20 Things To Do In SoHo

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SoHo, short for “South of Houston Street”, is a neighbourhood of New York City’s Manhattan borough famous worldwide for its eclectic arts community, cast-iron buildings and cobbled stone streets. Home to world-class art galleries and museums, as well as Broadway shopping and entertainment venues, SoHo has long been regarded as Lower Manhattan’s beating heart, influencing the city’s style and culture.

Being one of the city’s most famous districts, SoHo has long been attracting celebrities, socialites and budding artists. Hank Azaria, Heath Ledger and Kelly Ripa are just some of the people who call SoHo home or have in the past, and the district’s upscale boutiques and restaurants mean that many more come here to eat, drink and play. Whether you’re a fan of the arts, a history buff, or just like to shop in some of the most exclusive stores in the world, SoHo New York more than has you covered. Here are the best things to do in SoHo today. 

SoHo, New York City

Top Tours

20 Things To Do In SoHo

1- Go Shopping On Broadway

things to do in soho 2021 Broadway Street "26 BROADWAY" sign and wall street over vintage wall beside the street,
Going for a walk along Broadway is one of the things to do in SoHo NY.

Slicing through eastern SoHo from north to south, Broadway is one of the most famous roads in the world.

Lined with theatres and live entertainment venues, Broadway is home to world-renowned venues such as the Lyric Theatre, Gotham Hall and the Radio City Music Hall, each offering a different entertainment option to enjoy in the Big Apple.

The famous street is also lined with eclectic art houses, eateries and designer boutiques, especially in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood, making it a great place to go shopping or dining.

Many of SoHo’s most popular attractions can be found along Broadway.

The street is among the best places to take in SoHo’s 1930s Revival-style buildings, making this Manhattan district popular even with the locals. 

2- Indulge Your Sweet Tooth At The Museum of Ice Cream

Featuring brightly coloured walls and unique attractions such as an ice cream-themed playground, a café and an ice cream bar, the Museum of Ice Cream is undoubtedly SoHo’s sweetest museum to visit.

The museum was officially opened in 2016 and attracted more than 500,000 visitors in its first year of operation.

Visitors to this SoHo staple get to sample unique ice cream flavours and learn all about the history of ice cream in a fun and relaxing manner that promises to be a great time out for all ages.

The Museum of Ice Cream is at 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012. Snag tickets for your visit to the Museum of Ice Cream here.

3- Visit The MoMA Design Store

soho new york
Rain, hail or shine, you’ll find plenty of things to do in SoHo to keep you busy.

The MoMA Design Store is affiliated with New York’s famous Museum of Modern Art.

It sells all sorts of products and items that align with the museum’s design filters and stringent criteria.

Many of the store’s items on sale are art reproductions featured in the MoMA and can range anywhere from contemporary art to toys and apparel for kids.

Housed inside a two-story building overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, the museum’s design store truly is a unique SoHo attraction that all ages would enjoy visiting.

MoMA Design Store is at 81 Spring St A, New York, NY 10012.

4- Savour Authentic Italian-style Pizza At Lombardi’s

things to do in soho High angle shot of a full plate of pizza resting on top of a table inside of a restaurant during the day.
Digging in to a New York-style pizza is one of the fun things to do in SoHo.

Lombardi’s is one of America’s oldest pizzerias, established by Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi in 1905.

Lombardi learned his pizza-making trade in Naples before coming to the US and is credited as the original creator of the famous New York-style pizza everyone knows and loves today.

Situated just a block from SoHo proper in Manhattan’s Little Italy district, the eatery serves up its classic coal-fired pizzas topped with whole milk mozzarella, basil and authentic Italian tomato sauce.

This Manhattan gem is the perfect place to grab an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza from noon till late at night.

Lombardi’s is at 32 Spring Street, New York, NY, 10012.

5- Discover The American Numismatic Society

The American Numismatic Society was established in 1858 to preserve, celebrate and study various numismatic items such as old coins and medals.

The ANS is a dream location for any history buff or numismatic collector, featuring more than 800,000 individual numismatic items, some of which date back to as early as 2,000 BCE.

The venue is home to one of the world’s largest coin and medal collections and a library that features over 100,000 books, manuscripts and documents related to numismatic collections and prized items.

Situated inside a 35,000-square-foot (3,252 m2) former bank, this unique SoHo attraction is a world away from the busy boutiques and restaurants, making it a great destination to stop by to satisfy your cravings for history.

American Numismatic Society is at 75 Varick St, New York, NY 10013.

6- Get Creative At The Sloomoo Institute

The Sloomoo Institute is one of SoHo’s best family-friendly attractions and has drawn thousands of visitors worldwide since the venue’s grand opening in 2019.

