There’s nowhere in the world quite like New York City – the people, the food, the attractions, the entertainment, the views, the energy… And with so many things to do and see, it can be a little overwhelming, especially if it’s your first visit or two. Here are just a few fun things to do in New York City this summer, including free outdoor activities for the whole family. Enjoy!
1. NY Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tours
“Hop-On Hop-Off “Double Decker Bus Tours are a FUN way to see New York City’s top tourist attractions. This is one of the first things we like to do when we visit a new city and we always recommend it to people who visit NYC, especially if it’s their first trip. That way, you can see all the sights when you first arrive. Just hop-on-and-off at your leisure or stay on the bus for the whole ride, then go back to the places you want to spend more time visiting. On this narrated bus tour, you’ll learn all about the history of NYC and see over 30 attractions at your own pace, including the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Greenwich Village, Times Square… and more!
2. New York Dinner Yacht Cruise & Dancing
Cruise around lower Manhattan while admiring dazzling views of the New York City skyline. Enjoy a delicious four-course gourmet meal (the yacht offers breathtaking views from virtually any table) – and dance the night away. This fun evening cruise takes you down the Hudson, around the tip of Manhattan, up to the East River to midtown, and then back around to the West side. Along the way, admire unobstructed views of famous NYC landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge and the United Nations. Being out on the water on a warm NY summer night is a great way to spend a relaxing evening with your honey, away from the crowds.
3. Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center
If you want to see an unobstructed “open-air” 360-degree view of Manhattan, don’t miss a visit to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck on the 70th floor at Rockefeller Center. See world-famous landmarks, including The Chrysler Building, Times Square, Central Park, the Hudson River, the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty – and get the most spectacular view of the Empire State Building.
Open daily, anytime is a good time to visit the Top of the Rock. Sunset is the most popular and busiest time, so expect to wait in long lines (it’s worth it!). During our last visit, it was so surreal to see the city go from sunset to twilight and have the skyline light up before our eyes (see top photo). Note: The best place to take pictures is in an area overlooking the main Observation Deck – it offers open-air views with no glass panels. Time for taking selfies!
4. Times Square
Times Square, located in the heart of the Theater District, is one of our favorite places to visit whenever we go back to New York City. Day or night, it comes alive and you just can’t beat the people-watching. We like to grab a cup of coffee, sit outside at one of the little tables on the Pedestrian Plaza (closed off from traffic year round) and watch the world go by. The area is filled with specialty shops, restaurants, cafes, theaters and fun attractions that will keep you and your family entertained for hours. And after dark, there’s nothing quite like Times Square – be prepared for sensory overload… and have fun!
5. Fun Things To Do in Central Park
Central Park is a must-see in the summer, especially if you like to be outdoors – there’s a lot to do and see. Explore Central Park Lake on foot or by bike – or even better, rent a rowboat or a gondola and take your honey out on the water for a romantic afternoon. Bike and kayak rentals are also available. Take your kids to Central Park Zoo for the day. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the grass overlooking Belvedere Castle. See a free “Shakespeare in the Park” show under the stars. FYI… these are great places to “pop the question” if you’re thinking of proposing 🙂
If you’re a movie buff, take a 2-hour Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour. Visit more than 30 movie locations in Central Park and see where famous movies like “Where Harry Met Sally,” “Serendipity,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Avengers,” “Ghostbusters” and “Sex and the City” were filmed.
6. Exclusive Tour: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial
Enjoy an action-packed and exclusive 5 1/2 hour guided Viator VIP Tour that includes:
- Early access to the Empire State Building
- Skip-the-Line entry to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- An Open-Top Bus Tour
- Hop-On Hop-Off Cruise and Photo Ops of the Statue of Liberty
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial
- Upgrade to afternoon timed-entry admission to the 9/11 Museum
What are some of your favorite things to do in New York City in the Summer?