12 Fun Things to do in Midtown East New York City
12 Fun Things to Do in Midtown East New York City
Approximately 6.5 million people visit NYC each year—and for good reason. There are so many things to do in NYC that no one can visit the metropolis and take it all in just once. From the incredible food to the endless shops, history, architecture, and entertainment venues, it’s essentially impossible to experience the city in just one lifetime.
Things to do in Midtown East NYC
If you are planning a trip to the Big Apple, it’s important to plan your visit properly because if you spend your time wandering the streets aimlessly and simply “go with the flow,” you’ll end up wasting tons of time. That’s why we’ve zeroed in on some of the best attractions to see and things to do in Midtown East NYC to get your itinerary started.
1 | Grand Central Terminal | To answer your question—yes, Grand Central Terminal is a commuter transportation hub. However, for over 100 years, this place has been a beloved attraction with plenty of nooks and crannies to be explored by locals and tourists alike.
Starting with the terminal’s breathtaking architecture, the building is filled with an early 20th-century romantic energy. Plus, it’s quite a hot spot for food as it features approximately 35 eateries, including the well-known Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Here is where you’ll also encounter the famous Whispering Gallery and the city’s famous atomic clock.
WHERE: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017 | WHO: 212-340-2583
2 | The Museum of Modern Art | The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA for short, is one of the largest and most influential art museums throughout the entire world.
Here you can take the time to marvel at over 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art, including Vincent Van Gogh’s, “The Starry Night,” Andy Warhol’s famous “Golden Monroe,” and other works by renowned artists like Jackson Pollock, Cindy Sherman, Frida Khalo, Salvador Dalí, Jasper Johns, and so many more.
The MoMA has a consistent rotation of featured exhibits and installations by various artists and you can even enter for free during the museum’s weekly UNIQLO Friday Nights.
WHERE: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 | WHO: 212-708-9400
3 | The St. Cloud Rooftop | If you’re looking for a rooftop bar in Midtown East NY, the St. Cloud Rooftop offers the pinnacle experience of what it means to lounge above the city.
The rooftop bar overlooks Times Square, offering guests the excitement of the bustling city below minus the stress of having to keep up with the pace of the crowd. As you watch the city hustle go by, you can sit back and enjoy delicious craft cocktails and beer straight from the bar owner’s backyard.
There’s even a cigar lounge and small plates menu created by Charlie Palmer, a famous hotelier, entrepreneur, and chef.
WHERE: 6 Times Square 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: 212-204-5787
4 | Bryant Park | While Central Park gets most of the game, Bryant Park is the mini-oasis where you can get space—and peace—right in the middle of the sleepless city.
Often referred to as Manhattan’s “Town Square,” the park is most notable for its lush seasonal gardens and endless activities like games, live events, movie screenings, ice skating, Le Carousel, holiday shops, classes, activities for kids, food kiosks, cafes, and much more.
Trust us, you’ll want to check out any upcoming events here if you plan to visit NYC or simply take the time to sit with a cup of coffee and enjoy the urban oasis.
WHERE: E 42nd St (between 5th & 6th Ave), New York, NY 10036-6728 | WHO: (212) 768-4242
5 | The New York Public Library | If you’ve forgotten that libraries still exist, the New York Public Library will be an enchanting reminder. Of course, you don’t have to be a bookworm to appreciate this famous Manhattan attraction.
Visitors from all over the world come to the NY Public Library to seize a photo op with Patience and Fortitude (the famous twin lions that guard the building) and explore the 55 million books strewn across four floors of shelves under the Beaux-Arts style of architecture.
Here you can take time to enjoy a seat in the famous Rose Main Reading Room, attend art exhibitions, and even celebrity books readings.
WHERE: 476 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York 10018 | WHO: 917-275-6975
6 | High Line | The High Line was once a 1.45 mile-long stretch of defunct trains and is now one of the most popular parks in NYC.
The linear park is set atop the elevated historic freight lines, decorated with flowers and foliage, providing for some of the most stunning views of Manhattan. The park also offers several art installations, a must-try dining scene and a much-needed escape from the city without leaving the city.
WHERE: Gansevoort St. to 34th St. New York, NY 10011 | WHO: 212-500-6035
7 | The Plaza Hotel | Many of the things to do in NYC involve eating and drinking. So, make an afternoon pit stop at the Plaza Hotel’s Palm Court for some of their famous New Yorker Tea or Eloise Tea; accompanied by black-and-white eclairs, lox and cream cheese bagels, pink lemonade cotton candy, and PB&J finger sandwiches.
WHERE: 5th Avenue, Central Park S, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: 212-759-3000
8 | The Museum at FIT | If you’re a fan of fashion and the NYC brand of fun, you won’t want to miss out on the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology).
Here you can get up close and personal with the past, present, and future of fashion as you view the work of high-end designers like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen through unique, unusual, and unforgettable exhibits.
WHERE: 227 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 217-4558
9 | Madam Tussauds | Hoping for a celebrity sighting in NYC? Well, there's one place that will never dissapoint, Madam Tussauds!
With 5 floors of fun, you are sure to find your favorite celeb and take a ton of cool pics. There are 5 different zones with celebrity wax figures from all eras and genres. From A-listers to reality stars, singers, athletes and even presidents, there truly is something (or someone) for everyone! If you ever wanted to feel like you’re the star this is the place to be! It's a great activity for people of all ages.
WHERE: 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036 | WHO: 212-512-9600
10 | Madison Square Garden | As advertised, the “unforgettable starts here!” Madison Square Garden is home to all kinds of events, each of which offers nothing short of an epic night. Catch a New York Knicks or Rangers game or buy tickets to see your favorite superstar perform live!
WHERE: 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 465-6741
11 | St. Patrick’s Cathedral | You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the Neo-Gothic church that opened in the late 1800s.
The Roman Catholic church is a prominent landmark of the city, renowned for its titanic bronze doors, architecture, gorgeous high alter—and for being the final resting place of some of the city’s most legendary clergymen and humanitarians.
WHERE: 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022 | WHO: 212-753-2261
12 | Rockefeller Center | Rockefeller Center is arguably the most highly trafficked area in the city as it’s a historical landmark.
If you’re visiting the Big Apple, Christmas won’t be the same without a view of the sights from the observation deck at Rockefeller Center. Here you can get an up-close look of that famous tree all decked out in its breathtaking lights, go ice skating around the rink and capture those Instagram-worthy shots to memorialize the experience.
WHERE: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111 | WHO: (212) 588-8601
Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!
Last Tips on Finding Fun Things to Do in NYC
There’s a reason why so many people visit NYC. Aside from our list of things to do in Midtown East, the city itself is virtually limitless. There are live theatrical events, themed restaurants, elegant lounges, museums galore, beautiful parks, and life in every corner.
You can even find city-like things to do outside of NYC thanks to its prime location!
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* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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