New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Arts, Culture, and Recreation

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.


Arts and Culture

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

Dance

  • New York City Dance Venues - home to the greatest dance companies in the world, New York is also a major stop on almost every national and international company tour.
  • Dance Link Club - an email club devoted to providing discounts to dance performances throughout NYC.

Museums and Galleries

Music

Theater

  • Broadway Box offers Broadway tickets at up to 50% off without a membership.
  • The Frugal Theatergoer's Guide to Discount Tickets An article in the New York Times, "Frugal New York," 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 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.

NYU Cultural Activities

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

Local Fitness Clubs

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
  • New York Sports Connection, an interactive and searchable resource for adults, children, families, and sports organizations in New York City. The website includes information about leagues, teams, classes, and activities, sports options for children with special needs, private coaches, local sporting goods stores. Also included is a Community Forum where users can share information, trade tips, and buy and sell equipment.

Leagues

  • 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

Fishing

Golf

Hiking and Backpacking

Ice Skating

Running Clubs, Classes/Clinics, Races

  • NY Road Runners Club offers training, running clubs, and a calendar of events held throughout New York City.
  • NY Flyers, New York's largest running club, offers training and activities for runners of all skill levels.

Tennis

  • NYC Tennis Courts, both indoor and outdoor, can be found in many locations throughout the five boroughs.
  • Court Permits are required for all individuals who wish to use NYC tennis courts. Permits can be obtained by mail or by visiting the permit office in your borough.

Spectator Sports

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

Restaurants

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.
  • And, don't forget the NYU Torch Club NYU's exclusive venue for faculty, administrators, and staff offers a varied menu and regular events, including tastings of wine, cheese, and chocolate.

Shopping Near Washington Square

Additional resources are available here.

  • Book Stores
    • Barnes & Noble Booksellers is the largest book retailer in the United States. The store closest to NYU is located on Union Square at 33 East 17th Street.
    • Housing Works Cafe and Bookstore 126 Crosby Street (south of Houston)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Morton Williams 130 Bleecker St. (at LaGuardia Pl.)
    • 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.)
    • Just Food promotes fresh produce and local agriculture, creating relationships between local farmers and New Yorkers. Locate a community supported agricultural (CSA) group in your area.
    • Trader Joe's 142 E. 14th Street. (between 3rd Ave. and Irving Pl.)
    • Westside Market (77 Seventh Avenue)
    • Whole Foods Market 40 E. 14th Street (at Union Square), 95 East Houston St

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.
  • New York City Walking Tours are offered at about.com.
  • 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.
  • Open House New York offers programs that provide unique opportunities to explore the NYC urban environment, architecture, public art and more.


Photo: Musicians in Washington Square Park

New York City Public Library

The 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

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.

Volunteering

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

NYU Footer