Living, Tips & Techniques

Off the beaten path, 5 things to do on a Sunday in NYC

Some great solo and date ideas.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Aug 8, 2021

At any given point in NYC, there is never a shortage of things to do. From walking around, to visiting museums, to beach trips and brunches. But if you ever feel stumped on what to do on a Sunday, here are some fun out of the routine suggestions for you.


Coney Island Circus Sideshow

This ten-act feast of human peculiarities is literally one of the last of its sort, satisfying both your nostalgia and sense of wonder. After a year of hiatus due to the pandemic, the famous spectacle returns with a freak-show by recognizing the abilities of individuals “born strange.” Contortionists, sword swallowers, fire eaters, and escape artists are among the performers. Aren’t you already intrigued? Head there for an odd Sunday afternoon that is surely going to quench your thirst. It runs until December 31, 2022.


Tour the Brooklyn Brewery

On Saturday and Sunday, the craft-beer plant in Williamsburg offers free, no-reservation general tours. After the tour, you can buy brewski tokens ($5 for one, $20 for five) to sample the regular and seasonal styles on tap. Sunday bonus: This is the only day that Smorgasbrewery is open, when five or six Smorgasburg vendors serve suds-complementing dishes insipidly. This is a great impromptu date idea or a fun afternoon with a group of friends.


Take the ferry to Governors Island

This seasonal island paradise is only 800 yards from lower Manhattan and is reached by a seven-minute free ferry ride from Manhattan or Brooklyn. We’re not kidding when we say it’s paradise, and definitely counts as a hidden gem in the city. Governors Island was a military station that was off-limits to the public for 200 years due to its strategic location in the center of New York Harbor. In 2006, it was finally open to summer guests. Today, the island offers a tranquil location for riding, picnicking, and general relaxation (you can bring a bike on the ferry or rent one while there). Concert series, art exhibitions, and club nights are all common on the island. You can check their website for a full schedule, but this is definitely a great Sunday afternoon activity.


Hear live classical music at the Frick Collection

Few things in New York City compare to seeing a concert, piano recital, or chamber-music performance in the beautiful and magnificent old mansion-turned-art-museum. Arrive early to check out the gallery, which is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays and is pay-what-you-wish.


Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society

In addition to an outdoor baboon reserve, a sea lion pool, and an area dedicated solely to Madagascar, this vast conservation is home to over 5,000 charming and/or terrifying species. On rainy days, visit the World of Birds, the World of Reptiles, or the Congo Gorilla Forest, which are all indoor attractions.


Photo via WXY architecture + urban design/bloomimages