The best events for July in NYC

While New York is lively all year round, it really comes to life in the summer months. Between festivals, outdoor concerts and weather so warm you’re desperate to find a body of water to jump in, it’s like no other time. Here are some of the best events coming to NYC this July.

Outdoor Movies

All summer long the NYC Parks Department hosts free outdoor movie screenings in parks across the city — Central Park, Prospect Park, Bryant Park, to name a few. Usually each park dedicates one night a week to an outdoor movie screening. It is the perfect way to spend a warm summer’s evening, with some friends having a picnic. All screenings start after sundown. For the full schedule check out the NYC Parks Dept. website.

Summer Cinema

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Celebrate Brooklyn

One of the highly underrated outdoor music festivals in NYC, Prospect Park Bandshell comes to life all summer with a mixture of high-profile ticketed events and thrilling free music. There’s food and drink available inside, and even if you don’t feel like getting there early enough to get inside, there’s plenty of park nearby where you can chill outside and hear the live music.

Shakespeare in the Park

Every summer The Public Theater puts on free Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. This year from July 17th through mid-August, the Public’s musical adaptation of Twelfth Night will be showing. Tickets are free, but they are given out at the box office the day of the show at noon, and the line is generally quite long, so it’s recommended to get there early in the morning to ensure you get tickets.

Fourth of July Events

New York puts on quite a few different firework events. While the most popular one takes place over the East River in Downtown Manhattan, it can be a challenge to get close enough to see the fireworks. But fear not, Central Park, Prospect Park and Coney Island all do their own fireworks shows. This is also a great time to head to a rooftop bar or take a river cruise, as that’s where you’ll get the best views of the pyrotechnics.

4th July Fireworks

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Midsummer Night’s Swing

All throughout July you can head to Lincoln Center for an outdoor dance party! Come early to get an hour-long swing dance lesson, and then get ready to shake that tail feather to some of the best jazz, swing and big band music around! If you’re not an amazing dancer, no worries! People of all skills are welcome.

Restaurant Week

July 2nd through the 15th is Restaurant Week in Manhattan, meaning that restaurants all over the city will be having lunch and dinner deals. This usually includes a prix fixe menu featuring some of the restaurants’ best dishes, but varies from restaurant to restaurant. It’s a great way to sample some of NYC’s renowned cuisine at a fraction of the price!

Best Italian restaurants NYC

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All over the city throughout July you’ll find pop-up concerts, theater, comedy, lectures and many other types of performances in the city’s parks. Most of these events are free and offer something a little different to check out. The biggest venue is in Central Park, and this is where you’ll find more ticketed events with bigger names, but don’t discount the smaller acts!


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NYC is utterly abuzz with activity all throughout July! There’s really no better time to visit the city, because of all the wonderful, free events. You might even see a few New Yorkers crack a smile.

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