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Visit Coney Island: Bring your kids – or reconnect with your inner child – at ‘America’s Playground’. Thrillseekers will love the world-famous Cyclone roller-coaster, and you can stroll along the beach and stop for an original Coney Island hot dog at Nathan’s Famous in between rides.
Brooklyn Bridge cyclist. Credit: peterspiro / Getty Images
Walk (or cycle) over the Brooklyn Bridge for pizza: Dating back to 1883, this majestic bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US. On the Manhattan side, start your stroll across from the Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall subway station, then head for the cheesy, tomato-y goodness of Grimaldi’s brick-oven pizzeria on the other side (1 Front Street, under the bridge).
Get up close and personal with the animals at the Bronx Zoo: A visit to this famed zoo is a must for any borough-hopping itinerary. Set aside a full day to cover all 107 hectares of attractions and wildlife habitats. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
Stop and smell the roses at New York Botanical Garden: Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2016, the massive New York Botanical Garden boasts more than one million plants. Plan your visit from May to October to see the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden erupt with more than 650 rose varieties in bloom.
Postcards memorial. Credit: Office of the Staten Island Borough President
Ride the Staten Island Ferry: It’s hard to beat a ride on the Staten Island Ferry for its phenomenal city views. Hop on at Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan for the remarkable eight-kilometre, 25-minute ride to St George on Staten Island.
Pay tribute at Postcards: Once you step off the ferry, it’s just a short walk to Postcards, a lovely September 11 memorial honouring the 274 Staten Island residents who lost their lives on that tragic day for New York and the world. Take in more extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline as you set aside time for some quiet reflection at the two giant fibreglass ‘postcards’.
Picnic and play in Flushing Meadows Corona Park: It’s all fun and games in Queens’ largest park. This site hosts family fun every day, with locals and visitors enjoying the six playgrounds you’ll find here, along with a zoo, museums, botanical garden and massive recreation centre.
Take time for championship tennis: In 2016, the US Open tennis tournament will take place from August 29 to September 11 in Queens; book tickets early to be courtside to see some of the best tennis greats from around the globe in action.
Ground Zero. Credit: Kasey Clark
Go to Ground Zero: The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is a poignant and powerful place to visit. This 9/11 memorial features the names of all those who were victims in the tragedy, and also shares the stories of people who were lost through archives, multimedia displays and other artefacts.
Hike along the High Line: On Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line is a public park that stretches for more than two kilometres on a freight-rail line overlooking the city’s streets. Take a leisurely bird’s-eye stroll and enjoy the artwork and vibrant plant life in the midst of this skyscraper-filled metropolis.
After you’ve struck these off your list, here’s a list of weird things you can do in New York.