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SummerStage: The NYC institution has a serious schedule this year: Indigo Girls (June 17), She & Him (aka Zooey Deschanel, July 6 and 8) and the Metropolitan Opera (July 16) are just a few. Check the full list and filter by "Central Park."
Our tips for managing the crowds: Spring for the benefit shows (which are way less crazed) and avoid the free-show lines by picnicking outside the gates. You'll see plenty of others along the south and east sides of Rumsey Playfield.
Our tips for managing the crowds: Similar to SummerStage but two big differences: First, the Prospect Park Bandshell has much more room inside the gates (where people actually do sit), and second, there are picnic tables right outside for proper spreads.
The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks: It's back--fireworks and all. Mark your calendars for July 10 (Prospect Park) and July 13 and 15 (Great Lawn, Central Park).
Our tips for managing the crowds: Plant your blanket way in the back (like by Turtle Pond in Central Park). It's much less crowded, and you can hear everything all the same.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: Tootsie kicks things off on June 17, and E.T. wraps it all up on August 19.
Our tips for managing the crowds: Be ready to stake a spot right when the gates open at 5 p.m. We guarantee it fills up quick, so take off work (don't worry, there's Wi-Fi) or send your "self-employed" friend. Then the rest of your group can fill in anytime before the movie starts at sunset (usually around 8:30).
Our tips for managing the crowds: Like Bryant Park, the movies start at sunset and Wi-Fi is available. But what's different: The crowd is way more relaxed (oh, Brooklyn), so you can still find a good spot around 6 p.m.
And now to the really fun part--new stuff. A chic picnic blanket is the perfect way to kick off the summer, and these West Elm babies are currently on sale ($35).
Traditional baskets are adordable but not exactly subway-friendly. Keep a comfortable, insulated tote around for post-work wine runs.
The caliber of outdoor culture in NYC is simply the best--when you?re not waiting behind thousands of people to get in.
Here are a few tricks for making the most of it. Spoiler: Eating on blankets is key.
Music There is no shortage of open-air shows, but that doesn?t mean you have to sell your soul in never-ending lines at SummerStage and Celebrate Brooklyn. Shell out for the more manageable benefit concerts--like Sinatra in the Park on June 11 ($65) and Robert Plant on July 27 ($50). The proceeds go to supporting other free cultural events, and getting in is a breeze. Or throw a picnic shindig with friends just outside the gates. You?ll still be able to hear all the music, just while lying down and nibbling on cheese.
Movies Gear up for Tootsie to launch Bryant Park's annual film fest on June 17, and our teenage hero, Mr. Ferris Bueller, to kick off Movies with a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park on July 11. Sure, the crowds seem daunting, but droves of people go for a reason--it?s a blast. Our advice: Skip out of work early that day (we?ll write you a note) and stake a spot as soon as you can. Both parks have Wi-Fi, so you can theoretically get some work done?between hummus dips.
More tried-and-true tips right this way.
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