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Celebrate Summer like a real New Yorker

28 June, 2017

New York is famous for its incredibly fast pace of life, with 8.5 million residents rushing through every block of the city daily. However, as summer gets hotter, New Yorkers need to take time to slow down and enjoy activities outdoors. Luckily, hundreds of exciting events and activities catering to diverse interests are happening in NYC this summer. Here are a few suggestions to help you experience Summer 2017 like a true New Yorker!

"Ooo" and "Ahhh" at the 4th of July Fireworks

Independence Day in the United States means flags, family, food and fun for Americans. But no July 4th celebration is complete without a firework display. 2017 marks the 41st anniversary of the iconic Macy's fireworks in NYC, which will take place at 9pm on Tuesday, July 4th. The best places to view the fireworks include Manhattan's east side near FDR Drive, the Brooklyn waterfront in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, and the riverside parks in Long Island City, Queens. Get there early to claim a good spot!

Enjoy Cultural Events—For Free!

NYC is well known as one of the world's premier cultural destinations. But did you know that during summer, there are hundreds of free events, including world class performances of theater, dance and music? Summer Stage has been running free summer concerts in NYC's parks since 1990. This year's schedule will feature performances from eclectic artists such as Yo La Tengo, Regina Spektor and GZA among many others. Theater lovers will enjoy Shakespeare in the Park providing the opportunity to see the Bard's perennial favorite A Midsummer Night's Dream al fresco in Central Park. Finally, hone your dance moves with Sunset Salsa, which offers free salsa lessons at 6:30pm every Tuesday, followed by a high-energy dance party on Pier 45 in Manhattan.

Eat Better Ice Cream

NYC is a foodie destination, and there is no better way to cool down after a hot summer day in the city than with gourmet ice cream. You can get delicious ice cream in any U.S. city, but because New York is one of the world's most global cities, check out the shops with international flare. Manhattan's Little Italy features Il Labratorio Del Gelato, where you can try unique takes on the Italian classic such as sweet potato or Sambuca. Taiyaki NYC offers delicious Asian-inspired ice cream served in adorable fish-shaped waffles cones. Look these cute creations up on Instagram! For a special occasion, ChikaLicious is a high-end dessert bar that skips the cone altogether, replacing it with a churro. The ice cream treat is arranged in such an artistic presentation (involving a blowtorch), it looks like it belongs at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) rather than a restaurant.

Root for the Bronx Bombers (or the Kings of Queens)

For many, summer in the United States equals baseball. NYC is home to two MLB teams: The American League's New York Yankees and the New York Mets of the National. The new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx is an impressive place to take in a game, and still retains the historic feel of the original stadium. The Yankees hold the most World Series championships of any team, so you can really feel the history in the ballpark. The Mets' home at CitiField in the Willet's Point section of Queens is a modern and attractive sports venue. Watch for the Big Apple popping up in center field after a Mets homerun, and cheer on the Queens team that is finally starting to rival the Yanks' popularity.

Watch a Film Outdoors

International Students know that watching American films are a necessary (and fun) way to improve their English. NYC has multiple organizations running outdoor film series during summer. The Rooftop Cinema Club shows contemporary and classic films on rooftops in Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn's trendy East Williamsburg neighborhood. Movies with a View is a popular film series that takes place in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Finally, check out HBO's Bryant Park Film Festival for family friendly flicks in a convenient Manhattan location.

Spend the Day at Coney Island

If you want the real deal New York summer experience, you cannot miss Brooklyn's Coney Island. Since the early 20th century, Coney Island has been an iconic American seaside destination. Grab a hot dog at Nathan's, take a ride on the Cyclone, NYC's only roller coaster, view the circus-style sideshows and don't forget to pack a bathing suit to enjoy the busy beach just off the boardwalk. Old school New York at its best.