Summer is one of the most affordable times to visit New York City with lower-than-average hotel rates and free events and entertainment available right across the city’s five boroughs. We have put some ideas for a great value summer holiday in the city; if you are stuck on what to do this summer, checkout this list…
Dine out for less during Restaurant Week
Reservations open on 9th July for NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2014, which takes place from 21st July – 15th August 2014. Around 300 restaurants are expected to participate in the programme, which offers diners three-course prix-fixe menus at $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Offers are valid from Monday to Friday, with Saturdays excluded and Sunday optional; and beverages, gratuities and taxes are excluded. New York City’s Restaurant Week is now in its 23rd year. Details of participating restaurants and online reservations will be available from 9th July 2014 at www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek.
Free movie screenings
Outdoor movie screenings are a staple of the New York City summer, with big screens erected in parks, on rooftops and other open spaces until the autumn. Films screened include a mix of classics, new releases and family films, from Frozen and Back to the Future to Heathers, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Searching for Sugar Man. Locations include the flight deck of the Intrepid museum, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Socrates Sculpture Park, Bryant Park and Coney Island. For full listings, see http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-summer-movies-2014
Extended opening and new features for Governors Island
This summer, Governors Island off the southern tip of Manhattan is open daily until 28th September 2014. In recent summers, the island was only open at weekends. Visitors have the chance to enjoy 30 new acres of parks along with dozens of arts, cultural and recreational events. The return ferry to Governors Island costs $2 and those visiting on weekday mornings can enjoy free bike rentals from Blazing Saddles between 10am and 12 noon to transport them around the island. On Saturdays, the Downtown Boat House offers free kayaking from the island. For full listings, see www.govisland.org.
Summer Streets is an annual celebration that sees nearly seven miles of New York City’s streets cleared of traffic and opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Held between 7am and 1pm on 2nd, 9th and 16th August, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park along Park Avenue and connecting streets. The streets are filled with free-of-charge activities including arts and crafts and musical performances, plus activities for passers-by to enjoy, including salsa dance classes and a 160’ zip line. For details, see www.nyc.gov/summerstreets
The parks and plazas of New York City are the places to enjoy free music, live performance, dance and theatre this summer, thanks to a variety of events. SummerStage, run by the City Parks Foundation, spans all five boroughs of New York City with a programme that includes ballet, classical music and performance. The Lincoln Center Out of Doors season and The Metropolitan Opera’s Summer HD Festival see two giants of the New York City cultural scene offering free performances, whilst the second of Public Theatre’s 2014 Shakespeare in the Park productions, King Lear starring John Lithgow, runs from 22nd July – 17th August 2014 at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.
Folks on Smith Street in Brooklyn will storm the barricades a day early this year as the long running Brooklyn Bastille Day celebration on 13th July pays tribute to liberté, égalité and fraternité with much live music, copious crepes and the nation’s largest pétanque tournament. Summer on the Hudson runs until the end of the summer featuring everything from skateboarding lessons and basketball to yoga and human chess. Harlem Week celebrates its 40th anniversary with a four week programme capturing the history and culture of this vibrant neighbourhood from 27th July – 23rd August 2014; whilst Celebrate Brooklyn, in its 36th year, brings free events to Prospect Park.
These are just a small selection of the events, festivals and performances taking place in New York City this summer. For further listings, free events, attractions and activities, checkout www.nycgo.com . For all your flight and accommodation requirements, checkout our Holiday Booker to the right of this page for low cost travel comparison.