Best Time to Visit NYC

Best Times to Go to NYC Explained

This post is a guide to choosing the best time to visit NYC.

We include when it’s the cheapest and when to expect the best weather and a month by month comparison.

Let’s get started!

Best Time to Visit New York


The best time to visit NYC depends on what “best” means to you.

If by best you mean cheapest times to visit, then that’s much easier to answer, come just about anytime between January and February.

However, there are also relatively cheap times to visit during periods of the high season. Read our section below explaining when is cheapest.

If your definition of best is mostly concerning the weather, then that’s also an easy answer. You should visit between May-June or between September-November.

This is when it is the warmest with the least amount of rain. Learn more about why.

Each month can be the best for certain individuals. Therefore, we also created a section in this post summarizing what each month has to offer.

Because there’s no point visiting in October if your dream is to ice skate on the Rockefeller Center ice rink.

You could also listen to our NYC Travel Tips podcast episode on the pros and cons of visiting NYC in each of the 4 seasons.

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcast wherever you get your podcasts.



The following is a summary of a more in-depth post on visiting NYC during the least expensive periods of the year, where we also cover the cheapest times in the high season.

The short answer though is that from early January until early March is clearly the cheapest time to visit NYC.

This period contains the best combination of low prices and discounts on flights, hotels, and Broadway-types shows and musicals.

The second cheapest period is from early November until about the first week of December.

Cheapest Hotel Prices

Average hotel prices, which approach $300/night for the year, drop to around $190/night city wide during this low tourism period.

And although the graph doesn’t show it, there is a period between November 1st and early-December that is also relatively inexpensive to visit NYC.

Other Helpful Articles

Cheapest Flights to NYC

Likewise, the cheapest time to purchase a flight to NYC is generally from early January until early March.

According to Google Flights, the average 5-day round-trip, non-stop flight from London to NYC can reach £1200 during the peak Christmas rush. 

But, if you wait until after the Christmas season, the average round trip flight from London is more than 4x cheaper. 

Other Helpful Articles

There are some caveats to hotel and flight discounts during this time of year and we provide more detail here.

The Types of Travelers Who Should Benefit

Museum Lovers

It’s cold outside, but who cares. During the slow seasons, museums and other indoor attractions are operating as usual and they are much less crowded.

NYC Museums in Winter

Not to mention, many museums and attractions are either free (or pay-what-you-wish) every day of the week or on select days and times or included for free with a tourist attraction discount pass.

Theater Lovers

Fewer tourists mean getting tickets to shows in NYC are easier to come by, especially on websites such as StubHub and TodayTix.

broadway week

Late January is also Broadway Week, which is actually 2 weeks long when you can get 2 for 1 tickets to many popular Broadway shows.

We also have some general tips on how to get your hands on discounted theater tickets.

Dining Out

Jan until early March is also a great time for dining out. Like for Broadway shows, dinner reservations are much easier to come by.

There is Restaurant Week, which like Broadway Week lasts for 2 weeks in the 2nd half of January and offers deep discounts. 

Other Money-Saving NYC Travel Tips:



Much like in the previous section, the answer to the question when is the weather best is subjective.

But the short answer is that for most people, the best times to visit NYC weatherwise is the roughly 2-month periods of May and June as well as September and October.


Best Months for Weather in NYC




It’s during these 2 periods that the weather (both day and night) is stable and warm, without the humidity of the dead of summer as well as very little rain.

Late April and early July, as well as late August and early November, could also apply here.

While July and August can be downright hot and humid in NYC, this isn’t always the case.

And if you come from a hot and humid climate, such as Florida or Queensland, then you should easily acclimate yourself to NYC’s summer climate.

And as we alluded to in the previous section, if you are a museum lover, then when you come to NYC isn’t very weather dependent.

After you read this section, check out our section on things to do by month.

Weather Overview by Seasons

Winter (Dec-Feb)

This is the coldest time of year. Early December is relatively mild but can be quite cold as well. 

Daily afternoon high temperatures in January and February will be mostly in the upper 30’s F to near 40 F (3-5 C), with evening and morning low temperatures around the mid to upper 20’s F (-2 to -3 C).

Snow is most likely in January and February but it can certainly snow in December and March.


When does it snow in NYC


Although NYC isn’t a particularly snowy city, you should be prepared to deal with snowy conditions.

Read our post on planning for snow in NYC for more information.

