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This post covers things to do in New York City in July, including a Top 10 list, family-friendly activities, things to do at night and free events, updated for 2019.
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 discount pass.
For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:
Two major sports in NYC in July are baseball and soccer.
For a different perspective on this all-American sport, consider taking a tour of Yankee Stadium! These tours are popular and get great reviews.
Going to a sports event is a fun way to spend a night out in NYC. For more nighttime activity ideas, see the things to do at night section below.
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 just want to see as much music as possible, see the free section below as summer is filled with many free concerts.
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.
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 that you will likely visit as a tourist in NYC.
This month Broadway will see the opening of the racy, colorful Moulin Rouge, a stage adaptation of Baz Luhrman’s 2001 Oscar-nominated movie musical.
Also closing on July 14th is the runaway hit, What the Constitution Means to Me.
If you are here before July 21, you can see the play Hillary and Clinton with the fabulous Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow.
Find out what else is playing while you are in NYC.
To see how to get discount tickets, read our post How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets.
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.
The 2019 season features Much Ado About Nothing (May 21-June 23), followed by Coriolanus (July 16-August 11).
If you do get a ticket, or even if you don’t, spend some time in Central Park.
Read our post about things to do in Central Park for some ideas.
Starting on July 23rd, hundreds of restaurants in New York City begin to celebrate an event known as Restaurant Week.
During this time period, a two-course lunch will cost $26 and a 3-course dinner will be $42. These prices are fantastic for the quality of the food you will enjoy.
This two-day race car event features electric vehicles traveling at insane speeds around difficult tracks. This year, it takes place in Manhattan and Brooklyn on July 13 + 14.
This is suited for both adults and children. If you are traveling with kids, there is a special immersive fan festival for kids called Allianz E-Village.
Tickets range from $55-$85 per person. Click here for more details.
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.
A tourist discount pass affords you discounted entry into most of NYC’s most popular attractions.
While the passes themselves certainly aren’t free, if you plan your itineraries well, you will end up getting 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.
Below are just a handful of the hundreds of free things you can do in 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.
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.
Every summer, a special series called Broadway in Bryant Park gives the public an opportunity to get a taste of Broadway for free.
In 2019, the dates are on the following Thursdays from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: July 11, 18 and 25.
There are also 3 dates in August. See our post on things to do in August to find out more.
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 May through August. The 2019 line-up has not yet been announced, but rest assured there will be some major stars playing.
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 all the series, see our New York City Summer Guide.
Starting in late July and running through mid-August, Lincoln Center hosts several free outdoor shows including musical acts, spoken word artists, and professional dancing.
See their events page for details on dates and performances.
To see behind the scenes of this world-renowned performance space, you can take a Lincoln Center Tour.
During Manhattanhenge, the sunset aligns with the east-west streets and the buildings on either side seem to perfectly frame the sun.
This event takes place in 2019 on July 11th – 12th, and you can see it pretty well from the following streets
TIP: If you watch from 42nd Street, you can also visit Grand Central, which is just as mesmerizing as Manhattanhenge!
Sunday, 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.
Click here for a full list of Bastille Day activities.
Admittedly, these passes have a cost. However, if you plan well, you will essentially get several tickets to attractions or tours each day for free.
Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.
Read our post comparing the different tourist discount passes.
Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
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.
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:
Make sure to read our post on New York City walking tours for more information.
Summerstage is a summer series of free performances with a diverse line up 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.
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.
On Tuesday nights in July, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York brings high-powered telescopes to the 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.
On Sundays in July, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has free concerts in their beautiful sculpture garden. This series, known as Summergarden, is free, though space is limited so go early.
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 their open hours.
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 movies series. It is held in Riverside Park South and has a super fun line-up in 2019.
Get a Drink at a Rooftop Bar
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy incredible views of the NYC skyline, check out one 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.
This new annual event called After Dark transforms the streets in a location in a certain neighborhood into an arcade of sorts, with technology-enabled live-action games.
In 2019, it takes place on July 20th from 7 pm to 10 pm, Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
It’s a party for grown-ups that is a companion to the daytime kids’ Come Out & Play! listed below in the kids’ section.
Note: After Dark players must be 18 or older.
See their website for details.
Below are just a few activities for the family in July.
There are others throughout this entire post, such as seeing a baseball game, going to Coney Island and watching the fireworks on the 4th of July. Be sure to read the whole post for more ideas!
This video is for things to do with kids any time of year.
This annual event, taking place on July 14th, is part of the larger famous annual free concert series called Summerstage.
This year’s theme is Americana and will feature performances by two bands, Railroad Earth (a bluegrass-infused jam band) and Ranky Tanky (southern jazz-influenced band).
There will also be a performance by the PuppetMobile. The fun begins at 3:30 pm. See here for more information.
This annual family day festival takes place in 2019 in DUMBO in Brooklyn on July 20th.
From 1 pm- 5 pm, there will be street games specially designed for families and kids of all ages.
See their website for details.
See a Free Movie on the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier
On July 19, you can watch the 2018 movie First Man on the flight deck of the Intrepid as part of the Intrepid Museum’s Summer Movie Series.
The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is a very interactive and engaging attraction perfect for curious children and adults.
Find out about discounted tickets here. The Museum is also included in several New York Tourist Passes.
Celebrate City of Water Day
Activities include kayaking, paddleboarding, boat tours and more. Most activities are free, though the boat tours require a reservation.
If you aren’t here on July 13th, you can still get out on the water for free. Find out how from our post on free boat rides in NYC.
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.
Consider joining us for a pay-what-you-wish bike tour! See our post about New York Bike Tours + Rentals.
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.
This two-day event features an interactive slime play area, contests and games, and even a DIY slime workshop. There will be food at an entire food court.
It takes place on July 27 and 28, from 12 pm – 5 pm at the Brooklyn Expo Center at 72 Noble Street in Greenpoint. Tickets start at $10. Get more information here.
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.
This ongoing exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) should be very engaging for your children.
It includes a virtual reality experience, fossils, life-size models, and interactive elements, life-size models, and fossils.
To see what discounts and special deals are available, see our post about visiting the American Museum of Natural History
Enjoy Restaurant Week With the Kids
If you read above about Restaurant Week, 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:
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.