Summer party guide to NYC: 50 great parties and nights out

Whether you want to dance to music by a world-beating DJ, or prefer a sophisticated evening under the stars, we have the right summer party for you.

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  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Put on your dancing flip-flops and don your shades: We’ve got 50 great reasons to go out and experience New York’s summer nightlife scene. You can catch red-hot spinners deejaying dance music at outdoor parties, or attend a cultured, alfresco summer party with music and mingling at institutions like the New York Botanical Garden or MoMA. Plus, catch a burlesque show or try something out of the ordinary like a glow-in-the-dark run and dance party.—Written by Nora Devin, Tim Lowery, Marley Lynch, Jonathan Shannon, Raven Snook, Benjamin Solomon, Bruce Tantum and Jennifer M. Wood.

    RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide

    Click through this slide show to see all 50 parties and nights out, or use the link below to see our summer party guide as a list.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    1. Warm Up

    There are museum parties, and then there’s this seasonal essential. For the last 16 years, the contemporary-art institution in Long Island City has thrown a daytime wingding in its concrete-walled school yard, allowing a diverse cross section of New Yorkers to revel in the combination of art, music and food, the latter courtesy of the lauded M. Wells Dinette. World-class DJs and musicians from across the spectrum headline the event, including a prime mover of the U.K. dubstep scene, Kode9 (Sat 20), and acid-house legend A Guy Called Gerald (Sat 27). They perform overlooking the Young Architects Program’s annual commission in the courtyard; this year, the coveted design-world prize was awarded to Ithaca, New York’s CODA studio for Party Wall. The massive structure is built from skateboard scraps and features pools, geysers and plenty of shady spots for chilling. Pro tip: Avoid the intimidating lines by snagging advance tickets. MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-784-2084, momaps1.org). Sat 3–9pm; $18, advance $15. Through Sept 7.

    Check out the scene at the Warm Up 2013 season opener

    See all of the big 5 summer parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Phil Sharp

    2. Disclosure + TNGHT + Julio Bashmore

    Young duo Disclosure, pictured, is currently riding an extreme wave of hype following the release of its debut album, Settle; music outlets seem to have reached a consensus that it’s (already) the best dance record of the year. Believe the buzz: The Brits’ sleek garage-house sound is fresh, bouncy and could rouse a dance floor from the dead—reports from the road confirm that the siblings’ live set is a guaranteed blowout. Also on hand at this open-air gig in one of our favorite summer concert venues: Kanye West–approved production superduo TNGHT, creators of gigantic, futuristic anthem “Higher Ground,” and U.K. house-music favorite Julio Bashmore. Tickets are (understandably) already gone, but we have faith you’ll find a workaround. Central Park SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St (summerstage.org). Aug 6 at 6pm; sold out.

    See all of the big 5 summer parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    3. Jazz Age Lawn Party

    Now in its eighth year, this party has lasted almost as long as the era it celebrates. Step off the Governors Island ferry to join a scene of mostly appropriately attired gentlemen and ladies romping about the lush and historic backdrop of Colonels Row. Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra provide the soundtrack, while vaudeville acts such as the Dreamland Follies and dance troupes like Roddy Caravella and the Canarsie Wobblers entertain. Other attractions include a 1920s car show, a Charleston dance competition, working gramophones and even a good ol’ fashioned pie-baking contest. Decade-appropriate cocktails ($8) and beer ($6) are available, and restaurateur Jimmy Carbone is orchestrating a “Taste of the ’20s” menu. Governors Island (jazzagelawnparty.com). Aug 17, 18 11am–5pm; $35, advance $30.

    See all of the big 5 summer parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Elyssa Goodman

    4. Verboten: StageOne Presents Somewhere in BKN

    Following the teched-up revelry of its July 4 debut, this plus-size outdoor affair returns to the Williamsburg waterfront. Musically, this edition will be out of the ordinary: The Cadenza label’s Luciano plays a back-to-back set with Detroit innovator Carl Craig, the former’s crisp house nestling up against the latter’s sometimes-spiky techno. French producer Agoria gets in on the action—but the real wild card is Craig’s fellow Motor City vet Moodyman, the iconoclastic and mercurial DJ-producer who’s as likely to play real-deal soul and disco as he is underground club beats. 5 North 11th St at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (verbotennewyork.com/stageone). Sat 27 2–10pm; $50–$60.

    See all of the big 5 summer parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Scott Kowalchyk

    5. Electric Zoo

    The outdoor EDM megabash celebrates its fifth anniversary on Randalls Island this Labor Day weekend. And the onslaught of DJs, artists and beat makers is as diverse as ever, touching on stadium-sized trance techno (Tiësto), aggro-dubstep (Excision), Burning Man vibes (Bassnectar), dancehall (Diplo) and the sounds of more than 140 other acts. Randalls Island (madeevent.com/electriczoo). Aug 30–Sept 1, 11am–11pm; one-day $139–$159, three-day pass $359–$1,199.

