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: Mads Perch

11. Top club: Output

Top club

11

Output

  • Critics choice

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?

  1. 74 Wythe Ave, (at North 12th St), 11211
More info

Summer beach and pool parties

12

New York Made

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. Governors Beach Club Governors Island
  2. Sat Aug 3–Sun Aug 4; 4pm–midnight
More info
13

Bikes in the Kitchen presents Friender Blender

  • Critics choice
  • Free

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.

  1. Rippers Boardwalk, at Beach 86th St
  2. Sat Jul 20; noon–dark
More info
14

Coney Island Reggae Beach Party

  • Critics choice
  • Free

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.

  1. Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk, at 10th St
  2. Sat Jul 27–Sun Aug 25; noon–8pm
More info
15

Shark

  • Critics choice
  • Free

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.

  1. Dream Downtown 355 W 16th St, between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 10011
  2. Sun Jul 21–Sun Sep 1; 5:30–9pm
More info
16

Coney Island Dancers Boardwalk Party

  • Critics choice
  • Free

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.

  1. Boardwalk, (at 10th St)
  2. Various dates
More info
17
Caracas Rockaway

Shake It Up Sundays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

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. caracasarepabar.com.

  1. Boardwalk at Beach 106th St, Far Rockaway, Queens
  2. Sun noon–10pm

Summer boat parties

18

Set Sail

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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 from Circle Line Pier 83 at 6pm. Advance tickets available through residentadvisor.net.

  1. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Pier 83, W 42nd St, at the Hudson River
  2. Sat Aug 3; 5–10pm
More info
19

Soul Alliance Boat Party

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

It’s Danny Krivit and Joaquin “Joe” Claussell’s hands on the decks at this annual voyage presented by Benny Soto, 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.

  1. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Pier 83, W 42nd St, at the Hudson River
  2. Sun Aug 4; 8:30–11:30pm
More info
20

.WAVs Summer Cruise Series First Launch

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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.

  1. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Pier 83, W 42nd St, at the Hudson River
  2. Fri Jul 26, Fri Aug 23; 7–11pm
More info


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