The best free things to do in NYC this summer

Pay nada for these awesome live performances, movie screenings, festivals and fun outdoor activities
Mermaid Parade 2014, Coney Island
Photograph: Filip Wolak Coney Island Mermaid Parade
By Lea Ceasrine |

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC


Videology Movie Trivia
Videology, Brooklyn; 8:30pm, Every Tuesday

Target First Saturdays
Brooklyn Museum; Every Saturday

Williamsburg Spelling Bee
Pete's Candy Store; Williamsburg, 7:30, First Monday of every month

May 2

Brooklyn Bridge Park; Various times, Every Saturday

May 3–Oct 25

Habana Outpost Outdoor Movies
Habana Outpost; Brooklyn; 8pm, Every Sunday 

May 7, 8

America's Cup comes to NYC
Battery Park and Brookfield Place; 2-3:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 

May 16

Brooklyn Flea Record Fair
Smorgasburg, Brooklyn; 11am–5pm

Opening day for free kayaking with Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse
Pier 26; 10am–3pm

May 18

Richard Foreman, Filmmaker
Segal Theatre; various times

May 21

Electro Soul Dance Party: Jamie Lidell/JDH & Dave P (Fixed DJs)/ Brooklyn United Marching Band
Brooklyn Bridge Park; 7pm

May 27–Aug 23

Shakespeare in the Park
Delacorte Theatre; various times

May 28

Latin Jazz Dance Party: Poncho Sanchez, DJ Bobbito Garcia, Salsa Lesson with Jose Rivera
Brooklyn Bridge Park; 7pm

June 2

Lyricist Lounge feat. Scarface
Red Hook Park, Brooklyn; 7–9pm

June 3

Chaka Khan
Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn; 8pm

June 3

Dancing in Bryant Park: the NY Tango Quartet
Bryant Park; lessons 6–7pm, live music and dancing 7–8:30pm

June 5

Etsy Craft Party
Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza, Brooklyn; 6–9pm

June 7

Egg Rolls, Egg Cream + Empanadas Festival
Eldridge Museum; noon–4pm

June 7–Aug 24

Coney Island Flicks on the Beach
Coney Island; Every Monday

June 10

Dancing in Bryant Park: Bachata Heightz
Bryant Park; lessons 6–7pm, live music and dancing 7–8:30pm

June 10–Aug 12

McCarren Park; Weds at 6pm

June 13

Brooklyn Pride Parade and Festival
Fifth Ave and Lincoln Pl, Brooklyn; 11am–5pm, parade 7:30pm

June 17, 18

Hudson River Dance Festival
Pier 63; 6:30pm

June 18

Bastille Day
Various locations; Various times

June 18-28

River to River Festival
Various locations

June 20

The Mermaid Parade 2015
Coney Island, Brooklyn; 1pm

June 21

Summer Solstice: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga
Times Square

June 22

Bryant Park; 5pm

June 23

Night at the Museums
Various locations

June 24

Dancing in Bryant Park: Latin Dancing Festival
Bryant Park; 5–10pm

Arrested Development Bingo
Videology; 9pm every Wed

June 27

SummerStage: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe featuring Jive Poetic, Jamaal St. John and Pamela Sneed
Crotona Park, Bronx; 7–9pm

Free outdoor swimming begins
All NYC outdoor swimming pools; 11am–7pm

June 30 – August 18

Sunset Salsa
Pier 45; lessons 6:30–7:15pm, live music and dancing 7:15pm, every Tuesday

July 4

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show
Brooklyn Bridge; fireworks begin at 9pm

July 4

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest
Nathan’s Famous, Brooklyn; TBA

July 5–Aug 23

Waterfront Walking Tour
Pier 66A; 3:30–5pm, every Sunday

July 5–Aug 26

Summergarden Free Concerts
MoMA; garden opens 7pm, concerts begin 8pm

July 6–Aug 10 

Books Beneath the Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge Park; TBA

July 7–Aug 27

SyFy Movies with a View
Brooklyn Bridge Park; 6pm, Every Thursday 

July 8–29

Brooklyn Nights: A Free Outdoor Concert Series in Downtown Brooklyn
Willoughby Plaza, Brooklyn; 6pm

July 8

Edward Scissorhands
Pier 1; 8–11pm

July 11

Free Fashion on the Hudson
Riverbank State Park; 1–5:30pm

July 18

City of Water Day
Governors Island; 10am–4pm

July 20 – August 10

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Lincoln Center; various locations and times

July 22

Hudson RiverFlicks: Selma
Pier 63; 8:30pm

Aug 4

Movie Nights in the Rockaways: Back to the Future 2
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, Queens; 8–10:30pm

Aug 6–9

Giglio Di Saint' Antonio Fest
East Harlem; TBA

Aug 8, 9

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens; 9am–5pm

Aug 8

India Day Parade
East 38th St and Madison Ave; noo

Aug 11

Shakespeare at Sunset
Brooklyn Bridge Park; 7pm

Aug 19

Hudson RiverFlicks: Interstellar
Pier 63; 8:30pm

Aug 22

Blues BBQ Festival
Pier 26; 2–9pm

Aug 25

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Swindler Cove; 8–10:30pm

Aug 28

Summer HD Festival
Lincoln Center Plaza; TBA

Aug 30

Brighton Jubilee Festival
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn