Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ

12 Best Things To Do In NYC Today

12 Best Things To Do In NYC Today

Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ
12 things to do in new york

Things may be different this year, but the city of New York continues to boast its enviable range of historic staples and hidden gems. From the age-stained Statue of Liberty to Coney Islands, there’s a myriad of things to do in NYC today! Its famously delectable food fare ensures one also always eats really well here.

With so much offer, we scour the Big Apple for iconic landmarks, COVID-free attractions, mouth-watering dining options, and all other things to do in New York.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID precautions, protocols and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Fun Things To Do In NYC Today

1. Head to Winter Village in Bryant Park

Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the best things to do in NYC today

Winter Village at Bryant Park is a hot favorite for every New Yorker. It houses a gigantic ice skating rink that’s free of cost if you carry your own pair of skates. It also features an arsenal of pop-up shops and holiday bakeries.  But what the Winter Village is most famous for, is its vibrant dining and drinking scenes along with its festive menu that will spoil you for choice!

COVID safety measures:

  • The Winter Village features fewer shops and restaurants with a restricted number of skaters on the ice rink.
  •  Skaters are recommended to bring their own skates. 
  • Visitors are required to book time slots in advance.  

2. Visit Rockefeller Center

Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City

The Rockefeller Center is widely popular for its breathtaking scenery from Top of the Rock. You can also venture to the Plaza, practice skating on the rink and guzzle up some foamy eggnog.

COVID safety measures:

  • The Winter Village is operating on a reduced capacity.
  • All activities and events are hosted outdoors. 
  • All reservations must be made online.

3. Spend the day in Coney Island

Coney Island is New York City’s go-to hangout spot for a lazy afternoon by the beach. You’ll find tourists cozily soaking in the sun and sipping on cheeky Pina Coladas, as children keep themselves busy building sandcastles. In winters, however — particularly this year — things are different. The island gets isolated and rather quiet, although making it a great option to wander off to from the city’s heaving crowds! 

No matter what time of the year, you can bank on the island to keep you entertained with its endless list of things to do in NYC this weekend.

We also recommend grabbing some beers at Coney Island Brewing Company, taking a stroll across the Atlantic Ocean Boardwalk. 

COVID safety measures:

  • The number of visitors is regularly recorded. 
  • The Coney Island Wiener Stand remains closed. 
  • All waterparks and water slides remain closed.

Free Things To Do In NYC Today

4. Take a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

With the bustling Brooklyn Bridge quieter than usual, now is a good time to take a gentle stroll here and soak in the city’s picturesque skyline. Grab a cup of coffee and head to this iconic landmark that connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. You’ll find bicyclists enjoying a ride as other patrons capture stellar views from the bridge for their Instagram feed.

COVID safety measures:

  • Choose to go at a time when there are fewer people. 
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Avoid touching walls and other surfaces.

5. Hang out at Central Park

Horse charoite at Central Park during Christmas in New York City

One of the best things to do in NYC to escape its crowded sidewalks is taking a quiet walk through the grassy lawns of Central Park. Arguably one of the most peaceful and picturesque haunts in the city, Central Park is known for its sprawling playgrounds and hypnotic fountains! Along the way, you’ll also spot intricately designed statues, sculptures — and during the holiday season — a postcard-perfect ice skating rink!  

COVID safety measures:

  • Before you sit on a bench, carefully sanitize it yourself. 
  • Choose to go at a time when there are fewer people. 
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.

6. Revisit the Statue Of Liberty  

Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry deck in New York

Located in the Lower Eastern region of New York City, the Statue of Liberty continues to be one of the most sought-after things to do in NYC today. Steeped way back in American history, it stands tall at 305 feet and is usually brimming with eager tourists! 

If you are looking for free things to do in NYC, hop on the Staten Island Ferry, from where you will be able to admire the statue free of cost.

While you are in the area, also visit Red Hook in Brooklyn, and take the IKEA water taxi at Pier 11, which runs between Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

COVID safety measures:

  • The statue is currently admitting fewer visitors. 
  • All tickets can be purchased online.
  • Social distancing is being carefully followed.

Things To Do In NYC Today: Dining & Drinking

7. Spend the weekend at The Greens, Pier 17

Christmas market in new york city

The Greens at Pier 17 hosts one of the most vibrant drinking and dining events in NYC. This year, however, it is offering a new experience with a socially-distanced restaurant and manicured lawns turned into tiny cosy cabins. It also includes a heated floor plan, a virtual fireplace and tantalising views of the East River Waterfront.

COVID safety measures:

  • All cabins must be booked in advance, and for not more than 90 minutes.
  • All cabins are carefully sanitized between each reservation.   
  • Patrons have to opt for contactless payments.

8. Enjoy the privacy of a heated igloo 

Mulled wine served inside heated igloos in New York City

Want to maintain social distance? Take refuge inside a heated igloo! 

The 230 Fifth Rooftop has acquired an inevitable reputation of the best igloo bar in New York City, hosting a rooftop area with panoramic views of the skyline, in addition to an exclusive heated igloo. 

While on particularly colder nights, the hot chocolate or mulled wine are staples here, we recommend you also gorge on their weekend brunch that offers an exquisite spread of vegan and gluten-free options. 

COVID safety measures:

  • It is mandatory for all guests to have their masks on until seated. 
  • 1 igloo can accommodate no more than 10 people. 
  • Patrons must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet, even while sitting.

Things To Do In NYC Today: Hidden Gems

9. Catch the Say Their Names Installations 

Black Lives Matter mural in United States

The Public Theatre Facade in East Village is hosting visually-striking installations, dedicated to victims of police brutality and white supremacy such as George Floyd. The installation, which is free of cost, features works of 10 artists and is also streamed live for online audiences.   

COVID safety measures:

  • Choose to go at a time when there are fewer people. 
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Keep your masks on at all times.

10. Witness Trump’s Wall Of Lies

Wall art in New York City illustrating American politics and anti-Trump sentiments

If you are an art enthusiast who’s still in election mode, one of the best things to do in NYC this weekend is heading to witness the city’s enthralling artworks across the streets of Soho! You will witness gigantic murals that illustrate various aspects of American politics and real-world issues such as the Coronavirus.  

The creators of the wall art are also hosting a fundraiser with the aim to curate more murals, and make this among major NYC events today. 

COVID safety measures:

  • Choose to go at a time when there are fewer people. 
  • Maintain a social gap of at least 6 feet.
  • Keep your masks on at all times. 

11. Take a free self-guided tour at Industrial City 

Wall art in New York City illustrating COVID precautions

Mulling over what to do in NYC today? You might want to check out Industrial City that is hosting a free walking tour, featuring 14 captivating murals by local artists. The art pieces intricately depict all major events that have taken place, including the Coronavirus, self-isolation and racial disparity.

COVID safety measures:

  • Visitors must scan the QR code to receive notes and the tour map. 
  • The tour is sprawled across three courtyards to maintain social distance. 
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet.

With so many events in NYC today — even amidst the pandemic — be sure to never be disappointed by the city. And while keeping up with the times we should continue rediscovering our backyards, we also recommend you to keep an eye out for best vacation destinations

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