After a long and cold winter and spring that made many wonder if global warming was going to take away our best season, it’s finally here. June 21st marks the first day of the summer solstice— which means it’s time to break out the pum pum shorts, jerseys, and actually make good on all those promises to travel to Brooklyn.
It’s “officially” spring now so I gotta make right on my “I’ll come to BK when it’s not winter” promises.
— habitual linestepper (@LifeWithJRDN) March 24, 2017
One of my favorite things about New York summers is definitely the amount of free and fun things going on in every borough. Whether you’re new to the city or just a native looking for something refreshing, summer is the perfect time to explore.
Looking for some culture? The turn up? Or just trying to get fit for the low? Look no further, here’s your guide to finessing the summer in NYC.
Downtown Boathouse, Long Island City Boathouse and Red Hook Boaters offer free kayaking over the summer. Yes, free! So if you’ve always wanted to try kayaking or wanted an active date, you have until August (October for Downtown Boathouse) to try it out!
On June 21st, kick push with Nike for its annual Go Skateboarding Day in the LES. RSVP here.
June 24th kicks off the first game of Nike’s basketball tournament in NYC. Held at the Stanton Street Courts, Tri-state vs Watson kicks off at 2PM while Dyckman vs West 4th starts at 3:30PM. Keep it locked to Nike NYC’s Twitter for more game schedules!
Wanna try a little bit of everything? Though street fairs are a common occurrence (and an easy way to get your funnel cake or gyro fix) in NYC on weekends, the best place to get some great grub will be at Taste the World food festival. Taking place on June 25th on West 77th street, Taste the World will feature 40+ exclusive food vendors. RSVP for your ticket here.
Smorgasbord is one of the best food festivals in the city. Taking place in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays, you’ll be surrounded by all the food vendors whose photos were teasing you on the gram all week! Ramen burgers, po-boys, donuts, and anything you can think of will be there.
On July 1st, Hester Street Fair will be bringing a taste of Uruguay to the LES. With $10 plates and $3 beers, Total Independence BBQ will kick off from 11am to 6pm! Buy a plate for $10 in advanced here.
Work It Out:
From Sunrise Tai Chi to Yoga, NYC Parks offer a number of outdoor programs for you, your mother, and your roommate too. The best part? These classes are offered daily in most neighborhoods! Checkout the full schedule here.
Still working on your summer body? Every Tuesday night until August join The Wellth Collective for The Sweat Sessions. The Sweat Sessions are three back to back 45-minute classes that range anywhere from H.I.I.T. to yoga and are followed up with refreshments for free. Check out June 27th’s workout and sign up here.
Free concerts are one of the best things about summer in the city.
Summerstage is the best way to catch some of your favorite and new artists performing all over the borough. On June 21st, Digable Planets and Natasha Diggs will be taking over Coffey Park’s stage in Brooklyn from 6PM to 9PM. Get off work late? Just Blaze will also be at the Brooklyn park on June 23rd from 7PM to 9PM. Denzel Curry, Phony Ppl, KRS-One, and Ginuwine will be closing out June playing at city parks for free.
Want to see Robert Glasper, Phony Ppl, and Tank and The Bangas? On June 25th, you might want to bring bae or the homies to Central Park for Summerstage at 2PM. The show is free, but the food and drinks (of course) are not.
For a full schedule of performances click here.
What’s more Brooklyn than Coney Island and Fabolous? On June 25th, the theme park will be celebrating 90 year’s of it’s historical rollercoaster, The Cyclone. Hosted by Angela Yee, the free event will feature a performance from Fab, The Harlem Globetrotters, free tattoos, and much more.
Huge Jay Z fan? Come to SOB’s on June 29th for an exclusive 4:44 listening party with a one hour D’usse open bar! RSVP here.
Cam’ron is taking over the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on July 11th for the Heineken Green Room. RSVP right now here!
Into festivals? Goldlink, The Internet, Tunji Ige and more will be taking over The Bronx on July 15th and 16th for The Greatest Day Ever Festival. Buy your tickets to the two day carnival meets festival here.
Free Nas concert? On July 19th, Nas, Young MA, and Dave East are hitting the stage in Brooklyn for the Pandora Sounds Like You NYC show. You know you won’t want to miss this RSVP here.
