Things To Do In New York City In July

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 discount pass.

New York Tourist Discount Passes

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out our schedule of pay-what-you-like walking tours, our bus tours, and boat cruise pages.

1. 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.

Some of the best neighborhoods to see in July are Greenwich Village, Harlem, and of course Central Park. We offer guided walks of these neighborhoods and dozens more. 

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-enabled audio tours of every neighborhood that 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.

2. See a Concert

Music is all around in July! You can see free concerts (see our free section below), but you also have the chance to see some of the fabulous performers.

  • Hillsong United – July 2 at Madison Square Garden
  • New Kids on the Block, Salt N Pepa, & more – July 2 at Prudential Center
  • Earth Wind and Fire – July 9 at Beacon Theater
  • Billy Joel – July 11 at Madison Square Garden
  • Jennifer Lopez – July 12 + 13 at Madison Square Garden
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – July 14 at Forest Hills Stadium
  • Lionel Richie- July 17 at Radio City Music Hall
  • Dave Matthews Band – July 17 + 18 at Jones Beach Theater
  • Robyn – July 19 at Barclays Center
  • Michael Bublé – July 24 at Madison Square Garden
  • Elvis Costello & the Imposters and Blondie – July 24 at Forest Hills Stadium
  • John Mayer – July 25 + 26 at Madison Square Garden
  • Iron Maiden – July 26 + 27 at Barclays Center
  • Rob Thomas – July 29 + 30 at Beacon Theater
  • Khalid – July 31 at Madison Square Garden

TIP: Madison Square Garden offers All-Access Tours so you can see how this iconic arena has become a world landmark. 

3. 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 all day boats, speedboats, and sailboats. There are also nighttime rides and dinner and music cruises.

Our post on NYC’s boat tour options can help you navigate all the choices



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

4. Go to a Sports Event 

Two major sports in NYC in July are baseball and soccer.  Whether you’re a Mets fan or a Yankees fan, you are in luck because on July 2nd and 3rd you can see BOTH teams as they duke it out in a “subway” series.

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.


Both NYC soccer teams are playing in July.  Get tickets here for the New York City Football Club or the New York Red Bulls.




For a different perspective on this all-American sport, consider taking a tour of Yankee Stadium! These tours are popular and get great reviews. 

TIP: You can get a free ticket to either a Mets or Yankees game with the Freestyle Pass. The classic tour of Yankee Stadium is also available with both the New York Pass and the Explorer Pass

5. Enjoy a Broadway Show

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.



Until July 14, you can catch Burn/This with the sizzling Keri Russell and Adam Driver. You can play your luck on the Digital Lottery through TodayTix to try for $39 tickets! 

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.

6. See a Free Performance of Shakespeare in the Park 

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 how 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. 

7. Grab a Bite During Restaurant Week 

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.

For more details, take a look at our post about Restaurant Week.

8.  Attend the New York E-Prix Race

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.

9. 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.



10. Get a Tourist Discount Pass

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.


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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 in 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.



Celebrate Independence Day 

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

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




Hear Broadway Showtunes in Bryant Park

Every summer, a special series called Broadway in Bryant Park gives the public an opportunity to get a taste of Broadway for free.

In years past, performers have included cast members from shows like Lion King, Wicked, Chicago, Cats and Phantom of the Opera

For dates and showtimes, check their website.

If you miss these performances, find out how to get discount tickets for Broadway shows here.

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 May through August. The 2019 line-up has not yet been announced, but rest assured there will be some major stars playing. 

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 all the series, see our New York City Summer Guide

Attend Lincoln Center Out of Doors

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.

Experience Manhattanhenge

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 

  • 14th street, 23rd street, 34th street, 42nd street

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

Celebrate Bastille Day 

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.

Get Free Tickets with A Tourist Discount Pass

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.


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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.


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:

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 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.

The series starts in late May, so check our Summerstage guide for a list of performers once they are announced.

Go Stargazing 

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.  We also have a GPS-enabled audio tour of the High Line and a High Line Self Guided Tour.  

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

See a Free Outdoor Movie 

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

The Summer on the Hudson series held in Riverside Park South has a super fun line-up in 2019.

  • July 10 – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) | PG-13 | 1h 47min
  • July 17 – The Darjeeling Limited (2007) | R | 1h 31min
  • July 24 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) | PG-13 | 1h 43min
  • July 31 – Little Miss Sunshine (2006) | R | 1h 41min

To find out about other free outdoor movie series, see our New York City Summer Guide.

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.

You can find more activities from our guide to things to do in New York City at night.


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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.


Check out our posts Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City, our 3-day itinerary for families and our list of over 100 things to do in New York City with dozens of kid-friendly activities.

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

On July 13th, the Waterfront Alliance hosts City of Water Day. Their goal is to “get people to, on, and in the water”. The festival is at the South Street Seaport at Pier 16.

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




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.

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.  

T. rex: The Ultimate Predator

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:

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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