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Mermaid Parade 2014, Coney Island
Photograph: Filip WolakConey Island Mermaid Parade

The best free things to do in NYC this summer

Pay nada for these awesome live performances, movie screenings, festivals and fun outdoor activities

Written 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

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