Summer in New York

Your guide for the perfect summer in NYC

There’s nothing quite like summer in New York City! Sunny days and warm summer nights make the city as vibrant as it gets. Should you be spending parts of your summer in New York, this guide will inform you about all you need to know: weather, activities, events, concerts, sports, and of course, our personal top things to do in New York this summer.

Our top things to do in NYC this summer

Summer in New York means it’s time to get outside! We promise that you will never find yourself bored at any point in New York City in the summer! Fun activities are available in abundance. Our favorite things to do in New York in the summer include scouting for the newest ice cream flavors, cooling off at New York’s beaches or spend the day having a BBQ in one of the city’s countless green spaces.

Our absolute favorite way to enjoy a fresh breeze during the hot summer days in New York, however, is by taking cruises along the Hudson and East River. The fact that New York is surrounded by water makes it much easier to endure the heat. If you’re overwhelmed by the choices, you can take a look at the best summer boat tours in New York that we’ve listed. Below, you can see what else made it onto our list of favorite things to do in NYC in the summer:

New York summer activities

Summer in New York allows you to take advantage of a great number of outdoor activities that you would not be able to in other seasons. The first thing that comes to our minds when thinking about summer in NYC is rooftop bars (these are the 43 Best Rooftop Bars of New York)! You may argue that you can also visit them during other months of the year which is true.

What you can do only during the summer though is take advantage of the pools! Just imagine overlooking the city’s concrete jungle from a refreshing rooftop pool? And even better – this is my list of the Best New York Hotels with Pool.

Sightseeing cruises are also far more enjoyable during the summer months in New York. What can beat being on the water and getting a fresh breeze? If you are feeling more adventurous, you also have plenty of opportunities to row a boat, go kayaking, take a ride on a speed boat, or even ride a jet-ski on the Hudson River.

For some more low-key things to do in NYC this summer, we recommend heading to Governors Island or Coney Island. Both islands are easy to get to and also extremely affordable at $3 each! Governors Island can be accessed by a ferry. Once you are there, you can ride a bike, enjoy a picnic or attend one of the many events that take place there during the summer months. Coney Island, on the other hand, can be reached by subway. If you would actually like to enjoy the beach and go swimming, Coney Island is your best option! For families, the combination of beach and theme park comes in super handy.

Here are some more of our favorite places to spend the summer in New York City:

NYC summer events

Summertime celebrates one of the biggest holidays in the country: Independence Day on the 4th of July. In New York, you will find the largest fireworks and celebrations. It’s surely a special time to be visiting. Other spectacles you shouldn’t miss are Manhattanhenge and Restaurant Week. And don’t forget about Father’s Day in June!

These are some unmissable New York summer events that you can look forward to this summer:

Shows & summer concerts in NYC

Summer in New York invites you to a series of summer concerts and festivals. One of the best-known festivals in the city is the free Summerstage Festival, but there many more open-air concerts and even theater pieces taking place in the summer, like Shakespeare in the Park. When it comes to concerts, Pier 17 offers the most spectacular venue which hosts an extensive concert series with the most stunning backdrop: the Brooklyn Bridge. Not to forget the FREE summer movies you can watch throughout the city.

Sports in New York this summer

If you are a sports enthusiast spending the summer in New York City, don’t worry – you won’t fall short! Though there are no football games throughout the summer months, you can cheer on New York’s basketball, baseball, and soccer teams. Attending a sports game is a great way to see famous landmarks like Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium or Barclays Arena. Tickets can be as cheap as $10 for a seat in the far back. Here’s an overview of the sports in NYC this summer:

More fun things to do in New York in the summer

For more amazing things to do in New York in the summer, we recommend heading to the many outdoor markets. Smorgasborg Food Market and Queens Night Market are enjoying increasing popularity. Both are every foodie’s dream! The best thing you can do to find fun summer activities in New York is to head to the respective monthly articles for June, July, or August.

New York summer weather

New York in the summer is best described in one single word: hot. In the US, summer season unofficially starts with Memorial Day Weekend at the end of May. Heatwaves are not uncommon in the area and the city’s density tends to make it feel even hotter. That’s why we have compiled a handful of summer activities that are guaranteed to make even the hottest days enjoyable.

But how hot does it really get in New York? Here’s an overview of the average temperatures as well as sunshine and rain days to give you a general idea of the weather you should expect in NYC in the summer:

🌡 Temperature (day)🌡 Temperature (night)☀️ Sunshine (hours)🌧 Rain (days)
June75 °F64 °F610
July86 °F68 °F610
August82 °F68 °F115

Considering these temperatures, you may be wondering if summer is a good time to go to New York. The answer is simple: yes! For us, of course, New York is always worth a trip, but we actually have some great arguments as to why New York in the summer will be worth your trip, too! You’ll find them in our top things to do below.

Another question we are frequently asked is “what should I wear in New York in the summer?”. Taking into account that it gets really hot during the summer, you really should plan for light clothing. On a regular summer day, you don’t need more than shorts, a shirt, and a pair of sandals. In New York, you’re free to dress as you like.

Other seasons in New York

About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world.

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