    Check out our day-by-day itinerary for Electric Zoo

    See all of the big 5 summer parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    6. Dark Disco: Star Slinger

    Besides having the distinction of being held in a big-ass dim sum restaurant—Chinatown’s 88 Palace, to be precise—this MeanRed production is also a serious contender for the title of messiest, drunkest and most fun shindig around. This month’s guest is Manchester, U.K., producer Star Slinger, a lauded remixer who’s added his golden touch to Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding joints, to name but a few. We’ll wager his record box (or Serato folder, whatever) is packed with fun reworkings of tunes that’ll never get the sample clearance to see the light of day. Arrive promptly for resident duo DKDS, who won’t waste a moment to rev up the crowd. 88 East Broadway between Forsyth and Market Sts (meanredproductions.com). Fri 19 at 11pm; $15–$20. Advance tickets available at ticketfly.com.

    See all summer dance parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Courtesy Mad Decent Block Party

    7. Mad Decent Block Party

    The Diplo-fronted label embarks on a 13-city megatour, leaving blown minds, speakers and eardrums in its wake. Work your hookups, since the New York stop is sold out—no surprise no surprise considering the stacked lineup of the party-wrecking Major Lazer, riotous local pair Matt & Kim, moombahton maverick Dillon Francis, every-style-including-the-kitchen-sink DJ–production duo Flosstradamus and more. Given last year’s washout that cancelled Major Lazer’s set, plan on making an offering to the rain gods before setting out. Williamsburg Park, 50 Kent Ave at North 12th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (maddecentblockparty.com). Aug 10 at 1pm; sold out.

    See all summer dance parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    8. Mister Sunday

    There are few better ways to spend a Sunday than on the banks of the Gowanus Canal in the company of impresarios and DJs Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, playing the odd game of Ping-Pong, and hanging with friends over Brooklyn Brewery beers and Country Boys tacos on shaded picnic tables. The pair have moved away from the big-name guest spinners they book for their Mister Saturday Night wingdings—and the associated crush this brings—to promote an easygoing vibe every week. But if you think there’ll be no dancing, you’re mistaken. Harkin and Carter’s choice underground house, disco and techno cuts can get anyone grooving under the glitter ball in the grove of poplar trees by the end of the night. If you manage to resist, have a friend check your pulse. Gowanus Grove, 400 Carroll St between Bond and Nevins Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn (mistersaturdaynight.com). Sun at 3pm; $15, advance or on reduced-admission list before 5pm (e-mail mister@mistersaturdaynight.com) $10.

    See all summer dance parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Alex Remnick

    9. Tiki Disco

    When this party began in the backyard of Roberta’s, it was for those in the know. Now in its fourth year, it appears that word has spread far and wide, with this summer’s installments drawing huge crowds to the Knockdown Center—an ex-factory and courtyard in the Queens-Brooklyn border badlands. The throwdown—featuring a photogenic, beer-swilling crowd and Eli Escobar, Lloydski and Andy Pry’s boogie-friendly disco, pop and new wave selections—has stops at Rippers in the Rockaways, Roberta’s, Output and the Knockdown Center scheduled. Check the website for updates, and for information on free shuttles from the Jefferson L stop to the Queens locations. Various locations and dates, visit tikidisco.tumblr.com for details. Sun 2–10pm; free. Through Sept 15.

    See all summer dance parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Ignacio Soltero

    10. Tools of War

    Ignore the violent name: This true-school crew serves up good-time, family-friendly (that’s cursing- and misogyny-free) sessions of classic hip-hop in twouptown parks, that draw Bronxites, B-boy and -girls and foreign hip-hop heads on a pilgrimage. Crotona Park Jams (Crotona Park Amphitheater, Crotona Park East at Charlotte St, Bronx; Thu 18, Thu 25, Aug 1 4–8pm; free), celebrating its tenth anniversary, hosts pioneers of the genre to spin throwback joints from the 1970s and ’80s. In August, Digger's Delight (St. Nicholas Park, enter on St. Nicholas Ave at 135th St; Aug 6, 13, 20, 27 4–8pm; free) invites DJs with rare record collections to taunt your Shazam app in a Harlem plaza. Both parties rotate the four guest spinners every half hour, so even if you turn up later, you’ll get to hear every legend. Visit @ToolsofWarJams on Twitter for lineups and more information.

    See all summer dance parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Mads Perch

    11. Top club: Output

    Open for just over half a year, this multiroom Billyburg boîte may not be a scene-defining venue like Berlin’s Panorama Bar or London’s Fabric, but it’s a great addition to Gotham’s nightlife tapestry, and here’s why.

    1. The DJs: Including originators such as disco godfather Giorgio Moroder, cutting-edge postdubsteppers such as Zomby (Thu 18) and local heroes à la James “LCD Soundsystem” Murphy (Thu 25), Output’s run of sonic sorcerers is unparalleled.

    2. The parties: Nearly all of NYC’s top crews (Blkmarket Membership, ReSolute, 718 Sessions, to name but a few) have passed through. Next up are Rustie, courtesy of MeanRed (Wed 24), and techno-oriented bash the Bunker (Sat 27, Aug 2).

    3. The sound: It’s big, bass-heavy and badass: The Funktion-One system has to be considered one of the city’s top aural-delivery setups.

    4. The rooftop: With the opening of the admittedly sparse topper, day-into-night shindigs became a great way to start the party early; the stellar view of Manhattan is a bonus.

    5. The no-photos rule: The policy can seem a bit oppressive, but isn’t it nice that there’s no vibe-killing, shutterbug-attracting buffoonery taking up space on the dance floor? And isn’t it great that your coworkers won’t be gawking at incriminating photos of you the next day?

