101 things to do in New York City in the summer

0

Comments

Add +
  • Fight on the streets at Newmindspace's Bubble Battle

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Jim Henson Company. Kermit the Frog (c) The Muppets Studio

    Meet Muppets at the Museum of the Moving Image

  • Photograph: Nicole Franzen

    Dine at the Whitney

  • Photograph: Ellie Kurttz

    See Brits tackle the Bard as the Royal Shakespeare Company comes to NYC

  • Plug into the electric atmosphere at the US Open

  • Witness cutting-edge theater at the New York International Fringe Festival...

    Witness cutting-edge theater at the New York International Fringe Festival. Pictured: Zipperface!!?!: The Hobo Musical

  • Become a farmer for a day at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm

  • Sketch your surroundings in Battery Park City

  • Photograph: Greg Porteus

    Watch a race around the harbor and fete the winners at a luau for the Liberty...

  • Photograph: Daniel Avila/NYC Parks & Recreation

    See outdoor art, including Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads

    See outdoor art, including Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads

  • Get greasy for the Coney Island Rockabilly Fest

Fight on the streets at Newmindspace's Bubble Battle


91. Fight on the streets
Our favorite public mischief makers, Newmindspace, are planning another epic tussle pitting flesh against soapy spheres at the Bubble Battle. Last year more than 1,000 people descended on Times Square with bubble-blowing contraptions. Where the throwdown will happen this year is anyone's guess—keep an eye on their website for more information nearer the time and for an announcement regarding this year's Lightsaber Battle. This melee is less gentle, with hundreds of folks swinging plastic, LED-lit swords. Location TBA (newmindspace.com). June 19 at 6pm; free.

92. Meet Muppets at the Museum of the Moving Image
Delve into the universe of the Muppets—and those of Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street and other awesome, timeless creations from the mind of Jim Henson—during the Museum of the Moving Image's six-month-long exhibition "Jim Henson's Fantastic World." The exhibit includes everything from the puppeteer's illustrations from the '50s to set pieces from Labyrinth. And don't worry: Kermit, in all of his green glory, will be there, too. 36-01 35th Ave at 37th St, Astoria, Queens (718-777-6888, movingimage.us). $10, seniors and students $7.50, children 3--18 $5, members and children under 3 free. July 16--Jan 16.

93. Dine at the Whitney
Browse the dozen works in the "Singular Visions" exhibition, before heading to the latest addition to Danny Meyer's gastronomic empire, Untitled. Gramercy Tavern alumnus Chris Bradley mans the burners at this museum restaurant, turning out daytime fare (except Mondays), as well as dinner service on Saturdays and Sundays. The frequently changing evening menu consists of three family-style courses—recent spreads have included new-potato-and-green-bean salad with ramp vinaigrette, grilled bronzini with tomatoes and oregano, and Stumptown banana tiramisu. Reservations are taken online only at untitledatthewhitney.com. 945 Madison Ave at 75th St (212-570-3670). Sat, Sun 6--9:30pm; $46 per person.

94. See Brits tackle the Bard
Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company hits NYC this summer for six weeks' worth of shows as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Enjoy top-shelf productions of Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, King Lear and The Winter's Tale at the historic Park Avenue Armory. And it won't only be the accents that are authentic; the venue is adding a jutting stage that recreates the RSC's Stratford-upon-Avon theater, thrusting the players into the audience's space. 643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-721-6500, lincolncenterfestival.org). July 6--Aug 14. $68.75--$250.

95. Plug into the electric atmosphere at the US Open
The US Open is the culmination of each year's Grand Slam tournament—and it's definitely a scene, with A-list celebs regularly among the fans spotted at Flushing Meadows--Corona Park. Tickets are on sale starting June 13, but if you don't nab them in time (or are unwilling to shell out the big bucks), don't despair. You can still see the pros volley during Qualifying Week (Aug 22--26) or on Practice Day (Aug 28)—both are free for spectators. For more insider tips, check out last year's scoop with tennis superstar Andre Agassi. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Flushing, Queens (888-6736-849, usopen.org). Aug 29--Sept 11; matches are played at 11am and 7pm, except for the Men's Final at noon; prices vary, check the website for details.

96. Witness cutting-edge theater
You never know what's in store (in terms of quality or subject matter) at the New York International Fringe Festival (now in its 15th year), which brings tons of shoestring-budget shows and starry-eyed thespians from across the globe to downtown theaters for two weeks near the end of summer. Come with an open mind to this hodgepodge of one-man shows, weirdo musicals, performance-art pieces and more. Various venues (fringenyc.org). Lineup TBA. Aug 12--28. Each show $15.

