Spots To Savor Before Summer’s End

Make sure to hit these warm weather hotspots before they close for the season.


Julia McNeill

Students picnic and relax in Central Park, which is just one of New York’s many parks. (Staff Photo by Julia McNeill)

Lauren Gruber, Deputy Culture Editor

While classes might soon be starting again, it’s not quite yet sweater weather and the summer heat in New York is far from over. Holing up indoors with an industrial-sized fan until fall is a great way to escape the scorching temperatures, but you’ll be missing out on the city’s best seasonal events. Make some time to savor the last days of summer with these fun activities — before it’s too late!

Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
When: Now through late October, Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Williamsburg
Cost: Free entry, pay for food

The beloved — albeit over-Instagrammed — foodie market in Williamsburg is the perfect spot to sample a myriad of creative bites like Thai rolled ice cream, savory Colombian arepas, pizza cupcakes (yes, really) and plenty more. Those brave enough to ride the dreaded L train to Brooklyn will be rewarded with all these delicacies, plus gorgeous views from East River Park.

Kayaking in the Hudson River
When: Now through Oct. 14, various times
Where: Hudson River Park
Cost: Free

Even non-outdoorsy types will love getting to experience Manhattan by boat. Not only is kayaking a great arm workout, but it allows us to see the city from a new vantage point and take a break from the oppressive late summer heat. Make it a group outing, or start cuffing season early with this creative date idea. Either way, you’ll get to take in unique views of New York City and have some incentive to leave the comfort of your hopefully air-conditioned dorm or apartment.

Luna Park
When: Various dates and times through Oct. 27
Where: Coney Island
Cost: $41-$69

Before your schedule gets inundated with exams and essays, take a trip down to Coney Island and visit one of New York’s most recognizable summer destinations. Ride the iconic Coney Island Cyclone, have a blast losing money at the arcade games and scarf down a corn dog or four. Can’t make it this September? Luna Park has plenty of Halloween-themed events throughout October before closing for the winter.

Queens Night Market
When: Sept. 14 – Oct. 26, 5 p.m. – Midnight
Where: Corona Park
Cost: Free entry, pay for food

Already sick of Smorgasburg? Make the trek to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to attend this beloved foodie event, renowned for its myriad of delicious international foods. This season, the market offers delicacies like Indian masala noodles, Norwegian fish pudding, Ukrainian blintzes and Puerto Rican tamales, among others. The festival also features an array of shops, artists and performers to delay the inevitable food coma.

Catch an Outdoor Movie
When: Varies
Where: Varies
Cost: Varies

Bring a blanket, snacks and bug spray to one of New York’s many outdoor movie venues. Parklife in Brooklyn hosts movies on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., with flicks like 10 Things I Hate About You (Aug. 28) and Beetlejuice (Sept. 4), alongside their tasty Mexican food and drink menu. Also in Brooklyn, Habana Outpost pairs films (Sundays at 8 p.m.) with their traditional Mexican and Cuban cuisine. If you prefer to stay in Manhattan, Seaport District NYC is showing their Seaport Cinema series (Mondays through Sept. 16) of outdoor movies like 50 First Dates and Hook at their Lower East Side rooftop.

When: Your choice
Where: Any park
Cost: Varies

If scheduled events are too stressful, you can still enjoy the sunshine on your own time with a low-maintenance park picnic. Bring towels, friends and plenty of snacks to Tompkin Square Park’s coveted green space, or make a day of it and take a trip to Prospect Park. Better yet, bring a book and get some much-needed you-time before the craziness of classes sets in.

A version of this article appears in the Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, print edition. Email Lauren Gruber at [email protected]