There are some nice outdoor and indoor NYC events for Summer Lovers coming up soon. Here are some of my favorites. Some are brand new but you may recognize a few old favorites; many of them are family friendly and virtually all of them are accessible by public transportation.
Lincoln Center Festival
If you love groundbreaking, avant-garde and modern music, art and theater from around the world, check out the Lincoln Center Festival during the second half of July. This season’s program will include new work by Balkan superstar Goran Bregovic, the percussion ensemble So Percussion: Trilogy, and the “visually stunning” chamber opera Paradise Interrupted.
Free Shakespeare In the Park
For over fifty years, Public Theater has been staging groundbreaking new productions of Shakespeare in Central Park, for free. The Taming of the Shrew will be running until June 26th, and Troilus and Cressida will run from July 19th to August 14th in the picturesque Delacorte Theater in Central Park. While tickets are free and can be obtained through a variety of means including a lottery, or waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in a very, very long line, the best way to get tickets is by becoming a Summer Supporter of the Public Theater.
Central Park SummerStage Festival
The Central Park SummerStage Festival will host an eclectic roster of musical acts this year, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Saul Williams, Flight of the Conchords, and Portugal. The Man,to name just a few, as well as performances by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series. The Festival takes place over five months and will bring over 100 great performances to stages in parks throughout the five Boroughs.
NYC Restaurant Week
7/25 – 8/19
This twice-yearly event is a boon to any New Yorker who loves to go out and eat (and don’t we all?). It’s the perfect excuse to get together with friends and take a chance on that new neighborhood bistro, or you can simply leave home on an empty stomach and take the entire city by storm alone. Over 300 restaurants offer three-course lunch and dinner prix-fixe dining deals for $29 and $42 respectively.
The New York International Fringe Festival
8/12 – 8/28
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of The New York International Fringe Festival, New York’s premier yearly showcase for new theater and dance from around the world. Performances will be staged in off-broadway spaces all over the Lower East Side and Soho. Tickets are just $18 but move quickly as soon as tickets become available on July 15th; Fringe Fest productions tend to sell out quickly.
Jazz Age Lawn Party
8/13 – 8/14
The Jazz Age Lawn Party is a bit like the Kentucky Derby except without the horses and with a lot more jazz, courtesy of Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra. Get dressed up, pack a picnic, and come out to Governor’s Island ready to cut a rug and channel your inner Gatsby. I recommend getting your tickets now as this event is selling out quickly.
Celebrate Brooklyn!, presented by BRICArts Media, is BK’s answer to SummerStage. Until the end of August, the Prospect Park Bandshell will host a well-curated line-up of world-class musicians, including Tuareg guitar sensation Bombino, psych-rockers Dr. Dog, and Tame Impala, and jazz giant Herbie Hancock.
U.S. Tennis Open 2016
8/29 – September 11th
Whether you’re a tennis fanatic or just an obsessive people watcher, you’re sure to have a blast at this year’s U.S. Open. The Open, which is held each year in historic Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, as well as Citi Field, home of the New York Mets), will once again host the world’s greatest tennis players, and one of the sports world’s most entertaining group of spectators. You can also check out practices and qualifying rounds for free from August 23rd through the 26th. Tickets for the Open can be purchased here.
The Feast of San Gennaro
9/15 – 9/25
This year marks the 90th anniversary of New York’s beloved Feast of San Gennaro. While it’s true that Little Italy may no longer be the most apt name for the handful of streets that are bordered by SoHo to the west, the San Gennaro fest remains an important annual touchstone at the end of Summer, not only for the city’s Italian-American community, but for New York as a whole. Come out and enjoy the cool night air, play some old school carnival games, enjoy a handmade sausage, or a cannoli, (or a shwarma, or a shish kebob, or a pastelillo, etc.), and get a tiny taste of the Old New York we’ve seen in photographs and movies, but which exists now only in memories.