The Official NYC Free Summer List

New York in the summer is great. Apparently not only are we the friendliest city in the States, but we also have a TON of free things to do. Thanks to Arts Engine, some co-workers, interns and a few diligent sleuths, we have a huge list of things to check out in the Big Apple. Enjoy!


Pool Parties

07.09.06 - Curated by Ice Cream Man and Stereogum (Les Savy Fav, Beans with Holy Fuck, Dragons of Zynth, DJ: Finger on the Pulse)

07.16.06 - TBA
07.23.06 - Curated by (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Jason Lytle, Bon Savants, DJ: All England Club)
07.30.06 - Of Montreal, Asobi Seksu, Enon
08.06.06 - Detroit Cobras
08.13.06 - Deerhoof, Beirut, Apollo Sunshine, The Harlem Shakes, DJ: Questlove

08.20.06 - TBA
08.27.06 - Curated by ASCAP (The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Human Television, Elvis Perkins, DJ: Mikey Palms)
09.03.06 - Spank Rock, Gang Gang Dance, Shy Child, DJ: The Rub
More info

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
When: Monday nights at 5pm beginning in June
Where: The lawn of Bryant Park (40th St. & 6th Avenue)
What: This is a series of outdoor, classic movie screenings, playing on Monday nights throughout the summer months in Bryant Park, Manhattan. In the rare events that it rains, films are screened at sunset the following night.

06.26.06 - To Have and Have Not
07.03.06 - MASH
07.10.06 - Bullitt
07.17.06 - The Band Wagon
07.24.06 - High Noon
07.31.06 - A Shot in the Dark
08.07.06 - The Manchurian Candidate
08.14.06 - Charade
08.21.06 - Rocky
More info

Broadway in Bryant Park
When: Thursdays from 12:30-2PM
Where: Bryant Park (40th St. & 6th Avenue)
What: Experience the glamour of Broadway in the great outdoors. Each week, several of this year's biggest hits come to the park for a dazzling afternoon of song and dance.

07.07.06 - Mamma Mia/Musical of Musicals: The Musical/Stomp
07.14.06 - The Phantom of the Opera/Hairspray/Beauty and the Beast/Altar Boys
07.21.06 - Once Around the Sun/Rent/Sweet Charity/Drumstruck
07.28.06 - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang/The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee/Chicago/Wicked
08.04.06 - Broadway Dances for Life
08.18.06 - Lennon/The Actor's Fund: On the Twentieth Century/ The Lion King/ All Shook Up

More info

South Street Seaport
07.07.06 - Juana Molina, White Magic, Mike Wexler
07.14.06 - Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men with Chatham County Line
07.19.06 Conjunto Clastco
07.20.06 - Sugar Hill Gang
07.26.06 - Ray Sepulveda
07.28.06 - Nicolai Dunger with Benjy Ferree
08.02.06 - Bio Ritmo

08.03.06 - Raheem DeVaughn
08.04.06 - Hot Chip, Oppenheimer

08.09.06 - Son Boricua featuring Jose Mangual & Jimmy Sabater
08.10.06 - BT Express
08.11.06 - Josh Ritter and Nethers
08.16.06 - Conjunto Imagen
08.17.06 - Cuba Gooding Sr. formerly of the Main Ingredient
08.18.06 - The Box Tops with Alex Chilton, Tralala
08.24.06 - Cherrelle
08.25.06 - Ted Leo + Pharmacists with DC Snipers

09.01.06 - Spinto Band with TBA
More info

Bryant Park Good Morning America Concert Series
When: Friday mornings at 7AM
Where: Bryant Park (40th St. & 6th Avenue), Upper Terrace
What: The concert series will showcase music with a wide array of artists.

06.30.06 - Pussy Cat Dolls
07.07.06 - Beach Boys
07.14.06 - Train
07.21.06 - TBD
07.28.06 - Huey Lewis &The News
08.04.06 - Pharrell with Kanye West
08.11.06 - Carrie Underwood
08.25.06 - Lionel Richie

Hudson River Rocks
When: Various dates(see below)
Where: Pier 54, West St. at West 14th St.
What: Concert Series featuring exciting new artists as well as established favorites. Staged in a festival setting, complete with food and drink. These vents promise an evening of fun and entertainment.

