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5 Places at Rockefeller Center Where You Can Cool Off This Summer

By Noah Silverstein & Paulina CajigalJul 17 2023
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Year after year, one thing never changes: There’s nothing like summer in New York City with its glorious sunny days and fun-filled nights. Whether you’re a visitor, a newcomer, or a lifelong New Yorker, you know there’s an indescribable magic in the air, where anything seems possible. We all look forward to longer days and warmer temperatures, but sometimes you just need a reprieve from the dog days of summer.

There’s one place to go when temperatures get too high and you don’t feel up for the journey to Rockaway Beach: Rockefeller Center. Consider it your cool-down oasis in the heart of midtown Manhattan, featuring sky-high views, specialty cocktails, and melt-in-your-mouth ice cream. Here, we’ve rounded up a handful of Rockefeller Center spots where you can cool off in the late summer months.

1. Treat yourself to something sweet from Ben & Jerry’s or Van Leeuwen.

Is there anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day? Rockefeller Center offers two takes on the warm-weather classic, both equally delicious. A perennial favorite, Ben & Jerry’s has 50 scrumptious, topping-packed flavors we know and love, scooped fresh every day along with sorbet, frozen yogurt, and ice cream cakes. Van Leeuwen, which got its start as an ice cream truck in NYC, now serves its artisanal confections in a retro-inspired storefront on 6th Avenue. Plus, they have a full coffee bar for early risers.

Ben & Jerry’s is located on the Rink Level of 30 Rockefeller Center; Van Leeuwen is open at 1250 6th Avenue.

2. Indulge in Summer Spritz at Lodi.

This culinary concept from famed Chef Ignacio Mattos features an all-day bakery, coffee, and café specialties in the style of Italian aperitivo. This summer, Lodi is celebrating cocktails, particularly spritzes, with its Milan-style Aperitivo Hour weekdays from 3 to 5:30pm. Guests can try a trio of custom-crafted drinks for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up: La Specialina (Cappelletti, Blood Orange Amaro, Clementine, Coriander, Sparkling Wine), Lo Stagionale (Heimat Rhubarb, Rondo Aperitivo, Gin ‘Evra’, Prosecco), and Il Mediterraneo (Giardino Secco, Reposado Tequila, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Prosecco).

Lodi is located at 1 Rockefeller Plaza.

3. Savor the shade under a Rink-side umbrella.

If you’ve been walking around all day, stop and catch your breath at one of the two seating areas along Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace. With umbrellas large enough to cover a table, benches, and then some, The Rink-side patio is the perfect place to relax and refuel; the Breads Bakery and Van Leeuwen carts are just a few steps away.
The Rink-side lounge areas are located on either side of Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace.

4. Leave the hot summer streets behind, and head to Top of the Rock.

Too hot on ground level? Head 70 stories up to Top of the Rock. No matter when you visit throughout the day, you’re guaranteed breathtaking vistas from the indoor and outdoor observation decks. For days that are especially suffocating, this getaway in the sky offers a breeze to help cool you down. Pro tip: Buy your tickets ahead of time to make your visit as seamless as possible.

Top of the Rock is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with the entrance on 50th Street.

5. Sip on something cold and refreshing from Other Half Brewery.

Enjoy a curated selection of beers from this Brooklyn-based brewery, featuring craft beers made in Carroll Gardens and Williamsburg, the Finger Lakes, and Washington, D.C., among others. Founded in 2014, Other Half opened its Rockefeller Center outpost in early 2022, just in time to act as the ultimate watering hole and summertime drinking respite for visitors and New Yorkers with a taste for local brewing. With an outdoor beer garden in addition to its large indoor taproom, options abound in this inviting space.

Other Half Brewery is located at 600 Fifth Avenue, and its outdoor beer garden is on the South Esplanade overlooking The Rink.

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