Best Ways to Spend Summer in New York

It’s the last full month of summer . . . why does it always go so fast? Escape the air-conditioned comfort of your NYC apartment and make the most of every last minute! Here’s our roundup of the best ways to spend summer in New York.

It’s the last full month of summer. Escape the air-conditioned comfort of your NYC apartment and make every minute count!

Here’s our roundup of the best ways to spend summer in New York.

Watch an Outdoor Movie

Grab a blanket, pack snacks, and head to the park for an outdoor movie.

This August, you can see everything from The Goonies to Amelie. Check out TimeOut’s comprehensive list of outdoor movies screenings.

Best Ways to Spend Summer in New York: Watch an Outdoor Movie

Eat Up

Summer in New York is filled with tasty dining opportunities!

If you haven’t yet, pack a picnic and spend the day in the park. Want someone to do the work for you? Visit one of the city’s best outdoor bars and restaurants instead.

These food-centered events sound tempting, too:

  • Battle of the Burger (August 18): taste NYC’s top 20 burgers!
  • NYC Restaurant Week (through August 19): try a new spot and get three courses for just $29 lunch or $42 dinner.
  • Blues BBQ Festival (August 20): sample barbecue during this annual riverside bash; plus enjoy live blues and roots performances.

Attend a Festival

What would summer be without attending a festival or two?

  • Jazz lovers will enjoy the boundary pushing lineup at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (August 26 to 28).
  • Head to Lincoln Center for the Mostly Mozart Festival (through August 27), featuring concerts, operas, recitals, and world premieres performed by the festival orchestra and special guests.
  • Celebrate what Harlem was, is, and will be during Harlem Week, a month long series of over 100 events including concerts, films, youth programs, and more (through August 27).
  • Check out SummerStage (through September 23); NYC’s largest free performing arts festival for everything from dance to music.

Best Ways to Spend Summer in New York: Attend a Festival

Catch a Show

Summer in New York is a great time to see a play. Of course, we love Shakespeare in the Park (Troilus and Cressida runs through August 14), but you’ll find plenty of other options if you can’t get tickets.

  • Watch Shakespeare in the Parking Lot perform The Merchant of Venice (through August 13).
  • Head to Riverside Park to see Hudson Warehouse stage Othello (through August 21).
  • Fringe Festival (August 12 to 28) celebrates its 20th year with 200 offerings from various theater and dance companies.
  • Barefoot Shakespeare Company performs The Taming of the Shrew (through August 28) at Summit Rock in Central Park.

Cool O
ff at a Museum

The heat, the humidity . . . sometimes it’s too much to take! Cool off at your favorite museum!

  • Stop by The Met and hit the rooftop for views, drinks, and the PsychoBarn.
  • Don’t miss “László Moholy-Nagy: The Future Present,” the first retrospective in 50 years of this giant of 20th-century modernism, at the Guggenheim.
  • “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing” at the Whitney (through September 25) focuses on Davis’ later works and is a must see.
  • See all things sweet at the popup Museum of Ice Cream. Tickets have sold out, but try your luck on Fridays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when it’s free and first come, first served.

Best Ways to Spend Summer in New York: Cool Off at a Museum

Wander the Streets
Join nearly 300,000 people for Summer Streets on Saturday, August 6, 13, and 20. Play, run, walk, and bike nearly seven miles of NYC streets during this fun and free event!


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