101 things to do in the summer in New York City 2012

Our picks for the best events and things to do in the summer in NYC. Make a checklist, keep track on our Facebook app... just get outside and get started.

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  • Photograph: courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    1. Lose yourself in the clouds at the Met's installation "Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City"

  • Photograph: courtesy HWKN

    2. Marvel at an architectural wonder; then dance; then eat; then dance some more at MoMA PS1's Warm Up series.

    Pictured: Rendering of HWKN’s Wendy, winning design of Young Architects Program 2012

  • Photograph: NASA/Bill Ingalls

    3. See New York’s space shuttle Enterprise

  • Photograph: courtesy Figment Project

    4. Clamber over sculptures on Governors Island

    Pictured: Zaq Landsberg, "Face of Liberty"

  • 5. Hit up Williamsburg’s latest outdoor venue

    Pictured: My Morning Jacket, who play Williamsburg Park Aug 19

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    6. Dance in a shady grove at Mister Sunday

    Pictured: Horse Meat Disco at Mister Sunday in 2011

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    7. Get involved during Pride Week

     

  • Photograph: Ethan Lercher

    8. See classic films at the HBO-Bryant Park Summer Film Festival

  • Photograph: Chris Lee

    9. Swoon to free outdoor classical concerts

    Pictured: Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Central Park

  • Photograph: David Rosenzweig

    10. Ride to the Rockaways

Photograph: courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

1. Lose yourself in the clouds at the Met's installation "Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City"


It's summer again in New York City, and you know what that means: Crowds of cute, scantily clad people wandering the city. While gazing at them in Sheep's Meadow and on the High Line is not officially one of our 101 things to do in the summer, we've collected some that are nearly as entertaining—epic music festivals, theater, exhibits, fairs, and all the best things to do outdoors. It's everything worth breaking a sweat over this summer in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: The most recent 101 things to do in the summer in New York City

TRY THIS: Track your progess with our Facebook app

1

See New York’s space shuttle

  • Price band: 3/4

The Enterprise’s flyover made for one dramatic entrance. Get more than a brief glimpse on June 6, the tentative date when the shuttle will ride a barge up the Hudson to its final destination, the deck of aircraft carrier turned museum the USS Intrepid. You’ll have to wait until a climate-controlled pavilion is built around the shuttle, but by July 19, patrons will be able to view the shuttle’s exterior and explore the history of space with interactive exhibits.

  1. Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, (at 46th St)
More info
2

Hit up Williamsburg’s latest outdoor venue

  • Price band: 2/4

The brand-spankin’-new, 7,000-person-capacity venue Williamsburg Park opens this summer, filling the void for concerts on the Williamsburg waterfront. Check out the space at a Northside Festival shindig (see No. 51) featuring indie-rock heavyweights Jens Lekman, Of Montreal and the Thermals (June 15 at 4pm; $33.50);  a bill with hardcore faves Refused and Off! (July 18 at 5:30pm; $35); or during the jam-happy rock outfit My Morning Jacket’s (pictured) sure-to-be-epic set (Aug 19 at 5pm; $49.50). More gigs will be announced throughout the summer, so keep an eye on our Williamsburg Park page for more upcoming shows.

  1. Kent Ave, (at N. 12th St)
More info
3

Get involved during Pride Week

It’s been a year of huge advances for the LGBT community, and this June NYC offers no shortage of places to celebrate Pride Week, from the classic NYC Pride March (where you can join a million spectators lining city streets) to the kinky leatherfest Folsom Street East. The Dance on the Pier and Rapture on the River end the week on a high-energy note. If you’re feeling philanthropic, you can join TONY in supporting the Trevor Project—a nonprofit organization that offers suicide-prevention services to LGBTQ youth—by donating to the cause or buying a ticket to Trevor Live New York, the organization’s annual music-and-comedy gala on June 25.

