TODAY'S PAPER
61° Good Evening
61° Good Evening
NewsNew York

Summer in the City: 20 cool things to add sizzle to the season

amny

amny Photo Credit: Getty Images

Summer may be in full swing, but there’s still plenty of hot days (and nights) to fill. Here’s our list of 10 decidedly seasonal things to do in the city — and alternatives in case you’ve already been there, done that.

Rooftop Bars

Empire Hotel Rooftop (44 W. 63rd St., 212-956-3313)
Located on the 12th floor of the Empire Hotel, this popular rooftop offers classic views of Lincoln Center and the bustling Upper West Side. The 8,000-square-foot bar and lounge serves a selection of signature cocktails, small plates and entertainment all week long— from dance parties to live jazz.
Been there?

Do this:
The Watering Tower at Hotel Williamsburg (160 N. 12th St., Williamsburg, 718-218-7500)
We’re looking forward to this hotel — the first luxury boutique hotel in BK — which plans to feature locally sourced amenities and imaginative design. We’re extra excited about the Watering Tower, the hotel’s rooftop bar with views of McCarren Park and the East River. It’s set to open in mid-August and will serve snacks and craft cocktails.

Beer gardens

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (29-19 24th Ave., Astoria, 718-274-4925)
The city’s oldest beer garden is still kicking after 100 years with its large outdoor space, live music, menu of Czech and Slovak bites and, of course, a variety of suds.
Been there?

Do this:
The Lot on Tap (30th Street and 10th Avenue, under the High Line)
When the second part of the High Line opened earlier this summer, it was only natural for the “it” venue type — the beer garden — to make its way underneath the recently opened entrance. Tom Colicchio’s laid-back 350-seat spot serves up local seasonal brews and domestic wines, as well as food from a rotating list of food trucks.

Boating

A three-hour Circle Line cruise will give you a full tour of New York City. Expect to see more than 20 landmarks — including, of course, Lady Liberty — across all five boroughs and under seven bridges. (circleline42.com)
Been there?

Do this:
If you want to take in the sites while being more active, the Manhattan Kayak Company offers kayaking tours along the Hudson River starting at $35 for beginners and $200 for experts. They offer a nighttime tour, a trip to Governors Island and a full-day trip around Manhattan. (manhattankayak.com)

Ballgames

If you haven’t been to the ballparks yet, don’t pass it up this summer, as both the Yankees and the Mets have been playing exciting baseball. Both stadiums have plenty of other attractions if the game gets boring (Shake Shack at Citi Field, NYY Steak at Yankee Stadium), so even a non-fan can find something to do.
Been there?

Do this:
The big leagues will cost you big bucks, but you can still catch some live baseball thanks to the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees. Just hop a train to Coney Island and cough up $8 to see the Mets’ farm team take the field (and the wacky antics of Sandy the Seagull). While the SI Yanks will cost you more ($20 minimum), your ticket comes with an amazing view of lower Manhattan.

Beaches and boardwalks

What’s more “summer in New York” than Coney Island? While old favorites like Shoot the Freak are gone, standbys such as Nathan’s remain, and Luna Park gets cooler every year.
Been there?

Do this:
You’ll have more sand and surf to yourself at the Rockaway getaway Jacob Riis Park, graced by an Art Deco bathhouse and nautical-themed touches that bring a splash of 1930s New York to your sunbathing. (nyharborparks.org)

Parks

No matter how many times you’ve been to Central Park, we bet you haven’t seen it all. Ever been to the waterfalls, for instance, in the Adirondacks-inspired northern reaches? It’s a great way to pass the time.
Been there?

Do this:
There are so many surprises at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden — in addition to genteel grounds for strolling, take in the landmarked 19th-century buildings. The complex also contains a music hall, a botanical garden and a real North American rarity: the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which must be seen to be believed. (snug-harbor.org)

Music

SummerStage is great for three reasons: The concert series features all kinds of performances, from bands to plays; it’s held at outdoor spots in all five boroughs; and (most importantly) it’s mostly free. You can check out hip-hop legends like the Sugarhill Gang (Sept. 2 at Tappen Park in Staten Island) and Kool Mo Dee (July 19 at Queensbridge Park), dance troupes, and the unique “little orchestra” from Portland, Ore., called Pink Martini (July 17 at Central Park). (summerstage.org)
Been there?

Do this:
If SummerStage hasn’t thrilled you in the past, there are other ways to get entertained outdoors. For starters, every Tuesday at 8 p.m., Washington Square Park hosts free classical and jazz shows. But for the full park atmosphere, nothing is better than Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park bandshell, running through Aug. 10. This year’s highlights include Animal Collective on Tuesday, Dr. John and the Lower 911 on July 30, and a “West Side Story” screening and sing-along on July 21.

Museums

What’s not to love about the Cloisters, the Met’s museum of all things medieval hidden in upper Manhattan’s charming Fort Tryon Park? Without a doubt, it’s a soul-soothing way to spend a day. (metmuseum.org)
Been there?

Do this:
The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria recently underwent an eye-popping three-year renovation and the results are outstanding, For fans of TV, film, video games or just pop culture, this place is a feast for the senses. Upcoming highlight: “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” the highly anticipated show about the work of the Muppets creator. It opens July 16. (movingimage.us)

Theater

Is there a better way to spend a hot night than taking in the Bard at Central Park? Unlikely. This year’s Shakespeare in the Park features semi-obscure works by the master playwright (“All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Measure for Measure”). If you want to see them for free, though, you better set your alarm for 5 a.m. so you can wait in line. (publictheater.org)
Been there?

Do this:
To avoid the Central Park hassle, try out the lesser-known Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, on the corner of Ludlow and Broome streets. The shows are free, and the company will perform “The Comedy of Errors” (through July 13) and “Hamlet” (through July 23). Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. (shakespeareintheparkinglot.com)

Biking

Love to ride but not into risking your life trying to navigate the streets’ bike lanes? Head over to the West Side and cycle along the Hudson River. Starting near Battery Park City, riders can cruise the length of the river with relative ease.
Been there?

Do this:
Hop on the Governors Island ferry (bikes allowed!) and cycle the gorgeous, car-free island at your own pace. Don’t have a bike? Rent one on the island.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news