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    12. New York Made

    After the damage wrought to Randalls Island by heavy rains in June, Made Event’s benefit party for three local institutions (the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Mariachi Academy of New York and Urban Farm, a Randalls Island Park Alliance program) was moved to the sandy dance floor and illuminated palm trees of Governors Island’s beach club, where Made held a series of high-jinksy blowouts last year. Headlining are three superstars who go way back in the NYC club scene—Danny Tenaglia, tech titan Victor Calderone and the U.K.’s John Digweed—and local favorites Wolf + Lamb and Sleepy & Boo work the crowd early. Governors Beach Club (212-896-4600, governorsbeachclub.com). Aug 3 4pm–midnight; $45, advance tickets available at madeevent.com.

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    13. Bikes in the Kitchen presents Friender Blender

    Eight years ago, Carlos Valpeoz threw a party in the kitchen of his tiny apartment on Myrtle and Classon in Clinton Hill. He used his table as a drum stage, and the attendees crammed into a space inhabited by his 30 bicycles. The vibe? “Rowdy without hospitalization,” says Valpeoz. Now, Bikes in the Kitchen’s venue of choice is typically a BK warehouse, but it will host a family-friendly affair (go on, bring your baby!) at Rockaway Beach’s Rippers concession, which reopened on Memorial Day in a triumphant post-Sandy comeback (other forthcoming events at the beachfront joint include Hissy Fit, from the guys behind queer electropop party Tantrum, and Tiki Disco). The Friender Blender will feature bands and DJs that have a history with the notorious DIY bash, including Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, playing in his side project, Deertrap; the So So Glos; Moondudes (made up of members of Wild Yaks); and several more. Delicious hamburgers and cheap beer will be in abundance. Rippers, Boardwalk at Beach 86th St, Far Rockaway, Queens (86badvibes.com). Sat 20 noon–dark; free. 

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 14. Coney Island Reggae Beach Party

    If you’re getting baked on the beach, time your sunbathing to coincide with Carter Van Pelt’s monthly skankathon, which welcomes local selectors and legends like Clive Chin and Sir Tommy, both due to appear before the season ends. Unsurprisingly, the marathon eight-hour session doesn’t have a heaving dance floor from the first tune to the last, so stake out a spot on the sandÑyou’ll still be able to hear the ska, rocksteady, dub, lovers rock and early dancehall emanating from DJ Chanter’s booming speaker stackÑuntil things pick up in the late afternoon until the sun sets. Listen to Van Pelt’s Saturday show, Eastern Standard Time, on WKCR 89.9 FM (Sat 8am–noon) to get the latest information on guest DJs. Boardwalk at W 21st St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (facebook.com/groups/coneyislandreggae). Sat 27, Aug 25 noon–8pm; free.

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Jena Cumbo

    15. Shark

    For the third consecutive summer, gay-throwdown promoter Josh Wood is collaborating with Jared Needle to take over the Beach, Dream Downtown’s outdoor pool area, for afternoons filled with some of the city’s studliest party boys. These muscled men may not get in the water that often—how would they show off their new flat-brimmed baseball caps and matching high-tops?—but they certainly look good sitting around it. (Don’t worry, it’s not all shade.) Guest DJs like W. Jeremy and Gustavo pump up the crowd with beachy disco while host Marco Ovando helps bring a little Fire Island–style relaxation to the überhip party space. 355 W 16th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-229-2559, joshwoodproductions.com). Sun 5:30–9pm; free. Through Sept.

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    16. Coney Island Dancers Boardwalk Party

    The C.I.D. have been getting down by the beach since 1996, but the sunshine-drenched vibe harks back even further, to the music of ’70s and ’80s trend-setting club Paradise Garage. This summer, the community-minded group are holding more hoedowns than ever before, with Thursday to Saturday covered, plus the occasional bonus boogiefest on Monday or Wednesday. And while most visitors to the shore just stop to gawk, you should join the dedicated members who’ll be grooving hard to veteran New York DJs slinging soulful house, disco and classics. Boardwalk at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (coneyislanddancers.com). Various dates and times, visit the website for details. Free.

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Adela Loconte

    17. Shake It Up Sundays

    Arepa bar Caracas Rockaway finished its Sandy repairs this June and is planning a weekly excuse for you to make it out to this far-flung beach. Munch on arepas (duh), empanadas and plantains ($4–$8) and quench your thirst with fresh juice, beer or frozen sangrias ($4–$12) from the shaded concession stand while DJ Rata curates guest spinners and bands to provide a beachy soundtrack of R&B, boogaloo, rockabilly, surf, doo-wop, swing, breaks, cumbia and more. If you’re always nursing a hangover on Sundays (and believe us, we hear you), try Friday’s Rockaway Vacation for an eclectic playlist spun by neighborhood residents Taka (the flag-waving member of Gang Gang Dance) and Take, or Saturday’s rotating program of live music by an array of bands and DJs. Boardwalk at Beach 106th St, Far Rockaway, Queens (caracasarepabar.com). Sun noon–10pm; free.

