Are you looking for quirky and fun things to do in NYC?
NYC is full of so many amazing activities, so (trust me!) it won’t be hard finding fun things to do in NYC! From amazing parks, skyscrapers, observation decks and rooftop bars – this city has something for everyone.
I’m going to try and keep this list of quirky and fun things to do in NYC a bit different from all the other lists. I know there are the ‘obvious’ list of fun things to do in NYC, you can read those anywhere (on any blog!). I want to fill you in on all the slightly quirky fun things to do in NYC, the things you might not be able to read about somewhere else.
So, let’s get into it… Here are my favourite fun things to do in NYC.
Do an NYC food tour
First on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s a food tour. There are so many amazing food tours in NYC, it’s a city that’s known for it’s amazing restaurants and cafes! I always have so much fun doing food tours when I visit NYC – and I always try and fit one in during every trip!
I just love exploring new neighbourhoods, trying new restaurants and meeting other people who love food as much as I do! It’s such a fun things to do in NYC, which is why it’s makes the top of my list.
I recommend this 3 hour food tour of NYC, it’s the perfect length, and includes 6 delicious tastings! I also LOVE this cupcake tour of Greenwich Village too, it’s the ideal food tour if you have a sweet tooth!
Ride all the city’s carousels
The most famous carousels in NYC are probably the ones in DUMBO in Brooklyn, and the one in Central Park too. But did you know, they city actually has loads of carousels dotted around in random places?
If you’re young at heart, or you’re visiting the city with kids, then a carousel treasure hunt is an amazing way to spends the day, and definitely one of my favourite fun things to do in NYC. You can click here for my guide to 8 of NYC’s most beautiful carousels! My favourite is the Seaglass Carousel at the Battery Conservatory, where you sit inside giant sea shell!
Rent a bike in Central Park
Central Park is my next on this list of fun things to do in NYC. But not just walking around the park, renting a bike and riding around it. I don’t know what it is about riding a bike – it’s just fun and you feel like the stresses of the world melt away. Pack a little picnic, and head out on your bike to the heart of the park to enjoy it!
Take a helicopter tour over the city
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s a helicopter tour. Obviously, this is budget dependant (as tour usually cost around $150 pp upwards). BUT if you’re after something fun to do in NYC, that’s also really romantic and memorable, taking a guided helicopter tour over the city is the answer.
I love this night time tour of the city by helicopter – I love seeing the city from above at night time, all the sparkling lights just come to life.
Visit a Sunday Harlem Gospel service
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s a Gospel Church Service. Whether you’re religious or not, visiting a harlem gospel service is SO MUCH FUN. I know, you don’t usually associate fun with church, but this is a bit different!
If you’ve never attended a gospel service before, you’re in for a treat. The singing, the music, the rhythm – I challenge you not to find it fun and not to smile. It’s just a gorgeous way to spend the morning.
I recommend this particular gospel tour group. You get a little history tour, and then get to sit through a beautiful gospel service in Harlem.
Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC it’s the Roosevelt Island tram! This is such an under-rated activity in NYC. It’s super affordable (just use your metro card) and it’s also really fun, with great views over the city. Perfect for a quick morning or afternoon activity!
Take a graffiti lesson in Brooklyn
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s something a little creative! Ever looked at all the amazing street art around NYC and wondered if you could do something half as good?
Read more NYC food inspiration: The best lobsters in NYC: 14 places you need to try!
If so, this graffiti lesson in Brooklyn is IDEAL. It’s so much fun, a chance to get creative in the heart of Brooklyn, and a chance to meet lots of like-minded people too. It’s such a fun activity in NYC, and one I highly recommend! Click here to read more and book tickets!
Take a speedboat tour of the city
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s a speedboat tour of the city (click here to book tickets)! There are LOADS of boat tours in NYC, but most of them are on the slow side. This boat tour is the ultimate in fun – it’s a high speed boat tour and it’s full of adrenaline fuelled fun times!
