Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cool off in NYC! There are also lots of new rooftops, outdoor concerts, park movie nights, and more to keep you busy.
Alice’s adventures in Wonderland have been brought to life right here in NYC at Alexa Meade’s Wonderland Dreams. Step through 26,000 square feet of hand painted floor-to-ceiling rooms at this interactive art experience. Visitors will actually get the chance to step inside the paintings and become the subject. Get your tickets now!
Head back in time to the roaring 20s to attend the party of the century at The Great Gatsby Immersive Show. Spend the evening with Nick Carraway, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, Myrtle Wilson, and Jay Gatsby himself as you hit the dance floor to show off your best moves. Buy your tickets here!
At over 1,100 feet in the air, there’s plenty to do this summer at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. On Aug. 19th, SUMMIT will host a special event with tickets for their World Photography Day experience, which include access to all three floors during its epic sunrise event, coffee and light breakfast bites and it also includes admission to the stunning Fotografiska Museum!
From sunrise to sunset, SUMMIT also hosts Astronomy Nights all summer long for the night owls! They have partnered up with the Amateur Astronomers Association and you’ll be guided by expert astronomers. Unlock the secrets of the night sky through an enchanting tour with state-of-the-art telescopes!
Whether it is day or night, love is in the air especially since we are in the middle of wedding season this August! SUMMIT One Vanderbilt has proposal packages available to make that special moment even more incredible. What better way to pop the question with the most stunning views of New York City?
If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the iconic friend group, now is your chance! Step into your favorite scenes with remarkable set recreations, tons of photo-ops, and even a functioning Central Perk at NYC’s The Friends Experience. Buy your tickets today.
A captivating exhibition is coming to NYC that will take you on a journey to ancient Rome. Expect authentic artifacts and reconstructions, while you experience the triumphs and technological advancements of the empire. Join the waitlist today!
Always a warm-weather staple in NYC, the free sunset movies have returned once again — it’s the second summer they’re back since COVID-19, when the series was canceled for the first time in 26 years. Though screenings started in June, you have until August 15th to catch a film in the park. Find out August’s movie lineup here.
Embark on an unexpected adventure of miniatures at this exhibition showcasing all things teeny tiny. Featuring 120 exclusive artworks and 80 photographs by 32 local & international artists, the attractions may be small but there’s undoubtedly big fun to be had. Grab your tickets today.
This unique concert series is bringing a high-energy, musical experience featuring Queen’s greatest hits to The Cutting Room. The reinterpretations will be performed by Broadway stars including Tony winners and nominees. Plus, you can sip on cocktails and treat your tastebuds to delicious bites while you enjoy the performance. Buy your tickets here.
Treat yourself to a relaxing evening surrounded by shimmering candlelight and beautiful music at these stunning evening concerts in NYC. Hear everything from classical masterpieces to current day tracks. These are some of our favorites below:
- Bop along to Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop favorites
- Get down to the sights and sounds of Flamenco & Spanish guitar
11-13. Head to the beach
NYC is known for its notoriously hot and humid summers, which may be true for all over the tri-state but definitely seem worse when you’re surrounded by tons of sky-high buildings! Taking a trip to one of our lovely beaches is definitely one of the best ways to beat the heat, so check out our list of the best beaches in NYC. Here’s a sneak peek:
- The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park, Queens
- Coney Island, Brooklyn
- Orchard Beach, The Bronx
Summer Streets is returning once again for the last weekend of July (29th) and the four Saturdays of August (5th, 12th, and 19th). For those unfamiliar with the event, this is a pedestrian and cycling haven where miles of NYC streets will be closed off to cars and various activities will be taking place along the route. Learn more here.
After a sold-out run in London, this captivating Titanic exhibition has made its way to NYC—and you don’t want to miss it! Take a peek at personal artifacts that have never been seen in America to understand touching stories of the ship’s crew and passengers. You’ll be able to see recreations of the ship’s interior, from a first-class suite to the third-class cabin. Grab your tickets here!
Edge has returned its popular Sky High Yoga series in partnership with Equinox gym to provide incredible yoga classes on the very top of the city. Classes take place starting at 6:30a.m. every Wednesday and tickets are released on a monthly basis. Learn more here.
From July 27th to August 6th, Authentic Flamenco is back in NYC for more thrilling performances. Be amazed by Yolanda Osuna, a renowned flamenco artist, alongside outstanding Spanish artists. Score tickets to the amazing & limited-time experience before it leaves.
