Things To Do in NYC at Night

CityDays’ definitive guide to how to spend a night in the city that never sleeps.

New York City is often referred to as the city that never sleeps, and for good reason! There's always something to do, no matter what time of day or night it is.

In this post, we'll take a look at some of the best nighttime activities in the city, so you can make the most of your trip and experience the Big Apple like a true New Yorker.

Do Some Night Time Sight Seeing

There is no better time to explore some of the city's most famous landmarks than after dark. They might look impressive during the day but when the whole city is lit up at night it’s a totally different experience. 

Visit Times Square at Night and See the ‘Midnight Moment’

No visit to New York City is complete without a trip to Times Square. With its bright lights, towering billboards, and bustling crowds it has an atmosphere that's hard to find anywhere else.  

While it's a popular spot during the day, Times Square is also a must-visit destination at night. Grab yourself a late-night snack at one of the restaurants in the area, and find a spot to wait and see the Midnight Moment.
The Midnight Moment is an impressive 3 minute choreographed digital light and billboard show running daily from 11:57 pm to midnight, displaying the work of a new contemporary artist every month.

Visit the Top of the Empire State Building at Night

Taking a visit to the observation deck at the Empire State Building is pretty high up on most tourists lists. Offering a 360 degree view of the city and skyline, it’s a great experience, but visiting it at night takes the view from great to amazing.

The Empire State Building observation deck is open until the early hours (times vary slightly depending on the time of year), making it the perfect destination for a night out in the city.
From the top, you can see a twinkling illuminated outline of all of Manhattan and beyond, including famous landmarks like the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge.  

📍 350 5th Avenue, NYC
Find out more -
Empire State Building

Enjoy NYCs Nightime Entertainment

New York City is known for its vibrant nightlife and endless entertainment options. From Broadway shows to comedy clubs, there's something for everyone in the city that never sleeps. 

Catch a Broadway Show

With its world-class theaters and legendary productions, Broadway is the heart of the city's entertainment scene. From classic musicals like Wicked and The Book of Mormon to newer hits like Back To The Future: The Musical, there's something for everyone.

The theaters themselves are often just as impressive as the shows, with ornate decor and a sense of history that's hard to find anywhere else. Whether you're a seasoned theater-goer or a first-time visitor to Broadway, seeing a show is an unforgettable experience that's sure to be a highlight of your trip to New York City.

Tickets to Broadway shows can be expensive, but there are ways to save money if you plan ahead. Many shows offer discounted tickets for same-day performances, and there are also online ticket vendors that offer deals on Broadway tickets. If you're on a tight budget, consider seeing an off-Broadway show, which are often less expensive but still offer top-notch entertainment.

Watch a Movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

If you're a movie lover looking for a unique and unforgettable night out in New York City, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the perfect spot. With 3 locations across the city, this cinema offers a one-of-a-kind movie-going experience that's unlike anything you've ever experienced before.

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is known for its strict no-talking and no-texting policy, which means you can enjoy your movie without any distractions. The cinema also offers a full menu of food and drinks, including craft beer, cocktails, and gourmet snacks. You can order food and drinks right from your seat, and servers will bring them to you during the movie.

The cinemas screen a mix of new releases, indie films, and classic movies, as well as special events like movie marathons and sing-alongs. Whether you're a fan of horror movies, romantic comedies, or anything in between, there's something for everyone at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

📍 28 Liberty Street, Suite SC301, New York, NY 10005

Find out more - Alamo Drafthouse Cinema NYC

Get Tickets to a Live Taping

If you're a fan of late night talk shows, getting tickets to a taping can be a fun and exciting way to spend an evening in New York City. Shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tape in front of live audiences, and getting tickets is easier than you might think!

You'll need to plan ahead and be a bit flexible with your schedule but most shows release tickets a few weeks in advance. They tend to go quickly but if you keep an eye on the show's website or a ticketing website like 1iota or On-Camera Audiences you should be able to find some for a taping happening in NYC. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all the steps to increase your chances of getting tickets.

If you do get hold of tickets it's important to arrive early to the taping. Late-night shows often overbook their audiences to ensure a full house, so getting there early will increase your chances of getting in. You'll also need to follow the show's dress code and other rules, which will be outlined on the ticket or on the show's website.

