101 things to do in the summer in New York City 2013

Check out the best things to do in the summer, including street fairs, block parties, festivals, outdoor bars, alfresco screenings, beaches and more!

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  • Photograph: Jordan Loyd/ElectricZooFestival.com

    91. Put your hands in the air at Electric Zoo, one of the best outdoor things to do in the summer.

  • Photograph: Carolyn Concepcion

    92. Dance and shop at the Sweet Spot Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • Photograph: Taso Hountas

    93. Catch a show at Williamsburg Park, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Die Antwoord at Williamsburg Park.

  • Photograph: William Struhs

    94. Take a cultural trip with Lincoln Center Festival, one of the best series to attend in the summer. Pictured: Monkey: Journey to the West

  • Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

    95. Join the French and celebrate Bastille Day (there's a macaron in it for you if you do), one of the best free things to do in the summer.

  • 96. See Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater return to Lincoln Center, one of the best things to do this summer.

  • Photograph: Jack Vartoogian

    97. Cool out at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, one of the best free things to do in the summer.

  • 98. Boogie on the Boardwalk at the Coney Island Reggae Beach Party, pictured, and the Coney Island Dancers Boardwalk Party, two of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 99. Cut a rug by the Hudson at MoonDance, one of the best free things to do in the summer.

  • 100. Go to the neighborhood film festival for the fabulous but broke. We're talking about the LES Film Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • Photograph: David Reeves

    101. Praise the sun god during Manhattanhenge, one of the best things to do in the summer.

Photograph: Jordan Loyd/ElectricZooFestival.com

91. Put your hands in the air at Electric Zoo, one of the best outdoor things to do in the summer.

91

Put your hands in the air at Electric Zoo

  • Critics choice

The outdoor EDM megabash celebrates its fifth anniversary on Randalls Island this Labor Day weekend. And the onslaught of DJs, artists and beat makers is as diverse as ever, touching on stadium-sized trance techno (Tiësto), aggro-dubstep (Excision), Burning Man vibes (Bassnectar), dancehall (Diplo) and the sounds of more than 140 other acts. Nab tickets ($329–$1,199) now—lest you miss the last big blowout of the season. Visit madeevent.com/ElectricZoo for tickets and a complete schedule.

  1. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, (at Randalls Island)
  2. Fri Aug 30 - Sun Sept 1
More info
92

Dance and shop at the Sweet Spot Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Harlem's roving monthly dance party and market kicks off the summer with the Freedom Party's Herbert Holler, Elbow Greasy and Redlox behind the decks. Upcoming dates include a reggae night (Aug 17) and a season-closing roller-skating jam (Sept 22). If you're a DIY maker, apply at sweetspotfestival.com to be a vendor at one of their upcoming jamborees.

  1. Jackie Robinson Park Amsterdam Ave, at 145th St
  2. Sun May 26 - Tue Oct 22
More info
93

Catch a show at Williamsburg Park

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Sure, this successor to the Williamsburg Waterfront stretches the meaning of the term park—no grass to lay on, no shady trees to cool off under—but it’s still a summer concert draw thanks to its big-name bills. Indie-rock stalwarts the Shins kick off the season (May 26; $45), before the Odd Future crew and Meek Mill help to blow out the candles for Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg’s b-day bash (July 20; $42). The season gets groovier from there, with indie-dance forebears New Order (July 24; $50) and the Mad Decent Block Party featuring riotous duo Matt & Kim and Diplo’s Major Lazer (Aug 10; $34).

  1. Kent Ave, (at North 12th St)
More info
94

Take a cultural trip with Lincoln Center Festival

  • Critics choice

This year’s international, multidisciplinary arts fest is focused on cross-cultural and cross-genre collaborations. It begins with Monkey: Journey to the West, an unconventional opera co-conceived by Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng, and Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz (July 6–28). John Malkovich helms a French-language production of the steamy Les Liaisons Dangereuses (July 9–14). Charlie Chaplin’s daughter and granddaughter, Victoria Thierrée Chaplin and Aurélia Thierrée, offer language-free acrobatics in Murmurs (July 24–28). And Sinéad O’Connor switches gears from Irish rock to American soul, taking on Sam Cooke and the like in the Gospel Sessions (July 26, 27). Visit lincolncenterfestival.org for a complete schedule.

