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: Greg Porteus

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

  • Photograph: Cory Weaver/Metropol

    82. See opera outdoors at the Met's Summer Recital Series

    Pictured: Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series at Brooklyn Bridge Park 2011

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

    83. Rummage at the Brooklyn Flea (again)

     

  • 84. Catch up on last year’s blockbusters at RiverFlicks

  • Photograph: Courtesy New-York Historical Society

    85. Connect with NYC’s boozy past at “Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History”

     

     

  • 86. Experience budget space travel at Tom Sachs, "Space Program: Mars"

  • 87. Get fit in Fort Tryon Park

  • Photograph: David Alcosser

    88. Cheer on I’ll Have Another at the Belmont Stakes

  • 89. Dig for vinyl at the ARChive of Contemporary Music

  • Photograph: Bridget Fleming

    90. Hop on your steed and take a bike ride

Photograph: Greg Porteus

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

81
Watch a race around the harbor and fete the winners at a luau for the Liberty World Outrigger Competition

Watch a race around the harbor and fete the winners at a luau

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Teams from around the globe face off in the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, hosted by New York Outrigger (libertyoutrigger.org), racing traditional Polynesian canoes along a 15-mile course. Teams launch from North Cove in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the start line under the Manhattan Bridge. The boats then round Battery Park City, head up the Hudson, double back and swing around the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, before finishing back at North Cove. New Yorkers can watch from most vantage points of the river, but festivities will be concentrated at Brooklyn Bridge Park (6:45am–4:30pm), with the FDNY breaking out its Marine Division for a water display. Watch the winners receive their awards at the after-party luau at the Frying Pan (6pm, $30), featuring traditional Hawaiian and Tahitian hula dancing. And if you think it looks like the sport for you, try the free New York Outrigger novice sessions (Boathouse at Pier 66, W 26th St at the Hudson River; newyorkoutrigger.org; Sat 10:30, 11:15am, noon; Sun 12:30, 1:15, 2pm; free; reservations required; e-mail novice@newyorkoutrigger.org; through Sept) to get out on the Hudson with local experts.

  1. Mon Jun 23
82

Catch up on last year’s blockbusters

Your principled stand against multiplex ticket prices is admirable, but if you give us one more confused look when we say “I’m not even confident on which end that came out of,” we can no longer be friends. School yourself on 2011’s Hollywood hits at RiverFlick’s Wednesday night programming (Fridays are for kids), that front-loads the schedule, beginning with Moneyball (July 11), Super 8 (July 18) and Bridesmaids (July 25). Now you’re up to speed, keep pace with our guide to 30 essential summer movies.

  1. W 23rd St, (at Eleventh Ave)
More info
83

Experience budget space travel

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Commercial space flight may be on the horizon, but for now, Tom Sach’s wry, lo-fi “Space Program: Mars” is a decent approximation to leaving Earth’s atmosphere. Sachs and his 13 assistants have filled the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with a cosmic spectacle, leading viewers through the separate stages of manned flight, beginning at the indoctrination station and continuing with mission control, exploratory vehicles and a martian landscape. Don’t dawdle, the launch window is closing rapidly. The show ends June 17.

  1. Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Ave, between 66th and 67th Sts
  2. Until Sun Jun 17
Buy tickets
84

Get fit in Fort Tryon Park

  • Free

Face it, that beach-ready body isn’t going to appear by itself. Get some fresh air while you work out at Fort Tryon Park, which offers a slew of free activities suitable for all fitness levels. Early risers can find the energy to tackle hump day with tai chi (Wed 6:30–7:30am, through Aug 29) or wind down for the end of the week with qigong (Fri 9:30–10:30am; through June 29) on the Linden Terrace, or. Or head to Abby’s Lawn after work on Wednesday for sunset yoga classes (6:45–8pm; June 6—Aug 29), led by seven rotating instructors from studios including MindBodySoul Yoga and Beloved Yogi Harlem. Or just stick to good old-fashioned walking (with some toning and stretching tossed in for good measure) during the year-round Fitness Walking Program (Tue, Thu 7:30–8:30am; Sat 8:30–9:30am; meet at the Heather Garden).

  1. Margaret Corbin Circle, (Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd)
More info
85

Cheer on I’ll Have Another at the Belmont Stakes

Once a year, this old-timey horse-racing mecca is restored to its former glory, as ladies in hats and men in seersucker fill the stands, Belmont Jewels (the New York Racing Association’s answer to the mint julep) in hand. Expect the annual celebration to be a little more festive than usual, as the fans watch aptly named colt I’ll Have Another try to complete the Triple Crown. After nosing out Bodemeister in both the Derby and the Preakness, the New York–based thoroughbred is the first to attempt the feat since Big Brown in 2008; and could be the first to accomplish it since Affirmed in 1978. Head to the park early to assure a seat on the grounds; pick up a racing form and put down a few on the best-looking ponies. • belmontstakes.com. $10–$1,414.

  1. 2150 Hempstead Tpke, (at Cross Island Pkwy)
More info
86
ARChive of Contemporary Music

Dig for vinyl in Tribeca

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For true audiophiles (ourselves included), there’s nothing quite like spending an afternoon—even one that lands on a lovely June day—sifting through rare records. Cheers, then, to not-for-profit research center and library ARChive of Contemporary Music, which throws a ginormous genre-spanning sale of 20,000 vinyl LPs and 7-inches, CDs, posters and other music ephemera (such as programs from Fillmore East rock shows and original, mint-condition ’60s psychedelic posters).

ARChive of Contemporary Music, 54 White St between Church St and Broadway (212-226-6967, arcmusic.org).

  1. June 9–17 11am–6pm.
87
Downtown from Behind

Hop on your steed

  • Critics choice
  • Free

With NYC becoming ever more bike friendly, there’s never been a better time to explore the city on two wheels. To help you find your way, we asked three biking experts to suggest routes. Pick from a public-art ride that takes in Central Park, Roosevelt Island and finishes in Long Island City; a trip along the Brooklyn waterfront; or, for the photographer, a cycle around the Queens cemetery belt.



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!!