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.
From dreamy art installations to free kayaking to biking to beaching, here are the best things to do in August in NYC to make the most of the last summer months!
The NYC Stranger Things experience is closing September 4, so it’s your last chance to travel to Hawkins for the adventure of a lifetime. Join your favorite characters on a journey through Hawkins Lab and even take a trip to the Upside Down. Afterwards, head to Mix-Tape and step foot inside iconic spots from the series like Scoops Ahoy, Rink-o-Mania, and so much more! Grab your tickets today and unlock your power today.
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.
The coolest new art experience has officially opened at a reclaimed warehouse in Brooklyn. Take in three jaw-dropping audiovisual installations that are breaking boundaries in the art world. From the “Limitless AI,” that uses algorithms and data to paint the walls of the warehouse, to “Séance,” a spine-chilling auditory adventure and “Flight,” the most heart-racing flight simulation, it’s sure to be an exhilarating experience like never before. Get your tickets now.
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.
Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience is a fascinating storytelling experience with five distinct immersive chapters revealing the world and tomb of the fabled boy king, and it’s heading to NYC this fall. This stunning exhibition will take you on a journey through the world of King Tut—the boy who reigned as pharaoh of Egypt more than 3,000 years ago—and the discovery of his tomb and treasures in 1922. Join the waitlist here and come face to face with King Tut and Egyptian gods.
Who said it’s too early to plan for Halloween? Prepare yourself for a night full of mystery and magic, paired perfectly with cocktails. This fall, you’re invited to a haunted soirée at a stylishly eerie mansion! House of Spirits is a two-hour immersive cocktail experience that weaves a disquieting and interactive storyline certain to leave guests delightfully chilled — and tickets are now on sale!
7. Enjoy this NYC concert giving Beyoncé hits a Broadway twist
On August 27, Broadway Sings Beyoncé: The Experience will allow fans to hear their favorite Beyoncé hits from “Single Ladies” to ”Naughty Girl,” to “Irreplaceable” and “Love on Top” in a totally new way. Broadway vocalists will be reimagining songs on this Bey-tastic evening, and Destiny’s Child tracks will also be on the setlist! Get your tickets here.
8-12. Sail around the city
Nothing sounds like a perfect summer evening in the city quite like enjoying a drink on the water, sailing around Manhattan and watching the sun set over the skyline. We can feel those fresh Hudson River breezes already! Here are some amazing options still taking place, with safety measures of course:
- NYC Cruise – Taco & Tequila Tuesdays
- EDM Yacht Cruise Around The Hudson
- Hip Hop vs Reggae Yacht Party
- Dinner and Dancing on the Hudson
- Bottomless Brunch Cruise
Or, though you won’t be out sailing on the water, you can enjoy anchored boat dining at the dreamy Grand Banks Oyster Bar at Pier 25!
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 the best of Amy Winehouse
- Get down to some of Adele’s best hits
- Enjoy music and a show at this candlelight ballet
16-20. 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 10 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
- Rockaway Beach, Queens
- Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
21. Enjoy 8 miles of car-free streets with the return of Summer Streets
Summer Streets is returning once again for the first three Saturdays of August (6th, 13th, and 20th). For those unfamiliar with the event, this is a pedestrian and cycling haven where over 8 miles of NYC streets will be closed off to cars and various activities will be taking place along the route. Learn more here.
Over 20 years of the enigmatic artist’s work are available to view at this new museum-style exhibit in NYC. Admire over 100 original and verified Banksy pieces from Banksy of England banknotes, rare t-shirt and vinyl cover designs, sculptures, and more. Snag your tickets here.
This Concerts Under The Stars will set you back in time with unique vintage sounds in a beautiful star-lit venue. Experience the works of Sinatra presented by NYC’s finest while sipping a martini in a jazz-age vibe on an NYC rooftop. Grab 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.
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 now through August 21. This year, more than 600 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.
26. Dine al fresco at an outdoor brunch with your friends
Any day is a good brunch day, and the warm weather means we should definitely be spending as much time outdoors as possible, so, naturally, an outdoor brunch should be on all of our radars! Whether you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, somewhere that also provides entertainment, or somewhere you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy brunch and cocktails we have the spot for you! Find out our top picks here.
27-29. 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
30-31. Immerse yourself in performance, art, and music at three different exciting MoonRise experiences
These immersive experiences located in Brooklyn will take you on three different and totally exciting experiences, wowing viewers with incredible acrobatic and aerialist acts.
- Experience a free-roaming cocktail soirée that combines its signature nouveau cirque acts with five specialty lunar concoctions at the Lunar Cocktail Experience.
- Or immerse yourself in the stories of each moon goddess through high level nouveau circus based acts and multisensory interactive installations at MoonRise.
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
- Dine on Eataly’s rooftop and see their seasonal decor
- Enjoy Chelsea’s favorite spot Slate, which opened a new rooftop location in Brooklyn.
- Dance the night away at Brooklyn’s favorite music venue’s open-air rooftop, Elsewhere.
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, and Saturday through the end of August this summer you can enjoy free kayaking at Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse Pier 2 (registration is required). 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.
41-45. 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.
53-54. 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! Here are some:
- West Side Highway/Hudson River Greenway
- Central Park, specifically Bethesda Terrace
- Prospect Park, Brooklyn
- Madison Square Park
- Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens
60-65. Dine on the waterfront
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. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Watermark Bar, Pier 15
- Baylander Steel Beach, Harlem
- City Vineyard, Pier 26
- The Frying Pan, Pier 66
- Anable Basin, LIC
- Johnny’s Reef, City Island
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!
67. 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. Get a peek here:
- The Catskills
- The East End of Long Island
- Beacon, NY
- Minnewaska State Park Preserve / Lake Minnewaska
- Sea Bright Beach, NJ
- Lake George, NY
74-75. Get your sweat on at a free outdoor fitness class
New York City certainly has no shortage of gorgeous places to go and views to see…so why not take advantage of this when working out and make your workout a bit more bearable! Working outdoors provides you with a ton of benefits, and the summertime makes us want to be outdoors as much as possible. Some of our fav outdoor fitness classes are:
- Washington Square Park Yoga
- Flatiron Fitness Series
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
79. Take advantage of extended hours at Governors Island
Soissons Landing is staying open late every night of the week through October 31. This gives New Yorker’s extended hours to enjoy all there is to do on Governors Island, including QC NY Spa, Gitano Island, and Island Oyster. Learn more here.
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.
82. Get fresh local produce at a farmer’s market
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.
83-84. Cool down by sipping on some boozy frozen cocktails
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
85. Sip on a new chocolatey frozen taco inspired cocktail for a limited time
Head to Amy Fontaine’s in NYC now through the end of August to try out the drink version of everyone’s favorite (and sadly soon to be discontinued) dessert, the Choco Taco. Made with Tequila Cazadores, amaro, cold brew, and some other surprises, this sweet and salty drink will leave you dreaming about it for days.