Summer Fun

19 Things to Do in NYC Before the Sun Sets on Summer 2019

How to make the most of the waning warm days.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Grange

The end-of-summer blues are like the Sunday scaries on steroids. But take heart, summer lovers: The season isn’t over yet! There are still rooftops to drink on, parks to picnic in, and bodies of water to dive into.

If you’ve already checked all 38 items off of our original summer bucket list, we’ve got even more ways to squeeze every last drop of fun before school starts, work ramps back up, and the days get shorter. (And don’t worry: We’ll be here to help you make the most of the crisp and cozy fall season, too, when the time—alas—comes.)

  1. Swing dance under the stars at Tavern on the Green. Its live jazz sessions in the courtyard/outdoor bar (no reservations required) draw beginner and seasoned dancers.
  2. …or salsa at sunset at Pier 45 in Hudson River Park every Tuesday through the end of August.

    Photo courtesy of Hudson River Park/Facebook
  3. Visit a New England seaside town—without leaving NYC—by spending a full day in Bronx’s historic City Island.
  4. Sip as many of these refreshing summer cocktails as possible.

    summer cocktails
    Photo courtesy of the Polynesian
  5. Pop into the magical, verdant, and quirky Elizabeth Street Garden in SoHo—before it’s possibly gone forever.

    Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Street Garden
  6. Drink wine in a plastic cup on the ferry (yep, there’s a bar on board) to Rockaway Beach, a trip that just might out-summer the destination.
  7. Breeze through the airy, sunny galleries splattered with stunning neon colors at Beyond the Streets, an instant mood booster even on a rainy day.

    Beyond The Streets
    Patrick Martinez creates neon signs to give his unfiltered commentary on inequality—and the issues surrounding it—arising in his hometown of Los Angeles.
  8. Dig into these gourmet takes on a classic summer treat: s’mores.
  9. Hop the ferry to the bucolic, no-cars-allowed Governors Island for the Jazz Age Lawn Party (August 24 and 25), the Japan Performing Arts Festival (August 30 and 31), and the annual NYC Unicycle Festival (August 31 and September 1).

    Photo by Ryo Tanaka Ku/Unsplash
  10. Pet the chickens, buy fresh produce, and get your hands dirty on a tour of one of the Brooklyn Grange urban farms. There’s one in Long Island City, Sunset Park, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
  11. Catch some of the most exciting talents in jazz at the outdoor Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Harlem.
  12. While you’re in the neighborhood, take advantage of the incredible dishes and deals of Harlem Restaurant Week. Ropa vieja mofongo at Sofrito? Wings and chicken fingers at Sylvia’s? Rice bowls and yucca puffs at Fieldtrip? Yes, please!

    BLVD Bistro’s catfish po’boy / Photo courtesy of Harlem Restaurant Week
  13. Try yoga at sunrise or sunset, learn dance moves to Broadway show tunes, Pilates-chop your core, and sweat to the hip hops—all for free in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with sweeping views of the East River, as part of its Waterfront Workouts program.
  14. Lace up your (rented) roller skates and spin through the humid night air at Lola’s Dreamland Roller Disco at the Lakeside rink in Prospect Park.
  15. Run, bike, scoot, skateboard, pogo-stick, or, you know, just walk through Manhattan on car-free streets during the last day of Summer Streets on August 17.
  16. Eat lobster rolls at the U.S. Open. And, oh, yeah, watch some tennis!

    Photo courtesy of U.S. Open Tennis Championships/Facebook
  17. Spend every lunch break in Bryant Park if you work in midtown.
  18. Plan a last-hurrah staycation at a hotel with a pool.
  19. Summer down with Shakespeare in the Park. Public Works’ Hercules begins at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on August 31.

    summer broadway show
    Photo by Steve Brown/Courtesy of The Public Theater

Here’s where else you should be for the rest of the summer.