15 Best Things to Do in Bronx County, NY
A lively urban destination with much to offer, there’s never really a dull moment when you’re visiting Bronx County.
It lies south of Westchester County and is bordered by the borough of Manhattan’s north and east areas and the borough of the Queen’s northern area.
The county as commonly called “The Bronx”, is New York’s only county on the mainland and is also one of the counties that carry the same name as its borough.
Historically, its name was derived from its early settler Jonas Bronck, a Swedish native who established the first community in 1639.
Today, the area has a dense and diverse cultural community and is known as a Co-Op City, the largest cooperative-owned area in the country.
And of course, it is home to famous and iconic attractions that include The Bronx Zoo, Yankee Stadium, and New York City Botanical Gardens.
See more sights and explore the best things to do in Bronx County, New York.
See the Unique Animals at the Famous Bronx Zoo
A flagship park of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Bronx Zoo is sure to give you a fun learning experience.
Located on Southern Boulevard, it’s the country’s biggest urban zoo with a huge hardwood forest area spanning over 260 acres.
The zoo opened in 1899 and also launched the first-ever modern zoo hospital in 1916.
Now, it has become a sanctuary for more than 10,000 animals of around 700 different species.
Bring the family and meet the mighty lions of the African Plains, the big brown bears splashing at the shallow pools, and Big Cats at the Tiger Mountains.
Likewise, you’ll be greeted by colorful birds at the Aquatic Bird House and Sea Bird Aviary, and see the monkeys, rock hyrax, and Nubian ibex roaming around the Glenda Reserve.
You’ll also get to see other small creatures like spiny mice, tiny turtles, little lizards, and so much more.
There are also seasonal attractions you can enjoy like the Butterfly Garden, Children’s Zoo, the Jungleworld, and Madagascar!
Otherwise, let your kids enjoy fun rides and activities like the Bug Carousel, Treetop Adventure, the Nature Trek, and watching the Magellanic penguins and sea lions enjoying feeding time.
Have a memorable experience at the Bronx Zoo.
Admire Contemporary Pieces at The Bronx Museum of the Arts
If you love contemporary arts, The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a worthwhile place to visit.
Located in Grand Concourse, this free admission museum opens from Wednesday to Sunday.
Also called the Bronx Museum of Art or commonly called the Bronx Museum, this institution was founded in 1971 and highlights contemporary and 20th-century art by various American artists.
The museum also focuses on art programs for students eager to develop their skills and career in this field.
Aside from the permanent collections, you can also catch featured art and design exhibits from artists around the globe.
Check the museum website for special exhibitions and educational programs you can attend.
Appreciate the creative works and get inspiration at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Catch the Ballgame Action at the Yankee Stadium
When you talk about New York, baseball fans are quick to mention the Yankees.
And there’s no better way to complete “The Bronx” experience than to visit and watch a ballgame at the Yankees Stadium.
Right on East 161 Street, the iconic stadium gives you a rich history of the Yankees who won 27 World Series Championships.
Take a classic one-hour tour and see famous locations like Monument Park, then view baseball artifacts on display; tour guides will also let you in on some events at the stadium aside from baseball.
You can also get a Pregame Tour with exclusive access to the stadium before a Yankees home game, learn about the team’s history, visit the New York Yankees Museum and Monument Park, and view batting practice at Section 105.
Likewise, you can go for a Pregame Glimpse of Greatness self-guided tour with access to pre-games on a Yankee home game day, and you’ll also visit other attractions like The Great Hall and the Judge’s Chambers.
On selected game dates, Hands On History is offered on public tours where you get a rare opportunity to take photos with some Yankee artifacts like bats, baseballs, jerseys, and even World Series rings.
Go behind the scenes, have a picture and autograph with a Yankee legend and a Yankee on the current roster with the Inside Experience Spring Training program.
So take the family out to the ballgame at the Yankee Stadium!
Stroll the Stunning New York Botanical Garden
Meander around the colossal New York Botanical Garden and immerse yourself in nature’s wonders.
You can visit this gorgeous attraction on Southern Boulevard from Tuesday to Sunday and on federal holidays; you’ll expect stunning garden views with each season.
Well-known botanists Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth, were inspired by their visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1888 which paved the way for the founding of the botanical garden in 1891.
