Things to Do In NYC in July

Updated: 17 abril 2024

I love that New York is world-class city, with an endless number of attractions, restaurants, parks, and things to do.

Weather-wise, July is usually pretty hot, which makes it a good time to get out and about and experience some of them.

To help out, I've compiled this list. It will give you ideas as to what iconic attractions you can visit, what festivals and holiday events are happening, and what concerts and plays are taking place in June.

This post has been updated for 2024 and includes a top 10 list as well as sections on free events, family-friendly activities, and things to do at night.

Check out our master post on things to do in NYC for year-round ideas.


This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in New York City throughout July.

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction pass.

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:

Keep in mind that the 4th of July is a public holiday and some activities may be affected that day.

1. Eat Some Iconic New York City Foods

If you want to know where you can taste many of the classic NYC foods let us take you to all the best places!

For example, our Greenwich Village Food Tour hits up two pizza joints, both considered among the best in the city.

We have several pay-what-you-wish food tours so you can try many of the treats of the city.

Plus our food tours are very family-friendly so consider joining one if you are traveling with kids.

2. Get out on the Water

New York City is surrounded by water so there are so many ways to get out there and enjoy the cool breeze and the amazing views.

You can choose between single-ride tourist boats, hop-on-hop-off tickets, speedboats, and sailboats.

There are also nighttime rides and dinner and music cruises.

TIP:  If you are on a budget, there are also free boat rides and tours, including the Staten Island Ferry.

3. Take a Walking Tour

July is a perfect month to walk around New York. People are out and about and the city is at its liveliest.

Our tours are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford (even free) when the tour is over.

We also offer self-guided and GPS-led audio tours of every neighborhood you will likely visit as a tourist in NYC.

Check out our homepage or look at our schedule to see what we have available when you are here.

4. Get a Tourist Attraction Pass

tourist attraction pass affords you less expensive entry into most of NYC’s most popular attractions.

While the passes themselves aren’t free, if you plan your itineraries well, you will get one or two attractions for free each day.

There are several different types of passes, so be sure to read our comparison post to learn about how you can save the most money on your trip.

5. Go to a Sports Event

In July in New York City baseball and soccer are king.


To see New York's professional baseball teams in play, check out the Mets and Yankees.

You might also consider taking a tour of Yankee Stadium.

Soccer (Football)

To catch the world most popular sport, head to a game with the New York City FC or the New York Red Bulls.

Also, the US Women's National Soccer Team will be playing on July 13.

For more nighttime activity ideas, see the things to do at night section below.

6. Attend a Concert

Music is all around in July! You can hear diverse music in a variety of settings -- from iconic Madison Square Garden to the outdoor Jones Beach Amphitheater.

If you are on a budget or want to see as much music as possible, see the free section below. Summer is filled with many free concerts.


Check here for even more concerts in New York in July including: Alanis Morisette, Dave Matthews Band, Donny Osmond, Pretenders, Third Eye Blind, Daryl Hall and Elvis Costello, Zach Bryan, Luke Combs, blink-182, Styx with Foreigner, and more.


7. Enjoy a Broadway Show

Seeing a performance on Broadway is a must-do activity when you're in New York City!

Here are just a few of them:

  • & Juliet
  • Aladdin: The Musical
  • Back to the Future the Musical
  • Book of Mormon
  • Chicago
  • Hamilton
  • Hadestown
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • The Lion King
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • MJ The Musical
  • Monty Python's Spamalot
  • Moulin Rouge! The Musical
  • Six
  • Shrek the Musical
  • Stomp
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Who's Tommy
  • Wicked

Search for the show here and you'll find performance dates, times, and tickets.

On a budget? Check out our post on how to get cheap tickets to Broadway shows.

TIP: Broadway lovers can take guided tours of Broadway (including Backstage Access)! 

8. See a Free Performance of Shakespeare in the Park | On Hold until 2025

Every summer, the Public Theater puts on two Shakespeare plays at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park. 

Tickets are entirely free but will require some work on your part to get one.

Be sure to check out our post explaining the 5 ways to get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

If you do get a ticket, or even if you don't, make sure to spend some time in Central Park while you're in the area.

Read our post about things to do in Central Park for some ideas.

NOTE: In 2024 the theatre is under construction so there won't be any Shakespeare in the Park. However, there will be a screening of Much Ado About Nothing in a few different parks in July. Check here for more information.

9. Visit an Observation Deck

Since the weather will probably be nice, this is an excellent time of year to get a good view of New York City from the top of an observation deck.

The Edge is one of the newest and tallest sky decks in NYC.

At 100 stories high, this location offers one of the best and most unforgettable views in the entire city.

