Catch Fireflies in Madison Square Park
Madison Avenue and 23rd Street
Fireflies at Dusk is a fun, kid-friendly experience. Visitors catch and release fireflies in the park at dusk during this free event. The crowd gathers from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Attend the MoMA PS1 Warm Up
25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens
The MoMA PS1 Warm Up is a weekly outdoor music series that happens at the MoMA PS1 courtyard every Saturday of the summer. This weekly event can best be described as a really big outdoor party that attracts the best up-and-coming musicians and DJs in the city. It takes place every Saturday until Sept. 1.
Shop at Grand Bazaar
6902 100 West 77th Street
Grand Bazaar NYC is the city’s largest weekly market. Shop indoors and outdoors for goods from local artists, antiques dealers and designers. Treasures like antique watches, handmade jewelry, vintage goods, fun furniture and limited-edition art can all be scooped up. Food is also for sale.
Enjoy Drinks at a Rooftop Bar
What could be better than sipping some drinks while enjoying summery breezes and views of the busy Manhattan skyline? Manhattan is full of rooftop views that make it easy to spend some time away from the congested sidewalks. The list of the best rooftop bars in the city includes Roof at South Park, Broken Shaker, Berry Park and Ophelia.
Get an Adrenaline Rush at Luna Park
1000 Surf Avenue in Brooklyn
Luna Park offers rides and attractions at Coney Island. Luna Park is the place to ride the iconic Coney Island Cyclone or slurp down some chili dogs in front of fabulous ocean views. Both adults and youngsters enjoy the many fun rides, games and shops situated in Luna Park and throughout Coney Island. The Coney Clipper, the Astro Tower and the Cozmo Jet top the list of rides that people love.
Make a Splash at Summer Streets
Summer Streets is an annual event that transforms the area along Lafayette Street and Park Avenue into a fun playground for all ages. The event turns a chunk of Manhattan into a car-free zone where hundreds of thousands of people enjoy activities during three Saturdays in August. Visitors can look forward to a giant water slide, a rock-climbing wall, fitness classes and art workshops. There’s even a dog park at the event.
Visit a Rooftop Vineyard
299 Sands Street in Brooklyn
Rooftop Reds in Brooklyn is the world’s first rooftop vineyard. Rooftop Reds boasts 150 grapevines and a tasting room. Guests can also relax at picnic tables or on hammocks. The vineyard routinely hosts special events, game nights and movie nights.
You haven’t seen New York unless you’ve seen it from the New York Harbor or East River. Paddling along the city’s iconic waterways in a kayak is a great way to escape the hot pavement and see landmarks from a new perspective. This is a fun and free activity for anyone who loves combining a love of nature with a passion for the city.
Have a Picnic in Central Park
A picnic on the lawn at Sheep Meadow in Central Park is one of the best things to do with a free afternoon. It is so easy to plan a perfect picnic in Central Park by picking up some food at one of the city’s great delis or neighborhood supermarkets. Summertime is a great time for a picnic because you can enjoy some of the terrific greenery that populates the park during the warm months.
Take a Dinner Cruise
Take a sophisticated dinner cruise that offers great food and wonderful views. There are many agencies that offer cruises in New York City. You can choose to cruise on a huge ship that offers buffet meals or opt for a glitzy yacht that serves gourmet options. Many dinner cruises that operate in the city bring passengers around landmarks like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The list of the most popular cruise companies includes Bateaux New York Dinner Cruises, Morimoto Sushi and Sake Sail and Skyline Cruises.
See a Movie in the Park
Movie Night at Bryant Park is a fun event where attendees throw blankets on the ground and get cozy while watching movies under the stars. Films like “The Breakfast Club” and “When Harry Met Sally” bring a touch of nostalgia to the event. Films begin at sunset. Food items, beer and wine are for sale before and during movies.
Take a Dip at the Manhattan Park Pool on Roosevelt Island
The Manhattan Park Pool is a popular swimming attraction among NYC insiders. The pool and patio here are covered in artwork commissioned by hip local artists. Access is open to the public for a daily fee.
Eat Your Way Across the City Using Food Trucks
Lines form around the block at many of the acclaimed food trucks that New Yorkers love. Foodies can find everything from lobster rolls and tacos to waffles and cupcakes when they hit up the top trucks in the city. Some of the popular trucks to visit include Solber Pupusas, the Cinnamon Snail and Hard Time Sundaes. You can always use Grubhub, DoorDash or another delivery service if you don’t want to make the journey to a truck.
