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Summer Fun in New York City
Food + Drink • Explore • Things to Do • New York City

Summer Fun in New York City

Summer is always an exciting time to travel to New York because the city truly comes alive in the warmer months. From picnics in Central Park to sitting outside enjoying delicious gelato, from attending concerts and street fairs to checking out new and trendy rooftops, there is so much to do all over the city.

Here are just some of our favorite summer activities in the city that never sleeps.

A Large Tree In A Forest

Visit Central Park Zoo

Central Park is a hub of summer activities, with green space and ball parks and playgrounds and plenty of other fun things to do spread out over an area 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide. But if you have the kids in tow, you'll want to head to the Tisch Children's Zoo, which you can access by entering the east side of the park near 64th Street. There, you'll get to meet sheep, goats, penguins, sea lions and other creatures. On your way, stop by the Delacorte Music Clock, topped with its own menagerie of animals skipping in time.

Kayak at Pier 96 along the Hudson

It's easy to forget sometimes that Manhattan is surrounded by water. Summer's warmer days make it the perfect time to see the city from the water. Head to Pier 96 (cross over from W. 55th Street), where Manhattan Community Boathouse provides free kayaking on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends, plus Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during the summer.  Reservations are not accepted. Lockers and changing rooms are available at Pier 96; but come expecting to get at least a little wet. No paddling experience is necessary; kayak sessions are limited to 20 minutes per person.

Visit the Frying Pan

To get out on the water with no paddling effort required, head down to Pier 66 on the Hudson to visit the Frying Pan, an historic floating lightship that was designated a historic site in 1991 and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. Entry to the Frying Pan is free, and it's open during business hours for Pier 66 Maritime Bar & Grill — 12 noon–12 AM seven days a week (weather permitting).

Cool Off at a Bulgarian Bar

This is one for the grown-ups, as Mehanata is a raucous Bulgarian bar and nightclub on the Lower East Side. It's famous for being the birthplace of new gypsy punk wave and Balkan beats, and bills itself as "one of the loudest, most outrageous and crazy clubs in New York." The reason to brave the scene here in summer is for the bar's Ice Cage – a glass box featuring a selection of vodka from around the world and a temperature of just 5 °F. In other words, come here in a heat wave, don a vintage military uniform and see if a shot of ice-cold vodka will cool you off.

Take a workout class outdoors

Yes, you can hit the hotel fitness center or pound the city pavements to get a workout in during your stay. But to take advantage of summer the way New Yorkers do, you'll want to sign up for an outdoor workout class and enjoy some greenery and scenery while you sweat. Bryant Park, Central ParkPier 17 and Socrates Sculpture Park all offer outdoor yoga and fitness classes throughout the summer.

A Group Of People Sitting At Sunset

photo by: Staci Agrapides

Catch an Open-Air Movie

Forget Netflix. At least until the fall. Instead, grab a chair or a picnic blanket and head to your nearest rooftop or public park. From the Seaport District and Hudson River Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park and Randall's Island Park, there are more than 150 free film screenings across NYC this summer. (Preview what's on in the New York Times' round-up here.)

Rooftop Restaurants

Indoor or outdoor, the views from New York's growing number of rooftop restaurants will make you forget how hot it is. Hit the roof to enjoy a range of cuisines and a variety of vibes to match. Check out the floral-filled rooftop garden of Serra Fiorita at Eataly in the Flatiron District, the tiki-themed terrace of The Polynesian in Hell's Kitchen, or the elaborate decor of Ophelia atop the Beekman Tower in Midtown. A perennial favorite that never disappoints is the Cantor Roof Garden Bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side, where you can enjoy summer cocktails and snacks with a side of art, and sprawling views of Central Park below.

A Close Up Of A Flower Garden In Front Of A Building

photo: Staci Agrapides

Summer Specials

If you're staying at Loews Regency New York this summer, take a look at our special packages; they might just help you get even more out of your stay in the city. Depending which offer you go for, that may mean complimentary cocktails, a spa credit to relax after a hot day bouncing around the city, or free valet parking so you can hit the sidewalk and explore the best of New York on foot. There's even a limited-time offer called Regency to Rose House that includes great food and drinks at Loews Regency, paired with classic transportation to the Hamptons to visit some of the best beaches and wineries in the nation. Contact us directly at or 212-759-4100 for more information.