25 amazing things happening in New York this week (June 30–July 3)

Start your July off right with these fantastic New York City events

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

The first week of July means two things. Firstly, it's generally the first (real) week of summer. Second, it's the week where America looks in the mirror, flexes and tells itself how pretty it is on its birthday…none other than July 4th, folks. Stuck on what to do before the national day of fireworks and eating corn on the cob? We've got you covered.
Mon June 30
Central Astoria LDC 2014 Independence Celebration
This lovely neighborhood likes to do things a little differently, holding their Independence Day celebration a few days earlier than everyone else. Head up there if you want to avoid the crowds and possibly utter the most-hipstery of all phrases: "I was into Independence Day before everyone else."

Morbid Anatomy Museum
Dead as a doorknob? Try dead as the spotlight, at this creepy, creepy museum. Tim Burton fans: You know you're excited.
Alice Smith; Bowery Ballroom
This wunderkind songbird straddles nearly every genre and can still hold an audience enraptured. Catch her at the Bowery Ballroom before she blows up and starts playing stadiums.
Beck; various locations
Our generation's David Bowie performs over a series of nights. His last album, Morning Phase, straddled the line between breakup ballads and classic pop.
Night Train with Wyatt Cenac; Littlefield
Ex–Daily Show correspondent and genuinely hilarious dude Wyatt Cenac hosts this best-of-the-best comedy night where he highlights future household names.
Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground; Museum of Sex
Open from the end of June, there's an actual bouncy house made of oversize breasts called "Jump for Joy." Yes, please.

Tue July 1
I’m New Here—Can You Show Me Around?; Union Hall
Author Jon Ronson combines forces with Maeve Higgins to talk about their "moving to NYC" stories. Special guests are promised, as is the ability to laugh at the plight of other people as they spend six months thinking Gowanus is pronounced "go anus."
Free movie trivia; Videology
Brush up on your Nicolas Cage quotes at this free movie-themed game night fit for movie lovers to the nerdiest of cinephiles. But watch out for the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!
ComedyJuice; Gotham Comedy Club
If you squeeze comedy enough, you get comedyjuice, which is used to fertilize laughter. True story.
Punderdome; Littlefield
Sort of like the Thunderdome from Mad Max, except with jokes and laughter instead of mayhem and death.
NYC Makers Open; Museum of Arts & Design

Opening today and running till October, this is the kickoff of the NYC Makers Open, which celebrates creativity throughout NYC. A good party? No. A great party.
New York City Trivia Night; Dark Horse Tavern
How much do you know about this fine city of ours? This (in)famous trivia night at Dark Horse Tavern will school you in everything you thought you knew already, but didn't.
Hamlet the Clown Prince; Cherry Lane Theatre
“Hamlet” is not actually the name for a baby pig: It is in fact a play by Shakespeare. But you knew that.

Wed July 2
Brooklyn Cyclones Wacky Wednesday: Zombie Night; MCU Park
Enjoy peanuts, Cracker Jack and braaains at this minor-league baseball gem.
Coney Island USA Presents Halfway to New Year’s Eve; Sideshows by the Seashore
Freak shows have always been a wonderful part of the charm of Coney Island, and this one is no exception. See a few bearded ladies and strong men, then take the F train back to gentrified Brooklyn to see strong women and bearded men. So it goes, folks.

Arrested Development Bingo; Videology
Winners get a Bluth-inspired frozen banana, obviously.
Guided House Tour, followed by a Patriotic Fourth of July Toast; Merchant’s House Museum
It's the nation's birthday just a couple of days later, so why not celebrate a little earlier?
Billy Joel
Whatever you do, don't keep yelling at him to play "Piano Man." The, er, Piano Man himself (d’oh!) plays NYC's iconic MSG.
NYHS Free Lecture: “To Antietam Creek”; Bryant Park Reading Room (KM)
Get lectured at and enjoy it. Big change from those lectures your parents gave you, eh? This one happens to be an interesting history lesson.

Tammy film release
Whoa, Tammy's got it rough. Let's see if she makes it in this comedy starring the hilarious Melissa McCarthy.

Thu July 3
Joan Rivers; Laurie Beechman Theatre (at the West Bank Café)
Joan is one of the best comedians alive, and will happily prove it to you.
Park Slope Bingo Club; Union Hall
Join cannily named hosts Dick Swizzle and Perry Comb-Over for this laugh-filled bingo night.
SummerStage: The Freedom Dance Party; Central Park
A free dance party? Sure, let's go! It's in Central Park, you say? What could be better? Oh, it's free? Good lord. Count us in.
International African Arts Festival; Commodore Barry Park
See some seriously cool African art in one of Brooklyn's most storied (and historic) neighborhoods.
Target Free Thursdays Presents: The Marvin Sewell Group; David Rubenstein Atrium (at Lincoln Center)
Martin Sewell does it all: blues, funk, soul, alternative and everything in between. See him play for free at Lincoln Center.