There’s no shortage of things to do throughout the rest of the year in NYC, but the summer is when this city truly shines. New York Summers are full of possibility with concerts, festivals, restaurants, and other extensive entertainment options.
Whether you live in New York or are just visiting, our Ultimate Guide to Summer in New York City will help you plan out what to do every weekend – until the summer is over!
Brand New & Modest Mouse
We can’t imagine a better one-two musical punch that will activate a fierce nostalgia in your bones. Brand New and Modest Mouse act together as a powerful rock duo that will bring you right back to your emo high school days.
If you haven’t been to New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden, it’s hard to think of a better time than this summer’s upcoming Billy Joel concert. Immerse yourself in a musical experience that can only come together from someone who’s a songwriter, singer, and pianist!
Alice in Chains
We’re pretty sure that Alice in Chains will never not be cool, regardless of how old grunge kids are now. Catch them on one of two dates at The Beacon Theater.
Triple threat George Thorogood is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Wilmington, Delaware. Catch him while you can at The Beacon Theater on Broadway!
Hiatus Kaiyote knows a little bit about the power of phonetics and a lot about music. This future-soul quartet is making the long trip from Melbourne, Australia to share their musical stylings with New York City. You’ll catch them jammin’ at the Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk.
The Disco Biscuits
Good luck getting tickets to see The Disco Biscuits – as of this writing, they’re sold out. Time to set up a Craigslist alert when someone inevitably discovers they can’t go! Their loss is your gain.
A few things you should do while enjoying the musical styling of The Bangles:
- Wear your finest selection of bangles
- Head bang
- Bang along to the tune of your own (air) drum
Seinfeld has a very loyal following, even years after the TV show stopped producing new episodes. If you’re the type of person who finds yourself constantly quoting the show, you’d be wise to grab a ticket to one of two dates before other super fans beat you to it!
Doug Loves Movies
If stoner comedy is your thing, you’ll love seeing your favorite podcast creator (and now Netflix star) Doug Benson live.
Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally
If Nick Offerman can’t make you laugh, we’re pretty sure that you don’t have a funny bone. Tag teaming the Beacon Theater with Megan Mullally, this is a show you’re not going to want to miss.
It should be a requirement to re-watch Blazing Saddles (for the tenth time) before seeing Mel Brooks live and in person. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
The Mets will be in and out of Citi Field all summer because there are approximately 4000 games in the MLB season. Here are some standout matchups we recommend.
Yankees @ Mets
Cubs @ Mets
Wait, New York has TWO baseball teams? We’re kidding, we knew that. Here’s some of the Yankees’ can’t-miss games at Yankee Stadium.
Mets @ Yankees
We know it’s called “football” in Europe, but America makes its own rules. Here are the NYC soccer matchups we’re most excited about this summer:
New York City FC
What could be better than a night on Broadway in New York City? You haven’t fully experienced all this wonderful city has to offer until you’ve made some time for some of our nation’s best theatrical productions!
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Looking for a play that will make you think? Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is dripping with historical references – but some are fictionalized! A must see for those interested in the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.
The Lion King
Can you feel the love tonight? Bring your bae to The Lion King and we’re sure you’ll win some bonus points. Think Disney movie, but all grown up.
Based on the life and times of The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical theater production that’s also a bit of a documentary. In other words, it’s entertainment at it’s finest.
CATS is one of the longest running Broadway shows on this list. If it’s good enough to stand the test of time, it’s definitely worth your patronage.
When the album based on a musical wins a Grammy, you know it’s worth your attention. Such is the tale of Kinky Boots, a lighthearted tale inspired by true events!
Everyone we know can’t stop talking about Hamilton. That would be a problem, except by all accounts the show exceeds the hype. If you’ve been able to get tickets, we applaud you.
How many parks does one city need? Around 1700, says New York.
Central Park gets over 37.5 annual visitors, and you should be one of them. Why?
- You’ll see over 29 literary and historical sculptures
- There are over 25,000 species of trees to lounge under
- You could spend a day on leisure tours, sports activities, the carousel, Zoo, restaurants and more.
Where else are you going to take your iconic New York City Instagram pictures?
