting the same views while you enjoy a meal is even better!

Dining at One World Observatory is also one of the most romantic things to do in NYC. Dishes to order range from burgers and lobster rolls to filet mignon and NY strip steak. You can also choose from a range of craft beers, fine wines, and chic cocktails to accompany your dinner.

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Nighttime view of NYC skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge with water in front
You'll get to see breathtaking views of the NYC skyline on an evening harbor cruise

View the lights of NYC on a harbor cruise

Watching the sunset and the city lights begin to shine is one of the most incredible things to see in NYC at night. An ideal way to witness this scenic change from day to night is on the Harbor Lights Night Cruise.

The sightseeing cruise will take you out on the Hudson River to enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline. You’ll also pass by many landmarks, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.

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Buildings with a city skyline in the background under an orange light
Explore the Harlem neighborhood and listen to jazz on a Harlem jazz tour

Listen to jazz in Harlem

Harlem is a vibrant neighborhood in the upper part of Manhattan. One of the things the area is known for is being home to many jazz clubs. When in NYC, checking out some of these jazz clubs is a unique and memorable experience.

To make sure you see all the best spots, go on an evening Harlem jazz tour. The three-and-a-half-hour tour will take you to the area’s best jazz spots. You’ll also get to see some Harlem landmarks as you go between clubs.

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See the spooky side of NYC on a ghost tour

New York City has a varied past, some of which is not always that pleasant. An interesting activity to try at night is an NYC ghost tour.

There are various tours to choose from, including gangster and ghost tours and tours taking you to haunted parks, restaurants, and university campuses. Whichever tour you choose, you’re sure to learn something new about New York and may even witness some spooky paranormal activity.

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A stone library building at night with a road in front and skyscrapers behind it
The New York Public Library is one of the landmarks you'll see on a night bus tour

See NYC landmarks at night on a bus tour

If you can’t choose what to do or what places to visit in NYC at night, going on a nighttime bus tour is an ideal option. The bus will take you to seven landmark locations and will drive you past multiple other attractions.

Places that you’ll stop include Times Square, Pier 17, and Hudson Yards. You’ll also drive by the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library, and many other places of interest.

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The Statue of Liberty with water surrounding and trees behind it under evening sky
You can get close up photos of the Statue of Liberty on an NYC dinner cruise

Dine on the water with an NYC dinner cruise

Having dinner on the water with the beautiful nighttime New York City skyline behind you is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can partake in on a New York dinner cruise. The cruise takes you across the Hudson and East Rivers and features a delicious buffet dinner and live entertainment.

Landmarks you’ll see on the way include One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island. You’ll also stop at the Statue of Liberty for ten minutes to get the perfect photographs.

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A basketball game played in a stadium with fans surrounding the court
Watching the New York Knicks play t MSG is a cool nighttime activity in NYC

Watch a sports game

New York City is one of the few cities home to a team for all of the big four sports: NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. They also have a soccer (MLS) team. Catching an evening game is a must-do nighttime activity for sports lovers.

If you want to watch a game, you’re most likely to find the New York Rangers NHL team and the New York Knicks NBA team playing in the evening. Both teams play at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden.

You may also find the New York Giants or New York Jets NFL teams, the New York Mets MLB team, or the New York City FC MLS team playing an evening game at their respective stadiums. Of course, the time of year you visit will also determine which teams are active.

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In Summary

New York City is a destination everyone should visit at least once. The bustling city is filled with attractions, iconic landmarks, and fun activities to try. The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with an array of things to do and places to see at night. Whatever your interests, you're guaranteed to have some great nights out in NYC!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!