Top 14 Things To Do In NYC At Night In 2024

things to do in nyc at night

New York City is rightfully the city that never sleeps. There are hundreds of food joints, cafes, recreational places and hidden gems all over the city for night owls to explore when they can’t sleep at night. You can also visit popular places and immerse yourself in the local culture as a tourist. The perk of staying in NYC is that it has something for everyone. To learn more about all the different things to do in NYC at night, continue reading!

Classic Things To Do In NYC At Night

Going out at night is a different adventure that everyone living in New York must experience once. You can find places to entertain yourself, like late-night shows, comedy skits, sports matches, etc. Check out some of the top things to do once you are in New York at night!

#1 Visit The Live Recordings Of Your Favourite Shows

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live Show

Location: Ed Sullivan Theater, 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

For shows like SNL or Jimmy Kimmel, we assume the show tickets must be hefty enough to burn a hole in our pockets. However, most of these shows are either free of cost for the audience or have a very meagre cost. You can now visit the latest taping of Saturday Night Live, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, or Jimmy Fallon at an affordable price and get the chance to catch your favourite pop star in person.

#2 Watch A Broadway Show

Source: Broadway – Wicked

Location: W. 45th St. (No. 222), W. 44th St. (No. 235), W. 53rd St & Broadway (No. 1681), W. 50th St. (No. 235)

Nothing shouts more ‘classic NYC’ than Broadway itself. You can watch popular shows, like The Lion King or Wicked. But keep in mind that these shows can be expensive. The upside is that a Broadway show is every bit worth it. They choose the best actors and actresses to portray well-written plays and often some of the most legendary stories. It’s a complete package to entertain yourself on a long night in NYC.

#3 What If You Can’t Afford A Broadway Ticket?

Source: Travelmag Articles

In this case, you can always visit the Off-Broadway Show. The only difference between a Broadway show and an Off-Broadway show is that the latter has smaller theatres, up to 500 seats, whereas the former houses more than 500 people. However, when it comes to the standard of the shows, Off-Broadway shows are almost always as good as Broadway shows, and sometimes even better!

#4 Go To The Empire State Building

Source: Visual Venturing NYC 

Location: The Empire State Building, 20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Empire State Building is a popular landmark in New York City that holds great cultural and historical significance. Although it already has the best view in the city during the daytime, it is enhanced several times at night. It has two observatories – one on the 86th and one on the 102nd floor. The first is an open-air observation deck, whereas the second is enclosed and has floor-to-ceiling windows. You can experience a magnificent view of New York City from both the floors. In fact, on a clear day, you can see six states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Delaware. It is certainly one of the most breathtaking things to do in NYC at night!

#5 Grab A Pizza

Source: NY Times 

Whenever NYC’s food is up for discussion, the iconic pizza is a must-try! Several people speculate that New York City’s water, which has low chlorine content, causes the dough to be significantly different than other pizzas and makes it even more delicious. There are hundreds of pizza joints all over the city where you can catch a margarita or grab a slice of your favourite. While you might encounter a wait at night, it is all totally worth it!

#6 Go To A Stand-Up

Source: Secret NYC

New York City is filled with comics and stand-up artists aspiring to get their careers started. As a result, they often hold comedy shows late at night and at very cheap costs. It’s definitely one of the most cheerful things to do in NYC at night, as you may get a show on the next big comic in the country. And if not, you still get a laugh!

#7 Get On The Staten Island Ferry

Source: Travel US News

Location: Lower Manhattan, near Battery Park.

The Staten Island Ferry is a great way to see the iconic Statue of Liberty. While you can see the monument from Battery Park, nothing compares to the beauty of seeing it up close from the water. The best option is taking the ferry to Staten Island and then back to NYC. While it is one of our recommendations for things to do in NYC at night, take the ferry at sunset for a better time.

Top Fun Things To Do In NYC At Night

#8 Visit The Nightclubs

Source: Coherent Distribution

What could be better than a bar hop for truly experiencing the city that never sleeps? New York City’s nightlife is absolutely unmatched, whether it’s the bars, pubs, or nightclubs. You can always find a hyped jazz or salsa club or even catch a Bollywood club at any time of the night! Most of them have beautiful live music gigs featuring several aspiring artists. Moreover, if you visit a rooftop club or bar, you can simultaneously enjoy the wonderful view.