    See all summer beach and pool parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Steven Chychota

    18. Set Sail

    Williamsburg club TBA Brooklyn teams with the DJ-promotions crew SOUP NYC to bring San Franciscan deep-house duo Dubtribe Sound System to the Hudson River, the first time the pair will have dropped one of their lush, flower-power live sets in NYC since 2011. Sunshine and Moonbeam—real names—will set up their laptops, keyboards and mikes on the floor among the crowd on the top outdoor deck—we’re betting sunset will be particularly magical. Ably supporting is another West Coaster, with roots in the New York scene (he played the infamous Disco 2000 party and regularly spins at Output today), the don of deep and jacking beats, Doc Martin. Departs Circle Line Pier 83, W 42nd St at the Hudson River. Aug 3 5–10pm; $25–$35. Advance tickets available through residentadvisor.net.

    See all summer boat parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Muema/BounceFMcom

    19. Soul Alliance Boat Party

    It’s Danny Krivit and Joaquin “Joe” Claussell’s hands on the decks at this annual voyage, as they navigate the waters with classic soulful house as their North Star. Krivit, who deejays the monthly tea party 718 Sessions, and Claussell, of Sacred Rhythms, (the two also make up the trio Body & Soul with François K) have been spinning in NYC for decades and built a dedicated following of party people from all different races, age groups and sexualities, coming together just to dance and have a good, good time. They create one of the city’s best vibes, so (with apologies to Pharoahe Monch) if you’re holding up the wall, then you’re missing the point (and harshing the buzz). To experience this scene (and every New Yorker should), buy tickets early—last year’s sold out; this one will too. Departs Circle Line Pier 83, W 42nd St at the Hudson River (dannykrivit.net). Aug 4 8:30–11:30pm. Advance tickets available at clubtickets.com.

    See all summer boat parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 20. .WAVs Summer Cruise Series First Launch

    The first iteration of this fourth-Friday-of-the-month bash looks certain to make a splash, bringing three top names to the bi-level vessel: Switch, the DJ-producer who cofounded Major Lazer, and Alan Palomo of Neon Indian fame spinning on the upper outdoor deck; while turntable royalty Grandmaster Flash (just don’t push him, he’s close to the edge of the boat) heads up the bill below deck. The support’s nothing to sniff at either, with producer of lush, downtempo house Octo Octa turning in a live performance. August’s edition is shaping up nicely too, with Switch collaborator Sinden, Afrika Bambaataa, a DJ set from members of Ladytron and trap master Grandtheft all on board. Departs Circle Line Pier 83, W 42nd St at the Hudson River. Fri 26, Aug 23 7–11pm; $30–$45. Advance tickets available at heart.dj.

    See all summer boat parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: J.Bobé Photography

    21. Bad

    On Fridays and Saturdays, waiting in line to enter Hotel Chantelle’s three levels of revelry will cut into your valuable dancing time, so we recommend Lance Pilgrim and Neky Romero’s weekend-warm-up on Thursdays, when the doorman won’t detain you for long (unless you’re a pack of guys). DJ Lily Vanilli spins an eclectic array of funky tunes and remixes, so even though most of the dressed up or studiously dressed down clientele hangs out around the cluster of bottle-service tables in the middle, spontaneous pockets of dancing break out amid the pretty Parisian-street-lamp lighting. 92 Ludlow St between Broome and Delancey Sts (212-254-9100, hotelchantelle.com). Thu 10pm–4am; free.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    22. Good Vybez Reggae Night

    This low-key Sunday wind-down on hotel King & Grove’s eighth-floor rooftop bar, Upper Elm, boasts a heavily Instagrammed view of the midtown skyline and feels relatively undiscovered, despite its proximity to McCarren Park. Arrive early and you’ll likely share the space with lethargic-looking out-of-towners, but soon friends and acquaintances of DJs Damon DeGraff and 77Klash show up, the rum cocktails take effect, and sporadic wining breaks out to the playlist of reggae one drops, lovers rock and dancehall. It’s how to transition into the work week like a pro. 160 North 12th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7500, kingandgrove.com). Sun 5–10pm; free.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander Paparazzi Extraordinaire

    23. On Top

    If your style is wild enough to satisfy the unpredictable door policy, nothing beats Susanne Bartsch’s hit soiree atop the Standard Hotel. Every Tuesday, Bartsch and her nightlife circus take over the Jacuzzi-sporting club with house music from DJs like A Village Raid and W. Jeremy, and queer performance acts—planned and impromptu. But the real action is up one level on the AstroTurfed roof, where chain-smoking male models, fashion designers and other cool kids are silhouetted against the dramatic skyline. Le Bain, 848 Washington St between Washington St and Tenth Ave (212-645-4646, facebook.com/bartschland). Tue 11pm; free.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Santiago Felipe

    24. SPF Sundays

    Putting their popular gay free-for-all, Griffin Sundays, on hold for the summer, Brian Rafferty and Shawn Paul Mazur have transferred their signature shenanigans from the Meatpacking District to Hell’s Kitchen for this new affair on the Dream Hotel’s 15th-floor rooftop. In tow are the promoters’ regular partners in crime: DJs Corey Craig and Nando spinning dance pop and high-energy house, photographer Santiago Felipe and door girl Roze Black. But the neon-tank-top-loving party boys also have some new treats up their sleeves, like free vodka snow cones (sugarless, thankfully) and boozy cotton candy, which means the playful crowd will be quick to get bombed while enjoying the tropical decor. Ava Lounge, 210 W 55th St between Seventh Ave and Broadway (866-437-3266, raffertymazurevents.com). Sun 3–9pm; free.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    25. Stiletto

