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
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.
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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 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.