Free movie screenings, live music and workshops set for Socrates Sculpture Park this summer

Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park has some of the best acreage in New York City, with incredible views of the East River and Manhattan, so it’s a no-brainer why you’d want to spend more time there.

But the park, which is accessed by Vernon Boulevard, is so much more than where to get a nice breath of air; it’s got a whole host of free activities and performances you can take advantage of this summer.

Its season lineup features live jazz, dance performances, gardening workshops, art classes and more.

Here’s a look at some of what you’ll have access to starting in May:

Outdoor movies

The park teams up with Film Forum to host a series of films as part of their Outdoor Cinema program, featuring eight international flicks. Films begin at sunset, with pre-screening performances starting at 7 p.m.

July 11: “Monsoon Wedding”

July 18: to be announced

July 25: “The Young Girls of Rochefort”

Aug 1: to be announced

Aug. 8: “Spirit of the Beehive”

Aug. 15: “Tampopo”

Aug. 22: “Kedi”

Aug. 29 “The Passionate Thief”

Jazz series/performances

Just stroll down to the waterfront to hear some live jazz or catch a performance by the city’s dancers and singers this summer. Here’s the lineup:

June 14: Trombonist Clifton Anderson

June 29: Metropolitan Opera

July 12: Saxophonist Eric Wyatt

Aug. 9: Ballet Folklorico Mexicano

Aug. 4-5: INSITU Dance Festival

Aug. 9.: Trumpet player “Hot Lips” Joey Morant

Aug. 11: Norte Maar’s “Dance at Socrates”

Aug. 12: Hip to Hip Theatre: “All’s Well That Ends Well”

Aug. 18: Norte Maar’s “Dance at Socrates”

Aug. 19: Hip to Hip Theatre: “King Lear”

Aug. 25: Norte Maar’s “Dance at Socrates”

Sept. 1: Circus Amok


May 19 to Sept. 16

Saturdays at 9:30 and 11 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m.

Taught by three practitioners with different styles, you’ll get free vinyasa yoga instruction with a view of the Manhattan skyline and the East River. What could be better?

Mini Market

May 12 to Nov. 17

Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vendors of fresh-cut produce and small-batch products, including java from Henley Coffee, hot sauce from Hellgate Farm and baked goods by Little Wildbranch Bakery, pop up each Saturday for your perusal. You can also bring your food scraps to add to the NYC Compost Project by Big Reuse.

Sculpture workshops

May 19 to Sept. 15

Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.

Artists will share their trade step by step, from an interactive movement art piece to stop-motion animation and more.

Urban farming

May 19 to Aug. 18

Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.

If you don’t have a green thumb or want to start an indoor garden, these 30-minute classes will teach you how to grow plants in New York City. During the first class, you’ll be given seeds to take home.

Queens Green Day

Saturday, June 2, from noon to 4 p.m.

Turns out it is easy to be green — farmers, advocates and gardeners alike will show you how during this afternoon event.

You can make art, watch food demos and take part in myriad activities with groups like City Harvest, Bike New York, The Connected Chef, Smiling Hogshead Farm and more. Artists Joe Riley and Audrey Snyder will also teach you how to naturally dye textiles.

Kayaking and Canoeing

June 3 to Sept. 2

Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Weather permitting, get your “sea legs” at Hallets Cove with free lessons by the LIC Community Boathouse. You don’t need prior experience and you can bring your well-behaved dog if you so desire. Boats are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Capoeira for beginners

Aug. 11 to Sept. 15

Saturdays from 1 to 2 p.m.

There’s no need to sign up for a class — Camaleao from Capoeira Nago Queens will teach you the Brazilian martial art for free.


Each year, Socrates presents four major visual arts initiatives using its outdoor space as a gallery. You’ll have the chance to check out two of them this summer.

“Built” by Virginia Overton

Opening May 6, “Built” features artwork created from found materials, including a crystal-shaped sculpture made of industrial architectural structures spanning 40 feet and another that uses a 1990 Ford F250 pickup truck and a reflective glass bead surface.

The materials used in her sculptures are meant to reveal their multiple uses, shedding their former functions.

“Folly/Function: RRRolling Stones” by HANNAH

Later this summer on July 12, design firm HANNAH will unveil 25 3D-printed concrete “follies,” or furniture that adapt to different body types and sizes. With each turn, park visitors can discover new configurations. Each one was printed using a large-scale 3-D printer at the Cornell Robotic Construction Laboratory.