One of my most popular blog posts is the one about the top ten things to do in New York City at Christmastime. So I decided to try writing one about what to do in The City during the summer months. The City is filled with tourists all summer, well you don’t have to be a store owner to know that, just try walking along Madison Avenue, or try to do an errand in SoHo. However, that’s just the thing, tourists come to New York City and just do touristy things like Broadway and Times Square, maybe go to the Empire State building, rush to Canal Street thinking they’re getting a deal (only now they can be arrested too) or get on one of those god-awful double decker sight-seeing bus tours. Geez!!!
Listen people, there are SO MANY things to do in New York City, your vacation won’t be long enough; These are free and if you’re staying in one of our hotels, you need to go to a couple of free events!
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
During the months of June, July and part of August, you can enjoy watching a Shakespeare production in Central Park. To obtain a ticket, most people get in line in the morning and at 1:00pm the free tickets are distributed (two per person). This summer they are doing A Comedy of Errors, and Love’s Labor Lost. You can bring your own picnic supper or order one from the Public Cafe located near the Delacorte Theater. For complete information go to www.shakespeareinthepark.org/about.aspx
STARGAZING ON THE HIGH LINE
From dusk to 9:30 or so on Tuesdays, from April to October, amateurs and experts gather for an evening of seeing the stars from one of the nicest parks in Manhattan. Folks from the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York are on hand to help you focus the telescopes, explain the difference between a supergiant and supernova, and understand the night sky. When you’re finished gazing, you can do some grazing at one of the nearby food stands, including barbecue from SmokeLine and pretzels from Sigmund’s.
HBO BRYANT PARK FILM FESTIVAL
New York, NY
Grab something to eat at ‘wichcraft and stake out your favorite spot on the lawn because this popular summer series is back through August 19th. Get ready to watch Academy Award-winning actresses like Sally Field star in Norma Rae (8/5) and screen legends like Bette Davis play the lead in Hush…Hush, Sweet Caroline (7/15). Gates open at 5 p.m. and admission is free.
RIDE THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY
4 South St
New York, NY 10301
Sure, the Staten Island Ferry’s primary purpose is to transport residents to and from the Island of Manhattan. But just think about this: The boat ride is a free, 5 mile (or 25 minute) ride around offering views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty — and booze. Kind of romantic, no? Bring a date or bring your friends for a night on the water.
2 Lincoln Sq
New York, NY 10023
Admission and tours are free at the American Folk Art Museum. Opening June 11 is Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Bill Traylor was born into slavery c. 1854 and lived on the plantation even after emancipation. Late inhis life, he created more than 1,000 works of art — now considered some of the most iconic works of 20th century art. The museum also features Free Music Fridays with performances from folk, indie-pop, and other performers.
Catch the ferry at 10 South St
New York, NY 10004
More: 10 NYC National Monuments
Chock full of history and spots to sunbathe, 2013 highlights at Governors Island include Army Heritage Day and the traditional walking tours. Catch the ferry, leaving from the Battery Maritime Building, to the national monument and spend the day relaxing at the park. Hit the water for kayaking from Pier 101, or stay high and dry with bicycle rentals, music concert, nature exhibits or hiking tours through former military outposts. Check out our guide to Governor’s Island for a look at the exhibits, restaurants and sights available at this city gem.
UNIQLO FREE FRIDAYS AT MOMA
1 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019
Admission is free for all visitors at one of New York’s most recognizable museums during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, held every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets for UNIQLO Free Friday Nights are not available in advance. The ticket gets you access to to all of the historic museum’s galleries, exhibitions and films.
AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND
One of Lower Manhattan’s most fascinating, and controversial, stories of recent years circulates around the new African Burial Ground National Monument site. It began when a construction project in 1991 uncovered a burial ground of slaves – more than 400 caskets were found – from an age when New York had more slaves than any American city outside Charleston, South Carolina. Outside you can see part of the site now enveloped by buildings, and the compact visitors center does a masterful job at retelling African-American history in the city. See our 76-Second Travel Show episode on the museum’s opening. 290 Broadway between Duane & Elk Sts, Lower Manhattan.
New York’s most concentrated area for a gallery crawl is in Chelsea, mostly in the 20s Streets between 10th and 11th Avenues. Check westchelseaarts.com or Gallery Guide for listings. All are free, no pressure to buy. And try timing for wine-and-cheese openings on Thursday evenings.
The lobby galleries of Forbes magazine have some various curios from the late Malcolm Forbes’ collection, most notably early versions of Monopoly boards. (Or watch our tour of Monopoly sites around the properties’ namesakes at Atlantic City, New Jersey.) 62 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Greenwich Village.
I hope you enjoy your visit to our fabulous city. You too will be singing “I Love New York”