Best of Summer in NYC

Nekeifa Sylvester

Summer in NYC is a different experience than summer anywhere else in the world. As the spring showers end and the City heats up—literally and figuratively—so comes an influx of events around the five boroughs. Locals and visitors enjoy popular events such as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, Shakespeare in the Park and casual outings such as relaxing on one of the City’s many beaches. Here are some of the other hotly anticipated highlights of the season.

Yankee Stadium. Courtesy, New York Yankees

The Bronx

Ailey II: Freedom Series at Wave Hill
June 21

Celebrate the first day of summer with this live dance performance from the renowned troupe. The event takes place at Wave Hill, a stunning public garden in the northwest Bronx along the Hudson River. Visitors should also take time to visit the attraction’s flower gardens, alpine house, greenhouses and cultural center.

New York Botanical Garden (Sponsored)
June 4–September 11

Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love is a celebration of the plants that we eat. This summer, NYBG will be growing edible plants from all over the world, delving into the science behind these plants and inviting Bronx artists to design picnic tables that tell their own stories about foods and food traditions. This feast for the senses acknowledges how our food choices impact the world around us and how the foods we share cross cultural boundaries to bring us together.

Bronx Brewery
Daily, ongoing

Enjoy the weather—and a great local ale—at this craft brewery. Bronx Brewery is a much-beloved local business that’s clearly invested in the art of hospitality, and with guest DJs spinning tunes in the venue’s extensive backyard, the Bronx location is the perfect summer spot to enjoy electric energy with friends.

Bronx Night Market
Last Saturday of the month, through November

The popular experience returns, offering great food, shopping, performances and much more. The open-air market showcases the vibrancy of the borough, with games, live music and dozens of arts and crafts merchants at each edition.

New York Yankees Game
Through October 2

Nothing says summer in the City quite like taking in a few hours of baseball. Head to the northernmost borough to see the Bronx Bombers in action. Sit back with a hot dog and a cold beverage of your choice, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon or evening game.

Coney Island. Photo: Victor Llorente

Brooklyn

Celebrate Brooklyn!
June 8–August 6

BRIC Arts’ annual summer concert series is among the most popular in NYC, and takes place in Prospect Park with both free and ticketed events. This year’s lineup includes artists such as rapper Vic Mensa, soul singer Erykah Badu and Afrobeat star Davido.

Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech at Brooklyn Museum
July 1, 2022–January 23, 2023

The Brooklyn Museum celebrates the life of the renowned American designer through this new exhibit. The show highlights key moments in Abloh’s career, including his collaborations with Kanye West and Takashi Murakami; the creation of his Off-White label; and his work as the first Black menswear creative director for Louis Vuitton.

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West Indian American Day Carnival
September 5

Bringing over a million people to central Brooklyn, this annual festival is the largest of its kind in North America. Get lost in the rhythms and vibes of Caribbean culture during a weekend of parties and live performances, culminating in an all-day parade designed to replicate the carnival celebrations that takes place throughout the islands. Come out to “take a lime” while sampling island delicacies from food vendors along Eastern Parkway and celebrating the cultures of Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada, Haiti, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and so many more.

Coney Island
Ongoing

A classic destination for summertime fun, Coney Island features attractions such as the famed Cyclone roller coaster, Luna Park and Brooklyn Cyclones baseball—the borough’s very own minor league sluggers. Don’t miss the beach or boardwalk, either—both classic NYC experiences.

Dumbo
Ongoing

This neighborhood on the East River—whose name is an acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”—features plenty of popular attractions. Those include the Time Out Market, an indoor food hall with a variety of restaurants, and Jane’s Carousel, an ornate children’s merry-go-round in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Governors Island. Courtesy, Collective Retreats

Manhattan

Capital One City Parks Foundation – SummerStage
June 4–September 26

SummerStage returns to Central Park, as well as to a number of other parks across the City. This season-long outdoor concert series features diverse musical performances, including hip-hop, salsa, Afrobeat, indie rock, jazz, soul and pop. The summer lineup includes George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Big Freedia and Shatta Wale.

