Must-See Jamaica Bay: Arts and Entertainment

Outdoors & Recreation

by Alyssa Grossman, 05/15/2012

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It's no secret that the five boroughs are home to some of the greatest arts and entertainment offerings in the world. If you've overlooked Jamaica Bay while making summer plans, it's time to take another look. Family-friendly puppet shows, movie screenings and festivals take over the area's parks and beaches throughout the summer, providing endless ways to enjoy the season.

Below are just a few of Jamaica Bay's most popular events. For a full list of activities, visit and

June 4
New York Restoration Project Movie Night at Beach 17th Street Stage
Pack a blanket and a picnic dinner and head to the waterfront for a free screening of the family-friendly film, Finding Nemo. Moviegoers can also snack on popcorn during the show, courtesy of NYRP. For more information, visit the organization's Facebook page.

July 24
Movies Under the Stars: Brave at Beach 108th Street
Spend a summer evening on the beach watching this kid-friendly animated film about a young Scottish princess' struggle to save her kingdom. The move will begin at dusk.

July 27 and 28
The Hip to Hip Shakespeare Company presents The Tempest at Beach 17th Street Stage
See a local rendition of Shakespeare's classic, adapted for young audiences and adults alike. Complimentary theater activities for families with kids take place half an hour before the show, so get there early to take part in all the offerings. The show begins at 7pm. For more information, visit

July 30
Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Pattycake Theatre at Beach 96th Street
This timeless fairytale comes to Rockaway Beach. The multilingual theater company will put on a waterfront show at 11am, geared toward parents and children.  

July 9
Opening Water Festival at Beach 108th Street
Head to the Rockaways beach and boardwalk for an afternoon packed with family-friendly activities. Kids can check out a water slide, slip and slide and moonwalk and snack on cotton candy and popcorn. An area fire department will also be on hand, fueling the rides with 500 gallons of water from their truck and handing out giveaways to festivalgoers. The event runs from 11am–1pm.

July 16
Hip Pickles at Beach 96th Street
This award-winning drum band heads to the beach for an afternoon show. Swing by and see these "drum ensemble world champions" in person from 11am–1pm. For more information on the band, visit

August 9
Second Annual Sandcastle Competition at Rockaway Beach 
Hit the sand for a day in the sun that's packed with games and impressive feats of sandcastle creation. The celebration starts at 2pm with an after party at local bar Rippers. For more information, visit

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Rockaway Beach
    Beach 2nd St (to Beach 149th St)
    Queens – The Rockaways
    NY 11693
  2. 2
    Bayswater Park
    Dwight Ave. to Seagirt Blvd.
  3. 3
    Jacob Riis Park
    157 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
    NY 11694

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