Today, the 250-acre garden also serves as an educational institution, plant research, and conservation facility hosting various exhibitions and programs.
Also a National Historic Landmark, it’s the largest city garden in the country with over a million plant collections and 50 specialty gardens.
Take time to see the Nolen Greenhouses, the lovely Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, and the renowned Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory glasshouse.
Likewise, wander around the Native Plant Garden containing North American plant varieties, and find thousands of old trees at the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum, many of which are more than 200 years old.
You’ll love the sight of more than 200 cherry trees with blossoming pink and white flowers during spring, along with a sea of yellow and white daffodils at the Rock Garden and Daffodil Valley.
Have a relaxing stroll along the ancient hunting trails in the Forest and visit other garden attractions like the Lilac Collection, Ornamental Conifers, Perennial Garden, and Tree Peonies; likewise, enjoy a walk along the Ladies’ Border featuring an array of Japanese apricot, Peruvian lilies, and South African bulbs.
You’ll surely enjoy the sight of lush flora at the New York Botanical Garden.
See the Maritime Displays at the City Island Nautical Museum
City Island Nautical Museum is a specialized museum that features City Island’s rich nautical past.
You’ll find this attraction at Fordham Street with the opening season starting every May.
The Main Hall and Gallery display photos of maps, City Island boats, bridges and historic buildings, along with a history timeline, some minesweeper and rumrunner models, and a 1930 wooden kayak.
You’ll also see an array of antique tools used in making sails and building ships and learn about City Islanders who contributed to the industry.
Discover more about maritime history through the large selection of books, magazines, and printed resources at The Walsh Library.
Then head out to the Nautical Room where you’ll see more photos, memorabilia, and artifacts on exhibit like skiffs and vintage motors.
Likewise, you can view the Community Room reflecting the daily life of old City Island through objects like an antique typewriter, home furnishings, and more.
The School Room highlights the early educational system and schools with a portion set up like the traditional classroom; you’ll see various artifacts like old report cards, graduation pictures, student registers, and others.
Don’t forget to purchase mementos like postcards, shirts, gift items, and more at the City Island Nautical Museum Store.
Wander Around the Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center
Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center located on Independence Avenue is a 28-acre urban oasis perfect for spending a relaxing day.
This attraction is open from Tuesday to Sunday and hosts a variety of environmental programs, workshops, art exhibitions, and live performances throughout the year.
Enjoy scenic views of the Palisades and Hudson River from the lovely Pergola adorned with colorful plants and blooms.
You’ll have a sense of calm while strolling the Flower Garden with rows of bulbs, perennials, and shrubs lining the paths; likewise, you can explore the Herb and Dry Gardens with assorted herbs and ornamental plants.
Check out the T. H. Everett Alpine House and Wild Garden, and view interesting specimens at the Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory.
You’ll discover a myriad of flora along the Herbert & Hyonja Abrons Woodland and Kate French Terrace and find a relaxing space at the Aquatic & Monocot Gardens.
Aside from garden attractions, you can also view art exhibits inside the Glyndor Gallery or catch art programs at the Wave Hill House and grounds.
Drop by the shop and find lots of unique items from handcrafted jewelry and home decor to educational toys, tasty gourmet foods, and essential bath and body products.
After enjoying the tour, you can eat at the Café and try their assorted pastries, soups, salads, sandwiches, and beverages.
You’ll surely have a pleasant visit to the Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center.
Catch Superb Performances at Pregones Theater
If you love plays and musicals, you’ll surely love the theater performances at Pregones Theater.
Its theatre ensembles, Pregones, and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, present original stage productions championing the Puerto Rican and Latin culture and legacy.
Through the encouragement of film and stage icon Miriam Colón, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, a multigenerational theatre company, was established in 1967 to become one of the country’s first bilingual theater groups.
Pregones was later started in 1979 by a group of artists under the wings of Rosalba Rolón, aiming to create Caribbean and Latin American performing ensembles known as “colectivos.”
The ensembles merged in 2014 and showcase a series of interesting and culturally inspiring season plays to a wide range of audiences.
Catch the captivating performances and short film presentations at Pregones Theater located along Walton Avenue.
