*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.*
It’s officially summer in New York City. This week we are looking at 90 plus temperatures all week. As New Yorkers we spend the better part of our lives in hibernation so when the weather starts to warm up we want to run free. Because of that we put together a Bucket List of all the things we want to do for the two months out of year where you can actually walk outside without catching frost bite. After years of creating and refining my list I finally can say I have a list of 19 must dos before summer is over.
19 Summer Must Dos in New York City
After being cooped up in my small apartment all winter long there is nothing better than laying out on the grass watching a movie under the stars. It is one of my fave things to do in the summer. The best part is that you can find a free movie in the park all summer long. Just check out the list here and make plans for cheap night out.
2. Sunset Picnic
There are no shortage of places where you can enjoy a sunset picnic in NYC. Pack a picnic basket, fill your swell bottle with some wine and make a night of it with your boo or your bff. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening. And its cheap.
3. Wine Tasting
Did you know that you can go wine tasting right in NYC. Yes. You heard me right. There are a number of wineries right here in the city. My favorite is rooftop reds. A rooftop, with a view of NYC and all the wine. I think we just checked off a couple of items off this list.
4. Picnic in Sheep Meadow
Nothing says summer in NY like a spending a Saturday in your bathing suit in the middle of central park. The few of us that do not summer in the Hamptons summer in Sheep Meadow on the weekends. Just be mindful that you may get ticketed if you are caught with alcohol so use your discretion.
5. Kayaking on the Hudson
Did you know you could go Kayaking on the Hudson for Free. Head on down to Pier 26 all summer long and take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Enjoy the sunset from your kayak on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings where kayaking is available from 5:30pm-7:00pm. On the weekends kayaking is available all day from 9am-4:30pm.
6. Drink at the Met Rooftop
Spend the day the Met and don’t forget to head to the rooftop for a cocktail. The rooftop is open from 11am- 4:30pm on Sunday- Thursday and until 8:15pm on Friday and Saturday. The Rooftop is only open seasonally so this is definitely the place to be if you find yourself in NYC in the summer.
Pack a picnic and make it a day. The ferry is free before 11am so I like to get there early. You can bring your bike and ride around the island or just spend the day lounging in a hammock with a juicy novel. Afterwards have a glass of Rose and Oysters at Island Oyster.
8. Beach Day
Did you know you can take the Train and even the Ferry to the beach. New York City in the summer an be hot therefore this is the perfect opportunity to explore some of the amazing beaches within the hour of the city. You can take the subway to Brighton Beach, The LIRR to Jones Beach or the Ferry to Sandy Hook. The options are endless.
9. Day Trip Upstate
So technically not NYC but jump on the Metro North and head just north of the city for some hiking. Traveling just an hour north you will be met with some relief from the hot and sticky city. There is nothing like being in the mountains where the air is crisp. Bonus if you can take a swim in a nearby lake or even the Hudson River.
10. Coney Island
Nothing says summer like Coney Island. Get up early and catch the train to coney island where you can spend the morning on the beach and the afternoon eating hot dogs, drinking beer and taking a ride on the cyclone if you dare. I wouldn’t advise doing it in that order though.
11. Sunset Cruise
You don’t have to be a tourist to take a sunset cruise around the island of Manhattan. You can score a great deal on Groupon if you do your homework in advance. Its a great way to spend a summer evening. And it also an even better way to admire this beautiful city I call home. I did this last year and I plan on doing it again this year.
12. Shakespeare In the Park
This is another great free summer event. Tickets can be hard to come by but it is worth putting your name in the hat. If you are looking to score free tickets there are a few ways you can do it. Most people try their luck at the digital lottery. Tickets are also distributed at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park beginning at Noon. Finally tickets are distributed throughout the boroughs at different location. Be sure to check the site for more details.
13. Sunset Yoga
Continuing with the free things to do, you can attend a yoga class for free overlooking the Hudson River every Thursday night at Pier 46. Bring your mat and enjoy. Pack a picnic for afterwards. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night. Free workout. Cheap date night. I call that a win win situation in my book.
I love spending a summer night walking the bridge. Although it will be you and hundreds of your neighbors there is something magical about walking the bridge on a summer night. Don’t forget to stop in the middle to admire the beautiful city views. Whether your coming from Brooklyn or Manhattan there is ton to see an do. One of my favorite things to do is walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn and have a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is one of my favorite places in the city.
15. Go to a Baseball Game
Whether you are Yankee fan or a Mets fan getting to a baseball game is a must. Even if you don’t like baseball just go for the food and beer and stay for the entertainment. New York has some of the most die hard fans. You don’t even have to watch the game. Just mingle with the crowd and don’t mess up the wave. You will be sure to have a good time.
16. Go to the Pool
There are several New York City Pools through out the five boroughs that are free to the public. However my favorite is Brooklyn Bridge Pop Up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It does get crowded on the weekends but you get city views, there is a beach, concession stand, and capacity is limited so you can actually enjoy a little bit of breathing room when it comes time to dip your toes in the water.
17. Eat Everything
This is the opposite of what everyone says in the months leading up to summer when you’re working on your summer body. But you only live once and Smorgasburg is the place to be all summer long where you can eat your way through the world all while admiring the beautiful NYC skyline. Warning, it can get crowded but with all the food options there is something for everyone.
18. Rent a Bike
Rent a bike and explore the city. With over 60 miles of bike lanes New York City has become more and more bike friendly over the years. On the west side for example you can ride from Battery Park all the way up to 181st Street. I suggest doing a ride along the Hudson during sunset. Not only will you enjoy a beautiful sunset over the water but this is the time when the temperatures start to drop which make for fabulous summer evenings.
19. Have a barbecue
Just because you don’t have a backyard or any outdoor space doesn’t mean you have to miss out on one of the best parts of summer. Barbecuing is allowed in designated areas of many NYC parks therefore find a location closest to you and plan a barbecue. It is a great way to spend a summer day and night with friends.
Summer in the city can be a magical time. Especially on the weekends when everyone flees to their summer homes. It almost feels like you have the city to yourself at times. What is on your NYC summer bucket list? Would love to hear what you have in mind? Happy Summer.