How to Pack for a Summer Family Vacation to NYC


New York City is a breeze to visit in the summertime. The town is less crowded thanks to throngs of New Yorkers and commuters vacationing elsewhere, and you’ll always have access to anything you need 24/7 in the city that never sleeps. According to a report in “Commercial Observer Magazine,” there were nearly 200 drugstores in Manhattan alone in 2015, including the ubiquitous Duane Reade. This means that whatever may miss the suitcase—from sunglasses to socks—can be found on just about every block on this 13-mile-long island.

Freedom Tower, also known as One World Trade Center, combines educational videos and a lovely welcome center with high-tech Sky Pod elevators and an observation deck that gives you unparalleled views of NYC and beyond.

Save valuable packing space by keeping blow dryers at home—your hotel will likely have them on hand. Enjoy NYC’s summertime weather by packing the right items so you can have a comfortable, safe and fun vacation.

Strolling Through Town

For summer days or nights in NYC, pack for warm outdoor weather and chillier air-conditioned interiors while you stroll through the streets dipping in and out of restaurants, stores, museums and other indoor attractions. To keep comfortable both indoors and out, pack a lightweight cardigan or cover-up that you can quickly grab from your bag to put on and then take off and stash as soon as you encounter temperature changes. Remember a sturdy pair of walking shoes and a comfortable bag to tote your necessities, like cover-ups, sunglasses, cell phone and wallet.

Fine and Casual Dining

Pack appropriately for fine dining at nicer restaurants, such as Le Périgord, one of the only restaurants that still requires men to wear a jacket and tie. A number of fine restaurants recently eliminated the tie rule, but most still prefer jackets, and loaners are often available. As a rule of thumb, consider simple, quality dress clothes and accessories for enjoying the bright lights while in the Big Apple. For more casual but still trendy restaurants such as The Union Square Cafe, and for taking in some of the hottest Broadway shows like the new family-friendly “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” enjoy more casual dress and have fun people-watching!

Take your pick from NYC’s many world-class museums, ranging from the famed Guggenheim, MOMA and The Met to the underrated Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side or the Museum of the American Gangster in the East Village.

Sightseeing, Festivals and Tours

Whether you’re sitting at an Upper East Side sidewalk cafe, standing on the observation deck of the Top of the Rock, cruising on the Yacht Kingston or attending tapings for shows like “The Daily Show” or “Dr. Oz,” pack your camera and multiple chargers to make sure you capture every memorable part of your summertime trip to NYC. Remember to pack sunscreen if you’re planning on catching a breeze at some of the NYC festivals that take place along the water’s edge, such as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular along the East River and the Annual Space & Science Festival at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in July.

Outdoor Music Festivals

Take advantage of free outdoor performing arts and summer concerts at parks around the city, such as at the famed SummerStage in Central Park. It’s one of the most quintessential NYC summer experiences you can have, but remember to pack a small container of insect repellent and a blanket for comfortable picnics while enjoying the sights and sounds of Manhattan on a starlit summer night.

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