It’s not difficult to find something to do in the city that never sleeps! Iconic architecture, historic landmarks, world-class dining and entertainment are always just a cab ride away; day or night, fall, winter, spring or summer.

But something magical happens during a New York City summer, when the city seems to let down its guard a little bit more than usual. Al fresco becomes the norm. Fountains spring to life. Thespians turn parks into stages. Summer in the city truly offers something for everyone, and here is a look at five ways to enjoy New York when the sun sits highest in the sky:

1) Dine outdoors

Whether you are looking for something secluded in a backyard patio or a street-side seat for some prime people-watching, you are sure to find plenty of options. And you won’t have far to walk to find it. Bryant Park offers an array of outdoor dining possibilities. And then you have the patios that are legendary – the Flora Bar on the Upper East Side, Pier i Cafe with its breathtaking views of the Hudson River, and Flex Mussels, which is perfect after an evening at the Met. But these are just a few of the options. One of the best ways to enjoy New York City in the summertime is to stumble upon a restaurant that’s new to you; one that surprises and delights.

2) Experience the splash and splendor of New York’s fountains

NYC is home to legendary museums, and each is certainly worth a visit. But you don’t have to hide indoors to appreciate the work of some of the world’s greatest artists. Their work is on display in the city’s parks. Central Park has several, including the historic Bethesda Fountain, featuring a 26-foot-tall Angel of Waters. The Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center dates from 1964 and has made cameo appearances in many television shows and movies. And of course there is the Unisphere in Queens, with its impressive globe overlooking Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

3) ‘Wherefor Art Thou,’ Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare could not have been more correct when he said that all the world’s a stage. And New York City takes his wise words to heart each summer when the Public Theater produces Shakespeare in the Park. The productions are in Central Park’s open-air Delacorte Theater, with the imposing Belvedere Castle as a backdrop. It is a time-honored tradition that makes summer in New York unlike anywhere else in the world.

4) Explore the High Line

Perhaps no single location offers as many outstanding outdoor activities as the High Line. It is a park, a performance space and an inspiration. Built on an elevated freight line, the High Line is home to performance art exhibits, gardens and more. It is a wonderful place to soak up some sun, stargaze, dance and dine.

5) Ice cream!

Why just eat ice cream when you can make your own? At Ample Hills Creamery, they don’t just scoop it for you. They actually offer ice cream-making classes.

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