9 Unique New York City Experiences for Your Next Trip

04 January 2019

group tour in New York City

With its eclectic mix of cultures, languages, foods, art, and so much more, New York City is one of the world’s most exciting destinations. It’s this diversity that makes NYC the perfect destination for educational travel, too. And thanks to a new partnership between HI New York City hostel and educational tour operator CAS Trips, it’s now easier than ever for young travelers to immerse themselves in the city’s culture.

To celebrate this new partnership, our friends at CAS are sharing nine of their favorite only-in-NYC experiences. Put them on your itinerary if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path ideas of what to do in NYC. Or, join one of CAS’s two NYC trips in September, 2019, and let them bundle all of these one-of-a-kind experiences together for you. Either way, you’re sure to see a side of New York you won’t read about in the guidebooks.

1. Kayak the East River

person kayaking

Wave goodbye to the city sightseeing bus and grab a paddle to kayak the East River. Enjoy some of New York’s best views from a whole new perspective on the water. This is the perfect way to explore New York on hot summer days!

2. Take a Hip-Hop Class

students in a hip hop dance class

There’s no better place to learn some hip-hop dance moves than the city where hip-hop was born. Get into the groove and head to NYC Dance Arts for a true cultural experience – and a lot of fun!

3. Support the Homeless Population

New York City may be known for its bright lights and glamour, but it is also home to a large population of people experiencing homelessness. Spend a small portion of your stay supporting the homeless by donating some of your time or funds to the Bowery Mission.

4. Eat BBQ in Koreatown

New York is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. And that is truly reflected in the countless restaurants and cuisines that can be found here from across the globe. We love Jongro BBQ, a Korean barbeque restaurant in Koreatown, just a few footsteps away from the Empire State Building.

5. Learn About Black History

Take a revealing look at the lesser-known history of New York City with the Black Gotham Experience. Their tours use immersive visual storytelling to celebrate the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City.

6. Clean Up Parks and Beaches

As you walk in Washington Square Park or along the beach on Coney Island, do something good for the environment and collect a little trash along the way.

7. Watch a Movie Under the Stars

New York’s rooftops and parks are transformed into beautiful outdoor cinemas in the summer. Whether you’re into action blockbusters or rom-coms, the city offers all sorts of movie screenings. And the best part? Most of them are free! HI New York City hostel also screens movies in their backyard each summer.

8. Discover Community Gardens

student working in a garden

New York’s community gardens first began to grow in the 1970s. Today there are over 600 gardens across the city providing community members a special place to interact with each other. Discover some of these gardens on a tour with the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space.

9. Do Improv with the Brooklyn Comedy Collective

Comedy is huge in New York. The city offers some of the world’s best stand-up comedy shows and live venues. So why not go behind the scenes and try an improv workshop yourself? Head to the Brooklyn Comedy Collective to laugh, cry, fearlessly take risks, and learn to think on your feet.

If you’re looking for even more ideas of what to do in New York and other amazing destinations around the world, check out CAS Trips. CAS Trips is an educational tour operator that believes in the power of travel to make a positive change in the world. On CAS Trips, students tackle the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with experiences centered on creativity, activity, and volunteer service.


You Might Also Like:

two women at the highline in NYC

Responsible Travel Guide: New York City

Beneath the shining lights, crowded streets, and landmark attractions of NYC is a city rich in culture, preservation, and community. Whether you want to see great works of art or the hidden gardens of the concrete labyrinth, there’s a way to do it sustainably.