Summer Fun in NYC On A Budget


There’s something about the summer that fills me up with the energy and desire to venture outside and explore all possibilities for fun. As soon as the days get longer and warmer, I start making outdoor plans, thinking of beach trips, happy hours and the sing-a longs. Since New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., having fun without regrets requires a frugal mindset and a little research.

But no need to worry. I’m here to guide you on how you can have summer fun in the Big Apple without breaking the bank or without having to empty your pockets.

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Last May, I celebrated my daughter’s birthday by having a day out in the city. Practicing one of my own smart money hacks, I logged onto Groupon and looked for eating out deals a few days prior. This research in advance helped me in finding a great ‘picnic in the park’ deal for 2 that was ideal for the type of day my daughter would enjoy.

To avail the deal, I just had to go to the restaurant and pick up the delicious picnic basket they had prepared for us. After doing this, the birthday girl and I went to Central Park, which was right across the street from the restaurant, and we settled down at a spot near the lake.

The basket included paninis, a salad, cold antipasto, drinks and the most scrumptious Italian cheesecake. They even packed a classic picnic blanket – a detail that I really loved.

Did I mention that all of this was for only $40?

We even had leftovers to snack on later at night! By spending the day at Central Park, we didn’t have to pay anything for location. Entry to the Central Park is free but enjoying the Park’s beautiful reservoir, strolling through its lush gardens and boating in its calming lake with your loved ones is priceless.

Another great place to enjoy the City that’s also free is The High Line – an elevated linear park that offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city below. You can also look into free tours of various NYC neighborhoods like Greenwich Village that can be taken by foot. Visiting Chelsea and bargaining at its consignment stores can also be fun. There is The Ritz Thrift Shop, The Buffalo Exchange and a fun Goodwill all between 26th and 29th Street.

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a happy hour girl. I love to go out early to enjoy the sunset, meet new people and listen to live music. The best way to find a fun joint that offers happy hour and dinner bargains is the Travel Zoo app. Just type in the zip code of the area you’re visiting and your desired activity.

You’ll see great options like The Heights rooftop bar which, besides a great view of The Empire State Building, offers a deal for two that will get you 4 fancy cocktails and 2 delicious apps for $40. You can also go for 5-Star dining at The Pierre, which offers an amazing dinner deal that covers apps, main course, wine and desserts for two costing only $99! They add new locations and deal all the time.

Now this might sound straight out of an infomercial, but there’s more! If you buy Travel Zoo coupons through, you’ll get cash back that can go towards your next trip. Isn’t it fantastic?

We work hard for our money, ladies. Don’t you agree? We deserve to play hard and have fun. But being a responsible money coach, I also encourage sensible spending habits that ensure a comfortable retirement. So why not have some frugal fun and put some of that hard-earned money away for your future?

Smart money habits pay off.

The little research you do while making fun plans for your NYC trip will be well worth it! It is also a great way to try the new places and go back to visit the ones you love. The best part, if you wind up not liking a place, your frugal habits will save you from the regret after. Now, that’s money in the bank. Have fun and enjoy the summer!

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