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Here are a few ways to have summer fun in New York City

New York City
Photo: Merissa Blitz

The weather is getting warmer and that means that New Yorkers will be out and about, taking advantage of all of the summertime activities that the city has to offer.

Whether you are looking to explore a new attraction or are looking for some free outdoor entertainment, there truly is something for everyone to do in New York City. Here are a few things that you can mark on your summer to-do list for 2022.

Summer Concerts

There are several outdoor free concerts this summer that New Yorkers can look forward to. Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage has a huge lineup of free shows for all to enjoy all summer long not just in Central Park, but in 12 parks across the Five Boroughs. Though SummerStage has some paid shows on the agenda, most of their programming is 100% free to the public and will be livestreamed for those who want to watch from home. For a full lineup, visit cityparksfoundation.org.

Through Aug. 14, Lincoln Center is hosting its Summer of the City programming, which is presented as a part of the Festival of New York. Throughout the summer, Summer of the City will host hundreds of free events, including a huge lineup of musicians, artists and performance artists across ten stages, including live performances, silent discos and so much more. Plus, Summer of the City will highlight Lincoln Center’s service to the Latinx/e, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ communities, and there will also be expanded offerings for families with young children. The season will also feature events that center around and celebrate deaf and disabled individuals. For more information, visit SummerForTheCity.org.

Courtesy of Lincoln Center

As a part of Bryant Park’s summer programming, the park is bringing back its summer performing arts series, Bryant Park Picnic Performances. Presented by Bank of America, 26 live events will take place in the park between May and September, encompassing live music, theater and dance events. The performances for the 2022 season will also be available through livestream on Bryant Park’s social media pages for more than 20 shows. For more information, visit bryantpark.org/picnics

Outdoor Movies

Throughout the warmer months, the New York City Parks Department hosts free outdoor movie screenings that are fun for all ages in parks across the city as a part of their “Movies Under the Stars” series. Grab a blanket and your favorite movie theater snacks and set up a good spot on the lawn for an outdoor movie night with your friends and family!

This summer, New Yorkers can look forward to screenings of hit films such as “The Mitchells vs. The Machines,” (Peter’s Field, Manhattan on May 31), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (Fort Hamilton Athletic Field, Brooklyn on June 6) and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Columbus Park, Manhattan on June 18) just to name a few. The movies start at dusk. For more information about upcoming screenings, visit nycgovparks.org.

Photo via Getty Images

This year, Bryant Park will also be hosting its own lineup of free outdoor movies for all to enjoy. The park will host screenings of classics such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (June 13), “Scream 2” (July 18), and “The Godfather Part II” (Aug. 15). Concessions open at 5 p.m. and the film starts at 8 p.m. for each screening. Check out bryantpark.org to see what else is playing this summer!

If you’re looking for a drive-in movie experience, you’re in luck — there are a handful of drive-in theaters that you can plan a visit to this summer. The Skyline Drive-In, located at 1 Oak St, Brooklyn, has a lineup of movies that you can enjoy from the comfort of your car this summer. No car? No problem! The theater has chairs available for you to sit in while you enjoy the movie. This summer’s screening lineup includes newer releases such as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” as well as classics such as “The Breakfast Club” and “The Matrix.” Check out skylinedriveinnyc.com for more info on upcoming screenings.

Photo via Skyline Drive-In

Attractions

A staple summer attraction in Brooklyn is Coney Island. Between the beach, the boardwalk and the amusement parks, there’s plenty to do for a day filled with fun, like hitting that iconic Wonder Wheel. However, there are a few things you should keep an eye out for this summer, starting with the Mermaid Parade on June 18. The Mermaid Parade embraces everything we know and love about Coney Island while celebrating the arts and bringing the mermaid mythology to life. For more info about how to join in the Mermaid Parade fun, visit coneyisland.com.

The Mermaid Parade brought out tens of thousands of people to the event this year in Coney Island. (photo by Todd Maisel)

Perfect for adults and kids alike, a trip to the zoo is a great summertime activity. The zoos (Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, Queens) and the New York Aquarium are all open with timed entries to ensure COVID-friendly fun, or if you want to replicate the experience at home you can try out one of their virtual encounters. For adults, Bronx Zoo is bringing back its annual Brew at the Zoo event on June 17, allowing adults 21+ to drink more than 100 varieties of beer, wine and cider while exploring the zoo’s attractions.

Photo courtesy of Bronx Night Market

For the New York City foodie, there are a number of food festivals taking place this summer that you’ll love to sink your teeth into. Not only can you enjoy the return of the popular Bronx Night Market and Uptown Night Market, MASC Hospitality is also kicking off a brand new offering, the Harlem Bazaar this summer, taking place from 2 to 8 p.m. every third Friday of the month from June through October. Each of these markets will also include live music sets from local musicians and neighborhood vendors to shop around in. For those venturing downtown, Smorgasburg is back and better than ever with three locations: Prospect Park, Williamsburg, and the World Trade Center. Be sure to swing by with an empty stomach, there are loads of local fare that you’re going to want to try!

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