The Best Things to Do in NYC at Night (from a LOCAL)

Planning an epic trip to New York City, but unsure of what to do at night? Known as the city that never sleeps, there is an abundance of things to do when the sun goes down! In this New York guide, I am sharing all the best things to do in NYC at night, my local travel tips, and more! 

Throughout this list, you will find something for everyone! Better yet, I’ve included tons of free and cheap night attractions along with glamourous points of interest!

Times Square NYC at night
Times Square NYC at Night

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

1. See the Sunset at Top of the Rock

One of the best ways to start your night in NYC is by seeing the sunset at the Top of the Rock Observatory! This observatory deck is located in Rockefeller Center and offers 3 floors to take in all the Manhattan skyline views.

New York in 4 Days - Skyline

One of the reasons Top of the Rock is so popular is because you get to see the famous view of the Empire State Building all lit up in the night sky, making for an epic experience. Additionally, it is one of the most photo-worthy places in NYC!

NYC Travel Tip: One thing to keep in mind when visiting The Top of the Rock for sunset, is that it’s the most popular time to visit. Therefore, it will likely be crowded, however, the views are insane!

One of the top instagrammable places in NYC is at The Top Of The Rock

2. Enjoy a NYC Broadway Play at Night

Another incredible way to spend your night is at a Broadway Show! Even local New Yorkers can attest that it’s one of the best things to do in NYC. Some of my favorite shows include Wicked and The Book of Mormon! 

Other very popular shows include The Lion King (great with kids), The Phantom of the Opera, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. You should also consider off-broadway shows as well since there are tons of great shows.

Generally, Broadway night shows begin between 7 PM – 8 PM, so it would be best to catch an early dinner. You can find what is playing on Broadway here and the showtimes.

NYC Travel Tip: One way to get more affordable tickets is to go right to the box office or visit a TDF location. Generally speaking, big hit shows and new shows are harder to get discounted prices on. 

Broadway Playbill in NYC

3. View Manhattan’s Skyline at Night from Summit One Vanderbilt

Have you heard of New York’s newest attraction, Summit One Vanderbilt? This observation deck has taken social media by storm for its next-level skyline views! Better yet, the best time to visit the NYC Summit One Vanderbilt is actually at night because you will experience the city all lit up! 

Related: Top Observation Decks in New York City Rated

Summit One Vanderbilt with Empire State Building
view during the day

Additionally, the Summit One Vanderbilt is generally less crowded at night, making your experience more enjoyable.

This unique attraction has floor-to-ceiling glass windows, glass areas that have you standing over the street, glass floor elevators (that happen to be the largest in the world), and more.

To get your tickets and learn more, check out the Summit One Vanderbilt website!

Related: 4 Days in NYC Itinerary

Night Hours: Wednesday – Thursday: Doors close at 8 PM and SUMMIT closes: 9 PM | Friday – Saturday: Doors close at 10 PM and SUMMIT closes at 11 PM | Sunday: Doors close at 8 PM and SUMMIT closes at 9 PM

Address: 45 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 Entrance located on the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal

4. Experience a Comedy Show

Comedy Clubs are another hot attraction to enjoy at night! New York is a popular spot for up-and-coming comedians, along with the best in the business.

Big acts always make a stop in New York City (usually at Madison Square Garden) as well. There are tons of comedy clubs all over the city because, as we all know, New Yorkers are hilarious lol. With that being said, some of the most popular comedy clubs to visit include:

  • Gotham Comedy Club
  • Comedy Cellar
  • Broadway Comedy Club
  • Carolines on Broadway
  • The Stand NYC
  • The Famous Apollo Theatre

Travel tip: Most (if not all) Comedy Clubs in NYC serve bar food (however) I’d recommend getting dinner beforehand unless they have a food requirement. Also note, some clubs have a minimum drink requirement, and most shows start from 6 PM or later at night. 

Gotham Comedy Club in NYC
Gotham Comedy Club in NYC

5. Explore Times Square

When you think of New York City, you likely think of Times Square at night with giant billboards and bright lights. If it is your first time in New York, you absolutely must visit Times Square at night!

