New York Summer 2019 Event Guide: What to do in NYC This Season

From one-of-a-kind food festivals to free Shakespeare in the Park, New York City comes alive in the summer.

There is nothing quite like New York City in the summer. When the sun is out and the weather warms up, the Big Apple just comes alive. Options for fun in the city are endless in the summer, and this year is no different: Below you'll find a list of the biggest and best events hitting New York in June, July and August 2019.

JUNE

Shakespeare in the Park

This season, the Public Theater will put on large-scale productions of two of Shakespeare's iconic works: The current production, Much Ado About Nothing, runs through June 23, followed by Coriolanus from June 16 through August 11. A staged version of the Disney animated musical Hercules from August 31 through September 8 will close out the series.

As always, the annual series is free, though tickets are hot items and seats are first come, first served.

Randall's Island Outdoor Movie Night

Black Panther
'Black Panther' screens as part of Randall's Island Outdoor Movie Night on June 15. Marvel Studios

Stars don't twinkle in the night in New York—blame the neon lights of Broadway (and pollution). However, throughout the summer, folks can see still see stars in the sky, during Randall's Island's outdoor movie screening series. On June 15 it's Black Panther, followed by Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse on July 14 and Tangled on July 28. Check here for the complete lineup of films.

If Randall's Island is too out of the way for you, there are also regular outdoor movie nights in Bryant Park, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Riverside Park and many other locations.

Smorgasburg

Treat yourself to a wide selection of tasty treats at Smorgasburg. The seasonal open-air food and drink market gets even bigger this year, with 100 local vendors scheduled to appear at Williamsburg, Prospect Park, World Trade Center and Hudson Yards weekly from June 15 through October 27.

Bronx Night Market

Food and libations take center stage at the open-air market, but unlike similar and more prominent food events taking place throughout the city, the Bronx Night Market gives visitors the added bonus of live music. More than 40 venders will be on site at the market, which runs from June 15 through October 26, while four artists get a chance to rock the mic.

Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party

Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party
Manhattan roars back to the 1920s at the annual Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party. Getty

Governor's Island takes a journey back to the roaring '20s during the annual dance party. Folks can sip on cocktails and enjoy a picnic on the island while wearing fashions from the 1960s during the event, which also features live jazz band performances.

The 14th annual party kicks off on June 15 and 16, then returns to close out the summer on August 24 and 25. General admission starts at $45.

Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Magical sea-creatures take over Coney Island on June 22 at the 36th annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. The annual procession, where thousands walk the boardwalk in their best aquatic-themed outfit, starts at 1pm, but if you want a good viewing spot, you'd better get there by 11am.

PrideFest

PrideFest
The crowd at New York City PrideFest on June 25, 2017. Paul Zimmerman/Getty

It's only right to close out World Pride Month by waving the rainbow flag: Among the capstone events at New York City Pride, this free street festival will bring together people from all over the country to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

E.J. Johnson hosts the queer block party—which also includes community groups and food and retail vendors—with Mel C, Princess Nokia, Lauren Jauregui and others hitting the PrideFest stage.

The festival runs June 30 from 11am to 6pm, taking over Fourth Avenue between Union Square and Astor Place.

JULY

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

For the first time in 14 years, Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show will launch from the Brooklyn Bridge and four barges along the lower part of the East River. The annual display will light up the New York skyline on July 4, 2019, at approximately 9:20pm.

MoMA PS1 Warm Up 2019

PS 1 Warm Up
Revelers at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center's "Warm Up" party July 21, 2007. The summer-long music series in Long Island City, Queens, draws thousands of locals and international visitors every Saturday during the summer. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Music and art lovers come together for the annual Warm Up series at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, where emerging DJs and musicians are spotlighted every Saturday from July 6 to August 31.

The 2019 lineup includes Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Bad Gyal, Smino, Michael Brun, Noodles and Annie Mac. Tickets also include admission to the PS 1 galleries.

Pinknic

The rosé will flow on Randall's Island at the fourth annual Pinknic on July 19 and 20. Mark Ronson, Chromeo, Moon Boots, Pnau and others take the stage while guests sip on pink drinks from Whispering Angel, Champagne Mumm and others and enjoy fare from New York favorites like Robert's, Lobster Joint and Mighty Quinn's. There's also a pool area, so bring your bathing suit.

AUGUST

Secret Summer

Sip on some of the best cocktails of the season—made by the city's best mixologists—at this lavish celebration of booze held at the Foundry in Long Island City, Queens. While you're there, grab a bite to eat and check out installations, immersive experiences and DJ sets from DJ Dastan, David Hohme, Mira Fahrenheit and Kareem Thompson.

Afropunk Festival

Goldlink, Leon Bridges, Ravyn Lenae, Kelsey Lu, Tierra Whack, Toro y Moi, J.I.D., Nao and Masego are just a few of the musicians gracing the stage at Fort Greene's Commodore Barry Park. The annual celebration of black culture through music and arts kicks off August 24 and August 25.

New York Summer 2019 Event Guide: What to do in NYC This Season | Culture