Here are some ways to have summer fun in the New York City this year

Rear view of woman sitting on bench at Central Park in city
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With restrictions lifting and establishments reopening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this summer will be the “Summer of New York City.” As the weather is heating up, New Yorkers are looking for ways to beat the heat while having safe fun with friends and family.

There are tons of ways to have fun around the city. Here are a few options that you can consider.

Head to the beach or to a local pool

If you don’t feel like going all the way to Long Island to take a quick dip, you can go to any of the city’s easily accessible beaches or pools. From Coney Island to Rockaway Beach and Manhattan Beach and Orchard Beach, there’s a beach in every borough that you can check out. Don’t like sand? The pool will cool you off just as much — just make sure you check out the COVID-19 protocols and swim hours before you go!

Take a trip to the zoo or aquarium

Perfect for adults and kids alike, a trip to the zoo is a great summertime activity. The zoos (Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, Queens) and the New York Aquarium are all open with timed entries to ensure COVID-friendly fun, or if you want to replicate the experience at home you can try out one of their virtual encounters.


New York City’s yearly tradition of free performances throughout the summer is coming back with an extraordinary lineup of music and programming. After a year off from in-person performances, there will be live SummerStage shows in Central Park and Marcus Garvey Park this year. Plus, every show will be livestreamed for those who want to watch from the comfort of their homes.

Walk the Coney Island boardwalk

The Coney Island Boardwalk is a quintessential New York City summer destination for good reason. When you’re done hanging out on the beach, you can take a stroll down the boardwalk and check out some of the shops and food available onsite. You can also grab tickets for Luna Park, which has officially reopened this summer.

Explore New York City’s largest parks

Lots of New Yorkers have poked around Central Park, but did you know that New York City has no shortage of huge parks to explore. From Van Cortland Park in the Bronx and Greenbelt Park on Staten Island to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, there are endless acres of green space to enjoy. Check out the NYC Parks website to see some of the biggest parks by acre. 

Book a stay at a nearby campsite

For those who are itching to get away from the city for a few days, camping serves as a fun option for the summer. There are tons of camping options either on Long Island or upstate that have lots of activities like swimming and hiking to enjoy. Be sure to check out our sister publication New York Family’s picks for nearby campsites.