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Best free things to do in NYC today from art shows to concerts
Photograph: Shutterstock/Marco Prati

Everything you need to survive summer in NYC

These must-haves will keep you cool, calm and collected during even the sweatiest summer in New York City

By Annalise Mantz

Ah, summer in New York City: The season of outdoor concerts, boat parties, summer festivals and more things to do than you could possibly fit into three months. The one problem? The muggy, humid and hot-as-hell weather that so often sweeps into town with the hordes of tourists on vacation. Combat the sweaty subway platforms and chronic lack of air conditioning with these summer must-haves. From handbag essentials to lightweight fans to skincare, we’ve got a list of everything you need for a less-sweaty June, July and August. All you need now is a frozen cocktail or two.

Everything you need to survive summer in NYC

S’Well Insulated Water Bottle
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

Water stays ice-cold for a full 24 hours in this stylish insulated water bottle that everyone seems to have. We’ve heard it also works well for chilled rosé.

S’Well Insulated Water Bottle, $45 on

Kaanas Kilimanjaro Snake Embossed Slip-on Sneaker
Photograph: Courtesy Nordstrom Rack

Tempting as it might be to throw on some sandals, you have to remember that New York’s streets don’t get any cleaner in summer. Opt for some lightweight slip-ons instead, and be thankful your tootsies aren’t exposed to any of the city grime.

Kaanas Kilimanjaro Snake Embossed Slip-on Sneaker, $79.97 on

Handheld fan
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

A little fresh air goes a long way. This tiny fan with a built-in mister has a rechargeable battery, but you can also plug into any micro-USB port if you run out of juice.

Handheld USB Mini Misting Fan, $19.99 on

Ray Ban Highstreet Round Sunglasses
Photograph: Courtesy Nordstrom

This round, slightly cat-eyed style is trendy, yet still classic enough to wear year after year. Plus, Ray Bans will last much longer than those $10 drugstore shades.

Ray Ban Highstreet Round Sunglasses, $140 at

Picnic at Ascot Waterproof Outdoor Picnic Basket
Photograph: Courtesy Bed Bath and Beyond

Lay out the Central Park picnic spread of your dreams on this preppy plaid blanket that folds up into a portable tote. It’s also waterproof, which comes in handy after an unexpected storm or a spilled glass of wine.

Picnic at Ascot Waterproof Outdoor Picnic Basket, $16.99 at

La-Roche Posay Sunscreen
Photograph: Courtesy Dermstore

Everyone raves about this sunscreen: beauty bloggers, dermatologists, Consumer Reports, the list goes on and on. Keep some on hand (and arm, and face, and chest) for those blisteringly hot days without a cloud in the sky.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body Milk Sunscreen, $35.99 on

Everlane Linen Tee
Photograph: Courtesy Everlane

When it’s so muggy that the air feels thick, it’s almost unbearable to wear clothes. If you must leave the air-conditioned comfort of your apartment, a lightweight linen tee will save the day. Even better, Everlane makes their comfy tees for both men and women. 

Everlane Linen Scoopneck T, $35 at

Shisheido Ibuki Quick Fix Facial Mist
Photograph: Courtesy Sephora

Ten minutes outside (or let’s face it, on the subway platform) can be enough to wreck that flawless makeup look you spent an hour perfecting. When you feel the sweat coming on, spritz on this dewy facial mist to cool your skin and set your makeup.

Shisheido Ibuki Quick Fix Facial Mist, $25 on

Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

Leaky window unit just isn’t cutting it? This powerful tower fan will cool down your shoebox-sized apartment surprisingly fast.

Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan, $57.88 on

Madewell Canvas Transport Tote
Photograph: Courtesy Nordstrom

Who has room for a beach tote, gym bag, work purse and picnic basket in their closet? This simple canvas shopper works for all four purposes.

Madewell Canvas Transport Tote, $58 at

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Need another way to beat the heat?

Sailing on the Hudson River
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/

13 ways to cool off in NYC

Things to do

Find a shady spot in one of the best NYC parks, cannonball into the nearest swimming pool or just grab an ice-cold cocktail when the heat gets too unbearable


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