Entertainment New York City, USA - Lonely Planet (2023)

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  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Upper West Side & Central Park

    Metropolitan Opera House

    New York’s premier opera company is the place to see classics such as La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and Macbeth. It also hosts premieres and revivals of more contemporary works, such as John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer. The season runs from September to May. Tickets start at $25 and can get close to $500.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Brooklyn: Fort Greene, Clinton Hill & Bed-Stuy

    Brooklyn Academy of Music

    Founded in 1861 (the year the Civil War erupted), BAM is the country’s oldest performing-arts center. Spanning several venues in the Fort Greene area, the complex hosts innovative works of opera, modern dance, music, cinema and theater – everything from 'retro-modern' Mark Morris Group ballets and Laurie Anderson multimedia shows to avant-garde Shakespeare productions, comedy and kids' shows.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Playwrights Horizons

    An excellent place to catch what could be the next big thing, this veteran ‘writers’ theater’ is dedicated to fostering contemporary American works. Notable past productions include Annie Baker's Pulitzer Prize–winning The Flick, Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Bruce Norris’ Tony Award–winning Clybourne Park, and Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife and Grey Gardens.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Midtown

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    Richard Rodgers Theatre

    This theater opened in 1926 and is unique for several reasons. It was the first to allow all patrons to enter through one set of doors (generally there were separate entrances for low-price ticket holders, aka riff-raff, to come through). It also has the honor of being the venue for the highest number of Best Play and Best Musical Tony Awards.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Eugene O'Neill Theatre

    The Eugene O'Neill Theatre's shows have ranged from family-friendly Annie all the way to uproarious The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with nearly as wild a commercial ride as well – it's been bought and sold and renamed numerous times over its nearly a century lifetime. Playwright Neil Simon once owned it, before selling in 1982 to its current owners.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Midtown

    Carnegie Hall

    The legendary Carnegie Hall may not be the world's biggest concert hall, nor its grandest, but it's definitely one of the most acoustically blessed. Opera, jazz and folk greats feature in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, with edgier jazz, pop, classical and world music in the popular Zankel Hall. Intimate Weill Recital Hall hosts chamber music, debut performances and panel discussions.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District

    Sleep No More

    One of the most immersive theater experiences ever conceived, Sleep No More is a loose, noir retelling of Macbeth set inside a series of Chelsea warehouses that have been redesigned to look like the 1930s-era 'McKittrick Hotel' (a nod to Hitchcock's Vertigo); the jazz bar, Manderley, is another Hitchcock reference, this time to his adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in East Village & Lower East Side

    Metrograph

    The Lower East Side hasn't gentrified this far yet, giving the owners of this true movie mecca the chance to acquire a building adequate for their vision. It has two screens, both a state-of-the-art digital projector and an old 35mm reel-to-reel. The expertly curated films often form series on subjects such as Japanese Studio Ghibli or provocateur Gasper Noé.

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  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Upper West Side & Central Park

    New York City Ballet

    This prestigious company was first directed by renowned Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine in the 1940s. Today, it's the largest ballet organization in the US, performing 23 weeks a year at Lincoln Center’s David H Koch Theater. Rush tickets for those under age 30 are $30. During the holidays the troupe is best known for its annual production of The Nutcracker (tickets go on sale in September: book early).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Midtown

    Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Perched atop the Time Warner Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center comprises three state-of-the-art venues: midsized Rose Theater; panoramic, glass-backed Appel Room; and intimate, atmospheric Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. It's the last of these that you're most likely to visit, given its nightly shows (cover charge $5 to $45). The talent here is often exceptional, as are the dazzling Central Park views.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Signature Theatre

    Looking good in its Frank Gehry–designed home – complete with three theaters, bookstore and cafe – Signature Theatre is devoted to the work of playwrights-in-residence, past and present. Featured dramatists have included Tony Kushner, Edward Albee, Anna Deavere Smith and Kenneth Lonergan. The theater also runs talks with playwrights, directors, designers and actors. Aim to book performances one month in advance.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Al Hirschfeld Theatre

    Originally the Martin Beck Theatre, this opulent theater was renamed in 2003 when it was purchased from the Beck family. When it opened in 1924 to great acclaim, it proceeded to be the venue for some of Broadway's best-loved shows for decades, including Guys and Dolls and Hair. Its current production is the Baz Luhrmann jukebox musical, Moulin Rouge!

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Harlem & Upper Manhattan

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    Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor Jazz

    Each Sunday the charming Ms Eliot provides one of New York’s most magical experiences: free, intimate jazz jams in her own apartment. Dedicated to her two deceased sons, the informal concerts feature a revolving lineup of talented musicians, enchanting guests from all over the globe. Go early, as this event is popular (there's usually a line by 2:45pm).

