101 things to do in New York City in the summer
Fri Jun 3 2011
Photograph: Eric Harvey Brown
Come Out & Play Field Day
Kick it at the Williamsburg Waterfront with bands like Death Cab for Cutie
Ride the waves at Rockaway Beach
Photograph: Keetja Allard
Party into the workweek at the weekly Nouveau York bash at Le Bain
Photograph: Dan D'Ippolito / Brooklyn Brewery
Tour Brooklyn Brewery
Photograph: Ethan Lercher
Watch movies in Bryant Park
Photograph: Courtesy Lincoln Center
Take in free tunes at Lincoln Center, including a performance by Jonathan...
Get creative at the New Museum Block Party
Photograph: Courtesy Lawn Bowls
Throw bowls in Central Park
Photograph: Eric Harvey Brown
Come Out & Play Field Day
51. Act like a kid on Governors Island
A thousand folks are expected to take over Governors Island for this year's Come Out & Play Field Day, where you can try your hand at dozens of brand-new and zany games. To give you an idea of what to expect, last year's festivities included Olympic competitions in which athletes had to follow the restrictions of the Sabbath, a humans-versus-zombies survival quest, a gentrify-the-hood challenge and more inventive contests. Governors Island (comeoutandplay.org). July 16 11am--5pm; free.
52. Dress up to get down at the Coney Island Dancers Disco Beach Party
These boardwalk parties have been keeping the sunny disposition of the legendary nightclub Paradise Garage alive since 1996, and this year the shindigs get a new twist: costume themes! Head to the shore with sword and tunic for a Spartacus party (Aug 20) and round up your softball team and go as the Baseball Furies to the Warriors bash (Sept 24). Coney Island Boardwalk at 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (347-496-2032, coneyislanddancers.com). Various Saturdays through Sept 24; visit website for details. Noon--9pm; free.
53. Kick it at the Williamsburg Waterfront
Yeah, the free weekly Jelly shows in East River Park (and McCarren Park before that) are a thing of the past. But you can still watch bands this year (with a lovely nighttime view of Manhattan across the East River, we might add). Don't miss prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria (June 11; free), hip-hop phenom (and onetime TONY cover model) Kid Cudi (July 6; $49.50) and twee heroes Death Cab for Cutie with Frightened Rabbit (Aug 2; $39.50), as well as NYC legends Sonic Youth with support from Wild Flag and Kurt Vile and the Violators (Aug 12; $32.50). 110 Kent Ave at North 8th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (osanb.org). 5:30--10pm.
54. Ride the waves at Rockaway Beach
Test your surfing prowess in the designated areas of this Queens beach. If you're a novice, summer is the ideal time to start riding low waves, while more experienced boarders will savor hurricane season in September and October. If you don't have your own equipment you can rent a surfboard from Boarders Surf Shop (192 Beach 92nd St at Rockaway Beach Blvd; 718-318-7997, boarderssurfshop.com; $50, half day $35) or take a lesson through New York Surf School (718-496-3371, surflessonsnewyork101.com; individual lesson $110, group lesson $55), which will provide you with a wet suit and board. Stick around afterward for free sunset concerts at Beach 20th St (June 3, July 1, Aug 5; 6--9pm). The lineup includes soul band the Poindexters and reggae outfit Judah Tribe. Boardwalk between Beach 9th and 117th Sts, Rockaway Beach, Queens (718-318-4000, nycgovparks.org)
55. Party into the workweek
Forget about Monday during the weekly Nouveau York bash at Le Bain. The party is a prime place for pretty-people-watching and getting down to blasting neodisco tunes. Best of all, its location in the Standard Hotel's rooftop bar promises some awesome views over the Hudson River that are just perfect for summer nights. 444 W 13th St at Washington St (212-645-4646, standardculture.com). Sun 4pm; free.
56. Tour Brooklyn Brewery
Williamsburg's stellar brew haven now offers tours during the workweek, in which you can sample four of the brewery's suds, which have included the Intensified Coffee Stout or the Blunderbuss Old Ale. It's a much more intimate, in-depth version of their weekend tours—and they fill up fast; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org soon to reserve a spot. Afterward, keep the party going by ordering another pint ($4, six for $20) in the tasting room. 79 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-7422, brooklynbrewery.com). Mon--Thu 5pm; $8.
57. Watch movies in Bryant Park
The HBO Bryant Park Summer Films Festival returns for another year of warm-weather screenings. We're really digging the lineup, which includes One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (June 20), Preston Sturges's romantic-comedy classic The Lady Eve (July 25), Cool Hand Luke (Aug 1), Airplane! (Aug 8) and more of our faves. Find a full calendar of this summer's free flicks in our outdoor-movie guide. Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd Sts and Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-512-5700, bryantpark.org). June 20--Aug 22; Mon sunset, lawn opens 5pm.
58. Take in free tunes at Lincoln Center
Each Thursday, you can kick off your evening (or better still, your date) with a free-of-charge show at the David Rubenstein Atrium. This summer, witness rising violin virtuoso Sean Lee (June 9), or the soulful singing and ivory-tickling of Louisiana native Jonathan Batiste (July 7). 61 W 62nd St at Broadway (212-875-5456, lincolncenter.org/atrium). 8:30pm; free.
59. Get creative at the New Museum Block Party
Make your own fun—literally—at this art-and-community-themed block party, where artists and New Museum educators will lead a series of hands-on workshops. At the family-friendly event, you can repurpose everyday materials like bottles and hair curlers into new objects; then put your creations to good use during the Block Party Parade, which will march from Sara D. Roosevelt Park and the New Museum. Once you reach your destination, explore the exhibitions on a free docent-led tour (event participants get a complimentary day pass). Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Broome St between Chrystie and Forsyth Sts (212-219-1222 ext. 235, newmuseum.org). July 23 noon--5pm; free.
60. Throw bowls in Central Park
Wear flat-soled shoes or go barefoot to a game of lawn bowls, similar to bocce and ptanque, at the New York Lawn Bowling Club in Central Park. Although regular use of the city's only bowling green requires membership ($105 annually), an open house on Monday evenings allows newcomers to learn the game from members and play socially (May--July, 5:45pm to sunset). Additionally, the club (and green) is celebrating its 85th anniversary this summer with free lessons and pickup games noon--4pm on June 25. Central Park greens, enter at Central Park West at w 69th St, or Fifth Ave at W 72nd St (nybowls.com)