As we alluded to earlier, this is also the cheapest time to visit NYC (with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s) and is great for those who love museums, indoor attractions, Broadway shows, and fancy dinners.

But it’s also a great time for people who like to go ice skating or just don’t mind the cold (Canadians?).

Spring (March-May)

At the start of March, average high temperatures will reach into the mid 40’s F (6-7 C). 

By the end of May, average daily high temperatures will reach the mid-70s F (22-24 C) by the end of the month.

The photo was taken on May 23, 2019, on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

May is a Great Time to Visit NYC


You should expect some snow at the start of March, but significant snowfall after this time occurs seldom in NYC.

And if NYC has a rainy season, then it’s this 3-month period. However, no month in NYC sees more than 4 in. (10 cm) of rain a month on average.


Average Monthly Rainfall NYC


The weather isn’t very stable, particularly in March and the 1st half of April with frequent temperature and precipitation changes, though May is more pleasant.

More outdoor activities are taking place, especially starting in April. Professional baseball, basketball, and hockey are all happening now.  

Summer (June – August)

June is still a great time weather-wise, with average high temperatures around the mid-70s F (22 -24 C) at the start of the month and ending the month just a tad warmer. 


Average Monthly Temperatures NYC


July is when things start to warm up, with average high temperatures in the mid-80s F (26-29 C).

About 1/4 of the days will exceed 90 F (32 C) along with high humidity.

In the past, July has seen temperatures rise to as high as 106 F (41 C).

The good news is that evening and morning lows average around the mid to upper-60s F (17-21 C), which means taking advantage of things to do outside at night.


July Night Tour NYC

The summer is a great time for a night tour.

August is similar to July with the end of the month seeing partially cooler temperatures as the first half of the month, particularly at night.

All 3 months bring lots of sunshine, and while there aren’t many rain days, when it does rain, it’s often significant (if short-lived).

Expect thundershowers any day of the week.

Autumn (Sept-Nov)

If you can come during this time period, we recommend this as the best time.

As we mentioned earlier, September and October are two months when the weather (both day and night) is stable and warm, without the humidity of the dead of summer as well as very little rain.

Daily high temperatures in September average between 70 – 8o F (21 – 26 C) with October seeing average high temperatures between 60 – 70 F (16 – 21 C). 

Things will start to cool off in November when light jackets are required, but the weather is still pleasant. Daily average high temperatures range between 50-60 F (9 – 16 C).

Monthly Weather Reports




Wollman Ice Rink at night

January is a great month for bargain hunters. Post-holiday shopping means big markdowns. And hotels and flights will generally cost less.

Until mid-month some holiday lights are still up and you can enjoy them without the crowds. You can also enjoy winter sports like ice skating.

Two annual January events can save you some serious money. One of these is Broadway Week, where you can get two tickets to Broadway Shows for the price of one! 

The other money-saving event is Restaurant Week (actually two weeks long) you can dine at over 300 of NYC’s best restaurants with a more than an affordable prix-fixe set menu.

This event occurs again in late July.

January is also a great month for fans of professional ice hockey and basketball as both sports are active.


Restaurant Week

Similar to January, you can get good deals on hotels and flights. You can see ice hockey and basketball games. Best of all, you can visit NYC attractions without the crowds.

Both Broadway Week and Restaurant Week are still going on in early February. Mid-February offers Off-Broadway Week with two-for-one tickets for high quality shows at smaller theaters.

Chinatown is filled with celebratory spirit as Chinese New Year takes place with parades and festivals.

You can also see dogs and supermodels on the cat-walk as both the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and New York Fashion Week take place.


Early March is still off-peak season and flights and hotels may cost less.

Towards the end of the month, NYC sees signs of springtime with the Orchid Show and the Macy’s Flower Show.

You can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when much of New York seems to turn green for the day, including green bagels!

Basketball fans will love March Madness and can see the Big East Tournament.


Another month filled with flowers, April brings the Easter Parade, the Cherry Blossom Festival and flower bulbs in Central Park.



You can see the best new movie makers at the Tribeca Film Festival.

In addition to basketball and ice hockey, soccer, and baseball startup so you have a choice of four professional sports to go see.


In May, baseball is in full swing. The High Line and Central Park are blooming.

This is a great month to spend outdoors and also at indoor attractions and museums before the summer crowds arrive.

Some special events are the Fleet Week at the Intrepid Museum and the Annual 9th Avenue Food Festival.

