Entertainment & Useful Local Shopping

Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a family with children, NYC has a richness and diversity all its own. There are a wide variety of ways to enjoy the arts, a range of culinary treats to savor, bike paths and other activities to enhance your physical well-being, as well as diverse neighborhoods in which to live and explore.

Things to Do

New York City visitors and residents can find information on major attractions, the arts, sports, and more at some general websites, including:

Arts and Culture

New York City offers plenty of sources for intellectual exchange and fun including street fairs, free concerts, walking tours, and more.

Museums and Galleries


  • Every genre of music can be found in NYC. A listing of the various venues can be found here.
  • Make Music New York
    For one day in June New York City's parks, sidewalks and streets will be filled with music. Based on an idea that started in France, anyone who likes to play music can step outside and play all day.
  • Music Performances in the Park


  • Broadway Box offers Broadway tickets at up to 50% off without a membership.
  • The Frugal Theatergoer's Guide to Discount Tickets has a wealth of resources for finding tickets, provides information about what's on now, what's coming to stage soon, and how to obtain the best discounts.
  • Playbill offers access to reduced-price tickets for a small membership fee.
  • Play-by-Play is a membership-based site that requires an annual fee of more than $100. With this membership you have access to complimentary tickets to a range of shows.
  • The Public Theater When you're looking for a good show, but don't want the chaos or the cost of Broadway, this local theater is a great solution.
  • TDF is a membership-based discount site that serves students, seniors, employees of non-for-profit organizations and other groups. They send periodic e-mails to let members know what is available.
  • Theater in the Park
    New York Classical Theater
    Shakespeare in the Park
  • Theater Mania offers discounted tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway shows as well as special exhibits and performances. This website serves New York and several other cities in the US.
  • TKTS Booths can be used to purchase same-day tickets. There is a booth in Times Square and one at South Street Seaport.

Free and Low Cost Activities

NYC can be an expensive place to visit or live but there are countless things to do for free or low cost. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.

Green Spaces and Outdoor Activities

NYC Parks - New York City is one of the largest urban centers in the world, yet there are wonderful parks and green areas to explore.

Central Park, with over 840 acres, can challenge even the most knowledgeable New Yorker. Don't miss out on the special activities and events that the Park offers - download a detailed map of the park here.

Central Park was designed for refuge, discovery and communing with society. Not for running. Yet 150 years later, its 843 acres are a paradise for runners. Learn new trails inside Central Park and read as experienced runners describe their favorites here.

Health, Fitness, and Sports

Fitness Clubs

  • Coles Recreation Center and Palladium are NYU's fitness centers.
  • Chelsea Piers is a series of adjoining piers on the Hudson River which support a variety of athletic facilities and activities. For an overview of offerings, visit their website or click here .
  • Local gyms:
    - Bally's Total Fitness
    - Crunch Fitness
    - Equinox
    - New York Sports Club
    - McBurney YMCA
    - 14th Street Y
  • Fitness PassBook from the American Health and Fitness Alliance is a unique way to stay in shape. Subscribers have access to fitness centers and clubs around the City, can choose programming that best suits their goals and needs, and meet a variety of people.
  • NYC Parks & Recreation Centers offer full service fitness and recreation centers for a nominal fee. Low-cost classes are also available. Recreation Centers are available in each of NYC's five boroughs. The three closest facilities are the Carmine Street, Chelsea, and Asser Levy Recreation Centers.

Leagues, Clubs and Facilities

Facilities and General Resources

  • Asphalt Green offers an array of athletic activities including sports leagues, classes, and personal training.
  • Chelsea Piers has teams, classes, and facilities that cover a wide range of sports and activities (fishing, golfing, bowling, skating, rock climbing and lots more). Visit their website or click here to see an overview of what they have to offer.
  • Central Park
  • NYC Department of Parks and Recreation


  • Basketball and Volleyball with NY Urban Professionals Athletic League. Men's and women's leagues with 4 seasons are offered throughout the year. Register as a team or play as an individual in the open scrimmage games.
  • Basketball City has locations in several major cities across the US. They feature adult basketball leagues as well as youth programs and special events.

Biking Resources and Clubs



Ice Skating

Running Clubs, Classes/Clinics, Races


Spectator Sports
Support one of the local New York/New Jersey teams or watch your favorite team compete locally.

