What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  




     Home  >  Articles  > Summer Activities
by Charles Beacham June 24, 2014

Related: summer activities in NYC, things to do in the summer in New York City, summer in NYC, summer fun in New York City,

Summer is the perfect time to be outside, and we've compiled a list of the top 20 things to do in New York City in the summer, including paddle boat rental at Central Park in Manhattan, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, outdoor music festivals and concerts, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Queens, and wet and wild fun at Coney Island in Brooklyn.

1. Visit an amusement park.

Get set for a summer of thrills when Luna Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn opens for summer in late May. Serious thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the park’s newest and fastest rollercoaster, The Thunderbolt. Check out our full list of amusement parks.

luna park thunderbolt coney island

2. Go boating.

Rent a water craft at the Loeb Boathouse in Manhattan’s Central Park and be the captain of your own ship (well, just a paddle boat) and take in the views of Central Park Lake. Want more nautical fun? There are plenty of places you can go boating in and around the city.

3. Attend an outdoor concert.

Enjoy open-air concerts and dance performances throughout all five boroughs when CityParks presents SummerStage, with kid-centric performances taking place from mid June through August.


4. Pick your own berries.

girl holding strawberries

The Hamptons aren’t the only fun thing about Long Island. Gather your brood for a day trip to pick your own berries a at Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Mattituck, which offers a different berry each month starting in June. Find the full list of berry farms in the NYC area (including Westchester County and New Jersey).

5. See Shakespeare plays outside.

Bring a blanket and sit under the stars as you introduce the kids to The Bard’s timeless work during the Inwood Shakespeare Festival at Inwood Hill Park in Manhattan throughout June. 


6. Attend a fine art festival.

Enjoy free access to some of the world’s finest art collections as you stroll down Fifth Avenue during the Museum Mile Festival on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in early June. Is your little artist feeling inspired? Check out our guide to art classes.

7. Swing to jazz music.

Get down to sweet syncopation in mid-June when the Red Hook Jazz Festival brings together amazing local jazz groups to perform at Urban Meadow at Brooklyn’s Columbia Waterfront District.


8. Go to a ballgame with dad.

Treat Dad to one of the many Father’s Day events happening throughout the city around mid-June, such as Take Me Out to the Ball Game 1864, an annual exhibition baseball match played with historic equipment and historic rules at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx. Find more vintage and modern baseball games in the city (read: Brooklyn Cyclones in the minor league, and those two MLB rivals we all know and love—or love to hate!).

bartow-pell historic baseball


9. Ride a carousel.

Flushing meadows carousel Take a spin on the historic Flushing Meadows Carousel in Queens, which was moved from Coney Island to its current location for the 1964 World’s Fair and is right next to the Queens Zoo, or find another merry-go-round near you.

10. Attend a pirate festival.

Set sail north to Phillipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow for Pirates of the Hudson, a festival filled with bandits and buccaneers of all sorts, not to mention a ton of kid-friendly games and shows. The fest takes place in early July and is well worth the trip to Westchester County. 

pirates at philipsburg manor


11. Watch movies in the moonlight.

Starting in July you can enjoy free outdoor movies all summer long with Riverflicks Family Fridays at Hudson River Park in Greenwich Village, Manhattan ant other kid-friendly outdoor screenings.


12. Go fishing.

father and son fishing

Teach the kids the perfect cast (while sneaking in some bonding time) as you go fishing for blue gill and giant carp at Kissena Lake in Queens. Try casting a line at these other local fishing holes.


13. Eat a famous frank.

Watch competitive eaters scarf down iconic New York franks at Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn. (Don’t forget to try one of your own!).


14. Watch some fireworks.

Don’t miss the city’s biggest Independence Day celebration when the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show lights up the city skyline. The show travels back and forth between the East and Hudson Rivers so check for details on where to view.

macys fireworks

15. Go to the beach.

three girls at the beach

Spend a day at Rockaway Beach in Queens, where you can swim in the ocean, lounge on the beach, and stroll the boardwalk. Check out our full list of beaches in the area.

16. Celebrate different cultures.

Indulge in the diversity of the Big Apple with crepes, face painting, crafts, and more during Bastille Day, a French-themed street fair hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française in mid-July on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Find other cultural festivals nearby.

bastille day

17. Learn to golf or play a round of putt-putt.

Junior Golf Center Brooklyn

In July and August, kids ages 7-17 can learn to play golf like the pros at the Junior Golf Center in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn which boasts a driving range and a six-hole practice course. Short game need some work? Play a round of putt-putt here in the city.


18. Play in the water.

Enjoy a day full of wet and wild fun and take in the view of New York Harbor from Governors Island or enjoy free boat tours, live music, crafts, games, educational events, and on-the-water kids’ activities during City of Water Day, presented by Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in mid-July.

19. Cheer on rowers at the Dragon Boat Festival in Queens.

Take part in Chinese tradition through cultural performances, arts and crafts, and an amazing boat race at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, held in mid-August at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

dragon boat festival


20. Catch a tennis match.

arthur ashe kids day


Help kick off the U.S. Open tennis tournament at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, held in late August at USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. Got a budding Andy Murray or Serena Williams on your hands? Sign up for kids tennis classes.


Also see:

125 Ideas for Summer Fun

125 Reasons to Get Outside This Summer


Get a free whine stopper

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Summer Activities Articles

Top 20 Things to Do in Summer in New York City
Fireworks and Fourth of July Events in New York City
Free Outdoor Movies for Families in NYC
Family Camping in NYC Parks
Urban Fishing in NYC

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Summer Activities Sponsors

Gamin' Ride - Long Island
105 Hoover Place
Centerport, NY
Gamin' Ride is a Mobile Interactive Entertainment ...

Home Run Baseball
4410 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, 202-726-8311

Audubon Greenwich Nature Day Camps
613 Riversville Road
Greenwich, CT
Love Nature? Want to Teach Others? Share your g...
Howe Caverns Adventure Park
255 Discovery Drive
Howes Cave, NY

Mommy, Music, & Me, Inc
Offering Music Together® classes in Astoria, Bayside, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Little Neck, Long Island City and Whitestone
Queens, NY
For hundreds of thousands of families worldwide, (...
See Our Summer Activities Directory

local zones


Nassau cont.


Suffolk cont.


Westchester cont.



Rockland cont.


Queens cont.


Brooklyn cont.


Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE