1) Free Summer Concerts
From May 20 to September 2, Good Morning America and the Today Show will be holding free summer concerts at least once a week. Both GMA and the Today Show will be holding their concerts every Friday, but the GMA ones will be in Central Park and the Today Show will be holding their concerts in Rockefeller Center. All concerts are open to the public, but some require you to reserve the free tickets. These concerts are a great way to boost your energy for the day and are just an inexpensive fun event to enjoy with friends and family. With performers such as Blink 182 and James Bay, you are sure to find an artist you’ll want to see. Afterwards, you could just relax in Central Park or walk around the city. For the lineup for GMA concerts, go to: http://www.centralpark.com/guide/activities/concerts/gma-concerts.html. For the lineup for the Today Show concerts, go to: http://cititour.com/NYC_Events/2016-NBC-Today-Show-Summer-Concert-Series/23434.
2) The Magnum Ice Cream Bar Shop
After going to a morning concert, you are sure to be in need of an energizing snack. The Magnum shop in Soho is definitely a tourist attraction, but that doesn’t mean it is any less of an attraction for us natives. Magnum is a company that creates ice cream bars and this shop is a place where you can customize these chocolate bars. For $7, you could get a fully customizable ice cream bar with up to three toppings. From dark chocolate chia seeds to rose petals, there is a wide variety of toppings and an infinite number of combinations. This is a great snack for a hot summer day and it is just a fun experience watching your beautiful creation come to life. For more about this ice cream shop, visit: http://www.amny.com/eat-and-drink/magnum-ice-cream-and-dipping-bar-pop-up-to-open-in-soho-1.11679050.
3) Bryant Park Film Festival
If you aren’t much of a concert-goer, then maybe you could go out for a movie instead. For the entire summer, HBO will be showing films in Bryant Park every Monday. The movies will be showing from 5:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. and are open to the public for free. Movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Omen will be showing all summer long. Grab a picnic blanket, some food, and a handful of friends and enjoy a nice movie on the lawn. This is a great way to just relax and enjoy New York City scenery and summer weather. For information about what movies will be showing, go to: http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html.
4) Alice’s Tea Cup
Speaking of movies, with the recent release of the movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Alice’s Tea Cup is a fun place to check out. With the original restaurant on the West Side and “Chapters” II and III on the East Side, Alice’s Tea Cup is easily accessible. The Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant makes every person revisit their childhood. Complete with Alice-themed decorations and pastries, this restaurant is perfect for fans of the books and movies. The restaurant offers amazing tea and overall is a great place to hang out and get lost in Wonderland. If you’re really feeling like a little kid, you could ask to wear one of their many fairy wings while at the restaurant—they’ll even sprinkle “fairy dust” on you! For more information about finding Wonderland, go to: http://alicesteacup.com.
5) I Survived the Room
An adrenaline-packed activity that is great for groups of friends, I Survived the Room is an intense game that is all about testing your limits. I Survived the Room has two rooms to choose from (and one open only on Fridays). A group of friends is placed in a chosen scenario from which they have an hour to escape. You must learn to work with your friends to find clues and solve riddles to escape the room, but if you fail to do so, then game over! The whole scenario feels real, especially with actors who play special roles. It is a bit scary, but definitely worth it because it is interesting to see how your group can work together to solve a hypothetical situation. For more information about how to book a room, go to: http://isurvivedtheroom.com.
Although a bit further away from the city, Smorgasburg in WIlliamsburg is definitely worth the trip. Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., Smorgasburg is filled with vendors of food, vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, and many other knick knacks that appeal to all types of people. Great weather, friendly vendors and a variety of handmade and vintage goods make this flea market a popular spot. Most of the vendors at Smorgasburg are running their own small businesses, and many love to chat with customers. Smorgasburg is also a great place to discover new foods because of all the unique twists put on everyday snacks. Concoctions like “Raindrop Cakes” and “Takumi Tacos” can all be found at Smorgasburg. For more information about the market and its vendors, go to: http://www.smorgasburg.com.