New York City: Things to Do Outside of Manhattan

There's More to New York...

While the busy hub of New York City might be Manhattan, did you know that Brooklyn is even larger? And even more boroughs await you after Brooklyn, too! Visitors to New York City might not get out of Manhattan very often, but when they do, they are pleasantly surprised. And why wouldn't they be? With museums, art galleries, zoos, aquariums, parks, restaurants, shops, and more to explore, you can spend plenty of time away from Manhattan and see some amazing sights and attractions. And that's why we assembled this list of things to do outside of Manhattan in New York City.
Coney Island
Coney Island
Coney Island is a classic, old-school amusement park and entertainment area that offers visitors a glimpse into the past. The park is just over an hour outside of Manhattan and it has several classic thrills including a wooden roller coaster, an aquarium, and a boardwalk. The island also has a beach and a chill atmosphere that makes a strong contrast to the vibe in the city.
1218 Bowery Street, West Brighton, NYC, New York, 11224
New York Transit Museum
New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum is housed in a former subway station near Brooklyn's Borough Hall. Kids love this museum and it's small, so you can pass through it in about an hour and see the cars of a vintage subway train, or sit in the driver's seat of a city bus. The museum walks you through more than a century of transportation history in New York City.
99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY, 11201
New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: Things to Do Just Outside of New York City and A Train Lover's Guide to New York City.
Prospect Park
Prospect Park
Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn and is a family-friendly place to explore with a carousel, a zoo, and Greenmarket. There's plenty of grassy areas and green space where you can enjoy a picnic or meet some friends at the ball fields for a pick-up game. During the warmer months you can also catch some outdoor music or even a show at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image features exhibits about the movies and the technology that was involved to create these films. There are often temporary exhibits that rotate through and cover such topics as video games and other forms of media as well.
36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY, 11106
Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
Located in Bronx Park, the Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States. With over 265 acres of habitats and park area full of animal exhibits, educational resources, and more, this is a destination for the whole family. And it's popular, too, as over 2 million people visit every year. Some of the more popular exhibits include the lions, red pandas, bison, cheetahs, sloths, and the World of Birds area featuring species from around the world. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
Jungleworld Road, Lambert Houses, NYC, New York, 10460
New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden
Located in the Bronx, this 250-acre site is on the list of historic landmarks in addition to housing a huge and gorgeous collection of flora and stunning landscapes. Open every day except Mondays, this destination in of itself draws large crowds, especially in the warmer months. It also operates molecular labs, educational programs, cooking classes, kid-friendly events, art exhibitions, and other events to bring in crowds. The building itself is architecturally significant, as it combines a historical beauty with a practical approach to protecting and growing the plants. (Admission on Wednesdays is free!)
Belmont, NYC, New York
Prospect Park Zoo
This 12-acre zoo located on the east side of Prospect Park in Brooklyn is home to a variety of primates, amphibians, farm animals, birds, and more. The shetland sheep are a popular favorite, as are the numerous colorful frogs and other amphibians in the hall of animals exhibit. It's fun for the whole family!
450 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11225
Queens Zoo
This 18-acre zoo in Flushing Meadows is home to a huge collection of animal exhibits that the whole family will enjoy. Don't miss the sea lions, bison, bald eagles, and other animals from the Americas. The farm animal section is a popular favorite with the little kids, too.
Corona, NYC, New York
Interested in more travel advice for New York City? Check out Religious Sites, Cathedrals, and Synagogues in New York City and Free Things to Do in the Bronx.
Queens Botanical Gardens
Located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing in Queens, the 39 acres of the Queens Botanical Gardens features rose, bee, herb, wedding, and perennial gardens, as well as an arboretum, art gallery, and more. They also host seasonal events, children's activities, and community classes.
13598 Elder Avenue, Murray Hill, NYC, New York, 11355
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was created in 1910 and is situated in the Prospect Park neighborhood. Here you can find a number of special plant collections a s well as the Steinhardt Conservatory which is home to the Bonsai Museum. Also in the Conservatory are several themed areas featuring various climates, a glass aquatic plant house, plus an art gallery. While admission is not free, a huge number of visitors enter every year making this a popular and well-visited destination. They host events, children's activities, and classes, too. While an admission fee is usually charged for entry, it's free on Tuesdays, Saturday mornings, and a few other days of the year, too.
