All the Best Things to Add to Your NYC Summer Agenda

Each year, we intend to squeeze every last rosé-soaked drop out of summer. And each year, we find ourselves panicking when we realize it’s August and the season disappeared faster than available lawn space in Sheep Meadow on a Sunday. Don’t fall victim to the summer time warp: Here’s everything to add to your calendar now.

The Best Things to Eat and Drink This Month

people watching world cup under manhattan bridge
Julienne Schaer

Things To Do In Nyc In June

1. Watch the Women’s World Cup under the Dumbo Archway
Cheer on the badass ladies of the Women’s World Cup, now through July 7. If you’d prefer not to watch on your couch, head to soccer bars like Smithfield Hall and Banter, or post up under the Dumbo Archway, where you’ll find an 80-inch screen, food vendors and (faux) grass to spread out on.

2. Stop by the Girl Power Fair
We always love Hester Street Fair, but this month we love it even more: Stop by June 15 for the Girl Power Fair, featuring all female vendors, then go back on June 29 for the World Pride Market, a lineup of queer-owned businesses.

3. Drink up at Loreley’s Summer Rosé Festival
What’s better than a rosé festival? A rosé festival that lasts a full two months: Loreley’s Summer Rosé Festival features happy-hour deals and other specials every day of the week, through July 31.

4. Watch the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
BYO bedazzled seashells: The Coney Island Mermaid Parade arrives in all its wacky, glittery, breast-baring glory on June 22. (While you’re there, why not make a day of it?

shakespeare in the park delacorte theater1
Joseph Moran

5. See Shakespeare in the Park (or Try, Anyway)
Engage in the time-honored tradition of entering the lottery for the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park over and over and hoping for the best. We’re rooting for you. Much Ado About Nothing runs through June 23, and Coriolanus runs from July 16 to August 11.

6. Have a meal at Pastis 2.0
ICYMI, a certain iconic Meatpacking District restaurant and celeb hot spot—Pastis—is back, just down the street from its original location. We’ll see you there for champagne, salade Niçoise and top-shelf people-watching.

7. Learn about elephant conservation at the Elepop
Yes, there’s another pop-up museum, but this one’s for an important cause. The colorful rooms at the Elepop (through July 25) are designed to educate visitors about elephant conservation and teach them how to get involved. (And 10% of ticket sales go toward the animals’ protection.)

prospect park soiree
Jonathan Grassi

8. Attend the Prospect Park Soirée
A dreamy, open-air dinner party complete with live music and dancing under the stars—where guests are encouraged to wear their fanciest hats? No, it’s not an episode of Downton Abbey; it’s the Prospect Park Soirée (June 22). 

9. See Emily Nussbaum at 92Y
We wish we were real-life friends with New Yorker TV critic (and Pulitzer winner) Emily Nussbaum. Until then, we’ll have to settle for reading her new book, I Like to Watch, and seeing her at 92nd Street Y on June 25.

manhattan park pool roosevelt island
Max Touhey for Citi Habitats

Things To Do In Nyc In July

1. Go for a swim at the Manhattan Park Pool Club
Most swimming pools are Instagrammable by nature. But the Manhattan Park Pool Club takes it to 11: The Roosevelt Island oasis is completely decked out in prismatic artwork by Elizabeth Sutton.

2. Hear author readings during Books Beneath the Bridge
Join your fellow bibliophiles on the Brooklyn waterfront for Books Beneath the Bridge, a Monday-night series of author readings curated by the borough’s indie bookstores (July 8 through August 12).

3. Snap an obligatory Manhattanhenge photo
OK, we know Manhattanhenge happens every year (the next occurrence is July 12 and 13), but that doesn’t stop us from joining the masses taking photos in the crosswalk. Psst: For our money, the best views aren’t in Manhattan at all—they’re in Long Island City (Gantry Plaza State Park) and Williamsburg (East River State Park).

green wood cemetery niblos garden event
Maike Schulz

4. Catch an old-timey circus at Green-Wood Cemetery
The usually tranquil Green-Wood Cemetery transforms into a surreal wonderland during A Night at Niblo’s Garden (July 12), an evening of Victorian-era theatrics including fire eaters, contortionists and more. 

5. Pretend you’re French on Bastille Day
An excuse to wear stripes, day drink and practice our French? Mais oui: Just head to the Bastille Day celebrations in Midtown and Cobble Hill, July 14.

parklife brooklyn bar movie night
Courtesy of Parklife

6. See an outdoor movie at Parklife
You can’t throw a stick without hitting an outdoor movie screening this time of year. One new option to add to your list is Parklife in Gowanus, which is hosting screenings every Wednesday through September. We’ll take tacos from El Atoradero over your standard concessions any day.

