July is among the hotter months in New York City meaning that walking through the large concrete jungle can become very hot and sticky. A great alternative is to use NYC’s many bike paths along the East or Hudson Rivers where you will always be greeted by a small breeze. However, New York City in July is absolutely beautiful and is a great time to see the city alive and in its full glory.
Check out our list of favorite concerts, events, and other things to do in NYC in July. And don’t forget to read our complete guide to Summer in NYC here.
If you are looking for a shortcut: These are the 👉 most popular tours and activities in June.
My 38 Favorite Things To Do in July in NYC
Things to do in New York City in July are easy to find. There is always a lot to do in the city especially if the weather is good and summer is in full swing. There is no lack of awesome activities, events, and festivals. Below is a list of our favorite things to do in NYC in July, we are sure that more than one of them will suit your fancy.
Celebrate 4th of July in NYC
Other Events in Midtown Manhattan
4th of July is one of the most important holidays in the USA and is a big deal here in New York City. Independence Day is the celebration of the United States as a free and independent nation. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a great day to have a BBQ and celebrate America’s Birthday.
If there’s one fireworks show to see when you visit New York City, it’s the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show. One of the most iconic fireworks displays in the United States, this is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Want to read more? This is our ultimate Guide to 4th of July in New York.
The Whitney Biennial 2022 (April 6 – September 5, 2022)
Museum in Meatpacking District
In addition to regularly changing exhibitions, there is one Whitney Museum of Art event that tops them all: the Whitney Biennial. It’s been around since 1932, making it the longest-running exhibition of American art and the museum’s signature event.t
To get tickets check the website here.
SummerStage Festival: One of my favorite things to do in July
Other Events in Midtown Manhattan
At this event you can visit over 100 concerts & shows for free in many parks all over New York. It’s one of the most popular summer events in New York and a MUST DO for locals. If you’re in New York this summer, be sure to check out one of the shows!
My tip: these are all summer festivals in NYC this year.
Experience New York in July quite relaxed with a cruise
Cruise in Chelsea
The sailing cruises are back to the rivers of New York City. Sailing in New York City is one of my favorite things to do during the summer. There’s nothing better than watching the sunset and enjoying a glass of wine onboard. Here are some amazing options that are taking place right now, with safety measures of course:
New York Restaurant Week (July 19 – August 22)
Other Events in Midtown Manhattan
Attention food enthusiasts: NYC Restaurant Week will be back in July, meaning you can look forward to enjoying cheap meals all over the city. Thousands of travelers and locals look forward to this event every year because it’s a great opportunity to try new cuisines or simply enjoy top-notch meals at decent prices.
What is NYC Restaurant Week?
NYC Restaurant Week is a bi-annual event that takes place every summer and winter since 1982. Back then only a few restaurants participated in the promotion, whereas this year’s event counts over 380 participating restaurants. Over time, the length of the promotion has been extended, so that now we can enjoy almost a full month of great, affordable food instead of just one week.
Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island
Other Events in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
For another 4th of July New York event that’s just as iconic as the fireworks show, come by Coney Island’s 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Taking place at noon on July 4th, 2022, Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest pits the world’s greatest competitive eaters against each other in one of the most well-known contests.
Officially sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, this event is often witnessed by thousands of people. The current record for the event is 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. Will you be there to see the record get broken?
This free event is open to the public and takes place at Maimonides Park, at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
The 26 Best Broadway Shows in July 2022 in New York
Broadway Show in Theatre District
The answer to whether you should or should not see a Broadway show when visiting New York in June is crystal clear: YES, it absolutely belongs on your bucket list! What is not always as clear, however, is which show to pick.
In order to help you out, we’ve created an overview of the absolute best Broadway shows in NYC in July!
Free Kayaking on the Hudson River & East River
Pier in Dumbo
This is a really cool event that can be booked several times a month: discover New York from the water – and even better: from a kayak! You can start at the Manhattan Community Boathouse (Pier 96 at the Hudson River) or at the Brooklyn Bridge Park between Pier 1 and Pier 2 (every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday until the end of August).
