Third Day itinerary from my trip to New York :
The perfect way to relax in the city and leave the crowds behind is to spend the day in Central Park. It’s free, there are lots of paths to walk (or run), bike lanes, lakes to row in, and a zoo. Since the park covers over 150 square blocks, it’s easy to spend hours wandering around. During the summer months, there are often free concerts and theater productions (line up early for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park). From the late spring to the early fall, there are free guided walks run by the parks service on Saturdays at 11am. I’m a big fan of laying out in Sheep’s Meadow on a hot, sunny day with a book, some food, and a bottle of wine.
Several excellent museums can be found in or on the edges of Central Park:
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met is one of the biggest museums in the world, and if you only see one museum in New York, I recommend this one. It has a wide array of art, historical artifacts, photographs, and other exhibits. There’s even a real Egyptian tomb in here! I like its expansive impressionist and Greek exhibits. It’s chaotic and filled with people, especially on the weekend, but since it is so big, you can usually find some quiet spots away from the crowds. Budget a lot of time as a few hours won’t do this place justice.
1000 5th Avenue, Central Park, Upper East Side, +1 212 535 7710, metmuseum.org. Opening hours: Sun–Thu (10am–5:30pm), Fri–Sat (10am–9pm). Price: $25 (includes entrance to the Cloisters and Met Breuer for three consecutive days). Pay what you wish for N.Y. State residents and students in N.Y., N.J., and C.T. Free for kids 12 and under.
- American Museum of Natural History
Made even more famous by the Night at the Museum movies, this museum also requires a lot of time. The exhibits on nature, human history, and marine life are interesting and detailed, so I wouldn’t try to rush your visit. My favorite is the one on the origin of humans. Learning about how we came to be is fascinating. Also, don’t skip the section on space (because space is awesome!) at the Hayden Planetarium, which is run by science god Neil Degrasse Tyson. They have really detailed exhibitions on the origin of the universe.
Budget tip: The “fee” here is also suggested donation so you can pay what you wish.
Central Park W. at 79th Street, Upper West Side, +1 212 769 5100, amnh.org. Opening hours: Daily (10am–5:45pm). Price: Suggested donation of $23 ($13 for children ages 2–12). Note: Even though this museum only technically asks for a suggested donation, be prepared to pay to go into any special exhibitions and/or movies.