Time to Bust Out Those Summer Bucket Lists: 11 Incredible Things You Just Gotta Do in Manhattan This Summer

Every New Yorker has a bucket list, and whether that list exists in a meticulously kept planner or only in our heads is neither here nor there. You've got one. We know you do.

Yet, somehow, it seems that you just keep going to the same bars and same restaurants. Your weekends all look the same and that's more than mildly frustrating, given that you live in a thriving metropolis with literally endless possibilities.

So why not take this summer as an opportunity to finally cross some things off your bucket list?

We very well may sounds like a used car salesman, but truly, there is no better time than now.

And we're not talking about NYC cliches like visiting the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty (those exist on your TOURIST bucket list, duh. Which is extremely low priority).

We're talking about all the amazing events that go down in NYC in the summertime, ones that you tell yourself you'll catch every year and then never do.

Read on to discover the ultimate summer bucket list for Manhattan. And once you're done reading, GO DO ALL THE THINGS.

Happy adventuring.


1. Lazer Brunch

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What if we told you we could combine your Saturday night festivities and your Sunday morning brunch into one epic event?

Yup. It's real: it's called Lazer Brunch.

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Once a month, the Hudson Terrace Rooftop hosts this super unique event, where guests can play heart-pounding rounds of laser tag, enjoy amazing drinks, and brunch their hearts out. And all the while, take in some of the most stunning views of Manhattan.

Sounds pretty legendary, right? Get your tickets here.


2. See outdoor theatre

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Every year, The Public Theater puts on some of the most beloved Shakespeare plays with incredibly talented and experienced actors. 

This season, they’ll be featuring all all-female comedy The Taming of the Shrewfrom May 24th to June 26th and stars Tony Award winner Janet McTeer, as well as the tragedy Troilus and Cressida, which runs from July 19th to August 14th.

The tickets are totally free, but the event typically draws huge crowds, so it definitely takes some dedication to secure them.


3. Uncorked Wine Festival

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Wine drinkers of NYC rejoice, because the inaugural Uncorked Wine Festival has finally reached the Big Apple. This primarily West Coast fest has been growing faster than it takes us to kill a bottle (hint: speed of light), and we finally have the opportunity to experience it in all it's NYC glory.

Uncorked is going down at the Metropolitan Pavilion on July 16th from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For four hours, sip on wines from over 50 different wineries, while noshing on foods from vendors like Haru Sushi, Murray's Cheese, Red Table catering, and Tres Carnes.

Get your ticket here for your chance to taste wines from wineries like Taittinger, Cosentino Winery, La Crema, Mumm, and Piper Sonoma. 


4. Rooftop bars

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If you're not drinking on a rooftop this summer in NYC, what are you actually doing with your life? Honestly.

Manhattan has not shortage of incredible rooftop spots, so make sure to take full advantage this season. The views, atmosphere, and summery vibes of a rooftop bar are simply incomparable - a true must-do summer activity.

Check out our interactive map for a full breakdown of each and every rooftop bar in the city.


5. NYRR New York Mini 10K (June 11th)

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New York Road Runners is an amazing community organization dedicated to helping thousands of New Yorkers discover their life’s passions and find inspiration through running.

The organization has been around for 58 years, and strives to serve all runners and active individuals, no matter what age or fitness level they’re at.

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Through various outreach programs and events, such as their NYRR New York Mini 10k returning to NYC June 11th, New York Road Runners touches and inspires the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

This year marks the Mini’s 45th running and brings together generations of women who run—at all stages of their lives. Sign up now and embrace your reason to run! 


6. Party like Gatsby

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This annual event is the ultimate throwback, and if you haven't gotten the chance to go yet, now's the time.

Attendees will be able to enjoy classic cocktails as well as live music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra.

So get ready to don your best 1920s garb, head to Governors Island, and bust out some old favorites on the dance floor for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. 

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7. DAYBREAKER Week

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DAYBREAKER’s a morning dance party community throwin’ down all over the world. They get you pumped up for the workday with wellness-minded fitness classes and dance parties thrown in the early hours of the morning.

They’re back in New York City for a whole week of inspiring movements for their second-everDAYBREAKER Week. Starting Sunday, June 5th, DAYBREAKER’s going nuts all over NYC for 5 days, at 5 different venues, with 5 different themes.

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We’re giving away 4 tickets to their final blowout, the beach party, as well as a ride to and from the event, VIP access to the DJ Booth, and a nice little meet & greet with DAYBREAKER‘s co-founders, Matthew Brimer and Radha Agrawal.

Enter the giveaway above, and check out DAYBREAKER for more tickets and info for the rest of their second-ever DAYBREAKER Week. 


8. Midtown Love

Okay, the words "Midtown" and "love" may seem wildly out of sync. We get that.

But each and every month at W New York on Lexington Avenue, get ready to mend the tumultuous relationship that's existed between New Yorkers and the Midtown area for years.

W New York is bringing back everything we used to love about Midtown: sophistication, and a revitalized passion for the sheer richness of art and culture with their monthly event series, Midtown Love.

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June 9th we’re doing just that: showcasing the dreams and work of some of NYC’s most brilliant photographers.

It’s going to be an intimate gathering of a handful of artists and their closest friends and deepest admirers who truly love and appreciate both what they have done and what they’re still dreaming of doing. You won't want to miss it - get tickets here.


9. Catch Manhattanhenge

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Manhattanhenge is a beautifully rare event that occurs when the sunset aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s east-west grid, creating a breathtaking spectacle that's certainly not to be missed.

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If you missed the round that happened over Memorial Day weekend, don't worry. It's all going down again on July 11th & 12th, both at 8:20 p.m.


10. See Hamilton!

...Lol.


11. Rooftop bar... crawls