In this article, we’ll give you some examples of fun activities to do and things to see in New York City during the summer of 2013. From outdoor movies at Bryant Park to free festivals such as Celebrate Brooklyn! – we’ve got you covered!
Watch Outdoor Movies on Hot Summer Nights in New York City
- One of the most popular of these is Movies in the Park at Bryant Park. Every Monday from June 17 to August 19 2013, Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park hosts free classic movies at the lawn in the park. The movies start at sundown, but you’re advised to arrive well before that to ensure a good spot. Also make sure to bring plenty of blankets or cushions to keep comfortable!
- Another well-liked outdoor movie event is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Summer Movie Series. This year, the Intrepid will host 6 free outdoor showings of some of the best heroes movies, ranging from Top Gun (May 24) to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (August 2).
- The Brooklyn Bridge Park may be the outdoor movie location with the most spectacular view. The audience gets to sit on the lush lawn of the park, and the movie screen is erected right beside the East River with the Lower Manhattan skyline as an impressive backdrop. This year’s theme of the film series is “With love from…” featuring several films about cities all over the world.
- The last of our outdoor movies list is a very special event called Rooftop Films. Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization that shows indie movies in all sorts of outdoor locations in New York City. Some of the showings are free while others require a purchased ticket. The locations for the viewings vary and range from rooftops in Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Attend Free Concerts & Festivals in New York City
- Summer on the Hudson at Riverside Park is one of the most diverse free festivals held in Manhattan over the summer. Starting early May and ending in late September, the arts & culture festival hosts a set of different activities throughout the summer at Riverside Park from 59th Street to 153rd Street. These activities include dancing classes, tai chi workshops, free outdoor (kids) movies, concerts and more. All the programs are free, and no registration is required.
- For the Brooklynites, Celebrate Brooklyn! is the go-to festival in the city. The free outdoor performing arts festival has been around for over 30 years, and each year the line-up gets more diverse. The festival kicks off on June 5th at the Prospect Park Bandshell and runs until the end of July.
- Central Park’s Summerstage is equally diverse with its many music events, dance shows and other performances throughout the summer. Summerstage is held outside at Rumsey Playfield, which is best accessed from 72nd Street & 5th Avenue. From here it’s just a small walk west in the park along Terrace Drive.
- Philharmonic in the Parks is a free concert that takes place in different parks across the boroughs. The New York Philharmonic will play in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on July 10; in Central Park on July 13 & 15; in Cunningham Park in Queens on July 11; in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on July 16; and in the indoor CUNY Center for the Arts on Staten Island on July 14.
Hit New York City’s Parks & Rooftop Terraces
- Central Park in Manhattan is great if you want to stay clear of the hustle and bustle of the city for a while. Pack a picnic basket and head over to Sheep Meadow or the Great Lawn for an afternoon of lounging in the lawn, eating strawberries and playing sports. See Explore Central Park for more detailed information about summer activities in the park.
- Prospect Park in Brooklyn is also lovely in summer: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is especially nice. Moreover, the Highline in Manhattan is a must-visit when the weather is good. The Highline also organizes stargazing nights!
Another alternative is to seek out one of the many rooftop bars in the city. These terraces bring you even closer to the sun, and yet it is often not as hot here as down on the street, because there’s a nice breeze so high up. Sit down on a lounge chair with a tasty cocktail and enjoy the view of New York City’s skyline. For some of our favorite rooftop bars in the city, see our Top 5 Rooftop Bars in New York City.
Beat the Heat at New York City’s Swimming Pools & Beaches
If you prefer to some more open space and salty air, New York offers many great beaches all around the city. Brooklyn’s Coney Island is famous among New Yorkers, as are the large beaches in Staten Island. To find the best sandy beach for you, check out our Top 5 Beaches in New York City.
A more active way of cooling off is to partake in one of the many water sports the city has to offer. There are several sailing schools located in New York City where you can take lessons. You can also rent jet skis to explore the New York Harbor from the water in Brooklyn. For a free alternative, you can rent a kayak for free at Pier 70 and Pier 96 in Manhattan, and also at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Summer 2013 Events in New York City
Other great summer events include the Big Apple BBQ Block Party on June 8 and June 9, the Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 9, the Museum Mile Festival on June 11, which is one big block party where people can visit many NYC museums for free, the Golf US Open from June 13-16, Pride Week from June 24-30, and Summer Streets on three Saturdays in August!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article about the summer of 2013 in New York City. What’s your favorite summer festival in New York City?