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Best season ever: 25 things to do this summer in NYC

Best season ever: 25 things to do this summer in NYC

After last summer, it’s time to make up for some lost time.

The sun is out, and the city’s markets, bars, restaurants and cultural venues are open for business — and fun. The five boroughs have surged back to life and it’s time to make the most of it.

From awesome aquatic activities and amazing art to delicious food markets and divine rooftops, Post writers share 25 must-do activities for the season ahead. Grab your MetroCard and a towel — or your roller skates or your exercise mat — and get out on the town.

The summer ahead promises to be one like never before.

Lace up and let loose at All Night Skate 

Relive those “Saved By the Bell” days at Brooklyn’s only skating rink-themed bar All Night Skate. Opened last August with outdoor seating only, the quirky indoor barroom – featuring an arcade, a balcony with a spiral staircase and a disco soundtrack – is finally open.

Have "Rink Royalty" the at Brooklyn bar, All Night Skate.
Have “Rink Royalty” the at Brooklyn bar, All Night Skate.
Stefano Giovannini

Try out cocktails like the “Prom Night” (mezcal, pomegranate, ginger and orange; $12), “The Chaperone” (a rye and liqueur twist on a Manhattan; $12) or the “Rink Royalty” (gin, St. Germain, blood orange and rum; $15), which is served with a flaming sugar cube on a lime boat. Snacks are available via Mama Yoshi, a Japanese-influenced pop-up, accessed through a window next door. Afternoons are chill here and those looking to get down should show up late, when the groovy kids hit the dance floor. Important: Wearing your actual roller skates is encouraged here and earns you a 10 percent discount.  

54 Rockaway Ave.; 347-240-6263, @allnightskate

-Chris Cameron

Marinate poolside with a rosé slushie on the new Jimmy rooftop 

You can’t beat the view at Jimmy’s 18th floor rooftop in Soho – and we’re not talking about the bikini bods. The clubby cocktail hub is celebrating its 10th year with a fresh new look.

the Watermelon Frose from Jimmy's rooftop at the ModernHaus SoHo hotel.
The Watermelon Frose from Jimmy’s rooftop at the ModernHaus SoHo hotel.
Brian Zak/NY Post

Formerly the crown of the James Hotel, the bar closed last year and was reborn in April as a part of ModernHaus Soho, a remodeled 114-room luxury hotel. Veterans will discover an all-new cocktail menu by mixologist Johnny Swet with hot-weather hits like a watermelon frosé, grilled pineapple mojito, smoked peach margarita and an almost neon, blue raspberry “Baby Shark” slushie – all $19. The pool opened last week and the party is majorly on, so reservations are your keys to the kingdom. Show up for sunset and party until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

15 Thompson St.; JimmySoho.com. (Make a reservation at [email protected].)

CC

Go rollerskating at the TWA Hotel

The new Roll-A-Rama at the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.
The new Roll-A-Rama at the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.
Courtesy of TWA Hotel

It’s wheels down in more ways than one. The TWA Hotel at JFK Airport has opened Roll-A-Rama, a 44-by-56-foot outdoor roller rink parked next to its Connie Cocktail Lounge, a swinging bar within a 1958 Lockheed Constellation plane. Put on a terry headband and some tube socks and glide around the tarmac while listening to retro tunes. Roll-A-Rama is open Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. A 50-minute skate session costs $20 for adults and $16 for children under 12; tickets are first come first serve and cannot be purchased in advance. Masks are required and skates are sanitized in between skaters.

John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK Access Road, One Idlewild Drive, 11430; 212-806-9000, TWAHotel.com/runway-rink

-Alex Mitchell

Treat yourself to soft serve — and a view

The city has sky-high rooftop bars and eateries to spare, but one of the best spots stands just two stories above ground: Fornino on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The simple wooden structure’s low-rise roof with room for 175 party animals (open from noon, weather permitting) has thrilled pizza and sweets lovers for seven years. But the main event is the astounding, unobstructed vista of New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Owner Michael Ayoub’s Neapolitan-style pizzas, known for decadent toppings and perfect crusts, are wood-fired in rooftop ovens. There are also antipasti, sandwiches, salads and even a hot dog. But the desserts are delightful: Blue Marble soft serve ice cream, a chocolate babka ice-cream sandwich and Mexican-style popsicles in flavors such as pink limeade and Oaxacan chocolate.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 (near State Street); 718-422-1107, Fornino.com

