It’s been hard to find activities and things to do during the pandemic. Staying in quarantine for so long makes you stir crazy! Thankfully, for those living near New York City, the Empire State has been doing much better and the cases have gone down… That means The Big Apple is safe to travel around as long as you take your precautions: wear a mask, maintain social distancing and wash your hands. Here are some great ideas of things you can do in the city on a budget!

8 a.m: Staten Island Ferry & Breakfast!

Want to go for a ride? The Staten Island Ferry is FREE! Start from St George’s Terminal in Staten Island and it can take you to the tip of Manhattan right near Battery Park. Grab some on the go breakfast from the local Starbucks that is in the same shopping center as St George’s Terminal and go for a round trip for free. You’ll be able to pass by Governor’s Island and see the Brooklyn Bridge AND the Statue of Liberty in passing. 

Pro Tip: Please be aware of scammers trying to sell you tickets… it really is free. More info 

10 a.m : Visit the Brooklyn Bridge

The famous Brooklyn Bridge is open as well as their park. The park and bridge open at 6 am. Once you hop off the ferry the bridge is only several blocks away.  This historical park invites guests and encourages them to walk across the bridge or visit their park keeping a safe 6 foot distance from others. When coming close into contact with others at the bridge, wear a mask. There are piers right next to the bridge you can enjoy relaxing and if you like people watch, it’s a great location to do so. More info 

12 p.m: Visit Little Italy

Hungry? Get some yummy food from Little Italy! Restaurants are open for take out and dining outside! You can sit outside and people watch while eating a delicious slice of New York’s finest pizza! New York is known for their pizza so it is worth a try!  IL Cortile is a small family owned restaurant and is open for delivery, take out and seating. More info

Pro tip: Are you a cheese and meat lover? Try the Cold Antipasto Freddo Speciale from IL Cortile.

1pm: Visit Chinatown

While in Italy, if you walk a few blocks more you’ll reach Chinatown. Chinatown is a historical area and another great option to get food. Majority of Chinatown’s restaurants are open for take out and outdoor dining. You could also see outdoor food markets and visit little pop up stores! Hungry for Chinese food? Deluxe Green Bo is open for take out with great food options. More info

2 p.m: Window Shop in Times Square

Walking down Times Square when it’s not full of tourists? A dream come true. Stores in Times Square are open for business and also have an option of a pick up method where you can order online and pick up in the store, simple as that! Maybe you’ll get lucky and see a street performer or two. More info 

Pro tip: Take a picture on the red stairs in Times Square. It’s a perfect photo opportunity — especially with so few tourists around!

3 p.m: Explore NYC’s Parks 

New York parks are open to explore and enjoy the outdoors. Limited parking, no public bathroom use and special hours may be in order but large areas such as Central Park, Bryant Park and Battery Park are all must sees. Taking walks and getting active are crucial in times like these. Sitting in the house quarantined all day isn’t ideal which is why walking around the park is perfect! Kick a ball with a friend, read a book next to the pond or take a nap in the beautiful green field. A good lunch idea is grabbing sandwiches from a nearby shop and having a picnic overlooking the gardens or field. 

Pro tip: Central Park Zoo IS open but you must reserve a ticket before. Health care workers get free tickets! More info

6 p.m: Dinner in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has a variety of dinner options ranging from Mexican, Asian, Indian, American and Italian. La Vara is an amazing Spanish restaurant that does takeout and outdoor dining. If you want to take out you can eat at Cobble Hill Park which is right across the street. 

Pro tip: Blossom Ice Cream is near the area. After dinner you could go grab one of their legendary ice cream rolls…..

9 p.m: Skyline Drive-In Movie Theater

Grab your popcorn and soda! The Skyline Drive-In Movie Theater in Brooklyn is open. It is a beautiful big open lot with a big screen overlooking the skyline playing movies that are being played in theaters. Grab your family or friends and find a good parking spot! The area is a beautiful spot to watch New York during sunset as well. This theater plays movies like; Secret Life of Pets, The Joker, Jaws, Mean Girls, A Star is Born and so much more. More info

Pro tip: No car? That’s no problem, there’s outdoor seating available as well. 

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Anna Whitaker

Anna Whitaker is a senior at Towson University, where she’s studying Psychology and Communication. As a Jersey girl, she likes to spend her free time relaxing on the beach or catching up with friends at a cafe.

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