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Travel Guide: Summer in New York City

To celebrate summer and vacation season our team is sharing their favorite summer activities in our hometown - NYC! Whether you are headed to the city soon or planning for a future trip, we have the summer scoop on what to do!

 

Get On The Water!

New York City is shaped by the water that surrounds it, from the East River to Jamaica Bay! During your visit you can enjoy the waterways and harbor easily with a trip on the NYC Ferry or take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry.
Above: DOLPHIN POD!
There are also local whale watching tours via Gotham Whale that happen through American Princess Cruises! We had an incredible time whale (and dolphin) watching in the Ambrose Channel and New York Harbor! Cruises depart from Pier 3 in Sheepshead Bay, and are a short walk from the train. We learned a lot about whales in general, and all the environmental efforts that have made it possible for these incredible creatures to once again return to their waters! We also learned about a particular humpback whale who is called Salt (She’s probably the most famous whale in the world, first spotted in the 1970s!) This year we plan to take one of the sunset cruises offered on Saturday afternoons! 

 

 

Free Outdoor Dance Parties

The city comes alive in the summer! Dance at a few of our favorite free events.
Herbert Von King Park and Ampitheater in Brooklyn always has great programming, like this weekend’s event celebrating music from Detroit. To cool off, take a short walk down nearby Tompkins Ave and stop by Brown Butter Creamery for a delicious cone!

 

Public Service is a family friendly dance party held at various parks throughout the summer, the next ones are at Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Sunday, July 14th, Classon Playground on Saturday, August 18th, and Herbert Von King Park Sunday September 15th.
 
Soul Summit is a collective of DJs who put on several events at Ft. Greene Park in Brooklyn during the summer and they are always super fun with food and vendors in the park. Be sure to sign up for their mailing list, because they don’t always announce it on social media! 

 

City Kids

Traveling with children? There’s something for everyone in NYC!


Ride the subway to Coney Island for a memorable day. Coney Island is made up of a couple of different parks. If you’re traveling with little kids we recommend visiting Deno’s for kiddie rides and Luna Park if your kids are older. Everyone can and should ride the Wonder Wheel! On the boardwalk shop at the Brooklyn Beach Shop, get a hot dog and/or cheese fries from Nathan’s, and visit Williams Candy Shop for cones and cotton candy on Surf Ave. Ride the Q train back into Manhattan and look out the window once you pass Dekalb avenue to spot the Masstransiscope art installation!

See what you want to see and mix in a playground in-between! The Ancient Playground is located next to the Met and inspired by the museum’s collection of Egyptian art. Another great choice is the Chelsea Waterside Park which has large scale marine life playstructures and is conveniently located next to the Chelsea art gallery district, which are all free to visit! Too hot? Cool off at one of the city’s many splash pads. The LeFrak Center in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Waterlab are two favorites. 


No visit to the city with kids is complete without a stop at the Natural History Museum. Check out the Butterfly Vivarium and see the Sperm Whale and Giant Squid Diorama. Afterwards pick up bagels and babka at Zabar’s and shop for Coral & Tusk at Magpie!

 

Left to Right: Kettl, Cafe Panna, Leo (image from NYT Five Ridiculously Good Soft Serves For Summer)

Soft Serve Tour

There's nothing like the sound of a Mister Softee truck in the summer! While a classic chocolate and vanilla swirl will always have our hearts, we've been excited to try all the seasonal and more experimental soft serve flavors popping up around the city. Currently, we're working our way through a soft serve summer tour. Join us!


Some of our favorites:

Kettl tea's Greenpoint location has a daily rotating soft serve offering including soba, matcha, and hojicha. They are all excellent! Make sure to add the soba crunch on top. 
 
Cafe Panna - They have a very popular location in Gramercy Park and just opened a new one in Greenpoint. Their specials change daily, pictured above was their Sungold Sundae: gelato soft serve with Sungold tomatoes, basil, olive oil, saba and sea salt. It was delicious! 
 
Leo's flavor swirl changes seasonally but whatever it is, get it! It's always incredible. Right now it's cherry and mascarpone. 
 
Impasto's soft serve gelato! Get the swirl and add the olive oil and salt.
 
Malai - Serving mango coconut swirl through the end of August.

Morgenstern's BANANAS - Many fun dairy and non-dairy selections to try!