Restaurant Week celebrates NYC’s dining scene by offering prix fixe menus to some of the city’s most established restaurants and neighborhood favorites, and it’s going on from July 24th through August 20th. This year, more than 450+ restaurants across all five boroughs are participating in Restaurant Week, offering deals during meal periods of their choosing (lunch, dinner, or both). Learn more here.
19-21. Frolic through lavender and wildflowers
NYers love cherry blossom season, but once the weather gets warmer new blooms start to emerge. If you’re looking to frolic through more colorful florals, check out the following:
- Central Park’s wildflower meadow
- Long Island’s sweeping lavender fields
- Brooklyn’s rooftop meadow garden[/trackLink
22. [trackLink link_url="https://secretnyc.co/floating-mexican-restuarant-la-barca-cantina/"]Hop aboard NYC’s first-ever floating Mexican restaurant
You read that right! This floating restaurant serving up delicious Mexican fare is literally in the Hudson River. Cruise around and enjoy the sunset views over the city skyline during your meal, and cheers your friends amongst the beautiful backdrop before you sip on one of their many agave-based spirits. Read more here.
There are a ton of swimming holes outside of NYC, and about 2.5 hours from the city you’ll find one of them–Peekamoose Blue Hole. The crystal clear waters here offer a welcoming way for NYers to cool down, and if you’re not feeling brave enough to plunge into the water from the raised rock platform, there is a path that allows you to walk into the water at your own pace. Learn more here.
Nothing beats a drink in hand and a skyline in sight. Here are some of our favorite rooftops around the city:
- Head up 64-stories and enjoy tasty drinks at Overstory rooftop.
- Escape to the Hamptons right in the city at this beachy-themed bar
Check the entire list here and adventure to one of these fantastic rooftops across the city for the most unbeatable scenery and not to mention, refreshing cocktails!
Mountain Creek Resort is a multi-use property complete with a bike park, ski lodge, zip lines, snow tubing, and our summer favorite: a massive outdoor waterpark. Though it’s located in Vernon, New Jersey, it’s less than two hours away from the city! Learn more about how you can splash around at this waterpark here.
Every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday through August this summer you can enjoy free kayaking at Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse Pier 2 . The sessions only run for 20 minutes but the views are worth it and at the end of the day, it’s a free activity! So why not? Learn how to make your reservation here.
28-32. Take a dip in an NYC pool
NYC’s free public pools are open for the season, but if you’re looking for something more high-end, there are tons of gorgeous private pools to check out too! Here are some of our favorites:
- Roosevelt Island’s stunning multicolored pool
- Jimmy at the James in SoHo
- The Beach at Dream Downtown in Chelsea
- McCarren Hotel & Pool in Brooklyn
- QC NY Pool on Governors Island
Unlike your average spots to swim, “Floating Pool Lady” at Barretto Point Park in the Bronx is actually located on a barge floating in the East River! Walk across a gangplank to travel between land and the seven-lane infinity pool that boasts incredible waterfront views, along with guest access to locker rooms, bathrooms, and a pool house. Read more here.
One of the best ways to beat the heat in NYC is by indulging in some delicious ice cream! Of course Mister Softee is a classic, but here are some of our other favorite spots to grab a cone:
- Whipped Urban Dessert Lab, Lower East Side
- Van Leeuwen’s, Multiple Locations
- Tipsy Scoop, Kips Bay & Williamsburg
- Milk & Cream Cereal Bar, Little Italy
- Marvel, Astoria
The lovely Happy Day Farm in nearby New Jersey has opened its sunflower field for the summer to those looking to come out and pick their own fresh flowers. And honestly, even if you decide not to take any home (though, why wouldn’t you?) the sight of a sunflower field alone is worth the visit. Find out how to visit here.
40-41. Visit a stunning waterfall
If you’re ready for some summer hikes but want to make sure you can really take in the most picturesque views, make sure trails with waterfalls are on your list! Some must-visit picturesque waterfalls include:
- The Ravine, Central Park
- Kaaterskill Falls: Hunter, NY
Spending time outdoors has been one of our few escapes during the pandemic. Safely, of course! So we were looking for some perfect summertime activities you can do without taking a trip out of NYC…and what’s better than a lovely (not too strenuous) summer bike ride? We asked the true experts: New Yorkers themselves (aka you, our readers and followers!) for their best spots on Instagram, and as usual, you didn’t disappoint! Find out what the rest of them are here.