-Steve Cuozzo

See “In The Heights” in IMAX

Sure, you could watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s earthshakingly fun new movie-musical on HBO Max starting June 11 if you wanted to, but why order pot roast when you could gorge on prime rib instead? The film is dazzling and colorful, and packed with gigantic dance numbers worthy of the biggest screen you can experience them on. In New York, that is the IMAX theater at the AMC Lincoln Square, the Godzilla of auditoriums. 

1998 Broadway; 212-336-5020, AMCTheatres.com

-Johnny Oleksinski

Plan your next trip with a travel-inspired cocktail at Mace

The Miami Vice cocktail at Mace.
The Miami Vice cocktail at Mace.
Brian Zak/NY Post

Mace, which had been named one of the world’s 50 best bars three years in a row, is back from pandemic purgatory this week with a new location in Greenwich Village, new chef and most importantly fresh cocktails. Opened in 2015 in an East Village hole-in-the-wall by mixologist Nico de Soto, Mace boasts a gleaming 27-foot zinc bar and seating for 80. In its latest incarnation, it hopes to send travel-starved locals on a round-the-world journey, with a new peripatetic cocktail menu. Start in Miami with a “Wasabi + Cilantro,” Nico’s version of a Miami Vice ($19), then head south of the border to Peru with a “Black Sesame,” featuring date-infused rye, chaga mushroom, lacto-fermented mushroom and black sesame ($18). End in Indonesia with a “Soy,” a cocktail inspired by a Gado-gado salad with spicy peanut sauce ($17). Alternative itineraries include West Africa, the Philippines, Iran and France. While you’re on the road, nab a seafood platter by chef Cyed Adraincem. Six oysters, six clams plus cod ceviche will only set you back $35. You might not be able to globe-trot yet but this is the next best thing.

35 W. Eighth St.; 347-866-7739, MaceNewYork.com

-CC

Bliss out with Brandi Carlile in Forest Hills

Brandi Carlile performing at THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY® AWARDS, broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Brandi Carlile performing at THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY® AWARDS, broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Sunday, March 14, 2021.
CBS via Getty Images

If you’ve ever seen this singer-songwriter live, you know just what a force of nature she can be be. And the old-school country-club charm of Forest Hills Stadium — formerly the site of the US Open tennis tournament, way back when all-time greats Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors first won it — will be the pitch-perfect setting for her Americana-accented tunes on July 23, with tickets ranging from $29 to $571.

Forest Hills Stadium, 1 Tennis Place, Queens; ForestHillsStadium.com

Chuck Arnold

Spend all day in Central Park and see “Merry Wives”

More than likely, the classic New York experience of lining up for hours on end to get totally free Shakespeare in the Park tickets is done for now — replaced by a digital lottery system the Public Theater was already partially using. But that doesn’t mean you should roll up to the Delacorte Theater for the comedy “Merry Wives” (July 5 – Aug. 29) at 7:59 p.m. Part of the old experience was being sweaty, tired and meeting new weird pals in line. Make a day of it. 

81 Central Park West; 212-539-8500, PublicTheater.org

-JO

Check out opera — even if you have a short attention span

Last summer, while outdoor dining and drive-in movies were all the rage, live performance was still a no-go zone. This year, however, audiences have the chance to watch world-class artists from a lawn chair… for less than two hours!

New York City Opera performs Carmen in Bryant Park.
New York City Opera performs Carmen in Bryant Park.
Sarah Shatz

New York City Opera is putting on two easily digestible 90-minute operas, “Carmen” (July 2) and “Rigoletto” (Sept. 3) in addition to other concerts in Bryant Park. All free. 

40th and 42nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues; 646-981-1888, NYCOpera.com

-JO

Nosh on fantastic tacos by the river

Today’s classy Pier 17 is a far cry from the tacky tourist trap of a few years ago. And the food is oceans better as well. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s marvelous seafood menu at The Fulton adds pleasure to open-air views of the East River, downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge. My favorite current dish is a crispy fish taco ($19) — made with Icelandic cod — with chipotle mayo and spicy slaw, best enjoyed on the breezy outdoor deck. 

