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Central Park during the summer in New York City | Top 5 things to do in NYC this summer

The Top 5 Things to Do in NYC This Summer

Summer is finally here and there is no better place to be than New York City. This time of year, the city is bustling with activities, but how do you even begin to choose how to fill each day?! Look no further: We have the best things to do this summer in NYC.


SEE A BROADWAY SHOW

Broadway in Bryant Park Returns This Summer
Erich Bergen, Katharine McPhee, and the cast of Waitress at the 2018 Broadway in Bryant Park concert series.

New York City is home to some of the greatest entertainment in the world. Take a trip to the theatre to soak in a musical, and enjoy the AC while you watch! Broadway Direct will always direct you to the official source of tickets for every show. See the full list of shows playing on Broadway.

Lottery

Looking for last-minute tickets? Many shows now have online lotteries where you can enter for tickets. Check out what is available through Broadway Direct HERE.

Broadway in Bryant Park

Every summer, Broadway shows give sneak-peek performances in Bryant Park. This summer, performances will occur every Thursday from July 11 to August 15. View the full lineup of performances HERE.

Broadway Buskers

This summer brings the second season of Broadway Buskers, a series of concerts from Broadway stars live at the Crossroads of the World. Stop by Broadway Plaza (between 43rd and 44th Streets) on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. from June to September to enjoy these free concerts. You can view the full schedule of performers HERE.


VISIT AN EXHIBIT

The laser tunnel Special Ops Challenge at SpyScape.
The laser tunnel Special Ops Challenge at SpyScape.

Looking for a way to escape the summer heat? Pop into one of the many exhibits and museums the city has to offer. Some are even free to the public.

Madame Tussauds Broadway Exhibit

Create the magic of Broadway at Madame Tussauds’s latest experience: Broadway Play Your Part. Celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber, this exhibit will let you tap out a song on a giant floor piano, or try on Cats stage makeup. Tickets start at $29.95 online.

234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

SpyScape

SpyScape is the latest exhibit experience to hit New York City. Bring the whole family and find out if you have what it takes to become a spy. For 007 fans, you must check out the exclusive James Bond exhibit, featuring the spy’s famous Aston Martin. Tickets are time- and date-specific, so book your tickets in advance.

928 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019

NYPL’s Second Stage Theater: Four Decades of Producing Living American Playwrights

Multiple times a year, the New York Public Library puts on exhibits that are free to the public. This year, the Library for Performance Arts, located at Lincoln Center, is celebrating Second Stage Theater’s 40th anniversary producing living American playwrights on stage. See what it takes to bring a show from the page to the stage.

40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023


CATCH A MEAL

A selection of menu items at Los Tacos No. 1.
A selection of menu items at Los Tacos No. 1.

When in doubt, grab a bite to eat. Below are some of our favorites around the Theatre District. For more recommendations, check out our Ultimate Broadway Dining Guide.

Los Tacos No. 1 

On West 43rd Street, across from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, are the best tacos in NYC.  The menu at Los Tacos No. 1 features family recipes from Tijuana that have garnered the restaurant a cult following. Each day, a line forms outside. To avoid waiting, try a late lunch around 2:30 or 3 p.m. Or catch a quick bite before a show.

229 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

PS Kitchen 

This restaurant with a plant-based menu is the cutest brunch, lunch, and dinner spot for a couple or small group. Not only is the food good for you, but PS Kitchen donates 100 percent of their profits to sustainable charities. Favorite dishes are their orzo Alfredo, lasagna, and the PS Burger with fries.

246 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036 

Blockheads/Mother Burger

If you’re just looking to get a quick buzz before a Broadway show, Blockheads is the place to go. Their margaritas pack a punch. And if the punch isn’t strong enough, you can get a Bullfrog, a.k.a. a margarita mixed with beer. Fair warning: This place gets very crowded in the summer. If the wait is too long, head across the courtyard to Mother Burger, where they can serve you the exact same margaritas.

Blockheads: 322 W50th St, New York, NY 10019

Mother Burger: 329 W49th St, New York, NY 10019


SEE THE SIGHTS

The entrance to The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo

New York City has many beautiful spaces, from historic transportation hubs to beautiful parks. Below are our favorites.

Grand Central Station

This New York hub is home to more than just trains. Step inside to do some shopping or grab a bite in the food hall. Looking for a classic New York meal? Dine at the Grand Central Oyster Bar and feel like you are stepping onto the set of Mad Men.

Prospect Park

Central Park may be one of the most famous parks in the world, but Prospect Park takes the cake for our favorite in the summer. Catch the subway to Brooklyn and enjoy 526 acres of lush nature — with fewer people.

Bronx Zoo

View more than 6,000 animals and 700 species. This famous zoo was built in 1899 and its mission is to “connect visitors to wildlife and inspire them to join our conservation work.” You may have even caught a behind-the-scenes look on Animal Planet as part of the series The Zoo, which profiled the employees and animals at the Bronx Zoo.


TAKE A TOUR

The interactive bus tour of New York City, The Ride.
The interactive bus tour of New York City, The Ride.

Seeing everything in New York City in one trip can seem overwhelming. A great way to catch a lot is to take a tour. NYC has boat, walking, and bus tours for all visitors.

Boat Tours

A great way to see the beautiful NYC skyline is by boat. There are many options out there, including the Circle Line and the Beast speedboat tours. Insider tip: If you catch the IKEA ferry on the weekends, you can get a free ride!

Walking Tours

From food tours to ghost tours, there is a slew of ways to see the city on foot. For the theater fans out there, New York Tour 1 offers walking tours of Broadway.

Bus Tours

Bus tours are great for large groups and tourists who may not be up for boating or walking. You can get tickets for bus tours at any major tourist area in the city, including Times Square.