New York City Summer Events

Summer is the season when the city really comes alive, with seemingly endless rosters of cultural and foodie events to enjoy. From checking out a film on the Hudson River or in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park, to sampling the city’s absolute best streetcar-food, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you busy during the summer months in NYC.

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Image courtesy of Noralanning for wikimedia.org

SummerStage
June 2nd – September 27th, 2018
Click here for a full schedule, locations, and to purchase tickets
This beloved city festival brings over 100 musical events, many of which are free, to parks all over the city. Major draws this year include Broken Social Scene, Porches, Sunflower Bean, and Crumb.

Summergarden
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street b/t 5th and 6th Avenues
New York, NY 10019
July 8th to July 29th,  2018
Click here for a full schedule
The Museum of Modern Art’s highly-anticipated summer concert series features the best of the city’s live jazz and classical music in the museum’s sculpture garden. The concerts are all free, with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. The garden opens at 7PM, with the concert begins at 8PM, and typically reaches maximum capacity.

Hudson RiverFlick
Piers 46 and 63 at Hudson River Park
353 West Street at 12th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
July 11th – August 24th, 2018
This twice-weekly summer series is made up of “Big Hit Wednesdays” featuring box-office favorites like Get Out and Lady Bird and “Family Fridays” featuring classics like Jumanji and Karate Kid. The films screen on two Hudson River piers, timed to perfectly coincide with the river-side sunset.

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Image courtesy of socratessculpturepark.org

Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Boulevard at Broadway
Long Island City, NY 11106
July 11th – August 29th, 2018
Astoria’s sculpture park puts on this annual event dedicated to independent and international cinema. This year features films from France, India, Turkey and more. Best of all, you can enjoy them in the company of the city’s most interesting sculptural installations.

Fire Island Dance Festival
July 20th – 22nd, 2018
Click here for a full schedule, locations, and to purchase tickets
A diverse roster of the city’s best dancers will show off their moves on a waterfront stage at this fundraiser hosted by Dancers Responding to AIDS. The festival will be hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba from Dancing with the Stars.

NYC Restaurant Week
July 23th – August 17th, 2018
Schedule and locations will be available here as of July 9th
This twice-annual celebration of NYC’s unparalleled dining scene lets you explore over 380 of the city’s swankiest restaurants at a seriously-reduced cost. This year, enjoy a two-course lunch for $26 or a 3-course dinner for $42, with specialty wines, cocktails and beers available at an additional cost. Tickets go on sale July 9th; click here to book your table.

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Image courtesy of lincolncenter.org

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Lincoln Center
July 24th – August 12th, 2018
This free, three-week long celebration of the city’s best music, film, and dance offers incredible cultural experiences every day. This year’s highlights include an NPR event dedicated to female songwriters and Peter Wolf of the J. Gelis Band.

Asian American International Film Festival
July 25th – August 4th, 2018
Click here for a full schedule, locations, and to purchase tickets.
Featuring 100 narrative shorts, documentaries, and music videos, this event will showcase some of the best work by filmmakers of the Asian diaspora. For many of these filmmakers, this will be their US premiere, making it an unmissable event.

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Image courtesy of govisland.com

NYC Poetry Festival
Governors Island Colonels Row
July 28th – 29th, 2018
More than 200 of the city’s finest poets and 50 associated organizations will descend upon Governors Island to celebrate the craft of perfectly stringing words together.

Summer Streets
Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park
August 4th – 18th, 2018
On three Saturdays in August, from 7AM to 1PM, Park Avenue and connecting streets leading from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park will be shut off to cars and available for anyone wishing to bike, walk, dance or dawdle on the streets. Along the way, you can enjoy musical performances, a rock-climbing wall, and more.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
August 11th – 12th, 2018
Watch 180 dragon-boat teams from all over the world gather in this Queens park to race in this beloved event. Then enjoy a multicultural celebration complete with traditional Chinese foods, musical performances and martial arts demonstrations.

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Image courtesy of hudsonriverpark.org

Hudson River Park Blues BBQ Festival
Hudson River Park’s Pier 97
Hudson River Greenway
New York, NY 10014
August 18th, 2018
Enjoy the sounds of America’s finest blues musicians while you sample some seriously delicious barbecue, including Might Quinn’s and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Marcus Garvey Park
6316 Mount Morris Park West
New York, NY 10027
August 23rd – 26th, 2018
This 26th-annual celebration of acclaimed jazz musician Charlie Parker gathers veteran and up-and-coming musicians alike in a vibrant display of old and new musical traditions.

Jazz Age Lawn Party 2018
Governors Island
August 25th – 26th, 2018
Travel back in time to the 1920s at this Governors Island blowout event, where you can drink cocktails, enjoy picnic food, and show off your best moves to live jazz music.

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Image via Sound Check at afropunk.com

Afropunk
Commodore Barry Park
Flushing Avenue & North Elliot Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
August 25th – 26th, 2018
Arguably the coolest musical event in the city, Afropunk’s lineup is better than ever, featuring Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe, Tyler the Creator and more.

New York International Salsa Congress
New York Marriott Marquis
1535 Broadway at 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
August 30th – September 3rd, 2018
Click here for the schedule and to buy tickets This event celebrates all things Latin dance, music, and culture and attracts top talent from more than 40 countries. Featuring live concerts, performance showcases, dance workshops and more, this event is for professionals and beginners alike!

West Indian American Day
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
September 3rd, 2018
More than a million spectators gather annually for this celebration of NYC’s vibrant Caribbean community. It’s a feast for the senses featuring reggae music, delicious food, art, clothing, jewelry, and more for sale by dozens of vendors.

World Maker Faire New York
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street at the Avenue of Sciences
New York, NY 11368
September 22nd  – 23rd, 2018
Indulge your science brain at this festival featuring hundreds of exhibits that celebrate the best of human innovation and creativity.

The Vendy Awards
September 22nd, 2018
Governors Island
This famous food event is a five-hour celebration of the city’s finest street food. Carefully curated based on a thorough nomination and voting process, the Vendy Award provides mouthwatering delicacies from all different cuisines.

 

Header image courtesy of Carli Jeen on Unsplash.

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