10 Things to Do in New York in July

If you're in New York in July, there's a long list of things to see and do, from Independence Day fireworks to outdoor parks and beaches.

Luisa María Lugo

Luisa María Lugo

9 min read

10 Things to Do in New York in July

Enjoying Time Square | © Joshua Earle

There are always plenty of things to see and do in New York and even more so in the summer: in July there are many festivals and events to mark on the calendar.

Many of these attractions and activities are designed for the enjoyment of New Yorkers, but tourists are welcome. This will give you an insight into the day-to-day life of New York in the summer.

1. Enjoy the sky lit up by fireworks on the 4th of July

Fireworks| ©DreamSky
Fireworks| ©DreamSky

What is one of the most important holidays in New York (and also in the whole of the United States)? On the 4th of July, Americans celebrate their independence. On this day, parades are held, the national anthem is played in many places and the night sky is illuminated by fireworks.

The event is known as "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks" and fireworks professionals are stationed on 5 barges. From these points they launch approximately 25,000 projectiles (sometimes many more).

The event is so special for Americans that it is broadcast by a large number of news broadcasts. On this occasion, the sky is illuminated by fireworks of all colours, millions of people enjoy it and record the moment in photographs and videos. Why not join in?

Where to enjoy them

The places from which the spectacle is clearly visible are:

  • FDR Expressway, 23rd, 34th and 42nd Streets for Manhattan.
  • Bushwick Inlet Park, Domino Park, East River State Park and Transmitter Park for Brooklyn
  • Gantry Plaza State Park for Queens
  • Taking one of the Hudson River Cruises in New York City

Important information on Macy's Fireworks

  • When: 4th July, starts around 9pm and ends at 10pm
  • Price: It's a free public event.
  • For more information: Macy's Twitter.

Book a Hudson River cruise in New York

2. Find out who eats the most Hot Dogs in the Nathan's Famous contest

Hot Dogs in New York| ©Caleb Oquendo
Hot Dogs in New York| ©Caleb Oquendo

Nathan's Famous is a famous New York restaurant located in Coney Island. One of the reasons it is so well known is that it holds a competition to see who can eat the most Hot Dogs in the shortest amount of time.

This is one of the ways New Yorkers celebrate the 4th of July. The competition started in 1972 and thousands of people have participated over the years. The time limit for the competition is 10 minutes.

Additional information about the contest

  • Where: Nathan's Famous, Coney Island.
  • When: 4th July
  • Price: Free admission to watch the contest. Inside you can buy fast food.
  • For more information: Restaurant's website.

Book a Coney Island tour from Manhattan

3. Summer solstice in Manhattan: the sun aligns with the streets at the Manhattanhenge

Starting the Manhattanhenge| ©Eric Gross
Starting the Manhattanhenge| ©Eric Gross

A unique event not to be missed if you visit New York on the date it happens is the Manhattanhenge. Why is it so special and what does it consist of? It happens only a few days a year, when the setting sun aligns perfectly with the streets of Manhattan, hiding between its skyscrapers and creating an incredible optical effect.

The sunlight creates a stunning glow that reflects off the steel and glass elements of Manhattan. The north and the south are illuminated by this incredible event, many people stop to appreciate it and above all, to take pictures.

Where to watch it from

In July, Manhattanhenge coincides with the All-Star Baseball Games break. This incredible sunset can be seen from 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets.

Important information about Manhattanhenge

  • Where: Main East and West Avenues of Manhattan, across the Hudson River (New Jersey high places), Tudor City Overpass and Hunter's Point South Park.
  • When: 12 July.
  • Price: Natural event, so it's free.
  • For more information: visit the Natural History Museum's website.

Book a night tour of Manhattan

4. Have fun at NY's Summerstage

Summerstage is over| ©John Saeyong Ra
Summerstage is over| ©John Saeyong Ra

One of the festivals that take place in New York in July is the Summerstage, as the name suggests, you can attend it all summer long. Music, dance and more are planned in different parks around the city, mainly in Central Park.

In total, there are more than 100 shows, and while you listen to music or watch a dance performance, you can buy food. Near the Summerstage area, different menus and drinks are sold for attendees to enjoy the occasion even more.

Important information about the Summerstage

  • Where: New York Parks, especially Rumsey Playfield in Central Park
  • When: All summer
  • Price: Free admission
  • For more information: Central Park's website

Book an electric scooter tour of Central Park

5. The best of music and art at MoMA's Warm Up PS1

Full house at MoMA's Warm Up PS1| ©Allison Meier
Full house at MoMA's Warm Up PS1| ©Allison Meier

MoMA is New York's Museum of Modern Art and every summer it plans a show that is one of the most anticipated by New Yorkers. You will find concerts of different musical genres and performances of art pieces by emerging artists.

This party/concert is open to NYers, out-of-towners and even tourists. So you are welcome if you are visiting the Big Apple in July. The event is also held during the month of August.

Important information about MoMA PS1 Warm Up Party

  • Where: Backyard of the Museum of Modern Art, New York (Between 22nd and 25th Avenues, Long Island, Queens).
  • When: Every Saturday in July and August from 8pm.
  • Price: Free.
  • For more information: Warm Up section of the MoMA website.

Get tickets to MoMA

6. Celebrate the music at Panorama Music Festival

Panorama Music Festival| ©Filip Wolak
Panorama Music Festival| ©Filip Wolak

There are many music festivals in New York in July, ranging from classical to electronic music. This time, I'm talking about the Panorama Music Festival, which takes place in Randall's Island Park in one of the last weeks of July.

