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13 New York summer hacks to make your life easier

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

By Time Out contributors, edited by Will Pulos

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC

With far more music festivals, outdoor activities and warm-weather events than you could ever take advantage of, summer in New York is all about prioritizing. Use these tips, hacks and pieces of advice and you’ll get the most bang for your sunny weather buck. (And hopefully, manage to escape some of the heat while you’re doing it.)

1. Take in the breeze from a drug store
Find a walking route that takes you past as many drug stores as possible. Whether you're passing a Walgreens, Rite Aid or Duane Reade, those sliding doors open constantly, releasing a whoosh of icy air to sustain you on your sweaty trek to work. Can't be very economical for them, but we shall reap the benefits!

2. Get a package beach deal
Save money by buying transportation to the beach that also includes perks/activities once you’re there. NYC Beach Bus offers discounts on food at Jacob Riis Beach and Sourced Adventures will take you to the Rockaways and throw in a surf lesson as well.

3. Grab to-go margaritas
Grab one from Turkey’s Nest and have the perfect summer afternoon in McCarren Park.

4. The Q Platform Breeze Spot
There’s a spot at the back of the Q platform in Union Square where you can stand and get a cool breeze from both the trains coming in and from the street level. It’s majestic on a hot summer day.

5. Leave halfway through the headliner’s set at music festivals
Just resign yourself to the fact that you’re not going to see every single song performed by the headlining acts at events like Governors Ball and Farmborough on Randall’s Island. If you stay until the end you might as well change your name to Gilligan because you are going to be stuck on that island, girl. Start heading towards the exit halfway through the final set.

6. Nail down your go-to iced coffee place
Getting an iced coffee to go is a must in the summer. Not only is it cold and refreshing, but you can also hold it against your face in moment of utter desperation. Try Cups to save money and discover new local favorites.

7. Know your midtown parks
Going to any park by the water is usually cooler and breezy (Chelsea Piers, Battery Park etc.) But sometimes, you just don’t have time to walk all the way over to the water. On those days, one of Midtown’s shady, semi-secret parks will definitely help you cool off. The waterfalls at Greenacre Park (217 E 51 St) and Paley Park (3 E 53rd St) are especially welcome attractions on a hot summer day.

8. Take a dip in the fountains
You don’t have to swim a lap to cool off in one of the fountains that dot New York’s parks. Sitting on the fountain at Washington Square Park can provide the perfect mist on a summer afternoon.

9. Quiet the air conditioner drip
If the air conditioner in the apartment above you drips on to your unit, place a sponge on top of yours and it will dull the sound.

10. Get out of bed in the mornings
This one might be too obvious, but running errands only early in the morning or late evening when it’s cooler, especially on 90 something degree days, make a huge difference. Then, you can get back to the shade of your apartment before the afternoon sun hits.

11. Buy cheap sunglasses on St. Mark’s
Odds are, you’ll probably lose them anyways. Pick up a pair for $10 or less on this busy East Village thoroughfare between Second and Third Aves and they’ll probably last you at least until August.

12. Consider spending a summer afternoon on Staten Island
South Beach has a gorgeous view of the Verrazano Bridge and is a lot less crowded than other New York City beaches, especially the Northern end that’s closest to the bridge.

13. Know your public pools
It’s a lot easier to go swimming than you think. Hit up one of these pools to spend more time in the water and less time traveling to the beach.

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