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NYC After Midnight: 17 Fun Things To Do After Midnight In New York City

By Jessie Festa & Dale P. This guide to New York City after dark contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Are you looking for a guide to NYC after midnight?

Then you’re in the right place!

It should come as no surprise that in The City That Never Sleeps there is no shortage of things to do after midnight.

For all the night owls out there, you could hardly find a better place to be. In fact, there are so many things to do after midnight in NYC that you’ll never be bored, no matter how late it gets.

From nightlife to fun and quirky activities, here’s a guide on what to do after midnight in NYC. It shares some of our personal favorite after-dark experiences as local New Yorkers.

And unlike some cities, where things shut down and the streets become quiet and desolate after a certain hour, New York is “on” all night. This makes it much safer to be out late at night, though you should still exercise caution and make responsible choices with your after-midnight activities!

Short on time? Here are some top picks for after dark experiences in New York City:
Empire State Building observation deck (open until after midnight)
Bateaux New York Premier Dinner Cruise
New York City at Night Bus Tour
New York at Night Bike Tour
NYC After Dark Photography Tour

📸 Shameless plug: Looking to capture your time in NYC with beautiful photos? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. These experiences are offered by Jessie on a Journey’s sister company, NYC Photo Journeys. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

🏨 Epic hotels: Want to book a hotel that offers epic skyline views at night? My top recommendations include 1 Hotel Brooklyn (DUMBO), The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg), citizenM New York Bowery Hotel (Lower East Side), and The Langham (Midtown).

Best Things To In NYC After Midnight

Why is New York City so popular? One reason is its nightlife and after dark opportunities.

Yes, NYC is truly a 24-hour city.

Keep in mind, that when it comes to the best things to do after midnight in New York City, this list is far from exhaustive. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

On that note, for those that have ever asked, “What can I do in NYC after midnight?” here are some top recommendations.

1. Visit an NYC rooftop bar.

seeing the Manhattan skyline from a rooftop bar in NYC after midnight
See the NYC skyline lit up after midnight at a rooftop bar. Photo via Pierre Blaché/Pexels.

One of the best things to do in NYC after midnight is going to one of the city’s many rooftop bars.

Some of the top ones in Manhattan to check out are 230 Fifth, Magic Hour, and Mr. Purple, where you can enjoy drinks with a view while overlooking the glittering skyline of the city late at night.

Another top option is Westlight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — a rooftop bar offering 360-degree views of New York City. The neat thing about visiting a rooftop bar in Brooklyn is you can see the entire Manhattan skyline from across the East River.

Prefer to have a guide? There are a number of NYC skyline tours and cruises that take place after dark.

2. Go clubbing.

This is one of the top things to do in New York after midnight, as clubs are a big part of NYC nightlife.

Most people don’t go out until after 11pm, and dance clubs are open until at least four in the morning.

There are also tons of NYC after hours clubs that stay open even later, so you’re in luck if you’re in the mood to dance until dawn.

Some of the most popular clubs in New York include House of Yes, Elsewhere, Le Bain, 1Oak, and, our personal favorite, Brooklyn Mirage for all-night rave parties with top DJs and incredible light shows.

3. Catch the Midnight Moment at Times Square.

If you’re looking for things to do in NYC at night for free, make your way to Times Square.

No place exemplifies The City That Never Sleeps more than the pulsing heart of NYC, which is bright and bustling at all hours.

While simply wandering Times Square at night is fun, there is a way to make the experience even more exciting. Every night from 11:57pm until 12:00am, the billboards in Times Square sync up for Midnight Moment, a unique digital art installation.

4. Bike across the Brooklyn Bridge.

walking the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC after midnight
The Brooklyn Bridge in NYC is beautiful after dark. Photo via Charles Parker/Pexels.

Looking for late-night NYC activities that don’t involve drinking? One of the most fun, crazy things to do in NYC at night is biking (or walking) across the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a popular activity for tourists during the daytime, and in the mornings you’ll find scores of commuters making their way across the bridge; but late at night, you may have it all to yourself.

The Brooklyn Bridge, which is 1.1 miles in length, is beautiful at night — and safe. After dark, you can snap some incredible photos of the iconic bridge with no people on it. This is almost impossible to achieve during daylight hours.

