As the bitter cold winter has faded away, and New York is now in the throes of spring, New Yorkers are more excited about summer than ever. The warm weather and outdoor activities will be a welcome diversion in all 5 boroughs. I recently came across an article that shared some of the great activities going on in New York this summer. While the list was fairly large, here are a few highlights:
Shakespeare in the Park (May 27 – August 23): This New York City institution has drawn over 5 million people since it was first staged in 1962. The first productions this year will be The Tempest, from May 27 until July 5, followed by Cymbeline until August 23.
Celebrate Brooklyn! (June 3 – August): Set at Prospect Park, this Brooklyn favorite is the perfect place for a picnic, cup of wine and a free show. Some acts set to play this summer include Chaka Khan, Damien Rice, Interpol and Willie Nelson.
Museum Mile Festival (June 9): During extended evening hours, the annual Museum Mile Festival offers free admission to the eight museums on the 23-block stretch of Fifth Avenue: El Museo del Barrio, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt, the Jewish Museum, Neue Galerie, the National Academy Museum and the Museum of the City of New York, as well as a few other neighbors. There are also plenty of outdoor festivities, such as face-painting, chalk drawing and live music.
Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (June 13 – 14): Once a year, master grillers from across the country come to Madison Square Park for this food festival, where you can enjoy tasty treats, live music and even barbecue seminars.
Puerto Rican Day Parade (June 14): Lively doesn’t even begin to describe this event, which attracts countless marchers and spectators and hosts energetic floats and musical performances that celebrate Puerto Rican heritage.
Bastille Day (July): This family-friendly street fair, commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution, allows you to sample authentic French cuisine, stroll along market stalls, enjoys arts and crafts and hear live music.
Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest (July 4): Legends are born here, where a team of the biggest eaters in the world spend 10 minutes stuffing as many hot dogs in their mouth as they can. Last year, Joey Chestnut came out on top for the eighth year in a row.
Lincoln Center Festival (July 6 – August 12): For 19 years now, the Lincoln Center Festival has been providing an impressive showcase for the best performing arts around the world, and this year’s lineup is sure not to disappoint. There will be nearly 60 performances by artists and ensembles from around the world.
Summer Streets (August): For three Saturdays in August, a corridor connecting Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park will be closed to motor vehicles from 7am to 1pm and open to thepublic for biking, strolling, dancing and anything else they can think of. At the five “rest stops” along the way, there will be a bunch of free activities being offered.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (August 8 – 9): This colorful multicultural tradition at Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosts a race of 180 dragon boats. On the shore, there is plenty of traditional food and live entertainment, martial arts demonstrations from Shaolin monks and various other demonstrations honoring Asian culture.