Top 11 Fun Activities In NYC For Adults: Perfect For Couples

September 8, 2023

New York is a massive, sprawling metropolis home to over 8 million residents. Given its size, it can be hard to sort through all the fun options that you could take a friend or partner to. 

That is why we’ve compiled a list of our top 11 favorite and fun activities in NYC for adults and couples. You’ll discover some hot spots in New York to take a partner or friend, and ways to make a memorable moment.

Let’s take a look.

Key Takeaways

  • Fun moments can be made through unique, thrilling experiences, like soaring through the skies in a Blade helicopter.
  • Movies, food, sightseeing, and Broadway theatres are other ways to thrill your partner and friends.

Top 10 Fun Activities in NYC for Adults

  1. Soar Through the NYC Skies in a Helicopter

Some of the best fun activities for adults in NYC include riding through the skies in a Blade helicopter. If you want to travel between locations in New York and skip the traffic, a helicopter is your best solution. Travel by helicopter cuts down commute time to a fraction of what you would experience by calling a cab, plus it provides a touch of luxury that your partner or friend will notice.

See the Manhattan skyline from higher than any observation deck New York offers. Appreciating the city from a helicopter can offer a timeless and memorable moment you can photograph and keep for years. Conveniently, Blade also offers ground transport, so you don’t have to lift a finger to get from one city area to another.

  1. Visit Central Park 

In the 843 acres of Central Park, there are many fun activities to participate in. Central Park offers free and paid activities for the enthusiastic go-getter who wants a break from city life. 

The well-maintained lawns and ballparks are ideal for a picnic or games like softball. This is ideal if you prefer to lounge freely and soak up some sun or play an outdoor game of croquet with your partner. 

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The Conservancy also offers free catch-and-release fishing in the Harlem Meer, allowing you to borrow a fishing pole and some bait. The only catch is you must have a valid NYS fishing license. This is a fun activity if you prefer a more hands-on pastime or want to practice your fishing angle with a friend or partner.

Some paid activities within Central Park include guided tours and horse-drawn carriage rides. For an idyllic scene, the North Woods offers guided tours through the paths, cascades, streams, and natural flora. The North Woods tour takes about 90 minutes and costs roughly $25 per person. Touring through the streams and gorges of the North Woods is ideal for couples who love nature or friends seeking a fun escape from the city.

There are also horse-drawn carriage rides available in Central Park, where you’re taken on a VIP tour through the many picturesque places of the park. It costs about $120 to reserve a private carriage for a half hour. This fun activity is best suited to friends or couples who are a fan of vintage travel and experiencing something new.

  1. Dive into the Many Expressions of NYC’s Museums 

New York has a high appreciation for art and history, as seen by its plethora of museums. Of the museums in New York, some of the most iconic are:

  • The Color Factory.
  • The Museum of Modern Art.
  • The Intrepid Museum.

The Color Factory

The Color Factory displays interactive and colorful exhibits to bring out the child in anyone. You can learn everything about color with lit-up dance floors, touchable displays, and an immersive ball pit. The Color Factory will teach you how color affects us on a daily basis, and how it’s used to influence us in our daily lives.

For an intimate and fun date out with your partner or an enthusiastic trip to take with your friends, the Color Factory has something to offer people interested in color.

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offers rooms upon rooms filled with all types of paintings to admire. It has paintings from the 1880’s all the way to the 2020s. They have art exhibits such as ‘Chosen Memories’ from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and the late Jennifer Bartlett’s ‘Rhapsody.’

This museum holds iconic pieces like Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night,’ letting you get up and close with legendary artists and their actual works.

The MoMA is best suited to couples and friends who love the expression of art and enjoy exhibits that are looked at rather than touched, like the Color Factory.

The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

Take a walk through immersive history brought back to life at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. A museum attached to a real-life harbored aircraft carrier from 1943 can be fully explored as if you were a sailor on the ocean during World War II. 

The Intrepid also hosts the British Airways Concorde, a record-breaking jetliner that crossed the Atlantic Ocean in under three hours. Visitors are also welcome to explore the Growler, one of the only American guided missile submarines available to the public. 

The Intrepid is also home to the Enterprise, a prototype space shuttle that was designed to get rocketed into space and glide back down safely as the first reusable space shuttle. The Enterprise is surrounded by interactive exhibits that give an insider’s view of what it was like to be part of the space movement in the 1970s.

The Intrepid Museum best suits couples and friends who love history, military technology, and space.

