Welcome to summer! The days are long and hot, the city’s rooftops and beaches beckon, and all around New York, people are getting outside to enjoy the weather or trying their best to stay cool as the temperature reaches triple digits. Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or indoor relief, our guide will give you plenty of options for the season's best things to do and places to go, all of which you can reach on mass transit. 

  • Summer is the perfect time to go to the ballpark. Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are the obvious destinations for a game (hit those links for our foods guides), but don’t forget about New York’s minor league options. Take the train to Coney Island for a Brooklyn Cyclones game or hop on board Metro-North and head to Beacon to go see the Hudson Valley Renegades, or take the LIRR to Central Islip for a Ducks game.

  • Though the Liberty came up short last year in their quest for their first championship in franchise history, the 2024 team is stacked and primed for another title run. You’ve got plenty of opportunities to see Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart and the rest of the Liberty in action at Barclays Center, with the WNBA season stretching through September.

Arthur Ashe Stadium US Open
Arthur Ashe Stadium (Harry Shuldman on Flickr)
  • The US Open always feels like the end of summer in New York, and while the tournament is still a couple of months away, it’ll be here before you know it. Grab your tickets now and rest easy in the knowledge that seeing the best tennis on the planet will take nothing more than a ride on the 7 train out to Flushing (and make sure to read our guide to the best eats in Chinatown so you can fill up on dumplings before the matches). 

A sculpture in Storm King's Arlene Shechet exhibition (David Schulze)
  • Want to enjoy some art while also basking in the summer sun? Take a trip to Storm King, which offers free shuttle service from the Beacon Metro-North station starting in July. Along with a permanent collection featuring pieces by Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt and Isamu Noguchi, Storm King also has a new exhibition on display in Arlene Shechet: Girl Group, which runs through November 10th. 

  • Summer is the season for outdoor concerts in New York, and you have a bevy to choose from. SummerStage returns for its 38th season with free concerts in all five boroughs; highlights include T-Pain, a tribute to J Dilla and Detroit hip-hop, a night of comedy hosted by David Cross and featuring Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Silverman, a Gaslight Anthem-Joyce Manor double bill, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, and so much more. Or you can make the trek to Forest Hills Stadium to see Pitbull, the National, Kings of Leon, Sturgill Simpson, Tiesto, or the inaugural New York edition of the All Things Go Festival, headlined by Chappell Roan, Ethel Cain, and Janelle Monae. Plus, there’s BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn’s lineup of free shows and performances in Prospect Park, as well as free concerts in Bryant Park, including jazz, contemporary dance, and a full production of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera Tosca

Paul McCartney exhibit
George Harrison. Miami Beach, February 1964. IPaul McCartney / MPL Archive)
  • Experience Beatlemania in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Museum’s Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eye of the Storm exhibition, on display through August 18th, which collects candid shots he took during their first U.S. tour, including their historic performance in New York. And while you’re at the Brooklyn Museum, make a stop in 19th-century Japan with Hiroshige's 100 Famous Views of Edo exhibition, a collection of woodblock prints that’s back on public display for the first time in 24 years; you have until August 4th to see that one.

  • New York has no shortage of outdoor movie screenings in the summer; Bryant Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park, and Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City will all hold free movie nights on their lawns and under the stars. There’s also Films on the Green, the annual free French film festival that will screen some of the country's best movies at various parks in Manhattan and Brooklyn through September. This year’s selections are themed around sports and competition in connection with the upcoming Paris Summer Olympics; check out the full lineup here. And if you want a film festival where you won’t break a sweat, the New York Asian Film Festival will screen two weeks’ worth of movies in air-conditioned comfort at Lincoln Center and the SVA Theatre from July 12th to 28th. 

Macy's Fireworks
Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office
  • The July 4th fireworks return to the Hudson River after a decade over the East River, and while that’s bad news for Brooklynites, we’ll help you get across Manhattan to the best viewing spots on the west side, all located between West 14th Street and West 34th Street — no trip to New Jersey required. 

