In this article we will take a look at the 25 best things to do in NYC during COVID-19. You can skip our detailed analysis about different activities that can be done during COVID-19 lockdowns and go directly to 5 Best Things to Do in NYC During COVID-19.
When COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in the United States, everybody, including the top brass of scientists, was hoping to defeat the deadly virus within a few months. However, the optimism did not last long as the contagion started mutating itself, generating new variants that rendered vaccines made for the original version of the virus largely ineffective.
COVID-19 Is Here to Stay
According to a survey carried out by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of over 50 organizations including Oxfam and UNAIDS, new variants could render current vaccines ineffective within a year.
The emergence of new variants in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, and India has forced many disease experts to change their optimistic forecasts about the virus.
Chris Murray, a disease expert at the University of Washington, was very hopeful that Covid-19 would be brought under control after the discovery of vaccines. But last month he changed his prediction and stated that if the new variants keep spreading, the disease cannot be controlled and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in winter could be four times higher than the deaths caused by flu in the United States.
Similarly, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, expressed his apprehensions about the possible upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases due to the emanation of new variants in the following words:
“All you need is one little flick of a variant (sparking) another surge”.
The world is highly globalized and strongly interconnected. Today, if any new variant erupts in one country, within a few weeks it reaches every nook and corner of the world. It looks impossible to contain any new variant within the borders of one country. The B.1.1.7 variant which emerged in the United Kingdom quickly spread throughout the world. As of 10th April 2021, B.1.1.7 variant made grounds in 52 jurisdictions of the United States and 59.2% of cases in the USA were of UK Variant.
The latest variant, B.1.617, has surfaced in India and is wreaking havoc in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Indian variant spreads more easily than other variants and classified it as “a variant of global concern.” According to WHO, the Indian variant is making grounds into different countries quickly and as of 12th May, it has been detected in 44 countries. If this variant remains unfettered, it can cause huge damage like the original version of the virus.
Unfortunately, any new variant, at any time can devastate the global economy and push millions of people back into their homes.
According to social scientists, Covid-19 will permanently change the way we work, learn, earn, spend, date, and socialize. A return to the pre-pandemic routine will not be easy. As Olympia psychologist Dr. Matt Goldenberg opines that there will be no “big collective return” to normal life.
Similarly, Seanan McGuire who authored eight books about future pandemics after seeing no sign of early recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic regretted that she was wrong to express optimism in her pandemic novels.
“And I got the wrong thing wrong. What I got wrong was optimism.” McGuire said.
All these insights by disease experts and social scientists suggest that Covid-19 is not to leave soon and will change human behaviors and habits to a great extent. We must adapt to the new changes and look for the best alternatives to cope with the negative impacts of Covid-19.
With this context in mind, let’s start our list of the 25 best things to do in NYC during COVID-19.
Best Things to Do in NYC During COVID-19
25. Ride at the Coney Islands Iconic Parks
After a gap of more than one year, Coney Island amusement parks including the iconic Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park started welcoming back visitors in the last week of April. The Parks are open on the weekends only and to ensure physical distancing attendance is limited to 33% of the full capacity. With a bunch of safety measures in place visiting the Coney Island parks is one of the best things to do in NYC during Covid-19. Reserve slots in advance and enjoy the heart-pounding thrill rides at the Coney Island amusement parks.
24. Explore the world virtually
New Yorkers are known for touring and exploring new destinations. As travel is not risk-free due to Covid-19, exploring the world from home is one of the best things to do in NYC during Covid-19. Many of the world’s famous museums and zoos can be virtually toured. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s Google Arts & Culture is a wonderful platform to visit some of the top museums in the world including New York’s Guggenheim, and Paris’s Louvre Museum.
23. Stay Socially Active
Thanks to some amazing social websites, you will not feel alone while being alone. Use social media platforms to kill loneliness. Share stories with friends on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Instagram, and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR). Spend more time chatting with old friends, and make new friends. Or maybe it’s the right time to start your own channel on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s YouTube platform.
Or if you feel that using social media is a waste of time, maybe start selling your skills as a freelancer on platforms like Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ: UPWK), Freelancer Ltd (ASX: FLN), and Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR).
22. Learn to Play Musical Instruments
Being a resident of New York City, you must be a great fan of music. Why not use the spare time during the Covid-19 outbreak to learn how to play different musical instruments. Without any doubt, learning to play musical instruments is one of the best things to do in NYC during Covid-19. There are hundreds of tutorials available on Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)’s YouTube. Just pick a guitar, Violin, or whatever you like and learn to play it.
21. Visit a Museum
No city in the world can match the number, scale, and variety of museums in NYC. The city is home to several world-class museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. If you are fed-up with having virtual tours, you can go out and visit any of the museums in the city as restrictions imposed last year are eased now and museums are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Some museums are free while many others charge around $25 as an admission fee.
20. Become a Master of Cuisine
For food lovers in NYC, the best thing to do during Covid-19 is to master their cooking skills by experimenting with new dishes. Ingredients might already be lying around at your home. All you have to do is try to cook a different meal. Moreover, there are several Kitchens in NYC like Brooklyn Kitchen that offer online cooking courses. Get enrolled and learn to cook some amazingly delicious new dishes. You can also get in touch with fellow food enthusiasts and famous chefs on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG), Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Instagram, and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) to share recipes and food photos.
