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The Perfect Summer Guide to NYC

One of the best things about New York City is that there is so much more than the tourist attractions. We have tons of annual events, pop ups and new experiences are all a few of my favorite things about the big apple. While there are many of the best free things, like seeing great views of the city on the high line or enjoying live music at the park, there are also some brand new and very cool attractions to see that are here for a limited time. While I recommend doing all the things like visiting an observation deck, see the Statue of Liberty or head to popular attractions like Grand Central, I think it’s always great to try new things. See a brand new Broadway show, a museum exhibit or head to a pop up. These are our top attractions to check out in NYC this month!

summer guide to nyc

Mercer Labs

Living in New York City, we have the amazing privilege of having the coolest attractions come to town for our family to spend time together and enjoy. A new interactive multi-sensory art exhibit is here and we couldn’t wait to get tickets! Mercer Labs is the perfect blend of technology and art in the most fascinating way. My family was able to experience this one of a kind exhibit this week, where we walked through fifteen different experimental spaces that featured projections of mesmerizing art with unique listening encounters mixed in too. When we go out to try something new, I always make an effort to immerse my kids in the world of art somehow to gain new experiences and this was nothing short of amazing! If you’re looking for the coolest activity in town, get your hands on tickets to Mercer Labs in downtown Manhattan! It’s family-friendly and the perfect place to bring your friends to enjoy artwork for all senses.

The Color Factory

The Color Factory is going green! In partnership with Broadway’s WICKED, they have an entire confetti room you’ll be able to sing along in. The confetti is all pink and green, too and the kids love it! You’ll want to get your hands on tickets as this will be running until early September.

CycleBoats

If you’re looking for a fun way to see the whole city, this is it! The boat trips are an hour and a half and it is a communal table where you pedal around Manhattan to help propel to boat for fun. You can book one seat or rent the whole boat for 26 people and the best part is it’s BYOB so you can bring whatever you’d like to sip on! There’s a deckhand and master captain there, so you know you’re in good hands. Your group can connect to the bluetooth sound system to have a blast, too!

Kintsugi Omakase

Does anyone need any date night inspiration? Jason and I love sushi and have been dying to try this affordable spot in Soho! They have a 10 Course Grand Experience for $95, 13 Course Soho Experience for $155 and 16 Course Kintsugi Experience for $195.  What’s really cool is their lunch rush 12 Course 1 Hour Experience from 12-3PM Fridays-Sundays for $60! You can’t beat that and you’ll want to book that next date night or date lunch here!

summer guide to nyc

Celebrate the 4th of July

Whether you’re just in town visiting or you’re spending Independence Day in the city, I have you covered! I recently published a whole blog post about everything there is to do this weekend to celebrate the holiday. Let me know what your favorite activity is, other than the fireworks, of course!

Watch Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

On July 4th, the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest is back and at the fan favorite- Nathan’s! This is a great way to spend a little time on the 4th of July, in such an American way! Also, if you haven’t tried a Nathan’s hot dog, you are missing out! Head out to their original location in Coney Island for the real deal or watch it all take place on tv.

Pier 17 Rooftop Concerts

There are always really cool things going on over by Pier 17. Firstly, you can rent out mini lawns with your friends to hang out at, so you can be outside, but still have your own space. There is also a restaurant and bar, as well as a patrón patio! Next, the Greens Rooftop on Pier 19 has their Summer Concert Series going on all summer featuring bands and musicians! The views are almost as good as the music!

CityPickle

Some of us are not great at pickle ball and need a bit of practice! Luckily, CityPickle is here with courts for you to get your pickle ball on at! This is also a great place to learn how to play if it’s your first time on the court. New Yorkers need some time to be active or we go crazy indoors, so this is skipping a tourist attraction and doing what the locals do in one of the best ways. Show off your skills with your friends this summer!

summer guide to nyc

Summer in the Square

Every Thursday this summer through August 1st, Union Square will have Summer in the Square! This will feature kids programs, live performances, children’s activities and live Jazz music. This is one of the best things in town to bring your family to, as there is so much for kids to do! Live entertainment in warm weather is my kind of night. These are free concerts essentially!

BLOOM:

The Secret Wonders of New York’s Forgotten Eden

Presented by HERO, this is an experiential immersive space featuring 8 interactive kids atmospheres. There are areas such as the bloom garden, which is a ball pit in a flowering garden under a digital sky and a mushroom forest, where your kids can bounce around on mushroom themed items! It’s one of the best family-friendly activities in town this summer.

Shakespeare in the Park

The Public Theater puts it on every summer but this year they are undergoing renovations, so it will be on tv! PBS will air Much Ado About Nothing, Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III and Hamlet all month long. So theater fans, you will not be missing out! We’ll be skipping performances in the summer sun this year, but you can catch my family watching them all on tv!

Padel Club

NYC’s first padel club is here! If you’re someone who loves playing padel, you are going to have to check this out! It’s located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and opening this month. This over 16,000 square foot space is for members-only and upscale fitness center actually has 4 full size courts to play on. It’s $150/month for a membership, but if you don’t have one, it’ll cost $55/hour and you can play 3x a month. This is definitely one of the more fun things we’re getting this month!