Admittedly, most New York locals avoid Times Square at all costs because of how crowded it is, but then again, how often do you visit the largest tourist attraction in your city? My guess is not much.

As a teenager and college student, however, I actually did enjoy walking through Times Square at night to people-watch and visit one of my favorite New York City stores, the M&M’s World New York store!

Anyways, add Times Square to your NYC itinerary for fun things to do at night if it’s your first time visiting! Times Square is also one of the best places to take photos at night in New York City!

Travel Tip: An important NYC travel tip to keep in mind is to not get food in Times Square. Generally speaking, it is over-priced chain food. You are much better at finding restaurants away from this tourist hot spot. Psst…I’ve included options below!

Times Square in NYC at night

6. Enjoy One of the Many NYC Rooftop Bars at Night

New York City is known for having great Rooftop bars. I mean, New York does have one of the best night skylines in the world, after all! So, it only makes sense that visiting a rooftop bar is one of the coolest things to do at night.

With a plethora of rooftop bars to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming to pick which one you should visit. Below are some of the trendiest rooftop bars to choose from. No matter which rooftop bar you choose, always make sure to make a reservation! 

  • 230 Fifth: One of NYC’s most popular rooftop bars with views of the Empire State Building. They also have fun igloo bubbles in the winter!
  • Magic Hour Rooftop Bar: One of the most Instagrammable Rooftop bars in NYC goes to the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar which is located at the Moxy Hotel in Times Square!
  • Mr. Purple: Mr. Purple is a top rooftop bar to visit all year round! From the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, they capture the vibrant and artistic vibes of the neighborhood. 
  • Cantina Rooftop: Llocated in Hells Kitchen, with incredible authentic Mexican fare and a climate-controlled retractable glass roof, you can enjoy your skyline views in comfort.

Other classic rooftop bars include the Press Lounge (the roof of the Ink48 Hotel), The Standard (located in the Meatpacking District, which is temporarily closed), and the Refinery Rooftop (located in Midtown).

7. Hit the NYC Nightlife

If you enjoy a night on the town, hitting up some of New York City’s hottest clubs and lounges might be right up your alley! From classic NYC nightclubs to the latest and greatest, here is a list of the best places to party in the city right now. 

NYC Nightclub tip: Most nightclubs and lounges have a dress code and require a ticket/entry fee. Therefore, the lines can be long to get in.

  • Nebula: One of Manhattan’s newest clubs located near Times Square.
  • 1 Oak: A classic NYC club that celebrities frequent.
  • Webster Hall: Another classic NYC club with a variety of different music and rooms.
  • Harbor NYC: Rooftop Nightclub and lounge.
  • Slate: Located in Chelsea, this lounge offers nightclub and arcade vibes all in one.
  • Sei Less: A new and poppin Asian Fusion Speakeasy and lounge where celebrities have been hanging. 
  • Bounce: Popular Sports Bar with live DJ’s.
  • Lavo: Dinner that turns into a club.

8. Walk on The Edge

A one-of-a-kind Observation Deck to visit at night is The Edge at Hudson Yards. Suspended 100 stories up in the air, The Edge is known as the highest outdoor sky deck on the West Hemisphere! Open until midnight, you can enjoy exquisite views of New York City at night while sipping on Champagne!

Additionally, while you’re at Hudson Yards, don’t forget to snap some pictures of the Vessel or wander down the Highline! 

View of the Edge Observatory from One Summit
View of the Edge from Summit One Vanderbilt
Vessel at night during the holidays all lite up at night
The Vessel at night during the holidays

9. Fly Over New York City in a Helicopter

Do you enjoy more adventurous and adrenaline-seeking activities? One of the most unique and maybe craziest things you can do at night in NYC is taking a helicopter ride over Manhattan.

View some of the most famed New York landmarks, all illuminated at night, not to mention that skyline! You will be sure to have a whole new perspective on what makes NYC so magical! Find Helicopter tours here.