  • Summer means beach season, and that means joining the crowds at Rockaway Beach, Jacob Riis Park, and Coney Island. But if you’re looking for a different vibe, head to the Bronx and Orchard Beach, once known as the Riviera of New York, or check out Brooklyn's Manhattan Beach, the sleepier, quieter cousin of Brighton Beach. Or you can leave the city entirely and visit the best that Long Island has to offer, like Long Beach and Jones Beach, with our car-free beach guide, including discounted LIRR ticket packages. 

  • If the beach isn’t your jam but you still want to hang out by the water’s edge, the Hudson Valley offers plenty of relaxing green spaces by the river where you can picnic, grill, or just sunbathe with a book. At Croton Point Park near Croton on Hudson, you can swim, fish, hike and camp, and there’s a cricket pitch you can rent out if Team USA’s upset of Pakistan in the T20 World Cup has you eager to bowl. Scenic Hudson Park in Irvington offers views of Manhattan and is close to one of the area's most fascinating pieces of architecture, the Armour-Stiner Octagon House. Go hiking or birding alongside the Hudson at Manitou Point Preserve near Garrison. And Tarrytown’s RiverWalk Park has waterfront walking and biking paths just a two-minute stroll from Metro-North. 

Shakespeare in the Park
Courtesy of the Public Theater
  • With the Delacorte Theater under renovation, Shakespeare in the Park will become Shakespeare in the Parks for the 2024 season, as the Public Theater will decamp from Central Park and take its show on the road. Fans of the Bard can catch this year’s staging of The Comedy of Errors in English and Spanish at various spots around the five boroughs, including Jamaica (the Roy Wilkins Recreation Center), Astoria (A.R.R.O.W. Field House), the Upper West Side (the Cathedral of St. John the Divine), Sunset Park (Central Lawn), Jackson Heights (Travers Park), Bushwick (Maria Hernandez Park), the East Village (Astor Place), Mott Haven (St Mary’s Park), and Park Slope (Prospect Park). All performances are free. 

  • Whether you're a regular angler or have never cast a line before, there's plenty of good fishing to be done locally, and summer is a great time to do it. If you ride the LIRR out to Port Washington or all the way to Montauk, you can charter yourself a boat and drop a line in the Long Island Sound, where you can catch porgy, blackfish, fluke, and striped bass. You can also do shore fishing on the beaches or take your rod to any pier; popular spots include Long Beach, Babylon, and Port Washington.

  • Give your bike a break from the city's crowded streets and take it to Westchester and the Hudson Valley for a ride through the trees. The Bronx River Pathway covers 13 miles from the northern edge of the Bronx up to the Kenisco Dam Plaza in Valhalla, with multiple Metro-North stations along the way. (And on Sundays, you can bike on the Bronx River Parkway between Yonkers and White Plains from 10 am to 2 pm.) The North-South County Trailway, which is situated on the former Putnam railroad line, runs for roughly 36 miles from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Brewster, where you'll find a Metro-North station if you don't fancy biking all the way back to New York; you can also join the trail near Pleasantville and its Metro-North station. Or you can take your bike on Metro-North and ride the Harlem Line to the last stop in Wassaic, where you'll find the beginning of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, which follows the former Upper Harlem Line of the defunct Penn Central Railroad 26 miles north to Hillsdale.

Little Island
Little Island (Scott Lynch)
  • Have you been to Little Island? Opened in May 2021, this tiny Manhattan green space — just 2.4 acres in size — sits in the Hudson River right by Pier 55 in Chelsea, and while it’s open year-round, summer is a particularly good time to visit, as the island will play host to live music performances from June through September, plus a production of the Mozart opera The Marriage of Figaro.

  • Stay cool this summer and go on a tour of New York’s breweries; the New York City Brewer’s Guild has a list of every taproom in the five boroughs, including local icons Sixpoint, Brooklyn Brewery, Finback, Grimm, and Other Half. In Long Island, you can take the LIRR to Montauk, Port Jefferson, and Oyster Bay to sample their local beers. Metro North, meanwhile, is your ticket to craft breweries in Beacon (Hudson Valley Brewery) and Poughkeepsie (Mill House Brewing Company and Blue Collar Brewery). Cheers!

As always, check out events calendar regularly for more!