Tour the Historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
The grand Bartow-Pell Mansion is the only existing 19th-century country house in Pelham Bay.
The historic structure on Shore Road offers you a unique experience of New York’s local history, along with featured art exhibits and performances.
The property was part of an area once inhabited by the indigenous Lenape tribe until it was acquired by a physician named Thomas Pell; it was later passed to the LeRoy family and eventually acquired by the Bartow family.
After being leased to the International Garden Club in the early 1900s, the museum was opened in 1946 and renamed the Bartow-Pell Conservancy in 2008.
Take a guided tour inside the splendid mansion and carriage house and observe the detailed Greek Revival-style interiors.
You’ll get to view Tom Casey’s Bronx postcards collection numbering more than 6,000 pieces, and a variety of 1800s vintage wares in the attic space like mending baskets, beds, a washstand, and an ironing workstation.
See the parlors where distinguished guests were welcomed and note an array of antique decorative arts and pieces in each of the mansion’s rooms.
Step outside and stroll the beautifully landscaped grounds and formal garden with Gaston Lachaise’s Peacock bronze sculptures ready to greet you.
Visit the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum garden grounds any day of the week and take a tour of the Mansion and Carriage House on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Experience Italy in New York at Bronx Little Italy
You’ll experience the Italian vibe and culture while in New York when you take a trip to Belmont’s Bronx Little Italy.
The Borough is a frequent stop by tourists every year, making it one of the most popular and busiest New York communities.
Wander around and you’ll find an array of artisanal food shops, authentic Italian restaurants, and specialty shops mostly owned by generations of Italian families who made this charming location worth visiting.
Take snapshots of the neighborhood where classic movies like “Marty,” “The Seven-Ups,” and “A Bronx Tale” was filmed, and some famous personalities like Anne Bancroft, Dominic Chianese, and Chazz Palminteri were raised.
Along Arthur’s Avenue, you’ll have a unique gastronomic experience with lines of cafes, bakeries, and pizzerias serving Italian cuisines and delicacies that will surely make your mouth water.
Try assorted pastries from Terranova Bakery, Addeo & Sons Bakery, or Madonia Brothers Bakery, enjoy drinks and coffee at Bato Coffee & Wine, Morrone Pastry Shop & Cafe, and Gurra Café, among others.
Likewise, you’ll enjoy tasty pizzas by Funici A’Pizza, Prego’s Pizzeria, Famosa Pizza, and others.
Bronx Little Italy also hosts the annual Ferragosto event where you’ll get to know more of Italy’s traditions and culture.
Discover Culture and Music at [R]Evolution of Hip Hop
Hip Hop is more than a music genre but a growing culture.
And one way to know about its history and its impact on the music industry is by taking a visit to [R]Evolution of Hip Hop.
You’ll find this unique attraction at the Bronx Terminal Market open from Tuesday to Saturday.
Wind back between 1986 and 1990 when the lyrical hip-hop skills emerged from artists that include Kool G. Rap, Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane among others.
Discover the beats and sounds created by Marley Marl, Marley Marl, and many others who changed the sounds of hip-hop to what it is today.
See the amusing displays and know more about the DJs, MCs, artists, dancers, and producers who contributed their artistry and knowledge in technology to make this genre a phenomenon.
[R]Evolution of Hip Hop opened its doors to visitors in 2019 with plans for future expansions that include the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Spend a Day Outdoors at Roberto Clemente State Park
Looking for a place to unwind and enjoy with your family? Then head out to Roberto Clemente State Park on West Tremont Avenue along Harlem River.
This waterfront park spans 25 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities and yearly cultural events for everyone to enjoy.
Opened to the public in 1973, it was originally called the Harlem River Park and later renamed after the Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Clemente.
You can enjoy swimming at the Olympic-size pool, or play sports at the ball fields and basketball courts; otherwise, you can just enjoy a relaxing picnic, see the views from the waterfront esplanade, and let little ones have fun at the playgrounds.
Explore around and enjoy water activities like boating or canoeing at the Harlem River.
Visit the Chimney Swift Tower, a birdhouse placed by the Audubon Society and you’re sure to spot colorful birds like Chimney Swifts, Red-Tailed Hawks, and Canada Goose.
