Summer Bucket List: 17 Things You Have to Do in NYC This Summer

We've all been there -- summer begins and we set the lofty goal of making it the best one yet, just to have Labor Day sneak up on us.

Not this year.

We've compiled a list of 17 things New Yorkers should add to their to-do list this summer to make sure they take full advantage of the season.

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1. See a Free Movie Under the Stars

Bryant Park's summer film series runs a free movie in the park every Monday through Aug. 21. This year's lineup features King Kong, Dirty Dancing and All That Jazz, just to name a few. Vendors are also on site serving up delicious snacks. The lawn opens at 5 p.m. and films begin at sunset.

While the Bryant Park film series is one of the more popular outdoor movie events in the city, it isn't the only gig in town. The city also screens free movies all summer long at parks across the city. You can check out the full schedule here.

2. Visit the "World's First Rooftop Vineyard" in Brooklyn

You don't need to leave the concrete jungle to visit a winery. Rooftop Reds bills itself as "the world's first rooftop vineyard," and it's right in Brooklyn. It's located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at features over 150 grapevines, a tasting room, picnic tables, hammocks and outdoor games. You can find out more about Rooftop Reds here.

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3. Hit the Water For a Food Cruise

Enjoy a meal with a view this summer by hopping on an awesome New York City boat ride. NBC New York's Lauren Scala suggests either the Classic Harbor Lineor Manhattan by Sail. Both boats offer themed food cruises and offer a break from the more touristy attractions.

Take a look at more water activities in NYC here.

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4. Take a Dip at the Manhattan Park Pool Party

The Manhattan Park Pool on Roosevelt Island is back for the summer with a new, playful design. You can check out the pool for $35 during the week or $50 on the weekends. The pool is open through Labor Day. More details here.

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5. Enjoy Free Live Music at an Outdoor Concert

SummerStage is a must for live music fans in NYC. The annual series brings a diverse mix of artists and genres to parks and communities across the city at no cost. You can check out the SummerStage schedule here.

For a look at more free summer concerts, check out this list.

6. Hit Up a Rosé Happy Hour

Yes, Rosé happy hour is a thing. Bar Fiori at Langham Place has introduced Rosé Fridays, which will run every Friday through the end of August. The bar will be serving up rosé wines, rosé sangria and more at a discounted price. You can also get your hands on this Rhubarb Sorbetta Rosé if you're looking to cool down on a hot day.

7. Finally Take a Ride on the Cyclone

The Coney Island Cyclone is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, so what better time to take a ride on the iconic roller coaster?

8. Grab Drinks With a View

The only thing better than a cool drink on a hot day is a cool drink with an amazing view of New York City. Here's a look at some of the newest rooftop barsin town.

More great places to get drinks with a view here.

9. Hit the Road for a New York Day Trip

Can't take a vacation this summer? What about a staycation? There are plenty of nearby destinations to head to if you need a break from the busy city life. Take a look at 10 New York weekend getaways here.

10. Get on the Water for Some Free Kayaking

If you're feeling outdoorsy, there are plenty of places to go kayaking for free in New York City. There are options in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. But if you're looking for an even more relaxing setting, you should check out Kayak Staten Island, which is right near the beach.

11. Tour a Local Brewery

It's probably safe to assume that you've heard of Brooklyn Brewery, but did you know there are dozens of breweries across New York City? Find one near you here.

12. Travel Back in Time at the Jazz Age Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is back this summer for the 12th year in a row. The 1920s-themed party is held on Governors Island and has become a summer tradition. It is held two weekends each summer. The first weekend was in early June and the second will be Aug. 26-27. Interested in getting dressed up, listening to live jazz and sipping on classic cocktails? You can buy tickets here.

13. Eat Your Way Through the New Dekalb Market Hall

Dekalb Market Hall has officially opened in Brooklyn and it's touting itself as "a new era in Brooklyn's history as a culinary center." The hall features 40 food vendors, including the iconic Katz's Delicatessen. You can check out a full list of vendors here.

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14. Go Stargazing on the High Line

Stargazing on the High Line is the perfect summer date idea. Every Tuesday through October, the park allows visitors to take a closer look at the stars through high-powered telescopes. The stargazing is free and starts at dusk.

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15. Take a Free Outdoor Fitness Class

The city offers up plenty of free outdoor fitness classes throughout the summer, including yoga, Zumba, PIYO and a variety of dance classes. Check out the full schedule here.

16. Grab an Instagram-Worthy Bite at a Local Food Festival

Good news, foodies. There are plenty of food festivals taking place in NYC this summer, so pack your appetite and your camera. Find a list of various local food events here.

17. Go Explore Art in the Parks

You don't have to pay a dime to take in some beautiful art work in NYC this summer. NYC Parks brings installations and exhibits to many of the city's parks for New Yorkers to enjoy. Put on your walking shoes and check out a full list of the exhibits here.


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