Mister Softee rolling down a NYC street in the summer.
Nothing like some ice cream on a hot NYC summer day

Finding anything free to do in a city, especially New York City can be challenging to new visitors. The city that never sleeps can also be the expensive and easily stress out a tourist. Have no fear; there are plenty of free activities that will take your mind off the hot temperatures and ridiculous summer shopping that might drive you stir crazy when visiting New York City.



Outdoor film screenings: Summers in the city tend to be one word: hot. Cool off and enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about having to break a sweat. If you're tired of catching a deep chill at the movie theaters, why not opt for films under the stars? Popular parks like Bryant Park, Hudson Park and even Coney Island offer free summer film series for everyone to enjoy. Make sure to bring your own snacks and alcohol-free beverages to enjoy the show.


Enjoy ice cream shops: New Yorkers know and love Mister Softee; the ice cream truck with the familiar jingle since the 1950’s. But, if you have a craving that’s a bit more complex than your traditional ice cream cone, a hunt for divine ice cream might be your summer plan. Some unique ice cream bistros include. Check out Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, where you can get delicious ice cream, a fantastic skyline view and an opportunity to work off the calories with a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. Or stop by Il Laboratorio del Gelato, where special ingredients challenge the infamous Italian gelato. For less than $5, you can get two scoops if Italian decadence.


Take in a parade or two: New York is such a diverse city; always celebrating different cultures and events that correspond to the unique flavors of its inhabitants. Great weather contributes to a warm celebration for everyone to enjoy. Amongst the most popular are the Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, and the Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Park.


Visit Governor’s Island: How cool is it that this historical island is now open seasonally for New Yorkers and tourists to come out and play? Open to the public every weekend, the island offers free summer concerts and other local events for anyone who wishes to escape the New York City heat. Check out the opportunity to rent a free bicycle for a relaxing workout around this lush green island.


Take a dip at the city pool: There is no better way to enjoy the summertime than taking a dip into a cool refreshing pool. Over 50 free pools are available for locals and tourists to take advantage of. The city even offers free swimming lessons for certain age groups; even adults that may not be too savvy in the water. Be aware that outdoor pools are seasonal and close by Labor Day, but all indoor pools are open year round.


Flickr: joestrouth1

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