4. Check Out the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC

In the streets filled with history and where the shoes of the greats have walked, you can check out the Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. This is a guaranteed night of fun for a partner or a group of friends as you’re serenaded with poetry or try to straight-face it through a comedy club night.

For history and music buffs, the Apollo Theater is a special place. Musical legends like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson were discovered at the Apollo’s many Amateur Nights. Having opened in 1934, the Apollo Teater continues to showcase riveting talent and provide a place for start-up musicians to spread their wings, all to the delight of an enthusiastic audience.

Tickets typically start at $30, plus an extra $10 for food and drinks.

The Apollo Theater is an excellent choice for couples who want to sit in a cozy atmosphere together or friends who prefer a bit of musical taste to their palette.

5. Float Down the Hudson River at Pier 26 

For more fun activities in NYC for adults free per person, you can consider floating down the Hudson River in a kayak.

Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26 offers free kayaking in the warm summer months. They only ask that you wear the provided life jacket and know how to swim. You’re given free rein within the bay for around 20 minutes, letting you soak in the waterfront. Renting a kayak for a quick peruse on the waterfront best suits romantics or friends who want to blow steam off in the water on a hot day for free.

6. Enjoy the Sweet Side of NYC at the Milk Bar

Rolling up your sleeves at one of the most exciting bakeries in NYC can be a perfect fun activity to do with your partner. The Milk Bar offers public classes, like their famous Build-a-Cake or Build-a-Cookie classes, where you can snack on sweets throughout the class as you learn their delicious recipes together. They also offer private classes if you and a group of friends want the sweets all to yourself.

One ticket covers two individuals, with the Build-a-Cake costing around $145 and the Build-a-Cookie priced around $60. This fun activity is better suited to couples or friends who enjoy baking and learning something new in a bakery setting.

Pro Tip: Book early in advance, as these heavily sought-after classes sell out quickly.

7. Enjoy a Classic Movie at the Metrograph

Catching a flick at the Metrograph is included in my list of fun activities in NYC for adults at night. The Metrograph offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere to hide away with a partner or a group of friends from the bustling noise of the city. You can order a glass of whatever you like, watch a unique film or cult classic, and grab a tasty bite to eat on your way out.

An example of some of the films the Metrograph showcases are included below.

Metrograph Film Showings
Film NameFilm Director
Past LivesCeline Song
Singin’ in the Rain Stanely Donen
Donnie DarkoRichard Kelly
Space JamJoe Pytka
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-RabbitNick Park, Steve Box

The Metrograph is a perfect fun activity for couples or friends who want a cozy, artsy getaway and dive into the world of film. The Metrograph is a hidden gem that can satisfy almost any movie-goer’s taste.

8. Catch a Broadway Show

If you love musicals or theatre, catching a Broadway show in the heart of New York might be your ticket to a fun-filled and exciting activity. Broadway is a treat you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. You can be transported to another world while sitting in the theatre in a mix of singing, dancing, and fantastic storytelling.

Below I’ve put together a small list of the most beloved Broadway shows of all time.

Popular Broadway Shows
Show NameSummary
The Lion KingA musical adaptation of Disney’s Lion King.
HamiltonA story revolving around the birth of a new nation.
WickedA musical of what happened in the Land of Oz before Dorothy from ‘Wizard of Oz’ enters the story.
Moulin Rouge! The MusicalAn adaptation of the original revolutionary film that celebrates love.
MJA musical revolving around the behind-the-scenes of the legendary Michael Jackson.

Immersing yourself in world-class Broadway stories, costumes, and design is an excellent way to spend time with a partner or friend. Broadway best suits fans of theatre or couples who want to bond over a thrilling story told in real time. 

9. Explore the 172 Acres of Governors Island

Governors Island is an excellent and fun activity to spend a day with your partner, whether it’s admiring the grafted fruit trees or reserving a BBQ to grill hotdogs with. Governors Island has something to offer everything. Housed on an island just off Lower Manhattan, this flourishing botanical oasis is just a short ferry away from the central city. 

The Trust of Governors Island hosts their own ferry service from 10 South Street to Soissons Landing at $4 per person. However, bargain-goers will appreciate knowing the boat ride is free on Saturdays and Sundays before 12 PM.

Take some time to acquaint yourself with the local sheep at Hammock Grove, or rent a bike from Blazing Saddles. Rentals are $25 for 2 hours or $30 for the entire day. However, you can enjoy free rentals on weekdays between 9 AM and 12 PM. Governors Island also hosts the iconic Statue of Liberty if you want to take some unique photos.

Governors Island also hosts exhibitions like The Process: An Art and Tech Exhibition, which showcases creative blends of artwork and technology.

