I've lived in New York off and an for 10 years but somehow don't end up doing many "touristy" things. My mom was in town and I had heard about the One World Observatory from some friends who highly recommended it. It was absolutely breathtaking. The entire experience was really well done and very visually immersive as well as experiential.
Tickets cost $32 for each adult to get to the 102nd floor which has 360 degree views of Manhattan so you can see Jersey, Brooklyn, and other surrounding areas. I went in September in the morning during a weekday so the crowds weren't bad at all. The elevator to the 102nd floor takes only 60 seconds and the ride to the top has a really amazing video experience that's a kind of timelapse of New York's history.
Once you get off the elevator on the 102nd floor you wait to enter the welcome theater which was a visually immersive experience with just amazing effects that literally left me saying "Wow!" when it was done.
After the welcome, you're free to roam around and just take in the amazing 360 degree panoramic views that are simply breathtaking.
The expansive windows and amazing views give you a whole new perspective of NYC. Even for those who have lived here for years and aren't into touristy activities, I highly recommend going to the One World Observatory for a morning or afternoon. You definitely have to pick a clear, sunny day to be able to see the views so make sure it's not cloudy or raining.
There's a restaurant and cafe so you can grab drinks, snacks, and coffee and you can also stop by the Oculus and Brookfield Place and make a whole morning or afternoon of it.
If you have friends or family in town and want to show them NYC or just want something different to do on a weekend, I highly recommend One World Observatory. It's a must see.