Kicking off the New York Summer: Free Events and More (Part 1)

Summer in New York
Summer in New York

It’s the beginning of July and our New York summer is in full swing. Not only have we had a few of our first heat waves, but beach season has officially started four weeks ago and the parks are being continuously over-crowded with picnics, birthday parties and sunbathers.

Concerts, movies, yoga – experiencing a summer in New York is always a treat, especially after our cold and long winters. Indeed, summer in New York can be so distracting to a certain degree that most things never get done, unless you really force yourself to accomplish them. So make sure you don’t become too busy and still find some time for inner peace and silence. Because this time of year has the potential to sweep you off your feet and then leave you dangling – sometimes head-over.

In the past few years, I’ve already written a few post on New York City summer events, so I am recapping some old and new things in the next few posts.

Free Movies in the Parks:

1) Bryant Park Movie Nights
Every Monday starting June 22nd, Bryant Park features some popular movies at sundown. For 10 weeks straight, you will have the opportunity to be part of this fun event in Midtown Manhattan.

Bryant Park movie time
Bryant Park movie time

2) Coney Island Flicks
Every Monday starting in July, Coney’s flicks on the beach come into play. I’ve actually never made it out to one of these and my summer goal for this season is to watch the Grand Budapest Hotel on July 13th.

3) Brooklyn Bridge Park SyFy Movies
What better way to end a Thursday than watching a free movie outdoors with the Manhattan skyline in the background. Be sure to get here on time because this spot is pretty popular and even tourists who just stroll by get lured into “I must see Dr. Strangelove today otherwise my NY experience will be tainted.” From now till the end of August there are a number of great movies to be viewed.

4) McCarren Park Movies
Every Wednesday night starting the first week of July, this Williamsburg park will bring you 6 movies until mid-August. Some are pretty funny, such as Clueless and Wet Hot American Summer. Other are simple classics – nothing wrong with Dirty Dancing.

And here is a list of smaller parks and venues which host free movies throughout NYC parks.

If you look hard enough, you can pretty much find movies even at bars or places with an outdoor space. Habana Outpost features movie night every Sunday from May through October.

Concerts:

Our two major parks have been showing some splendid concerts for the past few summers.

Central Park has the amazing Summerstage, which features all kinds of music and bands during the hot summer months. Indeed, last Saturday I was at a hot Reggae show in the sweltering June heat and enjoyed my time at 2pm in the afternoon immensely.
For the full line-up, consider this website.

Celebrate Brooklyn
Celebrate Brooklyn

Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell is an oldie but goodie. Ever since starting to go hear in 2011, I’ve had a blast. And I plan on attending at least two concerts this summer – we will see how it works out. So far, performances are scheduled every Thursday, Friday and Saturday eve starting at 7:30pm. Some Benefit Concerts are held on odd days, too, in addition to the general lineup. Queues have been quite long in the past few years, depending on the band playing.
Find the full lineup under the BRIC website, who sponsors and organizes this concert series every year.

Other free concerts in various parks throughout New York can be found under the City Parks Foundation webpage.

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