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: Phyllis B. Dooney

    81. See out summer in a riot of color at the West Indian American Day Carnival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • Photograph: Robert Adam Mayer

    82. Remember when BK meant rap at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Fest, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 83. Discover the Bronx’s green side on a Bronx Urban Farms Trolley Tour, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 84. Spend a Saturday idling at the Hester Street Fair, one of the best things to do in the summer.

  • 85. Dig for vinyl in Tribeca at the huge ARChive of Contemporary Music summer sale, one of the best things to do in the summer, especially if you're looking for an ultra-rare Brazilian LP (just know that we're looking for the same one, and we don't play).

  • 86. See if Joey Chestnut can become the greatest ever at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, one of the best things to do in the summer. Also one of the most patriotic.

  • 87. See what Usher does with the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks, one of the classic New York things to do in the summer.

  • Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    88. Get a burger with a side of art in Madison Square Park, one of the best things to do in the summer. Pictured: Red, Yellow & Blue by Orly Genger.

  • Photograph: Krista Schlueter

    89. Party in postindustrial environs at the Bushwick Block Party, one of the best free things to do this summer.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Central Park Conservatory

    90. Bump, set, spike and show off at an outdoor volleyball court, one of the best outdoor things to do in the summer. Pictured: Volleyball court in Central Park.

Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

81. See out summer in a riot of color at the West Indian American Day Carnival, one of the best things to do in the summer.

81

See out summer in a riot of color at the West Indian American Day Carnival

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  • Free

This Caribbean celebration, known for having lively music and lots of skin, is never short on costumed stilt dancers, floats blaring soca and calypso music, and plenty of flags from countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Look for vendors stationed along Eastern Parkway selling island eats like jerk chicken, curry goat and oxtail, to name a few dishes.

82

Remember when BK meant rap at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Fest

  • Price band: 2/4
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Duck into Dumbo for this four-day celebration of rap culture, now in its ninth year. See MC competitions; a retrospective on Ralph McDaniels’s famed local TV show, Video Music Box; and other explorations of the genre. BHHF’s big draw, though, is its closing-day block-party-style bash (Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 5, enter at Furman and Joralemon Sts; July 13 noon–8pm; $20–$75), which has performances by good-time stalwart Redman, old-school talent EPMD, Pusha T (half of legendary group the Clipse), rising star Dizzy Wright and other topflight acts. Visit bkhiphopfestival.com for a complete schedule.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Until Sat Jul 13
Buy tickets
83
Discover the Bronx’s green side on a Bronx Urban Farms Trolley Tour, one of the best things to do in the summer.

Discover the Bronx’s green side

  • Critics choice

Here’s a great excuse to break free of the Manhattan–Brooklyn routine and discover what’s going on up in the Boogie Down. The monthly Bronx Urban Farms Trolley Tours ($30, children under 12 free) ferry New Yorkers to and from Midtown West, bound for one of the borough’s community-driven agricultural experiments. On the June 8 edition, muck in at the Roberto Clemente Community Garden, then visit El Flamboyan Community Garden to watch a delegation from Loiza Aldea in Puerto Rico construct a float for the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The September 7 event passes through the Italian culinary destination of Arthur Avenue and ends up at the GreenThumb Harvest Festival. Reservations required, e-mail bronxfoodsummit@gmail.com or call 718-590-3518.

  1. Meet at 810 Seventh Ave at 52nd St
  2. June 8, July 13, Aug 3, Sept 7, Oct 12 10am–3pm
84

Spend a Saturday idling at the Hester Street Fair

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  • Free

Few things are as pleasant as spending a few hours at this leafy LES market on a summer’s day. Browse the fashions, like Summer Mizera’s affordable vintage duds, then pick up a tasty bite—we recommend chewy ginger snaps ($10) from Baking Soda Shop—and flop down on the grassy patch in the rear of the market. For a bit more excitement, drop by for a street party held in conjunction with the Bicycle Film Festival (June 29).

  1. Hester St, (at Essex St), 10002
More info
85
Dig for vinyl in Tribeca at the huge ARChive of Contemporary Music summer sale, one of the best things to do in the summer

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). Visit arcmusic.org for more information.

  1. 54 White St between Church St and Broadway
  2. Sat Jun 8 - Sun 16
86

See if Joey Chestnut can become the greatest ever at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate our nation’s independence by joining an estimated 40,000 viewers in watching people stuff their faces with franks. (America, ladies and gents.) Reigning champ Joey Chestnut is back in action after winning his sixth contest and tying for the honor of Most Consecutive Wins last year. The flagship location of Nathan’s Famous was hit hard by Sandy and had to close for part of the season. Despite the setback, the company will still make its usual donation of 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City.

  1. Nathan’s Famous 1310 Surf Ave, at Stillwell Ave, 11224
  2. Thu Jul 4
More info
87

Then see what Usher does with the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This year, Macy’s has enlisted the triple threat (singer, dancer, host) to create the concept, music and design for the mother of all pyrotechnic displays. We’re anticipating a series of coordinated explosions that materialize into an animation of Usher moonwalking. Naysayers will argue it’s impossible, but if we’re able to put a man on the moon surely we can summon that same spirit of innovation and fearlessness to create an entertainment extravaganza. Regardless of the final product, we recommend staking out a spot along the Hudson to watch.

  1. Thu Jul 4
More info
88

Get a burger with a side of art

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  • Free

Madison Square Park continues its excellent program of public art with Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue. Intricately hand-knotted nautical rope is used to build this outdoor work, which encloses select areas with a series of undulating walls painted the primary colors. At the very least, it's something pretty to hold your gaze while waiting in the interminable Shake Shack line.

  1. Madison Square Park E 23rd St to E 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves
  2. Through Sun Sep 8
More info
89

Party in postindustrial environs at the Bushwick Block Party

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  • Free

Fun-seeking hipsters will flock to the roped-off blocks near the Morgan L train stop for a day of pizza-fueled and alcohol-soaked festivities, soundtracked by live music and DJs. The lineup is still TBA, but to give you an idea of what to expect, Heems and Andrew W.K. headlined last year. Between dancing, sustain the partying with bites from Roberta’s.

90

Bump, set, spike and show off at an outdoor volleyball court

  • Free

New York has some great options if you've got a group of friends and a volleyball, including first-come first-served courts in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6. If you're rolling solo, join the free pickup game at Battery Park City's Esplanade Plaza which go down each Wednesday (6–7:30pm, starts June 5). The coed matches are meant to be fun (no pro spikers, please), and come with scorekeepers and balls for no additional charge. Check out more spots with our roundup of outdoor volleyball courts.


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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