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: Virginia Rollison

    31. See a Celebrate Brooklyn! concert in Prospect Park

  • 32. Cycle to New Amsterdam Market

  • 33. See a world premiere at Lincoln Center's new rooftop theater

    Pictured: Rendering of Lincoln Center's new Claire Tow Theater

  • 34. Take a dip in the new McCarren Park Pool

  • 35. Dance outside at All Day I Dream 

    Pictured: Lee Burridge

  • 36. Schedule a stop at Governors Island

    Pictured: Jazz Age Lawn Party

     

  • 37. Rock out by the Hudson river

    Pictured: Dan Deacon

     

     

  • Photograph: Courtesy Neue Galeri

    38. Check out the season's must-see sesquicentennial, "Gustav Klimt: 150th Anniversary Celebration" at Neue Galerie

    Pictured: Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I/Bildnis Adele Bloch-Bauer I

  • 39. Watch free flicks in Central Park

    Pictured: The Big Lebowski, screening at the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival

     

     

  • Photograph: Beth Levendis

    40. A Jedi master be at Newmindspace's Glow Battle

    Pictured: Lightsaber Battle NYC 2011

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

31. See a Celebrate Brooklyn! concert in Prospect Park

31

See a Celebrate Brooklyn! concert in Prospect Park

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Thanks to this summer concert series, now in its 34th year, the Prospect Park Bandshell is to Brooklynites what Central Park SummerStage is to Manhattan residents—the place to hear great music in the great outdoors. The season opens with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff (June 5), and also features shows from British folkie Laura Marling (June 14) and indie-rock quartet Wild Flag (Aug 3). If you don’t mind ponying up more than the $3 suggested donation for benefit concerts to help fund programming, you can catch comedian Donald Glover’s hip-hop alter ego Childish Gambino (June 26; $40, advance $35), hometown heroes Dirty Projectors (July 10; $30) or quirky dance band Hot Chip (July 18; $40, advance $35).

  1. Prospect Park West, (at 9th St)
Book online
32

Cycle to New Amsterdam Market

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

By the desolate site formerly occupied by the Fulton Fish Market, commerce is bustling once again. Every Sunday, locavores and artisanal purveyors—including Brooklyn Oenology, Hot Bread Kitchen, Saxelby Cheesemongers and Marlow & Daughters—gather to buy and sell local produce and gourmet products. Some weeks, the vendors are curated around a theme, for instance a cheese-maker’s showcase (June 24) or the annual Ice Cream Sunday (Aug 19). But motif or no, the quality of this snackfest is consistently excellent. Make use of a cool new feature this year: valet bike parking, courtesy of Bowery Lane Bicycles. South St between Beekman St and Peck Slip (newamsterdammarket.org). Sun 11am–4pm. Through December.

  1. South St, (at Fulton St )
More info
33

Take a dip in the new McCarren Park Pool

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For the first time in nearly three decades, New Yorkers will be able to cool off at the McCarren Park Pool, scheduled to open for the season on June 28. The newly renovated 37,950-square-foot pond fits 1,500 swimmers and features eight lap lanes, alongside a sand volleyball court and a recreation center.

  1. Lorimer St, (between Bayard St and Driggs Ave)
More info
34
Get a double dose of U.K. tech-house vet Lee Burridge, as he plays both days of a two-part, marathon shindig with the ReSolute crew.

Dance outside at All Day I Dream

  • Critics choice

Legendary DJ Lee Burridge’s Sunday afternoon alfresco shindig returns for a second season, featuring the same dreamy, melodic house that made it such a hit last summer (and one of our best parties of 2011). The kickoff event—All Day I Dream of Manhattan (June 10 4–11pm; $30)—takes place at Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, with three more of the monthly wingdings to follow. Check facebook.com/alldayidream for details.

35

Schedule a stop at Governors Island

  • Critics choice
  • Free

New Yorkers, as well all know, need a sense of purpose. Sometimes, hopping a free ferry merely to laze around on the car-free island oasis just won’t cut it. Consider, then, penciling in one of these many one-off events into your planner. The 1920s-themed shindig Jazz Age Lawn Party (June 16, 17, Aug 18, 19 11am–5pm; $15) finds flappers cutting a rug by vintage cars on Colonels’ Row. Tasting event Cook Out NYC (July 7, 8; $45, advance $40) brings food purveyors and breweries like Sixpoint to the island. And after a successful debut last season, pianists and co-artistic directors Pam Goldberg and Blair McMillen bring back the Rite of Summer Music Festival (July 7, Aug 4, Sept 3 at 3pm). Check our Governors Island guide for a full schedule of special events.

  1. Governors Island
More info
36

Rock out by the Hudson river

  • Free

The list of free summer concerts vying for your time is long (more than 200!), but the small (a mere three shows) RiverRocks series makes a compelling, perfectly formed argument for your time. The season kicks off with the avant-pop pairing of Dan Deacon and John Maus (July 12 at 6pm), followed by local favorites Oberhofer and the Soft Pack (July 26 at 7pm). The knockout finale is a one-two punch of deliciously dreamy ’80s-style one-man band Wild Nothing (the work of Jack Tatum) and Montreal weirdo-pop artiste Grimes (Aug 9 at 6pm).

  1. 44th St, (at the Hudson River)
More info
37

Watch free flicks in Central Park

  • Free

Break out your blankets, vino and snacks: The Central Park Conservancy Film Festival returns to the Sheep Meadow for its tenth year. Showtimes for this summer are still up in the air, but organizers have confirmed screenings of two quotable-as-hell stoner-comedy classics: Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski. And for the less munchie-inclined viewer, Spike Lee’s portrait of volatile ’80s Bed-Stuy, Do the Right Thing.

  1. Enter at Central Park West and 66th St
More info
38
Lightsaber Battle NYC

A Jedi master be

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Newmindspace (newmindspace.com), the team behind such participatory public fun as Pillow Fight NYC, gives you a chance to live out one of your childhood fantasies during its free Glow Battle summer 2012 tour. Six cities in the U.S. and Canada, including NYC and Halifax, will witness massive lightsaber battles. You can either BYO luminescent weapon or reserve a special six-color lightsaber for $5 (plus PayPal fee). The New York date and location have yet to be finalized; use the Force for updates on details, or check glowbattle.com.



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!!