Things to do in NYC in the summer

Bryant Park as seen on Tourist's Website

With a month and a half left of summer, there are still plenty of fun things to do in the Big Apple, including concerts, shows, movies and other special events – and many of them are free. Here are some of the ways you to enjoy your summer stay in the city:


  1. Free Outdoor Movies—Instead of sitting in a theater, take advantage of the totally awesome flicks you can see outdoors. Every year, the city’s parks invite New Yorkers to bring a blanket and view classic movies on a big screen. The films start after sunset and range from timeless classics, comedies and action thrillers to children’s films. While the mid-Manhattan screenings in Bryant Park are the best known, other parks that show movies include Tompkins Square Park and the Hudson River Park in Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. For a complete list of locations and schedule click here.
  2. Outdoor Concerts—Whether it’s a well-known act or a local act, there are many concerts that take place outdoors throughout the city with most of them being free. One of the most popular concert series is Central Park’s SummerStage in the park’s Rumsey Playfield section. It’s an eclectic collection of musical styles, pop and rock, country, international folk music and even comedy. (Trevor Noah did a show last year.) For a complete schedule click here.
  3. Free Outdoor Yoga—Devoted practitioners bring mats to parks in the city to channel their inner peace while effectively toning and flexing their muscles. Locations include Bryant Park, Battery Park, the Hudson Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. For a complete list of times and locations click here.
  4. Free Outdoor Kayaking—Get some sunshine and a toned upper body with free kayaking in New York City’s lakes and rivers. While the activity is free, you must sign a waiver first. Locations include Piers 26, 84, and 96 along the Hudson River in Manhattan, Prospect Park Lake and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse in Brooklyn, and the Long Island Community Boathouse in Queens. Remember to bring sunscreen! For a complete list of times and locations, click here.
  5. Shakespeare in the Park—This annual summertime series takes place at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, with two productions each season, one in May and June and the other in July and August, usually featuring big-name stars. Tickets are free but they go so fast that most people line up in the predawn hours on the day the performance to get them. This year’s July/August production is A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Danny Burstein and Phylicia Rashad. For more information click here.
  6. The Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival—From the last week of August until Labor Day, the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center offers free presentations of operas shown on a high-definition screen in front of the Opera House. This year’s productions include The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). For details, click here.



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