Here are a few other locations you might want to visit as well:

Most of these attractions are included with multiple New York tourist passes.

For more information about observation decks in New York, read our post covering which NYC observation deck is best.

10. See the Romeo and Juliet Ballet

In July the American Ballet Theatre brings Romeo and Juliet to the Metropolitan Opera.

The ballet is, of course, based on William Shakespeare's tragic love story.

Shows take place from July 1-6, and tickets can be purchased here.

best time to visit new york


Below are just a handful of the hundreds of free things you can do during July in NYC.

In the other sections of this post, you can find more free activities, like seeing Shakespeare in the Park, stargazing on the High Line Park, or taking a walking tour, so be sure to read this post in its entirety.

For year-round free things to do see our comprehensive post about free things to do in NYC and our list of free NYC attractions.

Celebrate Independence Day (4th of July)

There are several great places to enjoy the 4th of July and see the amazing Macy's fireworks show.

Check out our post on where to see the Macys fireworks display.

See a Good Morning America Concert

For early birds, you can see some of the best artists and bands in Central Park every Friday at 7 am.

The series runs from July through August and will feature such stars as Megan Thee Stallion, Demi Lavato, and the cast of Hamilton.

Click here for more details. And see our post about VIP Tickets!

Watch a Free Outdoor Movie Screening

During the summer, there are dozens of free movie screenings held outdoors at locations all over NYC.

Several of the series are for families and kids specifically.

To find out about the series and discover more things to do, see our New York City Summer Guide.

Attend Lincoln Summer for the City

Hundreds of free live outdoor and indoor concerts and dance performances will take place through the Lincoln Center.

See the Summer for the City website for details on dates and performances.

Note that Lincoln Center also has a Concerts for Kids series as well.

To see behind the scenes of this world-renowned performance space, you can take a Lincoln Center Tour.

Experience Manhattanhenge

During Manhattanhenge, the sunset aligns with the east-west streets and the buildings on either side seem to perfectly frame the sun.


Image by Andreas H. from Pixabay

This event takes place in 2024 on July 11 (full sun) and July 12 (half sun).

You can see it pretty well from the following east-west thoroughfares:

  • 14th Street
  • 23rd Street
  • 34th Street
  • 42nd Street
  • 57th Street

It can also be viewed from Tudor City Overpass in Manhattan and Hunter's Point South Park in Long Island City, Queens.

TIP: If you watch from 42nd Street, you can also visit Grand Central, which is just as mesmerizing as Manhattanhenge!

Celebrate Bastille Day

July 14th is France's version of our Independence Day. All over the city, you can find events celebrating this French holiday.

Most events are free. Some are family-friendly. You can eat French food at street fairs, see stage performances, live music, and more.

The biggest event is thrown by fi:af on Madison Avenue.

For year-round free things to do see our comprehensive post about free things to do in NYC as well as our list of free NYC attractions.


This section contains ideas of things to do after dark in NYC in July.

Don’t forget to check our other sections for things to do like going to Shakespeare in the Park, seeing a concert or Broadway show, or going to a baseball game.

Be sure to check out our master post on things to do at night in NYC as well as our list of late-open attractions.

Take a Night Tour

One of the best times to take a walking tour is after the sun goes down when it starts to get cooler outside.

We offer pay-what-you-like night walking tours of picturesque locations. Here are a few tours to consider:

New York Walking Tours
  • Highline at Sunset
  • Central Park at Sunset
  • Midtown Manhattan at Night
  • 9-11 Memorial/Brooklyn Bridge at Night

Check out our current schedule here.

Make sure to read our post on New York City walking tours for more information.

See a Free Concert at Central Park's Summerstage

Summerstage is a summer series of free performances with a diverse lineup of music everything from afro-punk, Latin jazz, soul, hip-hop, avant-garde, and good old rock and roll.

They also have stand-up comedy, dance performances, and sometimes Broadway musical performances. Most of the concerts are free or low-cost.

Check our SummerStage guide for a list of performers.

Enjoy a Night Cruise

There are many ways to enjoy an evening on the water. There is no shortage of excellent night cruises offered at night.

You can see what is available by reading our post about NYC boat tours.

For a free ride, take the Staten Island Ferry. For just a few dollars you can take the East River Ferry.

Go Stargazing

On Tuesday nights in July, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York brings high-powered telescopes to High Line Park where you can get a free peek at the cosmos!

Find out more information here.

While you are there, use our guide to the High Line to learn more about this innovative and unique park.

You might like to try one of our tour guide-led walking tours.

We also have a GPS-enabled audio tour of the High Line and a downloadable High Line self-guided tour.

