10 Best Summer Activities in New York City

The bright lights, those timeless movie scenes and the kind of collective energy that’s created when 8 million people fill a tiny island… it’s New York City, of course. With Memorial Day behind us, the summer season is officially here. It’s time to come out of hibernation and celebrate the sunshine.

Whether you’re a New Yorker, a tourist visiting this summer or someone who has always dreamed of making this cultural melting pot your home, you’re going to love our weekly NYC series. 

Let’s kick things off with a round-up list of the best things to fill your summer days, here in the city. 

Take a Free Yoga Class in Bryant Park

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Nothing says summer like the Bryant Park lawn opening. You can enjoy this green space in Midtown to sunbathe or picnic. Or, check out a free yoga class in the park. These classes are offered on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. 

A variety of different instructors lead the classes, so check out the schedule for more information. Plan to arrive early to secure a spot. Yoga mats are available first come first serve or just bring your own.

Sample NYC’s Best Eateries at the Time Out Market

Photo Credit: Nitzan Rubin / Time Out

Photo Credit: Nitzan Rubin / Time Out

New York’s newest food hall just opened in Dumbo and we are so excited about it. One of the best parts of New York is the food, after all. This market was created by the media company Time Out and brings together 21 of New York’s best eateries. You can enjoy breakfast all day from Clinton St. Baking Company, the Insta-famous “bacon on a clothesline” from Chef David Burke (and so much more). There are three bars to check out but don’t miss the incredible views from our favorite, The Rooftop.

Dance at an Outdoor Concert 

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Get ready to groove to some live music all over the city. There are so many opportunities to attend outdoor concerts in NYC this summer. Most of the concerts are free, so why not step out of your comfort zone and check out a new genre of music? 

From salsa to electronica to classical, there is a little something for everyone. Browse the SummerStage lineup to plan your summer concert schedule. 

Attend the US Open

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You don’t have to be a die-hard tennis fan to enjoy the US Open. This historic tennis tournament is held annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens. 

The 2019 tournament lasts from August 26-September 8. Opt for an affordable day pass so you can splurge on The Honey Deuce, the tournament's signature cocktail. 

Spend a Day at Coney Island

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Grab your sunscreen and take the D, F, or Q train to the end of the line. Sure, Coney Island isn’t the world’s best beach, but it’s a famous NYC experience everyone should do at least once. 

While you’re here, sunbath on the sand, take a ride on Luna Park’s iconic Cyclone roller coaster, and make sure you get a hot dog from the original Nathan’s Famous. Or, visit on the 4th of July to attend the official hot dog eating contest. Another interesting event you won’t want to miss is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade on June 22. 

Go Kayaking for Free 

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Since most of us don’t have access to a yacht (or a car for that matter), kayaking is the best way to enjoy the waters around NYC. There are many different places to rent a kayak around Manhattan, so you can spend some time connecting with nature. Most even offer free kayak rentals during the summer months. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse and Hudson River Park are just two of the places we plan to kayak from this summer.

Walk on the High Line

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There is no shortage of parks around NYC, but the High Line is by far one of our favorites. This elevated park was built on the tracks of a former railway. Today, it is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, read a book, or enjoy the fantastic views of Chelsea. 

During the summer you can enjoy lunch, drinks, or ice cream from one of the park’s eateries. Don’t miss the newest section of the High Line, the Spur, which just opened near Hudson Yards.

Score a Ticket to Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park is performed every summer in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Tickets are free and distributed on a first come first serve basis. New Yorkers make an event out of waiting for these tickets. Tickets are distributed at 12:00 pm on the day of the performance, but you will see people lining up by 6:00 am. 

Pack a picnic, bring a chair, and embrace the experience. This season includes Much Ado About Nothing from May 21 - June 23 and Coriolanus from July 16 - August 11.

Drink with a View

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What’s better than enjoying the Manhattan skyline with a drink in hand? Nothing, nothing at all. 

Head to one of the city’s many rooftop bars to get a different perspective on the city. Check out bars in Brooklyn and Queens for the iconic Instagram-worthy skyline views. Or, if you are looking for a bar in Manhattan, visit the 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge for an incredible view of the Empire State Building. 

Explore Governors Island

Photo Credit:  Joe Shlabotnik  / Flickr

Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

Governors Island is a small island just 800-yards from downtown Manhattan. This little slice of NYC is only open during the summer and is the easiest way to escape from the city. Cars aren’t allowed on Governors Island but bring your bike (or rent a Citi bike once you get there) to enjoy the 172-acre island. In addition to biking, you can relax in a hammock, visit the historic Fort Jay, or enjoy oysters from the trendy Island Oyster bar. 

Are you ready to make some NYC summer plans? Which of these activities are you most excited about? 

If you’re visiting for the summer, send us a message and let’s plan a group activity. Because hey, the best way to do NYC is with your girlfriends, of course.