Pizza Wine Movie Nights at Rooftop Reds: a very romantic event in July in NYC
Other Attraction in Dumbo
On a roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yards you can sit in a real winery: Rooftop Reds grows wine here, which you can taste and enjoy at their Rooftop Red Tours & Tastings!
In July you can watch movies with a view of the skyline and a glass of wine in your hand. Tickets are available here.
Have a good time on a Dinner Cruise
Cruise in Chelsea
We have already tested many dinner cruises in New York for you. One that we have liked the best of all so far is the Bateaux Dinner Cruise. With a glass roof, the ship heads towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Especially when the weather is nice in the summer month of July, the wine or prosecco tastes especially good on the outdoor area of the boat.
You can find more unique dinner cruises in NYC in this overview.
Picnicking in Central Park
Other Events in Upper West Side
Picnicking in Central Park is always a must-do activity during the summer. There are countless large and small lawns that invite you to relax, making for quite a few spots that are suitable for picnicking in the park, not just the popular Sheep Meadow.
The largest lawn in Central Park is the Great Lawn, where the popular Central Park Concerts are held. The Great Lawn is a large, green space and is a wonderful spot to relax and have a picnic in the park after a long walk. For the athletes among you, there are even some baseball fields on the green, oval area. You’ll find the Great Lawn in the middle of the park at the 79th to 86th street level.
Another picnic option is East Green. Here you can sit on a blanket between the trees and enjoy your meal. The East Green is located on 5th Avenue between 69th and 72nd Street.
The most romantic picnic spot in Central Park is definitely Cherry Hill by the Bow Bridge. It has been the backdrop for many Hollywood movies, such as You’ve got Mail. You can make yourself comfortable on a small slope and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and the bridge. The bridge is located in the middle of the park around 72nd Street.
The MLB is on in July!
Sport Events in Bronx
Discover New York from an observation deck
Building in Midtown Manhattan
You know what’s really unique about New York? The view of the (most likely) snow-covered Central Park from one of the observation decks! With the Top of the Rock, The Edge Hudson Yards and the SUMMIT One Vanderbilt you have three to choose from! And then there’s the One World Observatory and the Empire State Building. You will love it!
The Hamptons, Sag Harbor & Outlet Shopping Day Trip from NYC
Day Trip in Long Island City
July in New York can get really hot and humid. Want to escape the heat of the city? There are many destinations near New York City that you can reach perfectly with a day trip from New York in the summer. What do the perfect weekend getaways look like for me this summer? Being by the water, enjoying nature and taking advantage of the good weather to explore major cities like Boston and Philadelphia.
Here you find the Best Summer Weekend Getaways from NYC
Bryant Park Film Festival and Bryant Park Picnic Performances
Other Attraction in Midtown Manhattan
One of the best things to do in July in New York is visiting the free Bryant Park Film Festival and picnic performances in Bryant Park. In the heart of Manhattan, people gather in the summer months with blankets and chairs they’ve brought themselves to relax at the outdoor movie theater and concerts by the New York Philharmonics. Bryant Park is just under a 5 minute walk from Times Square, surrounded by tall trees, so it’s a bit secluded from the rest, but you’re still in the middle of it all: Awesome!
Enjoy the Sunset in Long Island City
Park in Long Island City
Gantry Plaza State Park is a beautiful escape right on the East River in Long Island City. The park is very beautifully laid out, with many wooden benches (also with ergonomic design) and dunes with sand and a small green space. There are apartments and small restaurants and cafes lined up on the back of the park. The piers also add a nice touch to the park as well.
It’s the perfect place to take a stroll while enjoying the Manhattan skyline across the river. Also in sight is the beautiful 59th street bridge that connects Manhattan and Queens.
New York Philharmonic
Other Art & Culture in Midtown Manhattan
The New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the US, founded back in 1842. I have seen them for the first time at the Free Concerts in the Park and was very impressed. For anyone who likes art and culture, a visit to the New York Philharmonic is a MUST!
Photo: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Experience New York like a local: Willy Wall!
