New York City Skyline at night

25 Best Things To Do In New York City At Night 2023

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Planning your trip and looking for the best things to do in NYC at night?

There are a myriad of Must Sees in New York City,  but are you looking for the best things to do in New York City at night?

Look no further. They don’t call it “the city that never sleeps” for nothing!

It’s true, NYC can offer you 25 different and amazing things to do at night.

Imagine a place with something new to do every night for weeks! Enjoy sunsets, skylines, art, theater, fabulous food, and one of the most exciting nightlife cities in the world!

Here are the 25 Best Things to do in New York City at Night

Don’t  feel overwhelmed! Let this guide take you through a list of my favorite things to do in NYC at night. Some for free, some for the whole family, and some to help you hit the NYC nightlife. 

Must See In New York City
NYC at Night

#1 See views from an Observation Deck

First things first, you have to see the city skyline. Who doesn’t love the view of  Manhattan lights from up above? 

Entrance of the Empire State Building
Must See in New York City

There are 5 observation decks in NYC to catch some great sparkling night time views: 

  • The Empire State Building 
  • The Edge At Hudson Yards
  • The Summit At One Vanderbilt
  • One World Observatory
  • The Top Of The Rock

Here’s an introduction to them all, but unless you really want to spend lots of money and wait in line, you should pick just one for your visit.

Heads up that you will likely have to pay an extra fee for a sunset time spot at most of these observation decks.

~THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING – My top pick for this experience!

Location – 20 West 34th St.
Hours – 8:AM- 2:AM daily
Tickets – start at $44
Deck Height – 1050 feet at the 86th floor, 1250 feet at the 102nd floor

You’ll be able to stand outside on the famous observation deck, look through the giant binoculars for free, and enjoy 360 degree views of the night sky. 

Why I don’t recommend spending more money for the 102 floor?

Just because the cost is more, the views are not more incredible, and certainly the 102 floor doesn’t have the charm and historic significance of the 86th floor.

Don’t worry if it’s cold, there are heating lamps, champagne, and a romantic atmosphere to keep you warm.

A little more info: The Empire State was built  in 1931. As the tallest building in the world of the time, it stood at 1454 feet tall. 

This magnificent Art Deco skyscraper has been the star of many famous movies and tons of memorable occasions. Make it one of your memorable things to do in New York City at night!

Must See In New York City


Location – Hudson Yards at the end of the Highline near West 34th St.
Hours – 10:AM – 10:PM daily (outdoor deck maybe closed due to weather)
Tickets – start at $38
Deck Height – 1131 feet at the 100th floor 

The Edge, opened in 2020, is more modern and equally as remarkable an experience of floating above New York City at night. 

You can even scale the side of the building during the day, wearing a harness, if you’re a real thrill seeker.

The Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere. With the sensation of being suspended above the city and a glass floor, The Edge might not be for everyone! 

Hudson Yards has plenty of shopping and dining opportunities for a New York City at night time adventure.


Location – 1 Vanderbilt Ave. near Grand Central Station at East 42nd Street Enter from the street, or directly from the Grand Central Terminal.
Hours – 9:AM – 10:30 PM daily
Tickets – start at $43
Deck Height – 1063 feet at the 93rd floor 

The Summit at One Vanderbilt near Grand Central Station in midtown Manhattan is special, not just because it is the 4th tallest building in NYC, but because it provides a full art installation as part of the 360 degree viewing experience.

The Summit is described as a “three level multi sensory art immersion.” Art, silver balloons, and mirrors as you walk through the Affinity, Unity, Levitation, and Transcendence installations.

It’s a lot of stimulation, and people love it! You start on the 91st floor and continue up to the 92nd and 93rd.

The Edge New York
NYC at Night


Location – One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan
Hours – 9:AM – 9: PM daily
Tickets – start at $47
Deck Height – 1268 feet at the 102rd floor 

The Freedom Tower or One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the 7th tallest building in the world! The building is 1776 feet tall (yes, it symbolizes the signing of the Declaration of Independence) and at 1268 feet, the One World Observatory is on the 102nd floor.