Hear Live Music at the Museum of Modern Art

On Sundays in July, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has free concerts in its beautiful sculpture garden. This series, known as Summergarden, is free. Be sure to go early because space is limited.

The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 pm, concerts start at 8:00 pm and the garden closes at 10:00 pm. The museum is not open during these hours.

MoMA is a fantastic museum and you should consider visiting it during its open hours.

They have free hours on Fridays from 4 pm-8 pm. Find out more here.

For other free museums, see our post here.

See a Free Outdoor Movie

There are multiple free movie series held outdoors throughout the city all summer long.

Our New York City Summer Guide has a complete listing of all the free movie series during the summer months.

The Summer on the Hudson series is just one outdoor movie series. It is typically held in Riverside Park South.

Get a Drink at a Rooftop Bar

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy incredible views of the NYC skyline, check out some of the best rooftop bars in NYC.

If you visit at the right time, you can catch the sunset and watch as all the lights turn on in New York.

Attend Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is a twice-yearly event when more than 300 of New York City's best restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu at a low price, relative to their regular prices.

If you dined at some of these restaurants at other times of the year, your entree alone might cost you as much as what you will pay for your entire meal during Restaurant Week.

The summer event usually takes place between mid-July and mid-August.

For more information on how Restaurant Week works and for tips visit our post.


Below are just a few activities for the family in July.

For even more ideas, check out our posts:

Have Family Fun in the Park

Throughout the summer SummerStage, one of New York's outdoor performing arts festivals puts on family-friendly activities in the various parks.

Past Events have included the play Little Red's Hood and Wake up, Daisy!, a marionette production about a strong little girl with a vivid imagination.

Visit the Family Fun in the Park page for times and locations.

Visit Little Island

In Hudson River Park, near the Meatpacking District, you'll find Little Island.

This park sits on 132 "tulip-like" concrete piles in the Hudson River and is described as "a lush, seasonal, landscape with rolling hills, winding pathways, and dazzling views, coupled with programming that includes music, dance, theater, poetry, comedy and art workshops for all ages."

Items in the playground include spinning chairs, dance chimes, and a Sing for Hope piano. There are also food items for purchase. A 40-minute audio tour of the park can be found online as well.

Hours are 6 am to 11.

Tickets for performances gain you entry to the park so no additional tickets are needed.

Although events for summer 2024 haven't been listed yet, you can check here for park entry tickets and future performances.

See a Free Movie on the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier

During the summer months, you can usually see at least one movie flight deck of the Intrepid as part of the Intrepid Museum’s Summer Movie Series.

This year that night will be on July 26.

The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is an interactive and engaging attraction perfect for curious children and adults.

Find out about how to save money on tickets here. The Museum is also included in several New York Tourist Passes.

For a list of additional events in July, visit Intrepid's Public Events Page.

Celebrate City of Water Day

Every summer, the Waterfront Alliance hosts the City of Water Day. Their goal is to "get people to, on, and in the water".

This year the festival will take place in a number of neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Date for 2024 is yet to be announced..

Activities include kayaking, paddle boarding, boat tours, and more. Most activities are free, though the boat tours require a reservation.

Take a Bike Tour

With expanded bike paths and a bicycle-friendly attitude, NYC is a great place for kids to ride a bike and explore the city.

See our post about New York Bike Tours + Rentals.

Watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

The biggest and most famous hot dog eating contest in the world, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, takes place in Coney Island on July 4th.

There are loads of fun activities at Coney Island, so read our post about Coney Island to find out about the things to do like visit Luna Park.

TIP: Tickets to Luna Park are included with the New York Sightseeing Pass, the New York Pass, and the Explorer Pass.

See Family-Friendly Free Movies Outdoors

Hudson River Park hosts a special event called RiverFlicks each summer allowing families to see a movie by the river.

Each of these films will be free to come and enjoy, but the location where they are shown will change from one week to the next.

Learn About the Secret World of Elephants

This ongoing exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) should be very engaging for your children.

It includes life-size models and allows for interaction with the exhibit.

To see what savings and special deals are available, see our post about visiting the American Museum of Natural History

Enjoy Restaurants With the Kids

If you read about Restaurant Week above, you may wonder if any restaurants are good for children's taste buds.

Here are two very special restaurants that are ideal for families and kids:

Sarabeth's West - comfort food on the Upper West Side just a few blocks away from the American Museum of Natural History.

Tavern on the Green  - this iconic New York restaurant is located in Central Park. Fun Fact: It was the location of a scene in Ghostbusters!

For more information and to see how to make reservations, see our Restaurant Week post for more information.

Find more activities from our post of over 100 things to do with kids in NYC.

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: abril 17th, 2024
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