New York is as interesting and diverse in the summer, as in all other seasons. If you wonder how to spend your free time, don’t worry, there are plenty of activities, most of them free to see and join. Besides all major sights, which are even more beautiful to visit in the summer, NYC offers quite a full calendar of festivals, culture and art happenings and sights of interest.
Don’t forget to visit the major NYC Landmarks, or parks perfect for summer time.
#1 NYC Summer Festivals
During summer months, NYC becomes busy and crowded, full of music, dance, crafts and arts.
Lincoln Center Festival of Crafts
At the Lincoln Center is a festival that takes place every year, inviting craftsmen and producers from all over the United States. They show their hand made and home made products, demonstrate the process of manufacturing of their goods, accompanied by entertainment shows, music and tastings of local cuisine.
River to River Festival
River to River Fest is an art festival lasting all summer long. Founded in 2002, it is created to bring life in Lower Manhattan, while maintaining art activities. You can go to the Downtown and spend the day, walking around neighborhood’s different art venues, see contemporary, live and visual art.
Downtown Dance Festival
In the second part of August you can visit daily the Downtown Dance Festival, which celebrates choreographs and dancers, professionals or amateurs, presenting their dance art every evening. The Festival takes place in Battery Park.
#2 Concerts in the Summer
New York brings music to another level every summer with cool park music events. Every day, and we mean it! Every day you can attend live performance at Central Park or Bryant Park June to September.
Central Park SummerStage
Starting in the first days of June, Central Park Summerstage is music festival, concentrated around Jazz, Blues, Hip-hop, American pop and Latin music. It brings more than 200 artists from around the world to play every evening in the park. You can meet world’s contemporary jazz legends and other popular trending musicians. Most of the events are free, except for some performances which require tickets. This year you can listen to Jazz legends like McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Kamasi Washington, Ryan Adams and The Shining.
TODAY Show Summer Series
This is your chance to see and hear famous star musicians, at the Rockefeller Plaza – outside of Today’s Studio. These are Friday events, from May to September, where you can attend the shows with fan-pass. This summer Today’s line-up include Puff Daddy, Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys, Steve Tyler at some outstanding Friday shows. To get you fan pass, you need to sign up for Today’s Newsletter. Checkout the programme.
#3 Opera and Theater
In the summer there’s something for everyone. Opera and theater lovers are honored by several summer celebrations of classical music and everlasting plays from Shakespeare. Metropolitan Opera Summer Recitals, the Metropolitan Summer HD Festival and Shakespeare in the Park series are brought to every part of NYC with events spreaded throughout all NYC’s districts.
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recitals feature classical opera shows, staged in the park, inviting famous opera performers every summer. If you haven’t listened to opera in the park, surrounded by casual atmosphere, here’s the chance.
Metropolitan Summer HD Festival is concentrated also on classical music. Every year in August the Met Festival showcases screenings of some of their best shows. More than 3000 seat are available at Lincoln Center Plaza, and for one week every evening you can see marvelous music show. The Festival start on 28th of August this year, with screening of the legendary musical West Side Story.
Shakespeare in the Park is annual event in Central Park, featuring acting stars performing Shakespeare’s famous plays at huge open-air theater. Nearly 2000 seats are available, but almost 80 000 people are watching the plays standing.
#4 Summer Movie Festivals
At the many Movies Festivals New Yorkers are invited to watch family movies, films appropriate for children and some of the newest film on the screen in open-air. The different Festivals take place outdoor at the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, McCarren Park and Riverside Park. But there’s more, you can watch award winning films at the rooftop of tall buildings, with the view of NYC’s skyline at sunset.
Some of the Movie Festivals this year are: Brooklyn Bridge Park Film Festival, Central Park and Bryant Park Festival, Intrepid Museum Movie Fest. You can also checkout Rooftop Cinema Club to be up to date with the events.
#5 Summer Street Fairs
The Street Festivals are one of the things about being in New York in the summer. It’s always interesting to visit street fairs with live music, local cuisine, art happenings and craft, and other curious goods, sold at the streets.
