NYC’s Must-Do Summer Events

The City seems to come alive when the first heat waves enter the air. Everyone sheds their winter clothes, put their bodies into fifth gear and head out to the NYC streets and parks to shake off their cabin fever. Thankfully, there are more than enough events and happenings going on throughout the 5 boroughs to keep everybody busy during the sweet summer months.

Looking for an event where you can gain some culture, get fit, learn something new, be inspired, jam out, or simply spend your summer day or night? Then look no further, we’ve got a list of NYC’s must-do summer events. But keep checking back to our site, since we’ll keep updating the events once we hear of even more fabulous events to come.

Studio Museum Summer Exhibition Opening: Today, June 13th Harlem’s famous Studio Museum will open their Summer 2012 Exhibitions and Projects. Among them are the Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, Illuminations: Expanding the Walls 2012, and Harlem Postcards featuring Yasmine Braithwaite, Zoe Crosher, Moyra Davey, and Lauren Halsey. Also artwork from Studio Museum’s artists-in-residence Njideka Akunyili, Meleko Mokgosi, and Xaviera Simmons will also be on display. Check out the Museum’s Opening Reception from 7-9pm at 144 West 125th Street.

NYC Park’s SummerStage: Already in motion, SummerStage is one of the most looked-forward do events throughout the 5 boroughs. Every summer, hundreds of artists (musicians, comedians, and dancers alike) will take the stage (or stages) from June 5th-August 30th. The acts and artists range from J. Holiday to Eddie Palmieri to Norah Jones to Hector Acosta and from comedian Hannibal Buress to Harlem’s very own Uptown Dance Academy, and best of all, most of the events are FREE! Check out SummerStage’s website for detailed events, dates, and locations.

Shakespeare in the Park: One of NYC’s most treasured summertime events when the great Shakespeare’s words come to life in the park. Each year, some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays are reenacted by NY’s finest actors and this year, As You Like It (June 5-30) and Into the Woods (July 23-August 25) will be on stage. For free tickets and details, visit their website here.

Celebrate Brooklyn: A concert series that showcases the best Brooklyn has to offer. From June 5th- August 11th, Prospect Park will be filled with talent from all over NY and the world from ballet to reggae, gospel, and even free movies. Perfect for a day or evening out in Brooklyn, and great for the whole family. Check out their expansive lineup here.

Lincoln Center Festival: Surely you didn’t think the Lincoln Center would miss out on the possibilities of summer, did you? Since 1996, The Lincoln Center Festival has been displaying the arts from opera, chamber music, theater, multimedia performance, ballet, modern dance and multidisciplinary works. The shows are a month long running from July 5-August 5. Click here for more details.

MOMA PS1 Warm Up: For 15 years now, MOMA PS 1 in Queens has been introducing audiences to the best in experimental live music, sound, performance, and DJs in one of the summer’s most anticipated outdoor music series. Every Saturday from July 7th- September 8th, art and music combine to make the ultimate block party in Queens. Check out the lineup here.

Broadway in Bryant Park: NYC wouldn’t be NYC without its famous Broadway performances and with Broadway in Bryant Park, Broadway and the summer come together to take advantage of the sunlight and fresh air. From July 12th -August 16th, you can experience some of Broadway’s most popular shows while on a picnic blanket. For their lineup of performances, click here.

Summer Streets: Inspired by Bogota, Colombia’s Ciclovia, Summer Streets is the perfect opportunity to get active in NYC. For 3 consecutive Saturdays, various streets are closed throughout the city, allowing New Yorkers to get out and get active by cycling, walking, or skating. There will also be several spots where different activities like aerobics taking place. Come out on August 4th, 11th, and 18th and get those gears burning!

Stay tuned for more events and details of other great NYC summer events. 

Photo:  Ed Yourdon