Things to Do In New York on a Budget: Summer Edition

July 9, 2018

I am going to let you in on a little secret, the hubby and I are buying a new car at the end of this summer and so we are tightening our belts and getting creative this summer.  For the last two years we have been fortunate enough to be able to arrange between our work schedules, the boys, the pup and our other obligations, two summer vacations. #blessed (lol, sorry had to) This year we did manage a winter trip to Iceland and just returned from a huge family cruise with stops in Honduras, Belize, Mexico and Grand Cayman so I realize a third trip might be a little "greedy" but what can I say? I thoroughly enjoy traveling with my husband, he is the BEST travel mate!  But I digress, this post's working title is "things to do in New York on a budget" not "whoa is me I can't have a third trip"!

As much as I love to travel there is so much to see and do right in my own backyard so I have pulled together some summer romance on a budget guide to get you and your honey out of a "what should we do this weekend" slump and get you out there exploring what New York has to offer!  Most of these free, require a donation or cost you very little money but all are great ideas to inspire you to think outside of the box and get back to nature.

Taken from website 

Yonkers, NY 
Cost: FREE 

Untermyer was once a private estate and garden of a prominent New York lawyer and horticultural enthusiast, Samuel Untermyer.  After his death, it was left in limbo and disrepair until 2011 with a private/public partnership between the City of Yonkers and non-profit organization.  They have transformed the gardens and restored it to its former glory.  This place is beautiful with views of the Hudson, it just can't be missed.  

Date Idea: Bring a bottle of wine and two glasses.  Climb up to the Temple of Love, pop open the bottle and take in the view! 

2) Picnic at Wave Hill 
Riverdale, NY 
Cost: $8 per person 
Cost: $12 per person - Sunset Wednesdays: Live Music Performances 

I will admit visiting this place has been on my list for some time now but as life/luck and weather would have it, I have not been able to check it off yet.  I am determined (hi Michael, are you reading this) to get there this summer!  They have this Sunset Wednesday Picnic Box Supper where you preorder boxed food the Friday before that Wednesday and pick up at the concession stand on the Great Lawn.  I have linked the menu here.  I will admit this can be a bit pricey BUT you can skip the boxed supper, grab a quick bite at home and head over to Wave Hill to just enjoy the live music and the sunset for $12, that's not SOO bad.  

Westchester, NY 
Cost: Free 

Ok, the hubby and I attempted this one on the fourth of July because I have decided I want to soak up nature in my free time.  Rookie mistake? We took the pup.  In fairness it was really hot on the day we went, there was a heatwave last week.  Timmy (the pup) like his parents had never been on a hike, well we have hiked before but not for a while.  As a result, we couldn't go the distance, we stopped a number of times to give him water and treats and try to cool him down but his panting made us nervous so after an hour we split.  Why the Briarcliff-Peekskill trailway you ask? Well its simple, its a 12 mile hike to the Croton Dam which was what I REALLY wanted to see!  It is a gorgeous stone structure (pictured above) that was started in 1892 and completed in 1906.  I love stuff like that. :) We will definitely be making our way to see the dam with our own eyes before the summer is out. 

Tip: Pack plenty of bug spray and water and a few pieces of fruit or energy bars.  

4) Biking via Old Croton Aqueduct Trail 
Yonkers, NY
Cost: Free 

Pump some air in those tires and dust off the old helmet because this trail is a must see!  I have done this trail pretty much every summer and it just gets more and more beautiful each time we take it on.  As the name might suggest, this is the old croton dam before the new one was built and a lot of the structures are still visible on the trail.  They are in terrible disrepair but full of history.  The trail is paved in some parts and not in others so a mountain bike is probably your best bet.  There are some cool stop off areas on the trail that you don't want to miss like The Keeper's House which was where the overseers of the aqueduct lived.  It has recently been restored and is now a museum of sorts with great pictures of the old aqueduct.  We met the cutest women last year who invited us in and gave us a tour.  We gave a small donation and I decided that would be the kind of job I wanted when I retired, caretaker of a historical landmark. :) 

5) Plan a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Cost: Donation

If you are a New Yorker then you already know this place is donation based, meaning you can give as much as you can in order to gain entry to their galleries.  I tend to be a little generous with my donations but again give what you can.  The MET is not only a stunning place to visit that is filled to the gills with priceless art, but it is AIR CONDITIONED! jejejeje, I am just saying, summer in NY can be brutal and its getting worse with global warming so paying a small price to keep cool while stimulating your senses, not a bad idea at all!  We are planning a trip to the MET Breuer   this Friday to check out an exhibit that will be closing very soon called, Like Life Sculpture, Color and the Body.  It looks fascinating and I thought instead of talking to you about it you might want to check out the awesome promo video they released for the show below.  Hurry, the show closes on July 22nd!  

Bonus: They are open late on Fridays!

That is all for now!  I hope you liked these ideas, let me know if you would like me to share a few restaurant ideas in or around Westchester in the comments below.

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