Memorial Day is the start of beach season in NYC, and believe it or not, we have some pretty nice beaches!



Summer is here, and though it does bring more tourists, there are also more fantastic annual events!

Two major free performance series start in June: Shakespeare in the Park and Summerstage.

You can purchase affordable art at the NYC perennial favorite, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Show.

There is a lot of dancing in the streets since June brings the Dance Parade, the Gay Pride Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and the one-of-a-kind Mermaid Parade at Coney Island.


The free fun continues with loads of free concert and outdoor movie series, and both Shakespeare in the Park and Summerstage are still running.



Restaurant Week returns for two weeks at the end of the month with amazing discounts at over 300 restaurants.

Independence Day brings Macy’s unbelievable Fireworks show and French Independence Day (Bastille Day) brings great food and music festivals.



August does heat up a bit, but this is a bonus for visitors as many New Yorkers flee the city meaning an easier time to visit museums and enjoy otherwise packed restaurants. 

At the end of the month the world’s top tennis players arrive for the US Open Tennis Championship. 

You can also see professional baseball games and soccer matches.

In the evenings you have almost too many choices of free entertainment from outdoor movies and plays, concerts and festivals.

August is also Harlem Week – which lasts the whole month!


September is great for those who like warm days and cool nights. The city is yours to explore without the summer crowds.

School kids are back in the classroom so lines at family-friendly attractions are shorter.

Broadway Week returns with two-for-one deals on theater tickets. Baseball’s still happening and football season begins.

The month is filled with festivals and parades with the highlights being the Feast of San Gennaro, the Carribean Day Parade and the Atlantic Antic.


Central-Park fall-season

You can pretty much count on the tourist crowds being gone giving you more time and space to visit the city’s top attractions.

Central Park’s trees change colors. Lots of fun ‘spooky’ events are put on, including Ghost Tours!

There are lots of family-friendly festivals celebrating the harvest season. 

The culmination of the month is the Annual Village Halloween Parade, a one-of-a-kind experience.


Early in the month can see top comedians at the New York Comedy Festival and all month long you can see a basketball, football or ice hockey game.

Later in November, you can see the giant floats at the incredible Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.



Towards the end of the month, the holiday spirit starts up, holiday lights and markets appear and you can even ice skate!


Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The holiday season brings tourists back for the festive environment.

The holiday lights, special Christmas markets, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree are highlights.

You have many holiday shows to choose from including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and you can ring in the New Year watching the ball drop in Times Square.


Back to top


Lower Manhattan Walking Tours

This post compares and reviews the various different tours of Lower Manhattan available to you, including our pay-what-you-like tours. 




We at Free Tours by Foot are very proud to offer several tours that include Lower Manhattan, including our anytime audio tour of the area. Here’s a sample.

Below the tour calendar, we detail our Lower Manhattan Walking Tour, but we also offer tours of the World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

For our general history tours, we offer 3 options:

  • 2-hour tour that focuses on just Lower Manhattan (details below the calendar)
  • Daily, 3-hour Downtown Manhattan Tour, which covers part of Lower Manhattan plus Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo.
  • 6 hour NYC in One Day Tour, which combines the 3 hour Downtown Tour and adds to it Greenwich Village and the High Line.  


Calendar of all Lower Manhattan Tours (including our pay-what-you-wish tours)


Lower Manhattan Walking Tour (Free Tours by Foot)

It is here, as much as anywhere, where American history started.

It’s where the first US Congress assembled and produced the Bill of Rights and where President George Washington took his first oath of office.

It’s here where the world’s most important stock exchange and one of the most famous bridges stand. And it is here where an unspeakable tragedy took place and where a rebirth is underway.

4K Walk of Wall Street Lower Manhattan Financial District Video

Join us as we stroll through the ancient streets of Manhattan’s Financial District and explain the rich history of New York City. From a Dutch trading post to a world financial capital, no stone is left unturned.  

This tour starts from the Charging Bull on Broadway, where you will see from a distance the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then makes its way through Wall Street and the Financial District, ending up near City Hall and the World Trade Center area. 

At the end of the tour, you will be near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Why not take a walk over it?

Sites we cover on the tour:

*Seen from a distance.  For more information on the sites we will cover, take a look at our self-guided Lower Manhattan Tour.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more traveling together should visit our groups page.

