Things to Do in Morningside Heights

Things to Do in Morningside Heights

There are tons of fun things to do in Morningside Heights, which is located between 108th and 121st Streets, bounded by Amsterdam and Broadway. While considered to be a hamlet of the Upper West Side, it has it’s own look, feel and energy.

If you’re up for a smarty-pants kind of day, here are some of our best suggestions. Consider creating a game with friends, maybe like Treasure Hunt where your team of buddies have to visit these sites for cash and prizes. (Well, maybe just for a drink at the end of the day.)

A Day in Morningside Heights

We’ll start our day at St. John the Divine (Amsterdam and 112th) for a bit of divine inspiration. With its 11 acres of gardens and striking architecture free to the public during the daylight hours, this will certainly set the tone for the day.

The Peace Fountain is a great destination, especially inspiring with the depiction of Archangel Michael right after he defeats the evil Satan. We see sculptures of the moon and sun, and the lion lying down with the lamb. Bring your coffee and just take in the beauty and talents of the artist, Greg Wyatt.

Things to Do in Morningside Heights

Walk North on Morningside Drive to Columbia University and take one of the free audio tours of this grand collegiate palace. The tour begins at the Columbia Visitors Center and includes 21 stops including St. Paul’s Chapel established in 1907 and was one of the first NYC buildings to receive landmark status, and the Havemeyer Classroom, a late 19th c. lecture hall used in many feature films, including the first three Spider Man movies. Before heading out, take a well-deserved break and visit the Blue Java Coffee Bar at the Butler Library (open Saturday 9 to 6, Sunday 9 to 2; check website for summer hours at dining.columbia.edu.)

Things to Do in Morningside Heights

Let’s enjoy the outdoors and visit a few more outdoor sculptures, in fact, these are Columbia University’s most iconic outdoor statues: Rodin’s Thinker (symbolizing wisdom) in front of Philosophy Hall; and Alma Mater (look for the owl hiding in her cloak) which stands at the Low Memorial Library. Both illustrate the historic importance of the University, and are very much a “must” if doing your own walking tour.

Things to Do in Morningside Heights

Rodin’s Thinker by Flickr user InSapphoWeTrust. https://www.flickr.com/photos/skinnylawyer/

You’ve earned a nice meal that’s nearby so you rest up. We choose Community Food & Juice (Broadway and 112th) for its organic, vegan and all around healthy fare. Where else to meet up with friends and impress them with your new found knowledge.

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MJ Goff

MJ Goff

Freelance writer and author, MJ Hanley-Goff, found her life's passion while composing high school essays. Since then, she's enjoyed a successful writing career which began at Long Island's Newsday, and then moved to the Times Herald-Record in Orange County. She's a regular contributor to Orange Magazine which covers the talented craftspeople of the area, and to the award-winning site, WomanAroundTown.com, which features entertainment, book reviews, and trending topics of interest to its New York City audience. The mom of "the best two daughters," MJ is also a writing teacher, high school essay helper, and book coach. Read her blogs at www.JoyfulWriting.com.
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