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8 NYC Attractions for Groups

Whether you’re planning a corporate outing in the city or coming in from out of town, New York makes the perfect destination for any crowd. Here are several ideas across the sightseeing spectrum for your group, whether you’re looking for a dose of local history or a shopping trip a short ride from Manhattan.

Morgan Library & Museum 

An interior view of Morgan Library & Museum.

The Morgan is a Midtown East gem with a breadth of history to discover. Located near Grand Central, this preserved Gilded Age mansion is the former home of financier J.P. Morgan and the site of his expansive collection of rare books, art, and artifacts. In addition to permanent holdings such as three Gutenberg Bibles, the museum hosts a rotating program of exhibitions on luminaries like J.R.R. Tolkien and Walt Whitman. The centerpiece of this architectural wonder is the stunning library completed in 1906, with three tiers of bookshelves full of volumes dating from the 16th century. Groups of 10-20 can book guided tours of the museum a minimum of four weeks in advance, with various rates available for adults, seniors, and students. 225 Madison Ave., 212-685-0008, themorgan.org 

The Mills at Jersey Gardens

The Mills at Jersey Gardens

Get out of town for an afternoon, and enjoy all the deals you’ll find at The Mills at Jersey Gardens. This outlet mall, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is a short bus ride from Midtown via New Jersey Transit (Bus #111 or #115, to be exact). Once you and your group have arrived, you can roam the outlets and factory stores for brands like Banana Republic, Timberland, Nike, True Religion, Zales, ALDO, and Coach. Saks Off Fifth and Century 21 have locations at Jersey Gardens as well. There are 21 dining options for your group, as well as an AMC Theatres if you’re looking to cap off your excursion with a movie. 651 Kapkowski Rd., 908-354-5900, simon.com

Chartered Buses with Bus.com

bus dot com charters

Whether you’re coming or going, charter a bus for your group with Bus.com. This site offers convenient, affordable booking for a range of transportation to fit the needs of you and your crew. You can book a mini-coach bus for 32 people or a school bus for a large group of students. Self-book on the easy online platform, or talk with a representative who can provide a bus ideal for your schedule, including convenient drop-off and pick-up locations. Take your colleagues to the Catskills for a retreat, or rent a bus for a party going to Atlantic City with Bus.com. Or bring your group from out of town into New York in the comfort of a private bus! bus.com

Manhattan Art and Antiques Center

Manhattan Art and Antique Centers

If you’re shopping in New York, don’t skip Manhattan Art and Antiques Center. This Midtown East destination contains gallery after gallery of beautiful objects from around the world. Buy Meissen porcelain, antique suits of armor, fine painting and sculpture, and much more. Browse the 100 galleries, which span three floors, for a museum-quality experience with no ticket fees and the chance to bring home a treasure. Manhattan Art and Antiques Center is open seven days a week. 1050 Second Ave., 212-355-4400, the-maac.com

The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 

Statue of Liberty Museum

Families, corporate groups, and friends can all get behind a trip to The Statue of Liberty. Board a ferry in Battery Park with Statue Cruises, the only service offering hop-on, hop-off access to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Explore the new Statue of Liberty Museum at Liberty Island, and take countless pictures of Lady Liberty herself up-close. Then, hop on the next ferry, and visit the National Immigration Museum at Ellis Island to discover the history of millions who passed through its doors in previous eras. Visit these city icons with your group for a memorable trip through New York Harbor! Statue Cruises Terminal: Castle Clinton National Monument (Manhattan) or Liberty State Park (New Jersey), 1-877-LADYTIX, statuecruises.com

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg is America’s largest outdoor food market. Bring your crowd to experience the innovative treats and global street food at this ever-surprising culinary event, operating in spring, summer, and early fall. You and your group might visit the original Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on a Saturday, with 100 tents of vendors at a site overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Or make a day out of your downtown travels at the World Trade Center; Smorgasburg has 30 vendors outside the Oculus on Fridays. While you’re around, shop at Westfield World Trade Center, explore the 9/11 Museum & Memorial and One World Observatory. Williamsburg: Saturdays, 90 Kent Ave. at N 7th St.., WTC: Fridays, Westfield World Trade Center Plaza; smorgasburg.com

Color Factory

color factory fun kids family

If you’re looking for some fabulous group photos, check out Color Factory. This immersive museum takes you through room after room filled with color and engages visitors with interactive elements like a color walk and a ball pit you can jump inside. Each room has cameras that can take your pic and send it to your device (posting on Instagram is that much quicker!). These sixteen rooms, designed by various artists riffing on the color spectrum, are located inside a massive Soho space that is endless fun to explore with friends. Group tour pricing is available through the website. 251 Spring St., [email protected], colorfactory.co

THE RIDE

THE RIDE

Group tours don’t get much better than THE RIDE. Hop on this state-of-the-art bus for a trip through New York like no other, filled with comedy, performance, and fun facts about the city. In the bus, you and your group will take in the streets through expansive windows from the comfort of stadium-style seating on this 75-minute experience. An engaging, hilarious guide will narrate your journey, chat with members of the group, and point out moments of song, dance, and comedy happening on the streets. Also check out a tour incorporating virtual reality with THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE, powered by THE RIDE. Group charters and tour pricing are available upon request. Various meeting locations, 212-221-0853, experiencetheride.com

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. The recipient of a BA in English and an MFA in Writing, Merrill Lee teaches English to college students and lives in Brooklyn.

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