Eat, Sweat, Art: How to Enjoy Summer in New York Without Going Broke

While summer for some New Yorkers might mean rooftop cocktails and trips to the Hamptons, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to still enjoy the season. Take advantage of the nice weather and many free activities, particularly in terms of eating, working out and enjoying some culture.


Smorgasburg with view of Manhattan
Smorgasburg in Williamsburg has great food and views of Manhattan

With the summer sun comes outdoor food markets and festivals that can be relatively affordable compared to going out to eat at a restaurant. Probably the most popular one is Smorgasburg, which has its main outpost in Williamsburg, with an awesome view of the Manhattan skyline. The dishes themselves aren’t necessarily a steal, but most items are about $10 or less. With some self-restraint, you could get by with around $20 there, especially if you go with some friends who are willing to share ramen burgers, gooey butter cake and other delicacies from purveyors — both ones you know from all over the city as well as some indie stands (cooler than indie bands). And you can take your time leisurely enjoying some bites over a couple hours, taking digestion breaks to hang out by the water’s edge. 

Similarly, you can enjoy other food fairs that pop up across the city, or even just head to a park with some grub from a nearby deli or farmer’s market. 


Bryant Park yoga
Yoga in Bryant Park

With lots of good eating opportunities over the summer, you might be inclined to work out a little more to balance things out. But you don’t need to pay a mortgage at Equinox or spin through your cash at Soulcycle. Instead, take advantage of New York’s many free outdoor workout classes over the summer, which are often taught by local studios. For example, Bryant Park has free yoga classes; it’s awesome to stretch out with skyscrapers as your backdrop. 


Met Museum
Summer crowds at The Met

Whether you’re a starving artist yourself or just want to enjoy a little culture without spending a fortune, there are plenty of places to go in New York, especially during the summer. 

From free outdoor movies in parks (it doesn’t have to be high-brow art) to hitting up outdoor gems like The Cloisters, you can fill your summer with lots of interesting activities. Some museums like The Met can get pretty crowded with tourists over the summer, but if you have Summer Fridays at work and have been meaning to check one out, it could be a good opportunity to get lost in some art for the day.

So get on out there and enjoy summer without worrying too much about your wallet!


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