Though it may feel like it, summer isn’t over yet. Check out these upcoming free summer activities in NYC (though most are free year-round). Don’t let the beautiful weather pass you by and get out and about in the city that never sleeps.
Swim at NYC Public Pools
I recently did a big post about pools in NYC, and I’ve been dying to visit one ever since. The weather just keeps heating up, making it a perfect time to head to the pool fo’ free. All NYC public pools are free every day, so grab your padlock and swimsuit, and get going. Splash on, my friends.
Stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
I have never been in the summertime, but during the cherry blossom festival the gardens are stunning – I’m sure it’s even better during the summer months! Make sure to visit on a Tuesday, when admission is free. But, if you can’t make it on a week night, admission is only $12 regularly for adults. Peep some stunning photos here and all ticketing information on the gardens’ official website.
Kayak on the Hudson
I did this a few summers ago, and it was SO much fun! If you mentally block out how nasty the Hudson River water is, it’s almost like you’re out in the ‘burbs somewhere. Head to any of the different piers on the West side, put your stuff in a locker and hit the water for a fun adventure unlike any other in NYC.
Visit Governor’s Island
Governor’s Island is like a hidden oasis off the shores of Manhattan. After a short ferry ride (it’s only 800 yards away) you are transported to 172 acres of open grass and park space, with grills for picnicking, bike rentals and a pretty bomb view of the Statue of Liberty. Just hop on the South Street or Brooklyn Bridge Park ferry and you’ll be there in a flash.
Walk the High Line
This High Line is an oasis in the middle of the city. The raised park stretches through Chelsea down to the West Village and lets you take in some of the best sites of the city from above. Take a stroll and if you want a day of adventuring, pop off the High Line at different locations for some NYC hotspots, like The Whitney Museum or the Standard Hotel.
Find a book at the New York Public Library
Though I hate to say it, sometimes the weather in the summer is shitty. Whether it’s raining or so hot and humid it’s suffocating, there are those days when you’ve just got to hide inside in the air conditioning. If you’re a New York resident you can get a free library card with proof of residency (a bill or your driver’s license will do it). If you’re just visiting town and looking for a place to escape the heat, head to the main branch near Bryant Park for amazing architecture and over a million books.
Take the Brooklyn Brewery tour
Visiting and touring Brooklyn Brewery is free on the weekends – though, I will admit the tour is a little lacking. However, drinking in the beer hall is a fun way to spend an afternoon in Williamsburg. This, unfortunately, is not free (but that would be awesome). The drinks are affordable and come in at $5 per glass and you can try all of the different options the brewery has on tap for the particular season (summer ale, anyone?). Be forewarned: there isn’t any food served, but food trucks will park it right outside the brewery, so have some cash on hand for cheap eats and take it into the beer hall to enjoy with your lager.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry
Go and see New York’s favorite lady: The Statue of Liberty. I concede that this costs the swipe of a Metrocard, but to most New Yorkers that doesn’t count (sorry to anyone visiting). See unmatched views of Lady Liberty and enjoy the sunshine on a nice day as you cruise around and see Ellis Island and stunning views of lower Manhattan, all for $2.75.
Stargaze at Lincoln Center
Thanks to the Amateur Astronomers Association, stop by Lincoln center on Friday an Saturday nights through mid-August and sneak a peak at the stars and planets. Stargazing goes on until 11 pm, but be sure to check the association’s website to make sure it’s not cancelled if there’s inclement or cloudy weather.