The One World Observatory experience offers a lot because of the historic and powerful message behind this building. You’ll get a great elevator ride and videos sharing the history of New York, but…

I wouldn’t necessarily choose this as the best nighttime view. 

Because it’s in lower Manhattan, you won’t see the iconic NYC skyline that you get from the midtown spots, like the Empire State. Also, if you want great photos, the One World Observatory is enclosed in windows, so all your pics will be through glass.

Must See In New York City
Reasons to visit New York


Location – West 50th St and Avenue of the Americas at Rockefeller Center
Hours – 9:AM – 10:30 PM daily
Tickets – start at $34
Deck Height – 850 feet at the 70th floor 

The top of Rockefeller Center could be one of the more underrated night time observation decks in NYC.

If you want to see the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center, and Central Park lit up at night,  then the Top of the Rock is for you.

There are three observation decks included in the admission. The 67th floor is an indoor deck with a great view of the Empire State Building. The 69th floor has an outdoor viewing deck with a 270 degree view of the city. And for 360 degree views, go to the 70th floor.

#2 Enjoy a Broadway Show 

SIX Theater NYC at Night

See a musical because it will be uplifting, inspiring, and one of the most fun things to do in NYC at night. 

The historic Broadway theaters are gorgeous inside and rarely have bad seats. The level of talent that you will witness, is arguably the best in the world! A must on the list of things to do in New York City at night.

Tips on How To Get Theater Tickets

  • I recommend you plan ahead with Today Tix because it is an easy-to-use phone app. I use it and find it really convenient. They offer surprise deals, and fewer fees than some of the other ticket agencies.


  • TKTS in Times Square is another way to go. Back in the 70’s TKTS started offering discounted same day tickets for Broadway shows. This little booth was opened up by the Theater Development Fund, a non profit wanting to make sure everyone could enjoy the theater. The TKTS booth is now under the famous glass steps in Times Square.


  • You can find tickets online via many ticket vendors like, Ticketmaster, etc. Be sure to shop around for the best prices!
NYC at Night
NYC at Night

#3  A Night at the Museum

I really love going to New York City’s art museums at any time, but the evenings are a special treat.

Go For Free

Lots museums offer free or discounted admission for these night time visits and it’s usually less crowded. 

These museums have exquisite permanent collections and special exhibits that make it worth going back again and again.  Visit a New York City Museum at night and feel refreshed and inspired. 


Location – 1000 5th Avenue
Nighttime Hours – Friday and Saturday Date Night hours from 5:PM until 9:PM 

The Met is the mother of all NYC museums and can keep you busy for as many hours as you like, or just spend the evening relaxing in the open American Wing among the sculptures.

Must See In New York City


Location – 1071 5th Avenue
Nighttime Hours – Saturdays open until 8:PM. 

The Guggenheim is an architectural marvel so the experience is like seeing art within art. I love the ease of circling up through the exhibits and being so close to the park at night.


Location – 11 West 53rd Street
Nighttime Hours – Friday nights are free from 4:PM until 8:PM. 

A wide spectrum of modern art at its finest, it’s always a treat to be at this museum.


Location – 99 Gansevoort Street
Nighttime Hours – Fridays are pay-what-you-wish from 7:PM until 10:PM.

Head downtown for so much to do in the evenings and enjoy this gorgeous collection of American Art and enjoy night time views of the Hudson River.


Location – 1048 5th Avenue
Nighttime Hours – First Friday of the month is free from 6:PM until 8:PM. 

This is a small but mighty museum of the finest German and Austrian art in the William Starr Miller Housel. I love that you are roaming through one of the most historic, Gilded Age homes in Manhattan, seeing the famous Klimt Woman In Gold.