Experience New York Nightlife 

New York City is home to some of the best nightlife in the world, with countless bars, clubs, and lounges to choose from. Whether you're looking for a trendy rooftop bar or a classic speakeasy, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Visit a Rooftop Bar

NYC is famous for its rooftop bars, and there's no better way to experience the city at night than from one of these elevated hotspots. Here are some of the best rooftop bars in the city:

  • The Press Lounge - Located on the rooftop of the Ink48 Hotel in Hell's Kitchen, The Press Lounge offers stunning views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. This upscale bar serves a range of drinks including craft cocktails, as well as also having a condensed snack menu, making it the perfect spot for a romantic night out or a special occasion.
    📍 653 11th Ave 16th Floor, New York, NY 10036
    Find out more - The Press Lounge

  • Westlight - Perched atop the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Westlight boasts panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. The bar serves a variety of cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as small-plate meals and snacks. With its chic, modern decor and lively atmosphere, Westlight is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
    📍 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
    Find out more - West Light

  • 230 Fifth - Situated on the 20th floor of a building in the Flatiron District, 230 Fifth is one of the largest and most famous rooftop bars in NYC. With beautiful panoramic views of the city, it’s a great spot to visit any time of year - they even have heated igloo domes so that you can enjoy the rooftop in winter. The bar serves a variety of cocktails, beer, and wine, as well as a full menu of food.
    📍 230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001
    Find out more - 230 Fifth

Grab a Drink at a Speakeasy

New York City is home to some of the best speakeasy-style bars in the world, offering a glimpse into the city's rich history of prohibition-era nightlife. Here are some of the best speakeasy bars in the city:

  • Please Don't Tell (PDT) - Located in the East Village, PDT is one of the most famous speakeasy bars in New York City. To enter, you have to walk through a phone booth inside Crif Dogs. Once inside, you'll find a cozy, dimly-lit bar serving craft cocktails and gourmet hot dogs.
    📍 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
    Find out more - PDT New York

  • Raines Law Room - With locations in Chelsea and the Flatiron District, Raines Law Room is a popular speakeasy bar known for its romantic atmosphere and craft cocktails. To enter, you'll need to ring a doorbell and wait for a host to let you in.
    📍 48 W 17th Street,  New York NY 10011 and 24 E 39th Street (between Park & Madison), New York NY 10016
    Find out more - Raines Law Room

  • The Back Room - Located on the Lower East Side, The Back Room is a speakeasy bar that was actually used during Prohibition. The entrance is marked via a sign that says ‘The Lower East Side Toy Company, go through the gate, down the alleyway, and up the flight of stairs. You’ll step into an old-fashioned bar with vintage decor and a menu of classic cocktails served in teacups!
    📍 102 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002
    Find out more - The Back Room

  • Attaboy - Located on the Lower East Side, Attaboy is a speakeasy bar known for its inventive cocktails and laid-back atmosphere. To enter, you'll need to look for a metal door marked ‘AB’ and ring the buzzer. Once inside, you'll find a cozy, intimate space with a small bar and a menu of creative cocktails. Be sure to get there early as the venue is strictly first come, first served with no option for reservations.
    📍 134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
    Find out more - Attaboy NY

Dance at Swing 46

If you're looking for a fun and unique way to spend your evening in New York City, Swing 46 is the perfect spot. Located on Restaurant Row, with a spacious dance floor and live music every night of the week, Swing 46 is the ideal place to let loose and dance the night away.

Whether you're a seasoned swing dancer or a beginner looking to learn some new moves, Swing 46 has something for everyone. The club offers dance lessons every night before the live music starts, so you can brush up on your skills or learn the basics.

If all that dancing makes you hungry, you can dine in style alongside the dance floor with a menu full of delicious options that are prepared daily with the freshest ingredients. And don't miss out on the amazing menu of house cocktails such as the aptly named Swing Colada or the sweet and fruity Bananachata.

📍 349 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
Find out more -
Swing 46

More Things to Do in NYC

Whatever your interests are, there’s always something new for you to discover in New York City. In fact, you don’t have to go out of your way at all to find them - you just have to know where to look. 

Discover New York’s secret sites and noteworthy nooks by playing one of our New York treasure and scavenger hunts, escape room games or walking tours.

You’ll find curated trails and hunts all over New York, including Manhattan, Chelsea, Midtown and Chinatown. 

All you have to do is team up with your friends, family or whoever to solve riddles, complete challenges and answer trivia to lead you on an unforgettable journey around New York’s most intriguing streets. 

The best part? We’ll recommend top-rated bars, cafés and restaurants and give your team the chance to earn rewards by competing on our leaderboard. 

CityDays gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages

You’re also guaranteed your money back if you don’t have an amazing time - although our previous reviews speak for themselves: we’re rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.95/5 on Google Reviews!