New York City Public Library
System offers a wide range of collections and special events. Some of the closest branch libraries are:

  • Main Library
    Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
  • Jefferson Market Branch
    425 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas)
  • Hudson Park Branch
    66 Leroy Street
  • Ottendorfer Branch
    135 Second Avenue
  • Mulberry Street Branch
    10 Jersey Street


Many New Yorkers turn to print resources such as the Zagat guide and Time Out Magazine for restaurant recommendations. However you can easily explore on-line resources for additional ideas.

  • Local Restaurants listing, though brief, offers additional links to help you find the right restaurant.
  • Menu Pages is an online source that can help you search for restaurants by location and type of cuisine. The site includes comments by diners.
  • Restaurant Week and tasting events offered throughout the year are favorite events for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

Shopping Near Washington Square

  • Book Stores
    • Barnes & Noble Booksellers is the largest book retailer in the United States. Two of its many locations are located close to NYU, at 4 Astor Place and 33 East 17th Street.
    • Shakespeare and Co. Booksellers
      716 Broadway (at Washington Pl.).
      This small chain considers itself "an independent alternative."
    • St. Mark's Bookshop
      31 Third Ave.
      This independent bookshop specializes in culture and arts, although they also sell books on other topics.
    • The Strand
      282 Broadway (at 12th St.)
      The Strand boasts that it has 18 miles of books. The store carries new, used and rare books on just about every subject.
  • Hardware
    • Garber Hardware is a family owned hardware store that has been serving the neighborhood for several generations. Garber's is open 7 days a week and is located at 710 Greenwich Avenue, between 10th and Charles. Reach them on foot, web, or phone (212-242-9807).
    • M&D True Value Hardware (212-477-4180) is located on the corner of Bleecker and Lafayette Streets.
    • National Wholesale Liquidators (212-979-2400), offers heavily discounted hardware and home items.
    • Simon's Hardware and Bath sells distinctive, high quality hardware and plumbing products.
  • Markets
    • The addresses listed here are the locations closest to Washington Square. Please visit store websites to find additional locations.
    • Associated Market
      130 Bleeker St. (at LaGuardia Pl.)
    • Balducci
      81 Eighth Avenue (at 14th St.)
    • Chelsea Market
      75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16th Sts.)
    • Citarella
      424 6th Avenue (at 9th St.)
    • D'Agostino
      64 University Place (at 10th St.)
    • Garden of Eden Gourmet Markets
      7 East 14th Street (at 5th Ave.)
    • The Green Market at Union Square
      is one of the biggest and most popular markets in New York City. You will find fish, meats, cheeses, and a variety of produce from local growers four days a week
    • Gristedes
      25 University Place (at 8th St.)
    • Jefferson Market
      450 6th Avenue (between 10th and 11th Sts.)
    • Trader Joe's
      142 E. 14th Street. (between 3rd Ave. and Irving Pl.)
    • Washington Square Community Supported Agriculture
      promotes fresh produce and local agriculture, creating relationships between local farmers and New Yorkers. This relationship benefits all participants, boosting individual, community, economic, and environmental health.
    • Whole Foods Market
      40 E. 14th Street (at Union Square)
  • Specialty Shops


These organizations and offices are great places to look for volunteer opportunities in the New York City area.

  • NYU Office of Community Service lists ongoing and one-time volunteer opportunities.
  • American Red Cross
  • Idealist.org is a posting site for all kinds of nonprofit organizations and individuals who are working to make a contribution to the community.
  • New York Blood Center
  • NY Cares has served the New York community for 20 years. An on-line search helps you locate the volunteer opportunities that best suit your interest and skills.
  • Volunteer Match makes it easy to find a volunteer opportunity that fits your interests, skills, and schedule.

Walking Tours

NYC Tours provide new visitors and long-term residents alike with a fun way to explore NYC's rich history and culturally diverse neighborhoods.

  • Big Onion Walking Tours offers innovative tours through New York's ethnic neighborhoods and historic districts.
  • The Village Alliance has free walking tours as well as a self guided tour called "Greenwich Village Walk of Fame." Call or stop by their office at 8 East 8th Street to find out more. (212) 777-2173
  • Explore the many architectural treasures of the City with suggestions from Frommer's .
  • Hidden Treasures reveals smaller and unusual attractions.