NYC's Ultimate 2021 Summer Bucket List
NYC's Ultimate 2021 Summer Bucket List

NYC's Ultimate 2021 Summer Bucket List

Author Pic By New York Bucket List

No one does summer bigger than the big apple. πŸ—½πŸŽ Check out 30 of the latest in-season gems.

Published May 13, 2021

New Yorkers: After a mere 423 days–who’s counting right?–of the city being closed, we are more than ready to dust off our bucket lists for the most epic summer NYC has ever seen. With the return of patio season, boat days, rooftop bars, and so much more, we’re here to ensure that New Yorkers don’t miss another summer ever again.

Below we’ve broken down 30 of the latest in-season spots, with any notes of lingering COVID-19 restrictions and all the details you need to have the best summer possible in the greatest city on earth (Are we biased? Maybe. Does it matter? Absolutely not). 

Plus, be sure to bookmark this guide as we’ll be continuing to update it with new events, experiences and discounts (!!!) all. summer. long.

Take A Trip To Wine Country (With Round Trip Transportation Included)

Escape the big apple for a day with a chauffeured shuttle to wine country for an all-inclusive tasting tour. Visit three award-winning wineries in Long Island’s world-renowned North Folk region. On most days that’ll mean enjoying either Sparkling Pointe or Raphael before continuing to The Lenz Winery, and Osprey’s Dominion.

You’ll receive a tasting at each winery, a hearty lunch with gourmet sandwiches, a friendly SA guide, and of course your very own designated (bus) driver. 

When: Trips run most Saturdays all summer long through November!
- 1st pickup: 85 Delancey St, Lower East Side
- 2nd pickup: West 45th & 11th Ave

Enjoy Happy Hour With 360 Degree Views of Manhattan 

Nestled atop AC Hotel New York Times Square, this cozy rooftop bar embodies luxe “classic lounge” vibes, with extra emphasis on martinis. Iconic views enhance the venue's contemporary decor in a sophisticated but comfortable atmosphere. Best of all, Bucket Listers is excited to partner with Castell to bring you an exclusive food and drink package on their outdoor rooftop! Includes two craft cocktails of your choice and an order of tapas. 

Because you're going to want to check more than just one rooftop bar off your 2021 summer bucket list, check out our Ultimate NYC Rooftop Guide for more inspiration.

Where: Castell Rooftop, 260 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
When:  Packages available everyday (subject to availability) with 6 PM or 8 PM Seatings available

Catch A Game (And Some Hotdogs) At Yankee Stadium

A classic summer activity, snag a seat and a beer to watch a game at Yankee Stadium. 

For the COVID-19 update: NY governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced normal seating in both New York's baseball stadiums will be available to fans who have been fully vaccinated (with non-vaccinated fans still being seated six feet apart). Cuomo added that COVID-19 shots will be made available at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, and any fan who receives a vaccination will also get a free ticket to an upcoming game! 

Head East For A Weekend In the Hamptons

When you’re ready for a summer escape, is there any other place for New Yorkers but the Hamptons? The NYC masses migrate east during the summer for a reason—whether that reason is the pounds of fresh seafood, white sand beaches or rosé season at Wolffer Vineyard—is up to you. And, bonus: check here for the Hamptons must-do’s/hidden gems.

Take A Sunset Sail Around Manhattan With A BYOB Private Charter

Speaking of Manhattan views, grab your friends and cheers with them like never before with a sunset harbor sail. Because, trust us, it doesn’t get much better than gliding next to the Statue of Liberty with a glass of champagne in hand. The private charter is currently BYOB (and BYO- snacks), and is available for up to 6 people or up to 25 people.

When: All summer long.
Where: Sail Sunset, Pier 25, 10013 New York

Blast To The Past At The Drive-In

Grab a blanket, some snacks, and a spot in front of the Manhattan skyline to watch crowd favorites at Skyline Drive-In. Plus, outdoor seating—no car needed—is now available! Because what New Yorkers really have a car anyways? 