City Winery (Sponsored)
Ongoing

Indulge your senses this summer at City Winery NYC, home to a restaurant and two performance spaces that also serve food. The venue, which overlooks the Hudson River, offers lunch, dinner, wine and music seven days a week. Sunday Fundays start with a Strawberry Fields: Ultimate Beatles Brunch concert at noon every week.

The DiscOasis (Sponsored)
June 16–October 1

The DiscOasis is more than a skating rink—it’s a glittering roller-disco paradise in Central Park’s iconic Wollman Rink. The immersive experience features dancing, roller-skating, live performances, DJs and a sonic experience created by legendary groovemaster Nile Rodgers. The good times begin June 16 and run for a limited engagement; tickets start at $17.

Hershey’s Chocolate World (Sponsored)
Ongoing

Unwrap a chocolate adventure at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Shop for your favorites and discover new ones found only at this location. Let your imagination run wild as you mix and match your favorite Hershey’s products at the Amazing Candy Machine, or get creative and design your own personalized Hershey’s chocolate-bar wrapper. Delicious treats include warm, melty S’mores and one-of-a-kind beverages such as the Reese’s Peanut Butter milkshake.

Margaritaville Resort Times Square (Sponsored)
Ongoing

Margaritaville Resort Times Square offers three food-and-beverage locations open to the public. Margaritaville Restaurant transports you to a vacation state of mind with its Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano Nachos and signature island-inspired dishes plus a wide selection of cool concoctions. LandShark Bar & Grill features American beach food, cold beer and fabulous frozen drinks, right beside the only year-round outdoor pool in Times Square. The 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, on the top floors, provides sprawling views of the City to those looking for a quick bite or craft cocktail.

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One World Observatory (Sponsored)
Ongoing

One World Observatory offers up a sensory experience like no other—it’s not simply about the sightlines. It’s the feel of downtown Manhattan, the taste of fine dining and the rush of discovery. Whether you’re a born-and-bred New Yorker or on the trip of a lifetime, you’ll savor every second. Discover world-class dining, impeccable service and, of course, the ultimate New York City skyline.

Tribeca Festival
June 8–19

Enjoy a wide variety of filmic fare, including world premieres courtesy of directors from around the globe. A sampling of this year’s stories include Loudmouth, a documentary about the life of Al Sharpton; Vengeance, directed by B.J. Novak, which concerns a journalist’s investigation of the death of a young woman; Land of Gold, about a Punjabi truck driver whose life changes upon finding an undocumented stowaway in a shipping container at work; and Aisha, which follows a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland.

National Puerto Rican Day Parade
June 12

This annual celebration of Puerto Rican culture energizes NYC in a way that no other event can. Streets across the boroughs come alive as proud New Yorkers fly Puerto Rican flags from their cars and apartment windows. The actual parade takes place from 44th to 79th Streets on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and includes floats, dancers, bands, DJs and food vendors.

Harlem Week
August 12–21

Harlem is known worldwide for its arts, culture, food and style. This annual summertime festival celebrates the neighborhood with a series of events, including musical performances, art exhibits, dance workshops and a 5K run.

Glamping on Governors Island
Ongoing

Plan a luxurious camping getaway, one that includes views of the Manhattan skyline. Easily (and only) accessible via ferry, Collective Retreats’ location on Governors Island features the sort of accommodations you might be more used to finding in a five-star hotel, including farm-to-table dining, live music and a spa.

Courtesy, Let's Get FR.EE. Photo: Driely S

Queens

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
July 31

Get a taste of Jamaican culture at the 10th edition of this event, which takes place at Roy Wilkins Park. (This year the festival also celebrates the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence, as well as Grace Foods’ centennial.) Enjoy culinary delights by celebrity chefs such as Troy Levy of the Food Network’s Cooks vs. Cons and Andre Fowles, culinary director of local Jamaican spot Miss Lily’s and a Chopped champion. Musical performances, a fashion show and a kid-friendly bounce house round out the entertainment.

