FREE Summer Activities in NYC

Free things to do in New York in Summer are everywhere, every day and every night! Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, lazy…you name it! Free summer activities in NYC include concerts, movies, sports and fitness, arts and culture, museums, tours. So whether you want free tennis, an outdoor concert, a movie under the stars or free opera outdoors in the park, we have you covered with over 100 FREE things to do in NYC this summer.

Free Summer Concerts and Music

Just about every park in every NYC borough hosts dozens of free outdoor concerts throughout the summer. The more popular free summer concerts include Central Park SummerStage and NY Philharmonic in the Park.

Free NYC Summer Concerts and Music

If you want to see today’s hottest pop superstars, and are able to brave long lines and early wake up times, then the Today Show Summer Concert Series or Good Morning America Summer Concert Series might be for you, both every Friday morning from May to August.

For dozens more free concerts check the NYC Parks guide to Free Outdoor Concerts in NYC and also check all the local neighborhood sites, such as Union Square, Meatpacking District, Tribeca, Battery Park City and Governors Island.

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

Free Summer Arts and Culture

Free NYC Summer Arts and CultureWhile there are plenty of times throughout the year to see a NYC Museum Free, summer has some extra special bonuses for saving. You can’t beat the Annual Museum Mile Festival in June, which opens up Museum Mile to the public for free. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is always a suggested donation for locals, but what better way to spend a summer evening than with skyline views, beautiful art and hand-crafted cocktails at the Met Roof Martini Bar? To reward those who so bravely serve our country, check out Free NYC Museum Admission for Military Families all Summer.

Interested in free, outdoor Opera? Grab yourself a blanket and picnic and head to the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series and the Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival.

For the MOST quintessential, classic NYC experience every New Yorker should experience at least once, Shakespeare in the Park is a don’t miss! Tickets are free, but do require waiting on long lines, unless you win the ticket lottery. Not to worry, for those willing to pay a reasonable line sitting fee, NYC Insider has you covered with guaranteed tickets.

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

Free Summer Movies in NYC

Free Summer Movies in NYCWatching a movie under the stars is a great thing to do in summer just about anywhere. But in NYC, we throw in a view of the Brooklyn Bridge or NYC Skyline, the sound of the water lapping, the scenery of Central Park or just the fact that you’re on the Flight Deck of a war ship!

Each free summer outdoor movie festival has it’s own theme, allowing you watch classics, kid-friendly films or the latest blockbusters.

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

Free Summer Sports and Fitness Around NYC

Free Things to Do in New York in SummerThink the US Tennis Open is expensive? Think again! The FREE Qualifying Rounds at the US Tennis Open are a fantastic way to see the world’s greatest tennis players practice and compete completely free and take place every year from Tues-Fri, the week before the start of the US Open.

You can also catch the AVP New York City (Volleyball) Open in June and General Admission is free.

Rather be active? Summer sports, fitness classes, bootcamps and more abound throughout the city. Catch some yoga, running, training or bootcamp every Thursday at Fitness in the (Union) Square. Check out Yoga, Tai Chi, Circuit Training, Tennis and much more at the NYC Parks Calendar for FREE Fitness Activities all over NYC, including NYC Summer Streets, when you can walk, bike, run or blade from Central Park to Brooklyn Bridge on Park Avenue. Prefer to be active along the water (me too!)? Then Healthy on the Hudson is for you. More free workouts: South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Free Yoga.

Did you know there is Free Kayaking on the Hudson and free Beach Volleyball every weekend all summer long? There are so many awesome activities all along the West Side Highway (WSH) all summer. Once you’re on a bike, the WSH is one of the best ways to see and experience NYC.

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

NYC Free Tours All Summer

Free Walking Tours NYCNew York walking tours are offered free by almost every neighborhood organization in Manhattan. As you know, New Yorkers LOVE to brag…especially about how much we love our City…so why not take advantage of those who want to brag to you?

The summer is an especially great time to explore every nook and cranny of NYC outdoors, and on foot. There likely isn’t an inch of NYC you can’t cover on a Free New York City Walking Tour, so feel free to find your guide to Central Park, Lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Times Square, Movie and TV locations, Wall Street, Lower East Side, NY Public Library, Grand Central Station…and more!

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

NYC Free Summer Fairs and Festivals

NYC Free Summer Fairs and FestivalsThere are free fairs and festivals just about every day all summer throughout NYC. Some are geared towards specific cultures and groups, like the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Pride Week and Fleet Week.

While others, such as the American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center, Taste of Times Square, River to River Festival and Annual Downtown Dance Festival in Battery Park appeal to a wider audience.

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

NYC Insider Free Picks by Month

June Free NYC Events – Annual Museum Mile Festival, Shakespeare in the Park, Philharmonic in the Park, Taste of Times Square, Pride Week, Midsummer Night Swing (watching is free), Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series, Bryant Park Film Festival, River to River Festival, Intrepid Museum Summer Movie Series, Bryant Park Film Festival

July Free NYC Events – July 4th Fireworks, Shakespeare in the Park, Midsummer Night Swing, Met Museum Roof Martini Bar, FREE Broadway (and Off Broadway) in Bryant Park, Riverflicks Movies in Hudson River Park, Free Fitness in New York City, Lincoln Center Festival

August Free NYC Events – U.S. Tennis Open Qualifying Rounds, Central Park Film Festival, Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival, Met Museum Roof Martini Bar, Shakespeare in the Park, Bryant Park Film Festival

Back to Top of Free Things to Do in New York in Summer

More Things to do in New York City

100 Safe Things to do in NYC

Hot Sellers This Month

Explore and Indulge Like a Real NYC Foodie

There is no shortage of pizza, bagels, street vendors, cupcakes, craft beer and cocktails, rooftops and mini food parks to explore and so many more food choices in the five boroughs, along with wonderful guides who can't wait to show you them all!!!!