Neue Galerie
NYC at Night
Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
NYC at Night

#4 The Iconic Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is one of the most famous and beautiful art deco era venues in the world. Mostly known for the tap dancing wonders, the Rockettes, Radio City is also a great place to listen to concerts when the Rockettes aren’t performing. 

 If you’re going at Christmas time, I highly recommend you get tickets for the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. When I say it’s some of the most fun you will have in New York City at night, I’m not kidding! 

Since the 1930’s The Rockettes have been performing in Radio City Music Hall for the holiday season. Watch the kick line! It’s fun for the whole family. 

#5 Take a NYC Night Bus Tour

Take a bus tour at night and see the city all lit up. Enjoy the Chrysler Building lights, the Brooklyn Bridge lights, and Manhattan all aglow.

NYC skyline at night
Statue of Liberty at night

#6 Cruise Manhattan 

View the Manhattan skyline at sunset on the water. Cruise around and watch as the city lights up. There are plenty of night time cruise options that include cocktails, music, food and even views of Lady Liberty all lit up.

Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
Things To Do In Lower Manhattan

#7 Take the Staten Island Ferry For Free 

Location – Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan. 

The Staten Island Ferry runs free 24/7, every 20 minutes and travels between Staten Island and Manhattan. You MUST exit the boat at the Staten Island side and can get immediately back in the queue to return to Manhattan. You will have great night time views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the NYC skyline for FREE.

#8 Visit Little Island at Night

Location – Pier 55
Little Island is a Free evening activity, open until 9:PM daily, that is fun for the whole family and perfect for a romantic date.  Little Island, is an artificial island built on tulip shaped pods, in the Hudson River.

 Little Island was designed to bring beautiful, green, community space to the part of Manhattan which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 

The island offers performances, art, and great views overlooking the water. I find a new special thing each time I go. It’s another great thing to do in New York City at night. Take a stroll and bring your camera!

Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
Things To Do In Lower Manhattan

#9 Walk on the High Line

Location – Start at the steps next to The Whitney Museum and walk the 1.45 mile stretch from Gansevoort St. to 34th St.

The High Line is a Free sunset activity open until 10:PM daily in the summer and until 7:PM in the winter. I really love walking on the High Line every time I visit NYC. Early evening is a perfect time to catch the sunset and watch the city begin to light up. 

The High Line is a unique public park filled with nature and art that was created on the rail line above Manhattan’s West Side streets. People raised funds to save the old meatpacking rail line from being demolished in 2009.  It is one of New York’s most beautiful and sustainable spaces. 

#10 Visit Chinatown

Location – Mott Street between Bleecker and Chatham Square or Canal Street
Chinatown is so much fun at night. It’s lit up, bustling with people, and has excellent food options! If you’re looking for some real tourist things to do in New York City at night, you’ll find plenty of souvenirs in Chinatown.

#11 Dessert In Little Italy

Location – Mulberry Street
Little Italy, just north of Chinatown is another great nighttime destination. It’s always festive and lively. 

Be sure to go hungry and ready for desserts. The bakeries are amazing and there’s nothing like stopping for a cannoli and coffee on a warm summer evening or during the Christmas season.

Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
NYC at Night
Things To Do In Lower Manhattan

#12 Visit Times Square

Location – 42nd Street and Broadway
Visit Times Square at night and be dazzeled by things you’ve never seen before! The sun goes down and the lights come up and it’s a wild time! While the chaos is not for everyone, it’s worth having the experience at least once. It’s a true quintessential thing to do in New York City at night!

Whether you are exiting from a show or heading to dinner, spend a minute looking around and soaking in one of the most iconic spots in the world. 

Times Square Fun Facts:

  • It was Longacre Square until the New York Times moved there in 1904.
  • The traffic on Broadway between 42nd Street and 47th Street is closed to traffic.
  • Since 1907, The New Years Eve ball has dropped from the One Times Square Building. ​​
  • There are enough lights in Times Square to be seen from the International Space Station.
  • Times Square is also called the Crossroads of the World.
  • The Broadway Theater District is called The Great White Way because of all the lights on the marquees.

