Get us in your inbox

Governors Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

Some seriously awesome events are happening on Governors Island this year

Jennifer P

Come May 1, you’re going to want to spend all your free time on Governors Island. New York’s car-free oasis in Upper New York Bay is giant playground for the youngins and the young at heart with attractions like giant slides, zip lining, rock climbing, an amazing maze and even a beer garden.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Governors Island, NY

Aside from that, the island is home to some legendary events such as the Jazz Age Lawn Party, FIGMENT art show and NYC Holi Hai. You can start planning your summer calendar straight away since The Trust for Governors Island released its planned programing for the 2018 this week. Below, we’ve shared a few highlights provided by the attraction’s representatives. If you’re searching for things to do in in NYC from May through October 31, Governors Island is a good place to start.


NYC Holi Hai: Spring Color Festival; Saturday, May 12, 10 AM–5 PM, Ball Fields
Holi Hai on Governors Island is a celebration of colors, culture, spring and diversity in the capital of the world, New York City. The festival is open to all ages and free for everyone to attend. Register here to RSVP for you and your group.

Rite of Summer; May 19, June 9, July 7 and August 18, Colonels Row
Rite of Summer, now in its eighth season on Governors Island, is a classical contemporary music festival that takes place over four weekends during the summer months. The festival features many of NYC’s most engaging and innovative artists and ensembles. The Rite of Summer “concert hall” is Colonels Row, a short walk from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn ferries. .

Family Fun Day Festival; Sunday, May 27, 11 AM-4 PM Nolan Park
Family Fun Day celebrates Governors Island's playful attitude and bucolic environment. Held Memorial Day weekend, this outdoor festival features award-winning live music and theatrical performances, storytelling, arts and crafts, science and nature workshops, ice cream and snacks, a build-your-own playground and more. The event is free and open to the public.

New York Harbor School Oyster Classic 5K
Grab your running shoes, hop on the ferry and enjoy an early morning run on Governors Island before it opens to the public for the day. NYHOC5K participants will take in the sweeping views of New York Harbor, featuring the lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, while passing the dozens of historic buildings, art installations and inviting green lawns. To register visit the event's website. All proceeds support the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School and its programs.

The 13th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party; June 16-17 and August 25-26, Colonels Row
The Jazz Age Lawn Party, now entering its 13th year, is New York City’s original prohibition-era inspired gathering. Hosted and conceived by Michael Arenella, the event started as a small gathering of about fifty friends and fans in 2005, who came together on Governors Island to revel in the music of the Jazz Age, as performed by Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra. This historically sold out event attracts 20,000 fans over two weekends, who come together to discover music and zeitgeist of the 1920s and 1930s, learn the hottest dance steps of the time, frolic in their flapper dresses and glad rags and enjoy sophisticated bites and vintage-inspired cocktails in a romantic, playful setting. For tickets visit, head here.

ARTs East New York (AENY) and TheHAND Presents The Gathering of Hands; June 23-29, Pershing Hall
The Gathering of Hands is a week-long cultural experience celebrating drumming, unity, and community. In between musical sets all are invited an opening exhibition from the island's AENY University Teens. 

FIGMENT; June 23-24, Colonels Row
FIGMENT is a free annual participatory arts event that celebrates creativity by challenging artists and participants to find new ways to create, share and dream. FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation.

Porch Stomp; June 24, Nolan Park
Set on the beautiful greenery of Governors Island, Porch Stomp invites over 70 bands, artists and performing arts organizations to use the historic porches of Nolan Park as a platform for performance and education, highlighting artistry ranging from traditional folk to old-time, blues, roots, bluegrass and Americana.  Porch Stomp has its roots as part of Make Music New York, a city-wide day of free outdoor music on the summer solstice. 

Vote for your favorite NYC venues in Time Out’s 2018 Love New York Awards


    Popular on Time Out

      Latest news

        Read next