89 South St.; 212-838-1200, TheFulton.nyc

-SC

Taylor Worden is a downtown facialist known for her epic massage skills.
Taylor Worden is a downtown facialist known for her epic massage skills.
Courtesy of Taylor Worden

Let somebody touch your face (finally!)

It’s time to have a facialist tackle what’s been lurking under that mask! Splurge at aesthetician Taylor Worden’s downtown “skin speakeasy” — tucked away across from the old police headquarters on Centre Street — with an 80-minute “Taylormade” facial ($400). The luxe treatment includes extractions, high-tech sculpting with lymphatic drainage gadgets and massage, the latter of which Worden is known for. “Your hands are the best machine that you could ever use on someone’s face,” she says.

247 Centre St.; 917-435-2116, TaylorWorden.com. E-mail [email protected] for appointments.

-Catherine Kast

Down a double-decker seafood slider

Clam-and-lobster sliders have been among the The Clam’s best sellers since it opened in the West Village five years ago. And it’s easy to see – and taste – why. This might be one of the few places to combine the two shellfish favorites in a single, jaw-stretching sandwich.

Lobster sliders at The Clam.
Lobster sliders at The Clam.
Courtesy of The Clam

Chef/owner Mike Price uses Massachusetts clams that are buttermilk-soaked and fried and pairs them with Maine lobster seasoned with mayo, lemon juice, herbs and spicy sambal for extra spark. They’re stacked like layers of an ice-cream sundae on a brioche bun (but it’s such a mouthful that you’ll likely need knife and fork). They’re $14 each or $35 for two with old bay fries and coleslaw.

420 Hudson St.; 212-242-7420, TheClamNYC.com

-SC

Sample the world’s variety on our liveliest restaurant row

The best pandemic-era street-seating scene right now is Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Boulevard) from roughly West 118th Street to West 135th. The wide-sidewalk setups are ideal for people-watching. Cuisines span the globe – French (Barawine), Indian (Chaiwali, Indian Summer), southern-inspired “comfort food” (Red Rooster), Mexican (Cantina Taqueria), Japanese (Yuzu), Senegalese (Lenox Saphire), Latin (Tios Bistro), Italian (Babbalucci) and Jamaican (Caribbean Starr). And, of course, traditional Harlem soul food at long-enduring Sylvia’s. Just take the M102 bus or the No. 6 train to Lenox and 116th Street and stroll north. 

Lenox Avenue between West 118th Street and West 135th Street

-SC

Feast on Asian delights at the Queens Night Market

COVID-19 shut down the popular Queens Night Market — a food festival that has served up fare from more than 90 countries since launching in 2015. Now it’s making a comeback. The weekly market will return to Flushing Meadows Corona Park on June 19, at reduced capacity. Visitors will be able to sample an exciting array of delicious delicacies — from Filipino balut (a boiled, fertilized duck egg) to Afghan mantu dumplings to Taiwanese popcorn chicken.

The Queens Night Market at dusk in front of the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science.
The Queens Night Market at dusk in front of the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science.
Sarah Choi

While many of the offerings come from Asian countries, they also span the globe. Don’t miss the stuffed sambuxa pastries from Sudan or Portuguese pastéis de nata — irresistible egg-custard tarts. Attendance will be timed and ticketed, and the $5 ticket to entry should be purchased in advance. (Children under 12 can get in free.) The markets will last from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays, and attendees will be required to wear masks when not eating and drinking. 

Flushing Meadows Corona Park behind the New York Hall of Science; QueensNightMarket.ticketleap.com

-Zach Kussin 

Head across the Hudson for outdoor art

jerse-city-mural (1)

jerse-city-mural (1)

It’s a Jersey thing! Head across the Hudson for the Jersey City Mural Festival.

Hudson County Cultural & Heritage

Features Taylor Worden Courtesy of Taylor Worden

Features Taylor Worden Courtesy of Taylor Worden

Unwind with a concept that hasn’t been properly celebrated since 2019! Comfortable human touch.