#13 Watch The Midnight Moment

I think this is one of the coolest things to witness in NYC at night. At 11:57 until 12 midnight, every night, 364 nights a year, since 2012, the billboards of Times Square turn into an art show. 

It’s called the Midnight Moment when all 92 advertising displays in Times Square turn off the ads and turn on art!

The art shows change monthly and have featured works of the world’s most famous contemporary artists.

You can thank the Times Square Advertising Coalition and their participating billboard operators.

NYC at Night

#14 Go To An Outdoor Movie

Look for the free outdoor movie series in Central Park, Bryant Park, on the Intrepid ship deck, and the Seaport if you are visiting in the summer.

There are so many great film festivals offering free movies under the stars throughout the summer months.

Bring a blanket and popcorn and enjoy! Check out the schedules on the New York City Insiders Guide.

NYC at Night

#15 See A Late Night TV Show

This is one of the best free things to do in NYC at night! Have you dreamt of being in the audience for Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, or Stephen Colbert?

Try to get free tickets to one of your favorite shows as one of your fun things to do in NYC at night. Some of the shows ask that you request your tickets months ahead and others will have day-of seats available. 

Check the shows’ individual websites. It’s very competitive, so have a backup plan in case you don’t get tickets


Saturday Night Live tapes live on Saturday nights but the lottery for tickets is in August. If you win, you’ll be given 2 tix for a random show during the season. If you want to try for stand-by seats, get in line at 30 Rockefeller Center on the 49th St. side. Tickets are distributed at 7:AM on the day of the show.


Sign up with 1iota website a month in advance to request your tickets. If you don’t get them, you can get in line at 30 Rockefeller Center on the on the 49th St side. Tickets are distributed at 9:AM on the day of the show.


Sign up with 1iota website 2 months in advance to request your tickets. You might not hear if you got tickets until 2 weeks or 24 hours in advance.

NYC at Night
NYC at Night
Christmas In NYC

#16 Go To A Comedy Club In NYC

A hilariously fun way to spend an evening in NYC is to go to a comedy club. Some of the most famous comedians got their start in NYC at these clubs. So go laugh for a few hours! 

Here are 4 top rated comedy clubs in Manhattan:


This is where Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, and a host of others began their careers.
Location1568 2nd Ave on the Upper East Side
Tickets – $25.93
Hours – Check the website. 7 nights a week, 8:PM and 10:15 shows.


This is in the historic Chelsea Hotel and was featured in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Location208 West 23rd St. in Chelsea
Tickets – $20
Hours – Check the website. Most nights have 8:PM and 10:PM shows


This is a classic, tiny club, with a brick wall behind the stage, and features lots of great talent.
Location241 East 24 St. in Gramercy
Tickets – $25 + fees
Hours – Check the website. Shows start at 4:30PM or 6:30PM on some days, and go until 12:30AM or 2:AM


This club has featured stars like Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman in this very famous venue.
Location117 Macdougal St. in Greenwich Village
Tickets – $14 – $25
Hours – Check the website. Shows start at 7:PM and go until 11:30PM

#17 Where Are The Hidden Speakeasies Of NYC?

There are some secrets in NYC that even New Yorkers don’t know about! There are hidden entrances to fantastic speakeasy bars all over Manhattan. They’re a throwback to the days of prohibition and are thriving behind unmarked doors, fake fronts, in back alleys, basements, and even in subway stations. Here are a few I can recommend:


Location102 Norfolk St.
Look for The Lower East Side Toy Company sign on a little gate, walk down the steps into the alley and then up a staircase with toy cars displayed on the landing.

Look for Laurel & Hardy telling you to Be Quiet in the Alley. This door is the same hidden entrance from the original 1920’s speakeasy.