1000 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11238
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
Located on Long Island near Huntington, this aquarium's goal is to educate the public about the waters of New York in order to help the freshwater ecosystem. Surprisingly, it has the biggest collection of New York state's reptiles, fish, and amphibians. It's run by a non-profit, and admission is very affordable. You can feed the fish and browse both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 11724
New York Hall of Science
This hands on science and technology museum has more than 400 exhibits that focus on biology, chemistry, and physics. It's perfect for kids and adults who are interested in engineering, math, and science. There are exhibits about robots, outer space, design, and light.
47-01 111th St, Queens, NY, 11368
Queens Night Market
This family-friendly night market not only has vendors that sell art, food, and antiques, there are also cultural performances and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. This is an open-air market that's found in Queens and it's an interesting place to wander and experience local New York culture.
Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, New York City, NY
MoMA PS1
This international studio program is located in a Romanesque Revival building that once served as a public school. The building is filled with artwork and features work by international artists from around the globe.
22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY, NY 11101
Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in The Best Science Museums in New York City and The 17 Best Children's Museums in New York City.
The Brooklyn Museum
This low key museum doesn't see the crowds that are found at some of Manhattan's bigger name museums. It's collection is still impressive though with more than 1.5 million pieces that include Egyptian art, early American art, and much more. The museum is also the third largest in New York City when measured by size.
200 Eastern Pkwy , Brooklyn, NY, 11238
Brooklyn Flea Market
This weekend flea market has hundreds of vendors that sell everything from furniture to vintage clothing, or antiques. This is a favorite for shoppers of all kinds and styles, and many have ranked it among the best flea markets in the world.
Brooklyn
The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center
The Cradle of Aviation Museum is an aerospace museum that educates visitor's on Long Island's role in the history of aviation. The museum also has an attached planetarium, the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium, which shows educational films that cover a number of topics including pre-historic sea monsters and galactic journeys. This museum is in Garden City, Long Island.
Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, Long Island, NY, 11530
Queens County Farm Museum
This fun and family-friendly museum lets kids and adults explore everything about life on a farm, including getting to know the animals. They have pigs, alpacas, sheep, goats, and chickens, as well as hay rides, a bush maze, and a variety of education events. They also have seasonal activities such as pumpkin picking in the fall and more. Most days are free, except during special events.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, Floral Park, New York, 11004
New Jersey Sea Life Aquarium
Located just over the river on the New Jersey side, this aquarium is very close to New York and Manhattan in particular. And it's worth the trip, because here you'll find a huge array of fish and aquatic species to gaze upon and learn about. They have sharks, seahorses, clownfish, stingrays, and more. The entire aquarium has a New York City theme to it, which adds to the fun. And one of the best and most popular exhibits is the tunnel that takes you under the massive tank so you can look up at the fish as they swim above you.
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Staten Island Children's Museum
This hands-on kid's museum includes a number of fun exhibits including the Block Harbor (a builder's dream!), large Connect Four and Dominoes games, and a human sized anthill. There's also pretend areas where kids can play firefighter and an environmental education room. Normally an admission fee is charged, but it's free on Wednesday afternoons.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
If you're looking for more information about New York City, read The Best Parks, Gardens, and Things to Do Outdoors in New York City and The Best Iconic Skyscrapers to Visit in New York City.
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $6 to $1,253. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $355. A few of the best options are below.

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Interested in more travel advice for New York City? Check out Famous Squares and Plazas to Visit in New York City and The Best Planetariums to Visit near New York City.
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