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The New York City Bucket List: Things To Do In NYC

New York truly is an urban jungle of endless fun. Whether you’re taking in the skyline at the Empire State Building or sitting in the West Village sharing a glass of wine with a friend, New York feeds the soul like no other city. With fall just around the corner and the weather warming up I’ve been thinking about how much I love this city and all it offers. I’ve gathered a New York City bucket list  of both well known sights but also a personal take on my favorite local spots.

New York City Bucket List Museums

Theres no denying the endless exhibits NYC offers. The MET has the history of artistic transitions,  The MOMA has mind blowing light installations,  The 9/11 Memorial pulls at our heart strings,  The Natural History Museum allows us to time travel, etc…New York museums have it all. Museums are also a great way to escape the summer heat and cool off indoors.

9/11 Memorial Museum

The Met

American Museum of Natural History

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Museum of Modern Art

The Guggenheim Museum 

The Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Complex

New York City Tourist Attractions

New York City bucket list item - Statue of Liberty

New York City’s touristic sights are some of the most famous images in the world. No matter what time you visit Times Squares, the lights are on and shining bright. Top of the Rock Observation Desk offers both uptown and downtown views! And theres really nothing that compares to taking a tour on the water to The Statue of Liberty with views of the financial district.

Statue of Liberty

Top of the Rock Observation Desk

Empire State Building

Times Square

New York City Bucket List Outdoor Fun

New York City bucket list - Central Park

New York City is the epitome of an urban jungle. Urban maybe, but also definitely a jungle. We have some of the most beautiful outdoor parks and the most fun outdoor activities. Very little people know that you actually cant hear the city noise from Central Park. You’ll hear the birds, dogs, cyclists, joggers, and more but definitely not the taxis or the hustle and bustle. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a true joy whether you’re a tourist or a local. The bridge offers gorgeous views and tons of history. Near the bridge on the Brooklyn side is Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park includes Jane’s Carousel and amazing views to picnic to. When visiting during the summer with kids, don’t skip out on the fun rides at Coney Island! If you’re a street food lover, head over the Smorgasburg for an endless array of delicious casual fare. And dont forget NYC’s latest outdoor attraction, The Vessel at Hudson Yards. Truly a mind expanding sight!

Central Park

Brooklyn Bridge 

Brooklyn Bridge Park 

Hudson Yards Vessel

Bryant Park

Jane’s Carousel

Coney Island

The High Line

Sea Glass Carousel

Yankee Game


New York City Restaurants

Food is the epicenter of NYC! And while New Yorkers love dining late, we also love our brunches! So when I was thinking of my favorite places to brunch around the city, Bubby’s was the first to come to mind. Bubby’s hands down has the very best sourdough pancakes I’ve ever had.  Buvette is another favorite for brunch. Located on a quintessential West Village street, this small French bistro never looses its charm or its loyal local regulars. For dinner, not far from Buvette, is Via Carota, a true New York staple. Ive never sent a first time diner to Via Carota and heard anything but raving reviews. Fresh, well thought out, Italian dishes perfectly portioned leaving any diner craving its menu for years to come! Pastis has reopened and I want to shout it out from my rooftop! Ive been going to Pastis for years and was truly saddened by its closing. but after 4 years, its officially open again in a gorgeous new space. Ive already told Jason that this summer every date night must be at Pastis to make up for the last four years. Hehe.  Ive also gathered some of my favorite places for some family fun dining. Alice’s Tea Cup is such a whimsical place to share a Mommy & Me date with a little one. Tea, scones, &  wonder all included! No matter the cuisine, New York has them all and does them all well. Bon Appétit!

Via Carota



Bond Street


Alice’s Tea Cup

Sugar Factory

Tutto Il Giorno

Il Mulino

New York City Sweet Treats

New York City bucket list - Magnolia Bakery

This great city no doubt has amazing food, but don’t forget your sweet tooth! Levain Bakery has internationally known giant ooey gooey soft cookies. Come early as a line builds quick. Magnolia Bakery is known for their better than life Banana Bread Pudding! Visit Dominique Ansel for the original “Cronut”. Cool down on a summer day with the best ice cream you might ever have from Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. Lady M is best known for their “Crepe Cakes”.

Magnolia Bakery

Levain Bakery

Lady M

Dominique Ansel

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

New York City Bucket List Theater Shows

On Broadway, off Broadway, musical, or not, we’ve got it! The most recent show I personally saw was BettleJuice. Siella and I went in May and we just had the very best time. I love sharing a theater experience with my children. Through theater they escape their city life and get transported into the array of worlds all the stories offer. Cats, Wicked, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Chicago, etc.. all bring so much excitement and wonder. Jason and I also (when able) enjoy theater dates. Off broadway performances always blow us away with talent! The writing, character development, and all the work involved always leaves us so impressed.  Ive listed a few different websites to help you navigate dates and showings. Enjoy the show!

New York Theatre Guide


NYC Broadway Tickets

For more amazing family friendly NYC fun, head to Global Munchkins Ultimate Guide To NYC With Kids.

We would love to hear you favorite NYC must-sees!




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29 thoughts on “The New York City Bucket List: Things To Do In NYC”

  1. I’ve never been to New York City, but it’s one place I’ve always wanted to go. This place would actually be on my bucket list. I’ll have to add some of these places around the area now too.

  2. I have only been able to explore NYC for one night and it was amazing!! I really need to go back and explore all it has to offer with my family.

  3. I feel very lucky to have been able to do a lot of these attractions even though I have only gone to NYC twice. I loved taking the ferry, eating, shopping, all the broadway I saw. Some shows I went to alone!

  4. New York City is on our bucket list for sure! This is an awesome list. Hopefully we can get here in the next year.

  5. New York City is definitely on my bucket list. I hope to go there in the next couple of years. This is such a fantastic list of things to do. Thankfully, I know someone who can show me around to these places.

  6. NYC is one of many people’s dream destination. It is so diverse and fun to visit. The food, cabs, people and the high rise buildings are beautiful.

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  13. One of my favorite places from our most recent visit to NYC was Governor’s Island. The kids loved being able to run around and play, we rode those crazy four wheeled bikes around the island, the playgrounds and slides are super fun, and it has stunning views over New York. It made for a perfect day out. Taking the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island and then a ferry on to Brooklyn was also a highlight. We took the ferry to Domino Park and the kids had a blast playing under the fountain and the playground.

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