The BSL activity program
We offer activities and excursions to places of interest throughout New York City. The BSL Activity program is optional and students are welcome to sign up at school. The BSL Activity program includes museums, sports events, concerts, festivals, movie nights, tours of iconic locations, or famous buildings. We also offer a great range of walking tours every month; Our Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge tour, our Manhattan movie tour, a tour of Central Park, the High Line, a Bright Lights of the Big City tour of some of Manhattan’s most famous buildings and our Bushwick graffiti tour. Below are our latest activity programs.
Walking tours and SECRET museum visits
We have an amazing selection of FREE walking tours around the city that run throughout the year.
- Our Brooklyn Heights-Dumbo-Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour gives students the opportunity to explore two very popular neighborhoods close to the school, and walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The tour takes 1 hour and 45 minutes and ends in Manhattan.
- Our Manhattan Movie Walking Tour takes students on a leisurely stroll to show some of the locations where famous movies and TV shows took place in New York while giving students the chance to see three of New York’s most well-known neighborhoods (SoHo, Greenwich Village, and the West Village). The tour takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- The Bright Lights of the Big City Tour takes students on a walk through Midtown Manhattan to see some of the city’s most iconic buildings including the Flatiron Building, Empire State Building, NY Public Library, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, and Rockefeller Center. For anyone interested in architecture, this tour is a must! The tour takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- One of our most popular walking tours is our Bushwick Graffiti Tour, which wanders leisurely through this very popular Brooklyn neighborhood. This tour is a great opportunity for students to see some great graffiti art, explore the neighborhood, and take some great photos! The tour takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Our Central Park Tour explores the southern end of New York’s most famous park and includes Strawberry Fields, the Bow Bridge, the Bethesda Fountain, the pond, the beautiful Gapstow Bridge, and includes a great cityscape view. The tour takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Our visit to the High Line takes students down one of New York’s newest and most popular attractions on Manhattan’s west side. The High Line is a great urban park, and the tour ends in the Meatpacking District. The tour takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Our Lower Manhattan Tour takes students through Lower Manhattan to visit some of the areas most iconic buildings, streets, and districts. The tour is a great opportunity for students to see Wall Street, Trinity Church, the historic South Street Seaport area.
There are so many great museums in New York that are less well-known but just as good! Here at BSL, we have put together a selection of some of these to visit with our students.
- The New Museum is a great modern art museum, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Don’t miss the views from the top floor terrace!
- Up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and in the shadow of a number of more famous museums, sits one of the city’s great art museums, the Frick Collection. Housed in what was once a private home, this is definitely worth a visit.
- The Morgan Library in Midtown is a must-see museum and cultural space. It’s worth the visit just to see the richly decorated interior.
- The Met Cloisters, located close to the top of Manhattan next to the Hudson River, is part of the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and includes a number of beautiful courtyards to sit and people watch!
- The Brooklyn Museum, located next to Prospect Park and the Botanical Garden, is a place just worth going to see because of the building, but also shows a variety of exhibits throughout the year.
Weekly activities suggestions
We also compile weekly lists of things to do in the city: temporary or one-off events, what not to miss, what to do that’s free etc… These recommendations help our students make the most of their stay in NY and often allow them to discover places or attend events they would not have heard of otherwise. Below is a selection of some of these weekly to-do lists compiled for BSL students throughout the year.
Activities & Excursions in New York
There is so much to do and see in this great city that it would be impossible for us to list everything here. So here is just a taster…
Our favorite Museums and Cultural institutions
There are many great museums in the city, but we especially want to mention the following; The New York Metropolitan, the MET Cloisters, The MOMA, The Frick, The Whitney, The Brooklyn Museum, The Tenement Museum, The New Museum, the Noguchi Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Museum of Moving Image, and the New-York Historical Society.
What to do that’s FREE
There are several activities that can you do for free in NYC! You can go for a leisurely walk in picturesque Central Park, visit some of the cities best museums and cultural institutions during their free admission days, admire the skyline as you cross the Brooklyn Bridge, enjoy reading a book at the New York Public Library, or watch a movie under the stars at Bryant Park.
You can also check The Skint for free and really cheap options every week…
Where to shop
You can’t visit New York without doing a little shopping. Here are just a few recommendations. First, you can go to SoHo or walk along the famous 5th Avenue, which is full of well-known shops, such as Lord and Taylor, Tiffany & Co, and many others! If you prefer big department stores, you should go to Herald Square, where you can find Macy’s and its 7 floors! Or why not buy a fancy bag at a 70% discount at Century 21, in downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan? If you would rather spend your afternoon looking at vintage and handmade objects you should take a trip to the Brooklyn flea in Williamsburg or go vintage shopping in Greenpoint. And if spending an afternoon in an independent bookstore is more your speed, check out the Greenlight Bookstore in the heart of Fort Greene or The Strand bookstore close to Union square.
Where to run, cycle, or spend a lazy summer afternoon
Central Park in Manhattan is one of the best places for runners, riders, walkers, and those just wishing to pass the time. Prospect Park in the heart of Brooklyn, and just a few subway stops from the school, is equally if not more fulfilling. Designed by the same people who designed Central Park, it’s a wonderful place to relax and get a little fresh air. And just steps from the school, the Brooklyn promenade has long been famous as a place to come, sit and watch the world go by. Also check out any of the public pools, including Astoria Park Pool with its stunning view of the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate bridges.
Check out our blog post for 10 OF OUR FAVORITE PARKS, GARDENS, AND GREEN SPACES IN NYC
Where to eat
Here are some of our favorites…
Cobble Hill – La Vara
Park Slope – Al di La and James
Prospect Heights – Olmsted and Alta Calidad
Carroll Gardens – Prime Meats, Frankies, and Buttermilk Channel
Bushwick – Roberta’s Pizza and Faro
Chinatown – Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Spicy Village
Redhook – The Good Fork and Hometown Bar-B-Que
Where to have a drink in Brooklyn
There are so many to choose from, but here’s a brief selection from around the neighborhoods…
Bed Stuy – Doris, Dynaco, Marco´s and Barron’s
Boerum Hill – Brooklyn Ale House
Brooklyn Heights – Floyd’s, Montero, and Elsa
Bushwick – Left Hand Path, Dromedary, and Pearls
Cobble Hill – June and Zombie Hut
Crown Heights – Super Power and Franklin Park
Fort Greene – Black Forest and Brooklyn Public House
Greenpoint – Goldies and Broken Land
Park Slope – 4th Ave pub, Mission Dolores, and The Gate
Red Hook – Sunny’s and Brooklyn Ice House
Williamsburg – Union Pool, Pete’s Candy Store, Fresh Kills Bar, and Black Flamingo.
Our favorite cafes in Brooklyn
Hungry Ghost, Prospect Heights
Cafe Regular, Park Slope
Smith Canteen, Cobble Hill
Bluebottle and Devocion, Williamsburg
Greene Grape Annex, Fort Greene
Swallow Cafe, Brooklyn Heights