Fourth of July Weekend Activities


by Christina Parrella, 07/03/2012

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After the big Independence Day celebration, summer diversions and activities—art, entertainment, food, music—continue in earnest throughout the City. 

Participate in a Keith Haring sidewalk chalk mural, watch short films at Coney Island or, if you've got a hankering for all things grilled, attend the two-day Cook Out NYC at Governors Island. Check out our full list below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for even more events.

July 6–9

Friday, July 6
First Fridays: Summer in the Garden at The Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum celebrates the life of artist Isamu Noguchi and the magnificent sculpture and art he created. During the summer, on the first Friday of each month, the institution offers extended hours and free admission to visitors. Walk through its scenic outdoor sculpture garden and the stunning permanent collection in the museum's galleries. At 6pm, the Summer in the Garden series will feature Center of Attention, a discussion focused on a single work in the collection, followed at 7pm by two short design- and architecture-themed films. The museum will remain open until 8pm. For more information, visit

Friday, July 6
First Friday! Film Night at The Bronx Museum of the Arts 
Head to Joyce Kilmer Park for Bronx Afro-Cuban Film Night—part of The Bronx Museum of the Arts' First Friday! Film Night series—to celebrate the history of African and Cuban communities through movie screenings and music performances. Screening that evening are Young Rebels, which documents the rising hip-hop and youth culture of contemporary Cuba, and Freddy Ilanga: Che's Swahili Translator, which tells the story of Che Guevara's personal Swahili translator and the effects of the Cuban Revolution on family life. The free event starts at 6pm and also showcases Afro-Cuban ensemble The Cimarrón Project playing rumba, son, pilón, changüí and other genres of Cuban music. For more information, visit

Saturday, July 7
Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum 
"Art is for everyone." This Keith Haring credo is the inspiration for the July edition of the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays series, this month titled "Keith Haring's New York." Take a journey into the 1980s downtown art scene with hands-on activities, music and, of course, art. Visitors can take in avant-garde performances, contribute to a Haring-inspired sidewalk chalk mural and even create their own distinct Haring-esque sculpture. Fashion buffs should take note of the 9pm reading by designer and stylist Maripol of her book Maripol: Little Red Riding Hood, in which she discusses creating some of Madonna's signature looks. The event, from 5 to 11pm, is free, but the sculpture-making activity requires tickets, which are available at the museum's Visitor Center starting at 5:30pm. For more information, visit

Saturday, July 7–Sunday, July 8
Cook Out NYC at Governors Island
With vast amounts of smoked brisket, beef hot dogs and freshly brewed beer, the food options at Cook Out NYC are as endless as the variety of vendors. From 11:30am to 4:30pm, eat your way through the grilled meats from local purveyors, drink craft beer and watch as participants chow down on kimchi tacos at NYC's Second Annual Kimchi-Eating Contest. The fete encompasses music, cooking demos, special guests and even a burger and hot dog cook-off. For more information, visit

Sunday, July 8
Twelfth Night at Battery Park 
The New York Classical Theatre puts a new spin on the classic Bard comedy Twelfth Night (or What You Will), a humorous tale of love and mistaken identity, by changing its setting to New York City in 1900. Relax outside and let the talented cast entertain you against the charming backdrop of Battery Park's historic Castle Clinton. Before the free performance, there will be a special game-filled, educational family workshop where children, ages 7 to 12, and their parents can learn about the play they are about to watch and even get a chance to act from the script. The workshop begins at 5pm; the Twelfth Night performance starts at 7pm. For more information, visit

Sunday, July 8
Summergarden at The Museum of Modern Art 
The Summergarden concert series at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) begins with a soothing performance of classical music by members of the New Juilliard Ensemble (from The Juilliard School). At the first of this two-part series, the ensemble, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, will perform recent compositions of contemporary music. The free concert takes place in MoMA's Sculpture Garden at 8pm, but arrive before the doors open at 7pm, as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit

Monday, July 9
Books Beneath the Bridge: Brian Francis Slattery at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1 
Books Beneath the Bridge is an outdoor summer reading series located under the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and curated by local, independent bookstores. The programs, which are free, each include an intimate reading, Q&A and book signing with authors. Brian Francis Slattery will kick off the inaugural event with a reading from his new novel, Lost Everything—an exhilarating post-apocalyptic tale—and a performance with his acoustic band. The evening, presented by Freebird Books and Goods, begins at 7pm. For more information, visit

Monday, July 9
Edge of the City: Underground NY Shorts By the Sea at Coney Island Flicks on the Beach at Coney Island Boardwalk 
Edge of the City: Underground NY Shorts By the Sea is a collection of independent short films, including The Best Thing I Ever Done—an endearing account of Domenico DeMarco, owner of the legendary pizza shop Di Fara—and A Man Named Magick, about a charismatic Midtown magic-shop owner. The free showcase begins at 8:30pm. For more information, see our article "Summer Screenings: Rooftop Films in NYC".

related venues/(8)

  1. 1
    The Noguchi Museum
    9 - 01 33rd Rd. @ Vernon Blvd.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  2. 2
    The Bronx Museum of the Arts
    1040 Grand Concourse
    Bronx – South Bronx
    NY 10456
  3. 3
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11238
  1. 4
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  2. 5
    Battery Park
    State St
    Manhattan – Financial District
  3. 6
    The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
    11 W. 53rd St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  1. 7
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
    Furman and Old Fulton Sts
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  2. 8
    Coney Island Boardwalk
    Boardwalk and W 8th St
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11224

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