7. Channel Meg Ryan at Katz’s Deli
Speaking of movies, When Harry Met Sally turns 30 this July—and naturally, Katz’s Deli has some unique celebrations in store. (Hint: They involve pastrami…and a certain provocative scene.)

8. Go pink or go home at Pinknic
Throw on your finest shade of magenta, blush or salmon for Pinknic (July 19 and 20), the rosé-fueled festival featuring local restaurants, live music and (duh) lots of pink wine.

9. Geek out at OZY Fest
Our favorite music/culture/food/everything else mash-up, OZY Fest, returns to Central Park on July 20 and 21, with a stacked roster including Padma Lakshmi, Spike Lee, Stacey Abrams and Tove Lo.

taiyaki nyc fish ice cream cones
Courtesy of Grand Bazaar NYC

10. Feast on frozen treats at the Ice Cream Blizzard
You don’t need an excuse to eat ice cream in summer (or ever). But Grand Bazaar NYC’s annual Ice Cream Blizzard (July 21)—featuring treats like Taiyaki NYC’s fish-shaped cones and Stax’s ice-cream-stuffed doughnuts—is just the kind of extra incentive we need. 

11. Get cultured at Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Put some coins in your cultural savings account (without spending any money) during Lincoln Center Out of Doors (July 24 to August 11). The eclectic lineup includes everything from flamenco dance to stand-up comedy.

william vale hotel beer garden
Courtesy of the William Vale

12. Sip a pint at the Brooklyn Beer Garden at the William Vale
Local brews plus local art is our kind of pairing. You’ll find both at Brooklyn Beer Garden at the William Vale, a new outdoor pop-up at the hotel, which features murals curated by the art-loving duo behind the original Bushwick venue. 

13. Take a free fitness class in Union Square Park
Those lobster rolls aren’t gonna burn themselves, unfortunately. Swing by Union Square Park for free outdoor fitness classes, every Thursday morning and evening through August 8, during Citi Summer in the Square.

14. Escape the heat at a Broadway show
Broadway’s summer schedule has a little something for everyone, from the sparkly, romance-fueled extra-ness of Moulin Rouge! The Musical to the poignant and timely What the Constitution Means to Me.

cat fashion show algonquin hotel
Mark McQueen

Things To Do In Nyc In August

1. See an all-star lineup at Afropunk
Brooklyn’s annual celebration of black artists, Afropunk (August 24 and 25) never fails to impress with its lineup: Leon Bridges, FKA Twigs, Gary Clark Jr. and Tierra Whack, to name a few. 

2. Check out The Algonquin Hotel's Cat Fashion Show
If you think dogs in Halloween costumes look miserable, wait until you see the dapper felines in The Algonquin Hotel’s Cat Fashion Show (August 1). The annual event raises money to help homeless NYC animals and doubles as a birthday party for Hamlet, the hotel’s resident rescue kitty.

3. Head upstate for Soirée on the Railway
Psst: Remember when we told you about a certain magical party on a train? Soirée on the Railway returns August 3. (Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but keep your eyes peeled—they went fast last year.)

4. Sip cocktails at Secret Summer
Sip “farm-to-bar” cocktails, watch immersive performances and dance to live music in one of Long Island City’s prettiest venues at Secret Summer (August 4).

jungle bird bar nyc
Eric Medsker

5. Have a drink at Jungle Bird
Some days you like the idea of an outdoor patio, but you like the idea of air conditioning more. Head to Jungle Bird, a new Chelsea cocktail bar from master bartender Krissy Harris: It’s full of tropical vibes and sippable drinks (like the Orange Colored Sky, with tequila, passionfruit and pink peppercorn grenadine).

6. Cheers to the Sisterhood at Beers With(out) Beards
Knock back a cold one with the badass women of breweries at Beers With(out) Beards (August 10), a tasting festival celebrating women in the beer industry.

7. Celebrate the Harlem 100 at Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
This year's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (August 23 to 25) includes a special event: Harlem 100, which marks the 100-year anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with a multimedia concert led by multicultural local jazz group Mwenso and the Shakes.

8. Dress up for the Jazz Age Lawn Party
That beloved summer tradition, the Jazz Age Lawn Party (June 15 and 16; August 24 and 25), has a fun theme this year: Countdown to the Twenties—since, you know, it’s been almost 100 years since that last roaring decade.

collective retreats shelter governors island
Courtesy of Collective Retreats

9. Stay in a micro-hotel on Governors Island
Remember last year how we told you there’s now glamping on Governors Island? Collective Retreats, the company behind the luxe tents, is rolling out a “modular hotel room,” i.e., a standalone structure complete with a soaking tub, air conditioning, a minibar and a private deck. Booking is now open for Labor Day weekend—not a bad way to close out the summer. 

purewow author


From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.