For three glorious Saturdays every August, the city shuts down Park Avenue between the Brooklyn Bridge and 72nd Street to car traffic so that an armada of pleasure-seeking New Yorkers can treat the thoroughfare like a summer campground. Here are the free events you can’t miss at this beloved pedestrian festival. It's certainly one of the best things to do in summer in New York!
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Summer Streets NYC 2017
Where are the six Rest Stops located?
Central Park, Uptown, Midtown, Astor Place, SoHo and Foley Square.
What is there to do at Summer Streets NYC?
Slides and rides
Defeat the heat at two outrageous water-park arenas: the 270-foot Vita Coco waterslide at Foley Square (registration for Saturday, August 5 is sold out) and the brand-new, bananas LG QuadWash water park at 71st Street. That’s right, there’s an inflatable water park that’s shaped like a giant dishwasher, complete with cutlery-shaped slides and hanging racks. Does that make New Yorkers the scum that gets washed out? NOTE: LG QuadWash participants must register in-advance at 71st. It is encouraged that you arrive before 8am to secure your spot. For more details on registration, click here. If you’re not looking to get soaked, head to 53rd Street for an adrenaline rush on the 30-foot-high zip line. NOTE: Participation for the zip line is first-come, first-served.
Bike, dash and train
Start stretching now: Saturdays in August are going to work you out. Beginner bikers and pros can take over the town with free bike rentals, lessons and tours of the city, like the Loudest Yeller historical tours starting on 51st Street. Head to Crunch Fitness classes at the Soho rest stop; get flexible at yoga and dance pop-ups at 26th Street; and try your hand at parkour and rock climbing at an obstacle course and rock wall at 53rd Street.
Song and dance
Get down to pop-up performances by jazz and classical local bands at the 51st Street stage. Witness acts from quintet Washington Square Winds, violin crew the Poor Cousins, jazz singer Hye-Jeung Kang, Spanish guitar band Inti and the Moon, the Taoist Tai Chi Society and many more.
Learn something new
All over town, check out workshops on topics such as cooking and sustainability, many of which offer goodies and giveaways. Head to urban agriculture sessions and creative art activities with the New Museum, the Noguchi Museum, El Museo del Barrio and more at 51st Street.
Will there be food?
If you’ve just crushed more than 70 blocks on foot, you deserve a treat. Stop by 26th Street for bites from spots like Cabot Creamery and Yasso, along with cooking demos from South Bronx Farmers’ Market, Cleaver Co. and more. For some bizarre culinary experiences, head to Astor Place for Food Sessions, a silent-disco–inspired meal, during which you are guided through what you’re eating with headphones, and try a sense-driven smell-mapping tour of the neighborhood.
How do I sign up for the waterslide?
We know: The 270-foot Vita Coco waterslide at Foley Square is all you care about, right? You must register in advance for this attraction. Unfortunately, the spots for Saturday, August 5 are all full. However, Summer Streets will release an Eventbrite page about a week in advance when it's time to sign up for the waterslide on August 12 and August 19. Stay tuned for more details on that from us!
Summer Streets runs from Centre St at City Hall Park to E 72nd St at Central Park on Sat 5, Aug 12 and Aug 19 7am–1pm (nyc.gov/summerstreets). Free, R.S.V.P. required for some events.