Once you get across the bridge, you can take the subway (which runs for 24 hours) or catch an Uber back.

5. Catch a late night comedy show.

Another fun thing to do late at night in New York is catching a comedy show.

Many comedy clubs have shows that don’t even start until 10pm, so if you’re looking for some late-night entertainment and laughs this is a great way to keep the fun going even after midnight.

A few of our favorite comedy clubs with late-night shows include Comedy Cellar, Comic Strip Live, and the New York Comedy Club.

6. Eat your way through the Queens Night Market.

visiting the Queens Night Market after midnight in NYC
Have some late-night fun in NYC at the Queens Night Market. Photo via The Lazy Artist Gallery/Pexels.

Although the Queens Night Market technically only runs until midnight, as long as you make your purchases before then you can feel free to linger.

This popular nighttime food market happens every weekend during the warmer months of the year, and features over 100 vendors as well as live performances.

Looking to capture your time in NYC with beautiful photos? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. These experiences are offered by Jessie on a Journey’s sister company, NYC Photo Journeys. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

7. Go bowling.

Bowling might not be the first activity that comes to mind for what to do in NYC after midnight, but there are actually several late-night bowling alleys around the city.

For instance, one of the most lively places to go is Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg.

Not only is it open until 2am on the weekends, this bowling alley also doubles as a late-night music venue, and you can grab a bite to eat there too if the midnight munchies hit you.

8. Visit an observation deck.

Visit the Empire State Building to enjoy the best of NYC after midnight. Photo via Sean Valentine/Pexels.

If it’s your first visit to New York City, one of the most popular tourist activities is taking in views of the city from an observation deck.

While some observation decks close earlier, the Empire State Building is one viewpoint that consistently stays open until midnight or 1am depending on the time of year.

Viewing the NYC skyline at night from the top of the Empire State Building is already impressive, but the experience is even better after midnight when there are no crowds.

9. Play shuffleboard.

At the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, you can savor food truck fare and yummy drinks while playing a late night game of shuffleboard in a tropical space.

There are board games and giant Jenga, too!

10. Pair beer with retro video games.

Barcade is a local favorite with multiple locations around NYC. Here, you can sip craft beer while playing classic arcade games like Street Fighter, Galaga, and Pac-Man.

It’s also a top pick when looking for the best things to do in NYC when it rains, as it’s indoors and you can really spend hours here.

11. Grab a midnight bite to eat.

eating a burger and fries after midnight in NYC
There are many places to grab a late-night bite and beer in NYC. Photo via Pablo Macedo/Pexels.

After a big night out, there’s nothing better than a late-night bite to eat. Luckily, in New York, you won’t have trouble finding places that are open at any hour of the night.

This is one of the best cheap things to do in NYC at night. Something about a giant, cheesy slice of pizza or a plate of greasy diner food after midnight just makes it taste so much better.

There are tons of late-night food joints where you can grab a bite to eat. In fact, many places are open 24/7, like Midnight Express Diner in the Upper East Side, Remedy Diner in the Lower East Side, and Empanada Mama in Hell’s Kitchen and the Lower East Side.

12. Spend the night at a museum.

Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller saw a nighttime security guard at the American Museum of Natural History experience the shock of a lifetime when the exhibits came to life around him after-hours.

But did you know it’s actually possible to spend the night at an NYC museum in real life too?

Minus the statues coming to life, of course!

A number of museums like the American Museum of Natural History and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum offer family-friendly sleepovers for an unforgettable experience.

13. Live music hop.

seeing Sammy Rae & The Friends at Rockwood Music Hall after midnight in NYC
Seeing Sammy Rae & The Friends at Rockwood Music Hall after midnight in NYC. Photo via Jessie Festa.

While there are many great places to enjoy live music in NYC after midnight, one fun area in particular that has loads of late-night options within walking distance of one another is the Lower East Side.

If you’re craving some after-midnight fun, visit Pianos, Arlene’s Grocery, and Rockwood Music Hall, among other places.

14. Listen to late-night jazz.

New York is famous for its jazz clubs, from Greenwich Village up to Harlem.

If you’re looking for a more low-key night out, head to one of the city’s intimate jazz bars for some late-night music.

Some of the best jazz clubs in NYC that stay open late are Tomi Jazz and Smalls Jazz Club.