#9 Visit A Night Market

Source: Uptown Grand Central

What if bar hopping isn’t your cup of tea? You can explore New York City’s night markets instead! These are fest and fetes filled with food stalls, accessories, clothing apparel, etc. Some have close to a hundred vendors selling different food items and handmade objects. It’s a perfect fair to enjoy the local culture of New York City, making it one of the top things to do in NYC at night. The Uptown Night Market, Bronx Night Market, Queens Night Market, and the Latin Night Market are some popular night markets this year. For a newer scene, visit the Brooklyn Night Market.

Refer to the table here for details of all the popular night markets in NYC:

Night MarketWhen is it open?
Bronx Night MarketOpens on 6th April for every first Saturday of the month till October.
Uptown Night MarketOpens on 11th April for every second Thursday of the month till October.
Queens Night Market Opens on 13th April for every Saturday of the month through the summer.
Latin Night MarketOpens on 19th April for every third Friday of the month till October.
Brooklyn Night MarketOpens on 29th April for every third Friday of the month till October.
Vegan Night MarketOpens on 7th May for every first Tuesday of the month till October.

#10 Visit The Times Square

Location: Manhattan, NY 10036, United States

While not necessarily a unique tourist spot, several tourists enjoy visiting Times Square because of its popularity. Of course, it won’t be a mesmerising trip like the one to the Empire State Building, but it’s certainly exciting to see the hustle and bustle of NYC life so late at night. At 11:57 pm sharp, Times Square experiences the Midnight Moment – 3 minutes of amazing digital artwork on all the billboards. This art changes every month!

#11 Visit The Moth For A Session Of Storytelling

Source: LinkedIn

Location: 126 Crosby St, New York, New York

If you’re looking for a calm, soothing night out rather than one of excitement, the Moth is where you want to go. It’s a storytelling event where you can drop your name in a hat and get picked to tell one of your interesting stories. Each participant gets 5 minutes, and based on their storytelling abilities, content, and diction, the judges might select them as the winner of the best story. It’s one of the fun things to do in New York at night, and you can interact with other people and form social networks, too.

#12 Ice Skating At The Rockefeller Centre

Source: Rockefeller Centre

Location: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, United States

Anyone who has stayed in New York for a few weeks must know about the Rockefeller Centre, without a doubt. It has a beautiful ice skating rink, perfect for beginners and professionals alike. However, note that this is a recommendation we would list as one of the seasonal things to do in NYC at night because it’s best visited in the winter. The Rockefeller Centre has hugely popular Christmas decorations, including a large Christmas tree and beautiful lights. You can go there on Christmas Eve and make it a memorable night!

#13 Take An NYC Night Tour

Source: Trip Advisor

As a tourist, one of the most enjoyable things to do in NYC at night is taking the night tour. You can see the highlights of the entire city and enjoy the scenic beauty in the mundane via a mode you prefer. You can take the tour on foot, by bus or even on a cruise. You can even take a helicopter tour through NYC! It lasts for approximately 30 minutes, takes you from Times Square through the Bronx, and ends in New Jersey.

#14 A Night At The Museum

Source: Central Park

Love the movie? This is your time to visit the NYC museums at night and experience the fun first-hand. You can visit the American Museum of Natural History, where the movie is based. You can also visit the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney, all of which are popular locations of cultural and historical significance in New York City. Moreover, it is a quick, fun history lesson to enjoy with friends, family, etc!


Q1. Can I walk in NYC at night?

Ans: New York City, specifically Manhattan, is generally safe to walk around at night. You can also take walking tours around NYC as a tourist.

Q2. Where in NYC is the best nightlife?

Ans: You can experience the best nightlife in NYC, on the Lower East Side, Meatpacking District, and Williamsburg. All these places are popular for their bars, live music gigs, and nightclubs. You can also find a cheap bar with a lively vibe to add to your list of one of the fun things to do in New York at night for less money.

Q3. Is Central Park free?

Ans: Central Park is a popular location in New York City where you can hang out with your family and friends free of cost.

Q4. What is free in NYC?

Ans: Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Bridge, New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, Central Park, and St Patrick’s Cathedral are all famous locations on the list of things to do in NYC for free.

Thank you for reading our guide to the top things to do in NYC at night! Let us know your favourite location in New York in the comments!

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