View of the NYC Skyline at night
Photo by Sven Becker on Unsplash

10. Take a Cruise Around Manhattan at Night

If you want a more romantic thing to do at night, consider taking a dinner cruise! This way, you get to enjoy an incredible meal while being able to see some of New York’s best landmarks all lit up! 

If dinner on a boat isn’t your thing, then you can still enjoy a nighttime cruise around the city or even a sunset sail!  See tours with Viator below!

11. Check Out One World Trade Observatory

Another very popular observation deck is the One World Observatory. At over 100 stories, enjoy panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline from the financial district! You can even enjoy a gourmet meal at their One Dine and Bar located on the 101st floor! 

Please note dinner reservations are separate from regular visitor tickets to the One World Trade Center Observatory. 

After enjoying New York from the sky, make sure to stop by the 9/11 memorial pools, which will also be illuminated. 

One World Trade Center at night in NYC

12. Enjoy an Outdoor Movie

Visiting New York during the summer? If you want to really feel like a local New Yorker, catching an outdoor movie is one of the best free things to do at night in New York! Yep, FREE!

One of the most popular places to watch outdoor movies is at Brooklyn Bridge Park (just over the Brooklyn Bridge)! Not to mention, you will get an incredible view of Manhattan at night!

Generally, movies with a view at Brooklyn Bridge Park start in August. Keep up-to-date on showings here.

If you want some great pizza, head over to Ignazio’s located just under the Brooklyn Bridge! 

Another great place to catch a free outdoor movie in New York is Bryant Park! Bryant Park is always offering fun and free activities. See Bryant Park events here.

13. Test Yourself at an Escape Room

Want to do something a little more unique? Then try one of the city’s escape rooms! Perfect for families with kids under 21, groups of friends, and even couples, choose one of the rooms you plan to “escape” from with clues! Some of the most popular escape rooms to experience are: 

  • Escape the Room NYC
  • The Escape Game New York City
  • Beat The Bomb – Dumbo Brooklyn

14. Watch Shakespeare in the Park

Heading on its 60th annual year, Shakespeare in the Park is another unique night experience to enjoy with local New Yorkers! Oh, and did I mention it is another free activity? Located at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, you can enjoy summer performances. 

If you are not visiting during the Summer, you can still enjoy one of the other shows they have going on. Check their schedule here!

Address: 81 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

15. See a NY Sports Game

If you are into sports, then New York is a great place to be since we have a lot of sports teams! Depending on when you’re visiting, you will have an array of sports games to choose from. 

One of my favorite sports to watch is (American) football. Catch a Thursday night, Sunday night, or Monday night football game at Metlife Stadium. This is where both the New York Giants and New York Jets play! The Football season generally starts in September and ends in December/January. 

If baseball is more your jam, then you have Yankee Stadium (home to the New York Yankees) in the Bronx and Citi Field (home to the Mets) in Queens. The baseball season starts late March/early April and ends around late September/early October. 

Another great night sporting event in New York is Basketball right at Madison Square Garden! This is where the Knicks play! Or, if you are a Brooklyn Nets fan, you can watch a game at their home arena, The Barclays Center! Basketball season starts around mid-October and ends around mid-April. 

Oh, and we also have hockey! Again, we have 2 sports teams, the Islanders and the Rangers. The Islanders are playing back on Long Island at Belmont (my old neck of the woods). Like the Knicks, the Rangers are also at Madison Square Garden. Hockey Season is from October – June.

When looking for tickets, scalping tickets is not advised. It is best to just get them from Ticketmaster or Stubhub. Even if you’re not a sports fan, it is still a really cool New York experience.

NY Football Giants game at night
Giants Game at Metlife Stadium

16. Watch a Concert

This city is a huge hub when it comes to concerts. From event spaces like Madison Square Garden and The Barclays Center to Terminal 5 and the Chelsea Piers.

If you are visiting during a holiday like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, or New Year’s Eve, you will be guaranteed to have big performers making an appearance. Love electronic music? New York hosts Electric Zoo every year on Randall’s Island! 