Where: At the Charging Bull statue, 26 Broadway. Click our Google map for directions to the tour or click here for detailed walking directions from nearby subway stations.  Look for your guide with the Free Tours by Foot logo. Tour ends at City Hall Park.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1 mile (1.6K)

When: @2pm Saturdays. Tours go out rain or shine. Dress appropriate for the weather. View Our Full Tour Calendar.

75% of this tour is covered on our @10 am daily Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, SoHo, and Little Italy Tour, as well as our Downtown Manhattan 6 hour Tour, which runs @10, am almost daily.  You could take our audio tour of Lower Manhattan anytime you like.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.


Patriot Tours’ Revolutionary Era in Lower Manhattan

For those interested in Revolutionary War history, we highly recommend that you take a tour with Patriot Tours.

This highly-rated tour company uses a storytelling format and review of authentic documents, which will give you as close to a first-hand experience you can get of life as it was during Revolutionary Era New York.  

Their tours are not pay-what-you-wish, but group size is small – between 10 and 15 guests, and your guides are personable.

Patriot Tours has fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor. On their website, you can read 5-star reviews from over 250 guests. Highly recommended! Check out these two tours:

Alexander Hamilton Tour

Take a trip back in time to NYC before, during and after the American Revolution and enter the world of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Visit the sites that were part of Hamilton’s everyday life including St. Paul’s Chapel, Federal Hall, and Trinity Church Graveyard, some of the oldest remaining historic sites in New York City.

  • Tours are 2.5 hours and run on Wednesdays at 10 am, Saturdays at 11 am, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 pm.
  • $40 per person.
  • Book here.



Revolutionary Era Walking Tour

Follow your guide through what was once British-occupied precolonial New York.

Learn about what daily life was like in New York in the 1770s as well as learn about infamous spy rings, some of which met secretly at Fraunces Tavern, which you will visit.

Learn more about the famous historical figures you already know such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton as well as lesser-known but just as important patriots like John Jay.

This tour also takes you to historic, tree-lined Brooklyn Heights. This tour is perfect for fans of the TV show Turn.

  • Tours run 10:00 am Wednesdays, Fridays, 11 am Saturdays, 12:00 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays.
  • $40 per person.
  • Book here.

Wall Street Experience

This highly-regarded tour company offers two Lower Manhattan tours. Their Wall Street Insider Tour covers the development of Wall Street from the Dutch colonial era through to today.

Their two-hour Financial Crisis Tour covers the history of Lower Manhattan, from the Dutch era to post-Revolutionary War era.

The tour also discusses the Great Recession of 2008.

Wall Street Insider Tour

  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:30 pm.   (Tour lasts approximately 75 minutes)
    • $35 per person, Children under 15 tour for free with parent

Financial Crisis Tour

  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am (Tour lasts approximately 2 hours)
    • $50 per person, Children under 15 tour for free with parent

Note that the Wall Street Experience is also known as New York Tours 1. A full list of their tours can be found here.  

Social Justice Tours

To learn about the dark side of Wall Street, you might like to take this tour which looks at corruption on Wall Street throughout history.

Tickets are just $16 and a portion of the proceeds go to a worthy non-profit organization. Check their calendar for dates.


Lower Manhattan has miles of waterfront bike lanes and is a great place to safely bike along, whether on your own or on a guided tour.  

There are several bike rental and tour outfits located in or near South Street Seaport.

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing

Pick up bikes and tour at 110 South Street near the South Street Seaport (map). Open daily from 9 am – 7 pm.

This company offers a 2-hour bike tour that rides over the Brooklyn Bridge and then rides through Lower Manhattan.

The prices are listed below, but if you use promo code FTFB you will get a 20% discount.

Bike Tour Prices (reflect discount)

Rental Prices (reflect discount)

  • 1 hour = $12
  • 2 hour = $16
  • 3 hour = $20
  • hour = $24.
  • Day Pass = $32  (9 am until 5 pm (17:00))
  • Book here.

This tour and rentals are included at no additional cost if you purchase the New York Pass, the Sightseeing Pass or the Explorer Pass (tourist attraction discount passes). 

Blazing Saddles 

Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (South Street and Fulton Street) or Pier 84 at Hudson River Park at (12th Avenue and West 43rd Street).  Open 9 am daily.


  • between $14-16 per hour
  • $44-$69 for 24 hours

Prices vary depending on the type of bike you choose.  Locks, helmets, and detailed map come included.  

