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Jun 30, 2024 | Seasonal Things to Do

NYC Summer Festival Guide

From musical performances and culinary months to live theater and block parties, NYC is the perfect place to see artists, eat great food, and feel the vibrant festival energy from June to September. There’s something for everyone, and each outing promises an experience like no other. So bookmark this page and seize the opportunity to partake in the very best of NYC’s summer festival celebrations.


Date: May - October

Location: Central Park (Rumsey Playfield), Manhattan and NYC neighborhood parks

Since the 1980’s, there’s been one iconic music festival that has highlighted summer in New York City. And when we say New York City, we mean all five boroughs, as SummerStage includes events that occur almost every day and cannot be contained to one city park. No matter your preferred genre, you’ll be sure to discover something you love at one of these mostly-free concerts.

[Top Things to Do This Summer in NYC]

Dragon Fest

Date: May - October

Location: Select locations throughout Manhattan

NYC’s first and largest Chinese food and cultural festival spotlights the city’s Chinese cuisine with experiential activities, tastings, and market fairs. The six month fest also highlights some of the most recognizable NYC vendors slinging the best in the culinary game.

Movie Nights at Bryant Park

Date: June - August

Location: Bryant Park, Manhattan

Bring a blanket and claim your spot on the Bryant Park lawn to watch a feature film under the stars. Movie Nights at Bryant Park (pictured above) has been an annual event for over 30 years. Movies are typically held on Friday or Saturday nights and there’s always food, beer, and wine available.


Shakespeare in the Park

Date: June - August

Location: Central Park (Delacorte Theater), Manhattan

Lining up for free, same-day tickets for Shakespeare in the Park is a “must” experience for anyone coming to NYC in the summer. As one of the most popular seasonal events, you can expect only the best contemporary theatrical talents performing The Bard’s most beloved plays. *Note: The 2024 season will not be held at Delacorte Theater as the theater undergoes some much needed renovation. In its place, there is a mobile unit that will present The Comedy of Errors, as well as free outdoor screenings of Much Ado About Nothing and on-demand streaming of past Shakespeare in the Park productions.

Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City

Date: June - August

Location: Lincoln Center, Manhattan

Every summer, Lincoln Center transforms into a destination for all things art. Hundreds of events bring together the community to celebrate the stories that live within our city. There’s performances, food offerings, outdoor games, concerts, comedy nights, wellness events and workshops, and so much more.

Jazz Age Lawn Party

Date: June and August

Location: Governors Island, Manhattan

The world’s most original and authentic Prohibition-era-inspired gathering attracts thousands of visitors who come to dance and discover the music and spirit of the 1920s. There’s also food, wine tastings, a beer garden, and a vintage motor car exhibition.


NYC Summer Streets

Date: July through August

Location: Select locations throughout the five boroughs

Take to the streets at the annual celebration that shuts down nearly 20 miles of the city’s streets and opens them up to pedestrians to play, walk, and bike in hopes of encouraging healthy recreation and sustainable forms of transportation. The celebration runs on select Saturdays throughout summer months.

Harlem Week

Date: August

Location: Select locations throughout Harlem

What began as a “one-time only” event has been going strong for half a century. The week-long festival celebrates the rich heritage of Harlem and those who call the neighborhood home. There’s virtual and live events like music, dance, conferences, panel discussions, sporting events, and specials at local businesses.

[Best Outdoor Activities in NYC]

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

Date: August

Location: Select locations throughout Manhattan

The festival honoring the saxophonist has been an annual tradition for over 30 years. Enjoy culture talks, a birthday celebration for the late jazz great, and live jazz from some of the finest musicians in the world at places Parker lived and worked.

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Date: August

Location: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

As one of the largest dragon boat fests in the country, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival attracts nearly 40,000 spectators for its exciting dragon boat races, traditional music, dance performances, food, crafts, and all things Chinese culture.


The Feast of San Gennaro

Date: September

Location: Little Italy, Manhattan

Don’t let the celebration of the life of San Gennaro of Naples fool you, this festival is really all about the food. There’s also colorful parades, live music, and zeppole, meatball, and cannoli eating championships.

All Things Go Music Festival

Date: September

Location: Forest Hills Stadium, Queens

The All Things Go Music Festival has been around for a decade, but 2024 marks the first year that the legendary music festival comes to NYC. The festival is regarded for its support and inclusion of LGBTQ+ and women-focused lineups.

[The Perfect Week in NYC: A 7 Day Itinerary]

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