This island is the perfect getaway for couples who want to appreciate New York’s Manhattan skyline from the peace and serenity of the island. It also suits couples and friends who want to spend an afternoon or day exploring the outdoors and taking in everything this island offers.

10. Rise to New Heights at NYC’s Edge

For a fun and unique activity in the heart of New York, consider checking out the Edge, an observation deck over 100 stories up and 1,200 feet from the ground. The Edge boasts of being the highest observation deck to date (though it still can’t beat the heights a helicopter can reach.)

Lie on the glass floor with your partner, take a selfie you won’t forget, or peek into the angled glass walls separating you from New York’s busy downtown below you. For an extra thrill, the Edge offers skyscraping along the outside of the highest part of the Edge to put you intimately close to the Manhattan skyline. Tickets are around $185 per person.

Visiting the Edge best suits couples or friends who want spectacular views and a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only dangling from one of the highest skyscrapers can achieve.

For more unique activities, consider this article about unique activities in New York City.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to hang off the edge of the skyscraper, the Edge offers spectator tickets that allow you to cheer on a friend or partner from the observation deck as they climb.

11. Get Your Trapeze on at the NYC Trapeze School

Fulfilling your dreams of flying through the skies may be the most fun activity you can do with a partner or friends. The NYC Trapeze School is located at Pier 40 and has an outdoor trapeze set up just like you see in films and circus performances. They also have an indoor facility for year-round trapeze classes at 30 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn. 

The Trapeze School offers personalized classes that anyone can take, regardless of their previous experience or fitness level. These classes include trapeze, silks, trampoline, and lyra (aerial hoop.) The classes can teach you how to soar through the skies, increase your body awareness, and move into the intricate poses needed for a full aerial act. Workshops usually span two months and cost around $675 per person.

Couples can take advantage of their acrobatic partner balancing classes the most, as it can be done together. Overcoming your fears, launching off the jump pad, and soaring over a safety net from a suspended metal rod are great for making memorable moments with a partner or friend.

My Experience with Finding Fun Activities in NYC

In my experience of finding fun activities in New York, I have found the most success in researching, checking reviews, and utilizing word of mouth. A Google search can open the door to what’s possible and fun to do for a night out, and good reviews can help me determine if an establishment is worth checking out in person.

Another way I find fun activities is by asking locals of that area. If I’m passing by an information center or restaurant, I’ll ask if they have any recommendations on fun things to do nearby. Usually, 9 times out of 10, they’ll have an excellent recommendation.

From the hidden gems I find from research and word of mouth, the only way to test whether an activity is fun is to try it out in person. Most of the time, my research pays off, and I’m left with a memorable experience. 


What do most city-dwellers do in New York City for fun?

Many city-dwellers enjoy visiting the local restaurants and cinemas and strolling through the many beautiful parks within the city. New York is filled with hidden gems that locals know about, like the hidden speakeasies pocketed throughout the Manhattan area.

What does New York have for fun activities for tourists?

New York has many sightseeing opportunities that can satisfy a tourist’s palette, such as visiting the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Central Park.

How to enjoy New York?

One of the best ways to enjoy New York is to discover a unique and memorable experience, whether that’s sipping a drink at a new favorite pub or helicopter over the city skyline. New York is full of these special moments that can make enjoyment easy and fun.


There are a plethora of fun activities in NYC for adults, couples, and friends. Enthusiasts of vertical flight will enjoy the helicopters and observation decks of New York the most, while story lovers will enjoy the Metrograph and Broadway. By knowing where to look and what interests you, you’ll be well on your way to pocketing a few memorable moments that you can look back on for years to come. 

What are your thoughts on fun activities to do in New York? Let us know in the comments below!

 Additional References:

  1. Blade (2023.) Blade. Retrieved from: 
  2. Central Park Conservancy (2023.) Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved from: 
  3. Color Factory (2023.) Color Factory. Retrieved from: 
  4. Museum of Modern Art (2023.) Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved from: 
  5. Apollo theater.
  6. Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum (2023.) Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Retrieved from: 
  7. Downtown Boathouse (2023.) Downtown Boathouse. Retrieved from: 
  8. Milk Bar (2023.) Milk Bar. Retrieved from: 
  9. Metrograph (2023.) Metrograph. Retrieved from: 
  10. Broadway (2023.) Broadway. Retrieved from: 
  11. Governors Island (2023.) Governors Island. Retrieved from: 
  12. The Edge (2023.) The Edge. Retrieved from: 
  13. Trapeze School New York (2023.) Trapeze School New York. Retrieved from:

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