If you love summer in New York, then you definitely love summer parties. NYC offers many warm-weather bashes, at which you can swing a cup of sangria and try not to cause a spill. From world-class DJs at the best clubs in NYC to powwows at rooftop bars to prohibition-era jazz soirees like the fantastic Jazz Age Lawn Party as well as killer summer concerts, there's a little something for everyone. So head out and make the most of it! Here's a list of top-notch shindigs to get you started.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC
Best summer parties in NYC
Justin Carter, an avant-garde DJ-composer, and Eamon Harkin, with a flare for Detroit techno, know how to get a party started. Last year, the weekly Mister Sunday summer series moves from its previous Industry City location to the outdoor bar-meets-restaurant venue, Nowadays, located on the edge of Bushwick. There’ll be plenty to eat from Nowadays’ vegan and veggie-friendly kitchen, some fresh, locally brewed beer and sangria, and no restrictions on dogs or kids!
Sundays on the Roof
This early-evening, open-air event features a host of top-notch house, disco and everything-in-between spinners including Behrouz, Âme & Henrik Schwarz, Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss, Young Marco, András Solar and many more. Watch yourself with those frozen margaritas though. You’ve been warned. For ongoing updates visit outputclub.com.
Slap on your spats and practice the Charleston because the Jazz Age Lawn party is returning to Governor’s Island. Sip on Prohibition-era cocktails by Lejay Liqueur and local Bootlegger 21 New York, and none of the back-alley hooch of the day. Food vendors will be on hand to keep your Lindy Hop hoppin’ during incredible daylong jazz performances from Philadelphia’s prized Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, as well as singer-songwriter Queen Esther. Sure to mesmerize is the ultimate 1920s ensemble band Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra, led by the party’s host, crooner-conductor Arenella. As the tunes blast, partake in dance lessons from instructors and perfect your fox-trot.
Almost two decades of packing the Long Island City museum courtyard with NYC's music aficionados and sun-worshiping revelers, MoMA PS1's Warm Up is bigger than ever, with as strong a lineup as it's had in years. This year's highlights include bands, DJs and producers like Jackmaster, DADRAS, Jacques Greene, DJ Voices and more. This one is as reliable as they come.
Looking for a California-backyard-party vibe, complete with carne asada and élotes on the grill? Well, then head to Str8 West Coastin’, where you’ll find expert selectors Still Life, Eleven, Dopeshoes and Destrukt playing only West Coast tuneage from the likes of Dre, Snoop, Cube, E-40 and Too Short. Snag top-notch swag like W-shaped foam hands (for Westsiiiiide), Tupac beer coozies, temporary tattoos while munching on some finger-lickin' Colombian BBQ. The secret party is totally free, but make sure to R.S.V.P. in advance.
Full Moon, the annual dance-friendly beach bash named for and modeled after the monthly all-night parties on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan, returns to Governors Island for its seventh edition. This year, the party acts as a one-day festival, presenting a diverse, kickass bill including Vic Mensa, DJ Harvey, Tops, Jeremy Underground, Donna Leake and more.
For ready-to-party New Yorkers, one of the season's best shindigs is Tiki Disco, making occasional forays at Output from its usual location at the Well. If you’ve been there, you know the drill—lots of beer-swillin’ dancey-dance fun, with Eli Escobar, Lloydski and Andy Pry serving up the rhythmic-motion-inducing goodness. For tickets, visit tikidisco.com.
For New York music fans, SummerStage is always one of the highlights of the summer-concerts calendar. The City Parks Foundation series, which celebrates its 32nd anniversary this year, is a juggernaut among warm-weather concert presenters, booking everything from classic New York hip-hop artists in outerborough NYC parks to big-name indie-rock bands on the Central Park mainstage.