You’ll explore the city from the water, seeing all the best sights from a fast military-style boat. There’s narration too, so you’ll know what to look for and what to spot in the skyline, but to name a few of the sights, you’ll be able to spot; the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State, Freedom Tower and others.
Experience the RIDE
The RIDE is my next idea for fun things to do in NYC. It’s a bus tour, but it’s a bus tour with a big difference. It’s like a cross between a broadway musical and a sightseeing tour. I won’t say much more (because it might give it away!) but it’s about the most fun you can have on a bus in NYC.
Visit Modern Pinball NYC
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pinball pro, or a complete newbie, spending an hour or two at Modern Pinball NYC is definitely one of the most fun things to do in NYC, hand down. We all love games and playing pinball is so nostalgic!
Book a private photoshoot
If you’re in the city for a special occassion, you might want a lovely souvenir or memory to look back on the trip with. As someone who LOVES taking photos and loves framing and scrapbooking all my travel memories – having gorgeous images of my husband and family to look back on always means a lot.
If you want some photos that are a bit better than a blurry selfie or rubbish self-timer shot, I really recommend booking yourself a private photographer for a couple of hours. Genuinely, it’s so much fun to let someone else do the directing for a change, and it’s so much to look through all the photos later on too! I recommend booking a photographer through Get Your Guide, just click here.
Visit Coney Island
How could I write a list of fun things to do in NYC, without mentioning Coney Island?! Coney Island is literally known for being the most fun location in New York. It’s so much fun, a classic amusement park with all the rides and games and arcades your inner-child will love.
It’s nostalgic and so much fun, totally un-missable (especially if you’re visiting in the summertime!). You can book tickets in advance by clicking here.
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s the Color Factory. Color Factory is an interactive and fun museum, all based around experiencing and seeing color in new ways.
I don’t want to say too much about it (without spoiling the surprise!) but really, if you have a spare afternoon, this is where to spend it. It’s so unique, so quirky and so much fun. Take a look at their website (click here) and you’ll see why this place is so much fun and so loved by visitors!
Visit Aire Ancient Baths
Next on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s the Aire Ancient Baths. This isn’t fun in a spontanious / lively way, it’s fun in a relaxing and unique way. This is one of the most unique and quirky spas I’ve ever been to and it has quickly become one of my favourite fun things to do in NYC.
My husband and I book ourselves in for a massage, and also spend a couple of hours in the beautiful spa pools, ancient baths and steam rooms too. It’s fun but also incredibly relaxing too!
Climb the Vessel in Hudson Yards
The Vessel is one of the newest outdoor spaces in NYC, and it’s such a fun place to visit in NYC, definitely one you won’t want to miss! It’s basically a huge sculpture and outdoor vertical park, and the challenge is to climb to the top to enjoy the beautiful city views.
It’s free to visit, but you need to book your space in advance as only a limited capacity can be on the Vessel at any one time. Click here to see more.
Watch a Broadway Show
I couldn’t possibly write a list about the best fun things to do in NYC, without including a Broadway Show. For me, Broadway shows are the most fun you can have in NYC, I love the build up, the atmosphere of the theatres, watching the performances, everything.
If you’re not sure which Broadway show is the best for you, I’ve created a guide to and a list of Broadway shows here that might help you decide!
Hunt down your favourite TV and movie locations
It’s no secret that NYC has been used as a filming location for loads of movies and TV shows. One of the most fun things to do in NYC is to head out into the city and find all these locations!
I’ve created a list here with all my favourite TV and movie locations, but there are lots of others lists out there on the internet you can follow too!
Enjoy happy hour on a rooftop
Last on my list of fun things to do in NYC, it’s happy hour on a rooftop bar! The perfect way to end a day or sightseeing, I can’t think of anything better than sinking some cocktails on a rooftop bar with an incredible view of the city. Here are some of my favourite rooftop bars in NYC with amazing views.