Go To a Yankees Game

See a baseball game! Baseball season is still at the beginning of the season! Whether you’re a Yankees or Mets fan, get your tickets to support your team! Sporting events in the city are a good time to spend extra time with those you love and do something fun. This is something that’s fun to do both with family and friends. My kids love to go to games, it’s always fun to go as a family and enjoy fun baseball food and watch a game!

summer guide to nyc

SummerStage

SummerStage is back and better than ever! If you aren’t aware of what this is, it’s a whole concert season featuring tons of musical performances. During the summer months, they put on performances throughout all 5 boroughs in NYC and the best part is that it’s free tickets! Grab some friends and check out the lineup!

Outdoor Movies

Who doesn’t love to watch movies?! Bryant Park actually offers outdoor movie showings in the summers, which is great because it’s cooled down by night time and you can bring your own snacks and drinks, although there are concessions available. You can picnic starting at 5PM and the showings begin at 8PM. So definitely go earlier to get a good seat!

Brooklyn Bridge Park

There is so much fun to be had at Brooklyn Bridge Park and it’s family friendly! Water splashes to check out are the Pier 6 Water Lab with tons of sprinklers and more water channels to cool down, Pier 2 Water Area that has fountains and sun relief, boating and kayaking options, waterfronts to cool down on and catch up with friends and ice cream from the iconic Van Leeuwen. If you’re looking for somewhere to go to cool down from the scorching sun, this is it!

NYC Helicopter Tour

If you want to see the best views in town, you really can’t beat a helicopter tour of the city! It’s one of the most fun things to do and a once in a lifetime experience. While there are so many different places you can book at, Giftory is one of the easiest sites to use, so I like to book on there! And the prices are anywhere from $250-$800, so under a thousand for breathtaking views and an amazing experience! Get this for a birthday excursion or use it as a way to treat yourself.

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg is the largest open air food market in NYC! With locations in Brooklyn Manhattan and Jersey City, there’s plenty of opportunity to find a spot close to you to check out! They have everything from BBQ to sandwiches to cookies and back! It’s also a really fun place to bring your kids to try out new bites! Check out their site for hours and days of operation, as well as a full list of their vendors.

Bryant Park Picnic Series

Is there anything better than enjoying a picnic while watching musical performances?! It’s a laid back event series that requires no tickets and they have blankets for you to borrow to sit on. There will be vendors with food and drinks, but you are more than welcome to bring your own items. With every type of musical performance imaginable, this is something you will definitely want to check out this summer! It’s one of the few free activities to check out and even more fun with warmer weather.

Attend New York Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is back! It’s one of the best deals you’ll find in the city! Running from July 24th- August 20th, yes-longer than a week, you’ll discover some of the very best dishes in town! The menus and participating restaurants will open reservations on July 6th, so check back at this link to make your reservations! It’s an exciting event we look forward to in the summer time.

Free Kayaking

Both the Hudson River and East River offer free kayaking adventures in the summers. If you’re a first-timer or a pro, this is something that’s fun for all! This article has a ton of resources that will help you decide where to book and when to book it for. Did I mention it’s another free activity?!

summer guide to nyc

Celebrate National Tequila Day

National Tequila Day is Sunday, July 24th! Personally, I’ll be celebrating with a margarita by the pool, but there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the city to get a fantastic drink at! To name a few: Agave, Anejo, Tijuana Picnic, Bonnie Vee and Botanic Lab.

Balloon Story

Located at the Park Avenue Armory, this immersive experience is one of the coolest in town! It’s a whimsical balloon wonderland that is picture perfect. The kids love seeing balloon creations and there are so many to see here. It’s family-friendly and the 70 minute experience is here until August 24th.

See the Manhattanhenge

The Manhattanhenge is when the sun aligns with Manhattan’s street grid. It’s a sight to see and it happens at sunset. Where do we spot it? Here’s a few great locations: 14th street, 23rd street, 34th street, 42nd street, 57th street, Tudor City overpass and Hunter’s Point South Park. You can see it nightly until July 11th each night around 8:20PM.

Check out Governors Island

Located a short ferry ride from the city, Governors Island is something I always recommend, especially in the summertime! There truly is so much to do there, such as glamping, you can bring your dog to the park there on Saturdays, Gitano is there (reservations book out a month in advance) and so much more! They even have a spa now making it one of the best places to check out with unbelievable views of the city.

Hamptons Day Trip

Take a day out of the city to spend in the Hamptons! There truly is so much to do, such as go shopping, check out the beaches, eat outstanding food and really just take in the nature and peace and quiet compared to city life. Everyone needs a break from the city every once in a while. Check out this post on everything to do out east!

Walk the High Line

The High Line is a nonprofit organization and a public space that stretches down the west side of Manhattan. It’s built on top of a historic, elevated rail line and is full of plants and art to view as you walk. It’s completely free and is a great way to see a lot of the city. I recommend ending in Chelsea and heading over to the Little Island for more great sights!

Jazz at Pier 84

Hudson River Park at Pier 84 has some really fun Jazz nights in the summer! The full lineup is on their website and of course, this is another free event to attend this summer in NYC! It’s a great place to hear some live Jazz music in a green space.

For more NYC guides, visit here!

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summer guide to nyc
summer guide to nyc

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