4

See classic films in Bryant Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Essential Monday-night staple HBO-Bryant Park Summer Film Festival celebrates its 20th year this June. And as with year’s past, the lineup is stellar, running the gamut from black-and-white classics—Psycho (June 18), On the Waterfront (July 9), The Maltese Falcon (July 23)—to big-budget Hollywood spectacles including The Wizard of Oz (July 2) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (Aug 20). Make sure to pack rotten tomatoes in your picnic in case Glenn Beck makes another appearance on the lawn.

  1. Sixth Ave, (between 40th and 42nd Sts)
More info
5
Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Central Park

New York Philharmonic: Concerts in the Parks

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Phil skipped its popular summer series last season, but the hometown orchestra returns to play five concerts in parks across the city this year: Alan Gilbert and guest maestro Andrey Boreyko lead the players in invigorating fare by Respighi, Tchaikovsky and Brahms, while we revel in the merlot warmth within us and the starry skies above us. Visit nyphil.org for details.

  1. Various locations
  2. Wed Jul 11 - Fri Jul 13, Sun Jul 15 - Tue Jul 17 at 8pm
6

Ride to the Rockaways

  • Free

Join the Five Borough Bike Club on its Sunday morning Bicycle Beach Bums ride (10am–5pm; free; through Aug 26) from Grand Army Plaza to either Neponsit Beach or Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. The route consists mainly of bike lanes and less heavily trafficked streets. and it’s a 30-mile round-trip (assuming you don’t ride the A train home). It may sound like a long way, but once you’re crossing the Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and look down on the beckoning shore, it’s worth it. Once you’ve made it to the Rockaways, claim your reward. Make a beeline for Rockaway Beach Club, the row of foodie concessions that include returning vendors like Motorboat & the Big Banana (try the chocolate-dipped bananas) and Santa Salsa (which slings Venezuelan street-style hot dogs). Keep an eye out for new-to-the-beach outposts of NYC eateries such as Steve’s Ice Cream, the Commodore and the Lobster Joint. If you can drag yourself away from the shore, head to Rockaway Taco’s modest shack, located a couple blocks from the beach. It serves amazing tacos (tofu, fish, carne, chorizo; $3–$4), watermelon juice ($2) and a plantain quesadilla ($4) that somehow encapsulates the joy of summer in each sweet bite. You should be able to find it by way of the loud music and faint smell of heaven.

  1. Boardwalk, (between Beach 9th and Beach 149th Sts)
More info


Users say

17 comments
shore excursions in Tallinn
shore excursions in Tallinn

russia is so close,you can even see it from alaska. so does anybody from there(siberia?) ever just cross over?

Justin bieber
Justin bieber

This is so great I love summer and all my fans

Ravyjutty
Ravyjutty

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Brad
Brad

Thanks for the summertime things to do list!! Remember everyone, this summer, you could also adopt a cat in need of a forever home. http://manhattancats.com

Ann
Ann

Appreciate the listing of activities, regardless of my beliefs about his opinions, I found the Glenn Beck comment "bring your rotten tomatos in case Glenn Beck comes" to be distasteful. Do we not respect opinions that differ from our own, or at very least, respect one another enough to not threaten them from being allowed in a public area with their family?

shine
shine

I enjoy this article a lot, however, the 20th is missed. Could you please add? Thanks.

Jonathan Shannon, deputy editor, Time Out New York
Jonathan Shannon, deputy editor, Time Out New York

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments. Hope you're enjoying the list. @Jane: The app just launched, there's a link at the top of the first page. Apologies for the delay, hope you like it! @Allie: There isn't a way to download the list as a calendar, but I like your thinking. We'll see what's possible for fall. @Steve: The series is called Rooftop Films, we've added that rather important detail. @Marco: You are very welcome.

Jane
Jane

i can't seem to find the app. did it actually launch?

The RIDE
The RIDE

#102: Jump on the Fazzino RIDE for a tour of New York like you have never seen it before!

Allie
Allie

Is there an easy way to download this whole list into Calendar? That would be incredible.

Steve
Steve

What is the name of the film series mentioned in number 30?

marco
marco

Thanks New York!!