The festival brings together art, music and technology and lasts for several days. The artists who perform are dedicated to various genres, so that people with different musical tastes are encouraged to attend.

Important information about the Panorama Music Festival

  • Where: Randall's Island Park.
  • When: Last weeks of July.
  • Price: Tickets from £70.
  • For more information: Randall's Island Park website.

7. See different shows at Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival| ©Ian Muttoo
Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival| ©Ian Muttoo

Lincoln Center Out of Doors is a festival that begins in late July and runs through mid-August. It is one of the most entertaining activities you have the opportunity to participate in New York in July.

It features performances for all tastes: different genres of music, dances and even opera singers. The event takes place outdoors at a well-known venue in the Big Apple.

Important information about Out of Doors

  • Where: At Lincoln Center (between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues).
  • When: Last weeks of July.
  • Price: Free tickets.
  • For more information: Lincoln Center website.

8. Listen to a prestigious orchestra at the NY Philharmonic Concerts

New York Philharmonic in the Park| ©tweber1
New York Philharmonic in the Park| ©tweber1

Throughout the summer, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra performs concerts in parks throughout the city. Here you have the opportunity to hear the wonderful music of one of the world's most famous orchestras.

This tour of New York's parks is supported by public funds and sponsors. Among the supporting institutions are the New York City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Whether there are festivals or not, one thing you should do is take advantage of the good weather in July to visit the best parks in New York.

Important information about the Philharmonic's Concerts in Parks

9. Wear pink and attend the Pinknic

Pink Invasion in New York| ©Josh Stewart
Pink Invasion in New York| ©Josh Stewart

No, I didn't write wrong, I meant to write "Pinknic", this is an activity that takes place in New York. Although the date changes every year, it has been held on many occasions in the month of July. What does this event consist of?

Attendees wear pink clothes, sit on pink blankets and their drinks are pink. There are many activities at this massive event, including concerts. It should be noted that you must be 21 years of age or older to enter the Pinknic.

Important information about the Pinknic

  • Where: The location is announced each year, usually at Randall's Island Park or Governors Island.
  • When: In the summer.
  • Price: Ticket prices are published when the event is announced.
  • For more information: Pinknic website.

10. Get to know independent fashion at Fashion on the Hudson

Fashion show on the Hudson| ©SarahReport
Fashion show on the Hudson| ©SarahReport

Fashion on the Hudson is a fashion show that most often takes place in mid-July. They showcase the collections of independent designers from the city and beyond. Among the types of clothing you can see at the event are haute couture, lingerie, plus-size fashion and ready-to-wear collections.

To attend fashion shows you need an invitation from the designers, but at Fashion on the Hudson you don't have to be invited. Admission is free, and anyone is welcome to attend to see the creations of leading independent designers.

Important information about Fashion on the Hudson

  • Where: Upper East Side overlooking the Hudson River.
  • When: Exact dates are announced each year.
  • Price: Free admission.
  • For more information: Fashion on the Hudson website.

Book a shopping tour in New York

What is the weather like in New York in July?

Bryant Park in summer| ©Istock
Bryant Park in summer| ©Istock

Many consider July to be the hottest month of the summer and it's not because the temperatures are too high, but because of the humidity. Although the temperature on many days does not reach 29°C (high), the wind chill can exceed 30°C.

The minimum temperature for this month is 20°C, usually dropping to that point during the evenings. Other characteristics of the New York theme in July are:

The days are longer and on average, there are 8 days when rain is likely to fall, 3 of these precipitations are significant.

Do many people visit NY during the month of July?

Visiting the Top of the Rock| ©Nick Nigth
Visiting the Top of the Rock| ©Nick Nigth

Summer is one of the two seasons when most tourists come to New York City. Being in the middle of summer, many of them opt for outdoor activities, as they are the most popular during the hot days.

Despite the large number of tourists in the city, you won't get the feeling that the places are too crowded. Remember that there are many activities in NY and not all tourists attend the same ones.

Are prices going up or down this month?

Paying for products| ©Karolina Grabowska
Paying for products| ©Karolina Grabowska

As it is a high season, i.e. when there are many tourists, it is normal for prices to increase. In the first few weeks of July prices go up and then start to fall gradually towards the end of the month.

Prices will not be excessively high, but they will be higher compared to months such as September and October.

What to bring on my trip to New York in July?

Packing| ©Craig Adderley
Packing| ©Craig Adderley

When choosing what to pack, keep in mind that it will be summer, so the heat will be prevalent. Therefore, I encourage you to pack the following for your trip to New York in July:

  • Summer clothes, i.e. cool
  • Breathable and comfortable shoes
  • Sun protection items such as hats, caps and sunglasses
  • Umbrellas to use when the sun is strong and if it rains during your stay in the city.
  • Some clothing to keep you warm in case of rain or when entering air-conditioned areas.
  • Sarong or towel if you plan to go to an event in a park or just choose one to hang out on the grass.
  • Sunscreen

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What to do if it rains during July in NY?

Scene from Aladdin, the Broadway Musical| ©Aladdin
Scene from Aladdin, the Broadway Musical| ©Aladdin

As I said before, rains are not very frequent in July, but there is a possibility of them. What to do if it rains in New York during your stay? My recommendations are as follows:

  • Coffee shops are a great option, there is delicious food and drinks and you can stay in them until the rain subsides.
  • Museums will be open, so I encourage you to check out the best museums in New York and think about one that you can go to if it rains.
  • Broadway musicals are so varied, there is something for everyone. Check out the best Broadway musicals here.

Book tickets for a Broadway musical