The warm weather marks the arrival of several outdoor events in New York City, including free open-air concerts, movie screenings and theatre productions. From the Museum Mile Festival to Shakespeare in the Park, there are plenty of entertaining activities to fill your trip itinerary!
Museum Mile Festival
Admission is waived by nine of the Fifth Avenue museums during this one-day festival, which celebrates music, art and culture. Fifth is closed to traffic between 82nd and 105th (known as the Museum Mile) and is filled with live bands, entertainment and tons of activities for kids. Held rain or shine, the Museum Mile Festival attracts thousands of people each year and offers art lovers a wonderful way to see top museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, and the Guggenheim for free!
Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June and there are several ways to spoil Dad in the Big Apple. If he’s a baseball lover, spend an afternoon watching one of the city’s two major league baseball teams, or head to the ESPNZone in Times Square with sporting events on dozens of TVs. If Dad is more of a culture vulture than a sports buff, take in one of the free concerts or big-name benefit shows offered at the Central Park SummerStage outdoor venue, or head to Rockefeller Center early on a Friday morning to enjoy the free summer concerts put on by NBC’s Today Show.
Shakespeare in the Park
Since 1957, the Public Theatre has been presenting the wildly popular Shakespeare in the Park productions at the open-air Delacorte Theater in the heart of Central Park. Free tickets are distributed at 1p.m. on the day of the performance. Some theater-goers start to line up as early as 8 a.m. and it is a New York tradition to make the wait a fun event by packing a picnic lunch and basking in the sunshine. The semi-circular theatre is surrounded by the lovely landscape of Central Park’s 55-acre Great Lawn, and offers views of Turtle Pond and the beautiful Belvedere Castle. Tickets are non-exchangeable regardless of a rain-out.
Twice a year in January and June, New York City Restaurant Week gives foodies on a budget a chance to experience some of New York City’s most fabulous restaurants at a fraction of the cost. Discount lunch and dinner menus are offered by dozens of restaurants including celebrity chef favourites like Tom Colicchio’s Gramercy Tavern and Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Visit your favourite New York City restaurant’s website to see if it is offering a Restaurant Week menu, and call well in advance to reserve a table. Reservations at many of the participating restaurants can also be booked online.
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Enjoy free Monday night outdoor movies in this urban park, beloved by New Yorkers. Films begin between 8p.m. and 9p.m. as the sun sets, and movie-goers starting arriving around 5p.m. to set up their blankets on the lawn and start picnicking. The film schedule can be found at the park’s official website. Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
New York is a walking city and June is a perfect month to walk it. The weather is warm, but not as hot and humid as it can get in July and August. A wide variety of walking tours cater to every interest from Bob Dylan fans to chocoholics. So put on comfortable shoes and explore the neighbourhoods!