Courtesy of Taylor Worden

Roller rink at JFK TWA Hotel

Roller rink at JFK TWA Hotel

Get your skate on at the newly opened roller rink at JFK Airport’s TWA Hotel.

Courtesy of TWA Hotel

FeaturesGood Day Rooftop PilatesCourtesy of Good Day Rooftop Pilates

FeaturesGood Day Rooftop PilatesCourtesy of Good Day Rooftop Pilates

Flexible or stiff, it’s easy to unwind with a view like this.

Courtesy of Good Day Rooftop Pil

TOPSHOT-US-ENVIRONMENT-HEALTH-VIRUS-LIFESTYLE

TOPSHOT-US-ENVIRONMENT-HEALTH-VIRUS-LIFESTYLE

View of ‘Little Island’, a new, free public park in Hudson River Park on May 21, 2021.

AFP via Getty Images

The Body rollerCourtesy Stretch*d

The Body rollerCourtesy Stretch*d

Dig in deep with this elaborate and one of a kind body roller.

Courtesy Stretch*d

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The Jersey City Mural Festival, held on June 5 and 6, will show off works by dozens of artists across more than 50 walls and 300,000 square feet of space. There will be six spots painted in Journal Square and more than two dozen in Hamilton Park. Wash down all that art with some suds from Jersey-based Ghost Hawk Brewing or 902 Brewing Company. If you get hungry, there will also be Stack Creamery ice-cream sandwiches and bites from Jerkin Chicken.

Locations in Journal Square between St Pauls and Newark avenues near the Pulaski Skyway — and along 13th and Monmouth streets off Coles Street in Hamilton Park; JerseyCityMuralFestival.com

-ZK

Explore Little Island — and enjoy some song and dance

Little Island, the brand-new public playground off West 14th Street in the Hudson River
Little Island, the brand-new public playground off West 14th Street in the Hudson River
AFP via Getty Images

The new Little Island park, perched atop the Hudson River, offers a series of free events throughout the summer. Starting in mid-June, there will be “Sunset Sounds” concerts every Wednesday at 6 p.m. On July 3, the American Ballet Theatre will hold two performances at the park’s serene river-facing amphitheater, called the Amph. Visiting the park requires a ticket purchased for a specific time slot; ballet performances require  separate tickets, which will go on sale June 1.

Pier 55 at West 13th Street; LittleIsland.org/events

-ZK

Roll out the WFH kinks at Stretch*d

The self-guided Body Roll*r treatment at Stretch*d
The self-guided Body Roll*r treatment at Stretch*d
Courtesy Stretch*d

Call it a contactless high:  Stretch*d, the wellness studio known for customized stretches, also offers self-guided turns on an elite Body Roll*r machine, which massages the body with spinning infrared-heated rollers to boost circulation and release tension. A video will take you through your session (starting at $24 for a 30-minute roll), and you can choose which areas you’d like to target. Might we suggest un-hunching that upper back? They’ve just opened an Upper East Side outpost in addition to locations in Flatiron and Rye Brook.
Stretch*D Upper East Side, 1357 Third Ave.; 212-299-4763, StretchdSpace.com. (Make a reservation and find additional locations online.)

-CK

Hit the beach bazaar

The Riis Park Beach Bazaar at Jacob Riis Park opens Memorial Day Weekend and runs through Labor Day. Enjoy delicious food and drink from vendors such as Rockaway Clam Bar, Pizza Moto and Bay 9 East Beer Garden — while gazing out at the ocean. Once your hunger is satisfied and thirst is quenched, stroll over to the Vintage Shop and find a new treasure. When you’re ready to hit the sand, use the Lido Beach Butlers app to rent beach chairs and umbrellas and the like out of Bay 2. The bazaar opens at 11 a.m. daily.

16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Queens; RiisParkBeachBazaar.com

-Alex Mitchell

Graze on great gluten-free goods at the Greenmarket

Although there are many reasons to visit the teeming Union Square Greenmarket on a holiday weekend, my favorite destination right now is Blaine Caravaggi’s cheerful purple tent on Fridays and Saturdays (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for luscious, gluten-free sweets and savories.

