Skip to main content
  • A woman with a drink on a balcony at The Benjamin Hotel in NYC

Summer Activities in NYC

The Benjamin Hotel has created a curated list of fun Summer Activities in New York City for you to discover with family and friends.

CowParade NYC

The CowParade is back! New York City is playing host to 78 painted fiberglass cows—now through September 30th, each of which are uniquely and vibrantly designed by artists such as Cey Adams, Lady Pink and Zac Posen.

James Bond Exhibit

Discover your inner spy at the James Bond Exhibit at SpyScape. This exhibit takes an inside look at how 007 movies were made, and you’ll also be able to get up close and personal with James Bond’s most iconic tech gadgets including his actual Aston Martin DB5 that appeared in many movies.

Pinknic

Transformed into a pink and white paradise over the course of Labor Day Weekend, Governors Island sets the stage for a two-day affair featuring world-class DJs, live bands and all things pink.

Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical

Calling all Stranger Things fans! For a limited time only catch Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical at the Players Theater and join Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Dustin, and the whole Hawkins gang for a night of adventure, thrills and more.

Claudia Weiser: Rehearsal

A new, reflective, immersive artwork has been installed in DUMBO at Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Rehearsal” by Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser is made up of five large-scale geometric sculptures clad with hand-painted glazed tiles and panels featuring photographs of New York City in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Met: Live in HD

Opera’s biggest stars get their close-ups on the big screen during the Met’s free HD Festival. Held outdoors in Lincoln Center Plaza, the event brings back nearly a dozen productions from the Met’s Live in HD simulcast series.

Tugboat Ride on W.O. Decker

Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker, recently named “Tugboat of the Year” by the Steamship Historical Society of America. Cruises will explore New York Harbor.

Annie Saunders: CURRENT

Winner of the 2021 Tribeca Festival Immersive Creative Nonfiction Award and the Tribeca X Award, CURRENT is a site-specific soundwalk though Lower Manhattan accessed via a custom website, using your own mobile device and headphones. CURRENT immerses participants using binaural sound, composition and environmental recordings to draw together a narrative that includes themes of water, time, construction, destruction, synchronicity, and resilience.

Homecoming Concert

We love NYC. The highly anticipated, once-in-a-lifetime concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park on August 21 will celebrate the city’s reopening with iconic performances by Jennifer Hudson, Andrea Bocelli, The New York Philharmonic and more. It’s time for NYC Homecoming week with tickets here.

Private Guggenheim Experience

Immerse yourself in the art and culture showcased in one of the most iconic museums in the world. Exclusively through ABCVIP, experience the entire Guggenheim privately before the museum opens or after it closes.

Paris Theater

The legendary Paris theater is the longest-running arthouse cinema in NYC and is Manhattan’s only remaining single-screen cinema. This August, check out the limited 31-film series featuring many of the great films that have premiered at the Paris since its opening in 1948.

Heart of the Park
Join Central Park Conservancy as they provide insider knowledge on the historical and architectural elements that make this urban landscape a national treasure. Tour some of Central Park’s most famous landmarks, including Conservatory Water, Loeb Boathouse, Bethesda Terrace, Bow Bridge, Cherry Hill, the Lake, and Strawberry Fields. Prepare to fall in love with New York all over again!

As Long as the Sun Lasts at The Met
The ninth in a series of commissions for the Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden – Philadelphia based pop-artist Alex Da Corte’s As Long as the Sun Lasts concept is brought to life through the beloved Big Bird from Sesame Street. The 26-foot-tall sculpture rests on a base reminiscent of a “Little Tikes playset,” that stretches skyward in the shape of a rocket representing a playful message of optimism and reflection on view through October 31.

Automania: MoMA

For car enthusiasts, Automania takes an in-depth look at an object that has inspired countless examples of innovation, social transformation, and critical debate among designers and artists working in varied media.

BANND Together Dance Festival

The arts return to NYC as five of the city’s most iconic dance companies come together on one stage—with dancers and works from across the companies featured each night. Lincoln Center presents the BAAND Together Dance Festival, a week of outdoor dance performances as part of Restart Stages. From August 17–21, 2021.

Broadway Comedy Club

A rotating crew of  New York City’s best comedians in the city hone their acts at this compact club’s stage. Get ready to laugh!

