Summer Streets

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Summer Streets
Photograph: Alex Strada
The Museum of Food and Drink's puffing gun at Summer Streets

Why stay home with your window unit when you can make Manhattan your own personal playground? It’s your last chance of the summer to run wild on closed-down and souped-up avenues, compliments of the city, so pack the sunscreen and snacks and get ready for cycling, running, soccer and water-sliding in the middle of the street. If you don’t want to exert yourself too much, you can check out pop-up theater and interactive art along the way. 


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Another summer, another Summer Streets enjoyed! This has become a tradition over the years and with the variety of activities going on from Central Park to Foley Square, you can change it up each weekend. The first weekend I purely focused on biking along the car-less streets that spanned from 72 street all the way down and back. This past weekend, learning from the previous weekend that zip lining was sold out well before the last time slot, I arrived before 7:15 and was able to zip down the 30 ft high drop. By 7:30 am, the line had picked up and by 8:30ish, the last time slot had already been closed. From there my friend and I biked downtown as we were able to secure tix to the 3-story-high water slide for 10 AM (if you have Twitter, turn on your notifications so you know immediately when tix are released!). If you get there early enough, and it hasn't hit capacity, there's a small chance you may be able to slide more than once! It was a blast and I highly recommend it! Next weekend is the last Saturday streets will be closed and it's definitely worth waking up early for the free perks you're interested in!


The event that only comes three saturdays a year is one not to be missed. From 7am-1pm, you get to experience a variety of events scattered throughout the city at "pitstops" along park avenue. Each stop has different activities, so you're free to bounce around and do whatever you're interested. Free 1 hr biking is offered at every stop. Activities do change every year, but there is usually at least one station that has some sort of arts and crafts activity as well as some active exercise (free yoga class, or rock climbing, etc.). This year, I did one hour of biking, 15 minutes of hand cycling (a very new and unique experience), as well as make my own wand out of bamboo sticks, flowers, and construction paper. They also had a station with free samples of food from Clif bars and honest tea among others. There's also always a zipline, and new for this year was a water slide. Plan out your day well because later on in the morning the lines get longer. If you want t do a bunch of free activities, make sure to participate in August!

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