Free 24-hour rental of a Beach Cruiser style-bike with a New York PASS.



Lower Manhattan is the launching point for several boat tours and services, including several sightseeing cruises with stops in Lower Manhattan, including South Street Seaport and Battery Park.  

Be sure to read our post comparing all boat tour options that you have in NYC.

There are 2 budget options:

The area is also the location for the tourist heliport. Be sure to read our post on choosing the best helicopter tour for you.


Back to top


January Weather NYC

How is the weather in New York in January?

This post summaries the January weather in New York City, with tips on what to wear as well as things to do. 




Well, it’s mostly winter-like with daily afternoon high temperatures mostly in the upper 30’s f to near 40 f (3-5 c), however, 2-3 days will still likely produce highs reaching into the low to mid-50’s f (11-12 c).

Overnight and early morning low temperatures tend to be in the mid to upper 20’s f (-2 to -3 c).

However, a few of the colder mornings will likely see temperatures dipping down into the mid to lower teens (-9 to -12 c). 



The highest temperature recorded this month in NYC was 72 f (22 c) while the coldest, -6 f (-21 c). About 17 days this month will see sunny or at least partly sunny skies. 


Though January is typically the coldest month of the year in New York City, there are usually a number of sunny days.

It tends to rain or snow about half of the time, so be sure to always have an umbrella and rain boots on hand!  



Does it Snow in January in NYC?

Precipitation normally falls on about 10 days with about 4 of these recording some snow.

Of the snow days, about 2 days this month normally see snowfalls of 1 inch (2.5 cm) or more with 1 day receiving 3 inches (7.6 cm) or more. 

Check out our full post for predicting when it will snow in NYC this winter.


What to Wear in New York in January

New York City tends to be windy in January. Layering your clothing will leave you feeling warm while outdoors, with the option to remove the layers while indoors.

We’ve made a list below of what to pack for your trip to New York in January:

1. Winter Jacket

Winter in New York City requires at least one warm winter jacket or coat.

If you plan on being outdoors sightseeing, a waterproof jacket will go a long way in keeping you dry in case of rain, sleet, or snow conditions.

A coat like this down parka coat by BGSD will keep you warm and dry. Pair with a hat, gloves, and a scarf!


womens parka coat


2. Layers

You may even want to invest in a few pairs of thermal tops and bottoms to wear underneath your clothing, especially if you live in a warmer climate and not used to the colder weather.

These by ViCherub are great for wearing underpants and sweaters.

Long, warm pants are recommended, and if you wear a skirt we recommend pairing them with thick stockings.


womens thermal underwear


3. Warm Footwear

Warm, waterproof boots or shoes will keep your feet warm and dry. 

If you decide to wear fashion over comfort on a sunny day, be sure to wear thick socks to keep your feet warm.

Things to Do in January

Below is just a small sampling so be sure to read our full post on things to do in NYC in January

There are plenty of great things to do in New York City in January. The tourist crowds are gone, prices are a bit lower and there’s still a festive feel about the city. 



Check out our extensive post on things to do year-round in New York.

And if you are planning on visiting many of NYC’s top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount pass as you could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.


Back to top

Related Posts:


How Long Does it Take to Walk the High Line

How Long Does It Take to Walk the High Line?

In this post, we answer two questions: how long is the High Line and how long does it take to walk its entire length.

Check out our in-depth posts on how to best experience the High Line and guided tours of this elevated park.


High Line


The High Line is approximately 1.45 miles in length (or roughly 2.3 km) from its southernmost entrance at 14th Street to its northernmost entrance at 33rd Street at Hudson Yards. 

How Long is the High Line


How long it takes to walk the High Line from end to end depends on two factors, how you want to experience the park and when you decide to go.

The suggested times below assume you are not going when peak crowds can be expected. We provide some insight below.

Quick Walk  (30 Minutes)

In the video below, it takes the camera 30 minutes to go the entire length of the High Line. 

4K Walk on The High Line

Casual Stroll (30-60 minutes) 

For those who want to stroll casually while taking photos and admiring the view, give yourself an additional 30 minutes to complete the entire length.

Using our Audio Tour (60-75 minutes)

We offer a GPS-enabled audio tour of the High Line ($1.99/download). It has 22 stops.

If you listen to all of the audio and make time for some photos, it will likely take you 60-75 minutes.

Listen to an audio sample


Join One of Our Guided Tours (2 hours)

Let one of our expert guides show you the ins and outs of this great park.