17. Visit a NY Museum

New York has a plethora of museums, and as the city that never sleeps, surprise, surprise, they are open pretty late! So, if you don’t want to waste great weather stuck inside, try visiting one of the museums below! Additionally, almost all the below-listed museums are perfect night activities for families with kids under 21.

Whitney Museum of American Art: On Fridays, the Whitney is open until 10 PM and even better, it is “pay as you wish” from 7 PM – 10 PM!

The Museum of Modern Art (The MOMA): While not open as late as the Whitney, the MOMA is one of my favorites and stays open until 7 PM on Saturdays. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET): On Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy this amazing Museum until 9 PM, which is Date Night at the MET! On top of that, it is actually pay as you wish for visitors. 

The Morgan Library and Museum: I consider this one a local gem, and on Friday it is free to visit from 5 PM until 7 PM – reservation required. 

Museum of Sex: This very “unique” museum is really open late closing at 10 PM on weekdays (closed on Tuesday) and 12 AM on Friday and Saturday. 

New Museum of Contemporary Art: Another great free NY museum to see at night offers “pay what you wish” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Thursday. Timed tickets are required.

International Museum of Photography Museum: This museum is open almost every night until 7 PM, and on Thursdays, they also have “Pay as you wish” from 6 PM – 9 PM. They are closed on Tuesdays. Timed tickets are required.

Brooklyn Museum: If you want to avoid some of the crowds and happened to be in Prospect Park, maybe visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, consider giving this museum a visit. They are open on Friday and Saturday until 8 PM. Furthermore, the first Saturdays of the month are back. The museum will not close until 11 PM February – August and October. 

Morgan Library and Museum in New York interior
The Morgan Library and Museum

18. Enjoy an Incredible Dinner

Known for our incredible places to eat with countless cuisines, you will surely find something you love. It is one of the easiest ways to have a great night. Additionally, here is a list of some of my favorites! You should also check out the best NY food to eat for first-timers here!

If it is really late, you can always count on a diner! They are usually open 24 hours!

  • Catch
  • Tutto il Giorno Tribecca
  • Peter Lugers Steakhouse in Williamsburg
  • The Palms – Has great steak and seafood.
  • The Old Homestead – Steakhouse
  • STK Steakhouse
  • Tick Tock Diner – If you are looking for a real late-night bite to eat
A New York City Travel tips is to eat at an authentic restaurant like Peter Luger Steak house
Peter Luger Steak house Porterhouse Steak

19. Explore The Chelsea Art Galleries

As you might have already guessed, New Yorkers love their art. So much so that a whole area in the Chelsea Neighborhood is dedicated to art galleries. You can find dozens of art galleries between 10th and 11th Ave from 19th to 26th Street.

As a broken college student, one of our favorite things to do on Thursday nights was to visit the Chelsea art galleries that often offered drinks and small bites! So if you’ve been to the city countless times and looking for something new to do, consider this!

20. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Another top contender for a night cap is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge! In fact, it is one of my favorite free things to do in NYC! The bridge spans 1.1 miles and was once the largest suspension bridge.

To reach the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side, you can take the 4, 5, or 6 trains to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop. You can also take the J or Z trains to the Chambers Street stop, which is closest to the Pedestrian Walkway.

From the Dumbo, Brooklyn side, you can enter from Washington Street between York Street and Prospect Street. You should see the walkway! 

If you are walking towards Dumbo, don’t forget to turn around! You will be greeted with all of the city lights looking back at you, and it is quite beautiful!

Brooklyn Bridge in NYC at night
Photo by Partha Narasimhan on Unsplash

21. Walk the Brooklyn Promenade

Another outstanding view of the New York City lights is from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. If you cross the Brooklyn Bridge, you just have to make your way through Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Open until 1 AM, it is another great place to enjoy great skyline views in NYC. You will likely see more local New Yorkers here, too!

NYC at night black and white photo from across the water

22. Hit the Driving Range at Chelsea Piers

For something a little less touristy, the Golf Club Driving Range at Chelsea Piers is for you! Enjoy hitting golf balls into the night sky with views of the Hudson River. On top of that, you can enjoy food and drinks at your golf stall! Furthermore, their indoor dining at The Water Hazard is also open if you’d rather sit down and eat. 

