If you’re broke, under the age of 21, and tired of Netflix and chilling in bed at your mom’s house every summer, I am totally in the same boat as you. Here are some things you can do to improve the quality of your stay-at-home summer.
1. Grab a bite at Smorgasburg.
Smorgasburg is the largest weekly food market in America where all the hipsters flock to take artsy pictures and eat from 100 local vendors. You can find the market on the Williamsburg waterfront on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays.
2. Circumnavigate Manhattan by Kayak.
Hit up Manhattan Kayak for some tours and group courses. Or, if you don’t have money like that, fill up that MetroCard and take a trip to Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens for LIC Community Boathouse’s free first-come, first served kayaking out of Hallet’s Cove (which is basically Manhattan if you’re broke like me).
3. Surf at Rockaway Beach.
Yes, there are beaches in New York City. REAL BEACHES! Well, Rockaway is barely in New York City—it’s in far Queens, which might as well be Long Island (don’t quote me on that), but we’ll make an exception for the purpose of this article. Side note: it's also not as gross as Coney Island.
If you’re ever feeling extra majestic, visit Inwood Hill Park and become one with nature. It’s home to the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan, which sounds pretty special if you ask me.
5. Visit Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
It’s free of charge on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm. There are also Sakura Matsuri cherry trees there! Do you even know what that means? I don’t, but it sounds foreign enough for me to want to find out!
6. Walk the High Line.
It’s very picturesque and super long and there’s no way to get lost on it because it’s literally just a straight line. If you’re lucky, there will be a cool art display.
7. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Or any bridge.
The RFK, the 59th Street Bridge, etc. There will always be a stunning view of the city’s skyline and you are free to scream all your teen angst away with no one to judge you. You can also just walk, run, or bike it like a normal person.
8. Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram.
It’s a 3-minute ride where you reach a peak height of 250 feet and travel 3,140 feet which, let’s be honest, is insane. And then when you get off at Roosevelt Island you’ll realize that it’s a nice little town with nothing really to do, but it’ll all be worth it because you took a really cool trip that you probably took a million pictures of for all your Instagram followers to see.
9. See a free concert at House of Vans in Brooklyn.
10. People watch.
Go to places like Grand Central Terminal or Central Park and just watch people. They’re weird. It’s funny. And free.