101 things to do in New York City in the summer

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Courtesy FriendsWithYou

    Play with giant balloons at Rainbow City

  • Photograph: Design by James Corn

    Take a constitutional along the High Line's section two

  • Ride the new carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park

  • Ride the ferry to Sandy Hook Beach

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    See a free SummerStage show

  • Defy gravity at the Scream Zone in Coney Island

  • Photograph: Courtesy Cooper-Hewitt

    Feel fancy at Cocktails@Cooper-Hewitt

  • Photograph: Irwin Seow

    Catch a flick at Rooftop Films

  • Cool off in the city's pools; including Astoria Pool

    Cool off in the city's pools; including Astoria Pool

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    Shop and chow down at Hester Street Fair

Photograph: Courtesy FriendsWithYou

Play with giant balloons at Rainbow City


 

11. Play with giant balloons at Rainbow City
Unleash your inner kid in the giant playground Rainbow City (aolartists.com/rainbowcity), a large-scale outdoor art installation consisting of 40 inflatable sculptures. Each colorful balloon is an interactive experience, so banish your usual art-gallery etiquette and touch, bounce or squeeze to your heart's content. The works were created by Miami art collective FriendsWithYou, who have a concurrent solo show at the Hole NYC titled ":)" (312 Bowery at Bleecker St, 212-466-1100, theholenyc.com; June 9--Aug 6; free). When you've had your fun at Rainbow City, check out what else the venue—the Lot at 30th Street—has to offer: Throughout the summer the temporary plaza will host food trucks like Coolhaus and Red Hook Lobster, as well as an outdoor bar called the Lot on Tap. W 30th St at Tenth Ave (thehighline.org). Rainbow City: June 8--July 5. Mon--Wed 11am--10pm; Thu, Fri 11am--11pm; Sat 8am--11pm; Sun 8am--10pm. Free.

12. Take a constitutional along the High Line's section two
Since opening in 2009, this elevated park has become a firm favorite with New Yorkers. When a new area from 23rd to 30th Streets opens on June 8 there'll be more mini ecosystems to stroll through—from thicket and lawn to canopied walkway and field of wildflowers—and plenty of viewing platforms at which to stop and admire vistas of the Hudson, Brooklyn and, er, the traffic below. Enter at Tenth Ave at 30th St or 20th St (212-206-992, thehighline.org). 7am--10pm; free.

13. Ride the new carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Opening late summer, Jane's Carousel, a 1922 merry-go-round that was temporarily housed in a building on Water Street in Dumbo, will enchant kids, nostalgists and antique nerds alike. Artist Jane Walentas spent more than 20 years restoring the amusement, which will be set up in an airy pavilion designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. One twirl around and you'll be lulled into simple, childlike bliss. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Empire--Fulton Ferry Park, enter at New Dock and Water Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (brooklynbridgepark.org). $TBA.

14. Ride the ferry to Sandy Hook Beach
Get out of the grimy city to a pristine seven-mile stretch of waterfront bliss on SeaStreak Ferry, which transports sunseekers to Sandy Hook from two Manhattan locations. A 45-minute ride (complete with free Wi-fi, a full bar and a sun deck) will bring you to the prime swimming spot, a peninsula famous for its silky-smooth sand. E 35th St at FDR Dr. Departs Mon--Fri 8:45, 11:15am; Sat, Sun 8, 10:30am, 1:20pm. * Pier 11, South St at Wall St. Departs Mon--Fri 9, 10:50am; Sat, Sun 8:15, 11am, 1:35pm * (seastreak.com). Round-trip $43, one-way $25.