Cruise in Lower Manhattan
The Honorable William Wall, affectionately called “Willy Wall”, is the floating clubhouse of the Manhattan Yacht Club. The clubhouse is anchored in New York Harbor north of Ellis Island from May to October. What is so special about it? It’s definitely an insider’s spot, which not only gives you a great view of Ellis Island and of course the Statue of Liberty – you can also enjoy the sunset from here.
BEAST Speedboat Ride
Cruise in Midtown Manhattan
Probably the most popular boat tour in New York in the summer is the fast ride on the speedboat “The Beast”. It is an extremely thrilling experience that you should not miss out on. This custom-built, 70-foot speedboat speeds in the direction of the Statue of Liberty at 45 mph! Make sure you are ready to get splashed with water because this is not an easy ride! Definitely a must for all of the adrenaline junkies out there!
Visit Little Island at Pier 54
Other Attraction in Meatpacking District
Photo credit Michael Grimm
Not far from the Meatpacking District and the High Line, Little Island is one of the newest attractions in New York and is something very special: a park on 132 beautiful tulip-shaped concrete stilts in the Hudson River!
Besides the view, you can visit various events and art exhibitions (every day except Tuesday). Click here for the Little Island event calendar.
Shakespeare in the Park
Other Art & Culture in Upper West Side
A really great summer tradition is Shakespeare in the Park. The free event features classic plays by William Shakespeare every summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Outdoors, the play is really a great experience. The Delacorte Theater is located pretty much in the middle of Central Park next to Turtle Pond.
Celebrate National Tequila Day (July 24, 2022)
Bar in East Village
Celebrate National Tequila Day in one of the tequila bars of the city. My personal best-of list you find small and inconspicuous Mexican bars to hip rooftop bars where you can drink high-class and especially authentic tequila and mezcals.
My tip: These are the Best Tequila and Mezcal Bars in NYC Right Now
Every Friday once a month: Free Admission at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (July 29, 2022)
Museum in Hell’s Kitchen
One Friday per month, The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum will open its doors to the public for free. Free Fridays will take place on:
- July 29, 2022
- August 26, 2022
- September 30, 2022
For more information on these special nights, please click the link here.
Walk the High Line
Park in Meatpacking District
The green terrace in the middle of Manhattan is a great experience in fine weather. The decommissioned freight rail track was once overgrown completely as it fell out of use. Based on the plants that grew there, a park was built in homage to the interesting plants that flourish in the city.
Walk from the Meatpacking District (Gansevoort Street) on the High Line towards Uptown and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Since 2014, Manhattan has been enjoying this highlight and attracts countless visitors every day.
There are many lovely cafés, galleries and great bars – and with Gallow Green one of my favorite rooftop bars in the city.
My tip: these are the best spots along the High Line for me.
Food Market in Midtown Manhattan
Smorgasburg Food Market is one of the hottest open air food markets in New York City. People come here to meet, eat, drink and enjoy the view of the Manhattan skyline on the East River Waterfront during the warmer months. Smorgasburg means “a mixture of food” and offers a huge selection of small stalls. It takes place in Central Park during all of the Summer Stage Events from May to September.
Spend some time in Little Italy, SoHo and Chinatown
Walking Tour in Hudson Square
Now known for their many excellent restaurants, shops and tourism, Manhattan‘s SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods offer the most varied stories of New York City. Take a 2-hour tour with a local guide and discover hidden gems and 19th century buildings.
Spend your evening at one of the rooftops of New York
Rooftop Bar in Lower East Side
For me, the cloudM Rooftop Bar is one of the most beautiful rooftop bars not only in the Lower East Side, but in all of New York. It is located on the roof of the citizenM New York Bowery Hotel and offers everything that makes a good rooftop bar: a great view, beautiful design and relaxed atmosphere.
My tip: these are the best rooftop bars in NYC.
Manhattanhenge (July 12, 2022)
Other Events in Midtown Manhattan
Twice a year, the sun sets at a specific angle. The streets and avenues of New York are set up as a grid. During this time, the sun will align perfectly in between the skyscrapers. This phenomenon is called Manhattanhenge and can be observed in May and July. Do not miss out on this one. What’s even just as astonishing is how many people show up and take pictures of this special occasion.
