New York City’s most wide-reaching summer festival brings over 100 free performances to 17 public parks in all five boroughs. This summer, check out performers like Bobby McFerrin in Central Park or Mac DeMarco at the East River Park, among many others.
To celebrate NYC Restaurant Week, hundreds of the city’s most famous eateries offer special three-course, prix fixe meals for a fraction of their regular price. Despite the name, festivities run for four weeks—July 22 to August 16—but reservations fill up quickly, so book your table in advance.
Sink your teeth into some ultra-savory brisket at Delaney Barbecue’s SmokeLine food cart on the High Line, a unique urban park located atop a raised rail bed on Manhattan’s west side. Finish off the meal with an ice cream sandwich at the Melt stand.
Brooklyn’s largest public park is a great place for picnics and softball games, but it’s also the site of one of the city’s best free music and dance festivals, Celebrate Brooklyn! This year’s lineup includes the Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra on August 3 and They Might Be Giants on August 10.
Out of Doors, the fantastic free music and dance festival at Lincoln Center’s open-air bandshell, kicks off this year’s eclectic programming with Kronos Quartet on July 24.
After facing massive destruction after Hurricane Sandy, Coney Island is open for the summer. Ride the wooden roller coaster at Luna Park, stroll the boardwalk, and savor a hot dog with all the fixings at Nathan’s Famous. (Or check out Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4. It’s been fascinating/horrifying crowds since 1916!)
Every Monday throughout the summer, the expansive lawn at Bryant Park is transformed into the city’s most picturesque cinema, as the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presents classic and recently released movies to the assembled crowd. Bring your picnic blanket!
Sure, you’ll have to wait in a long line for your (free) tickets, but is there any event more iconic to summer in New York City than the famous, star-studded Shakespeare in the Park performances? This year’s programs include a new musical version of Love’s Labour’s Lost.
A ribbon of green along the Manhattan waterfront, Hudson River Park offers free kayak rentals on piers 40, 66, and 96. For novice kayakers, there are even volunteer-led lessons throughout the summer, gratis.