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

By Noah SilversteinJul 15 2022

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 life-long 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 “Summer Spritz” weekdays from 3 to 5pm, where guests can try a trio of custom-crafted drinks for a mid-afternoon summer 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. Run through the water in Jeppe Hein’s Changing Spaces installation.

This interactive public art installation by artist Jeppe Hein invites guests of all ages to interact with the water-based sculpture and their surroundings. Featuring walls of water that shoot up from the ground, the installation is the perfect attraction for visitors with a penchant for public art and New Yorkers looking for a refreshing activity on a hot summer day.

Changing Spaces is open on Center Plaza from 7am to 11pm Monday through Friday, and 7am to midnight Saturday and Sunday. The installation is up through September 9.

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.

Located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 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.

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