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Jazz Standard

    Jazz luminaries like Ravi Coltrane, Roy Haynes and Ron Carter have played at this sophisticated club. The service is impeccable and the Southern food (from Danny Meyer's upstairs Blue Smoke restaurant) is great. The club's artistic director is Seth Abramson, a guy who really knows his jazz.

  • Entertainment in West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District

    Smalls

    Living up to its name, this cramped but appealing basement jazz den offers a grab-bag collection of acts who take the stage nightly. Admission includes a come-and-go policy if you need to duck out for a bite, and there's an afternoon jam session on Saturday and Sunday that's not to be missed.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Brooklyn: Prospect Heights, Crown Heights & Flatbush

    Kings Theatre

    This dream palace from the twilight of cinema's pre-Depression heyday is a nostalgic landmark and a top-notch concert venue to boot. Allowed to fall derelict in the 1970s, it was sensitively restored in 2015. Today, the gold-and-red lobby, elaborately painted ceiling and plush chairs are gloriously reborn, while events are as diverse as Russian ballet, classic rock and horror screenings.

  • Entertainment in Brooklyn: Williamsburg, Greenpoint & Bushwick

    Nitehawk Cinema

    This indie triplex has a fine lineup of first-run and repertory films, a good sound system and comfy seats. Amplifying the experience is the fact that you can dine and drink throughout the movie, thanks to stealthy wait staff who slink to and fro armed with hot popcorn chicken, vegan 'pulled-pork' sandwiches, soft-serve ice cream and cocktails themed by whatever movies are showing.

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  • Entertainment in West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District

    LGBT Community Center

    'The Center' has been the nexus of LGBTIQ+ culture in the village since 1983. That’s because it provides a surrogate home for queer folks who may not feel so comfortable in their actual one. It’s host to endless groups who meet here, and you can relax with a coffee and a pastry at the community-oriented cafe run by Think Coffee.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    New Amsterdam Theatre

    Known for its fascinating art nouveau details and for being the oldest Broadway theater (1903), the New Amsterdam was the venue for the famous Ziegfeld Follies, but fell on hard times in the 1930s and closed. For a time it was a movie theater; finally the city bought it. It's now home to Aladdin, the hit musical of the beloved Disney movie.

  • Entertainment in Midtown

    Madison Square Garden

    NYC's major performance venue – part of the massive complex housing Penn Station – hosts big-arena performers, from Kanye West to Madonna. It’s also a sports arena, with New York Knicks (www.nba.com/knicks) and New York Liberty (https://liberty.wnba.com) basketball games and New York Rangers (www.nhl.com/rangers) hockey games, as well as boxing and events like the Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (www.westminsterkennelclub.org).

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FAQs

What to do in NYC that doesn't require a lot of walking? ›

Parks in New York City such as Central Park, Bryant Park, Washington Square Park and the High Line are excellent places for people who are unable to walk a lot. There's always something happening at each one of these parks, but most importantly, there are places to sit down, read a book, relax and people watch.

How can I have fun in NYC without spending money? ›

  1. Ride the Staten Island Ferry.
  2. Relax in the sand at the city's public beaches.
  3. Go bird-watching in Central Park.
  4. Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial.
  5. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  6. Take a free walking tour.
  7. Let the kids loose in one of the city's inventive playgrounds.
29 Aug 2022

Is 3 days in NYC enough? ›

With 3 days in NYC, you can see most of the major sights and landmarks. But to make the most of your time and money, remember your New York Pass. A lot of the activities and attractions mentioned in this post are included.

What's free in NYC today? ›

The Top 40+ Free and Totally Awesome Things to do in NYC from a Local!
  • The Vessel.
  • The Highline in Chelsea.
  • Chelsea NYC Art Galleries.
  • Central Park.
  • Shakespeare in the Park.
  • Grand Central Terminal Station.
  • Times Square.
  • Washington Square Park.
8 Sept 2022

What is there to do in New York City besides drinks? ›

29 Fun Activities In NYC That Don't Involve Alcohol or Food By New York Bucket List
  • Explore the Oculus. ...
  • Take a Ferry Ride. ...
  • Play a Round of Golf at Chelsea Piers. ...
  • Head to the Pool. ...
  • See a Movie at Skyline Drive In. ...
  • Walk The Highline. ...
  • Catch a Game. ...
  • Visit a Museum.
1 Sept 2022

Is Central Park free? ›

Central Park is one of NYC's greatest attractions and it is free to explore - plus there are free (tip-based) tours through it as well.

Why is Time Square famous? ›

One of the world's busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.

What is the cheapest way to visit New York? ›

NYC On A Budget: 15 Tips For Cheap Travel To New York
  • #1: Don't stay in Manhattan.
  • #2: Use the subway to get around.
  • #3: Eat like a local.
  • #4: Take advantage of museum deals.
  • #5: Don't spend $ chasing the best views—check out these free vistas instead.
  • #6: Walk or bike between activities and sights.
18 Jan 2022

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