If one thing is certain, we New Yorkers are ready to make up for lost sunshine. Now that our city is heating back up with the return of mainstay events and exciting new things to do, this summer promises to be one for the books. From free outdoor performances and workout classes to top art shows and food festivals, Warburg’s Summer 2021 Happenings Guide is here to help you make the most out of summer’s long days and warm nights.
Note: Most venues are operating at limited capacities with varying advance reservation, mask, and social distancing guidelines for public safety, so make sure to check specific event details online before you go.
Glamping on Governor’s Island | Now through October
Collective Governor’s Island is a luxe camping retreat on the west side of the island with sweeping views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Take a quick 8-minute water taxi to this rare, in-city escape with spectacular indoor/outdoor accommodations and culinary experiences. Reservations are required. Room rates vary based on date and availability.
Open Boulevards | Various dates and times
Building off last year’s successful Open Streets program, Open Boulevards is a new initiative that will expand 10 multi-block corridors throughout the five boroughs. In addition to creating extra space for outdoor dining, Open Boulevards will feature cultural activities, community-based programming, landscaping and other beautification, and art installations.
Roll-A-Rama at TWA Hotel | Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the fall
Now arriving: The Roll-A-Rama at Runway Rink! Dust off your roller skates and take a spin around TWA Hotel’s new outdoor rink on the tarmac around a retro 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” airplane. Tickets: $16-$20.
Healthy on the Hudson | Now through October 2
Hudson River Park has teamed up with some of the best in fitness to bring New Yorkers a completely free series of outdoor workouts along the scenic waterfront. Whether you prefer Pilates, yoga, high intensity interval training, or running along the esplanade, each of their programs are adaptable to all experience levels to help keep you fit throughout summer.
The Phoenix at Coney Island | Now through Labor Day
The Phoenix—named for the symbol of perseverance—made its debut at the famed Deno’s Wonder Wheel over 4th of July weekend. The brand-new, family-friendly roller coaster rises 68 feet with custom loops, dips and turns, offering riders incredible views over of the beach and boardwalk, along with sky-high thrills. Tickets start at $40.
Seaport Cinema & Sounds | Various dates through August
The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17 has returned with a stellar movie lineup and much-deserved summer soundtrack to keep you entertained throughout the summer. Reserve your mini lawn for dinner and a movie or catch a free live music performance and other musical moments on the Heineken Riverdeck. Reservations required.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! | July 31–September 18
Returning to the Prospect Park Bandshell this summer, the 43rd season of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! will offer free outdoor concerts all summer long with new and acclaimed artists from around the world and around the block. This year, the beloved summer tradition will be transformed into a virtual, multi-platform destination that you can enjoy from home.
Summer Garden @ MoMa | July 8–29
The MoMa will once again welcome the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center for their free summer concert series in the Sculpture Garden. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night.
Sonic Cloisters | Monthly through August
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is doing something quite unconventional at the Met Cloisters this summer. From June to August, a new electronic music performance recorded at the medieval art center will digitally premiere each month on The Met’s website and social media channels, where they will remain free to stream indefinitely.
SummerStage | Various dates through September
This year’s SummerStage festival presents distinctly New York genres including hip-hop, Latin, indie rock, contemporary dance, jazz, and global music. Shows will take place at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, and The Coney Island Amphitheater. Tickets: $45-$85.
Summer Chef Pop Ups @ Rooftop Reds | Now through September
The world’s first commercial vineyard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard puts sustainability at the forefront with the debut of a solar-powered kitchen and summer food series highlighting a diverse lineup of restaurants and culinary professionals. Reservations are required. Tickets for regular tours and tastings can also be purchased in advance online.
Smorgasburg | Now through the fall
The country’s largest weekly open-air food market is back and bigger than ever this summer with four locations: two in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg (Saturdays) and Prospect Park (Sundays), one at the World Trade Center (Fridays), and for the first time, in Jersey City (Saturdays). This beloved culinary extravaganza spotlights 100 local vendors across its locations, so come hungry!
La Barca Cantina | Thursdays–Sundays through the fall
New York’s only floating Mexican restaurant is now open on the Hudson River and serving up agave-based spirits with a street food-inspired menu. Based at Pier 81, it also takes short cruises multiple times per day, offering up sweeping views of the NYC skyline. They do not take reservations, but you can purchase a Boarding Pass for $10 in advance here.
The Bungalow | Now through September 26
Bring your friends together for specialty cocktails, perfectly light bites, or even a round of bocce ball, all while taking in the best sunset views from this new waterfront retreat at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. Curated events every Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer offer everything from drawing workshops and plant care classes to live music and themed parties.
Restaurant Week | July 19– August 15
Whether you prefer dining indoors, outdoors, or in the comfort of your own home, New York Restaurant Week is returning this summer with more lunch and dinner deals to be had than ever before. To book your table or place an order, visit the official NYC Restaurant Week page starting July 12.
Craft Brew Fest | July 24
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is hosting an eclectic celebration with over 100 styles of craft beer and ciders from a variety of local breweries. Guests will enjoy drink samples for the entire evening paired with live entertainment, food, and interactive games. Tickets: $15 – $60.
Social Works: Curated by Antwaun Sargent | June 24–August 13
A new group exhibition showcasing the work from 12 vanguard Black artists is on display at Gagosian Gallery’s West 24th Street location. Social Works considers the relationship between space—personal, public, institutional, and psychic—and Black social practice. With a wide range of material and theoretical approaches, the work on view is united by a conscious engagement with today’s cultural moment
Open Call at The Shed | Now through August 1
Open Call at The Shed in Hudson Yards is a large-scale commissioning program for early-career NYC-based artists. For its second iteration, 27 artists out of 1,500 proposals were selected by interdisciplinary leaders and professionals in their fields, including other artists and members of The Shed’s staff, to present work in a free exhibition and performance series.
Picnic Performances | Now through September
Head over to Bryant Park for a diverse summer program of free in-person music, dance, and theater events produced in partnership with a storied lineup of New York City’s performing arts institutions. Picnic Performances will also be live streamed and available to watch at no cost. So, grab a blanket, get comfortable, and enjoy the show, no matter where you are.
Restart Stages at Lincoln Center | Various dates throughout the summer
Lincoln Center has transformed its campus into an outdoor performing arts extravaganza. Across 10 dynamic spaces, Restart Stages is a safe and welcoming place for New Yorkers and visitors to reignite their passion for the performing arts. Events will include live performances from resident organizations, community arts partners and guest curators.
Shakespeare in the Park | July 6–September 18
This summer’s free live performance in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater is a fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Set in South Harlem, amidst a vibrant and eclectic community of West African immigrants, MERRY WIVES is a raucous spinoff about the trickster Falstaff and the clever wives who outwit him in a new celebration of Black joy, laughter, and vitality.
The Armory Art Show | September 9–12
The exhibitor list for The Armory Art Show’s 2021 edition features 194 leading international galleries from 38 countries with works by both modern masters and cutting-edge artists. The fair, which helps the art market thrive by making buying, selling, and discovering art more accessible, will take place at the Javits Center, its new permanent venue. Tickets: $35-$65.
The Hall of Gems and Minerals | Permanent
After a multi-year renovation, the American Museum of Natural History has reopened its most radiant gallery, The Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals. Featuring more than 5,000 specimens from 98 countries, the galleries tell the fascinating story of how the mineral species arose on our planet, how scientists classify and study them, and how we use them for personal adornment, tools, and technology. Reservations required.