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10 Activities to Do With Seniors in New York City

Are you searching for exciting things to do with an elderly loved one in New York City? In this blog post, we’ve gathered 10 activities that are perfect for seniors and their caregivers while exploring the Big Apple.

Key Takeaways

  • It’s good for our elderly loved ones to get out and stay engaged with the world. Luckily for New Yorkers, there’s no shortage of things to do.
  • Many activities on this list are affordable or have senior discounts.
  • These activities can include the whole family! 


1. Central Park Zoo

The Central Park Zoo is world renowned and home to hundreds of exotic animals from across the globe. It’s a must-see for first-time visitors and lifelong New Yorkers alike. Zoos provide a great way to keep the seniors in our life mobile and engaged. 

Seniors can enjoy the zoo at a discounted rate of $16.95 and enjoy a range of experiences, including:

  • 4-D Theater: An immersive experience featuring a 3-D film with built-in sensory effects.
  • Penguin and Sea Lion Feedings: Get up close with the penguins, including gentoo, chinstrap, and king penguins, during their feeding and playtime. Plus, witness the fascinating training and feeding sessions of intelligent sea lions.
  • Quests: Enjoy interactive activities that engage visitors with wildlife and learn ways to protect animals in their natural habitats.

Tip: Visit the zoo when it opens at 10:00 am. You’ll experience smaller crowds and view more active animals.

2. Bus Tour

Big Bus Tours are perfect if you’re planning to visit New York City and want to see its famous landmarks and cultural highlights. 

The Classic Ticket is the most popular option, and it includes two routes:

  • Explore Downtown: This route takes you through popular areas like Broadway, Times Square, 5th Avenue, and Wall Street. You’ll also see views of Ellis Island and even the Statue of Liberty from the Westside Highway.
  • Explore Uptown: This route passes by famous museums, galleries, and theaters such as the Met and Madison Square Garden. You’ll also see Central Park and Madison Avenue and get top-deck views of Times Square.

In addition to the standard Classic Ticket, which covers the Downtown and Uptown routes, there are two other ticket options available. 

The Classic Ticket with Empire State Building allows you to see this iconic landmark for $81. Or you can choose the Classic Ticket with Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry, which includes a ferry ride to these historic sites for the same price.

3. New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a treasure trove of knowledge and culture, offering more than just a stunning collection and breathtaking architecture. 

It also provides a range of free programs, exhibits, and events throughout the year that can nourish your mental health and well-being

From thought-provoking author talks and creative workshops to inspiring concerts and engaging film screenings, there’s always something new and exciting to explore, including:

  • The Library After Hours: Enjoy live music, poetry readings, and other special performances after the library has closed to the public.
  • The Schomburg Center Literary Festival: Celebrate black literature with talks, readings, and workshops by prominent black writers and scholars.
  • The Children’s Literary Salon: Join the fun with author talks, readings, and hands-on activities for kids and families.

Arts and Culture

4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must-visit attraction if you’re interested in art and history. The museum boasts over two million works of acclaimed art and artifacts from various civilizations, making it one of the world’s most comprehensive art museums. 

You can spend a leisurely day exploring the exhibits, which showcase the history and culture of different civilizations, such as ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Americas. Seniors receive a discounted ticket rate of $22.

5. Take a Painting or Pottery Class

Connect with like-minded individuals and discover a new hobby by taking a painting or pottery class in New York City. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner, these classes offer a fun and engaging way to explore your artistic side.

At The Paint Place NY, enjoy a unique Paint & Sip experience where you can create your own masterpiece while sipping your favorite drink. With a BYOB studio and all supplies included, you’ll have a blast recreating classic paintings, mingling with other art enthusiasts, and making new friends.

Pottery-NYC offers a two-hour, beginner-friendly class with an experienced instructor. Learn every step of the potting process, from molding clay to firing your creation. Craft a decorative white clay product of your own design to take home. Naturally, all crafting supplies are provided.

Food and Beverage

6. Picnic at the Park

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, Central Park is a great place to bring some snacks, lay out a blanket, and bask in the simple pleasure of an afternoon picnic. 

With an unbeatable view of the city and countless park benches to choose from, there’s no better place in New York City to enjoy some sunshine, sandwiches, and good conversation. 

7. Culinary Tour

A culinary tour of the city will let you explore the diverse food and beverage scene of New York City. 

A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour takes you on a journey through Brooklyn’s pizza hotspots, while the Foods of New York Tours offers a selection of food tours in different neighborhoods, from Chinatown to Greenwich Village. 

You’ll be able to sample small bites of different dishes and learn about the history and culture of the city’s diverse culinary scene.

Alternatively, you can create your own walking tour, mapping out your favorite eateries and trying new places. Either way, you can indulge in delicious food and move those joints with enjoyable physical activity.

8. Historic Candy Store

Dylan’s Candy Bar is a fantastic candy store that offers a wide range of sweets, from gummies to chocolates to candy-coated popcorn. Economy Candy, located in the Lower East Side, is another candy store that has been around since 1937 and offers a range of nostalgic candies and chocolates. 

Visiting these historic candy stores is a fun way to indulge your sweet tooth and relive childhood memories.

Outdoor Activities

9. Take a Boat Ride on the Hudson River

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is an ideal way for people of all ages to experience the stunning skyline of New York City and its iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. 

Seniors and others with limited mobility can especially appreciate the relaxing journey on the water, which offers a unique perspective of the city’s beauty.

With options ranging from a 1.5-hour harbor tour at $24 to a 2.5-hour circle line cruise at $34, there’s an affordable adventure for everyone to enjoy in the local area.

10. Visit the New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden offers more than just a stunning display of over one million plants and various exhibits and events throughout the year. 

It also provides a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where visitors can rejuvenate their well-being by taking a stroll through the serene forest while admiring the plant life. 

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