At long last summer is upon us again so mark your calendars and commit to finally attending that summer event you always mean to go to but never actually make. Whether you’re into food, music, or culture, there’s something for everyone going on this summer in the city.
Shakespeare in the Park
Tuesday, May 23rd – Sunday, August 13th, 8 PM
Delacorte Theater, Central Park
Now in its 55th Year, Shakespeare in the Park is featuring Julius Caesar directed by Oskar Eustis through June 18th, followed by A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Lear deBessonet from July 11 – August 13th. Performances run Tuesday – Sunday and begin at 8 PM. Enter at 81st Street and CPW for easy access to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. For a good chance of scoring tickets, arrive to the Delacorte Theater no later than 10 AM on the day of the show. The box office opens at 12 but you can expect a line and tickets are first come, first served. Tickets are limited to 2 per person. Alternatively, download the TodayTix app to sign up for the daily ticket lottery, or if you are sans smart phone, email firstname.lastname@example.org for an entry form.
Wednesday June 7th – Sunday, June 11th, All Day
Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick
Prices Vary ($12 – $650)
Spanning three Brooklyn neighborhoods and now in it’s 9th year, the Northside Festival is an amalgamation of the latest in tech, music, and networking. The first three days are all about innovation: 150 speakers including leaders at PayPal, Samsung, and Amazon will host talks about content, media, and technology across various Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick venues. The last two days feature 300 bands representing the best in all new music across a wide variety of genres. Prices vary: A full five day pass is in the $600 range, or you can buy single concert tickets starting at around $12. Buy full day/week tickets on the badge page of the Northside Festival website or single tickets on the concert page.
Tuesday, June 13th, 5:45 – 9 PM
Fifth Avenue from 82nd – 104th Streets
Grab your family, your friends, or both and take a stroll down Fifth Avenue for an evening of free culture and fun while visiting the 7 museums within a 22 block stretch. The evening kicks off on the steps of El Museo del Barrio at 104th Street with live entertainment and musical instrument creation. From there head down to the Museum of the City of New York on 103rd Street for salsa music and dancing. The Jewish Museum is just a few blocks south on 92nd and 5th with Art on the Street and live entertainment. The Cooper Hewitt Museum is one block down and will feature design activities and an Imagination Playground on the lawn. Head down another block to the Guggenheim where you will be greeted by live music and an Imagination Playhouse. Three blocks down is the Neue Gallery which will also feature guests from neighbor The Asia Society. Finally, end the evening at the MOMA where there will be a live model drawings, photo opportunities, music, and dancing. There’s no right way to the tour, so feel free to start at the MOMA if the mood strikes. Free museum entry is available at all of the museum locations.
Festa de Giglio
Wednesday, July 5th, Check website for time
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
275 North 8th Street, Williamsburg
If you haven’t witnessed the Festa de Giglio, it’s worth a visit to Williamsburg on Wednesday, July 5th, to watch 112 men carry on their shoulders a 65 foot tall, four ton platform, to pay homage to San Paolino of Nola. Also on the platform are over 10 people including a band and a singer. The story of San Paolino comes from the south of Italy, where the saint offered himself in exchange for his villagers who had been taken into slavery. Once he was taken back to Africa by his abductees, a Turkish Sultan heard of his good deed and traveled to Africa to free him. Upon his return to Nola, Italy, the villagers celebrated him after which he was canonized. For the last 114 years, he has been honored in Williamsburg by Italian immigrants who have retained their annual homeland ritual.
Some additional cultural events you may be interested in this summer:
Puerto Rican Day Parade
Friday, June 9th
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Saturday, June 17th
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Starting on Monday, June 19th
Gay Pride Parade
Sunday, June 25th
4th of July Celebrations
Tuesday, July 4th
Lincoln Center Festival
Monday, July 10th
Sunday, July 30th
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Sunday, August 13th
Saturday, June 17th, 12 – 6: 30 PM
Marquee New York
289 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
Don’t worry about your cholesterol and blood sugar levels for just enough time to attend this year’s Donutfest where vendors from all over will be sampling their best creations. Kahlua + Blue Lane Iced coffee will be served. Click here to buy tickets.
French Restaurant Week
Monday, July 3rd – Sunday, July 16th
$17.89, $38 or $178.90.
Eat, Drink, and Be French is the tagline of NYC’s 6th annual French Restaurant Week, during which 42 restaurants will be participating by serving delicious prix-fixe menu options in conjunction with Bastille Week. For a list of participating restaurants, click here.
Blues BBQ Festival
Saturday, August 19th, 2 PM
Pier 97th / Cross Street: West 59th Street
If you like blues and you like BBQ, don’t miss out on the 18th annual Blues BBQ Festival. Dinosaur BBQ, Big Peach, and Mighty Quinns will be serving up the food while the tunes will be fresh out of artists Dumpstaphunk, Terrie Odabi, Eric Gales, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, & The Campbell Brothers. Admission is free so get there early to claim a good spot.
Friday, June 2nd – Sunday, June 4th,
Randall’s Island Park
$105/$305 General Admission, $255/$700 VIP, $2,150 Platinum, or free if you clean for 15 hours during the weekend as part of the Clean Vibes Crew
66 artists are expected to blow your mind during Governor’s Ball this year with a line up that includes Chance the Rapper, Wu-Tang Clan, Lorde, Local Natives, Mark Ronson vs. Kevin Parker, Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa, and Tool. The quality food is also highly revered at Governor’s Ball, with a curated selection of food vendors from around NYC. Expect games at the ball such as mini golf and life sized board games. You won’t want to go to work on Monday.
Central Park Summer Stage
Saturday, June 3rd – Friday, September 22nd, Show start times vary
Most shows are free, some shows require ticket purchases
This year’s line up includes Regina Spektor, Elvis Costello, Digable Planets, KRS One, Slick Rick, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Allstars featuring Sasheer Zamata. SummerStage takes place at Rumsey Playfield, enter Central Park on 69th and 5th.
Wednesday, June 7th – Saturday, August 12th, Show start times vary
Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn
Alice Smith, Lisa Loeb, Yeasayer, Musiq Soulchild, Béla Fleck and the Fleckstones, and The Soul Rebels featuring Talib Kweli are among the musicians performing at Prospect Park’s Celebrate Brooklyn summer series. Be sure to get there early with a blanket to claim your space, especially if you want some dancing room. Check out the full line up here. To get to the Prospect Park Bandshell, enter at 10th Street and Prospect Park West.
Jazz Age Lawn Party
Saturday, June 10th – Sunday, June 11th, 11 – 5
Saturday, August 26th – Sunday, August 27th
Governors Island – Colonels Row
$55 – $5,000, Free for children
Dress up as a 1920s flapper and come out to listen and dance to jazz musicians, Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra as they perform in the 12th annual Jazz Age Lawn Party. Enjoy lawn games, cocktails, contests, and mingling with other New Yorkers dressed in garb reminiscent of the 1920s jazz era. Read more details and buy your tickets here.
Additional musical events to check out include:
Midsummer Night Swing
Tuesday, June 27th – Saturday, July 15th
Full Moon Festival
Saturday, July 8th, 2017
Panorama Music Festival
Friday, July 28th; Saturday, July 29th; Sunday, July 30th
Elements by BangOn! NYC
Saturday, August 12th and Sunday, August 13th
Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th