Tickets can either let an entire car with up to 7 passengers in for $50, or $22 to pull up a chair.

When: Times vary by date. 
Where: 1 Oak St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Cheers To Rosé At Island Oyster or Grand Banks

Credit: Grand Banks

If boats are your thing, but you desire steady footing for happy hour—Grand Banks is calling your name. Aboard this wooden schooner, you'll find panoramic views of the Hudson. Back on the deck of the historic fishing boat, celebrate your expedition with their nautically inspired cocktails and fresh oysters.

Take Part In The World Pride Parade 

For the first time ever, NYC is hosting World Pride! For Pride’s 50th anniversary, there will be 30 days of events, culminating in the famous NYC Pride March on Sunday the 27th, and 50+ events ranging from rallies to parties to lectures. 

Where: Various locations, including virtual events 
 June 14th-28th 

Zen Out With Outdoor Yoga In Central Park

Find your inner zen and start your day off right with yoga in Central Park. This Vinyasa class favors flowing movements to cleanse and recharge the body, with an emphasis on breathing and healthy pose alignment with a mindful focus. 

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, you’re asked to bring your own mat, and wear a face covering (as these tend to be medium sized gatherings).

When: Vinyasa Yoga

  • 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM: Saturdays
  • 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM Sundays
  • 12:00 PM: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM: Tuesday and Thursday

Where: Meet at Le Pain Quotidien by Sheep Meadow inside Central Park

Take A Kayaking & Wine Tasting Tour In The Hudson Valley

Get ready for a fun-filled day of paddling, sampling and relaxing. This kayak and wine trip is a great blend of both adventure and chill, perfect for adventurers of all kinds. Enjoy a relaxing paddle down the Delaware River followed by a wine tasting at a favorite local vineyard. either Warwick Valley Winery or Crossing Vineyards & Winery (depending on dates). There, enjoy your choice of an included wine tasting or just decide to get a full glass and take it from there. With roundtrip transportation provided, you’ll get picked up and dropped off from NYC in a luxury coach bus.

Where: Various Pick-Up Locations in NYC
When: June 6th to October 26th

Picnic In Central Park's Sheep’s Meadow

Our go-to: grab a picnic basket loaded with your favorite munchies, a blanket, and your favorite lawn games to spend the day basking in the sun at Sheep’s Meadow.

Shop Local At The Union Square Farmers Market

Considering our year of online-everything, it's safe to say we all have a renewed love of in-person shopping and supporting small businesses! We look forward to our local farmers market every single week. Step outside of your comfort zone and discover unique produce you can't find in grocery stores.

Where: Union Square Greenmarket Monday | North and West sides of Union Square Park 
When: This location is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Try River Tubing On The Delaware River (Transportation & Brews Provided!)

This summer, we’ll be spending as much time as possible out on the water. For a unique bucket list experience, hop on the River Tubing & Brews bus from NYC and spend a day floating down the Delaware River and visiting an award-winner brewery. After a short drive, you’ll enjoy a 2-hour river tubing experience (depending on river speed) down the beautiful Delaware River. And since we know you’re going to ask, yes coolers are permitted on the water and available for purchase upon arrival at the tubing outfitter.

Where: Various Pick-Up Locations in NYC
June 6th to September 12th

Stroll The Boardwalk And Hit Coney Island Brewery

Despite roller coasters and beer not typically being the best mix, Coney Island pulls it off. Visit the neighborhood-turned-fun-zone for a blissful day at their brewery and amusement park. You could also join locals and tourists alike to crowd its beach, enjoy the Wonder Wheel and Luna Park, and line up to ride the famed Cyclone roller coaster. After your day of fun in the sun, hit up Coney Island Brewery and crack open a cold one.

Where: Luna Park in Coney Island, 1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
When: Depending on the day and weather, hours vary.

