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What to Do in New York City in July 2024

By The Center Magazine StaffJun 21 2024
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What to Do in New York City in June

Don’t let the rising heat deter you from experiencing the best of New York City in July. While the masses sit in traffic on their way out to the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore every weekend, those who stay in the city know this festive month is the time to revel in the spirit of summer and celebrate all things Americana, from fireworks to baseball rivalries.

It’s also the time to indulge in al fresco dining anywhere and everywhere you can — and all your Rockefeller Center favorites will be taking advantage of their perfectly placed outdoor terraces. Picture this: You’re enjoying coastal Italian cuisine in the sunshine at Jupiter, or pairing a crisp glass of rosé with a Korean fried chicken sandwich on the new terrace at NARO. For even more variety, hop from food truck to food truck on the Esplanades, sampling tacos, porchetta, and local beers.

While you’re here, head to The Rink between July 2 and 22 to see Joel Mesler’s Pool Party installation, a nostalgic nod to the artist’s childhood pool parties. On July 9, kids can even get creative and contribute to a public art project in collaboration with Mesler himself. See the full list of events and programming here.

In between, get ready to ring in the Fourth, cheer on your hometown baseball or European soccer team of choice, and learn to celebrate Bastille Day like the French do. Here are our picks for the seven best things to do in New York City in July 2024.

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Photo by Kent Miller; courtesy of Macy’s
Photo by Kent Miller; courtesy of Macy’s

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show

July 4

Watch the skyline light up as fireworks dazzle over the city as part of the 48th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show. For the first time in over a decade, this year’s show will launch from the Hudson River, meaning the best places to get a front-row seat will be Jersey City, Hoboken, and between West 14th and 34th Streets in Manhattan. Of course, those looking to avoid the crowds can always watch from the comfort of home via NBC live stream. In typical New York style, this won’t be your run-of-the-mill show. Thousands of shells will be launched from Hudson River barges in a variety of shapes and colors, accompanied by sounds and special effects. While the booms and cracks will certainly be heard throughout the city, that won’t be the only soundtrack. As usual, the spectacle will have a medley of patriotic performances to boot.

Photo by Sarah Choi; courtesy of Queens Night Market
Photo by Sarah Choi; courtesy of Queens Night Market

Queens Night Market

Saturdays, July 6-27

Queens has been nicknamed “The World’s Borough,” as it’s one of the most diverse counties in the world. And at Queens Night Market in Flushing Meadow Corona Park, that diversity is on full display via art, performances, and the main draw: international cuisine. The open-air night market will welcome more than 100 vendors, with food representing Tibet, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Trinidad, Venezuela, Cambodia, and much more. The affordable, family-friendly event runs on Saturdays from 4 pm, and it doesn’t close until midnight, so consider all your late-night cravings answered. Admission is free, but bring cash to ensure you can grab a snack from any stall that strikes your fancy.

Photo by John Eng; courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Photo by John Eng; courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Thursday evenings, July 11-August 29

Movies with a View returns this month for its 24th season of free, outdoor film screenings in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Beginning on July 11, 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 29. This year’s lineup, presented by Pluto TV, has something for everyone, from “Mean Girls” to “Creed” to “Pulp Fiction.” The grand finale on August 29 will be the public’s choice, with viewers voting between early 2000s kids’ classics “Spy Kids” and “School of Rock” and 2023’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.” Attendees will be able to purchase food and drink, including adult beverages from Bar by Fornino. All movies start at sunset, but arrive closer to 5 pm, when the lawn opens, to snag a prime spot.

New York City Poetry Festival at Governors Island

July 13-14

The New York City Poetry Festival is back for its 13th year, bringing poetry readings, workshops, open mics, installations, performances, and more to Nolan Park on Governors Island. The quirky and transformative festival joins together poets from all over the country in a beautiful and historic setting. This year’s headliners include renowned writers Kazim Ali, Safia Elhillo, and Ilya Kaminsky. 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 from NYC vendors, 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.

Photo by Brittany Buongiorno; courtesy of FIAF
Photo by Brittany Buongiorno; courtesy of FIAF

Bastille Day at FIAF

July 14

Why take a trip to Paris when you can just walk uptown? July 14 marks Bastille Day, a 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 the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF). Every year since 1996, FIAF has recognized the French national holiday with a block party along 60th Street that now draws over 25,000 people and more than 50 vendors. The day-long, free-to-all celebration includes dancing, live music, and more. Enjoy special film screenings, prize drawings, a Champagne party, and 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 Tomas Eidsvold via Unsplash
Photo by Tomas Eidsvold via Unsplash

Subway Series: Yankees vs. Mets

July 23 and 24

Every summer, baseball-loving New Yorkers simultaneously anticipate and fear the Subway Series, when the Yankees and Mets go head to head for the title of current city champions in hopes of giving their fans the ultimate bragging rights. After a stint at CitiField in June, the July series will take place at Yankee Stadium — though Mets fans will surely head to the Bronx to challenge the sea of pinstripes. The Mets may not be at the top of their division, but that doesn’t mean they won’t give the first-place Yanks a run for their money.

Manchester City vs. AC Milan at Yankee Stadium

July 27

For the first time in five years, European soccer (or football, as they call it) is returning to the field at Yankee Stadium. There’s no better matchup to kick it off than Manchester City, who had a five-trophy year in 2023, versus seven-time European Cup champions AC Milan. The preseason Manchester City vs AC Milan match is part of the Soccer Champions Tour, which brings the world’s top teams to cities across the U.S. to showcase the thrilling sport to an American audience. If you don’t already have something to wear, Manchester City has a new pop-up shop at Rockefeller Center through September 22, and it’s stocked with sky-blue Puma kits from wall to wall.

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