New York is the city that never sleeps. Still, figuring out ways to fill your summer weekends can seem daunting so here’s a handy guide filled with ideas to help you enjoy the best summer ever.
Founded in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden is the largest in America, one of the two largest in the world, and is a National Historic Landmark. In addition to its beautiful gardens, the NYBG is a major education institution, living museum, and conservation organization. Its celebrated plant research facility protects and preserves the planet’s biodiversity and studies improved sustainability methods.
The Skyline Princess
Enjoy stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, South Street Seaport, and other iconic landmarks while sailing New York Harbor during a wonderful lunch, brunch, or dinner cruise. It’s an occasion that creates one-of-a-kind memories and opportunities for photographs that you’ll cherish.
All throughout spring, summer, and fall, New York City hosts an abundance of street fairs and festivals celebrating a specific ethnic group, theme, or neighborhood. Not to miss events include the Stadium Street Fair, the Times Square Summer Expo, the Annual Brazilian Day Festival, the Great Irish Festival, the Columbus Circle Fair, to name just a few. To see which festivals and street fairs are happening each weekend, check websites NYC Street Fairs and the street fair list at New Yorkled.
This outdoor event, inspired by the Prohibition era, has been around for more than a decade on Governors Island. It celebrates the music and spirit of one of America’s most famous time periods.
Since 1899 the Bronx Zoo, the crown jewel of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s parks, has been a world renowned zoo and a center for conservation efforts world wide. It established the first modern zoo animal hospital in 1916 with a full-time veterinary staff. The park is situated on more than 260 acres of hardwood forest and is home to more than 6,000 animals from more than 700 species.
Summer means rollercoasters for many people and for them, Coney Island is the place to go. The original Luna Park was home to the one of the first rollercoasters in America, the Gravity Switchback Railway, which opened in 1884. While both the original Luna Park and the Switchback Railway are long gone, Coney Island’s Cyclone Rollercoaster, which opened in 1927, is still operating and is the oldest rollercoaster in the United States.
Believe it or not, you can find an old-fashioned country fair in New York City. This tradition has been around for more than 40 years and features rides, live music, baking competitions, circus performers, hot dog eating contests, potato sack races, and more, with the proceeds benefiting Historic Richmond Town.
Every August, seven miles of streets along Lafayette Street and Park Avenue are closed from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on three Saturdays for a variety of free events and activities for people of all ages. Sponsored by the New York City Department of Transportation, Summer Streets encourages people to play, walk,, run, bike, and use more sustainable types of transportation.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation sponsors a series of live summer concerts in its parks every summer, touting a wide range of talent and styles. The summer concert series in Central Park is among the most famous, featuring the Summerstage Festival, the GMA Summer Concert Series, the New York Philharmonic’s “Concerts in the Park” series, and the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series.
Best known for its Free Shakespeare in the Park series, which has featured celebrated actors for decades presenting free performances of Shakespeare’s plays, it also holds many other performances in the same space, such as Public Works’ Musical Adaptation of Disney’s Hercules.
Once used to carry freight, the elevated train line fell out of use in the 1980s and was scheduled for demolition, until the community rallied to save it. Inspired by the wild plants that had taken over while it sat unused, Friends of the High Line was formed to rescue the space and turn it into the thriving garden and art installation it is today. Now it’s celebrated as one of the most unique parks in the country, with more than 500 species of plants and trees on its 1.45-mile-long greenway where a wide array of public programs, performances, and community events are held.
Sensational Summers on Skyline Cruises
A Skyline Cruise of New York Harbor is a wonderful way to spend a summer day or evening. Whether it’s a romantic date night for two or a day trip for the whole family, a Skyline brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise is the perfect destination to create lasting memories. Call us today at (718) 446-1100 to reserve your seats on our next cruise or to speak to one of our event planners.