Wanna see Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, Solange, and Tyler the Creator perform in the same weekend? Panorama will be taking place July 28th to July 30th on Randall’s Island. Weekend passes or single day tickets are available for purchase on the official site here.
Not too far from Manhattan, MoMa PS1’s The Warm Up is a great reason to venture out to Queens. Taking place every week this summer until September 2nd, The Warm Up is an outdoor party that will kick off July 1st with Jackmaster and DJ EZ. This year’s standout performances include A$AP Ferg on August 5th and Cardi B on August 12th.
For the Culture:
Looking to get a little cultured this summer?
Need some fashion and art in your life? Join Lust & Leisure in Williamsburg for an exclusive look at their SS 17 collection on June 23rd. As always drinks will be provided, RSVP here.
Hit the MoMa, which is currently home to the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçon, during UNIQLO Fridays from 4PM to 8PM.
On June 21st, The POC Report Podcast is hosting a Game Night in Brooklyn! Taking place on 333 Flatbush Ave at 6PM, there will be trivia, games and happy hour specials. No RSVP needed for this event, just pull up!
Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum is the best place to get some a little turn up with your art. On July 1st from 5PM to 10PM (stick around later for the let out) , the museum will be blending the sounds of DJ Reborn with its all women of color exhibit, We Wanted a Revolution.
Movies more your thing? You’ve got your choice of rooftops or grass in pretty much every borough this summer until September. Want to watch some hood classics? Watch Dead Presidents while sipping on margaritas and eating tacos on July 2nd at Cafe Habana in Brooklyn. Jake Gyllenhaal fan? Gather the homies to watch Donnie Darko at Red Hook Park on August 15th. There’s even movie nights for the kids!
For a full schedule of free movies in a hood near you, click here.
On Friday July 14th, artist Dana Davenport is bringing the black hair experience to Williamsburg’s SOHO20 Gallery for her opening night of residency “Dana’s #1 Braiding Salon.” The person of colored centered exhibit will feature braiding styles from top braiders, Jess and Joyce Gayo and more. RSVP here.
Tryna Turn Up?:
Dumb question, of course you’re trying to turn up this summer!
Block Party? Kick off summer at Abe Lebewohl Park for Summertime Shutdown. Celebrating one of NYC’s best party girl’s birthday on June 21st, Summertime Shutdown is the perfect way to party, network and chill all at once. RSVP here.
Day Party? On June 24th, catch Angel+Dren and Tha Yell0w R Kelly spinning at The Arena’s Tropicana Day Party. For just $20, you and your homies can turn up to the tunes, get a plate and a drink. Buy your tickets here.
Been dying to party on a rooftop? AshB presents The Sunset Affair on June 30th. With an open bar at a private location, portions of the ticket sales will go to La Perle Des Antilles organization that supports Haiti. Buy your tickets here.
Planning on kicking off your 4th of July weekend on a rooftop? WaxxFM presents Waxx on a Roof on July 1st! Ella Hu$$le, Rubie Lee, Marvelito, and many more DJs will be spinning at the Brooklyn party. RSVP here.
Want to be in La Marina all summer? Start with Brunch Bounce! On July 1st head uptown to see Ape Drums, Uniiqu3 and Dirty South Joe spin. Purchase tickets here.
Everyday PPL is taking over Brooklyn for a mini dance party in Betsy Head Park for free on July 1st. From 6PM to 9PM enjoy a free turn up and maybe even find your summer bae.
Wanna be “Bad and Boujee” at a waterfront day party? On July 2nd, The Wave presents SummerFest 2017 hosted by Mr. Commodore. Even Harlem’s very own Dave East will be making an appearance. Cop your tickets here.
More rooftops, more life. Ijo Mundo will be having a 4th of July Rooftop day party on July 4th from 12PM until someone shuts it down! RSVP here.
Wanna hit one of the most popular parties in the city? Ting N Ting will be taking over MoMa PS1 on July 8th. Kitty Cash will bring be providing the tunes during the outdoor party. Tickets are available here.
Missy. Elliott. Day. Party. Missy Elliott is getting some long overdue love in Brooklyn on July 8th at the Supa Dupa Fly tribute party. With Misdemeanor inspired drinks and gift bags for only $5, you won’t want to miss this. Buy tickets here.
*This will be updated with more events, art exhibits, and shows periodically . To submit your event or party, send emails to Jrdnash1@gmail.com