How to Have a Perfect Weekend in NYC

Since the in-laws have been to NYC several times before, we try to plan activities to do with them that aren’t super touristy, but still something that is unique to the city. As a result, you will not find big attractions like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, or Rockefeller Center in this post. Instead, I’m going to tell you how to have the perfect weekend in trip in NYC – taking in some sights the way a New Yorker would.

Start your day in Chinatown with a dim sum brunch. My mom and I both prefer Ping’s on Mott Street, but the new location of Jing Fong on Centre Street is a solid option too. If you’re with less adventurous eaters or have never had dim sum before, I would recommend Dim Sum Go Go over by East Broadway or Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street. Both restaurants offer pictured menus with detailed descriptions of the dishes.

After a delicious brunch that will keep you going for hours, take the train uptown to one of the city’s best museums, The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The MOMA is home to almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art. Through September, the MOMA is running Matisse: The Red Studio, which reunites Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911) with the surviving six paintings, three sculptures, and one ceramic that is depicted in the painting. The MOMA also home to Van Gogh’s quintessential work, Starry Night, and Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, as well as Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

If modern art is not your thing (don’t worry, it’s not one of mine either), head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) instead. NY residents and NY, NJ, CT students can pay whatever they want to enter, so the MET is a solid activity for us New Yorkers. Through July, the MET is running the Winslow Homer: Crosscurrents exhibit, featuring Homer’s iconic The Gulf Stream. The MET also has a wonderful rooftop bar, with amazing views of the NYC skyline.

Finish your day with a show on Broadway. Most tourists will aim for the longest running shows on Broadway: Wicked, The Lion King, or Phantom of the Opera. My recommendation, if the price is right, would be Hadestown or Six the Musical. Both of these shows are in my Top 5 and are fantastic shows that will having you jamming in your seats.

Start your second day in NYC with a classic New York breakfast of a bagel and cream cheese. Honestly, go anywhere and you’ll get an amazing bagel. After breakfast, hop on a train to my home borough of Brooklyn and head over to Prospect Park. There are a multitude of trains that go to Prospect Park – the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q, and S trains all stop within walking distance. It’s a great outdoor activity and a perfect alternative to Central Park. Adjacent to the Park is the Brooklyn Museum as well as the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens features beautiful flowers year-round. But March and April is their Cherry Blossom Festival, where thousands of cherry blossoms bloom in the spring.

If you’re visiting during the nicer months, you finish your day with a picnic in Prospect Park. Smorgasburg, one of my favorite spring/summer activities, is a giant outdoor food market located in the Breeze Hill part of Prospect Park. It features some of the most unique dishes I’ve ever eaten. The Prospect Park location is open Sundays, from 11am-6pm.

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