    For six years, the place for lipstick lesbians to waste away their summer Sundays has been Maggie C’s popular affair in the Cabanas at the Maritime Hotel. The promotions queen welcomes pop DJs like Brynn Taylor and shErOck, and serves drink specials like Stilittle Girl Shots, loosening up the ladies for an afternoon of scantily clad flirtation. Keep your eye out for special events—June’s Pride edition included a ticket giveaway to Annie on Broadway and a dunk tank. 363 W 16th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-835-5537, maggiecevents.com) Sun 4pm–midnight; free.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Brandon Voss

    26. The Sunday Monocle

    Update: The Sunday Monocle's summer run has been canceled.

    If the male dancers in site-specific Off Broadway hit Sleep No More tickled your fancy, then check out the real-life gay Sunday party at the show’s rooftop garden lounge, Gallow Green, should give you plenty of reason to visit. Brandon Voss, recently escaped from XL Nightclub, teams with veteran scene maker Patrick Duffy, for a sophisticated evening of socializing, with soul grooves courtesy of DJ Jeannie Hopper. They’ve already brought along marquee names like Amanda Lepore and Candis Cayne, which should help them stand out from the increasingly crowded number of gay Sunday offerings. 542 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-904-1883, sleepnomorenyc.com). Next event Sun 28 4–11pm; free. Every other Sunday through September. Reservations recommended.

    See all summer rooftop parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Victor Chu

    27. Cocktail Evenings and Summer Concerts

    Head to the northernmost borough for a Renaissance–style get-together. Settle into New York Botanical Garden’s open-air pavilion for live music inspired by the Boot; the jazzy Marco Pignatoro Quartet (Thu 18) and tenor Micheal Castaldo accompanied by a string quartet (Aug 15). The temporary tent holds seating as well as plenty of room for dancing and mingling. As you sip the botanically inspired cocktail included with your admission, such as the Desert Flower (Crème Yvette, lime juice and tequila or mezcal; additional drinks $5–$8), wander into the conservatory to take in this summer’s “Wild Medicine” exhibition. Arrive early with a picnic basket for a leisurely dinner on the lawn. Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Thu 18, Aug 15 6–9pm; $30, members $20.

    See all summer garden parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 28. Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Summer Concert Series

    We can’t think of a better place to dance the Charleston than the former home of the great Satchmo. These Saturday afternoon concerts in Queens go down in the Louis Armstrong House Museum’s pretty Japanese-inspired garden, a tranquil space with a Koi pond. On Saturday 20, you’ll hear from local quartet Jon-Erik Kellso and the EarRegulars, while the twin-led Peter and Will Anderson Sextet performs August 17. There’s plenty of chairs, but should you choose to dance—and people do—you can do so on the patio. Though no booze is served, your admission gets you a bowl of red beans and rice (the trumpet player’s favorite dish), unlimited sweet tea and (if you purchase tickets in advance, not a bad idea since this year’s first installment sold out) a Historic House Tour pass good for six months. 34-56 107th St between 34th and 37th Aves, Corona, Queens (718-478-8274, louisarmstronghouse.org). Sat 20, Aug 17 2pm; $20, advance $18.

    See all summer garden parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Modern Art

    29. MoMA Nights

    This refined Thursday night performance series boasts top-flight music; indie rock dominates the lineup in July, which boasts garage-pop genius Mikal Cronin (July 18) and dreamy Real Estate spin-off Ducktails (July 25), while August showcases diverse acts to coincide with the exhibitions “Soundings: A Contemporary Score” (the museum’s first show dedicated to sound art) and “American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe.” Relating to the former, hear experimental soundscapes from composer Tristan Perich and Meehan/Perkins Duo (Aug 15), and for the latter, twangy blues from Jerron Paxton (Aug 29), among others. All concerts take place in the sculpture garden for maximum highbrow Instagram bragging. Doors open at 5:30pm, with performances beginning an hour later. Museum admission fees ($25, seniors $18, students $14) apply. 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400, moma.org). Thu 5:30–8pm. $25, seniors $18, students $14, children under 16 free. Through Aug 29.

    See all summer garden parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Aaron Brashear

    30. Drinks to Die For

    Commune with spirits of the fermented kind when Brooklyn Historical Society’s annual summer beer garden takes up temporary residence in Green-Wood Cemetery’s open meadow, as part of a collaboration to celebrate the organizations’ histories and the borough they share. Indulge in Shake Shack custard and Brooklyn Brewery suds ($5) while live bands serenade.