You’ll enjoy your cocktails in tea cups while you sit on velvet sofas and listen to music. 


Location – 7th & Bleeker
Walk into the Five Guys Restaurant but don’t order anything because you’re looking for the hidden staircase in the back. There you’ll find a beautiful speakeasy club famous for its delicious cocktails.


Location – 206 Avenue A
Head to Borrachito’s Taco Bar in the East Village, to find the hidden entrance to the speakeasy in the back. Also owned by the Garret group, this club is another downtown secret gem.

NYC at Night
Must See In New York City
Empire State Building

#18 Go To A NYC Jazz Club

Being married to a Jazz musician means I’ve had the privilege of hearing my husband play at some of the top clubs in NYC with some of the best Jazz musicians around.

There are more choices in NYC for listening to Jazz than most other cities in the world. Here are a few favorites: 


Location131 W 3rd Street
A part of the NYC scene since 1981, The Blue Note is one of the premiere Jazz clubs in the world with legends and contemporary stars performing nightly. It’s a larger club with comfortable tables. Plan on an additional $20 minimum for food or drink purchases.


Location – 183 W 10th Street
Smalls is a classic small Jazz club featuring outstanding artists, both local and traveling. You can catch some great jam sessions. They serve drinks in this great sounding basement club. Go to their piano bar down the street at Mezzro to catch another show.


Location – 178 7th Ave South
Since 1935, this club has been at the center of all Jazz trends featuring the best players in a very cool, triangle shaped room.


Location – 2 6th Ave
In the basement of the Roxy Hotel and bar, Django is this very cool cellar room with great sound, food, and amazing musicians nightly. 


Location315 W 44th Street
Birdland is named for the legendary Charlie “Bird” Parker and has lived up to his reputation since 1949 when Charlie Parker was the headliner. The club closed, reopened, and changed locations, but has never lost its great music. Plan on an additional $20 minimum for food or drink purchases.


Location – 60th & Broadway
Dizzy’s is the Jazz At Lincoln Center club in a gorgeous setting with views of Central Park. This venue offers a diverse array of performers from around the world, and has a full dinner and bar menu.

The Blue Note
NYC at Night

#19 Enjoy One Of NYC’s Rooftop Bars
At Night

Who doesn’t love to have a fancy cocktail or mocktail with a view? NYC’s rooftop bar and nightclub scene is notorious for its glamor and lights. Here are some of the top spots for great views.

~ A.R.T. NoMad – 31 floors atop the Arlo Roof Top
Location – 11 E 31st St 31 floors

~ Harriet’s Rooftop & Lounge – atop One Hotel Brooklyn
Location – 60 Furman St., Brooklyn

~ Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge – 18 floors atop the Moxy Time Square Hotel
Location – 485 7th Ave

~ The Crown Rooftop Bar & Lounge – 21 floors atop the Chinatown Hotel 50
Location – 50 Bowery

NYC at Night
NYC at Night

#20  Sing Along At A Piano Bar

NYC is known for it’s community of talent. Head to one of the many piano bars for a fun thing to do in New York City at night. 

Sing along with the piano player and work on your newest audition song! Check websites for reservations. Here are a few of the best known piano bars:


Location343 W 46th St.
Super fun and famous, but it’s in the theater district, so expect a long wait in line. 


Location –  235 E 84th St.
A hidden gem of the upper east side.


Location35 E 76th St.
A very beautiful and old NYC venue, so expect a long wait and high prices.


Location –  61 Christopher St.
Great for drag shows, comedy, and lots of singing!

Must See In New York City
Hudson Yards NYC
Central Park

#21 New York City Ballet at
Lincoln Center

Location – 150 West 65th St.
You can’t get a better ballet company than the New York City BalletBecause I’m a dancer, I’ll always recommend seeing dance when visiting NYC.

Enjoy a night at the ballet in the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Check the website for programs and tickets.

