The city that never sleeps has gone to the dogs. New York City is super dog-friendly, and there are so many activities for you and your pup that you’ll never be bored. There goes your non-dog-friendly social life, because there’s no excuse to leave out fido now! Here are 11 dog-friendly activities in NYC.
Take note: some of these activities are free, but most require money. If you’re short on cash, you can check out our post on 10 free things to do in NYC with your dog.
1. Grab a Cup of Jo
Cafes and coffee houses are perking up and realizing that dog moms and dads out for a walk need a caffeine boost too. Many are installing doggy windows where you can order your lattes and cold brews and sit outside or take them to go. No need to enter, just walk up to the window with your pup. Try Boris & Horton, over on the Lower East Side, Coffee & Cream (by OddFellows) in Nolita, or RISE Coffee in LES.
2. Go to a Meet Up
Meetup.com is full of dog meet up groups that host events for all types of dogs and/or owners. There are meet ups by breed (Pug, Doberman, Shiba Inu, Corgi, Beagle, etc), dog size (small dog social group, toy dog play group, etc), neighborhood (the Uptown & Bronx small dog play group, North Brooklyn Dog Meet Up, etc) and/or activity level (Positive Pittie Pack Walk, NYC Dogs do Doga, etc). There are even social specific clubs, like Gay Dog Dads Play Date, and 20-somethings with Dogs. There’s something for everyone.
3. Take a Hike
Hiking in New York City?! Yup!
Visit Inwood Hill Park, the only forest left on the island of Manhattan. It has three trails, rock formations, and a view of the Hudson River and the Palisades. It’s also home to tulip trees, oaks, and maples, as well as Manhattan’s last salt marsh. It’s also only a subway ride away; take the 1 train to 215th Street.
We also recommend Hound Hikes, dog-friendly guided tours that provide an insider’s look at some of the most iconic features of Central Park. These tours, led by a Central Park Conservancy guide, show people the amazing scenic, sculptural and architectural elements that the park has to offer. There are 8 to 10 Hound Hikes offered per year, with themes like a tour of the North Woods, or of Iconic Views within the park. Hound Hikes are a benefit for members of the Central Park Conservancy, and memberships begin at $50 via centralparknyc.org/join.
4. Go Out to Eat
New York offers up some of the best cuisines from all over the world, and you don’t have to miss out if you’re visiting with your pup. There are plenty of dog-friendly places to grab a bite to eat and/or a drink. Our favorites include Pier i Cafe for frosé and burgers, and D.B.A. for draft beers.
5. See Some Art
Art is all around you in New York, much of it easily accessible as public art all over the city. Check out the Bowery Graffiti Wall in the Lower Easy Side, or The Bushwick Collective, in, you guessed it, Bushwick. If you’re interested in learning more, you can take one of the many street art tours offered (for free!), including the Lower East Side street art tour, Bushwick Graffiti and Street Art, and more.
If you’re looking for a more formal scene, head to the William Secord Gallery on 15th street. They specialize in 19th and 20th century dog and animal paintings, and are a popular destination for those interested in original dog paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and more. Unlike most museums in NYC, they welcome all leashed pets, as long as you make an appointment.
6. Go Shopping
Dog-friendly shopping in NYC is totally possible since many of the biggest department stores allow dogs. You can visit the historic Macy’s in Herald Square, home to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the swanky Bloomingdale’s in Midtown. Check out a list of other stores that also welcome four-legged friends.
7. Take a Tour
NYC is a pedestrian-friendly city rich in history and culture, so it’s only natural to take a walking tour while here. They’re informative, fun, and many are dog-friendly. If you’re on a budget, there are many free or pay-what-you-wish tours available. Otherwise, check out one of the other many companies available, like New York Tour, Broadway Up Close, or Real New York Tours. You can even take a food tour; Nice Guy Tours has a food truck & cart tour that lets dogs tag along.
If you want a super dog-friendly experience, call tour operator Art Zuckerman. He organizes tours of NYC neighborhoods that include stops at dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants.
8. Go To Trivia
What’s better than trivia? Trivia with dogs all around! Puppybowl referee Dan Schachner hosts a weekly trivia night at NYC dog cafe Boris & Horton. It’s $10 to play, and the money goes to a different dog rescue every week. Play, drink, eat, and win some prizes!
Note: Trivia happens at different times throughout the year. Check out the Boris & Horton events calendar to see what other fun stuff they’re offering.
9. Hit the Water
Subway and bus aren’t the only ways to get around NYC. Grab your pup and take a ride on the East River. The NYC Ferry has 6 routes stopping in 4 boroughs, and allows caged and/or muzzled dogs. A one-way fair will cost you $2..75, and dogs ride free. Hop on to head to places like DUMBO, Astoria, or the Lower East Side. The Staten Island Ferry is also dog-friendly, allows caged and/or muzzled dogs, and is free!
10. Take an Agility Course
Agility is a fun way to exercise and bond with your dog. Plus, it’s an active way to train your dog beyond sit and roll over. Train your pooch to jump through hoops, crawl under bars, and walk the plank! Check out the Doggie Academy or Andrea Arden. Want to step things up a notch? Check out Go Fetch Run, who offer a fitness class for humans and their dogs by combining strength, agility, and cardio through circuit training, trail running, and even an obstacle course.
11. Do a Bar Crawl
Bar crawls are fun, and with a number of dog-friendly bars in NYC, they’re totally possible with your pup tagging along. Here’s our recommendation for a boozy day in lower Manhattan. Want to try other neighborhoods? Check out these 8 dog-friendly places to grab a drink in NYC. Remember to drink responsibly!
Want more dog-friendly NYC info? Visit our New York Guide!