    See all summer garden parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Steve Lunger

    31. Hot Peas & Butta BBQ

    Join this laid-back, Saturday afternoon shindig for a tasty nosh and tastier 45s in the concrete-and-brick back garden of Williamsburg’s Macri Park. DJs from party collective Hot Peas & Butta—Skeme Richards, J-Zone, Amir and Sumida—spin soul and funk classics alongside guests like Monk-One, Prestige and many more. Dominoes and vintage visuals from Richards’s VHS collection add to the throwback vibe, plus Jarobi White—chef and fourth member of A Tribe Called Quest—steps in as guest grill master, slinging free fare from the barbecue (as long as you’re drinking). 462 Union Ave at Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-4999, hotpeasandbuttabbq2013.splashthat.com). Sat 27 3–10pm; free.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    32. Radiance: After Hours at El Museo

    The Spanish Harlem museum is staying open every Wednesday night this summer, pairing Latino art masters with Latin beats. Pregame the party with a gallery talk by artists featured in “La Bienal 2013: Here Is Where We Jump,” an exhibition of emerging New York–based artists. Then move to El Café, where South Bronx DJ Les Carbonell spins house, soul and Afrobeat with his crew 5ifty 5ive. Step into the modern, 4,625-square-foot courtyard for stunning sunset views of Central Park’s Conservatory Garden, and channel the tropics with specialty cocktails like the Radiance ($8), a mojito with fresh strawberries. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave between 104th and 105th Sts (212-831-7272, elmuseo.org). Wed 6–9pm; free. Through Aug 28.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 33. Rub-a-Grub

    Politely decline the invite to your pal’s hot-dogs-and-iPhone-playlist cookout and make for this top-notch beats and bites mash-up instead. Host Bed-Stuy restaurant Do or Dine serves three courses (food tickets $5) in its cozy, graffiti-splashed and fairy-light-slung backyard, to help you last from afternoon to evening and beyond (to the after-party at nearby bar One Last Shag, perhaps). Party tossers Sound Liberation Front book the musical talent, which last year featured eclectically funky selector Rich Medina, while Memorial Day’s edition boasted A Tribe Called Quest’s DJ, Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Although this year’s lineup isn’t locked down yet, expect SLF to draw a spinner who knows how to get the dance floor moving. Check soundliberation.org later this summer for announcements and advance tickets. 1108 Bedford Ave between Lexington Ave and Quincy St, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (718-684-2290, soundliberation.org). Sept 1 2–10pm; $20, VIP (includes food and two beers) $35.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 34. Summer Night

    ’Tis the season for alfresco drinking, so head to the Frick Collection’s garden court, where you can listen to live music while you imbibe. The free evening also includes 15-minute curator talks about “Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches at the Frick Collection,” the special exhibit currently on view. If the work inspires you, make use of gratis sketching materials and art instruction.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Courtesy Union Pool

    35. Summer Thunder

    Throughout the summer, hipster hangout Union Pool hosts bands in its spacious back patio. The atmosphere is chilled out—a good excuse to hear new outfits, drink and mingle—but the acts are anything but subdued. Coming up next are rowdy rockers GunFight! (Sat 20), then the party-worthy Turbo Fruits and dusty-soul DJ extraordinaire Jonathan Toubin (Sat 27). The El Diablo food truck opens at 1pm, dishing out tacos ($3) and tortas ($6). Union Pool, 484 Union Ave at Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-609-0484, union-pool.com). Sat 2–7pm; free. Through October.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Matthew Hanlon

    36. Uptown Fridays

    Stop by art institution the Studio Museum in Harlem for a chance to mingle with a neighborhood crowd. There’ll be a deejayed dance party in the breezy courtyard, a guided tour of one of the current exhibitions and free popcorn. Ex–Hercules and Love Affair member Shaun J. Wright (Fri 26) spins electro and house music; DJ Designer Imposter (Aug 9) throws down dance-punk and hip-hop and the Terence Nance–directed short film The Triptych will be screened; while Venus X (Aug 23) promises a mishmash of underground rap, international club bangers and obscure global sounds, like Dominican street music. Show up early for happy hour from 6 to 7pm. 144 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) (212-864-4500, studiomuseum.org). Fri 26, Aug 9, 23; 6–9pm. $10.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Bryan Derballa

    37. Vans House Parties

    A wise man once said if you’re not standing in line in New York, you’re doing something wrong. If that’s true, then this free music series is oh so right. This year’s first installment received 4,000 replies for just 1,000 spots, so plan on turning up at House of Vans at least an hour before doors open. Your reward for punctuality? Free beer (while supplies last, normally until after the first or second set) in the back outdoor area of the former warehouse, which has a hangout vibe reminiscent of our favorite domestic bashes. While some shows skew alt-rock and hardcore, you’ve a better chance to show off your steps during Let’s Play House fixture Jacques Renault’s DJ set, supporting headliners !!! (Thu 18; sold out); or dance-rock band Delorean (Aug 29, R.S.V.P.s open Aug 12), which generated heat with its 2010 album, Subiza. 25 Franklin St between Meserole Ave and Quay St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (vans.com/houseparties). Thu 18, Wed 31, Aug 15, 29 at 7pm; free with R.S.V.P.

    See all backyard bashes in Time Out's summer party guide

  • 38. Boogaloo!

    The 1960s dance fad—a cross-cultural musical hybrid of Afro-Cuban rhythms, R&B and soul—comes back to life at DJ Turmix’s second-Friday-of-the-month tribute at Alphabet City joint Nublu. The boogaloo guru controls the decks for most of the night, spinning rare vinyl (and only vinyl), but he also curates live bands and DJs, that have included party-starting 11-piece outfit Spanglish Fly and world-music specialist DJ Bongohead. The enthusiastic, largely multilingual crowd stays loose with sakerinhas ($10), a potent blend of sake, lime and sugar. 62 Ave C between 4th and 5th Sts (djturmix.com). Next party Aug 9 11pm–4am; $10.

