Feels Like Summer: A NYC Guide on Things To Do

Updated: Jul 10

For many of us, summer is the season filled with unforgettable nights, family fun, and what feels like endless joy. The kids are off from school, the temperature provides for strolls in the park, beach outings, and outdoor festivals that leave our bellies full and have us dancing the night away. Summertime in New York City is especially fun-filled as there is an abundance of events to partake in for all age groups. In preparation for the months ahead, I’d like to share some information on some of the fun and exciting activities NYC has to offer this summer, for children and adults. 

As parents, we often prioritize the needs of our children and whenever we are guaranteed additional quality time with our children, we are determined to make the most of it. This is why summertime can be a pretty sentimental season for some parents. New York City has some of the best of the best to offer when it comes to child-friendly fun and entertainment. New York, a city greatly known for its artistic expression, is full of cool and innovative museums and exhibitions. In addition to landmark museums such as the MET, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, NY Hall of Science, and the Brooklyn Museum, there are a lot of newer museums and pop-ups in the city that are a guaranteed fun time for your babies. 

First up, is the Museum of Ice Cream. Located in the heart of Soho, the Museum of Ice Cream is an interactive experience featuring 13 ice cream art installations that include a bouncy house, a rainbow sprinkle pool, and the city’s highest indoor slide. In addition to all that’s aesthetically pleasing, of course, you can’t leave the Museum of Ice Cream without purchasing some of the tasty treats they offer. Similar to the Museum of Ice Cream and its desire to give your kids a sugar rush that will probably leave your head spinning by the end of the night is Candytopia. Candytopia is an exhibit located in Midtown that also includes multiple interactive art installations, such as an indoor mini zipline and marshmallow pit. Other popular interactive exhibits/museums in the city include the Sloomoo Institute (Slime Museum), Color Factory, Arcadia Earth, ARTECHOUSE, and Spyscape

In addition to the arts, you can’t forget the traditional summer fun that takes place at amusement parks. From the sweet smell of freshly made funnel cakes to the barf bags that you’re probably going to need after your kids begged you to go on that roller coaster for the 100th time, we all know that amusement parks are a summertime must. You can visit the historical Deno’s Wonder Wheel amusement park in Coney Island or make trips slightly outside of the city to visit Legoland New York Resort, Six Flags Great Adventure, and American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe. If you’re especially interested in water activities, American Dream is also home to North America’s largest indoor waterpark, DreamWorks waterpark. You may also venture out to the Poconos, about 100 miles from the city to famous waterpark resorts such as Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge, and Camelback

While you ensure that the babies in your life have an eventful summer, don’t neglect your needs as well. Yes, we know you love the kids and wasting your quarters on those claw machines but when possible feel free to treat yourself to a night out. The lively night out is something that New York City specializes in. This city also specializes in delicious bites from all over the world and top-notch restaurant experiences that know how to combine good eats with good vibes so seamlessly. Now, your party days may be over because your kids wake up at 3 in the morning or your body simply says, “Nah”. Have no fear, you can still get a taste of your glory days while grabbing a bite at restaurants that provide exquisite service, top-tier drinks, and great music. Often equipped with some of the best DJs in NYC, stunning views, or room to dance you can visit restaurants such as Blend on The Water, Lagos NYC, Fushimi Williamsburg, Corner Social, Angel of Harlem, Sofrito NYC, and Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe-to name a few.

Perhaps, the Lord has blessed you with unimaginable energy that you ponder daily as parenting is one hell of a job. Yet you realize that you in fact do have the energy to party like you used to. You may consider a day party, a music festival, or a yacht party. Maybe even a club. Unfortunately, I am not that blessed in the energy department and can’t tell you a thing about NYC clubs as simply put, “I ain’t about that life” anymore. However, I’ll proceed to provide some alternatives. If you’re a fan of live music, you may be interested in summer concerts such as GMA Summer Concert Series, Summerstage Festival, Pier 17’s Summer Concert Series, AFROPUNK,Wingate Park Concert Series, or BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!. This summer, these festivals provide lineups that include artists such as Erykah Badu, Blondie, Cee-Lo Green, Ozuna, Slick Rick, Junglepussy, Megan thee Stallion, One Republic, Burna Boy, and Yemi Alade. The most appealing part of it all is that the majority of these shows are free. If you are looking to see more stars in concert this summer, you can visit venues such as Barclays Center, Terminal 5, Radio City, Coney Island Amphitheater, and Coney Art Walls which will be hosting performances by Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, Kes, Joey Bada$$, My Chemical Romance, Kid Cudi, Alicia Keys, Machel Montano, Giveon, and more. 

In addition to music festivals, you can check out food festivals such as Smorgasburg, which takes place every weekend in Williamsburg, Prospect Park, Jersey City, and near the World Trade Center highlighting over 100 vendors. If you’re looking for day parties, you may want to follow community-based brands such as Everyday People and FWFNYC which are notorious for throwing some of the coolest cultural events. And if you’re specifically looking for fresh date night options, you can cruise along the Hudson River enjoying mouthwatering seafood on North River Lobster Company’s “floating lobster shack” at Pier 81, partake in a romantic movie date with “bae” at IPIC’s dine-in theater or take a trip down memory lane steeped in nostalgia at any of the city’s Barcade locations, featuring classic video games and pinball machines from the 80s.

No matter the borough or what type of fun you’re looking for, New York City has more than enough to offer. With endless options and opportunities, you’re bound to create timeless memories.

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