Summertime is when I love to stay in New York City. Yeah, it’s hot and sticky, but the free entertainment is unparalleled! And it’s in the parks or by the water, so you can stay cool, or at least get some relief from the heat. Here’s my list of events to check out if you’re staying in town this summer:
SummerStage – Central Park (and other venues)
Now in it’s 30th year at Summerstage outdoor events include music (Opera, American, world, folk, electronic…), dance, spoken word and events specially with families in mind. The schedule runs from May 18th through September 24th.
In addition to the performances at Rumsey Playfield (69th Street & 5th Avenue), Summerstage also hosts events at various venues in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
You can find a complete list here
Hop on a ferry and for a memorable visit to this former army/coast guard base. This year the season runs from May 24th to September 27th. Plan to spend a fair amount of time here, as there are always activities for visitors to engage in as well as dance, music, theatre, poetry and art – – for all tastes and all family members. This summer has open studios with the artists in residence and choreographers, a 15-minute Hamlet, and a Unicycle Festival! Find out more here
Lincoln Center Out of Doors offers dance and music every evening and on the weekends too, From July 22nd to August 9th. Find the full schedule here
Midsummer Night’s Swing isn’t free, but it’s cheap, and it’s a great way to learn new dance steps, or maybe some older dances you’ve always wanted to know how to do (mambo, salsa, swing and more)! Live music and group dance lessons make for a really fun evening. Great date night! The series runs from June 23rd to July 11th More info here
River to River (Lower Manhattan)
Comprising mostly dance with some musical performances, the River to River festival takes place in various venues in Lower Manhattan, June 18-28. You can find more information here
Brooklyn Bridge Park
On the East River waterfront, you’ll find dance parties, opera, film, kids activities and great public art! Not to mention a view of the NYC skyline like in the movies. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s activities go through the end of October. To see the full list, go here
Celebrate Brooklyn (Prospect Park)
They’re going to kick off their 37th year in style, with Chaka Khan on June 3rd. This festival, held at the Prospect Park bandshell, runs through August 12th, and includes music of all genres, dance, and film. Most of the events are free (they ask for a $3 donation); you can find a complete list here
MetroTech Brooklyn Lunchtime Series
Office workers of the world, bust out of your cubes and get over to the BAM lunchtime concert series on the MetroTech commons! Live performances every Thursday from June 4th to August 6th, ranging from R&B to funk, to gospel to soul to jazz and world music. Find the full schedule here