Taste of Times Square
Taste of Times Square fair is for good food lovers. You can find over 50 New York restaurants offering, their specialties, from Italian to Latin cuisine, from BBQ to international kitchen. Visit Times Square, buy tickets for $1 and you have all dishes at prices between $2 and $6 each.
Hester Street Fair in Lower East Side hosts delicious participants every years. You will be able to try Japanese, Mexican, Jamaican food or some more traditional meals. Whatever your favorite dish is you can have it at lunch, probably for free. The fest is accompanied by music beats, so you’ll digest your food even better.
Frieze Art Fair
This is art fair, which gathers artist and art works from 130 international galleries to be presented, both indoor and outdoor at Randalls Island Park. You can see paintings, art projects, visual and sound installations. You’ll be able to hear discussions with artists and curators. There are also daily events and talks, to bring you close to the art world. The next Frieze Fair is in May 2017 and tickets will be available in February.
#6 Beaches in NYC
With more than 15 beaches, NYC is still a great place to be in the summertime. They’re opened all summer, revealing some amazing views and last, but not least are free to visit. Let’s see some of the best beach destinations in NYC.
Coney Island Beach
Coney Island Beach is situated at the south side of Brooklyn. It is one of the most visited and overcrowded beaches. Its fame is result of its super kid friendly environment. The New York aquarium is just a stone’s throw away and all along the beach you’ll find all kinds of amusements. Along the 3 mile shore, you can go for a bold ride going to the Luna Park, Wonder Wheel or B&B Carousel. Fast food is sold at every step. Don’t forget to try Nathan’s Famous hot dogs.
Long Beach in Long Island
Long Beach is preferred for its fine sand and beautiful picturesque view. It’s calmer than other public beaches, but it might get quite crowded over the weekend. It’s long nearly 3 miles with 10 children playground and chance to hire umbrellas. Long Beach is good for biking, walking and rest. You can have a snack at one the truck food vendors, placed along the boardwalk.
A little further from Long Beach is Jones Beach, 7 mile long oasis in Nassau Country to take you away from the city rush for a day. It’s a bit far away, but spare your day to visit it, as you have so many thing to do. From swimming in the ocean and in the pools, to biking, playing tennis or baseball, you won’t get bored.
For the children the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center is hiding natural wonders to be explored. Every summer The Nikon Theater hosts summer concert series, inviting famous performers.
Rockaway Beach in Queens is the perfect and only place for surfers in NYC. The waves are big enough to satisfy every surfer’s desire. This beach is not really suitable for poor swimmers or little children. Actually at times it might be even dangerous and noisy. If you’re beginner surfer, you can take lessons at one of the beach surf schools. The beach is accessible with the Underground- an hour ride from Downtown.
#7 Bike Rides in NYC
Riding a bike has never been easier and enjoyable in NYC as up to this date the city has more than 300 miles of tracks and traffic free paths. Of course you can make your day trip in some the city’s parks. First try Central Park – explore its wondrous sights. If you don’t own a bike, you can always rent a bike with Central Park Tours.
Let’s see some other cool places for bike rides in NYC
Franklin Roosevelt Boardwalk
Franklin Roosevelt Boardwalk– a long and wide lane in the Eastern part of Staten Island. It is 2.5 miles long and free of traffic. You can take the Ferry to Staten Island and use your whole day for riding, or why not laying on the beautiful beach. Even if you don’t want to get into the water, your ride will be accompanied by amazing shoreline views all along.
Hudson River Greenway
Hudson River Greenway is stretched in 32 miles bike path along the Island of Manhattan. You can start from Battery Park all the way to Upper Manhattan with your bike. There are many things to see on your way, to have a break, visit a museum or just rest.
Ocean Parkway, besides being pretty, green path is one of the most practical pathways to take you to other sights. Starting near Prospect Park, this 5 mile track can lead you to Kensington and Gravesend or to some of the NYC beaches. At the end you can turn either, to Belt Parkway Path and to the beaches or continue to Jacob Riis Park and then to the Rockaways.