  1. Locations vary
  2. Sat Jul 6 - Sun Jul 8
95

Join the French and celebrate Bastille Day—there's a macaron in it for you

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Indulge your inner Francophile during this celebration of France’s independence. Held on three avenue blocks closed to traffic, the fest boasts tasty treats like crêpes and cheeses, Macaron Café macarons ($2) and baked goods from patisserie Financier, as well as sets by accordion players and other musicians, and cultural dances like the cancan.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Sun Jul 13
More info
96

See Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater return to Lincoln Center

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This summer, the legendary NYC dance company takes the stage at Lincoln Center for the first time in more than a decade. Led by artistic director Robert Battle, the troupe will perform a repertory of works by the company’s namesake, as well as Garth Fagan, Jiri Kylian and Ohad Naharin. The centerpiece is the world premiere of acclaimed New York choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners, about a group of heavenly beings in possession of the Biblical four winds. Perhaps most impressive of all: Tickets to this sublimity start at a surprisingly affordable $25. Visit alvinailey.org for the schedule.

  1. 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, (at 63rd St)
More info
97

Cool out at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This year's ace uptown-downtown affair jumps off in Harlem on August 23 with "Bird Is the Word," a premiere by saxophone legend Jimmy Heath and his big band. Stellar sax man Kenny Garrett and fascinating vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant top the bill on August 24. And on August 25, down in Tompkins Square Park (near Parker's old roost on Avenue B), honored vets Lee Konitz and Sheila Jordan share a bill with young hotshots Christian Scott and Warren Wolf.

  1. Tompkins Square Park Ave A, between 7th and 10th Sts
  2. Until Sun Aug 24
More info
98

Boogie on the Boardwalk

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Summer on the Brooklyn shore sees two crews offering parties. WKCR’s Carter Van Pelt hosts the Coney Island Reggae Beach Party on select Sundays (Boardwalk at W 21st St, Coney Island, Brooklyn; May 26, June 30, July 28, Aug 25 noon–8pm; free), featuring a killer lineup of selectors playing through a bass-heavy sound system. Listen to Van Pelt’s Saturday show, Eastern Standard Time, on WKCR 89.9 FM (Sat 8am–noon) to get the latest information on guest DJs. Alternatively, if you prefer the livelier vibes of classic soulful house, check out the Coney Island Dancers Boardwalk Party (Boardwalk at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn; visit coneyislanddancers.com for details), which has expanded its schedule to midweek shindigs and is planning more than 50 throwdowns.

  1. Coney Island Boardwalk
More info
99

Cut a rug by the Hudson

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Ever wanted to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? We’re sorry to inform you Beelzebub’s washing its hair (we checked), but find another partner and head to Hudson River Park’s MoonDance series to salsa (July 21, 28), swing (July 14, Aug 11) or tango (Aug 4) to music by live bands. Arrive at 6:30pm for a dance lesson led by instructors from Dance Manhattan, before that night’s orchestra strikes up and you get to practice your steps as the sun sets over Jersey—the romantic view should help your partner forgive you for treading on his or her toes.

  1. W 44th St, (at the Hudson River)
  2. Sun Jul 14 - Sun Aug 11
More info
100
Go to the neighborhood film festival for the fabulous but broke. We're talking about the LES Film Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

Go to the neighborhood film festival for the fabulous but broke

  • Critics choice

If Tribeca was too rich for your blood, the LES Film Festival is for you. Now in its third year, this ten-day series concentrates on independent, low-budget shorts and feature films, and throws in a couple of parties for good measure. Most screenings ($12) are programmed thematically—animation, docs, made in New York, mind f*ck (yes, you have our attention) to name but a few. A judging panel that includes Judah Friedlander and downtown duo AndrewAndrew will pick the best in six categories and dole out the awards at a free party (Crosby Street Hotel; June 21 6–10pm; reservations required). Look for announcements before June starts regarding the outdoor block party and drive-in (June 16 6–10pm). Visit lesfilmfestival.com for a complete schedule and tickets.

  1. Locations vary
  2. Thu Jun 13 - Sun Jun 23
101

Praise the sun god during Manhattanhenge

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Witness the stunning natural spectacle that occurs when the sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan’s grid: The setting orb will illuminate both sides of every street in the borough four times a year. For the best view, camp out as far east as possible along a broad avenue with views across the island. Check out more pro tips courtesy of He of the Galaxy-Print Vest, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Until Sat Jul 13
More info

Users say

2 comments
Melinda Moses
Melinda Moses

Oh My. I live in Boston. This is going to be a problem. What an excellent selection of just the sorts of things I love to do!! AWESOME, A++++ List, @Timeout. Thank you!

Clare
Clare

Is there any way to print all the pages at once?

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