As the sun sets over New York City, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt transitions from a daylight “observation deck” into an immersive nocturnal experience. The shift in ambiance is palpable — what is often bustling and bright becomes serene and subtly illuminated, offering a contrasting, contemplative experience to visitors.
The transformation of SUMMIT during the evening hours is not solely dictated by the city’s shift from day to night. Exclusive to the evening hours, a distinctive light show begins at sunset, creating an atmosphere that’s more artistic and profound.
The light show isn’t just a visual spectacle. It’s designed to be a full-body immersive experience, with an accompanying soundscape adding another dimension to the display. You might liken the sounds to the familiar clatter of the NYC subway, the gentle patter of rain on metal rooftops, or even the grind of coffee beans in a busy Manhattan café. The intention, as conveyed by the artists behind this unique offering, is to evoke personal interpretations and allow every visitor to derive a unique meaning from the experience.
The nighttime experience at SUMMIT makes it one of the top things to do in NYC after dark. Whether it’s the New York night views, the ambiance, or the events, there’s something for everyone at all times of the year to enjoy.
One of the defining features of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, making it a top choice for things to do in NYC at night, is its 360-degree panoramic view of NYC. As day transitions into night, the cityscape transforms, revealing a different narrative told through lights and shadows.
A notable focal point of the panorama is the Chrysler Building, a venerable icon of New York’s architectural heritage. During sunset, as observed from SUMMIT, the sun casts a golden-orange hue upon the building, enhancing its Art Deco facade with a warm glow that stands out amidst the cooling colors of the evening sky.
The enhanced visibility brought about by the city’s lights creates a distinct nighttime viewing experience. Landmarks and city elements, otherwise blended into the urban fabric, become pronounced. From the ethereal glow of New York City skyscrapers at night to the excitement around Madison Square Garden to the iconic Coca-Cola sign in Times Square, every light tells a story. The play of lights around Bryant Park and Central Park; the distant glimmer of ships on New York Harbor and the East River and Hudson River; the iconic forms of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty; and the moving glow of taxi cabs on the streets below all contribute to a lively tableau of city life.
The vantage point from SUMMIT provides a unique opportunity to observe the city’s landmarks and daily narratives in a new light. The skyline, a silhouette against the twilight, gradually transitions into a network of illuminated landmarks, each with its unique light signature. From this elevated perspective, guests can see parts of Times Square, the bustling activity around the Comcast Building, and much more.
The all-encompassing New York night view from SUMMIT offers an exploratory experience. Visitors can traverse the city’s narrative by merely shifting their gaze, locating landmarks, and observing the city’s nocturnal activities from an elevated perspective. It’s an invitation to gain a deeper understanding of nightlife in NYC.
Following the nighttime transformation of NYC, the ambiance of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt undergoes a captivating metamorphosis as daylight wanes. What is bright, lively, and playful during the day becomes more serious and romantic. The transition isn’t abrupt — a gradual shift follows the setting of the sun, which casts a golden glow on the architectural marvels of NYC and imbues the ethereal spaces in SUMMIT with a heightened sense of tranquility.
As darkness takes over, the onset of the light show accentuates this transformation, with beams of light dancing alongside booming audio and stimulating a multisensory engagement. The sounds, ambiguous yet evocative, accentuate the mind-bending aspects of this show even further.
What’s more, the lighting at SUMMIT is meticulously crafted to complement, not overpower, the cityscape. As the audio show progresses, the beams of light transition in color from bright oranges to deep purples, creating a visual rhythm that harmonizes with the sound and enhances the overall atmospheric narrative. Beside the windows, beams of light descend, almost extending an invitation to step into the city’s nightly splendor.
An innovative feature that adds a personal touch to this experience is the face-scanning technology that visitors have the option to use before entering SUMMIT. These scans are later projected onto the clouds in Unity, where visitors can see themselves literally floating among the stars above the sparkling city.
Après, the café atop SUMMIT, transitions along with the ambiance. Post-sunset, it offers custom drinks like “Floating on Clouds,” “Falling in Love,” and “Skyline Punch,” which add a whimsical yet sophisticated touch to the dining experience.
Lastly, the terrace at SUMMIT provides a serene enclave where you can step out into the night and gaze out at all the city’s marvels from over 1,100 feet in the air. The ambiance, the interactive experiences, and the thoughtful design of SUMMIT combine to provide an after-dark experience that goes beyond observing the city, giving visitors the chance to become an integral part of its grand, ever-evolving scenery.
If you’re looking for things to do in New York City at night, SUMMIT should be on your radar. It offers several unique nighttime activities and events, each designed to enhance the visitor experience and dive into interactive and festive engagements that resonate with diverse interests and the city’s celebratory spirit.
Among the noteworthy activities is the stargazing event curated for astronomy enthusiasts. The towering altitude of SUMMIT provides a relatively unobstructed view of the night sky, a rare privilege in the heart of a bustling metropolis like NYC. Aspiring astronomers and curious minds gather under the starlit canopy to peer into the cosmos.
Aligning with the city’s vibrant, celebratory ethos, SUMMIT also hosts a variety of holiday events, including soirées for the Fourth of July and Valentine’s Day. The pinnacle of these celebrations is the New Year’s Eve party, which, given its central location in NYC, gives visitors an unmatched perspective of the fireworks and the Times Square Ball Drop. Here, at one of the highest points in the city, revelers can bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new with panoramic views of one of the most iconic skylines in the world. The celebration at SUMMIT is a blend of exclusivity and exhilaration, much like the city it overlooks.
These special nighttime engagements at SUMMIT are not mere activities — they’re curated experiences that aim to foster a sense of community, curiosity, and celebration. Whether it’s studying the night sky or reveling in the joy of the holiday season, the nighttime events at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt extend an invitation to guests to make the most of their evening visits.
The allure of SUMMIT transcends the mere physical elevation it offers. It’s an expedition into a nocturnal experience that is rich, immersive, and reflective of the city’s dynamic ethos. As daylight recedes, SUMMIT transforms into a placid vantage point, offering myriad experiences that engage both the mind and the senses.
Offering more than a visual feast, the panoramic vistas provide a perspective that’s at once intimate and grand, encapsulating the pulsating life of NYC at night. The ambiance at SUMMIT reflects the artistic, romantic, and contemplative spirit that the night evokes, and the light show, auditory landscape, and subtle flashes against the dark sky create a multisensory experience that resonates with the city and those exploring it. The personal touches, like the face-scanning feature, further enhance the bond between guests and SUMMIT, creating memories etched against the night sky.
Ultimately, SUMMIT is an evolving experience that mirrors the ever-changing yet enduring spirit of the city it overlooks. At SUMMIT, the city after dark is a canvas of endless possibilities waiting to be explored, appreciated, and celebrated.
To stay informed on upcoming nighttime events, giveaways, and promotions, become a SUMMIT insider and receive regular communication from the SUMMIT team.