Things to Do in New York When It’s Hot Out

If you’ve been on the sweltering sidewalks of NYC  in the summer, you know how hard it can be to find things to do in New York when it’s hot out. However, it need not be as hard as it seems. Dozens of New York attractions offer you the chance to enjoy the highlights of the city and beat the heat.

This summer, don’t let the heat deter you from taking full advantage of the many things to do in New York. Check out a few of the attractions we listed below designed specifically to beat the heat, including everything from maximizing your A.C. exposure to enjoying a cool-down cruise on the river.

If you’re looking for things to do on a hot day in New York, here’s our pick of the best attractions…

  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Madame Tussauds New York
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Lady Liberty Cruise
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Radio City Stage Door Tour
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art

The American Museum of Natural History

New York Attractions

Cool down at the American Museum of Natural History, one of the largest natural history museums in the world.

Visitors of all ages will find something that intrigues them here. From the Alaskan Brown Bear diorama to a 563 carat Star of India Sapphire, the history that lives within the walls of this museum span centuries.

Most notably, AMNH is home to a famous collection of dinosaur fossils like the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life which features a 94-foot whale model.

Getting in: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included on the New York City Explorer Pass.

Madame Tussauds New York

While it’s sweltering outside, you’ll find many of your favorite celebs hiding out in here. Take a break from sweating on the streets of New York to mingle with the likes of Rihanna, Brie Larson, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber. Take plenty of hilarious snaps with the A-listers, pretend you’re performing on broadway, and stroll down a New York catwalk.

Madame Tussauds is a great place to spend the day when it’s too hot to function outside!

Getting in: Madame Tussauds New York tickets are included with your New York Explorer Pass.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Just across the park, you’ll find the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious and comprehensive art museums in America.

Its many marble halls are perfectly chilled in the summer, especially in exhibit spaces where they are keeping precious or fragile artifacts. The museum, which is consistently voted TripAdvisor’s #1 Museum in the World, showcases over 5,000 years of art from every corner of the world.

The Met’s fantastic permanent collection includes showcases like Arms & Armor, The Robert Lehman Collection, Modern and Contemporary Art and many, many more.

Getting in: The Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets are included on the New York Explorer Pass.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

On the other end of Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art is home to some of the most influential pieces of modern art in the world.

The MoMA features the works of Monet, Warhol, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Seurat, as well of hoards of contemporary artists who are constantly changing the art scene. In addition to the famous permanent halls, the MoMA regularly features a unique range of ever-changing special exhibits.

Getting in: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included on the New York Explorer Pass.

Cruise around the harbor

On a hot day in NYC, the best place to be is on the water. The cool ocean breeze mixed with all the landmarks you’ll cruise by will make for the perfect, relaxing afternoon.

Here are some of our favorite New York Harbor cruises:

  • Visit Lady Liberty and explore Ellis Island with the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum Ferry ticket. Take a quick and enjoyable ride on the ship to Ellis Island where you’ll have free time to venture around the museum and up to the Statue of Liberty.
  • The Lady Liberty Cruise by Circle Line Sightseeing is the fastest and best way to see this stunning monument. Forge through the Hudson River towards the statue and keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the Freedom Tower and the World Financial Center along the way.
  • A New York Water Taxi: All Day Access Pass can get you where you want to be quickly. Hop aboard the famous yellow water taxi and travel easily between Manhattan and its surrounding burrows. It’s the perfect excuse to visit Brooklyn!
  • Hop on the Statue by Night Cruise by Circle Line Sightseeing as the sun goes down for a unique experience in the harbor. Enjoy smooth sailing past all the lit-up landmarks and capitalize on the chance to see Lady Liberty with a gorgeous New York sunset as her backdrop.
  • Another cruise that will take you around the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is the Downtown Liberty Express Cruise. This narrated sightseeing excursion will direct your attention to the most important and historical sights along the water.
  • A Shearwater Classic Schooner cruise offers the unique experience of sailing aboard an old-timey, 82-foot schooner. You have the choice between a daytime Statue of Liberty Cruise or a nighttime City Lights sail. Both cruise routes will take you past the most recognizable landmarks in New York.
  • Hop aboard one of the largest sailing vessels in the world with a Clipper City Tall Ship Sail. The gigantic ship spans 158 feet and looks like an ancient sailboat. Its luxurious feel will make you feel like a member of New York elite society as you sail past the Statue of Liberty and more.
  • The Best of NYC Cruise by Circle Line Sightseeing is perfect for those who don’t want to miss a thing while in New York. This route will take you past more than just Ellis Island or the Empire State Building. You’ll also see Yankee Stadium, Wall Street and the South Street Seaport.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle

Learn about American military and naval history at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle. By exploring four historic vessels hands-on, you’ll get a new vantage point on life at sea.

Hop aboard the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, Submarine Growler, Space Shuttle Enterprise, and British Airways Concorde. The most famous of the four, the Intrepid, is a massive aircraft carrier that has survived five kamikaze attacks and a torpedo strike in WWII and the Cold War.

You’ll see dozens of authentically restored aircraft, a prototype NASA orbiter, a diesel-powered submarine, and more.

Getting in: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Space Shuttle tickets are included on the New York City Explorer Pass.

Radio City Stage Door Tour

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the famous Radio City Music Hall.

Perfect on a hot day, this studio tour will keep you out of the sun and take you behind-the-scenes. Visit the auditorium and see where some of the most lavish productions have taken place. See the celebrity guestbook, discover the secrets of the Great Stage, and have your photo taken with a world-famous Rockette.

Getting in: Radio City Stage Door Tour tickets are included on New York Explorer Passes.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of Art showcases a unique, ever-changing collection of modern and contemporary art by up and coming American artists.

From video presentations to multimedia displays to photography showcases – there’s something for every art lover to see at this cultural institution.

Getting in: The Whitney Museum of American Art tickets are included on the New York City Explorer Pass.

More New York Attractions

There’s no shortage of things to do in New York when it’s hot out, and the suggestions above are just some of our favorite indoor activities. Make sure you pick up a New York Explorer Pass to see all 40+ New York attractions, and make huge savings on ticket prices.

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The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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