As you would expect in a city known best as one that never sleeps, there’s non-stop nighttime activities in New York City. And although it is impossible to catalog an ever-changing array of nightlife here, there are certainly some venues to highlight.
Let’s start with a little culture: The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. With thousands of performances each year and an extensive weekly lineup of concerts, plays, film screenings and even daily tours, all visitors should be able to find something to suit them. Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, the recently opened Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and the New York City Ballet are just four of the 11 esteemed organizations that call the 16.3-acre complex home.
More orchestral delights can be found at Carnegie Hall, while The Great American Songbook serves as the catalog for Showcase Mondays at the Boxcar Lounge, a weekly jam session by pianist-singer Eric Yves Garcia. Uptown offers the Beacon Theatre, where acts from Crosby, Stills & Nash to “Weird Al” Yankovic have graced the stage. Further uptown is the iconic Apollo Theater, a more intimate venue than it seems on TV. It launched many a career, including Ella Fitzgerald, and the famous Amateur Night showcase still plays on, as it has since 1934. For more grit in your music choices, check out the Bowery Ballroom, Town Hall or the Mercury Lounge where a steady stream of up-and-coming bands vie to be the Next Big Thing.
New York has spawned many comics from its mean streets, and there’s no shortage of clubs where you might catch a Kristen Wiig or Will Ferrell in the making—the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, for example. Other top comedy clubs include the Peoples Improv Theater, and the Magnet Theatre, and laugh for free at the Knitting Factory and Get It Out There at the BAMcafé.
Late-night New York means clubs, and some of the best are hard to find, filled with revelers and non-stop music. On weeknights, Avenue, VIP Room, 1 Oak, and Provacateur are staples. For a lounge environment, try No. 8, Top of the Standard, Provacateur Cafe or Bar Nana.