See NYC From Above On A Doors-Off Helicopter Flight

Feeling cooped up? Try a different perspective: like the view of the greatest city in the world 1,500 feet above it in a “doors-off” helicopter ride. You won’t regret it.

Where: All flights depart from Kearny, NJ
When: 15 and 30 minute flights available

Cool Off With A Scoop (Or Two) From Ample Hills in Brooklyn

Credit: Ample Hills

With ice cream flavors that incorporate pie crusts, chips, and italian rainbow cookies, this is a bucket list item for any sweet tooth – especially on a humid NYC day.  

Where: 623 Vanderbilt Ave Brooklyn, NY 11238

Learn To Shuck Oysters & Pair Wine At Seamore's

For years Seamore’s has brought Montauk to the NYC sidewalks – now, they’re bringing the classroom. Bucket Listers and Seamore’s have partnered for the second year in a row to bring the ultimate Oyster Shucking & Wine Pairing to Brookfield Place and Midtown. This 1.5 hour class will teach you the techniques and step-by-step process of shucking oysters. Become an oyster aficionado and get ready to break out your new party trick. Our oyster expert will provide a hands-on demonstration, taking participants through a journey of shucking, tasting and pairing 4 types of oysters to learn about the various flavors and textures of each.

Price: $90 per ticket; Includes 1.5 hour expert-led shucking how-to, a dozen oysters, 4 premium wine pairings + 1 glass at the end of your choice, 1 oyster shucking knife + cut-resistant glove to keep
When: Mondays and Tuesdays through July 26th
Monday classes held outdoors at Seamore's Brookfield Place at 250 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
Tuesday Classes are held outdoors at Seamore's Market Bar and Restaurant, 152 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

Click below to book a Seamore's Oyster Shucking & Wine Pairing class, or click here to find seven additional cooking classes you can take this summer in NYC.

Take A Day Trip & Hike Breakneck Ridge

If you’re over the concrete jungle, you don’t need to go farther than an hour by train from Grand Central for some fresh mountain air. Head out to explore the small town of Cold Springs, filled with adorable shops and beautiful hiking trails. 

Located in the Hudson Highlands State Park reserve, the Breakneck Ridge trail is an uber popular—but strenuous—choice for a natural wonder. It involves a lot of tricky scrambling, so it’s great for experienced hikers wanting to try something new without going too far away from the city. 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Museum of Ice Cream

We're here to declare that summer bodies are overrated. You know what's not overrated? Summer sweets. Bring on all the sugar at the Museum of Ice Cream - filled with sprinkle-overloaded photo ops, ice cream sundaes, boozy cocktails and more. With our Bucket Listers' FLEX passes, you can purchase tickets for a discounted price and have the flexibility to visit the experience on any Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that works for you. 

Looking for a way to elevate your date night? Explore the museum after-hours with a special couple's focused Night at the Museum package.

When: Wednesday - Sunday until July 31st
558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

Go Surfing At Rockaway Beach

A cool spot to spend the day, Rockaway is a great beach to opt-into during hot summer days. Pro Tip: Take the ferry there instead of a train for a picturesque journey.

Where: Queens, NYC
When: Pro-Tip: Catch the earliest Ferry out of Seaport to beat the crowds!

Experience the 'Immersive Van Gogh' Exhibit

From the flagship exhibit seen by over 2 million people in Paris and Toronto, and featured in Netflix's Emily in Paris, The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is making its NYC debut June 2021! Be first in line to experience Van Gogh’s signature masterpieces in a 360º immersive exhibit with 90 million pixels of flawless (and moving!) projections.

When: Mondays–Sundays from June, 2021
The visit will take around 60 to 75 minutes
Where: Pier 36 at 299 South Street, New York, NY

Have A Romantic Dinner On A 70-foot Yacht

Outdoor dining is one thing. Outdoor dining on a 70-foot yacht with close up views of the Statue of Liberty is another.