Artechouse: Geometric Properties

Experience an immersive audio visual journey through fractal dimensions. Embark upon a cinematic journey where the sheer beauty of mathematics, nature and architecture coincide to inspire introspection and awe.

Arcadia Earth

Immerse yourself in underwater worlds, fantasy lands and inspirational art installations at Arcadia Earth. Step into this awesome experience inspired by planet earth.

Museum of Ice Cream

Be transported to an ice cream wonderland when visiting the Museum of Ice Cream that transforms concepts and dreams into spaces that provoke imagination and creativity. MOIC is designed to be a culturally inclusive environment and community, inspiring human connection and through the universal power of ice cream.

Macy’s 4th of July Firework Show 2021

On July 4, beginning at 9:25pm, the iconic Macy’s 4th of July Firework Show will be taking place! The extravaganza will last 25 minutes and feature, according to Macy’s itself, “dozens of colors and shapes, creating dramatic effects a mile across the river and from 1,000 feet in the air to the water’s edge.”This year Macy’s will be honoring America’s everyday heroes from communities across the country.

Lady Liberty’s “Little Sister”

The Statue of Liberty’s original plaster model from 1878, a nine-foot-tall bronze statue created by Auguste Bartholdi, will make the historic trip across the Atlantic Ocean from France in time for this years Fourth of July. From July 1-4, head on over to Ellis Island to marvel at this site as it will be placed directly across from the Statue of Liberty for a limited time only. This will be the first time in 135 years that the “sisters” will be together. This whirlwind trip is meant to celebrate the partnership between France and the U.S.

Little Island at Pier55

Explore Manhattan’s brand new park – Little Island at Pier55 floating above the Hudson River. Discover lively performances, self-guided audio tours of the park’s landscape and free art activities in The Glade with the family. And don’t forget to stop by the Play Ground to enjoy some delicious food and drink offerings. To ensure the safety of Little Island’s visitors, artists, and staff, they are limiting the number of park visitors through timed entry. Please book reserve your time through their website.

Harry Potter Flagship Store

Visit the world’s largest Harry Potter store located in the Flatiron District. Across the store, there will be 15 different themed areas as well as a number of photo opps inside and of course Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merch to take home.

Governors Island

This summer take the ferry to the city’s urban oasis, Governors Island located in the NY Harbor. Experience transformative public art, unforgettable events, cultural and educational programming and recreational activities for all ages.

Madison Square Garden

Experience a show stopping performance at the iconic Madison Square Garden or better known as MSG this year. From “Foo Fighters” to “John Legend” the “Eagles” and “Harry Styles” MSG has a concert for everyone.

Bansky: Genius or Vandal Exhibit

This renowned exhibition is coming to New York and definitely one to not miss out on! Dedicated to the famous and enigmatic British artist “Bansky” the exhibit lets visitors dive into the controversial artistic universe, of the most influential creator of present time and features more than 100 genuine, authenticated artworks by Banksy from private European collections.

Van Gogh Exhibit

Take in the largest, Van Gogh Exhibit in the world at Pier 36 in NYC. Encounter art in a completely new way with this once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience that will be showcasing Van Gogh’s iconic paintings. This is definitely an exhibit not to be missed.

The Met Cloisters

The Cloisters, also known as the Met Cloisters located in Fort Tryon Park, is the perfect day escape this summer. Roam the halls with fascinating exhibits from the European medieval art and architecture period, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods.

Broadway is Back

Broadway is back and better and we cannot wait for the glittering lights to be lit up again in NYC. Starting August 4th “Pass Over,” will be Broadway’s first show to run, followed by the returns of “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “Hamilton” slated for September 14th. Get ready to reserve your tickets now.

VOYEUR: A Parisian Theatrical Immersive Experience

Enjoy an interactive and immersive theatrical experience, as you will be guided through the dreams of iconic artist Toulouse-Lautrec as he recalls his final absinthe-laced years living and working in Montmartre. The sidewalks, doorways and windows of Greenwich Village become the setting as live accompaniment collides with the city’s soundscape, transporting you into the bohemian world of 1899 Paris.

Mini Golf in NYC

Play Manhattan’s only outdoor 18-hole mini golf course with the family! Take in city skyline views of downtown NYC and than enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants in Tribeca.

City Winery

Experience nightly concerts at City Winery’s new flagship location at Pier 57. Enjoy wine, great food and amazing music while taking in views of the Hudson River.