In two hours, you will come to better understand this innovative and beautiful urban project.

Crowds Matter

Again, these suggested times are assuming that you are going at off-peak times, which are usually anytime during a weekday.

When to visit the High Line

Or before 12:00 pm or after 6:00 pm (18:00) on weekends. 

Weekends on the High Line

From April 1st till November 30, the High Line is open till 10 pm (22:00).

From June through September, it is open until 11 pm (23:00), making the High Line one of the best free things to do at night in NYC.

Before you read our top ten, consider listening to an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast that covers the High Line.

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcast wherever you get your podcasts.


Things to Do in Central Park

27 Things to Do in Central Park

This post covers things to do and see in Central Park. 

While we offer many different guided Central Park tours, we know that many travelers prefer to explore on their own at their own pace.

This self-guided tour and list of things to do in Central Park will help you make the most of your visit to this incredible New York iconic location.  Read more »

Happy Hour in New York

Happy Hour in New York

In this post, we explain what happy hour is, its roots, and offer some resources to help you find happy hour deals in NYC.

Those of you who are familiar with Happy Hour, you know why we call it ‘happy’.  

For those who aren’t familiar and like a good beer or drink and are on a budget, Happy Hour is a must-know activity in New York City.


Happy Hour in New York



Happy Hour is a time of day when many bars, pubs, lounges, and even some restaurants offer drink specials such as reduced prices or ‘buy one drink, get the second one free’ (often listed as 2-for-1).

“Happy Hour” is almost always longer than one hour and usually starts in the late afternoon and ends in the early evenings.

Most commonly, Happy Hours last from 4 pm to 7 pm but establishments vary in schedule and in which specials are offered.  

New York is the city that never sleeps and you can find happy hours at all times of the day.

You may find a Happy Hour with specials that starts at 12 pm and ends at 9 pm or a late-night Happy Hour from 11 pm to 1 am.

There are hundreds of establishments offering Happy Hours throughout the city and to find the best deals with drinks you like and an atmosphere you enjoy, you need some guidance. 


Craft beer



Here are the best websites and apps to help you make the most of this fun, money-saving opportunity.

The Drink Deal is very user-friendly and you can search for Happy Hours with additional features like live music, outdoor seating, and food specials like free appetizers such as Buffalo (chicken) wings, a popular American snack at bars and pubs.

Drink Owl is a website that allows you to search by neighborhood, day of the week, and even the type of drink you’d like- be it wine, beer, or mixed drinks. 

If you’d like a quick and easy way to find a happy hour, Drink Owl has an easy to read calendar that lists happy hours by the day. 

For those on the go, they have an app for iOS and Android.

If you are on the go and want a drink at that moment and nearby, the Village Voice Happy Hour mobile site is an up-to-date comprehensive way to locate the nearest places offering deals at the time you search. 

Even better is their Village Voice Happy Hour app for iOS and Android.


In case you ever wondered where the expression “Happy Hour” came from, its historical roots are grounded in the 1920s.

Sailors on U.S. Navy ships were given a specific period of time to enjoy themselves with different forms of entertainment such as wrestling or boxing matches, and yes, a bit of alcohol as well. 

This break from regular duties was a happy time for the sailors and came to be known as “Happy Hour”.


US Sailors Fleet Week


Ironically, the use of this term spread to land at the same time “Prohibition” began. From 1920 to 1933, the production and sale of alcohol were made illegal in the United States.

You could drink it, only if you could get your hands on some!

Secret clubs called “speakeasies” that sold bootleg alcohol opened all over the country and it was in these illegal establishments, or in private homes, that people would gather for pre-dinner cocktails.

These few hours before dinner used the sailor’s term “Happy Hour.”  ​

When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the U.S. was drinking again, after work, before dinner ​and that period of time between 5 and 7 pm came to be known forever after as “Happy Hour”.

Things to Do in Midtown Manhattan

50+ Things to Do in Midtown Manhattan

This guide covers things to do in Midtown Manhattan, including top attractions, family-friendly activities, things to do at night, free things to do, and more.  

COVID-19 ALERT: Many of the attractions and activities listed below might be either limited, canceled, or temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Those that remain open will likely require you to wear a mask and practice social distancing.



This section covers our top 10 things to do in  Midtown Manhattan, many of which can be enjoyed during the day or night.  Read more »