    See all summer dance parties (that's proper dancing) in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Hudson River Park Trust

    39. Hudson River Park MoonDance

    Not everyone was born with rhythm—and we’re not judging. Neither is the Hudson River Park Trust, whose weekly social begins with a chance to learn steps to that night’s style of music via lessons conducted by Dance Manhattan at 6:30pm. Practice what you’ve picked up when the live band hits the stage at 7pm: Argentine tango master Hector Del Curto (Aug 4), swing big band David Berger Jazz Orchestra (Aug 11) and others provide the soundtrack to your breezy riverside soiree, the classiness of which is only enhanced by the vino, for sale courtesy of downtown venue City Winery. Pier 84, Hudson River at 44th St (hudsonriverpark.org). Sun 6:30pm; suggested donation $3. Through Aug 11.

    See all summer dance parties (that's proper dancing) in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Cat Guzman

    40. Salsa Party

    The venerable Brooklyn Museum’s Rubin Pavilion hosts this occasional twirling fiesta. Since the space is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass roof, the event is both air-conditioned and summer-rainstorm-proof. Arrive at 6pm to hone your moves with a gratis salsa lesson; at 7pm, a DJ starts playing a spicy mix of salsa, bachata, merengue and cha-cha; at 8:30pm, professional dancers from Flatbush’s Balmir Latin Dance Studio perform. Watch with a glass of wine ($7) or beer ($6) in hand from the cash bar and pick up some pointers. 200 Eastern Pkwy at Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org). Thu 18; 6–9:30pm. Suggested donation $12, seniors and students $8, children under 12 free.

    See all summer dance parties (that's proper dancing) in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Paprica Fotografica

    41. Samba Sunday

    Part of the weeklong Brasil Summerfest, this free day-into-night cultural dance festa will post up at the scenic South Street Seaport, filling Pier 17 with an energy to rival Rio’s. No formal dance lessons will be given, just follow the rhythym set by the Harlem Samba Group. Making its U.S. debut, acclaimed Brazilian samba band Casuarina will perform, and local food vendors, such as the East Village tapas joint Bikinis, will be on site to fuel you until the sun goes down. South Street Seaport Pier 17, Fulton St at South St (brasilsummerfest.com). Sun 21 3–9pm; free.

    See all summer dance parties (that's proper dancing) in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Courtesy LivingSocial

    42. LivingSocial’s Glow-in-the-Dark 5K Dance Party

    Party animals and exercise junkies will find common ground at this wacky, unabashedly cheesy bash held at the Mets’ home. It begins with a 5K run through the Citi Field parking lot and surrounding areas. While competitive types are known to sprint ahead, social bees are welcome to walk so they can chat and mingle. Be sure to don black attire for the ensuing glow-stick extravaganza, which moves inside the stadium for dancing and drinking. A cash bar and concession stands will be open, and your ticket gets you glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets. The music is geared to raise your heartbeat both during and after the run, with top 100 mash-ups, EDM and house tunes playing until midnight. Knowing that a portion of proceeds goes to providing solar lanterns to kids in Somalia should make your sore muscles a bit more bearable. Citi Field, Roosevelt Ave at 126th St, Flushing, Queens (livingsocial.com/5kdanceparty). Sat 27 8:30pm–midnight. $45.

  • Photograph: Kambriel

    43. Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties: Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra + Rosin Coven

    For three weeks each summer, Lincoln Center loosens its tie and spills out onto the Josie Robertson Plaza for its free performance series Out of Doors. G&S kicks off its celebratory weekend here with an arsenal of acts in the plaza—Vau de Vire’s circus performers and the Hungry March Band­—before moving to the bandshell. Amanda Palmer (pictured), legendary eccentric and one half of the dark-cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls, will perform a set with her band, the Grand Theft Orchestra. Opening is pagan lounge ensemble Rosin Coven, co-founder (with Vau de Vire) of the San Fran Edwardian Ball. Josie Robertson Plaza and Damrosch Park Bandshell, W 62nd St between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves (212-875-5456, lcoutofdoors.org). Aug 9 at 6pm; free.

    See all Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Winslow Porter

    44. Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties: The Lost Circus

    Attendees must come in costume (let a sexy Tim Burton be your muse) to this extravagant night, where co-founders of San Francisco’s Edwardian Ball, Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire, share a New York stage for the first time. In between and during a series of live musical acts, including New Orleans’s Russian street-punk band Debauche and DJ Joro-Boro, the circus unfolds with stilt walking, acrobatics, fire shows, body art, tarot readings and, ah yes, jousting—the Armored Combat League will be holding an exhibition of medieval battling. Irondale Center, 85 S Oxford St between Fulton St and Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Aug 10 at 9pm; $30.

    See all Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Christopher Zedano

    45. Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties: Steampunk Boat Cruise

    Ease yourself out of a hangover with a cool harbor breeze and hair of the dog—the dog in question being more steampunk. The weekend winds down on board a three-story paddleboat full of libations and resilient partygoers. The Hungry March Band and other musical acts will perform as you sail ever so gently back to reality. The Queen of Hearts, departs Pier 78, West Side Highway at 38th St. Aug 11, 2–5pm; $25.