People shopping at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Manhattan.
People shopping at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Manhattan.
Billy Becerra/NY Post

Her game-changing treats – cakes, cookies, muffins, cheese bombs and breads — are made with raw materials from Hudson Valley farms near where she lives. I seek them out all the time, even though I have no wheat-eating worries whatsoever. The secret to their wheat-like moisture and consistency is the magical flour she forged out of almond coconut, cassava and gluten-free oat flours. Try the moist blood orange olive oil cake with orange glaze.

Union Square Greenmarket, near Union Square West between West 17th and 18th streets; OffTheWheat.com

-SC

Kayak the East River for Free

Row, row, row your boat. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Brooklyn Bridge Park boathouse at Pier 2 will offer free kayaking sessions. Get your paddle on and enjoy unique views of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. There is no charge for boat rentals, but online reservations are required.

334 Furman St., Brooklyn; 718-222-9939, BBPBoathouse.org

AM

Climb the reopened Vessel

The architectural centerpiece of Hudson Yards reopened to the public Friday. Under new guidelines, the Vessel will require guests to bring at least one companion along for the climb up the nearly 2,500 steps. At the top, take in views of the Hudson, Manhattan skyscrapers and the New Jersey waterfront. After the climb, head to Hudson Yards for shopping and dining. The Vessel requires tickets, which cost $10 and can be purchased online. 

20 Hudson Yards; 332-204-8500, HudsonYardsNewYork.com

-AM

Good Day Pilates' rooftop class at ModernHaus SoHo
Good Day Pilates’ rooftop class at ModernHaus SoHo
Courtesy of Good Day Rooftop Pil

Take Pilates poolside

Sure, you can work out inside now, but if the sun is shining, why would you want to? Boutique studios all over the city have upped their outdoor offerings. Good Day Pilates (Christy Turlington is a fan), has a partnership with hotel ModernHaus SoHo for pop-up mat classes around their rooftop pool. Follow the studio on Instagram (@GoodDayPilates) for details on the pop-ups, which will cost  $30 for 50 minutes, or head to their chill Soho studio for an indoor class.

ModernHaus SoHo, 27 Grand St.; 212-465-2000, ModernHausHotel.com GoodDayPilates, 150 Spring St. 3rd Fl.; 646-590-1235, GoodDayPilates.com

-Catherine Kast

Make a pilgrimage to a new playground

Are you and your kiddos tired of hitting up the same old swings by your apartment? Explore Rainey Park in Queens, which not only has ample running-around space by the riverside, but a cool children’s climbing wall.

Rainey Park, Vernon Boulevard, Astoria, Queens.
Rainey Park, Vernon Boulevard, Astoria, Queens.
Stefano Giovannini

Grab sandwiches at the nearby Flor de Azalea Cafe for a picnic lunch on the promenade and make a day of it.

Vernon Boulevard between 33rd Road and 34th Avenue, Queens; NYCGovParks.org

-CK

Go Gaga at MetLife Stadium

It’s been a decade since Lady Gaga released her seminal album “Born This Way,” and it’s time to celebrate. The dynamic diva plays MetLife Stadium on Aug. 19 as part of her Chromatica Ball tour. Gaga has just announced that she’ll be releasing a 10th anniversary reissue of “Born This Way” with covers from artists such as Big Freedia, so some special surprise guests may well be part of the show.

1 MetLife Stadium Drive, East Rutherford, NJ; 201-559-1515, MetLifeStadium.com. Chromatica Ball tour tickets from $73.50 at Ticketmaster.com.

-CK

Indulge in comfort food beneath the Riverside Drive Viaduct

The Uptown Night Market kicks off on July 8 on the 12th Avenue stretch underneath West Harlem’s Riverside Drive Viaduct. Among the options for visitors to munch on: crispy twists on Italian classics from Fried Lasagna Mama, stuffed Venezuelan arepa sandwiches from Arepa Baby and lobster rolls from DownEast Lobstah. Entry is free, but RSVP-ing on Eventbrite.com is recommended. The market takes place from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will happen the second Thursday of each month.

West 135th Street and 12th Avenue; @UptownNightMarketNY 

-ZK

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and experience the comeback of New York!

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