Summer brings out the very best of the city: from its food to its art to its street fairs. Here are a few of my favorite summer events sure to provide you with some fun in the sun over the next few months.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
July 2nd – August 20th, 2018
This wildly popular HBO-sponsored summer film series has been entertaining New Yorkers’ on a weekly basis in Bryant Park for over two decades. The lawn opens at 5PM every Monday, and it’s worth arriving early to secure a spot. It features a well-curated roster of blockbusters from across the decades, ranging from When Harry Met Sally… (1989) playing on July 30th to The Terminator (1984) playing on August 20th.
Hester Street Fair
Hester Street and Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
July 7th – September 29th, 2018
There are many reasons to attend this Lower East Side street fair: The excellent food, the unique shopping, and the quality entertainment lineup. This year, the festival is kicking things up a notch by introducing themed events, including a vintage day and a lobster-and-beer celebration.
Piers 46 and 63 at Hudson River Park
353 West Street at 12th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
July 11th – August 24th, 2018
This twice-weekly summer outdoor movies series is set on two picturesque Hudson River piers. Watch the sun set over the river as you enjoy “Big Hit Wednesdays” featuring blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Blade Runner 2049 or “Family Fridays” featuring favorites like Moana and Coco.
Mostly Mozart Festival
July 12th – August 12th, 2018
Click here for schedule, locations and tickets
This event is all about celebrating the great masters of Classical music and assessing the future of the art. Enjoy everything from virtuoso performances of Vivaldi to experimental theater to participatory dance lessons.
NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard
Grand Bazaar NYC
100 West 77th St
New York, NY 10024
b/t Amsterdam Ave & Columbus Ave
July 15th, 2018
Celebrate National Ice Cream Day by sampling the best artisanal ice cream the city has to offer at Grand Bazaar NYC. Last year, a dozen ice cream makers served up over 60 delicious flavors. Once you’ve had your fill of frozen treats, explore the well-curated market of over 100 antique, artisan, and food vendors. Best of all, the market donates 100% of its profits to four local public schools.
Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night
81 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
July 17th – August 19th, 2018
This annual celebration of Shakespeare has been taking place in Central Park’s 1,800-person, open-air theater. This year, Twelfth Night will run for five weeks with a rotating ensemble of community members and top theatrical talent alike.
Dance on Camera Festival
July 20-July 24, 2018
Click here for tickets and schedule
Celebrating the intersection of two seminal art forms, the Dance on Camera festival brings to light the power of dance film in 16 programs. Events range from documentaries about famous choreographers to a Spike Jonze-curated program of his own short films, featuring never-before-seen footage.
Jamaican Jerk Festival
Roy Wilkins Park
July 22nd, 2018
Click here to buy tickets.
Over 20,000 foodies flock to Queens’ Roy Wilkins Park each year to sample the best of the city’s Caribbean food. Highlights include the full line-up of reggae and soca musicians, and a culminating spicy jerk cook-off.
NYC Restaurant Week
July 23rd – August 17th, 2018
Schedule and locations will be available here as of July 9th
Over 380 of the city’s finest restaurants participate in this twice-annual NYC food extravaganza. Thanks to the generous discounts, guests can enjoy a two-course lunch for $26 or a 3-course dinner for $42 at any participating restaurants.
Tickets go on sale here on July 9th
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Marcus Garvey Park
6316 Mount Morris Park West
New York, NY 10027
August 23rd – 26th, 2018
This celebration of all things jazz brings together a field of talented newcomers and veterans from all over the world. Dedicated to the beloved jazz musician Charlie Parker, this festival is a great introduction to the current jazz scene.
Jazz Age Lawn Party 2018
August 25th – 26th, 2018
The New York Times frequently sites this event as one of NYC’s most memorable annual events. It’s been going on since 2005 and it’s an immersive flashback to the Jazz Age hosted by Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, as well as the large group of additional musicians and dancers.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Washington Square Park
September 1st – 9th, 2018
This event brings together hundreds of the city’s most creative thinkers, ranging from NYU students to career-artists. Peruse the endless displays of jewelry, paintings, photography and more.
Gracie Square Art Show
Carl Schurz Park
September 8th – 9th, 2018
This is a New York institution of summertime art, now entering its 46th year. Festival attendees can check out works by over 100 regional and national artists, and maybe even start a collection of their own.
The Vendy Awards
September 22nd, 2018
Click here to buy tickets
This annual street food competition brings the best of the city’s food trucks, carts, and sidewalk stands to Governor’s Island in competition for the prestigious “Vendy Cup.” While a panel of celebrity judges award the prize, the thousands of attendees are arguably the real winners: They get to sample unlimited food from the 25 honored vendors.
Atlantic Avenue between 4th Avenue and Hicks Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
September 23rd, 2018
Atlantic Antic is the oldest and largest Brooklyn street festival, now celebrating its 44th year. Over 500 food and craft vendors gather over 10 blocks on one of the busiest avenues in the borough. Great food, great shopping, live music, bounce houses, and pony rides complete the experience.