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What to Do in New York City in July 2023

By Emmie MurphyJun 20 2023
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Don’t let the rising heat deter you from experiencing the best of New York. July is in full swing as the city welcomes the month with fireworks, baseball rivalries, and plenty of opportunities to revel in the spirit of summer.  At Rockefeller Center, check out Johyun Gallery’s exhibition Origin, Emergence, Return, which features over 70 works by three leading Korean artists: Park Seo Bo, Lee Bae, and Jin Meyerson. Other things to see and do include Basil Kincaid’s multimedia installations as part of the Art in Focus series, Roxy’s Rock ‘n’ Read, and much more; see the full list of events and programming here.

Get your sunglasses out and prepare for a good time – our picks for the six best things to do in New York City in July are below.

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Photo by Kent Miller-Macy
Photo by Kent Miller-Macy

1. Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show

July 4

Watch the city skyline light up as fireworks dazzle above the East River as part of the 47th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show. This year, spectators can get front-row viewing seats at locations along the Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan waterfronts, or watch from the comfort of home via live stream. In typical New York style, this won’t be your run-of-the-mill show. 60,000 shells will be launched from 5 barges in 30 different shapes and colors, including a mile-wide waving flag. While the booms and cracks will certainly be heard throughout the city, that won’t be the only soundtrack. The spectacle will have a medley of patriotic performances curated by acclaimed music director Ray Chew as well as an original number from The United States Army Field Band’s rap duo Nico & Lamar.

Photo by Julienne Schaer
Photo by Julienne Schaer

2. Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Thursday evenings, beginning July 6

Movies with a View has returned for its 23rd season of free, outdoor film screenings in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Beginning on July 6, everyone is welcome to enjoy a movie with a waterfront view at Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn. The screenings will continue every Thursday through August 24. This year’s lineup includes crowd-pleasers like Goodfellas and Despicable Me, and attendees will also be able to purchase food and drink provided by Time Out Market.

Photo by Brittany Buongiorno
Photo by Brittany Buongiorno

3. Bastille Day at FIAF

July 16

Why take a trip to Paris when you can walk to 60th Street instead? July 14 marks Bastille Day, a major French holiday that commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution, a years-long period of intense political change that was ignited by the storming of the Bastille military fortress on July 14, 1789. An array of events planned throughout the city will commemorate the holiday, but no one does it quite like FIAF, celebrating a few days later on July 16. Every year since 1996, FIAF has recognized the French national holiday with a block party along 60th Street that draws over 25,000 people. The day-long, free-to-all celebration includes dancing, live music, and more. Enjoy a special film screening, prize drawings, wine and champagne tastings, and over 50 vendor booths highlighting French food and culture. Everyone is welcome, from hardened Francophiles to unsuspecting passersby, so don’t be shy about embracing a little joie de vivre.

Photo by Lawrence Sumulong, courtesy of the Lincoln Center
Photo by Lawrence Sumulong, courtesy of the Lincoln Center

4. Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City

All month long

This summer, over 300 performances will take place across 10 stages throughout the Lincoln Center campus as part of the Summer for the City celebration. Not only will there be live music and outdoor film screenings, but the summer festivities will also, once again, feature the now-iconic outdoor dance floor – the largest in New York City – where guests can get their groove on during silent discos and social dance events. Running through mid-August, this diverse lineup promises something for everyone. And better yet, many events are completely free, while others offer choose-what-you-pay ticketing, making good on Lincoln Center’s important commitment to accessibility.

Photo by Thomas Eidsvold
Photo by Thomas Eidsvold

5. Subway Series: Yankees vs. Mets

July 25 and 26

What was originally referred to as a World Series match-up between the Yankees and Mets is now an annual summer event that divides the city. During an earlier match-up in June, the teams went 1-1, so this second face-off is anyone’s game. So who will claim the series title? Tune in on July 26 and 27 to see the action unfold at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx.

6. New York City Poetry Festival at Governors Island

July 29 and 30

The New York City Poetry Festival is back for its 14th year, bringing poetry readings, workshops, open mics, installations, performances, and more to Governors Island. Taking place along Colonels’ Row, a striking section of Victorian brick houses, the festival joins together the largest community of poets in the country in a beautiful and historic setting. Beyond the poetry-centric activities (all free thanks to the Poetry Society of New York), attendees can also enjoy drinks in the beer garden, delicious food, and additional children’s programming. Get inspired at this annual literary event, and revel in the city’s poetic community at one of its most picturesque places.

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