Take in the breezes at NYC’s best spots for waterfront dining! From eating on historic boats with insane views of the sunset to checking out secluded seafood hotspots on NYC’s smaller surrounding islands, you’ll be cooling down in no time. See them here!
Treat yourself to this lovely glamping experience on NYC’s perfect island getaway: Governors Island! Over the years, Collective Governors Island Luxury Camping Retreat introduced plenty of new and exciting amenities that included “live music nights, tarot readings, crafting, morning yoga, bike rentals, chair massages, plenty of lawn games, campfires and cocktails” throughout the season—but this year, the experience is offering even more incredible amenities than years prior. Find out more here!
45. See all there is to do at a NYC street fair
During the summer the city’s streets get crowded with those looking to spend the warm months outdoors, and NYC street fairs take over tons of blocks across all five boroughs during this time. Most often a visit to a street fair means tasty bites, shopping opportunities from vendors, and the chance to dance the day away, and why would anyone want to pass that up? Check out the full list of this summer’s street fairs here.
Who else is looking for a little summer getaway from the city? Well, we asked and you answered! Here are 10 charming, scenic escapes from NYC life, if only for a day or two. Most of these ideas came from SecretNYC readers themselves, responding to a survey on our Instagram story. So, thank YOU. Find them all here.
Even on the hottest summer days, we’re lucky enough to live in a city surrounded by water. And even more luckily, there are tons of public parks situated along the waterfront — allowing for stunning views and refreshing breezes! Whether it be on the Hudson or East River, uptown or down, there are plenty of options the next time you want to cool down in one of NYC’s waterfront oases.
- Little Island, Hudson River Park
- Gantry Plaza State Park, LIC
- Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo
- Riverside Park, West Side
New York might make you think of top-tier pizza and bagels, but don’t forget about the plentiful seafood options the city holds. Especially during the summertime, you can find some of the freshest finds around! Some of our favorite spots to grab oysters include:
- Upstate Craft Beer & Oyster Bar, East Village
- Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co, Greenpoint
Find the full list here.
The city’s endless amount of farmers markets are a must-visit—especially in the warm weather—and the level of produce and goods you can find here is unmatched. For a fresh and tasty meal cooking with local produce is the way to go. Find some of our favorite NYC farmer’s markets here.
From the classic frosé and frozen margs, one of the most delicious ways to cool down is by sipping on a frozen drink. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of these to be found around the city. Loads of NYC businesses are serving refreshing icy slushees that of course, have a nice little spike of alcohol, two of which are:
- Pink’s Cantina, East Village
- The Sampler, Bushwick
56. Spend the day at East Harlem’s 5th Annual Afribembé Festival
The 5th Annual Afribembé Festival is returning to East Harlem on Saturday, August 12 at Harlem Park for a daylong celebration of Pan-African artistry, intellectuality, and musicality. With the theme “Black to the Future,” is working “to elevate Afrofuturism from a global Diasporic lens with Africa at the center.” Listen to talented artists like Pedrito Martinez, Combo Chimbita, Chimurenga Renaissance, Imani Uzuri, Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, Chief Awosami Sekou Alaje, and DJ Bembona. Learn more about the festival and register here.
To honor hip-hop’s 50th anniversary in the city it came from, New York’s very own Wu-Tang Clan will be headlining For the Love: 50 Years of Hip-Hop, an all-day music festival. It’s all taking place at Knockdown Center in Queens on Thursday, August 10th. Beyond music, attendees will be able to experience breakdancing performances and double-dutch, while filling up on food from BIPOC-owned and operated food trucks. Learn more about For the Love: 50 Years of Hip-Hop here. Find more ways to celebrate hip-hops 50th anniversary here.
The Women’s World Cup officially kicked off on July 20th. With games running through August 20th, we’ve compiled a complete list of our favorite soccer bars to get in on all of the action. Find them here.
Temperatures have been scorchingly hot this summer so it’s important to keep cool and remain hydrated. Whenever NYC is struck by a heatwave, the city opens cooling centers across the boroughs with public air-conditioning. Use this “Cooling Center Finder” online here to locate one nearest you.
New Yorkers are lucky to have access to incredible cultural institutions at the tip of their fingers, but one of the best parts is that some museums don’t even make you pay for entry! Some museums offers free admission every day or a once-a-month sort of deal that let’s you immerse yourself in art and education at no cost. Find which museums offer free admission and when here.