According to James Pennebaker, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Texas, journaling strengthens immune cells and relieves stress, depression, and anxiety. Let all of your emotions and experiences flow through the journal. Keep a track of your feelings and develop a meaningful relationship with yourself.
18. Volunteer to Help Others
Helping the needy and the most vulnerable fellow citizens is the best thing to do in NYC during Covid-19. You can volunteer with several organizations like New York Cares or NYC Food Bank to support the Covid-19 relief efforts. Read the safety guidelines for volunteers and if you are eligible to volunteer offer yourself for the noble cause.
Covid-19 has changed the work trends in NYC, like other parts of the world. Remote hiring of professionals has become a norm due to the pandemic. Nobody knows whether the corporate sector can go back to its pre-pandemic routine or not. As the gig economy is booming, freelancing is one of the best things to do in NYC during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are numerous freelancing platforms including Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ: UPWK), Freelancer Ltd (ASX: FLN), and Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR) where you can sell your freelance services. Sign Up today and start making money.
16. Join an Online Choir
Joining an online choir is an excellent way to pass time and relieve anxiety. Different communities of singers have created online choirs like Seattle Girls Choir, Boston Children’s Chorus, and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church choir to rehearse virtually over the video calling app of Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM). Join an online choir today and start yelling your favorite songs.
15. Amuse Yourself with Stand-up Comedy
Attending stand-up comedy is the best thing to do in NYC during Covid-19 if you want to keep yourself laughing in these unusual times. Different comedy clubs are organizing outdoor comedy as indoor gatherings are not risk-free due to Covid-19. The Tiny Cupboard and QED Astoria are hosting stand-up comedy shows every Friday night. Attend these shows and amuse yourself. Advance booking is recommended as seating is extremely limited to ensure social distancing and the safety of the attendees. Standup comedy ranks 15th in our list of best things to do in NYC during COVID-19.
14. Home Workout
Amidst the fear of contracting the disease at gyms, a home workout is one of the best things to do in NYC during Covid-19. Exercise not only bucks up your immune system but also relieves you of psychological stress. For a better workout at home, you can take help from streaming services of Sky Ting TV or install the Nike Run Club application of Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE).
13. Dine Out and Listen to Live Music
You will be glad to know that after a break due to Covid-19 live music has returned to the bars and restaurants of NYC. Thus, if you get sick of eating at home, go to Canary club, The Beatrice Inn, Clinton Hall, or Il Cortile Restaurant and enjoy live music along with a variety of delicious cuisine.
12. Develop New Skills
There would be a time when you craved to learn new skills but could not make a start due to a busy daily routine. Covid-19 provides you the opportunity to learn new skills and sharpen the old ones. There are several organizations like edX and Coursera Inc. (NYSE: COUR) that provide massive open online courses to help you develop new skills while staying at home. Developing new skills ranks 12th our list of best things to do in NYC during COVID-19.
One you develop some marketable skills, you can make money on platforms like Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ: UPWK), Freelancer Ltd (ASX: FLN), and Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR) without leaving your home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the United States, hiking and similar outdoor activities can help improve mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Several parks nearby NYC offer hiking including Storm King State Park, Inwood Hill Park, and Bronx Park. Therefore if you are living in NYC hiking is one of the best things to do during Covid-19. Hiking ranks 11th in our list of best things to do in NYC during COVID-19.
10. See Some Animals
NYC has several Zoos and aquariums including The Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, and Queens Zoo. As Covid-19 restrictions are slightly eased, you should not miss the opportunity to visit a zoo or aquarium to see some animals. Several safety measures including physical distancing and the continuous sprinkling of disinfectants are in place in the above-mentioned places to control the transmission of Covid-19. With reduced visitors due to Covid-19, you would have the added advantage of exploring the Zoos meticulously. Visiting zoos ranks 10th in our list of best things to do in NYC during COVID-19.
9. Keep an Eye on Authentic News
Following an authentic and reputable news source is one of the most important things to do for New Yorkers during the Covid-19 pandemic. As social media is replete with misinformation, getting valid news updates is imperative to keep yourself abreast of the changing times. Keep an eye on the latest news from reputable news outlets like The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) and Fox News by Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX). If you hate these mainstream news sources, you can easily find reliable news coming directly from journalists on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG), Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and above all, Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR).
8. Learn and Teach with Brooklyn Brainery
Brooklyn Brainery is a community-driven, crowdsourced platform for education. They can help you learn anything and teach anything ranging from repairing an engine to writing a journal. You can also request them to arrange the course you want to learn. Thus, Brooklyn Brainery is a wonderful platform for New Yorkers to pass their spare time productively during Covid-19.
7. Join a Walking Club
There are a number of walking groups in NYC. A walking club relieves you of depression, improves your physical fitness, and boosts your immune system besides providing you an opportunity to make new friends. Therefore, joining a walking club is one of the best things to do in NYC during Covid-19. According to your age group and interests, You can find a suitable walking club for yourself here.
6. Attend a Virtual Event with New York Adventure Club
New York Adventure Club is organizing a host of virtual events to help you discover hidden gems in the city. Spend your spare time productively and explore the unknown stories about different places besides knowing the historical facts. Some of the interesting virtual events in the coming days include ‘History of Jazz in NYC’ on 14th May, ‘A Crash Course on NYC’s Garment Industry’ on 22th May, and ‘The Erie Canal: Story of building the impossible’ on 25th May. They charge only $10 per event
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Disclosure: None. 25 Best Things to Do in NYC During COVID-19 is originally published on Insider Monkey.