The 7 Best Things to Do Outdoors in Manhattan [NYC Fun]

New York City may be known for Broadway shows, museums, restaurants, and shopping, but there’s a lot more to do in Manhattan than that.

This city has it all, including tons of fun outdoor activities that you can do alone, with a friend, or with your entire family in tow.

Ready to get outside and soak up some sunshine? Here are the seven best outdoor activities to try in Manhattan.

Rent a Rowboat in Central Park

Central Park is one of the most beautiful, open spaces in all of New York City. And one of the best things to do in Central Park is torent a rowboat and paddle around the lake.

It might seem a bit touristy, but this is something that even most New Yorkers have never done. If you don’t try this, you’re really missing out, because paddling a boat on the pond offers some of the most spectacular skyline views you’ll ever see!

You can make it a fun outing with your kids or turn it into a romantic adventure with your significant other. And if you’re in the mood for some solitude, it’s an activity you can do all by yourself.

Not in the mood for a boat ride? Stroll the park, check out the fountains and sculptures, or pack a lunch and have a picnic on the Great Lawn. Stretching out on the grass and people-watching is a great way to spend a sunny day.

Head to a Street Fair

If you’ve ever lived in NYC, you know that there’s almost always a street fair somewhere. From the Upper West Side to the L.E.S, street fairs, outdoor markets, and festivals take place all throughout the year.

Some of our favorite NYC street fairs include the Hester Street Fair, the Feast of San Gennaro, and Pridefest.

The Hester Street Fair is a diverse marketplace filled with food, vendors, and all sorts of cultural experiences. You’ll fit right in, no matter who you are, as it’s full of people of all ages, backgrounds, races, and income levels. This outdoor celebration never disappoints.

The Feast of San Gennaro takes place in Little Italy every September. This is an authentic Italian street festival, filled with everything from live music and opera performances to zeppole eating competitions. The streets are lined with dozens of food vendors, so make sure you’re hungry when you arrive!

There’s almost nothing more fun than the annual Pridefest. The perfect way to celebrate the LGBTQ community, Pridefest is one of the biggest parties you’ll ever attend in NYC. There’s lots of music, vendors, entertainers, and activities to do. If you’re ready to have some serious fun, this is the place to be.

Have Drinks at a Rooftop Bar

Manhattan is home to hundreds of bars, restaurants, and clubs. But when the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than having a few beers or a couple of cocktails at a rooftop bar. This is a perfect activity when you want to be social but don’t feel like being super active.

Call a couple of friends, grab a drink, and get some food. In the sun or under the stars, you’ll also be able to enjoy some incredible skyline views!

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Want to see Manhattan in a new way? Take a walk or go for a jog across the Brooklyn Bridge. At just over one mile, the pedestrian walkway over the bridge is the perfect place to get some exercise, plus you’ll get an amazing view of the city on the walk back.

While you’re in Brooklyn, make a day out of it and spend an afternoon at one of the best outdoor markets New York has to offer: Brooklyn Flea!

Take the Ferry to Governors Island

In the mood for a real outdoor adventure? A ten-minute ferry ride from Manhattan is all it takes to reach Governor’s Island and its many attractions.

From ziplines to mini-golf to outdoor rock wall climbing,Governor’s Island is a giant playground for people of all ages. It’s a great way to get out of the city without having to travel far. And when you’re done with your chosen adventure, you can sit and enjoy the NYC view from across the water.

Take a Walking Tour

There isn’t a neighborhood in Manhattan that doesn’t offer something unique when walking it on foot. If you want to spend an entire day outdoors, take the subway to the Village, to SOHO, or to Chelsea and just walk around!

The city is full of old, historic buildings and incredible architecture. There are plenty of parks scattered throughout town if you want to relax and people-watch. And, when you get hungry or thirsty, you’ll have no problem finding a bar or restaurant to refuel in.

Not in the mood to walk? If you don’t mind dealing with the traffic and the cabbies, there are plenty of places to rent bicycles, too.

Hit Some Golf Balls at Chelsea Piers

Feel like practicing your long game? Head to the tiered outdoor driving range atChelsea Piers. Located right on the water, this outdoor recreational center offers golfers a way to play their favorite game right in the heart of the city.

If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, you can sign up for a golf lesson. New to the sport? Club rentals are available for anyone who doesn’t bring their own set.

In Summary

Manhattan is one of the greatest cities on earth. It offers something for everyone, regardless of your age, who you are, or what you like to do.

The next time you’re looking for something new and interesting to do in NYC, head outside. The museums, the stores, the shows, and the restaurants aren’t going anywhere, so take a break from what you usually do and have a unique adventure outdoors.

New York winters can be harsh and cold, so don’t let this spring and summer pass you by without having at least a few exciting outdoor experiences.


Janine Palatucci has recently joined Alliance Residential as the Business Manager for360 Huguenot. She is an experienced manager with a demonstrated history working in multifamily and hotel hospitality. Janine has industry experience in the New York City, Westchester County, and South East Florida markets. She is passionate about her work and consistent in providing a welcoming environment for her team, residents, and community.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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