Walk-ins are welcome, but a reservation is highly recommended! Additionally, there are only 4 people per stall. The Golf Club Driving Range is open until 12 AM and you can find pricing and reservations here!

23. Do Sake Bombs

Want to enjoy partying without it being a full-fledged nightclub? Enjoy some great Japanese food and Sake Bombs! If you’ve never played, make sure to order some warm sake and a beer.

Next, pour your sake into the porcelain cup and balance it on two chopsticks above your beer. Finally, gently-ish pound the table with your two fists and say, ” Sake, Sake, Bomb” and your sake shot should fall into your glass! 

There are Sake Bars all over the city and another way to enjoy your night! 

24. Hang out in Coney Island

If you are visiting during the summer, another unique and local thing to do at night is enjoy the rides at Luna Park on Coney Island. From the famous wooden rollercoaster, The Cyclone, which has given me some battle scars to the Wonder Wheel, there is tons of fun to be had at any age! 

The Amusement park originally opened in 1962 (originally known as Astroland), and just down the block from where my parents grew up! Like any amusement park, you will find all sorts of treats, but I’d recommend getting Nathan’s Famous hotdog and fries with cheese, P, and all your candy delights at Williams Candy Shop! 

If you are really a foodie and want to try more NY local food spots in the area, check out Rollin Roaster, L&B Spumoni Garden (famous for their Sicilian slice), and John’s Deli (get roast beef).  

Coney Island Luna Park at night

25. Take a Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

This one might sound a little bazaar. I mean why would you want to take transportation to Staten Island? Well, if you are on a budget, or don’t want to be stuck on a cruise for hours upon hours, you can take the very free ride on the Staten Island Ferry for an epic view of the city lights and the Statue of Liberty all lit up!

As you can imagine, seeing New York City’s lights at night is a recurring theme, but a worth it! The Staten Island Ferry is located at 4 Whitehall Street New York NY 10004, which is a part of the financial district. 

For the best view, consider taking your ride around sunset!

Statue of Liberty at night close up

26. Chill in Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village has a lot going on at night, but one of my favorite things is hanging out at Washington Square during the summer. The fountain is going, and people-watching is at an all-time high.

After you are done people-watching, there are tons of bars and comedy clubs.

Washington Square Park arch during sunset
Washington Square Park

27. Attend a Live TV Taping

Home to a ton of live TV tapings, and what’s even cooler, is you can be a part of one! If you have done a lot of the traditional activities, this can be a really unique way to spend the night in Manhattan! Some of the most popular night TV tapings include: 

  • Saturday Night Live (SNL) – Probably the most popular live broadcast in NYC
  • Late Night With Seth Meyers 
  • The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Late Night Show With Stephan Colbert
  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Getting tickets can be a little tricky, with most shows requiring you to get tickets well in advance. 1iota is where you can get tickets for most of the shows listed above. SNL is based on a lottery that will reopen for 2024/2025 in August. For more details on getting tickets, check NBC here.

28. Watch a Show at Lincoln Center

A great romantic and less touristy way to enjoy your night in the Big Apple is at the Ballet, Opera, or even Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Built in 1956, this iconic New York building complex is over 16 acres and hosts over 4 million people! It is especially perfect if you have a love for the arts because you will enjoy some of the best performances here! 

With events happening all week, check out the Lincoln Center Calendar to see what’s showing! Opera at Lincoln Center | NY Jazz | New York City Ballet 

It is usually best to get your tickets beforehand, but you can also get them on-site. 

29. Go Glamping on Governors Island

Considered one of the most unique getaway experiences in New York, Glamping on Governors Island with Collective easily makes the list of best things to do at night in NYC! The experience offers luxurious accommodations, impeccable views of the Manhattan skyline, farm-to-table food, and more! 

Glamping on Governors Island generally starts in May and closes in the winter. This escape is great for those who have been to the city a handful of times and want to try something new or plan on spending over a week in New York. Plus the views are incredible.

Find more information on Glamping on Governors Island here!

