Summer Activities You Can Enjoy in the Shade

Sure, it’s time to get outside and take advantage of those shorter hours in the office and the longer hours of summer daylight—but maybe you prefer (or require) enjoying the great outdoors without being in direct sunlight. For the days when you want to get some fresh air without having to slather on the sunscreen, check out these fun options in the shade.

Get a shaded seat in the new Yankee Stadium.

Snag the shaded seats at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field

Shaded seats can be found at either stadium. At Yankee Stadium, stick to the first-base side. Sections and rows for shade include: field-level rows 26 to 30, main-level rows 16 to 20, and upper-level rows 9 to 14. However, the honest folks in the ticket office warn that you could get some sun from behind at certain times in the upper tiers. At Citi Field, both the left and right sides have shaded sections. Your best bets: field-level rows 28 and up, and Caesar’s Club sections 306 to 333. Both stadiums also have party suites that include private indoor areas for parties and events. Call either ticket office for more information and to purchase tickets.

New York Yankees and New York Mets
Cost: $12 and up
Contact: 212.926.5337—Yankees; 718.507.8499—Mets

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Take in the sights (and summer breeze) on a Hudson Valley balloon ride.

Enjoy a hot-air balloon ride

What’s more romantic than a hot-air balloon ride over the Hudson Valley? The Fantasy Fliers husband-and-wife team Ken and Lana Smith has been offering hot-air balloon rides over the Hudson Valley region, including the lower Catskills, for 29 years. The flights depart from Middletown, New York. Rates start at $179 per person, and you can book a ride by calling the Fantasy Fliers office (there are no online sales). Whether you’re planning an unforgettable first date or the perfect birthday present, you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the lush, summer landscape, with plenty of fresh air while still under cover from the sun, thanks to the big balloon overhead.

Fantasy Fliers, Port Jervis, NY
Cost: $179 per person, includes sparkling wine and orange juice
Contact: 845.856.7103;

Learn Bhangra dancing from Reena Shah at Caramoor. | Shah Reena photo courtesy of Caramoor

Dance at dusk at Caramoor

Take a trip to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah to learn traditional dance and explore the expansive world of music beyond Lady Gaga. Caramoor’s unique Dancing at Dusk program continues this summer, teaching traditional ethnic dances to families. On July 25, you can learn about Bhangra from dancer Reena Shah, which originated in India and Pakistan as a celebratory folk dance to welcome spring. On August 8, Caramoor will feature Maculele (a highly acrobatic stick-fighting dance), the Afro-Brazilian martial art/dance capoeira, and more. Lulled by the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream-style surroundings and the setting sun, you will be moved to dance—or at least bask in the scenic beauty enveloping it. Other events at Caramoor include A Day in the Renaissance on July 22, when families gather to enjoy music, street theater, falcons, and the words of Shakespeare.

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah
When: Check the Caramoor events calendar Cost: $10 (adult), $5 (child)

Forage In the forest  

The Hudson Valley is well known for its culinary bounty, and now you can be an active participant in collecting those offerings. Take a foraging trip with naturalist “Wildman” Steve Brill and discover what the fat o’ the land has to offer. For 20 years, Brill has been working with local restaurants, culinary schools, museums, libraries, and many others, leading tours through the Hudson Valley region to foster awareness of the edible ecological riches that surround us. Brill holds foraging trips every weekend, at various locations from Pawling, New York, down through Brooklyn. After a trip, you can make a wineberry layer cake from Cornelian cherries found in Central Park (July 21), or gather wild greens like spicy poorman’s pepper, lambsquarters, and purslane for a salad straight from the Appalachian Trail (August 11).

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Wild Food and Ecology Tour with “Wildman” Steve Brill
When: Most weekends; check the calendar on the website.
Cost: Depends on location
Contact: Call 914.835.2153 at least 24 hours in advance to reserve your place;

Bike, skate, or stroll on THE North and South County Trailways

With miles and miles of trails, the county trailways provide mostly traffic-free, tree-lined bike riding, roller blading, and walking trails. Many are shaded or partially shaded. The North County Trailway runs 22.1 miles from Carmel, New York, down to Tarrytown, where it connects with the South County Trailway, which runs from Eastview down to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Consult the county’s website below for parking locations. Google Maps will show the trail, as well, and a quick search will provide convenient Starbucks locations nearby, should your water bottle run dry or you require an emergency Frappuccino.
North and South County Trailways
Cost: Free

Take a wine-and-cheese cruise on the Hudson

Cruise around the island of Manhattan while learning about—and tasting—wines and cheeses of the world with popular food-and-wine expert Wendy Crispell. Since 2007, Classic Harbor Line, which takes off from Chelsea Piers, has been introducing budding oenophiles to wine in style aboard its yachts in New York Harbor. July 28 and 30 will introduce white wines beyond Chardonnay like Viognier, Zierfandler, Traminette, and more. On August 11 and 13, take a voyage into the great whites and reds created in the innovative regions of New Zealand and Australia. On August 25 and 27, learn about the different styles of sparkling wine celebrated around the world, including Prosecco, cava, sekt, and, of course, Champagne.

Classic Harbor Line and wine expert Wendy Crispell
Where: Yacht Manhattan at Pier 62 (Chelsea Piers)
When: Consult the website
Cost: $85-$95

Visit the Cultural heritage festivals at the Kensico Dam

Discover a world of culture just outside your door all summer. Grab a folding chair and look for a seat in the shade to enjoy live performances of music and dance as well as artistic, cultural, and religious exhibits; ethnic foods; and more. The festivals are held rain or shine, and include free parking and admission. Events in July and August: Hispanic Festival, July 22, noon to 7 pm; Indian Festival, August 5, 12:30 to 6:30 pm; and Jewish Music Festival, August 19, 5 to 8 pm.

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Where: Kensico Dam, Valhalla
Cost: Free
Contact: 914.864.7275;

Photo by William Marsh

Attend the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

A short trip to the Boscobel estate in Garrison, New York, will lead you back in time to the live performances of William Shakespeare. For 25 years, “the region’s only professional resident Shakespeare company” has been demystifying his works. This year, catch a performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost or Romeo and Juliet. The company is also performing 39 Steps, an adaptation of the novel that inspired Alfred Hitchcock movie. Up to two hours before the performance, bring a picnic to enjoy views of the Hudson Highlands and the Hudson River. You can also pre-order your intermission food or purchase food along with beer, wine, and show-themed cocktails from the concessions stand. Performances are held Tuesday to Sunday in July and daily throughout August.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Garrison, NY
When: Tuesdays – Sundays in July; daily through end of August
Cost: $27-$60
Contact: 845.265.9575;


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