This summer, Bucket Listers is bringing an exclusive dinner and sailing series to the Hudson River, aboard the 101-year old Ventura. Guests can enjoy a semi-private, socially distanced bucket list dining experience aboard the historic sailing yacht docked in Downtown Manhattan at North Cove Marina. Experience includes a 6-course tasting menu as well as drink pairings.

Explore The Colorful KUSAMA Exhibit At NYBG

Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world, drawing millions to experience her immersive installations. “Cosmic Nature” reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, and you don’t want to miss her spectacular installations of multifaceted art celebrating this, including monumental floral sculptures that transform NYBG’s 250-acre landmark landscape. 

Where: 2900 Southern Boulevard  Bronx, NY 10458-5126 
When: Saturdays, May–June; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. | Tickets Through August 1 Now Available

Take A Jet Ski Out For A Spin On The Hudson

Jet Skiing around the Statue of Liberty should honestly be on every New Yorkers’ bucket list. Race with your friends or hop on the back of a tandem jet ski for a day of fun on the waves. 

Where: Tours leave from 1301 Sinatra Drive North, Pier 13 Hoboken, NJ, 07030
When: Dates and times vary per tour, check availability by clicking "Book Now"

Have Brunch On A 1920s-Style Yacht Cruise

Three words, say them and we’re yours: champagne, cheese and cruise. Grab your squad to cruise on the Yacht Manhattan II or Yacht Manhattan, where you’ll be able to take in all the beauty the New York City skyline has to offer while relaxing in our grand observatory. This cruise has limited capacity to create an intimate, comfortable and quiet NY Harbor cruise.

The pairing plate will include 3 artisan cheeses, honey or jam, & flatbreads to complement these tasty bubbles!

Ride Bikes or Rollerblades Through DUMBO or Central Park

Soar to new heights on a private Brooklyn Bridge bike tour, or zoom through over 47 miles of paths traversing 843 acres in Central Park. Not only can you take advantage of the endless paths, but you can also take in the art, architecture, and history that makes New York so unique.

Spend A Day At The Greens At Pier 17

Credit: The Greens 

Since May 3rd, NYC’s ultimate outdoor dining retreat, The Greens, has returned–and things are looking up! This summer deserves its own rooftop moment so come dine on your own socially distanced mini lawn or patio table with unrivaled Lower Manhattan skyline views. Each mini lawn includes: a 10 ft. x 10 ft. of lush green space, on-site contactless food & beverage purchasing, love seats and lounge chairs, sun umbrellas and panoramic views.

Take A Stroll Along The High Line

Take advantage of the warmer weather with a stroll of the High Line! Visitors can enjoy extensive gardens and a variety of food options from local vendors—plus extensive programing for adults and families.  

When: The High Line is currently open from 7am - 7pm on weekdays with open access. On weekends, we're open from 10am - 6pm with free timed-entry reservations
Where: Meatpacking District, West Chelsea & Hell's Kitchen New York, NY

Sleep Under The Stars & Glamp On Governors Island

Credit: Collective Retreats

Rejuvenate and relax at a transformative island retreat, immediately accessible yet a world away. Guests take a complimentary 8-minute water taxi ride from downtown Manhattan to arrive at a peaceful oasis harboring swanky indoor/outdoor accommodations and collective fine dining. 

One of the most unique escapes in New York, you’ll be surrounded by sprawling green space with unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbor, and the Manhattan Skyline.  

Visit The World's Largest Harry Potter Store

Hogwarts is taking over New York City – TBD if the invite will be extended to muggles. The first official Harry Potter flagship store will be opening in the heart of NYC on June 3rd. You heard that right, three-stories of magic, interactive experiences, photo opps and *fingers crossed* butterbeer will be popping up next to the Flatiron Building. *Makes mental note to start saving our galleons now* With everything from personalized robes and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (sausage jelly bean, anyone?) to a brand-new collection of house wands, it's taking everything in our power to keep from passing out Neville Longbottom style.

When: Opening June 3rd
Where: 935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

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