#22 The Metropolitan Opera at
Lincoln Center

Location – 150 West 65th St.
If you love opera like I do, then seeing The Metropolitan Opera company perform is a once in a life time experience. The company performs at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. Get dressed up and enjoy a night at the opera. Check the website for programs and tickets.

#23 The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center

Location – 150 West 65th Street
My husband and I love going to the symphony for an inspirational evening. The New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra is one of the most renowned American orchestras. Check the website for programs and tickets.

#24 The New York City Center 

Location – 131 West 55th Street
The New York City Center is a stunning theater built in the Moorish Revival style. The City Center is home to many famous performers in dance, music, and theater. If you can catch the Alvin Ailey Dance Company during your visit, you’ll be blown away! Check the website for programs and tickets.

NYC at Night
NYC at Night
NYC at Night

#25 How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

Location – 881 Seventh Avenue
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!

This is the premier concert hall in New York City and will be one of your most memorable evenings. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who you see performing there because you can be guaranteed that it will be remarkable.

Check the website for programs and tickets.

Things To Do In Lower Manhattan
Things To Do In Lower Manhattan

Things to do in NYC at Night:
Know Before You Go

When is the best time to visit
New York City?

Summer in the city can be really fun but also very busy and hot

Fall is ideal with average temps in the 60’s and 70’s. 

November and December are delightful in the city, the festivities abundant, and the air can be crisp and invigorating. 

February or March will vary, so bring layers and an umbrella!

Where is the best place to stay in
New York City?

One of the best things about New York City is it’s distinct neighborhoods, each with it’s own set of charms. Here are some places to stay with great reviews in great neighborhoods.

→ Best Budget Spot – Arlo Soho 

Arlo Soho is in the heart of Greenwich Village, has a rooftop bar, and views of the river. This spot can cost you $292 and up.

Best Mid-Range Spot – The Hotel Beacon

The Hotel Beacon is a historic building on the Upper West Side with apartment style rooms near Central Park. This hotel can cost you $479 and up.

Best Luxury Spot – Lotte New York Palace

Lotte New York Palace was formerly the historic Villard Mansion, on Madison Avenue. This grand, 5 star hotel can cost you $595 and up.

Where are the best places to eat in
New York City?

NYC is a great food town. Hard to go wrong.

Here are some of my places to eat in NYC at night favorites. They all have Gluten Free options.

  • Dante
  • Jack’s Wife Freida
  • La Pecora Bianca
  • Lola Taverna
  • Lure
  • The Waverly Inn 
  • Via Carota

If you’re looking for an iconic experience and don’t mind tourist prices, then check out:

  • The Russian Tea Room near Carnegie Hall 
  • Tavern On The Green in Central Park
  • Katz Deli in the Lower East Side

What’s the best way to get around
New York City?

I always recommend walking because it’s so much fun to see everything!

But when planning your night time excursions, stay smart and safe. 

Taxi and ride apps are always available. The subway and bus system is also very efficient and easily accessible. 

PRO TIP: Purchase a Metrocard at a subway station and use it on the buses as well. Each ride costs $2.75, but a 7 day, unlimited ride card is $33. 

You can swipe through the turnstile and pass the card to your travel partner behind you. It’s actually legit to do that with up to 4 people. 

Now  you know about the  Best 25 Things To Do In New York City At Night

In a nutshell…

You’re good to go! See the lights, look at the views, enjoy all kinds of culture, laugh, and eat your way late into the night in the city that never sleeps with these 25 things to do in NYC at night! Enjoy!

Check out my other New York City posts for more ideas of things to do in the daytime too! Go out and have a fabulous evening!



Hi There! I’m Carrie.

Carrie Green-Zinn Bio Page

I’m a native New Englander, turned New Yorker, turned California girl! Following a dance career, working as a dance therapist, and being a school psychologist, I’m now ready to share my passion for photography and travel with you! I absolutely love seeing the world with my family and friends. I know you feel the same! Let’s go! 

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