Finding out what to do in your spare time when you’re living in Manhattan can seem like an overwhelming task. Maybe you don’t have much free time to begin with, and want to be sure you’re using the little you do have wisely, spending it on worthwhile activities. To help you sift through all of the potential events you can attend living on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, we’ve put together this list of fun ways to spend an afternoon, evening, or weekend.
West Side County Fair
If you want to say goodbye to summer with a bang, consider spending your Labor Day weekend at the West Side County Fair. Each year, Riverside Park hosts the annual summer farewell celebration. The traditional county fair-style event will bring classic carnival attractions to the people living on the Upper West Side, including rides, sideshow acts, music, and dancing. Of course, there are classic snacks and drinks, as well as a lot of local vendors selling your favorite treats, like cotton candy. The fair is free to enter, but you’ll need cash for the fun and food.
Shakespeare in the Park
A summer-in-Manhattan staple, Shakespeare in the Park is a series of performances of Shakespeare’s classic works in Central Park. All performances take place at the Delacorte Theatre and start at 8 p.m. Tickets are free, but notoriously difficult to get. There are a number of different ways you can get your hands on a pair of tickets, from standing in line at the Delacorte Theatre to trying your luck in a mobile ticket lottery, so make sure to plan ahead if you want to catch your favorite show.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival
Every year, the iconic Lincoln Center puts on the Out of Doors Festival for three weeks in the summertime. The festival is completely free for guests to attend. All events take place on the Lincoln Center campus, and they bring together a multitude of artists and performers and a range of live musical performances. Spoken word performances often take place multiple times throughout the three weeks. If all of the fun causes you to work up an appetite, food trucks are often on hand, and you can always stop into the different bars on the Lincoln Center campus.
Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
After the Thanksgiving feasts are cleaned up, there’s just one thing left to do: say hello to the winter months. At the end of November each year, Upper West Siders celebrate Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square. The festival usually draws more than 20,000 people to the neighborhood, all flocking here to enjoy live music, food tastings from local chefs, and shopping. If you tend to put off your holiday gift-buying until the last minute, mark your calendar for the next Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square to get a headstart.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
If you think that the city goes dormant in the stretch between the winter holidays and the summer months, the legendary St. Patrick’s Day Parade will prove you wrong. A longstanding tradition that dates back to 1762, the St. Patty’s Day event brings some color to the city each spring. Splashy floats, big bands, and festive performing groups move down Fifth Avenue, waving to large crowds along the way.
Living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan can certainly be an adventure. And with so much going on, it’s easy to understand why boredom is a rarity when living in this lively, fast-paced neighborhood. We encourage you to enjoy all of these unique things to do near the Upper West Side, Manhattan in order to get to know your new neighborhood even better.
Moving to The Upper West Side
Discover helpful resources and information on moving to the Upper West Side of New York City.Moving to the Upper West Side