101 things to do in New York City in the summer
Fri Jun 3 2011
Play Ultimate Frisbee in Central Park
Photograph: Courtesy of Sycamore
Down suds and BBQ in Ditmas Park
Photograph: Courtesy flickr.com/2Eklectik
Splash around at Jones Beach
Photograph: Michael Lavine
Root, root, root for the home team, be it the Mets (pictured), Yankees or...
Scope out next big thing in indie rock at the Northside Festival. Pictured: The...
Watch movies, like Desperately Seeking Susan, on the Elevated Acre
Photograph: Karem Blumberg
Stargaze on the High Line and in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Photograph: Jack Vartoogian
Jam out at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Photograph: Courtesy New York Botanical Garden
Go natural at the New York Botanical Garden
Play Ultimate Frisbee in Central Park
41. Play Ultimate Frisbee in Central Park
Looking to start a game with fellow disc jockeys? The Great Hill Open Ultimate League puts on friendly, all-level bouts four times a week (Great Hill, west side from 103rd St to 107th St, enter at Central Park West and 106th St; Tue, Thu 6pm; Sat, Sun 10am). If you want to get your own match going, stop by the North Meadow Recreational Center (midpark at 97th St, enter at Fifth Ave and 97th St), where a 'bee is yours for the borrowing with an ID deposit. For more sporty fun to be had in the park, consult our sports in Central Park guide.
42. Down suds and BBQ in Ditmas Park
On select weekends, the lovely Ditmas Park bar--flower shop Sycamore teams up with different craft breweries to throw barbecues in its ivy-lined back garden. On June 4, stop by for a crawfish boil, when a jumbo bucket of crawfish and a pint of Louisiana's Abita brew is yours for $25 (servings are at 2 and 5pm). For a rowdy, buzzy day of baseball, join the bar's tailgate party for the Brooklyn Cyclones opening game. The admission price affords you a plate of food from the grill (hot dogs, hamburgers), a seasonal pour from Stone Brewing Company and a ticket to that day's game against the Staten Island Yankees, which the group will head to via the Q train (June 18 12 noon--6pm; $25). Grab tix to both events on Sycamore's site. 1118 Cortelyou Rd between Stratford and Westminster Rds, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (347-240-5850, sycamorebrooklyn.com)
43. Splash around at Jones Beach
Six and a half miles of ocean beach and a two-mile boardwalk await you at this prime swimming destination, a 45-minute train ride from Penn Station (take the LIRR to Freeport and then the bus to Jones Beach). If bathing doesn't strike your fancy, partake in some pickup beach volleyball or test your putting skills in a game of minigolf (daily sunrise--midnight; $7; June 26--Sept 6). For more spots to take a dip, check out our list of the best beaches. Ocean Pkwy at Wantagh Pkwy, Wantagh, NY (516-785-1600, nysparks.state.ny.us)
44. Root, root, root for the home team
This summer, catch the Yanks on their home turf (Yankee Stadium, 1 E 161st St between Jerome and River Aves, Bronx; 718-293-6000, newyork.yankees.mlb.com; $27.80--$337.80) as they battle their fierce rivals, the Boston Red Sox (June 7--9), or watch them face off against the Mets at Citi Field (Roosevelt Ave at 126th St, Flushing, Queens; 718-507-8499, newyork.mets.mlb.com; $23--$217) for the second Subway Series of the year (July 1--3). Just remember to remain civil and avoid fistfights. No one wants to be that guy who shows up in ESPN highlights. For a much cheaper, more laid-back alternative, hike out to Coney Island to see minor-league team the Brooklyn Cyclones (MCU Park, 1904 Surf Ave at W 17th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn; 718-372-5596, brooklyncyclones.com; $8--$16). Even if sparks don't fly on the field, there's still a good chance you'll catch a fireworks show—14 night games this year end with 'em.
45. Scope out next big thing in indie rock
From June 16 to 19, more than 250 bands descend on venues in the 'Burg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for The L Magazine's third annual Northside Festival. For a big-ticket show, catch indie-rock icons Guided by Voices' mid-'90s lineup, playing outdoors with support from Surfer Blood, Wavves and the Babies (McCarren Park, 900 Lorimer St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; thelmagazine.com; June 18 at 7pm, doors 4pm; $35, advance $30). Looking for a bill of on-the-rise bands? We're loving young garage-rock acts the Strange Boys and White Fence, who both play the Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-529-6696, knittingfactory.com; June 18 at 11pm, doors 10:30pm; $12, advance $10).
46. Watch movies on the Elevated Acre
See three New York--set flicks atop a lower-Manhattan building as part of this year's River to River fest. Desperately Seeking Susan (June 20), The Godfather: Part II (June 27) and The Brother from Another Planet (July 11) are all slotted for the fest, which offers some great views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Pick up a ticket for the gratis showing at the entrance at 6pm on the day of the screening, or nab them at rivertorivernyc.com. Elevated Acre, 55 Water St between Broad St and Old Slip (rivertorivernyc.com). June 20--July 11 at 8pm; free.
47. Stargaze on the High Line and in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Think you can't see the stars from New York? Think again. With the help of three telescopes on the Pier 1 promenade in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the elevated view of the High Line, as well as guidance from the Amateur Astronomers Association, you'll be a regular Galileo in no time. The High Line, enter at 14th St between Washington St and Tenth Ave (aaa.org/highline). Tue dusk--9:30pm; free. Through October. * Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, enter at Old Fulton St at Furman St, Brooklyn Heights (brooklynbridgepark.org). Thu at 8:30pm; free. June 9--Sept 29.
48. Jam out at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Salute Bird's legacy during this two-day fete, which goes down in a pair of the legendary musician's old stomping grounds: Harlem (Marcus Garvey Park, Madison Ave between 120th and 124th Sts; summerstage.org; Aug 27 at 3pm; free), where jazz harmonica player "Toots" Thielemans, saxophonists James Carter and Tia Fuller, and singer Ccile McLorin Salvant will play; and the East Village (Tompkins Square Park, Ave A between 7th and 10th Sts; summerstage.org; Aug 28 at 3pm; free), where you can enjoy sets by the Archie Shepp Quartet, the Gerald Clayton Trio and others.
49. Go natural at the New York Botanical Garden
Surround yourself with 250 acres of flora and fauna at this natural oasis. Check out the latest exhibit, "Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra" ($20, seniors and students $18, children $8, children under 2 free; through Aug 21), which will transport you to a Mediterranean paradise with date palms, pomegranate trees and Italian cypress. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Tue--Sun 10am--6pm; grounds only $6, Bronx residents $5, seniors and students $3, children $1, children under 2 free.
50. Celebrate the summer solstice
Times Square doesn't exactly seem like the ideal spot for a pagan ritual, but you should still head there to Zen out on the longest day of the year, at Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga (Times Square, Broadway at Seventh Ave between 45th and 47th Sts; timessquarenyc.org; June 21 7:30am--sunset; free). Show up early to nab a free provided mat (while supplies last), as instructors from studios across the city provide lessons for all skill levels. If yoga's not your thing, head to Socrates Sculpture Park's Summer Solstice Celebration (32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens; 718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org; June 21 5--9pm; free) for a day of craft workshops, face painting and kayaking.