Tag: Summer

Best Outdoor Drinking Spots in NYC

Best Outdoor Drinking Spots in NYC by Ari KellenAs the weather gets nicer, many people start to venture out of their apartments in New York to go out, drink with friends and have a good time.  For many New Yorkers, outdoor drinking is a favorite summer activity, and who can blame them?  Since German immigrants first introduced the concept of the “beer garden” to Gotham, it’s become a classic activity.  Listed here are some of the best places in New York City to partake in it:

Northern Territory: Out in Williamsburg, a good 10-minute walk from any subway stations, lies Northern Territory, an Australian restaurant that features a knockout rooftop bar.  Even when it gets crowded, the rooftop affords a spectacular view of Williamsburg and Lower Manhattan.

Studio Square: Two massive 20-foot screens, free-flowing beer, a kitchen that makes wings and cigar vendors all combine together to make Studio Square one of the best places in New York to watch a big sports game with your buddies.  If you’re going there for a big game, however, it’s a good idea to get there about an hour early, as it tends to get crowded and the bouncers start imposing a substantial cover charge.  But time flies when you’re having fun, and once you get there, five hours seems to pass like 30 minutes.

Iona: Since it was first opened, Iona has developed a reputation as a stellar summer drinking spot in Williamsburg.  There’s a friendly vibe here, helped by a huge backyard with BBQ and ping pong.  The perfect place to spend an afternoon drinking icy beer.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden: For over 100 years, Bohemia Hall has served as a center for Astoria’s Czech and Slovak culture.  The beer garden, which is open year-round, has a weathered look about it that some might consider unappealing, but it adds a genuine charm to the entire place.  To top it all off, a special refrigeration method makes sure that the beer is always ice cold, making this the best place to enjoy a cold brew on a hot day.

Brooklyn Crab: Out in Red Hook, a good 30-minute walk from any subway station is Brooklyn Crab, an outdoor seafood restaurant/bar with two levels, three bars, plenty of picnic benches, cornhole and mini golf.  Here the beer flows freely, including a house IPA brewed by Southern Tier.  The perfect place to waste a lazy Sunday in June, it’s also right next to Hometown BBQ, easily one of the best barbecue spots in New York, in case you’re more into pork than crab.

Union Pool: It might get crowded here and filled with plenty of tourists, and might not be for everybody, but there’s a festive vibe at this Williamsburg hotspot that makes up for all of that.  If you get hungry while you’re drinking, there’s a taco truck, so it’s hard to go wrong.  If you want to go inside, there’s a back room that features live music.

Blockheads: There are multiple locations of Blockheads around the city, but the one to visit is in Hell’s Kitchen on 50th Street.  With its plethora of frozen alcoholic drinks and plenty of outdoor seating, Blockheads makes for a great place to kick back with your friends, a bowl of nachos and some frozen drinks on a hot day.  It’s also right across from Mother Burger, which features the same style of frozen drinks and outdoor seating in case Blockheads is too packed.

Spuyten Duyvil: Like the Brooklyn Crab, Spuyten Duyvil is right around the corner from one of New York’s best barbecue joints (Fette Sau).  But that’s where the similarities stop: Spuyten Duyvil is a bar first and foremost, and in the warmer months features a spacious garden filled with picnic benches where you can seemingly always find a seat.

The Standard: No pun intended, but the biergarten here has set the “standard” for outdoor drinking in Manhattan and beyond.  Milking the “german biergarten” trope without being too obnoxious about it, they do a great balance here, that can be washed down with beer, sausages and pretzels in-between ping pong games.

Transmitter Park: It isn’t a bar, but Transmitter Park is easily one of the best parks in Brooklyn.  Located in the sticks of Greenpoint out on the water, it’s hard to go wrong here, where you can get a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline at night and, if you get there at the right time, the best sunset in all of New York.  Pick up a bottle at Brouwerij Lane or the local bodega nearby, but it in a brown bag and sit down on a park bench and take in the view.

Activities With Kids In NYC

Everyone knows that in New York City, there is never a short supply of things to do, if you’re an adult that is. Kids can be a little trickier, if you don’t know where to look. The bars, concerts, and Picture of the high linerestaurants you frequent on your own may not be as kid friendly as you are. Whether you’re a new parent, have your nieces/nephews visiting, or your friends are starting to pop them out faster than you can keep up, it’s time to find some activities that will please the kids as much as it will entertain the adults. Here are eight great ideas to get you started.

  1. See a Broadway show. The Lion King, Matilda, School of Rock, Aladin, Hamilton; there’s a ton of kid friendly shows to choose from that adults will be equally entertained by. Keep an eye out for discount tickets, so the whole family can go.
  2. Take a Disney themed walking tour. Walks of New York, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Group, offers Disney on Broadway: Behind the Walking Tour. It’s a two-hour tour that takes guests through the history of Disney on Broadway. It’s ends with a chance for kids to play with props and costumes featured in several Broadway musicals including Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.
  3. Spend the day at Coney Island. This three-acre amusement park features 19 kid-friendly rides in addition to more extreme thrills like the infamous Cyclone. Afterwards, grab lunch at the legendary Nathan’s Famous before heading over to the nearby New York Aquarium, Coney Island Circus Sideshow, or just hang out on Brighton Beach.
  4. See your favorite celebrities, in wax. Madame Tussaud’s in Times Square has nearly 200 lifelike wax figures. You’ll see Woody Allen, Bette Midler, Nicolas Cage, Hugh Grant, Oprah Winfrey, and many more. For the kids there is Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and a ton of other pop stars.
  5. Walk along The High Line.The High Line is a two-mile park built on an old train track above the streets of Manhattan, complete with gardens, lounge chairs, dance performances, art installations, and amazing views. Local vendors sell light fare and souvenirs while musicians perform whenever the weather is allows. Depending on the season, you can also find art classes, lawn parties with storytelling and musicians, nature lessons, and construction classes.
  6. Explore Riverside Park. Alongside the Hudson River is Riverside Park, a path filled with beautiful skyline views of New Jersey, picnic areas, kayaking rentals, and playgrounds. The path can be walked or biked with ease.
  7. Take the Roosevelt Island Tram. Kids and adults might remember the scene that took place on the Roosevelt Island Tram in the movie Spiderman, where the passengers get saved by the hero. Your ride will be far less death defying. The tram departs every 15 minutes from Second Avenue and 59th Street, and rides high above the East River for the price of a subway ride. The ride is short, but once across you can take a stroll around Roosevelt Island before heading back over on the Tram once more to capture a few great photographs.
  8. Get a CityPASS for great savings and plenty more fun ideas. CityPASS gives you reduced admission to some of the city’s best attractions including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Ellis Island, Guggenheim, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. You’ll save 41 percent compared to combined regular box office prices, and passes are valid for nine consecutive days.

There’s a ton more for kids to enjoy in the city, but this is more than enough to keep you and the kids entertained for a few long weekends. There are always new shows, fairs, and seasonal classes taking place, so keep up with new things to do as they pop up. New York City can be a great place for everyone, young and old, you just have to know where to look.