During summer, Roberto Clemente State Park also hosts numerous concerts and fun events you can bring your family to.
Tour the Van Cortlandt House Museum
Van Cortlandt House Museum is another historic attraction you can visit in Bronx County.
Centered inside the thousand-acre Van Cortlandt Park, you can take self-guided tours from Tuesday through Sunday.
The urban park used to be a plantation owned and run by the Van Cortlandt family with the grand residence built in 1748; the house also hosted General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
After several generations of Van Cortlandt took over the property, it was eventually sold to the City of New York and became a museum in 1897.
The museum is now among the National Historic Landmarks recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.
View the historic structure and step back in time as you browse the authentic antique collections on display.
Van Cortlandt House Museum also hosts the Pinkster event where guests can enjoy the festivities like dances, music, arts and crafts, food, games, and storytelling.
Enjoy Sumptuous Meals at Maisonetta
Treat yourself to delectable French and Mexican cuisines at Maisonetta.
You’ll find this family-owned restaurant along Lincoln Avenue serving dinner menus from Tuesday to Sunday, and brunch meals on Saturdays and Sundays.
Restaurant owner Victor Calixto and his family coined the name from the French word Maison which means house, perfectly describing the warm and cozy ambiance that guests will enjoy.
Start your meal with some delicious appetizers like Guacamole, Tuna Tostaditas, Pulpo a la Brasa, or Flautitas de Birria.
Try some Taco Specials in Blackened Mahi-Mahi, Pulpo Con Chorizo, Carne Asada, and Pollo Asado flavors; likewise, you’ll enjoy fresh hearty salads including Kale, Beet, Caesar, and Greek Salads.
You’ll also love every bite of their superb entrees from the Chilean Sea Bass, Maisonetta Paella, Le Moules, Filet Mignon, Scallop Risotto, and much more, then add some tasty Burritos and Quesadillas, too.
Their weekend brunch menu includes French Toast, Steak and Eggs, Breakfast Burrito, Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict, and Florentine and Mexican Omelettes.
Maisonetta also serves Happy Hour drinks including wines, sangrias, House Shot, Classic Margaritas, and Mojito, along with Rum and Coke, Vodka Soda, and mocktails; all these go well with their Happy Hour Bites.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Ferry Point Park
Ferry Point Park is one of the public parks offering plenty of outdoor activities any member of the family will enjoy.
The park sits along Balcom Avenue between Schley and Miles Avenues.
It was named for the ferries that docked and traveled between the Queens and the Bronx during the early 1900s.
You’ll get spectacular views of the East River and Long Island Sound, along with the scenic Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges, and Manhattan’s stunning skyline at the park’s one-and-a-half-mile prime waterfront area.
The huge park also has a 9.5-acre area featuring football and soccer fields, basketball courts and play areas for kids.
You can also enjoy rounds of golf at the Trump Golf Links, an 18-hole public golf course designed by the renowned golf champion Jack Nicklaus.
If you want something more relaxing, you can take a stroll along the walking paths or take your fur babies along the dog-friendly areas.
You’ll surely enjoy an unhurried time at Ferry Point Park.
Join The Bronx Week Celebrations
Come by during May and join the locals in celebration of The Bronx Week.
A tradition held for more than 40 years, the event highlights the borough’s history, diversity, and everything that makes it unique.
From food specialties to live entertainment, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Join the business workshops and labor gatherings, watch the appreciation events for seniors and veterans, or get free health screenings and helpful wellness information at the Bronx Health Pavilion.
Likewise, go on a trolley tour or see who gets to be added to the Bronx Walk of Fame.
The celebrations conclude with a colorful annual parade featuring marching bands, local institutions, groups, and organizations.
And of course, you’ll get to enjoy the food and arts festival with lines of delicious food specialties and creative artwork by various artisans.
The Bronx Week ends with a concert featuring live musical performances from different genres like hip-hop, salsa, R&B, and so much more.
The Bronx is definitely a great urban destination with lots of fun and notable attractions.
From popular attractions like the Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo to historic sites and family parks to visit, you’ll have lots to explore here.
Bronx County is a great location to go for cultural experiences, food adventures, relaxation, and fun family time.
Ready to discover the Bronx? Then, start with the list of the best things to do in Bronx County, New York.