The Greens at Pier 17

Ultimate outdoor dining retreat, The Greens, returns – and things are looking up! This summer deserves its own rooftop moment so come dine your own socially distanced mini lawn or patio table with unrivaled Lower Manhattan skyline views.

Bryant Park: Picnic Performances

Enjoy the return of Picnic Performances at Bryant Park with twenty-five live and in-person music, dance, and theater events produced in partnership with a diverse and storied lineup of New York City’s performing arts institutions.

Bronx Zoo

Check out the wildlife and exotic animals at the Bronx Zoo. With so much outdoor space and exhibitions, you can spend hours exploring.

Belvedere Castle

Located in Central Park, explore this hidden gem tucked away with a spiral staircase to live out your fairy tale fantasies. Kids will love it, plus enjoy breathtaking Central Park and city views from the multiple levels of the castle.

Bryant Park

A great spot to relax and catch your breath after exploring Midtown. This park is situated right next to the New York Public Library and close to Grand Central Station. Let your kids ride the famous Carousel and after enjoy a nice walk around the park.

Color Factory

Brighten up your day with a visit the the Color Factory! View exciting exhibitions and immersive experiences in this over the top colorful sensation.

High Line

Walk the high line along the west side in New York City. Take in water views of the Hudson River while also immersing yourself in history and art along the way.

Brookfield Place

Shop to you drop and than enjoy an al fresco lunch or dinner at one of the outdoor restaurants located along the Hudson River. Take in views of the Statue of Liberty while walking the West Side Highway or watch the boats go by.

Central Park Zoo

Another great zoo to explore in the city. A little bit smaller than the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo is located right in the park with exciting animal exhibitions and a playground for the little ones.

Dumbo, Brooklyn

Take a bike ride over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to the trendy neighborhood of Dumbo. Shop, explore and dine in this urban oasis. Or take your bikes and plan a picnic at Brooklyn Bridge Park and end the day taking in the NYC skyline and sunset.

Museum Mile

Explore Museum Mile located on the Upper East Side along 5th Avenue. Discover priceless exhibitions and over 1,000 of paintings, prints, photographs and artifacts. From the Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim to the Museum of the City of New York, you will not get bored.

Restart Stages at Lincoln Center

An outdoor performing arts center with 10 outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces—to help kickstart the performing arts sector and New York City’s revival. Fostering a dynamic environment for artists, community organizations, and audiences, Restart Stages is a welcoming and safe place for live performances, family activities, and civic engagement.

Guggenheim’s Off the Record

Off the Record challenges this pretense, bringing together the work of contemporary artists from the Guggenheim’s collection who interrogate, revise, or otherwise query dominant narratives and the transmission of culture through official “records.” View now.

Pace Gallery

This exhibition sheds new light on the philosophical, aesthetic, and artistic dialogue between Claes Oldenburg and the late Coosje van Bruggen—among the best-known artist-couples of the post-1960s era.

The Jewish Museum“Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine”

Explore how photography, graphic design, and popular magazines converged to transform American visual culture from 1930 to 1960.

KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature

Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world, drawing millions to experience her immersive installations. Exclusively at NYBG, Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Her artistic concepts of obliteration, infinity, and eternity are inspired by her intimate engagement with the colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers.

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock Observation Deck is full of incredible sights and discoveries. Take in 360-degree spring views of iconic landmarks and the city skyline.

Statue of Liberty

Explore the grounds of the iconic Statue of Liberty located on Liberty Island for the day. Ride the ferry over and marvel at this historic landmark.

Shakespeare in the Park

Witness large scale productions of Shakespeare’s famous works at the outdoor Delacorte Theater. Since its inception over 45 years ago, the Theater has hosted notable performances including James Earl Jones in Othello, Meryl Streep in The Taming of the Shrew, and Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice.

The Loeb Boathouse: Central Park

Located on the eastern edge of Central Park Lake, charter your own rowboats, or enjoy a personal Gondola ride offering visitors an ideal way to explore one of the Park’s most significant landscapes.

Harbor Line Cruise: Cocktail Cruise

Enjoy savory cocktails while you watch the city pass by relaxing in your private seating area surrounded by large windows. Take in endless views of the city’s skyline as well as iconic landmarks all while sipping on a delicious cocktail.