    See all Gemini & Scorpio's 10th Anniversary parties in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    46. !BadAss! Burlesque

    The always-outrageous Velocity Chyaldd has been titillating and terrorizing audiences for almost a decade with this signature show. Dark Side of the Rainbow! is the theme of the August edition, with cohosts the World Famous *BOB* and gender-bending club icon Michael Formika Jones presiding over a colorful lineup of acts that pay tribute to Pink Floyd masterwork The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz. Performers include nerdlesquers Mary Cyn and Stormy Leather, mouthy magician Albert Cadabra and Chyaldd herself, plus the premiere of Chyaldd’s “Electra” music video, featuring what feels like half of the NYC burlesque scene. Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-219-0736, badassburlesque.com). Aug 2 at 10pm; $15.

    See all burlesque shows in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    47. Bedlam Burlesque

    From his smart suits to his quick wit, host Neil O’Fortune harks back to an earlier era. His biweekly revue evokes the old-school atmosphere of early neoburlesque shows—fun-loving, accessible and unpretentious affairs that featured big-wigged demigods alongside stage virgins. Bedlam boasts vets like Legs Malone and Delirium Tremens (Fri 19), Sizzle Dizzle (Aug 2), Fifi Dupree and Broadway Brassy (Aug 16) as well as fresh faces—make that figures. R Bar, 218 Bowery between Prince and Spring Sts (212-334-0484, rbarnyc.com). First and third Friday of every month at 9pm; $10.

    See all burlesque shows in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    48. Burlesque at the Beach

    At a barely legal 17, Coney Island USA’s summer series is NYC’s oldest neoburlesque revue. Unlike other shows with regular rosters, the Great Fredini and Bambi the Mermaid curate two weekly one-offs that showcasing up-and-comers and va-va-voom vets. Thursdays tend toward the fresh and weird—see The Great Clown Caper: A Horror Play (Aug 1)—along with a smattering of long-running local shows like Brown Girls Burlesque (Aug 8), Le Scandal (Aug 29) and Kitty Nights (Sept 5). Fridays bring out big guns such as the World Famous *BOB* (July 19), Jo “Boobs” Whedon (Aug 2), boylesque top dog (sorry, cat) Tigger! (Aug 16) and the 11th annual Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant (Sept 13), in which all the contestants will be handpicked by Bambi. 1208 Surf Ave at W 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-372-5159, coneyisland.com). Thu 9pm; $12. Fri 10pm; $15. Through Sept 27.

    Read Burlesque at the Beach stories from the founder, co–executive producers and performers

    See all burlesque shows in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    49. Dead Sexy Burlesque

    There’s no shame in seeing burly-Q these days, but we’d blush if you caught us in Times Square, let alone at year-round haunted house Times Scare. Still, we make an exception for burlesque mastermind and mayoral candidate Jonny Porkpie’s twice-weekly horror-themed show (the tourists—the horror!) and its rotating cast of more than 100 scenesters. Every performance is hosted by Porkpie in his Mad Doctor persona and stars at least one nightlife luminary, like New York School of Burlesque founder Jo “Boobs” Weldon (Fri 19, Sat 20; Aug 23, 31); sideshow great Todd Robbins (Fri 26); Kitty Nights empress-ario Fem Appeal (Sat 27, Aug 23); Mat “Sealboy” Fraser, from the U.K. (Aug 2); and perpetual pinup Angie Pontani (Aug 3). The Crypt Cabaret at Times Scare, 669 Eighth Ave between 42nd and 43rd Sts (212-586-7829, deadsexyburlesque.com). Fri 8pm, Sat 10pm; $20.

    See all burlesque shows in Time Out's summer party guide

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    50. Gotham Burlesque

    The brainchild of filmmaker Gary Beeber, the man behind the 2010 documentary Dirty Martini and the New Burlesque, this monthly variety show has an upscale feel and an uptown clientele, which is reflected in the talent pool and ticket prices. There are no newbies here, only seasoned hosts—trick roper Chris McDaniel (Aug 3), Shelly “The Singing Siren” Watson, the funniest operatic soprano you’ll ever see (Sept 7)—and stunning showgirls like Gal Friday and Tansy. At Gotham, it’s more about being artistic than outré. Stage 72, 158 W 72nd St between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves (800-838-3006, gothamburlesque.com). First Saturday of the month at 10pm; $39–$55. 

    See all burlesque shows in Time Out's summer party guide

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Put on your dancing flip-flops and don your shades: We’ve got 50 great reasons to go out and experience New York’s summer nightlife scene. You can catch red-hot spinners deejaying dance music at outdoor parties, or attend a cultured, alfresco summer party with music and mingling at institutions like the New York Botanical Garden or MoMA. Plus, catch a burlesque show or try something out of the ordinary like a glow-in-the-dark run and dance party.—Written by Nora Devin, Tim Lowery, Marley Lynch, Jonathan Shannon, Raven Snook, Benjamin Solomon, Bruce Tantum and Jennifer M. Wood.

RECOMMENDED: Summer in New York guide

Click through this slide show to see all 50 parties and nights out, or use the link below to see our summer party guide as a list.



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