Featuring interactive displays and exhibits made from artisanal slime, Sloomoo’s glossy and scented slimes, available in every colour imaginable, are bound to delight visitors of all ages.

Sloomoo’s soothing interior and ASMR vibes make it a truly spectacular place where time stands still as you smell, touch and play your way through this unique SoHo attraction.

Sloomoo Institute is at 475 Broadway, New York, NY 10013.

7- Sample Pastries At Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel opened his own bakery in SoHo after spending over six years as an executive pastry chef at Daniel, specializing in American and French-inspired patisseries.

What was born was the world’s first cronut, a hybrid dessert/pastry between a French croissant and a classic doughnut.

Today, the bakery sells all sorts of delicious caramelised delights, meringues, madeleines, and their speciality cronuts, as well as non-dessert items such as avocado toast and quiches.

An excellent destination to get your sweet-tooth craving fix or to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, this popular bakery is a must-visit destination whenever you’re in SoHo.

Dominique Ansel Bakery is at 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012.

8- Explore The Leslie-Lohman Museum

Formerly known as the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Leslie-Lohman Museum is the only LGBTQ+ art museum in the world, specialising in collecting and exhibiting art from LGBTQ+ artists or inspired by the LQBTQ+ movement.

The museum features a collection of paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and drawings of more than 22,000 individual art pieces and a permanent collection of over 1,300 items.

Established in 1969 in a loft on Prince Street, the museum and its collection has grown into one of SoHo’s biggest art galleries and a vital beacon for the city’s LGBTQ+ scene.

Leslie-Lohman Museum is at 26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013.

9- Shop For Homemade Crafts At Artists & Fleas

Artists & Fleas, situated on Broadway, is an indoor flea market selling artisanal fashion, handmade jewellery, contemporary everyday items, and many more one-of-a-kind items.

The market has over 30 vendors, each with their own space for bartering their goods, and is open on weekends.

Featuring constantly revolving vendors in one convenient location, the free-to-visit market is a fantastic destination to search for a unique gift or to browse what’s on offer.

Artists & Fleas is at 490 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Eden Gallery SoHo is a world-renowned contemporary art gallery founded in 1997 by Cathia Kimovsky with locations spread across the globe in cities such as London, Mykonos and Miami, in addition to its SoHo home.

This high-end art gallery showcases art from international artists such as Gal Yosef, David Kracov and Eduardo Kobra across an incredibly diverse range of paintings, mixed media and 3D shadow boxes.

With over 30,000 square feet (2,787 m2) of exhibition space spread across four levels, this magnificent SoHo art gallery is always a fantastic destination.

Eden Gallery SoHo is at 470 Broome St, New York, NY 10013.

11- Explore SoHo’s Cast-Iron District

free things to do in soho
Architectural detail view of traditional cast iron buildings in the Soho, New York City.

Made up of more than 500 historic cast-iron buildings between Broadway, Canal Street, Houston Street, Crosby Street and Howard Street, SoHo’s historic Cast-Iron District is like a little slice of Manhattan stuck in the 19th century.

The district was first established in the late 18th century when wealthy residents moved into the neighbourhood, however, it wasn’t until after the War of 1812 that the district received a large influx of residents.

The district’s cast-iron buildings were erected as more businesses and residents moved into what was quickly becoming a commercial and entertainment hub.

Following the Great Depression, many buildings sat empty in the district until an artistic revitalisation of the area began during the 60s, leading to the cast-iron district becoming once again a popular area in SoHo and Manhattan.

Today, the best way of exploring and discovering the district’s beautiful ornate buildings is on foot, stopping by quirky cafes and art houses as you uncover SoHo’s beautiful architectural past.

12- Take The Kids To The Children’s Museum of the Arts

The Children’s Museum of the Arts is a non-profit organisation aiming to introduce children and their families to the arts scene, catering to kids as young as 10 months and as old as 15 years.

The venue features several exhibits and displays, which visitors can discover by joining a guided tour led by the venue’s professional staff.

Opened in 1988, this museum/educative venue covers all sorts of art genres, including painting, drawing, photography, film-making, sewing, and more.

It is a fantastic place to visit if you’re travelling with kids.

Children’s Museum of the Arts is at 103 Charlton St, New York, NY 10014.

13- Catch An Indie Film At The Film Forum

The Film Forum was formed in 1970 as an alternative screening venue for independent and fringe films.

Open all year long, the venue started with just one projector and 50 folding chairs but has since grown into a leading SoHo cultural attraction capable of simultaneously screening up to four films.

Organising screenings of independent film premiers, foreign art films, genre works and directors’ retrospectives, the venue caters to film buffs who prefer something a little more tasteful than your average Hollywood action flick.

Be sure to stop by the forum if you’re a fan of the indie film scene, as it’s one of the best venues for independent film screenings in New York City.