15. Cruise the night away.

One of the most fun things to do after midnight in NYC is taking a midnight cruise.

Whether you’re looking to have your birthday on a boat in NYC or to just have some random fun, you can dance and party the night away while taking in views of the city lit up at night.

Some party cruise operators, like NY Party Cruise, even host their cruises on a luxury yacht for an unbeatable experience.

Exploring NYC on a budget? Another boat option is the Staten Island Ferry, which is totally free and runs 24/7. You can even bring beer on board to create a sort of DIY cruise. Plus, it offers one of the best NYC views for free as you’ll get to see the Statue of Liberty up close!

16. Play a round of crazy golf.

playing mini golf in NYC after midnight
Playing a round of late night mini golf at Swingers NYC. Photo via Jessie Festa.

Looking for non-touristy things to do in New York City? In Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood, you can visit Swingers to play a round of “crazy golf” after midnight in NYC.

There are a variety of themed indoor courses, each with its own creative challenges and decor.

Along with golf, the venue also showcases a variety of food trucks as well as delicious craft cocktails — like the “Grand Mana Margarita” with Teremana Reposado Tequila, Grand Marnier, Barrow’s Intense Ginger (made in Brooklyn), mango, and lime juice.

17. Pair a late-night flick with gourmet food.

At Nitehawk Cinema, which has locations in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Prospect Park neighborhoods, you can choose from a carefully-curated lineup of films.

The best part? They have a delicious menu of gourmet food and craft beverages, which a server will bring right to your seat in the theater.

While the theaters always have late-night shows, those wanting to enjoy New York City after midnight should visit on weekends, when the cinema hosts its weekly “Midnight Movies” series.

Looking to capture your time in NYC with beautiful photos? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. These experiences are offered by Jessie on a Journey’s sister company, NYC Photo Journeys. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Tips For Exploring NYC After Midnight

When exploring New York City after midnight, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind:

Stay in well-lit, populated areas. This is one of the top travel safety tips to keep in mind no matter where you go, including in NYC.

If taking the subway, choose cars with people in them. These will typically be in the center of the train.

Visiting NYC solo? Sit at the bar! This is a great way to enjoy New York City nightlife while having other people to talk to, whether that’s the bartender or another barside patron. You can also join a local Meetup.com group to make friends. There are even groups focused on NYC nightlife and going out after dark!

Late Night Tours In NYC

For those looking to explore NYC after dark, there are a number of fun and exciting tours, like:

Click here for a full list of evening tours in NYC.

Best Hotels In NYC

Looking to stay overnight in NYC? There are so many hotels offering epic skyline views at night, like 1 Hotel Brooklyn (DUMBO), The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg), citizenM New York Bowery Hotel (Lower East Side), and The Langham (Midtown).

🏨 Click here for a full list of New York City hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

🔑 Click here to check out unique local rentals! 

You can also use this map to search for local stays. It is set to SoHo, but you can easily change it to your specific NYC neighborhood.

And if you’re interested in living in a hotel in NYC, there are numerous extended stay hotel options too!

New York City Travel Insurance

When visiting New York City — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.

For this, I have two recommendations:

SafetyWing. If you’re looking for something straightforward and budget-friendly, you can’t beat SafetyWing. They offer one global policy that you can cancel at any time or continue paying for long-term coverage (making it the perfect option for digital nomads!).

Their plan includes medical coverage, trip interruptions, personal liability, unplanned overnight stays, lost luggage, and more.

World Nomads. For something more comprehensive, World Nomads is a great option. While you’ll pay a bit more, you’ll typically get higher coverage maximums as well as additional inclusions—like trip cancellation.

What are your favorite things to do in NYC after midnight?

About Dale P.

Dale is a native New Yorker and an NYC-based travel writer and blogger. She loves sharing insider tips about New York City travel and other destinations with others.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

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4 Comments

  1. oneearth on at 1:08 am

    Wonderful blog ! Love reading it. thanks for sharing the experience.

  2. Mark Eustace on at 9:23 am

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  3. Raven on at 7:12 am

    Great stuff, and the photographs look fantastic.

  4. Ava on at 9:40 am

    This really is a fabulous article, and it has fantastic content and images.

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