NYC Nightlife Picks

Almost 51 million people visited New York City in 2011, taking in the city's famous buildings, cherished neighborhoods and vibrant nightlife. Whether you're visiting NYC for a week or have made the city your home for years, there's always something going on. Try these picks for your next night out:

Live music

Brooklyn's BAM offers multiple live music spaces — including a large stage where Paul Simon, David Byrne and other notables have played - and a cafe which hosts free weekend evening performances. On the Lower East Side, Rockwood Music Hall offers intimate shows spanning many genres. There is very rarely a cover charge, which makes this an ideal backup plan to extend a date.

Photo of Rockwood Music Hall by Zach Klein via Flickr

For a classic experience, head to Harlem's Apollo Theater for Amateur Night, a classic showcase that's been running since the 1930's. Or see what's playing at Carnegie Hall, another venue that's just as likely to have a classical music showcase as it is a pop star on any given night. You'll find plenty of great eats for a pre- or post-concert bite near each of these music venues, as well as bars for grabbing a drink after.

Photo by pasa47 via Flickr


New York City is home to world-class theater, and there's something to see on any given night. For a spectacle, take in a musical or play on Broadway. You can often find last-minute deals on NYC Broadway tickets, especially if you aren't attached to a particular show.

Photo by Broadway Tour via Flickr

In the summer, Central Park's Delacorte Theater hosts free Shakespeare performances in what has been a favored NYC ritual for over 50 years. Picnic in the park or grab sandwiches and snacks at the onsite cafe. New York is also home to a thriving off-Broadway scene where you'll find experimental theater, one-man shows and more.


When you need a good laugh, check out the following stand-up comedy venues.

  • Upright Citizens Brigade: Chelsea's UCB, as New Yorkers affectionately call it, was started by SNL alum Amy Poehler. You may catch a set by a famous NYC or LA comic, or mingle with celebs in the audience. Shows are generally $5 - $10.

Photo by Andy on Flickr via Wikimedia Commond

  • Caroline's: This club on Times Square has hosted Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld and other legends. Every November, Caroline's hosts the New York Comedy Festival, a can't-miss attraction. General tickets run $20.

Photo by Mild Mannered Photographer via Flickr

  • Comedy Cellar: For a late-night comedy treat, go to Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. The venue stays open until 2:30 a.m. every night. Show tickets start at $12. If you have a dirty sense of humor, Thursday night is Midnight Nasty.

Photo by Texaswebscout via Wikimedia Commons


Many New York museums are open late one night per week, where you can mingle, enjoy a cocktail and take in some world-class art. The Met stays open until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and has a suggested donation of $25 for adults. The museum offers Tiffany windows, medieval armor, and Greco-Roman classics. If you enjoy modern art, the MoMA offers free admission from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, and is also open late on Thursdays during the summer.

Photo of the roof of the Met by TheGirlsNy via Flickr



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