97. Become a farmer for a day
Sunday is market day at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm (44 Eagle St between Franklin and West Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; rooftopfarms.org; Sun 9am--4pm, through October, check website for closures)., but it's also an open day for volunteers who want to get their hands dirty. Drop in at any point to lend a hand with chores like seed planting, harvesting, watering, caring for chickens and rabbits, and tending the compost pile. Take a break at 2pm for a free workshop, usually a lecture or demonstration to do with agriculture and urban farming or a cooking demonstration. For a more intensive farm experience, sign up for Gone Farming at Stone Barns, a new adult program running through July. Spend the morning doing farm chores like egg collecting, then stop for lunch provided by the Blue Hill Caf (630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills, NY; 914-366-9600, stonebarnscenter.org. July 7, 15, 21 10am--3pm; $200 [includes lunch, a dozen eggs and take-home farm craft]).. In the afternoon, learn a farm craft, such as how to make a fleece shawl or scarf, or planting kitchen herbs in a self-made container.

98. Sketch your surroundings in Battery Park City
Get in touch with nature and your artsy side at a fresh-air drawing class. Artist Larry Dobbins will provide guidance and feedback as you produce landscapes of the harbor and South Cove—itself a public art work environmental artist Mary Miss, architect Stanton Eckstut and landscape architect Susan Child. The lesson is free and materials (including watercolors, pencils or oil pastels, paper and lap easels) are provided. South Cove, Battery Park off South End Ave (212-267-9700, bpcparks.org). Through Oct 29 except major holidays (July 2, Sept 3, Oct 8). Sat 10am--noon; free.

99. Watch a race around the harbor and fete the winners at a luau
Teams from around the globe face off in the Liberty World Outrigger Competition (newyorkoutrigger.org/liberty), racing traditional Polynesian canoes from Brooklyn Bridge Park, up the Hudson and back, then past Liberty Island and Governors Island before finishing from whence they came. After the hard work is done, party with the boaters at the Frying Pan's Liberty Luau, chowing down on a buffet and taking in a performance by Polynesian dancers. And if you think it looks like the sport for you, try the free New York Outrigger novice sessions (Hudson River between 26th and 27th Sts; newyorkoutrigger.org; Sat 10:30am--1:15pm; free) to get out on the Hudson with local experts. Crews launch from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Empire--Fulton Ferry State Park, New Dock St at the East River, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-802-0603, brooklynbridgepark.org). June 25 beginning at 7am. Liberty Luau: Frying Pan, Pier 66A, W 26th St at the Hudson River (212-989-6363, fryingpan.com). 6--10pm; $30, advance $20 at welcome table at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

100. See outdoor art
Brave the humidity and admire some monumental art outside the antiseptic—if refreshingly cold—environs of galleries or museums. We recommend Rob Pruitt's The Andy Monument in Union Square (E 17th St at Broadway; 212-223-7800, publicartfund.org; through Oct 2), a gleaming tribute to the Pop Art innovator. Travel uptown to see Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads by imprisoned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (Pulitzer Fountain, Grand Army Plaza, Central Park, Fifth Ave between 58th and 59th Sts; zodiacheads.com; through July 15), and if you're feeling hungry on the way, alight at Madison Square Park (E 23rd St between Fifth and Madison Aves; 212-538-4071, madisonsquarepark.org) to ruminate on Jaume Plensa's gargantuan head of a girl, Echo (through Aug 14), while demolishing a burger from Shake Shack (212-889-6600, shakeshack.com). For four more works out of doors, take a look at our Public art guide.

101. Get greasy for the Coney Island Rockabilly Fest
Close out the summer by doing the jive, bop and stroll during Labor Day weekend. Organized by the folks at Cockabilly Records, the bash features sleazy tunes from Hickry Hawkins and the Panty Sniffers, Everymen and Filthy Still, and burlesque from the likes of Lil Miss Lixx. Coney Island; locations, times and prices vary; visit cockabillyrecords.com for details. Sept 2--4.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10

Users say

12 comments
Daniel Davidson
Daniel Davidson

Us cheapskates thank you for this great list! You mentioned yoga in Bryant Park, but they also have free movie screenings. You just have to get there early to stake out your spot. I included Bryant Park in my Kindle book: 101 Free Things To Do In NYC (http://amzn.to/NT0eoQ) because it's got so many great activities, including tai chi, fencing, juggling, ping pong tournaments, fly fishing classes, birding, a restaurant bar, and free wifi.

Buy a flat in London
Buy a flat in London

These all are really fantastic activity. These kind of activity is really helpful for an individual to develop their skill. Interesting

Mark
Mark

wow. all the activities were either boring or repeats from the boring.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great job ,it is really helpful !

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great, varied list and most comments are about whether you are PC or not. Sad. Life is more fun with a bit of colour. Give me non PC any day!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Skip the Prospect Park Zoo. The way they keep the animals is depressing and the crowds aren't much better. Go to the Bronx Zoo instead.

Anonymous
Anonymous

also agreed re: use of "loony bin." not cool.

Anonymous
Anonymous

17. Feel fancy at Cocktails@Cooper-Hewitt Been there, done that - Drinks are not free with price of admission!

Anonymous
Anonymous

i agree with the 'looney bin' comment. read it twice 'cause i thought i misread it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.

Anonymous
Anonymous

#70 Former loony bin? That's not very PC and a little offensive. Otherwise, great list.