Every Single Fun Thing (All 50 of Them) to Do in NYC This Summer
It’s hard to explain summer in NYC to a non-New Yorker. It’s oppressively hot. Half the city clears out. But there’s always hope—hope that our friend of a friend will invite us to summer at her amazing house in the Hamptons. And in the meantime, we’ve got a Puppy Prom, a Jazz Age picnic and lots of rosé to keep us busy. Consider this your checklist…
1. You guys: An all-you-can-eat ice cream festival is headed to Bryant Park June 1 to 3. We’ll see you at the Scooper Bowl, along with Big Gay Ice Cream, Coolhaus, Adirondack Creamery and more.
2. Now that you’ve recovered from swooning over the outfits at the Met Gala, see the exhibit about the groundbreaking designer: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme Des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.”
3. Celebrate the return of patio weather with a boozy slushy (or three) at La Sirena.
4. Scope out the work of emerging female artists during the Women x Women Art Fair through June 2.
5. It’s Shakespeare in the Park season! Kick things off with Julius Caesar through June 18.
6. Play “count the flower crowns” (while listening to Lorde, Childish Gambino and Phoenix) at Gov Ball June 2 to 4.
7. Grab your best feathered headpiece, throw on a string of pearls and channel your inner Zelda Fitzgerald at the Jazz Age Lawn Party June 10 and 11 (and again August 26 and 27).
8. Or stuff your face with brisket and cornbread at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party that same weekend.
9. Give your dog the unforgettable night she’s always dreamed of at the Puppy Prom June 10.
10. Don your favorite white sundress for a massive, magical picnic in Prospect Park: PopUp Dinner returns June 3.
11. Get a healthy dose of nature with a campout, hiking and sunset yoga during OutdoorFest June 3 to 12.
12. Say goodbye to that loooong A-train ride and hello to fresh air and gorgeous views: NYC just launched ferry service to the Rockaways.
13. Skip Smorgasburg for a weekend and head to Taste of Bushwick for unlimited bites—nachos! pasta! dumplings!—on June 13.
14. We get excited about SummerStage every year. But Elvis Costello at SummerStage (June 15) warrants a full-on freak-out.
16. Order a dozen oysters and a lobster roll at everyone’s favorite floating cocktail bar, Grand Banks. Now’s a great time to don that new Lands’ End skirt of yours and those (insanely comfortable) espadrille wedges.
17. When Oscar Isaac plays Hamlet at the Public Theater, you go. You don’t ask questions.
18. Keep your eyes peeled for La Mer Wave Walk, a series of art installations around the city designed to raise awareness about ocean conservation.
19. Laugh your butt off at Upright Citizens Brigade’s Del Close Marathon June 23 to 25.
20. Ditch your usual all-black uniform and wear your most prismatic outfit to celebrate at the NYC Pride March.
21. Get ready to join (or mock) the masses of people taking photos in the middle of the street when the sun lines up with the city’s grid for Manhattanhenge July 12 and 13.
22. Instead of fighting for a spot at Brooklyn Bridge Park, watch the Fourth of July fireworks at Brooklyn Grange, which boasts a prime rooftop viewing spot (plus drinks, snacks and live music).
23. On Wednesdays we wear pink…and on this particular Wednesday (July 5) we head to McCarren Park to watch Mean Girls.
25. Spend a day at Brooklyn’s newest pool atop the William Vale, which is offering day passes to non-hotel guests for the first time ever this year.
26. And be sure to grab a burger and a caramel popcorn-topped cone from Mister Dips afterward.
27. Throw on your twirliest skirt and learn some new moves at Midsummer Night Swing.
28. Hang out with Samantha Bee, Malcolm Gladwell and Issa Rae at OZY Fest July 22.
29. Make the most of summer Fridays with 2-for-1 tiki drinks from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Surf Shack (the Arlo Hotel’s rooftop pop-up).
30. Indulge your literary side at Books Beneath the Bridge, where you can mingle with authors and indie-bookstore owners (and maybe pick up a few new beach reads).
31. Peek inside the mind of one of the 20th century’s most prolific architects at MoMA’s retrospective of Frank Lloyd Wright.
32. Get to Habana Outpost stat, for grilled corn, frozen mojitos, rainbow umbrellas and ideal lazy-day vibes.
33. Bliss out to the sounds of whistling troubadour extraordinaire Andrew Bird at Celebrate Brooklyn July 28.
34. Work off some of those lobster rolls and boozy slushies and ice-cream cones with The Sweat Sessions, which brings free fitness classes (like the Class by Taryn Toomey and Uplift) to the Meatpacking District every Tuesday.
35. Say hi to Frank Ocean, Solange and Tame Impala at NYC’s other big island fest, Panorama, July 28 to 30.
36. Do your sun salutations alongside a few hundred other yogis at Bryant Park Yoga, Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings all summer long.
37. See A Midsummer Night’s Dream on, uh, a midsummer night through August 13.
38. Spread out a picnic blanket, snack on free popcorn and feel mega-inspired as you watch Hidden Figures on the Hudson River.
39. If you go to one ballgame all summer, make it the Subway Series, when the Mets take on the Yankees August 14 to 16. (Even if you’re just there for the food.)
40. Skip out of work early for $5 kale-matcha margaritas at Loosie's Café—happy hour starts at noon. (Your boss will understand.)
41. See some unreal creations—and, OK, maybe feel a teeny bit inadequate over your boring bucket-castles—at the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest.
43. Marvel at the large-scale works of legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden. (We recommend stopping by one of the after-hours showings for maximum wonderment.)
44. Sure, the beach is a good reason to head to the Hamptons, but The Great Food Truck Derby is a great reason.
45. With the unstoppable Serena Williams on maternity leave, expect plenty of surprises at the US Open (August 28 through September 10). May we suggest wearing your freshest white Lands’ End sneakers and toting along a cozy striped jacket? (Hey, it gets chilly up there.)
47. Wander down a blissfully car-free Park Avenue during Summer Streets (the first three Saturdays in August).
48. Catch some funny, funny people at the Brooklyn Comedy Festival (August 21 to 27). (The lineup’s still TBD, but last year’s guests included SNL’s Sasheer Zamata, Twitter wizard Aparna Nancherla and "2 Dope Queens" host Phoebe Robinson.)
49. Go see Lady Gaga at Citi Field (if only for the insane outfits).
50. Post up on the dreamy rooftop garden at Gallow Green and raise a glass of rosé to a summer well spent.