Summer officially begins this upcoming Saturday; hallelujah! It’s safe to say us New Yorkers were waiting a long time for the winter weather to end and for summer to finally arrive. Now, get those ray bans out and jet set to NYC for the #summer. Manhattan has an eventful summer planned for you! If you plan ahead, you can still snag some great deals on flights to New York. Located near top attractions in #NYC, #HotelBelleclaire is running a #summersavings promotion where you book three consecutive nights and receive the fourth free! Just in time for the great weather and ongoing events throughout the city. There is plenty to do that is free and fabulous!
Here is a roundup of some of top events in NYC this summer you want to miss. Also, don’t forget to check out Hotel Belleclaire’s monthly calendar of events to help you plan out your whole season!
1. HBO’s Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Grab a blanket, pack a picnic and come watch films with your fellow New Yorkers at Bryant Park. Bryant Park is a public park right in the middle of the city in Times Square. Every summer, they have a series sponsored by HBO that features classic films for FREE. It has gained popularity over the years and a word of advice: you have to get to the park several hours before show time, or else you may not get a seat. Seating starts at 5pm on the lawn. It will continue every Monday night until August 18th, finishing with The Shining. For the complete list, visit http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html.
2. Central Park SummerStage
Summerstage has been such an essential part of the NYC experience. It showcases performances of outstanding artistic quality. All SummerStage shows go on RAIN OR SHINE. Most of the shows are free and on week nights and weekends, but there are some benefits at cost. SummerStage takes place at Rumsey Playfield, enter Central Park on 69th and 5th Ave. Set to take stage this summer are the Neon Trees, Counting Crows, Gavin DeGraw and Ingrid Michaelson, to name a few. For the full schedule, visit http://www.summerstage.org.
3. Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park is one of one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions. Launched by The Public Theater, the series has grown in popularity over the years and the best actors in the world, such as Liev Schrieber, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and so many great actors come to perform the world’s best plays to a mass audience…all for free. Keep in mind that the tickets are distributed in Central Park and at Summerstage at 1pm the day of the show and the lines do get busy early. You have to plan to spend several hours waiting in order to secure a pair. Nonetheless, it is worth every effort. Watching Shakespeare under the stars in Central Park is a one and only experience you can only have in NYC. The schedule can be found at http://www.publictheater.org.
4. Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center
Starting from June 24 until July 12th, Midsummer Night Swing celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year! If you’re a dancer or simply enjoy dancing, this is the event for you! Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park turns into one big open-air ballroom party, whether you are a seasoned dance-floor devotee or a complete newbie, Midsummer Night Swing has moves to show you, from Disco to vintage Swing, from Salsa and Calypso to Golden-Age Jazz. To celebrate 25 years of getting people dancing, MSNS welcomes new names and good old friends, who may still teach you a few new steps. You get a dance lesson and several hours of dance to music by a live band. If you don’t want to pay the $17 for a single ticket (or $84 for a set of 6 lessons), you can stand on the outskirts and watch (where there’s room to dance, too). After you work up an appetite on the dance floor, stop by the Hill Country Barbecue Market stand for tasty sandwiches, chili, and more. Information can be found at http://midsummernightswing.org.
5. Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest & 4th of July Fireworks
The 4th of July celebrations kick off with Frankfurter fanatics who chow down against the clock at this annual Coney Island eating competition. Top speed eaters will battle to see who can eat the most buns and hot dogs in ten minutes at the ESPN-televised finals.
In the evening, it wouldn’t be the 4th of July in NYC without the annual Macy’s fireworks show. The fireworks in NYC are simply put, spectacular. This year, the show is moving from the Hudson River to the East River. The fireworks will be launched from three barges in the East River, and from the Brooklyn Bridge. The best viewing spots will be from Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and along the east side of Lower Manhattan. If you plan on heading to where the action is, arrive by 5pm to snag a good spot (the light show starts at 9pm). For more information, visit macys.com.
6. NYC Restaurant Week
Tourists and hungry New Yorkers flock to participating restaurants for this NYC food fest, offering more than 20 days of bang-for-your-buck, 3-course meals. Nearly 300 restaurants will be serving three-course lunches for $25 and dinners for $38 (excluding beverages, taxes and gratuities). Past restaurants have included Benchmark, Boulud Sud, the Cecil and Nobu. (2014 dates will be announced shortly). Go to http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek.
7. The High Line
One of the newest and best sites in NYC, and completely free, is the High Line. Located near the Meat packing district and Chelsea market, the High Line is a 1.45-mile (2.33 km) New York City park built on a section of the former elevated freight railroad called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan. It has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and is ideal for an afternoon of relaxation. There are lounge chairs to lie on under the sun and read a book or chat with your friends. The newly expanded park hosts dance performances, art installations and more. For a complete listing, visit http://newyork.timeout.com/things-to-do/1212413/high-line-events-summer-2011.
8. The River to River Festival
The festival will take place from June 19th until the 29th; a total of 11 days, 35 projects, and 90+ artists. Since 2002, River To River has become a foundation of the Lower Manhattan culture, providing an experience at the waterfronts, parks, plazas, hotels, historic landmarks, and other sites downtown. This year, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will present the 13th annual festival, where they will showcase well-known and breakout artists from New York City and beyond.
9. Warm Up – MoMA Festival
MoMA PS1 presents Warm Up 2014, a New York summer staple beginning on June 28th and taking place every Saturday this summer through September 6th. In its 17th year, MoMA PS1’s highly anticipated Warm Up outdoor music series continues its tradition of introducing audiences to the best in experimental live music, sound, and DJs—both local and international—across a range of genres.
10. Big Apple Barbeque Block Party
Madison Square Park heats up with this annual barbeque, meat-eating party. Top masters from across the country–Baker’s Ribs in Dallas, BlackJack Barbecue in Charleston, SC–and local joints like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Hill Country will dish out wood-fired creations. Seminars, cooking demos and live music round out the festivities.
In the summertime, the city empties out considerably. While NY residents flock to the beaches in the Hamptons, it’s easier to get into restaurants, see the best shows on Broadway and get into popular exhibits at the Met and MoMA. The city is yours; you don’t have to worry about getting in anywhere. NYC is simply fantastic in the summertime.