One of the top reasons why so many college students move to New York City every year for school is for the cultural and recreational opportunities and activities available. Often called the Melting Pot, NYC is home to more immigrants than almost any other city in the country. You can head over to Ellis Island to learn more about your own heritage and see the Statue of Liberty in person, or you can stick closer to campus and look for museums and parks nearby that you can reach by car or public transportation.

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City Parks

Several parks in the city are part of the Purple Piano Project, which is a public arts program that installed purple pianos that visitors can sit down and play. You may even have the chance to take part in an impromptu performance during your visit. According to the NYC Parks website, some of the more popular recreational activities at these parks include games like baseball and basketball, ice skating, canoeing and kayaking. You'll also find restaurants, BBQ grills and nature centers at some parks. If you want to go a little further away from the city, you can visit one of the top state parks.

Learn About Other Cultures

The melting pot aspect of NYC means that you can travel from one street to the next and experience something completely different. Several neighborhoods in the city are home to certain cultural groups who welcome visitors and guests. You can spend a few hours sampling authentic Italian dishes in Little Italy and learning about the Italian immigrants who flocked to the city decades ago before heading over to Chinatown. Not only can you try real Chinese food, but you can also check out the museums dedicated to Chinese art and heritage.

Street Fairs and Festivals

An episode of the popular television show "Seinfeld" focused on the gang of friends trying to make their way across the city during a street festival. While you'll probably want to leave your car or bike back at your dorm room, you will want to check out some of these festivals while attending college in the city. The Three Kings' Day Parade takes place in January in Harlem and includes a live show at the end. December brings the tree lighting festival at Rockefeller Center and other holiday events that you won't want to miss.

NYC Museums

Whether you want to learn more about a topic you covered in your classes, or you just want to burn some calories as you walk around, you can visit any of the great museums in NYC like the Museum of the Moving Image. This museum has exhibits and artifacts dedicated to the history of film and television. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will appeal to those who have an interest in air and space. Other New York museums that you may want to visit while in college in the city include the Bronx Museum of Art and the Museum of Chinese in America.

While you'll probably spend a lot of time in your dorm room and on the campus of the college you attend, you'll also spend some time off-campus too. Students enrolled in New York City colleges can have fun doing a number of recreational and cultural activities like playing in city parks and checking out street fairs.