Top NYC Things to Do

Night Tours, Cruises, Rooftops, Clubs, Attractions

New York City Nightlife offers something for everyone, every day and every night. After all, this IS the city that never sleeps. The standard nightlife, of course, is a restaurant, bar, club, Broadway show or concert, but here we highlight some of the best "only in NYC’ nightlife experiences, including tons of things to do with kids at night in NYC. Skyline views, dinner cruises, which Museums and Attractions are open late, best rooftops, night tours, comedy clubs and more.

See the New York City Skyline

If I had to pick my #1 favorite thing to do in NYC at night, it would be anything with a skyline view. Whether you take it in from a rooftop, boat tour, bus tour, dinner cruise, top of a skyscraper or your friend’s MUST see our skyline twinkle, sparkle and wink right at you.

New York City Nightlife

Some of the top ways to see the NYC Skyline:

Keep reading for more awesome and interesting ways to see our skyline and experience New York City nightlife.

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NYC Comedy Clubs

Comedy clubs are a cornerstone of the NYC nightlife scene. Almost all the great comics either got their start here, or at least perform regularly. Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Jon Stewart, Tina Fey and Louis C.K. are some of the comedy superstars who call NYC home.

More Comedy Schedules: New York Comedy Club - Broadway Comedy Club - Greenwich Village Comedy Club

NYC Comedy Clubs

Almost every comedy club requires a reservation, has an admission cost and/or 2 drink minimum. Are they worth it? Yes, especially those who rarely announce their shows in advance…that’s when you know the big names and superstars may just make a surprise appearance…

  • Greenwich Village Comedy Club – down the block from the Comedy Cellar, and sister club to Broadway Comedy and New York Comedy. Small, basement space underneath an Indian Restaurant, hosting regulars from Saturday Night Live.
  • Stand Up NY – this classic Upper West Side spot has hosted Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Broadway Comedy Club – one of the larger comedy clubs, located in Midtown West (right off Times Square) and often attracts talent who have been on Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, America’s Got Talent and Last Comic Standing.
  • Caroline’s on Broadway – one of the oldest and most popular clubs in NYC, located in Times Square. Likely where you will see the most famous names on the schedule in advance.
  • Comedy Cellar – a dark, tiny and cramped East Village institution, that consistently hosts top names in comedy and has a ton of surprise guests, like Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari. You’ll also want to check out the Olive Tree Café upstairs, which has chalkboards for tables and silent films playing on walls.
  • Upright Citizens Brigade – named for the Comedy Central sketch show and founded by Matt Besser, Amy Poehler and others. Mostly features improv troupes and sketch groups, and a Sunday night favorite for Saturday Night Live stars and late-night talk show writers to both gather and perform.

Most clubs allow children ages 16+ in with an accompanying adult. See upcoming shows at:

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A Night at the Museum

Just a few times per year, the Museum of Natural History lets you sleep over!!!! And yes, it's just like the movie! Evening and morning snacks, cots to sleep on, a flashlight fossil fact-finding mission, live animals, private museum tours and more.

A Night at the Museum

Sleep Over at the Museum of Natural History

February 21 & 28, 2020
March 27, 2020
April 3 & 25, 2020

This is an authentic NYC experience you and the kids can't miss! Ages 6 - 13, + an accompanying guardian.

NYC Dinner Cruises on the Harbor

A dinner harbor cruise is an excellent way to combine a lovely dinner and sightseeing. Most of the cruises depart at 7pm and run about 3 hours.

NYC Dinner Cruises on the Harbor

The price points are all pretty similar ($100-$150 pp) and it’s up to you to choose based on your preferences: family friendly, dress code, menu and music type. All the dinner cruises are high quality and these are listed from most casual to elegant.

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NYC Bus Night Tour

A family-friendly evening bus tour is a great choice allowing you to easily see our twinkling lights, especially after a long day of sightseeing. Since I see and hear these guys outside my window EVERY night, I can say for sure, everyone loves to sit on the top of the double-decker bus!

The Ride NYC Bus Tour

Night Bus Tour Choices:

  • The Ride NYC Bus Tour - NYC's favorite bus tour! The Ride combines entertainment, hilarious improvisation and wild people-watching amusement on its one-of-a-kind New York City tour bus outfitted with stadium seating. Instead of facing forward, passengers sit facing the long side of the bus, so you can see tons more of NYC.
  • NY Big Bus Night Tour - nightly tours depart every 30 minutes from 7:00pm - 9:00pm. During the winter holidays, the Big Bus Night Tour becomes the Holiday Lights and Bridges Tour. You’ll see the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Times Square and more while a guide narrates your tour. The Night Tour then crosses the East River into Brooklyn so you can see one of the BEST views of the NYC Skyline…from Brooklyn.

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Using Sightseeing Passes at Night

While a large portion of tours and attractions are only available during the day, there are still plenty of ways to use the sightseeing passes at night. This is great if you want to pack your NYC visit and want to see the most in a short time. If that is the case, you’ll want to know what to schedule during the day and which attractions and tours you can push to evenings and nighttime.

For example, enjoy a leisurely dinner and then head up to the Top of Rock or Empire State Building..why rush through your days when in the City that Never Sleeps?

New York Explorer Pass – Choose Your Nightlife

  • Empire State Building, open until 2:00am
  • Top of the Rock, open until 12:00am
  • The Met Museum, open Fri/Sat until 9pm
  • Madame Tussauds – last entry 8pm Sun-Thurs and 10pm Fri-Sat
  • Ripleys Believe it or Not! – open until 1:00am
  • Statue by Night Cruise – daily 7:30pm
  • Night Time Bus Tour – last departure 8pm
  • Twilight Sightseeing Cruise – 6pm or 7:30pm
  • Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise – 6pm Fri-Sun

New York CityPASS – Nightlife Included

  • Empire State Building, open until 2:00am
  • Top of the Rock, open until 12:00am
  • The Met Museum, open Fri-Sat until 9pm
  • Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise – 6pm Fri-Sun

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New York City Lights Tours

See our beautiful Skyline from all angles – in any weather!

Sunset Sail aboard the Schooner Adirondack

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$72
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NYC Dinner & Skyline Cruise

Price starting at US$145
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Champagne City Lights Cruise on Yacht Manhattan

Price starting at US$56
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Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise

Price starting at US$33
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New York City Lights Dinner Cruise

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$161
View details

Architecture and Lights of Gotham

Price starting at US$74
View details

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Lincoln Center - Opera, Ballet, NY Philharmonic, Jazz, Broadway

You really haven't been to NYC until you experience THE beating heart of our Arts & Culture scene, Lincoln Center, home to the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, NYC Ballet, Julliard School, Broadway and so much more. See what NYC's (always amazing) classic cultural scene has to offer while you are here.

Lincoln Center NYC

More: Lincoln Center Venue Guide

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More New York City Nightlife

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NYC Nightclub Experience

Skip the lines, walk past the doorman and be escorted to your VIP table at several NYC nightclubs

NYC Nightclub Experience

Your NYC club host meets you in Times Square and takes you to several clubs, where you sit at VIP tables and receive 3 free drinks with your ticket. Possible club venues include Lavo, Marquee, 1Oak, Griffin, Hudson Terrace, Pink Elephant, Kiss and Fly, Highline Ballroom, Catch, Sky Room, and Gansevoort. All of these have been very ‘in’ clubs at some point and all have hosted celebrities, though on any given night, you never know who might be there. All are upscale, so dress to impress!

More Info: NYC Nightclub Experience (Fri-Sat, 21+)

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