If you’re by the Queensboro Bridge, you really ought to make your way over to Queensbridge Park. It was constructed back in 1901, but has been beautifully maintained since then. Spend the day enjoying an almost unlimited amount of leisure activities including a wading pool, picnic areas, and sports fields like volleyball.
Gantry Plaza State park
There isn’t a lot of space to spare in New York City, but the Gantry Plaza State Park spans over 12 acres. You might recognize it’s picturesque grounds from the 2005 film Munich, and the film The Interpreter (look for the Pepsi sign!).
Washington Square Park
If you’re enjoying a stroll on Fifth Avenue, you might as well take a detour to the Washington Square Park. Catch up on a little history while viewing statues featuring famous figures from history, like George Washington, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Alexander Lyman Holley. You may recognize it from movies including I am Legend, August Rush, and Kids.
Union Square Park
If you’re a fan of outdoor markets, then you’d better make sure that your time in New York City leads to an afternoon in Union Square Park. It’s home to the Union Square Green Market. If you’re downtown in the winter, you’ll also be able to catch the Union Square Holiday Market.
Madison Square Park
There’s plenty of historical relevance within the gates of Madison Square Park, but we’re really most excited about the Shake Shack that serves up delicious hotdogs, burgers, and shakes. Once you’ve satisfied your hunger, make sure to check out the various statues and walking areas.
Bryant Park’s namesake is an homage to the New York Evening Post editor and abolitionist: William Cullen Bryant. Its beautiful grounds have been featured in popular movies like Ghostbusters and Morning Glory. Besides trying to recreate your favorite scenes, you should also check out the reading room, skating pond, and holiday shops (if you’re there in the winter!).
And if you’re there at the exact right time, you may be able to catch a taping of the final three in Project Runway during Fashion Week.
There’s no avoiding it so you might as well embrace it. Besides, New York City tourist spots are bucket list items for travelers.
Empire State Building
Also known as New York’s nickname namesake. Its Art Deco style has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Make sure to take the elevator up to the 86th floor for the most insane views of New York’s metropolis.
Have you really been to New York City if you haven’t spent time in Times Square? The flashing billboards and heavy (pedestrian and vehicular) traffic are all part of the experience. You may also know it as the Crossroads of the World, Center of the Universe, or the Heart of the Great White Way. If you’re in New York City in the winter, head over for the Annual Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve.
The “square” is a bit of a misnomer, as the area Times Square occupies is more like a polygon in a bowtie shape. Attempts to petition the city to change the name to Times Bowtie Polygon have been unsuccessful.
Statue of Liberty
A symbol of hope for immigrants arriving in Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty is almost synonymous with “America.” This 151 foot copper status was a gift to the US from the people of France. Statue Cruises will ferry you over, then you can purchase tickets to climb the staircase, pedestal, and crown.
Top Food Picks
Where do we begin? NYC has no shortage of food options, even if our go-to is always a delicious cheese pizza that we devour by ourselves in a single sitting.Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your New York City food journey.
Here’s a spot for the tourist who’s over 21. Brooklyn Brewery beer is known and distributed throughout the United States, but you should give it a try at the home base.
Their Executive Chef Jonathan Waxman was recently named the best in New York City at the 2016 James Beard Awards. At Barbuto, quality comes standard.
A luxury restaurant for special occasions that locals swear by for impressing a client. We’re drooling just thinking about the possibilities.
An Asian restaurant with amazing ramen broth that’s worth the wait. Pair it with the restaurant’s bao for a completely satisfying meal.
Jack’s Wife Freda
An amazing brunch menu to brighten any morning. May we recommend the Prego Roll? It’s something to die for.
Need an afternoon treat? The Black Tap has some insane milkshakes that tend to photograph well for Instagram, if you’re into that sort of thing. Not feeling sweet? They also serve a hearty menu of craft beer and burgers.
Tapas place in the West Village that serves authentic Spanish food. They have many sangria varieties that pair nicely with food offerings.
So there you have it. Your Ultimate Guide to Summer in New York City. With a little bit of planning, you can have it all: Yankees games, a performance of Hamilton, Nick Offerman’s live comedy show, a beautiful day in the park, and some brag worthy meals (to start!).
Is there something we missed? What would you add to the Ultimate Guide to Summer in New York City? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!