30. Visit The Bars in Williamsburg

Want to get out of Manhattan and party with the locals? Williamsburg is a fun and lively Brooklyn neighborhood both during the day and at night! You will find lots of breweries with fancy IPA’s to bars with arcades. Bar hopping is also pretty popular here. 

Some fun places to visit at night are Brooklyn Bowl (a bar that often has live music and a bowling alley), The Whiskey Brooklyn (has an arcade downstairs), and TailGate Outdoor Sports Bar. You can also visit Brooklyn Brewery and even tour their distillery! They even offer free tours on Sunday from 1 PM – 6 PM! 

While in Williamsburg, you can also see a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline at night from across the water at Domino Park!

Additionally, if steakhouses are your jam, one of the most famous steakhouses calls Williamsburg their home, Peter Lugar’s. Make sure to have cash, and get the Porterhouse and their famous creamed spinach! 

31. Night Bus Tour

Are your feet tired from walking around the city all day, but you really want to see some of the top Manhattan attractions at night, too? Well then, an open-roof night bus tour could be the perfect way to spend your night! No having to worry about navigating the subway at night while giving your poor feet a break they deserve! 

32. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal happens to be one of my favorite train stations and can be a fun and free thing place to explore at night. Opening on February 2, 1913, it was considered one of the largest construction projects the city had ever seen (at the time).  

At night you can enjoy exploring the whispering walls, admire the constellations on the ceiling, or even enjoy some of the restaurants, such as the Oyster Bar & Restaurant (closes at 8:30 PM)!

Grand Central Station is open daily from 5:15 AM – 2:00 AM. 

Grand Central Terminal NYC
Grand Central Terminal Station

33. Explore the Intrepid Museum

If astronomy interest you or even free movies on Friday night, you might want to head over to the Intrepid Museum!

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of science, history, and service, so you should definitely also consider a visit earlier when the other exhibitions are open.

Get more information on Free Friday nights at the Intrepid Museum here.

34. Indulge in Dessert

A fun way to end the night is by indulging in some of the best treats Manhattan has to offer. One of the most famous places to visit is Serendipity 3, which is open until 11 PM. Some other places to please your sweet tooth in are:

  • The Sugar Factory closes at 12 AM on the weekends
  • Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery closes at 1 AM on the weekends

35. Visit a Speakeasy

If a full-blown club is not your speed, consider a night out at one of New York’s top speakeasies. Some of the top speakeasies to visit include: 

  • Employees Only
  • Patent Pending
  • Peachy’s
  • UES Ice-Cream Shoppe

36. Swingers Mini Golf

Hang out at The Swingers Mini Golf is the perfect adult-only experience. This really unique spot has 3 courses to enjoy and also offers crafted cocktails, gourmet street, and food.

You do need to make reservations ahead of time to snag a spot, so make sure to check the Swinger website. Prices are between $22-26 a person.

37. Enjoy A Jazz Club

Jazz has always played a big part in New York history, so it only makes sense there are some of the best places to enjoy it during a night out.

Some of the most popular clubs where you can enjoy jazz include the Birdland Jazz Club, Blue Note Jazz Club, and Smalls Jazz Club. You will be in for a treat! Furthermore, you can also check out some Jazz tours here.

38. Have a Spa Day or Night

After spending a couple of days walking all over the city, spending some time at the spa might sound like a better idea. The spa is also a great choice if it’s a rainy day in NYC. Most of the spas are open until 10 PM – 11 PM. So, if you want to spend your night doing something a little more relaxing and luxurious, some of the more popular spas include:

  • Aire Ancient Baths New York is open until 11 PM
  • SoJo Spa Club is open until 9:30 PM
  • QC NY SPA is open until 10 PM or 11 PM
  • Bathhouse – Williamsburg is open until 11: 30 PM

39. Immerse Yourself at Artechouse NYC 

Open until 10 PM, visiting Artechouse is a fun option for those who love immersive art. Located in Chelsea, the Artechouse is currently showing their new exhibit called Life of a Neuron, which is really fun looking.

This is also a fun place to take photos and even just enjoy with the family.