Head over to Governors Island
Other Attraction in Outside of New York City
The car-free island offers so much for young and old that you must have seen it for yourself. With everything from historical military buildings to awesome bike paths and even public hammocks, the island offers a variety of activities that are especially interesting when the weather becomes a little nicer! This is definitely one of the nicest things to do in July in NYC.
Enjoy really cool waterfront restaurants
Sea Food Restaurant in Tribeca
Visit this celebrated oyster bar aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker right on the Hudson River. Hudson River Park was able to set up a pretty sweet deal for the Grand Banks, which now has a row of tables for two running along the south side of the pier. By doing so, they are now able to serve drinks within that space.
This is my favorite spot in New York City!
Spend the day in one of the best museums of NYC
Museum in Upper West Side
The season is perfect for a museum visit to New York, and the Big Apple really doesn’t lack choices. After the theatrical release of “The Night of Museum” series, (The first movie took place in the New York Museum of Natural History) you really feel like going to the place of the event? In the footsteps of dinosaurs, aborigines and many other historical creatures, the Natural History Museum on Central Park West is always a good idea for a museum outing.
My tip: These are the 36 Best Museums in NYC
Enjoy a summer night in one of the amazing bars and clubs on Bleecker Street
Other Attraction in Greenwich Village
Bleecker Street is a nice change from the turbulent Herald Square or 5th Avenue. It is considered one of the best shopping streets in the world. Why? Here a hip designer store and second hand shop follows one another.
Fotografiska NYC: Visit one of the best art exhibitions in town
Museum in Gramercy
Fotografiska New York is a wonderful museum in NYC for all art and especially photo art enthusiasts. Originally founded in Stockholm in 2010, the museum also exists in Tallinn (Estonia) and since 2019 in New York. It is located in a beautiful building from 1892 and extends over 6 floors. In addition to changing exhibitions, there is a restaurant and cocktail bar to round out your visit.
Spend a Day at the Beach
Other Attraction in Coney Island & Brighton Beach
Summer on the Hudson
Other Events in Upper West Side
Summer on the Hudson is Riverside Park & West Harlem Piers Park’s annual outdoor arts and culture festival. Between 59th and 153rd Streets on the Hudson River, you can experience live DJs, exhibits, special shows for kids, and of course, the outdoor movies. And the best part? All the events are free!
South Beach Staten Island
Park in Staten Island
South Beach Staten Island is a gorgeous beach that invites you to relax and take a walk. Why fly all the way to Miami when you can find a South Beach on Staten Island? The wooden beach promenade is about 1.5 miles long and is the fourth longest in the world. From here, there is a beautiful view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. On the boardwalk, there are bocce and picnic areas, as well as other sports facilities. The beach area is really beautiful and absolutely worthwhile.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Ice Cream in Chinatown
One of our favorite things to do in Chinatown NYC is grabbing an ice cream from here and stroll through the busy streets. With amazing flavors and many unique ones at that, this is a must-try! The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory offers some of the most unique ice cream flavors in New York City!
My tip: check out our 30+ best ice cream shops in New York.
Jazz at Pier 84
Pier in Hell’s Kitchen
Every second Wednesday in July, the concert series “Jazz at Pier 84” takes place – New York and jazz are a combination that I personally like a lot. You sit at the Hudson River and the best part? It’s even free because it’s a project of Hudson River Park and the Jazz Foundation of America.
To see exactly which act will be at Pier 84 in New York at the time of your trip, check out the event calendar.
Info: Not confirmed, yet!
Music on the Green with Carnegie Hall at Madison Square Park
Park in Flatiron District
In collaboration with Carnegie Hall, Music on the Green is a free concert series inspired by Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest that brings artists from the Hall’s Ensemble Connect to reflect on the themes of the exhibition. The concerts are usually held every Wednesday from beginning of July through August on the Oval Lawn.
Here you can find more details.
Info: Not confirmed, yet!
If you want to visit several observations deck, attraction and tours in New York, check out the New York sightseeing passes. You can save up to 60% on the ticket price!
To find out which New York Pass is the best for you, check out my New York Pass Comparison.