New York City Travel Guide

Activities & Events

Entertainment

Theater and performing arts

New York boasts an enormous amount and variety of theatrical performances. Most of these are concentrated in Manhattan, particularly the Theater District around Times Square, where you'll find the major musicals and big-name dramatic works of Broadway. These are the most popular with visitors, with tickets for some shows running to $130 a seat, though discounters make cheaper seats available. And if you're in town in early June (and willing to spend a lot of money), it's possible to purchase tickets to the Tony Awards, Broadway's biggest award ceremony and the culmination of the theatrical season in the city. However, you can also find "Off-Broadway" shows (and even the dirt cheap and very small "Off-Off-Broadway" shows) throughout Manhattan that play to smaller audiences and are far less expensive. Playbill.com is a good resource for current and upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway info and listings. See the Manhattan page for more detailed info on theater offerings.

Some of New York's (and the world's) most high-profile music and dance halls include the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Downtown Brooklyn, Carnegie Hall - the premier venue for classical music in the United States - in Manhattan's Theater District, Radio City Music Hall - home of the Rockettes - in Midtown, and the Lincoln Center in the Upper West Side, home to the prestigious Chamber Music Society, the Metropolitan Opera ("the Met"), the New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic. There are also numerous small companies putting on more idiosyncratic shows every night of the week.

Film and television

New York is one of the world's greatest film cities, home to a huge number of theaters playing independent and repertory programs. Many major US studio releases open earlier in New York than elsewhere (especially in the autumn) and can be found at the major cineplexes (AMC, United Artists, etc.) around the city. Be advised that, as with everything else in New York, movies are quite popular, and even relatively obscure films at unappealing times of the day can still be sold out. It's best to get tickets in advance whenever possible. As many films premiere in New York, you can often catch a moderated discussion with the director or cast after the show. Sometimes even repertory films will have post-screening discussions or parties. Check listings for details.

In addition to the many commercial multiplexes located throughout the city, some of the more intriguing New York film options include the several theaters in Greenwich Village and the East Village which play independent and foreign releases, many of which are screened only in New York. The Film Society at Lincoln Center in the Upper West Side puts on a terrific repertory program and shows a wide variety of experimental and foreign films, and also hosts the prestigious New York Film Festival in October. Another major film festival is the Tribeca Film Festival, held each May and a prominent event in New York's film calendar. The Museum of the Moving Image in Long Island City in Queens puts on a terrific screening program, with films showing continuously throughout the day, while MoMa in Midtown Manhattan puts on a terrific repertory program (and compared to other New York movie theaters, tickets to films at MoMA are a steal).

Virtually every major national television network has studios in Manhattan, particularly the Midtown area, and many well-known programs are open to viewers. Rockefeller Center is home to NBC Studios and its flagship shows, including Saturday Night Live and Today, and is open for tours. The Ed Sullivan Theatre near Times Square is home to Late Show with David Letterman, while Lincoln Square boasts programming produced for ABC, such as The View and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire at the network's West 66th Street facility. More examples of popular programs you can see in person can be found on the Manhattan page.

Parades

New York City hosts many parades, street festivals and outdoor pageants. The following are the most famous:

New York's Village Halloween Parade. Each Halloween (October 31) at 7PM. This parade and street pageant attracts 2 million spectators and 50,000 costumed participants along Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and 21st Street. Anyone in a costume is welcome to march; those wishing to should show up between 6PM-9PM at Spring Street and 6th Avenue.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The morning of each Thanksgiving on Central Park West, this parade attracts many spectators and is broadcast on nationwide television.
St. Patrick's Day Parade. The largest St. Paddy's parade in the world! Route is up 5th Ave from 44th Street to 86th Street and lasts from 11AM to about 2:30. Celebrations in pubs citywide happen the rest of the day and night until the green beer runs out.
Labor Day (aka West Indian Day Parade or New York Caribbean Carnival). The Labor Day Carnival, or West Indian Carnival, is an annual celebration held in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Its main event is the West Indian-American Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million spectators, who watch the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway.
Sports

A number of professional and collegiate teams play in the New York metropolitan area.

The New York Yankees play Major League Baseball at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (East 161st Street and River Avenue. Subway: 4, B, D to 161st Street-Yankee Stadium). One of the most storied and lucrative sports franchises in the world, the Yankees have won 27 World Series championships in all.
Citi Field in Flushing Meadows (126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. Subway: 7 to Mets-Willets Point) is home to the New York Mets, who also play Major League Baseball.
In addition to its many concerts and the annual Westminster Dog Show, Madison Square Garden hosts the New York Knicks of the NBA and New York Rangers of the NHL, plus annual postseason college basketball for the Big East Conference and the National Invitational Tournament. (Pennsylvania Plaza. Subway: 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to 34th Street-Penn Station)
Long based in New Jersey, the Nets basketball team moved to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Vanderbilt Yards. Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center) in 2012.
Other NHL teams are the New York Islanders, who play at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, 27 miles east of midtown Manhattan; and the New Jersey Devils, who skate at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, 12 miles west of midtown Manhattan.
Two National Football League teams play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 10 miles northwest of midtown Manhattan. The New York Giants in the National Football Conference have won four Super Bowls, while the New York Jets of the American Football Conference have won one.
The Staten Island Yankees play Minor League Baseball (New York-Penn League, McNamara division) at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. They are a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
The Brooklyn Cyclones play Minor League Baseball (New York-Penn League, McNamara division) at MCU Park. They are a Class A affiliate of the Mets.
A soccer franchise is also located in the Tri-State area. The New York Red Bulls play home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, 11 miles from midtown Manhattan.
Colleges around New York City that compete in the NCAA include St. John's University in Jamaica, Queens; Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey (20 miles west of midtown Manhattan) and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey (40 miles southwest of midtown Manhattan).
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows (Corona Park. Subway: 7 to Mets-Willets Point) is the site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, held yearly in late August and early September.
Part of horse racing's Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes are run each June at Belmont Park in nearby Elmont, 20 miles east of midtown Manhattan.

source: Wikivoyage

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