Attend a Summertime Poetry Festival
The annual New York City Poetry Festival at Governors Island takes place during the last weekend in July. The New York City Poetry Festival at Governors Island is free and open to the public. It hosts 250 poets across five stages. Attendees can enjoy celebrity headliners while admiring beautiful trees and Victorian homes on the festival grounds.
Go Fishing in Hudson River Park
Big City Fishing takes place on Sundays from July to August. Amateur fishing enthusiasts gather at Pier 25 to learn how to fish from trained environmental educators. Reels and rods are provided. This event is open to adults and kids over the age of five.
Stroll Along the High Line
The High Line in Chelsea is 1.45 miles of elevated park space featuring a greenway. Taking a walk here is one of the best things to do in New York City when you want fresh air. In addition to greeney and great views, visitors can enjoy food trucks and live music.
Get Some Really Good Ice Cream
Explore New York’s City’s many unique and amazing ice cream shops. You’ll find flavors in the Big Apple you simply can’t find anywhere else. Discover inventive options and classic favorites at popular ice cream spots like Sundaes & Cones in the East Village, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory or Davey’s Ice Cream in Williamsburg.
See Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park is a free event that takes place all season long. Patrons gather at Delacorte Theater in Central Park to see talented actors perform Shakespeare’s best plays. The shows kick off at 8 p.m. on performance nights. While tickets are free, they must be obtained ahead of time.
Drink a Freakshake
The freakshake is the summertime treat that everyone in New York City is buzzing about. Many eateries in New York are taking part in the freakshake craze. This cool treat is a traditional milkshake that comes with fun touches like cake, candy, donuts and more. Black Tap on Broom Street and Milk Bar East Village on East 13th Street are two of the hottest spots in the city for freakshakes.
Go Ice Skating
Mel’s Rink is an arena on the promenade at Governors Island that offers summertime skating. Mel’s Rink features 8,000 square feet of space where visitors can glide around while enjoying views of the Statue of Liberty. The arena uses a synthetic technology that works with metal skates and perfectly mimics the look and feel ice.
Explore the Famous LIC Flea Market
46th Avenue in Long Island City
LIC Flea & Food is a huge outdoor market featuring wares and food. LIC Flea & Food takes place one weekend a month. Attendees can shop and enjoy great food near the waterfront in Queens.
Practice Your Drive at the Golf Club on Chelsea Piers
Enjoy views while working on your golf skills at a 200-yard fairway overlooking the Hudson River. The Golf Club on Chelsea Piers features an automatic teeing system. Instruction is available.
Visit the Met Cloisters
99 Margaret Corbin Drive
The Cloisters is an arm of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in Upper Manhattan. The Cloisters takes up four acres in Tryon Park. The museum’s grounds overlook the Hudson River and are dedicated to art, gardens and architecture.
Explore the City on a Citi Bike
Citi Bike is New York City’s official bicycle-sharing system. Skip the subway and hop on a Citi Bike to explore New York’s neighborhoods. There are 12,000 bikes available around the city.
Take a Walking Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge
Make time for a self-guided or professional tour of the historic Brooklyn Bridge. Nothing is more fun than exploring the Brooklyn Bridge before heading to the trendy DUMBO neighborhood to find a great place to eat. Tourists can either explore the bridge on their own or sign up for a guided movie-themed tour or food-themed tour.
Sample Beers at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
2919 24th Avenue in Astoria
The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is famous for its Czech beer and grilled bratwurst. Visitors can sip rare brews and relax among picnic tables and trees. This is a family-friendly spot.
Cool Off With Some Italian Ice
52-02 108th Street in Corona, Queens
The Lemon Ice King of Corona is an iconic spot that offers more than 40 flavors of authentic Italian ice. The family behind this operation squeezes real lemons, oranges, blueberries, watermelons and more into these ices. This spot has been featured in countless magazines and television shows.
Watch a Movie in Hudson River Park
Between Battery Place and West 59th Street
Hudson RiverFlicks presents Big Hit Wednesdays weekly throughout July and August. Modern hits like “Wonder Woman” and “The Big Sick” can be watched on a screen in front of the river. Movies begin at 8:30 p.m.
Enjoy a Beach Day
Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens
Jacob Riis Park is a seaside oasis located at the tip of Rockaway Peninsula. It features a putting course and concession stands. Many visitors come just to see the historic bathhouse at this beach.
90 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn or East Drive at Lincoln Road in Brooklyn
Smorgasburg is the biggest weekly open-air food market in the country. Up to 30,000 people show up each weekend to explore offerings from 100 local vendors. The Kent Avenue location is open on Saturdays and the East Drive location is open on Sundays.
Take an Airplane Tour
If you think New York is incredible on the ground, imagine how awesome it is when you see it on an airplane tour! Seeing the city from above only makes you love it more!