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: Chris Lee

    71. Lie on the grass and listen to the NY Phil, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Central Park.

  • Photograph: Paul Hampartsoumain

    72. Forget those breakers on the subway, see how it's done at the Breakin' Convention, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Project Soul Collection at Breakin' Convention.

  • Photograph: Signe Pierce

    73. Go all out at, or just dabble in, the Northside Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 74. Make a splash during City of Water Day, one of the best things to do in the summer, especially if it's scorching hot that day.

  • 75. Go with the flow in Randalls Island Park, one of the most relaxing things to do this summer. Pictured: Flow.13 on on Randalls Island Park. Rendering: Eto Otitigbe, Looping Back

  • 76. Follow New York Classical Theatre's roving performance, one of the best free things to do this summer. Pictured: New York Classical Theatre performing in Central Park 2012

  • 77. Browse the wares at the American Crafts Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 78. Watch Muay Thai fighters rumble, one of the best free things to do in the summer. Pictured: Hudson River Park's Rumble on the River.

  • Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    79. Welcome back New York’s space shuttle on July 10, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Space Shuttle Pavilion at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum.

  • Photograph: Matt Karp

    80. Foot stomp to Kurt Vile at the 4Knots Music Festival, one of the best free things to do in the summer.

Photograph: Chris Lee

71. Lie on the grass and listen to the NY Phil, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Central Park.

71

Lie on the grass and listen to the NY Phil

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Philharmonic goes green, taking a spin through parks in five boroughs in six days: Prospect Park Long Meadow (July 10); Queens’ Cunningham Park (July 11); Central Park, Great Lawn (July 13, 15); College of Staten Island Center for the Arts (July 14); and Van Cortlandt Park (July 16). Alan Gilbert leads the ensemble through a lively program of Respighi and Tchaikovsky, while we revel in the merlot warmth within us and the starry skies above us.

  1. Locations vary Broadway, at 242nd St
  2. Until Tue Jul 15
More info
72

Forget those breakers on the subway, see how it's done at the Breakin' Convention

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

London’s premier hip-hop dance fest hits the U.S. for the first time, storming the Apollo Theater. Hosted and curated by British dancer-choreographer Jonzi D, Breakin’ boasts film screenings, live graffiti painting, panel discussions, break-dance demos, and lots of mad moves by B-boys and -girls, such as South African soloist Jane Sekonya and Brooklyn’s all-female Decadance crew.

  1. Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd (Seventh Ave) and Frederick Douglass Blvd (Eighth Ave)
  2. Thu Jun 13 - Sun Jun 16
More info
73
Northside Festival

Go all out at, or just dabble in, the Northside Festival

  • Critics choice

Launched in 2009 by the L Magazine (hi! love your work!) as a grassroots celebration of all things indie and Brooklyn, this boroughcentric throwdown has grown into a multifaceted extravaganza rivaling CMJ with its mix of live music, film and technological entrepreneurship. Buy a music badge (northsidefestival.com; $80, premium $235) and dedicate a full four days to racing between practically every nightspot in Williamsburg and Greenpoint to see Black Flag, Swans, Iceage, Son Volt and dozens of other bands. Alternatively, stop by Williamsburg Walks (Bedford Ave between Metropolitan Ave and North 12th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; June 8, 15, 22 noon–5pm; free) to explore traffic-free blocks of music, live-art and creative games.

  1. Locations vary
  2. Thu June 13 - Sun Jun 16
74

Make a splash during City of Water Day

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Anyone who’s spent time in landlocked parts of the country will tell you that a city without water is like…erm, Phoenix. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance celebrates NYC’s best accessory at Governors Island and Jersey City’s Liberty State Park, offering activities that remind us just how good we have it. Get gratis access to a plethora of watergoing vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats; or fish, bike or kick back with food and music on dry land. Sign up early to nab a spot on a narrated boat tour of the harbor.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Sat Jul 12
More info
75
Follow New York Classical Theatre's roving performance, one of the best free things to do this summer. Pictured: New York Classical Theatre performing in Central Park 2012

Follow New York Classical Theatre's roving performance

  • Free

We know, we know—those long lines for Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte can be a killer. Consider an alternative form of gratis high-class drama that’s 100 percent less of a time suck. Now in its 14th year, NYCT performs free alfresco classics in locations all over the city. This year, they’re mounting Chekhov’s melancholy comedy The Seagull in Central Park (meet at W 103rd St and Central Park West; Thu–Sun May 28–June 23, 7pm) and Prospect Park (meet at the Rustic Shelter, Park Side Ave at Ocean Ave, Prospect Park, Brooklyn; Tue–Sun June 25–30, 7pm), followed by Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Battery Park (meeting point TBA; Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun July 1–28, 7pm). Wear comfortable shoes—the company’s style of “panoramic theater” means that audiences follow performers from location to location in the course of the show. Visit newyorkclassical.org for more information.

  1. Locations vary
  2. Tue May 28 - Sun July 28
76

Go with the flow in Randalls Island Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This summer, Flow.13 brings five site-specific installations to the southern shore of Randalls Island Park. Rest in the shade of one of Anne Percoco’s New Growth two-dimensional trees, created with images from the Yellow Pages and enlarged to a height of between four and seven feet. You can also hang out at (and sit on) Eto Otitigbe’s 20-foot-wide, undulating, doughnut-shaped structure, Looping Back. Visit flowartnyc.org for more information.

  1. Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, (at Randalls Island)
  2. Sat Jun 15 - Fri Nov 15
More info
77
Browse the wares at the American Crafts Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

Browse the wares at the American Crafts Festival

  • Free

Unless you’re a URL-toting member of the Etsy nation, chances are you had no idea that June is American Crafts Month. Browse the wares of the glue-gunning goddesses of summer for two consecutive weekends at Lincoln Center. Almost 400 hand-selected master crafters will set up shop, offering handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, home furnishings and every other kind of trinket you can imagine. A fleet of food trucks will offer Mexican, barbecue, French desserts and more, as booth-perusing tends to work up a mighty appetite. Visit craftsatlincoln.org for more information.

  1. 64th St at Columbus Ave
  2. Sat Jun 8 - Sun Jun 9, Sat Jun 15 - Sun Jun 16
78

Watch Muay Thai fighters rumble

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Over the years, outdoor boxing event Rumble on the River has evolved into a quasi-spiritual, international public beatdown. This summer’s fight features Muay Thai, an ancient Thai precision-fighting style known as “The Art of Eight Limbs” because it utilizes all body parts that have the ability to whack–picture MMA, but without all that awkward “ground work.” For one night only, Pier 84 will host a free match featuring local amateur practitioners of the sport.

  1. Pier 84 Hudson River, at 44th St
  2. Thu Aug 7
More info
79

Welcome back New York’s space shuttle

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

One of the casualties of Hurricane Sandy was the pavilion housing the Enterprise. But it’s being rebuilt—allowing visitors to once again wander under the shuttle’s wings and ascend to an elevated platform at the nose. New additions include audio of astronauts and NASA mission control, piped into the pavilion’s entrance, and a charred Russian Soyuz space capsule that returned a space tourist, an astronaut and a cosmonaut to earth. Time your visit to coincide with SpaceFest (July 25–28) or one of the museum’s free Friday films, screened on the deck of the Intrepid at 7:30pm. The programming includes the 1979 Star Trek movie (July 26), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Aug 2) and the original Karate Kid (Aug 23).

  1. Pier 86, Twelfth Ave, (at 46th St), 10036
  2. Reopens Wed Jul 10
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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