Best New York City Hotel Rooftops

NYC Hotel Rooftops offer some of the best skyline views in the whole City, along with cocktails and food, views, pools, cabanas, sundecks and retractable roofs. Our top picks for the most surreal views and cocktails include:

New York City Hotel Rooftops

See More: Best New York City Hotel Rooftops

Museums

Most every museum and attraction is open with reduced capacity, safety protocols, reservations and vaccination proof. Check out the new Museum of Ice Cream (SoHo), Guggenheim, MoMA, Whitney and so many more museums from which to choose.

New York City Museums

Attractions & Sightseeing

Most every NYC attraction is open with reduced capacity, safety protocols and reservations required. Whether you want to sightsee from the sky or selfie with celebs @ Madame Tussauds, you can be safe and explore.

Go HIGH or Go Home

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or the new SUMMIT which opens Oct 2021? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

Edge NYC Observation Deck

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)
  • Summit One Vanderbilt - (91-93 floors) Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building

Secret NYC Insider Tours

Explore our subways secrets with a local guide, go behind-the-scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, uncover surprising gems and historical tales of Grand Central Station, cocktail your way through Manhattan’s best and most secretive speakeasies and much more!

Fun Things to Do in NYC

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or Summit? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

Edge NYC Observation Deck

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)
  • Summit One Vanderbilt - (91-93 floors) Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building

See All: Top New York City Tourist Attractions

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Take in ALL the Tours, Landmarks and Attractions and SAVE

NY Sightseeing Pass, New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass, CityPASS Compared

New York City Passes Compared

See All: New York City Pass Comparison Chart

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Secret NYC Insider Tours

Explore our subways secrets with a local guide, go behind-the-scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, uncover surprising gems and historical tales of Grand Central Station, cocktail your way through Manhattan’s best and most secretive speakeasies and much more!

Things to do in New York with Kids

One of the best parts of NYC is that what is fun for kids is usually just as much fun for adults. If you are joining us in NYC for a family vacation, then please read all about our local kid's favorites, along with special tips just for visitors.

Things to Do in New York With Kids

See All: Visiting New York with Kids.

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

FREE Things to do in New York City

There are tons of free things to do in New York all day, every day! Tours, attractions, museums, events, shows, sports, movie and more. Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, lazy...you name it!

Free Things to Do in New York City

See All: Free Things to Do in NYC - weekly calendar of all free walking tours, free museum admissions, free things to do by season and more

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

New York City Shopping Guides

New York City Shopping

New York City Nightlife

How do you make the most of your time in the city that never sleeps?? Some of the best 'only in NYC' nightlife experiences include skyline views, dinner cruises, Museums and attractions open late til 2am, rooftops, night tours, comedy clubs and more. Some of our top NYC Nightlife picks:

New York City Nightlife

See all our Top Picks: New York City Nightlife

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Save HUGE $$$$ in NYC

New York City Coupons

Romantic Things to Do in NYC

There are tons of things to do on your romantic New York City vacation. Attractions open late with skyline views, Central Park Tours, VIP Experiences, a helicopter ride. Some of the most popular romantic ways to see NYC include:

Romantic NYC Hotel Deals

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$120
View details

Romantic NYC Champagne & Skyline Cruises

Bestseller
Price starting at US$60
View details

Private Central Park Walking Tour with a Personal Photographer

Price starting at US$147
View details

New York City Private Helicopter Tour with Champagne Toast

Bestseller
Price starting at US$1,800
View details

Romantic Broadway Show Picks

Price starting at US$120
View details

Sunset Valentines Dinner Cruise in NYC

Bestseller
Price starting at US$145
View details

See more romantic things to do at: Romantic New York City Vacation and Valentine's Day in NYC

Explore and Indulge Like a Real NYC Foodie

There is no shortage of pizza, bagels, street vendors, cupcakes, craft beer and cocktails, rooftops and mini food parks to explore and so many more food choices in the five boroughs, along with wonderful guides who can't wait to show you them all!!!!

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Spot Celebrities in NYC

Celebrities in NYC

Where to find celebrities in NYC or which celebrities are living in NYC today are common questions by all, but celebrity sightings in NYC are way easier than you may think and happen all the time. You will, of course, see them on the subway, in Central Park, at the gym, in restaurants, at all the current hotspots, at shows and more. But here are some unique ways to see celebrities all over the city.

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Get Out of Town for a Day

NYC is within 3 hours of so many other cities and areas you can visit for just one day. The weather in April makes is pretty easy to head to Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Hamptons, Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets and more quite easily.

Day Trips Out of New York City

Whether you live in NY or are visiting, and no matter how much you love NYC, escaping for a day is a treat for everyone. Top choices for 1-day Out of Town:

See All: Day Trips Out of New York City

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.