15. See a free SummerStage show
Never take for granted how lucky we are to be in a city where a free show in the park has become a quintessential summer experience (even when you're stuck in the interminable line for said free show). For New York's largest free performing-arts festival, 18 parks around the city offer gratis programming, with Central Park's Mainstage at the center of the action. Check the website for a complete schedule, but here's a quick taste: This year's musical lineup covers classical (Yo-Yo Ma), jazz (Toots Thielemans), hip-hop (Funkmaster Flex), indie rock (Friendly Fires) and even comedy (Reggie Watts). Theater nerds can geek out over the classical (Sophocles' Oedipus), the reinterpreted (Shakespeare's Henry V) and the popular (Indomitable: James Brown); and dance audiences can choose from among tap, hip-hop, step, flamenco and contemporary performances. June 7--Sept 2 (summerstage.org)

16. Defy gravity at the Scream Zone in Coney Island
No summer is complete without a visit to Coney Island, and this year, when you're done staging your own Nathan's hot-dog-eating contest, you can hit the Scream Zone. The new amusement park has four rides sure to provide an adrenaline high, including two massive coasters that will give the old Cyclone a run for its money. Scream Zone, Boardwalk near W 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com/screamzone). Hours vary, see website for details; $7--$20 per ride.

17. Feel fancy at Cocktails@Cooper-Hewitt
What do you do when you have possession of Andrew Carnegie's Georgian country-house--style mansion, complete with a bucolic garden? Throw a mother-flippin' party! The Smithsonian's National Design Museum is on the same page and brings a different DJ into its private grounds every Thursday through June. And what's a party without libations? Alongside wine and beer ($6), there's an Electric Lemonade specialty cocktail ($9). 2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave (212-849-8400, coooperhewitt.org). Thu 6--9pm; through June 30. Free with museum admission: $15, seniors and students $10, members free.

18. Catch a flick at Rooftop Films
Watch an alfresco flick on a pretty perch at this long-running series, now in its 14th year. A panoply of rooftop venues across the city are hosting screenings of more than 175 films, from romance (Falling Overnight, July 22) to documentaries (Fake It So Real, July 28). After the latter, a look into the world of independent pro wrestling, witness a live match, as the subjects battle it out at Williamsburg's Crown Vic (60 South 2nd St at Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 8pm; $10)—and be sure to look out for additional after-parties offering cheap beer or an open bar. Locations, times and prices vary; visit rooftopfilms.com for details. Through Aug 20.

19. Cool off in the city's pools
When the pavement starts to emit more heat than your apartment's radiator and the mass of shiny, reflective skyscrapers offers no escape, it's time to book it to the closest swimming hole. That would be any of the city's 54 outdoor pools, opening June 29. Head to the largest example (330 feet in length), the Astoria Pool (Astoria Park, 19th St and 23rd Dr, Astoria, Queens; 718-626-8623, nycgovparks.org; 11am--3pm, 4--7pm; free), for a cheap snack bar and a hopping social scene, or check out our roundup of the best swimming pools. Various locations; visit nycgovparks.org.

20. Shop and chow down at Hester Street Fair
Head to the Lower East Side for retro jewelry, antique decor and old-fashioned hats at this bustling bazaar, a revival of a similar market that existed in that very spot more than a 100 years ago. While you browse the goods, which change weekly, fuel up with chilorio brisket tacos ($4) from Brooklyn Taco Company—just one of the nearly 20 food options on a given day. Hester St at Essex St (hesterstreetfair.com). Sat 10am.

Users say

12 comments
Daniel Davidson
Daniel Davidson

Us cheapskates thank you for this great list! You mentioned yoga in Bryant Park, but they also have free movie screenings. You just have to get there early to stake out your spot. I included Bryant Park in my Kindle book: 101 Free Things To Do In NYC (http://amzn.to/NT0eoQ) because it's got so many great activities, including tai chi, fencing, juggling, ping pong tournaments, fly fishing classes, birding, a restaurant bar, and free wifi.

Buy a flat in London
Buy a flat in London

These all are really fantastic activity. These kind of activity is really helpful for an individual to develop their skill. Interesting

Mark
Mark

wow. all the activities were either boring or repeats from the boring.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great job ,it is really helpful !

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great, varied list and most comments are about whether you are PC or not. Sad. Life is more fun with a bit of colour. Give me non PC any day!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Skip the Prospect Park Zoo. The way they keep the animals is depressing and the crowds aren't much better. Go to the Bronx Zoo instead.

Anonymous
Anonymous

also agreed re: use of "loony bin." not cool.

Anonymous
Anonymous

17. Feel fancy at Cocktails@Cooper-Hewitt Been there, done that - Drinks are not free with price of admission!

Anonymous
Anonymous

i agree with the 'looney bin' comment. read it twice 'cause i thought i misread it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.