Get tickets and more information here!

40. Check Out The Friends Experience

Fans of the show Friends -rejoice because the Friends experience is open until 10 PM. This gives you another fun night activity to enjoy. The set includes original props with two interactive floors.

Friend's Experience NYC
photo credit Feverup

41. Go Bowling

When all else fails, sometimes it’s best to stick with the basics, and bowling is a easy and fun night activity you can do in the Big Apple. From classic bowling allies to game bars, you have an option of what kind of vibe you want to go with.

Some popular bowling allies are:

  • Chelsea Piers
  • Bowlero Times Square
  • Brooklyn Bowl

42. Sing Your Heart Out at Karaoke

Love singing and drinks? Then spending time at a karaoke bar will be right up your alley as one of the best things to do in NYC at night. Luckily, there are a handful of karaoke places in NYC, and many are near Times Square. Some places you can sing your heart out in Manhattan include: 

  • The Spot Karaoke & Lounge NYC
  • Karaoke Duet 35
  • Sing Sing

43. See a Lips Drag Queen Show

This one is for an adult’s night out in Manhattan. Lips is a cabaret and puts on one of the best drag shows in the city.

From Tuesday through Sunday, they have a different drag queen show. So enjoy cocktails, a show, and even a full-course meal if you like since they are also a restaurant. Reservations are required.

Night Activities During the Christmas Holiday

Visiting New York City during December is one of the most popular times because of the holidays. And with the holidays, come some additional really cool things to do at night! If you are not visiting during the holidays, you might want to scroll past this short section before you start booking another trip!

44. See the New York City Christmas Decorations 

One of the top things to do at night during the holidays is to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations that get set up around the city.

Many of the best decorations are around Rockefeller Center. My favorite is the light display put on by Saks 5th Ave! You also can’t miss the Radio City Music Hall decorations and Christmas Spectacular.

If you are planning a visit during the holidays, make sure to check out the best NYC Christmas decorations here!

NYC Saks Christmas lightshow

45. Visit the Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights

The Christmas Lights at Dyker Heights is another staple nighttime activity for those visiting during the holidays. Located in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, you will experience the most extravagant and insane Christmas lights and decorations! 

46. Go Ice skating or Roller Skating

Another awesome activity to do at night in NYC during the winter is ice skating! Two of the most popular ice skating rinks are the Rockefeller Center rink, the Wollman Rink, and the Bryant Park Winter Village! 

  1. The Wollman Rink in Central Park is open between 9 PM – 2:30 AM depending on the day. 
  2. The Rink at Rockefeller Center stays open until 11 PM or 12 AM depending on the day. During the summer, Rockefeller Center has a roller rink with a 70s theme you can enjoy at night.
  3. The Rink at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is open until 10 PM to 11:30 PM, depending on the day/week. Additionally, Bryant Park has a whole winter village with tons of shops and restaurants that are totally worth the visit! 

47. Visit NYC Christmas Trees at Night 

Let’s not forget to see some of the most epic Christmas trees at night during the holidays! Some of the best New York City Christmas trees to see include the Rockefeller Tree, The Bryant Park Christmas Tree, The New York Stock Exchange Tree, and The Seaport Christmas Tree.

NYC Wall Street Stock exchange and Christmas tree decorations
New York Stock Exchange Christmas Tree

Central Park in NYC is a great free things to do

Or you can check my detailed guide on Where to Stay in NYC!

Is NYC Safe at Night

You may be wondering if it is safe to walk around New York at night. Generally, yes, however, I wouldn’t recommend walking by yourself late at night if you’re a woman. Groups are fine. Also, stick to the main streets and choose subway carts with lots of people in them. 

With the above safety measures in mind, I’ve lived in the city and  I’ve walked and taken the subways at all hours of the night with people and by myself without issue.

Best Things to Do in NYC at Night Wrap-up

As you can see there are tons of fun late-night activities to enoy in New York City! So are you ready to take Manhattan by night?

Have any questions or feel like I missed a fun activity? Let me know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this guide, I’d appreciate it if you could share it below! 

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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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