Things to do During the Day in New York City

So you’re planning a trip to NYC, and you’re all set to experience nightlife in the city that never sleeps.

But what do you do while the sun’s still up and the clubs are still closed? Well, we hope you’ll consider checking out a few of these daytime New York attractions.

Whether you’re a culture buff, an artsy sort, or just love nature, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Big Apple.

Save on Admission to Daytime Activities in NYC

If you want to save on things to do during the day on your New York City vacation, consider picking up a flexible New York City Explorer Pass®.

Save up to 50% off your choice of more than 70 daytime options, versus paying admission directly at the gate – Learn more.

If you’re looking for daytime activities in New York, check out a few of our favorites, including…

  • Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Empire State Building
  • Central Park Bike Tour
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • The Met
  • And more!

Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour

To get a true sense of the city during the day, a comprehensive bus tour seems in order.

This hop-on hop-off option from Big Bus is a smart choice because it offers flexibility and freedom alongside entertainment.

Choose from more than 25 stops across two popular routes, Downtown and Uptown.

If you need anymore convincing, you’ll appreciate the fact that Big Bus is the highest rated bus tour company on TripAdvisor!

Getting In: Big Bus New York tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Madame Tussauds  

This perennially popular attraction is full of fun and playfulness and is among the top-visited daytime spots in the city.

See exquisitely realistic wax replicas of famous people and characters from NYC and around the globe, and snap a selfie with your favorites.

Due to its Times Square location, Madame Tussauds is also easy to fit into a broader NYC itinerary.

Getting In: Madame Tussauds New York tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Empire State Building 

Empire State Building Tourist TipsYou can’t leave NYC without taking advantage of the opportunity to see the city from above on one of its most famous observation decks. (The view from the street is pretty cool, too!)

The Empire State Building Observatory is located on the 86th floor and provides 360-degree views of Midtown Manhattan and beyond.

There are also a number of informative exhibits that highlight the building’s history, its Art Deco architecture, and more.

Getting In: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Central Park Bike Tour

For those who love the great outdoors, you simply can’t miss out on exploring NYC’s very own slice of natural paradise – the inimitable Central Park.

This massive urban greenspace contains so many attractions within, like Cherry Hill Fountain, the Strawberry Fields and Imagine Mosaic, the Shakespeare Garden, the Naumburg Bandshell, and more.

Take a bike tour to explore these sites on two wheels. It’s easy, convenient, fun, and burns off some of those calories you consumed last night.

Getting In: Central Park Bike Tour tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

American Museum of Natural History

One of the most enchanting museums in the entire country, the American Museum of Natural History is filled with exhibits, artifacts, and natural objects.

Some of their most popular exhibits include their famous collection of dinosaur fossils, brilliant gems, and vivid animal dioramas. Visitors especially love the exhibits in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.

Be sure to also check out the Museum store for some souvenirs that will prove you did more than party.

Getting In: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

9/11 Memorial and Museum

To truly appreciate the history of this iconic global city, you’ll want to spend a little time honoring its past.

A visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a somber but informative experience that allows you to explore archives, photographs, multimedia displays, and more.

Don’t forget to scope out the exterior, with twin reflecting pools that contain the largest manmade waterfalls on the entire continent. 

Getting In: 9/11 Memorial and Museum tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

The Met 

Art lovers from around the globe flock to NYC to explore the impeccable collections of the Met.

The seemingly endless galleries feature a wide variety of art objects, from Ancient Egypt to Modern and Contemporary Art. They’ve even got exhibits on Arms & Armor, Asian Art, and Musical Instruments.

You can easily spend an entire day roaming these halls.

Getting In: The Met tickets are included with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

NYC Shopping

SoHo in New York CityIf you love a good afternoon spent shopping – whether or not an exchange of money and goods actually occurs – you’ll love roaming through the shops of New York City.

Still the shopping capital of the U.S. in the age of online retail, NYC has a store to sell you just about anything you can think of.

Visitors love to explore the pricier stores along Wall Street and across Lower Manhattan generally, as well as the more affordable options in SoHo and Union Square. The Macy’s in Herald Square and the Bloomies in Midtown are also popular spots.

Getting In: New York City Explorer Pass® holders receive an extra discount at Bloomingdales and Macy’s.

Save on Admission to Daytime Activities in New York

If you’re interested in visiting a few of these top NYC attractions during the day on your vacation, check out the New York City Explorer Pass®.

You can save up to 50% on combined admission prices and enjoy additional benefits, too.

Think of it this way — you’ll have more money to spend on your evening excursions. Happy travels!

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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