Let’s Get FR.EE
August 20–21

Performers at this major two-day event in Flushing Meadows Corona Park include the likes of Missy Elliot, Jhené Aiko, Wizkid and Mr. Eazi. Dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, the festival focuses on promoting the next generation of creatives, activists and innovators.

US Open Tennis Championships
August 29–September 11

A perennial summertime highlight, the US Open is held each year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. Come out to see competitions between the world’s greatest tennis players—defending singles’ champs Emma Raducanu and Daniil Medvedev among them. The main matches take place in Arthur Ashe and Louis J. Armstrong stadiums; singles and doubles events take place in smaller courts throughout the grounds. Note that you can also attend qualifying matches August 23–26 and that August 27 is Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, usually a time to see a couple of famous players up close.

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New York Mets Game
Through October 5

Head to Citi Field to see NYC’s younger Major League Baseball franchise in action. Before catching a game in Flushing, avid fans will want to visit the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and Mets Hall of Fame & Museum. You can also venture by the bullpen to see players warming up before the game.

Queens Night Market
Saturdays, ongoing

This event, which takes place on Saturday evenings from 5pm to midnight, brings art, food and live performances to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, attracting guests from all over NYC—and travelers from all over the world. With over 50 food vendors, there’s little chance of your leaving hungry; enjoy items like Colombian arepas, Japanese ramen, Salvadoran pupusas and so much more. Marketgoers can also expect to find vendors selling clothing, bags, jewelry and other handcrafted goods.

Uncorked! Food and Wine Festival. Courtesy, Historic Richmond Town.

Staten Island

Uncorked! Food and Wine Festival
June 11

The cream of Staten Island’s culinary scene showcases their skills on the grounds of Historic Richmond Town, the borough’s living-history colonial village. More than 40 restaurants, wineries and breweries will participate. Vendors can vie to win in four categories: Best Dish, Best Dessert, Best Display and the Pam Silvestri Award for Best Local Ingredients.

Juneteenth Freedom Festival
June 18–19

The Jubilee Collective, in partnership with the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and the National Lighthouse Museum, will host a Juneteenth festival in commemoration of the day that the last enslaved people were emancipated in the United States. This free outdoors two-day event begins with a Freedom Parade on Saturday, a reenactment of the announcement of freedom to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Sunday's activities are centered around the arts, health and wellness, and fashion. There will also be an installation in honor of Father's Day with interactive games, haircuts and more.

Staten Island Philharmonic Performance
July 3

Concertgoers can nestle on the grass of the Great Lawn at Conference House Park and listen to some of the borough’s finest musicians in a free performance. The Philharmonic’s repertoire includes classical and contemporary music, as well as works by Staten Island composers. This late afternoon concert on the borough’s south shore takes place near Conference House, the landmark location where Benjamin Franklin and John Adams met with British forces during the Revolutionary War.

Staten Island FerryHawks
Through September 18

The City’s southernmost borough welcomed a new independent baseball franchise this spring: the Staten Island FerryHawks. (For more on the team’s genesis, read our in-depth feature.) Part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, the FerryHawks play out of SIUH Community Park (formerly Richmond County Bank Ballpark) on the St. George waterfront. In addition to seeing great sportsmanship and exciting games, fans can expect absolutely unbeatable views.

The Alice Austen House – 144 Powers: Selected Works by Paul Mpagi Sepuya
June 14–September 19

This summer, the Staten Island museum—former home of pioneering photographer Alice Austen—will showcase images by California-based artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya, whose startlingly intimate works play with fragmentation, the human body and self-portraiture. Visitors will also want to see photographs by the museum’s eponym. Now recognized as an LGBTQ+ icon, Alice Austen photographed New York’s immigrant population in the 1890s, Victorian women’s social activities and more.


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