Finally! The weekends are getting hotter. I may not be looking forward to the whiff of the East Village in the summer, but I’m so glad to be enjoying the city’s glorious outdoor activities again. If you’re looking for things to do, here are my suggestions:1 :: Luna Park :: You can be a big kid again at this Coney Island fairground. It gets busy but it’s worth the wait to feel your brain rattle around on the rickety Cyclone (don’t worry, you can also just watch from the boardwalk with a hot dogs).
2 :: Smorgasburg :: Find this outdoor food market in Williamsburg, Dumbo or Jones Beach. My favorite is Dumbo – you can wander over the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, sit in the grass, look over the water or take a spin on Jane’s Carousel.
3 :: Rooftop farms :: With limited space here in NYC, would-be farmers have to get creative – hence rooftop patches in Greenpoint, Long Island City or Hell’s Kitchen. You can volunteer, buy their wares or simply check out the views.
4 :: Kayaking :: For some reason, this kayaking run by the Downtown Boathouse is free and they let you take your sweet ass time. It’s the perfect place to cool off in the sticky heat. See their website for their four locations.
5 :: Baseball games :: Don’t you find that stuff happens in basebell when you watch it, but when you don’t, you never really miss out? …which gives you the perfect chance to stock up on beer and foam fingers. Check out the Mets or Yankees.
6 :: Governor’s Island :: Hop on a ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridge Park and head to this bizarre island lined with abandoned homes, schools and a fort. It has gorgeous views of the skyline and green open parks for picnics.
7 :: Brooklyn Botanic Garden :: Everyone loves this green haven right by Prospect Park. Wander beneath cherry trees, over bridges and through rainforests for a relaxing day that makes you feel very, very far from the city.
8 :: Outdoor theater :: Shakespeare visits parks and parking lots all season, but why not also check out shows by New York Classical Theater? There’ll be smaller crowds but just as much talent, I promise you.
9 :: Manhattan’s ‘beach’ :: Skip the long journey to the beach by heading to Beekman Beer Garden Beach to sip beers with the sand between your toes. It gives great views of the Brooklyn Bridge (but get there in the afternoon to avoid the bros).
10 :: The High Line :: These renovated elevated railway tracks along Manhattan’s west side are lined with plants and sculptures for a lovely summer stroll. If you fancy a picnic, there are also food stands, including People’s Pops.
11 :: Roller skating in Prospect Park :: The new LeFrak Center has switched out its ice rink to make way for roller skaters by the park’s lake. The result is a fun summer workout or place to socialize during the evening.
12 :: Outdoor movies :: Keep your eye on the city’s summer movie calendar because screens are popping up everywhere. My favorite come courtesy of Rooftop Films – but you’ll find the most space at Bryant or McCarren Parks.
Are there any summer activities I should add to my list?