Summer is here! Finally! Or maybe you’re reading this in the dead of winter, planning what you will do on your summer vacation in New York City. Or just dreaming of warm weather.
What to do? What to do? You may think of New York City as a collection of skyscrapers cutting through the atmosphere. But New York City has plenty of outdoor action and nature found within it’s metropolitan borders. Did you know New York, unique New York, even has a beach?
If you wanna know the way to the beach and beyond, read on. This article will give you plenty of choices of cool things to do in the hot summer in the city.
Hot Town! Summer In The City
Back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty! Recognize that classic tune? It’s “Summer In The City” by legendary quartet The Lovin’ Spoonful. It’s been the sweat-drenched anthem of city heat waves since 1966.
Coincidentally, the song was most recently honored at the New York City Summer Stage sixties Greenwich Village themed concert in Central Park. This is one of the best parts of New York City in the summertime. Outdoor concerts. New York really shows a lot of love to live music.
According to our buddy Lenzee Gillette over at Thru Her Lenz, Summer Stage is an annual summer concert series in the biggest park in New York City, and one of the most famous parks in the world: Central Park! The very first Summer Stage concert – just one – was staged in 1994: Elvis Costello played with the Crash Test Dummies. Today Summer Stage holds up to 29 concerts throughout the season, featuring artists like Michelle Branch, Taylor Swift, Marina, Phil Lesh, Muse, Ed Sheeran, M.I.A., The Killers, Counting Crows and so many more!
Then there’s the one-off huge concerts on the Great Lawn. Who hasn’t heard of Paul Simon’s historical concert there in 1981? And Garth Brooks with Billy Joel and Don McLean in 1997. Babs Streisand is also a member of the “Great Lawn” Club.
Fun Fact!: John Lennon himself was known to stroll around Central Park, serve ice cream to children and hold impromptu busk sessions. Who knows who you’re gonna see?
Central Park isn’t the only place. Many venues and organizations sponsor and stage outdoor concerts all over the five boroughs. Prospect Park in Brooklyn has its own summer concert programming and in August the stars of Broadway preview the fall season in Times Square.
Coney Island High
After swapping sweat with rockin’ out crowds, you might desire some refreshment by the sea. Guess what – it’s just a subway ride away to a beach of an island!
Coney Island is a region in Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York City. You can get there on the elevated subway lines F, Q, B or N. It is a thrill to dart out of the subway tunnel and suddenly be high above a beautiful view of the blue water horizon.
Coney Island has a sort of carnival vibe. Including an annual Atlantis-themed mermaid parade. No joke! It’s most famous attractions are the Wonder Wheel ferris wheel and the ancient, wooden roller coaster known as The Cyclone. The coaster was first opened to the public nearly 100 years ago in June 1927.
There are plenty of delicious restaurants and fun bars but the one thing you must do is stop by Famous Nathan’s for a hot dog! They host the annual international competitive hot dog eating contest every summer.
Stars Under The Stars
Another popular summer pastime in New York City is outdoor movies. Your favorite films on big screens underneath the massive night sky.
The most well known outdoor film night host is Bryant Park. Bryant Park is worth spending a day and an evening enjoying. One of the best, most decorative branches of the New York Public Library is nearby. There are some lovely restaurants and cafes so borrow a book, buy a coffee and grab a bench. Or have a picnic, with some gourmet meats and cheeses from not too far away Chelsea Piers, which itself is worth a full day visit.
A View To A Cocktail
After the movie, you might enjoy a cocktail with a view of that skyscraper skyline mentioned earlier.