Whether you’re simply visiting or a local, there are plenty of ways to bond with your dog in Manhattan.
Enjoy a cultural outing with a trip to an art gallery, a shopping trip, a ferry ride, and more.
Here are some of the dog-friendly activities in Manhattan that let you take your buddy out, burn some energy, and take in the sights and sounds of the area.
Stroll Around a Park
Manhattan has plenty of dog runs and parks where you can meet other dogs and dog owners. Some dog parks allow off-leash hours–perfect if you’re looking for dog-friendly activities in Manhattan that let your pup run off and expend some energy. For more dog-friendly parks in the area, check out our article The Best Dog-Friendly Neighborhoods and Dog Parks in Manhattan.
This park is quite large. It’s a great way for your dog to exercise and run freely and offers awesome views of the river and Queensboro Bridge. They have a separate space for big and small dogs, as well as benches for folks to sit on. There are water fountains both for dogs and humans. They even take out kiddie pools for your pup to splash around in. After a fun time at the park, you and your dog can walk along the esplanade and enjoy the weather.
De Witt Clinton Park provides water for your baby and an area to hose off your dog. However, you have to bring your own water during winter, late fall, and early spring because the city shuts the water off. There are separate small and large dog runs and enough seating for dog parents. Surrounded by enormous trees and beautiful gardens, you’ll find plenty of shade during the summer, with a nice breeze from the river, good fencing, and gates. There are rose bushes, lilac, peach trees, and daffodils in the spring. It’s pretty close to some nice restaurants in the area as well.
At First Run, it’s never empty and your pup will always find a playmate. Filled with benches, they have fresh water, a small pool, and plenty of space for them to run. There’s an adequate amount of seating for humans as well as bathrooms nearby. The design is a model for other dog runs, with everything you could need. It’s huge and allows dogs off any size to burn some energy and stretch their legs.
Go For a Bite
Going for a bite is among the dog-friendly activities in Manhattan that ensure a happy doggo and happy tummy. Luckily, there are a number of restaurants that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables, some bars even allow dogs inside.
This place is a truly charming dive bar in the East Village. They have great drink specials, a jukebox, choice music, a billiards table, video game console, and a relaxed atmosphere. Their drafts are reasonably-priced, and they offer a PBR and whisky combo for around $5 or $6.
Fat Cat will surely become one of you and your dog’s favorite venues in the West Village. They have foosball and ping pong tables. Also, a talented jazz band plays there every night. Their $3 entrance fee is definitely worth it. Plus, if you get hungry, you can bring your own food.
This East Village cafe allows dogs inside and still complies with the health code. They have a glass window separating dogs from the drink and food. A really great space, the dogs make it even better.
The East Village spot will allow dogs inside while still complying with the health code thanks to a glass window separating the dogs from the food and drink. If you’re alone with your furry friend, order outside, then head into the indoor area. Their baristas are incredibly friendly, service is prompt, and the food is fresh. You’ll love the music and good vibes. Their photo booth even has dog costumes. What more can you ask for?
Some establishments also offer special treats for pups.The original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park offers a custard-and-dog biscuit snack, called the Pooch-ini, for bigger dogs. They have outdoor seating. On sunny days, it’s a great place to enjoy yummy food and do some people/dog watching. Come early to avoid the lines! Try out their vegetarian mushroom burger. Vegetarian burgers in a park, need I say more?
Visit an Art Gallery
Not many dog-friendly activities in Manhattan include a visit to the art gallery. (Galleries usually don’t allow dogs in their establishment). The William Secord Gallery specializes in 19th-century dog and animal paintings, and welcomes all leashed pets. Yay to a gallery dedicated to everything about dogs!
They display some contemporary dog art as well. Established in 1990, it’s the only gallery of its kind in the country. If you’re interested in original dog paintings, sculptures, books on dogs, works on paper or commissioning a portrait of your pup, then this place is for you! Your little buddy will surely have a blast. Oh, and there are plenty of Jack Russell drawings, too.
A number of stores in Manhattan are dog-friendly. It can actually be to a business’s advantage if they cater to dog parents and allow them to visit along with their pups. However, going shopping with your dog entails responsibility. When you take your dog into a business, make sure they’re always on a leash, calm and well-behaved.
There are a few famous stores you and your best friend can visit:
Shopping with your dog can be a great bonding experience, and it’ll help socialize them and boost their confidence.
Ride the ferry
Enjoy an incredible view of the city by riding the ferry with your pup.
Ride the Seastreak Ferry from 35th Street in Manhattan down to Wall Street for an awesome view with your dog. (Just make sure they’re on a leash!) You can also take the ferry to Atlantic Highlands for a longer ride and an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty. You also see the city skyline and Brooklyn Heights. A safe means of travel with comfy seats, you can use your credit card to pay onboard for tickets.
Who doesn’t love free rides? You can bring your small dog on this ferry where you can enjoy people watching and some amazing views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Mansion and downtown Manhattan. Always with plenty of seating and room to walk around, it’s a free and fast ride into Manhattan on this city-funded boat.
Go to the Beach
Although dogs aren’t allowed to enter any bathing facilities in New York City beaches. Leashed dogs are allowed on the sand and boardwalk at Coney Island & Brighton Beach, Rockaway Beach, Manhattan Beach, South Beach, and Midland Beach. They’re also allowed on the promenade or boardwalk at Coney Island, Orchard, Brighton, South, Midland, and Manhattan Beaches. Take your dog for a lovely run and play off-leash at the fenced dog run within the Manhattan Beach Park Dog Run.
Over to You
If you’re unsure whether a place is dog-friendly, try calling beforehand to inquire whether they allow dogs. Make sure that your dog is well-socialized, behaved, and used to being out and about in the city so that both you and your furry friend can enjoy an awesome day doing dog-friendly activities in Manhattan.