Whether you’ve just moved to Manhattan, or you’re planning a visit, Room is on-hand to help you explore things to do in Lower East Side!
Occasionally abbreviated as LES and known in Spanish as Loisaida, this is the region linking Bowery and the East River. LES falls under Manhattan Community Board 3, comprising Alphabet City, East Village, Two Bridges, and Chinatown. It’s also the oldest neighborhood in the southern-eastern Manhattan borough, NYC. Back in 2008, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed it as one of America’s Most Endangered Places.
That’s just one of the reasons we recommend you visit some parks and museums in Lower East Side; the other reason is they are beautiful! Today, LES is famous for its bars and restaurants, arts and culture, and vibrant nightlife scene. With this in mind, we’ve listed some restaurants in Lower East Side that’d be hard to find anywhere else.
We’ve curated exciting things to do in Lower East Side for you to discover. We’ll begin with outdoorsy activities and end with thrilling events. Read on to learn more.
❗Please check COVID-19 health & safety measures in the website buttons for all locations mentioned below.
Outdoor Activities in Lower East Side
Formerly, during its past years, LES had no open public recreational spaces for the many Eastern European immigrants arriving here. Nowadays, that’s all changed, and you’ll find plenty of beautiful natural spaces. So, after arriving in Lower East Side, be sure to stop and enjoy the parks.
1. Seaward Park
Visit the first municipal public playground built in the US, which is now a historical landmark. Seaward Park has walking paths, a children’s playground, and volleyball and basketball courts. Enjoy a snack and stroll around this public recreational space in LES. If you walk in at the right time, you might find a group of people practicing T’ai Chi, a popular form of exercise regularly practiced by LES denizens – one of the things to do in Lower East Side.
2. John V. Lindsay East River Park
Be sure to visit the John V. Lindsay East River Park for its noticeable views of New York’s harbor, one of our favorite things to do in LES. It lies along the Loisaida waterfront, with Williamsburg Bridge cleaving the park. You’ll find fields and courts dedicated to soccer, football, baseball, softball, and basketball, including a tennis complex and a track.
Sports in Lower East Side
Sports stadia aren’t readily available in LES to attend uproarious game events like in other NYC locations. But that’s not to say people here aren’t conscious about recreational activities in order to keep fit and have fun.
1. New York School of T’ai Chi Chuan
As we mentioned before, one of the things to do in Lower East Side is to get to know the popular T’ai Chi form. Local communities understand the importance of regular physical activities that keep the mind and body right. So, in LES, T’ai Chi is a popular activity to learn, and meet new people at the same time.
2. Manny Cantor Center
Lastly in the list of outdoors and sports activities, check out the Manny Cantor Center. Here, you’ll find the LES community’s fitness enthusiasts breaking into a sweat. Besides fitness, it has other wellness-related things to do in the neighborhood, like art classes, community volunteer programs, and workshops. It’s also a great place to meet like-minded people.
Museums in Lower East Side
Let’s get to another list comprising fun things to do in Lower East Side — one of America’s Most Endangered Places. Start by visiting the fascinating museums in Lower East Side.
1. Museum at Eldridge Street
This should certainly be on your list of things to do in Lower East Side – get to know the neighborhood’s Jewish history. This museum will give you a good understanding of the early Jewish history in LES. When you’re finished, explore the best Jewish restaurants in Lower East Side.
2. The Tenement Museum
Next in the list of things to do in Lower East Side is to visit the Tenement Museum. You can either virtually explore or visit the historic buildings and neighborhood walking tours in-person. The museum delves into the history of the immigrants and migrants that shaped LES. We recommend you book online tickets for the real-deal experience.
Restaurants in Lower East Side
Food is a quintessential component of any place. With this in mind, we’ve noted two legendary restaurants in Lower East Side. Out of the few different things to do in LES, trying the local dishes is a must!
1. Katz’s Delicatessen
Unquestionably one of the most legendary restaurants in Lower East Side since 1888. For one thing, Katz’s Deli is the only place in NY where you’ll find the celebrated 30-days cured corned beef and pastrami. Don’t miss one of the best things to do in Lower East Side – visit NYC’s legendary deli! Before you go, check out which fives movies were filmed at this LES deli.
2. Scarr’s Pizza
Next, out of the things to do in LES is to visit this plain, unassuming legendary pizza joint. Out of the many restaurants in Lower East Side, we recommend you visit or order from Scarr’s Pizza. You’ll find reasonably priced appetizers, heros’, sides, famous pizzas and great vegan options.
Bars in Lower East Side
One of the must-do things to do in the neighborhood is to visit the one-of-a-kind bars found only in LES. We’ve selected two of our favorites for you to enjoy.
1. Whiskey Ward
Whether you’re a whiskey lover or not, going for drinks at the Whiskey Ward is one of the unique things to do in Lower East Side. In addition to the fine whiskeys, this spot has a full bar, signature & classic cocktails, and a pool table. Along with that is an elaborate food menu to subdue all the whiskey – or not – you’ll sip on.
2. Live Axe
Drinking at Live Axe is undoubtedly another one of the fun things to do in Lower East Side. After a culture-filled day visiting the venues, parks, and museums in Lower East Side, you can end your trip on a high note. Eat, drink, and throw axes like a Viking.