Every year for three consecutive Saturdays in the summer, New York City celebrates the season and makes use of its most valuable public space, its streets. This year, the New York City Department of Transportation will open nearly seven miles of routes, from East 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge along Park Avenue, that are typically meant for vehicles, to walkers, runners, skaters, and bikers, encouraging the city to take more sustainable modes of transportation.
First introduced in 2008, this year’s New York City Summer Streets will take place on August 5th, 12th, and 19th from the hours of 7 A.M. to 1 P.M. The nearly seven miles of open streets will be met with six rest stops along the path in Central Park, Uptown, Midtown, Astor Place, Soho, and Foley Square for participants of all ages and ability levels to enjoy free activities.
The activities and setups at each rest stop will be different, providing participants with a completely new experience the further they continue their journey along the path.
Here are some of the places to see at each rest stop this August during Summer Streets. We’re also hosting a special Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour this weekend at 10am, where we’ll see some of these activities unfolding as part of the event! Purchase tickets below:
Central Park Rest Stop
If you’re starting your journey down Park Avenue during this year’s Summer Streets at the northern end, the first rest stop on your way is the Central Park Rest Stop on 72nd Street. While most have a number of fun activities, the Central Park Rest Stop only has one listed on its official site. This year, LG has unveiled plans for a massive 30′ x 50′ water park in line with their new dishwashers.
The inflatable water park will feature obstacle courses that are continuously sprayed with water, as well as giant slides in the shape of kitchen utensils. The entire setup will be modeled, inside and out, after the elements of their LG Quadwash dishwasher, which includes the obstacle courses being in the shape of dishes and a four armed water jet to soak anyone choosing to go through the park.
LG’s project is approximately two and a half times bigger than a tennis court and organizers are claiming it to be Manhattan’s first water park. In addition to the park itself, LG is providing refreshments, music entertainment, and giveaways onsite.
If water parks aren’t your cup of tea, the Central Park Rest Stop will have chairs and tables to give festival goers an option to relax and enjoy the festivities without getting drenched.
Uptown Rest Stop
The next rest stop as you continue south on Park Avenue is the Uptown Rest Stop between 50th and 53rd streets. The rest stop is called “Discover The Great Outdoors” and is full of booths and activities pertaining to anything nature related.
Like the previous rest stop, Uptown will contain an obstacle course, a mix of Parkour and climbing in an urban setting. Another fun activity found at the Uptown Rest Stop is the Adventure Zone where you can learn to start a fire, pitch a tent, and learn how to properly pack a backpack. Several different foundations and clubs, including Appalachian Mountain Club and Discover Outdoors Foundation, will be putting on events throughout the weeks of Summer Streets at the Adventure Zone and giving demonstrations to participants of the festivities on useful wilderness survival skills and holding basic wilderness trivia.
The 165′ long and 30′ high zip line will also be returning to Uptown Rest Stop this year as well. The zip line is first come first serve, and participants must sign a safety waiver before they ride. Participants must also register at 53rd Street and arrive before 8 A.M. to secure a time slot.
As mentioned earlier, we will be hosting a special Secrets of Grand Central Terminal tour this weekend at 10 am, where we’ll see some of these activities unfolding as part of the event! Purchase tickets below:
Midtown Rest Stop
The Midtown Rest Stop will be located at roughly 25th Street and is called “Taste of Summer.” The rest stop will focus mostly on New York City’s recycling, food, and health and fitness.
At the Health and Fitness Zone, you can meet with meditation and fitness gurus for free classes for everything from salsa lessons to yoga. You can enjoy one of the many free classes, or learn of the proper ways to perform CPR or to heal a sports injury. Several organizations will be hosting events, like in Uptown’s Adventure Zone, to give information on different health concerns. The American Heart Association and Thrive NYC will be only two of the many organizations to be present at Midtown Rest Stop.
Another activity at the Midtown Rest Stop is the Taste of Summer Sampling Zone, where anyone enjoying the festivities can stop and try free food and refreshment samples from many different vendors. Some of this year’s vendors include Cabot, Nature’s Path, and Purity Organics. Citymeals on Wheels will also be present on all three days of Summer Streets to help encourage families to volunteer in serving the house ridden elderly through delivery services. They will also be giving participants the opportunity to write and design letters for the recipients of the meals as well.
As with most of the other rest stops along Park Avenue, there will be a bicycle rental for anyone looking to ride a bike up and down the festivities.
Astor Place Rest Stop
The next rest stop is the Astor Place Rest Stop, or “The Citi Experience,” at approximately at East 8th Street.
At this rest stop, it will be possible to climb Mount Everest without ever having to leave New York City. With The Citi Mobile Everest 360 experience participants can finally see and feel what it is like to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain in an interactive virtual reality experience.
Also located within the Citi Experience is a short New York City centric mini golf course. Mini Golf NYC is a five hole mini golf course with a hole representing each of the five boroughs, including a Citi Field hole for Queens and a Brooklyn Bridge hole for Brooklyn.
In another attempt to motivate people to get outside of their vehicles and walk, a dog park is going to be located at the Astor Place Rest Stop called Paws and Play Dog Park. The park will have grass patches for dogs to run and play, small pools for them to splash around in, and an agility course will also be set up within the park. The Paws and Play Dog Park will apply the same rules as NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and if you or your canine friend are in need to cool down, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection will have portable water fountains at the Astor Place Rest Stop, as well as the other five rest stops.
Soho Rest Stop
The Soho Rest Stop is located at Petrosino Square in the neighborhood of Soho. The rest stop is named “Feel the Burn” and focuses on all things fitness.
Crunch gym and Walk at Home will host free fitness classes where you can get your heart rate beating. The classes include a 5K walk concert, a mashup dance party that includes Zumba, and yoga classes at Crunch gym, where twenty yoga mats will already be provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own.
The Clif Kids Bike Park is a park to show children under 12 the different obstacles they would face on a mountain bike trail, as well as help coach children just beginning to ride a bicycle to help improve their cycling skills.
Honest Tea will also be giving out free samples of their different teas and new sports drink throughout the course of Summer Streets, as well as showing off their Mobile Tea Garden.
Foley Square Rest Stop
The Foley Square Rest Stop is the furthest rest stop south and is located around Foley Square and Thomas Paine Park. The main attraction at “Come Ride the Slide” is the Beachside Slide at Vita Coco Beach. The water slide is 270 feet tall and online preregistration is required to participate on the slide itself.
If exhilarating water sports don’t exactly sound like a fun time to you, the remainder of Vita Coco Beach will be more suitable. Lounge chairs, misting stations, and refreshments will be available for anyone passing through the rest stop.
The Wheelchair Sports Federation will also be present at the Foley Square Rest Stop, inviting the public to attend exhibitions of practicing adaptive basketball teams, and are invited to participate in games and training sessions as well. All members of the public are invited to participate, including the able bodied, with loaner wheelchairs available at the location.
Summer Streets has become a yearly tradition for New York City, growing each year and becoming more and more exciting. With each year’s new activities comes new opportunities for excitement and fun.
Next, check out The 2017 NYC Summer Outdoor-Movie Screening Schedule, or Eight New Art Walls Are Coming to Coney Island This Summer for Coney Art Walls. Get in touch with the author on Instagram @mjohnathonrich.