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20 kick-ass things to in NYC this weekend

Jennifer P

Fri 2

Governors Ball Randalls Island Park; various times; $105–$305
Let the outdoor megaparty season begin! The annual Randalls Island event is the one local fest where you can catch hip-hop chart toppers, tastemaker-approved buzz bands, left-field pop heroes and, yes, dance-commanding EDM overlords. 

Scooper Bowl: All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival Bryant Park; noon; $20
Enjoy the Scooper Bowl, an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, all for charity in Bryant Park from June 1-3. Supporting the Jimmy Fund, ice cream outposts like Baskin-Robbins, Ben & Jerry's, Big Gay Ice Cream, Wafels & Dinges, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and many more will be slinging cups each day.

Art Battle NYC Le Poisson Rouge; 6pm; $15, at the door $20
The solitary art of painting becomes a spectator sport at this showdown, where live painters face off in front of a crowd for a chance to compete in the international Art Battle championships. Watch as 12 artists spray and splash an assortment of paint during timed rounds, with drinks and music to keep the audience screaming. Paint on. 

The Other Art Fair Brooklyn Expo Center; noon; $15
More than 100 up-and-coming artists show their wares at this fest for collectors and fans with varying budgets.

Split Screens Festival IFC Center; 7pm; opening night $30, festival pass $125, $12–$19/session
New York magazine’s TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz curates this first-ever TV festival, with screenings of new series like the HBO porn drama The Deuce, panels on favorites like Mr. Robot, Difficult People and Search Party with cast members and creators, and plenty of chances to mingle with fellow fans.

Gov Ball After Dark: MUNA Brooklyn Bowl; 11:30pm; $20
Whether you’re attending Governors Ball or not this weekend, everyone is welcome to dance and sing at Brooklyn Bowl’s post-Ball shindig. On Friday 2, synthpop, badass girl band MUNA hits the stage. Dance and shout the words to hits like “Loudspeaker” and heart wrenchers like “So Special." 

Sat 3

Bushwick Collective Block Party various locations; 11am; free
A chunk of Brooklyn’s top-notch outdoor artists stage a Bushwick street takeover, fully armed with food trucks, live jammin’ and Instagram-worthy graffiti to celebrate the nabe’s trendy art scene. Watch spray-can masters create new masterpieces in real time, while local hip-hop and rock-and-roll artists provide the backdrop tunes. Groove to performances by Foxy Brown, rapper Busta Rhymes, Meyhem Lauren and many more. 

Figment Festival Governors Island; 10am; free
Arts group Figment takes over Governors Island with its usual hodgepodge of mind-bending, genre-crossing projects. For its opening weekend, wander through more than 300 projects, which include live performances. Two installations will be up all summer long: a minigolf course and a Pavilion titled “Cast and Place.” 

Party Like It’s 1999: The Summer #1’s of the ’90s Edition The Bell House; 10pm; free
Rage to Aqua, Garbage, TLC and beyond at this beloved party institution. Brooklyn’s DJ Steve Reynolds spins the rock, pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance tunes that ruled the decade, so lace up your Dr. Martens, put on a backward cap, and tie your dad’s oversize flannel around your waist to look the part while you shake your rump like it’s, well, 1999.  

Ella Fitzgerald Centennial Celebration Tribute with Svetlana & the Delancey Five Blue Note; 1:30pm; $35
As part of the Blue Note Jazz Fest, the always-wild big band crew Svetlana & the Delancey Five take over the club for two bangin' shows. Tickets include brunch, a cocktail and a swingin' performance.  

House of Love House of Yes; 10pm; $20–$40
Cast your inhibitions aside as you enter this sensually stimulating pleasure den. Within moments of walking in, you’ll be invited into secret rooms and offered aphrodisiac edibles and deep tissue massages. While Nomi Ruiz, NSR and Playsuit bring the musical entertainment, dancers of all genders strip onstage and twirl down aerial installations. The party encourages free love, but affirmative consent is required. Costumes and "high style looks" are mandatory, so come dressed to impress.

OutdoorFest at various locations and times; free–$69
OutdoorFest, a ten-day lineup of activities, classes and volunteering opportunities, aims to get New York apartment dwellers to engage with the natural environment around the five boroughs. Look up the full schedule to save your spot for mountain biking, outdoor yoga, backcountry cooking, fly fishing, hiking, running and, naturally, beer drinking—can’t miss that.

Wonder Woman Day various locations and times; free
In celebration of the opening weekend of the new Wonder Woman movie, over 2,000 comic retailers, bookstores and libraries around the world are hosting Wonder Woman–themed events. Download the DC All Access app at to see where you can meet pioneering comic book artists and writers and get your hands on two special edition issues and exclusive Wonder Woman tiaras and bracelets—though what we'd really like to nab is the Lasso of Truth. 

National Learn-To-Row Day Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse; 10am; free
Learn, learn, learn to row a boat at Row New York’s free family-friendly boating event happening on National Learn-To-Row Day on Saturday, June 3. With two locations participating—Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse in Manhattan (3579 Harlem River Drive) and the World’s Fair Boathouse in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens (30 Meadow Lake Rd. W)—participants can enjoy both on-land and on-water experiences during 60-80 minute Learn-to-Row classes. 

Writing on It All Governors Island; 1pm; free
Politically conscious writers, artists, choreographers, domestic workers and more lead the charge at this collaborative experiment that welcomes members of the public to write on the walls of an abandoned house in Governors Island’s Nolan Park. This year’s season features Olga Rodriguez Ulloa, Alexandra Chasin, Luis Jaramillo, Matthew Brookshire, Ana Lara, LaTasha Diggs, Mariame Kaba, Laia Sole and Anthony Rosado. 

Sun 4

Queens Pride 2017; noon; free
The 25th anniversary edition of this vocal community celebration promises to be a banger, with a headline performance by Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, a full festival and more. The march takes place from 37th Ave and 89th St to 37th Rd and 75th St.  

Rose Garden Weekend New York Botanical Garden; 11am; $23
Party like the Queen of Hearts—without, y’know, chopping off any heads—at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Sip on a glass of wine (hopefully rosé) or beer as you snap a bazillion photos of the enchanting green space in full bloom. The two-day fest features live acoustic harp and cello performances, landscape painting workshops and a series of plant care demos, garden tours and rose bush giveaways, in case you want to become an expert rosarian. 

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Washington Square Park; noon; free
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.

Best Friends Pet Super Adoption Metropolitan Pavilion; 4pm; free
Best Friends Animal Society will be having their super adoption event for New York City during the first weekend in June, partnering with local shelters and rescue groups to find homes for hundreds of animals. Set in a family-friendly atmosphere at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the Flatiron District, the event is free. For information regarding the adoption process, go to to learn more. 

Mister Sunday Nowadays; 3pm; $10–$20
Avant-garde DJ-composers Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin share a flare for Detroit techno as well as underground house, disco and funk, which they bring to their long-running Mister Sunday series, now held weekly at their club Nowadays. Don't miss a summer edition of the day party institution, which features food, drinks and plenty of outdoor dancing. 


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