Film Forum is at 209 W Houston St, New York, NY 10014.

14- Explore The Drawing Center

Martha Beck founded the Drawing Center in 1977 as a downtown SoHo exhibition space dedicated to exploring the medium of drawing as a primary art form through classic and contemporary works.

Beck formed the centre after working as an assistant curator for the Department of Drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, turning it into one of SoHo’s most beloved arts and culture institutions.

Not only is the centre the only non-profit arts venue in the United States devoted exclusively to drawing, but the venue also organises all sorts of education programs throughout the year to promote drawing across New York’s five boroughs.

The Drawing Center is at 35 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013.

15- Browse Vintage Books At Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks

Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks is one of New York’s most unique bookstores, selling old, out-of-print cookbooks, vintage tableware and menus to foodies and bookworms alike.

Home to the quirky, the classic and the rare, the shop was started by Joanne Hendricks in 1995 after she decided to start selling her large cookbook collection she began amassing in 1955.

Situated inside a small, unassuming brick townhouse, this bibliophile heaven is one of the only places selling 100-year-old cookbooks and cocktail recipes in the world, making it an unmissable SoHo venue to visit.

Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks is at 488 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013.

16- Explore The New York City Fire Museum

Situated inside a Beaux Arts-style firehouse that dates back to 1904, the New York City Fire Museum features one of America’s largest and oldest collections of firefighting equipment, artefacts and items.

The museum’s collection spans from the 18th century to the present day and includes various items related to the history of firefighting in New York.

Inside, the museum features a dedicated gallery honouring the 343 firefighters who perished during 9/11 and those who lost their lives due to injuries from the event later on in life.

A popular destination among history buffs interested in learning more about the city’s firefighting past, the museum promises a unique SoHo experience bound to entertain visitors of all ages.

New York City Fire Museum is at 278 Spring St, New York, NY 10013.

17- Unwind At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

The Housing Works Bookstore Café is a café, tourist attraction and bookstore all rolled into one, serving snacks, desserts, drinks and pastries to visitors browsing the store’s vast book collection.

Opened in 1996, this two-story bookstore also serves alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine and is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet brunch or meet up with friends.

This non-profit venue’s proceeds all go to helping the New York homeless population living with HIV/AIDS, making visiting this endearing SoHo landmark a no-brainer.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is at 126 Crosby St, New York, NY 10012.

Established in 2008 by Kate Werble, the Kate Werble Gallery showcases works by mid-career artists across mediums, such as print, paintings and sculptures, in a uniquely innovative and often humorous way.

The gallery exhibits works by Lui Shtini, Brock Enright, Melanie Schiff and Christopher Chiappa, and regularly organises thought-provoking and alternative displays that are unapologetic about challenging the norms.

With its exposed piping, plain white walls and rough cement floor look, the gallery oozes SoHo’s art scene like no other venue in the neighbourhood, making it an excellent destination to tour.

Kate Werble Gallery is at 474 Broadway, Third Floor, New York, NY 10013.

19- Join a SoHo Walking Tour

things to do in soho nyc
Wandering around the streets and admiring historic buildings is one of the top things to do in SOHO, New York.

Exploring SoHo on foot, much like most of New York’s other neighbourhoods, is the best way of experiencing and discovering the district.

Walking around SoHo alone or with a group of friends is an excellent free activity but joining an organised walking tour led by a knowledgeable guide is the ultimate SoHo experience.

Companies and groups operate walking tours in and around the SoHo area, whisking travellers past the area’s famous cobbled streets, art galleries and eateries.

Tours typically start and end at a predetermined place and can include various extra activities, such as free food samples at a restaurant or exclusive access to a museum.

No matter which walking tour you join, SoHo promises to delight you with something to see and do around every corner.

Here are some excellent SoHo walking tours:

20- Tour The Museum Of Chinese In America

The Museum of Chinese in America was established in 1980 to preserve and share Chinese immigrants’ rich history, culture and influences in the United States.

Nicknamed ‘MOCA’, the museum features stories, artefacts and items to uncover that are over 160 years old, dating back to when some of the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the US seeking better opportunities for their families.

Apart from being a symbol of pride for New York’s Chinese-decent residents, this interactive venue regularly organises programs and events to help people unfamiliar with Chinese-American culture learn more about it.

Spanning over 12,500 square feet (1,161 m2), the museum has plenty of exhibits and displays to discover, making it an excellent destination to visit when spending time in SoHo.

The Museum of Chinese in America is at 215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013. 

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Mark Westwood is a Seattle-based writer who writes for various online blogs and travel websites. In 2017, he went on a 12-month road trip across the USA visiting many iconic landmarks and small towns along the way. Having explored over 20 countries, his favourite places to date are along the west coast of the USA but he is happiest anywhere where there are mountains and ocean.