06.27.06 - Brazilian Girls
07.20.06 - Si*Se & Radio Mundial
08.10.06 - RJD2 & Lyrics Born with Alice Smith

More info

Hudson River Moondance
When: Sundays July-August 6:30pm-10:00pm
Where: Pier 54, West St. at West 14th St.
What: Dance the night away under the stars with music from New York's hottest dance bands on Sunday evenings - no experience necessary. Featured styles include swing, tango and salsa. Free!

07.09.06 - David Berger & the Sultans of Swing-SWING
07.23.06 - Los Hermanos Colon -LATIN
07.30.06 - Mo Guajiro-LATIN

08.06.06 - Eternal Tango
08.13.06 - George Gee's Jump, Jive & Wailers-SWING

More info

Hudson River Flicks
When: Wednesdays and Fridays in July& August, films start around 8:30pm
Where: Wednesday at Pier 54 on 14St. & West St., Fridays at Pier 46 on Charles St. & West St.
What: Enjoy great movies and free popcorn every Wednesday and Friday in July, under the stars in Hudson River Park.

07.05.06 - Mean Girls (PG)
07.07.06 - Wallace & Gromit Curse of the Were Rabbit (G)
07.12.06 - Rosemary's Baby (R)
07.14.06 - March of The Penguins (G)
07.19.06 - The Beastmaster (PG)
07.21.06 - Chicken Run (PG)
07.26.06 - Jaws (PG)
07.28.06 - Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone (PG)
08.02.06 - Cruel Intentions (R)
08.04.06 - Nanny McFee (PG)
08.09.06 - Goldfinger (PG)
08.11.06 - Lemony Snicket's- A Series of Unfortunate Events (PG)
08.16.06 - Goodfellas (R)
08.18.06 - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (G)
08.23.06 - A Clockwork Orange (R)
08.25.06 - ET (PG)

Washington Square Music Festival
When: Tuesdays in July and August at 8 pm
Where: southeast quadrant of the park, near the statue of Garibaldi. Seating is first-come, first-served. Rain space for the July concerts is: New York University's Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street.
What: The Washington Square Music Festival, under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc., presents its 48th season of free concerts in the Square.

07.11.06: Washington Square Chamber Orchestra, Eriko Sato, concertmistress
Andrew Stein: "How Do You Know When It's Over?" An aria in the style of Mozart with lyrics by Garrison Keillor. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: "Exsultate jubilate", K. 165 Amy Cofield, soprano, Mozart: "A Musical Joke", K.552, Mozart:Symphony no. 41 in C, K.551 (Jupiter)

07.18.06: Washington Square Chamber Ensemble
Mozart: Eine klein Nachtmusik, K. 525; "Ah vous dirais-je, maman" for quartet a la Swingle Singers
Andrew Arcari: Accordion Concerto (1942) William Schimmel, accordion Allyssa Lamb, vocals, melodica, glockenspiel,kazoo, whistling and string quintet, Mozart: Serenade for oboe and two horns and strings

07.25.06: Washington Square Chamber Ensemble
Mozart: Horn Quintet in E flat, K. 407,William Kuypers, French horn, Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A, K. 581, Steven Hartman, clarinet, Mozart: Larghetto movement, Piano Concerto no. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595 ,Robert Bonfiglio, harmonica Sir George Martin: Three American Sketches (1973) NY premiere, Westward Look, Old Boston, New York New York, Robert Bonfiglio, harmonica

08.01.06: Cuartetango
An exploration of Argentine tango.String quartet, bandoneon player, tango dancers.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors
When: August 4-7th
Where: Lincoln Plaza (64th St. Between Columbus and Amsterdam)
What: A free festival with something for everyone, Lincoln Center Out of Doors presents over 100 different events: world music, internationally acclaimed dance, cutting-edge performances, special events, cool jazz, and fun for kids. With performances representing cultures from all over the world, Lincoln Center Out of Doors returned for its 35th season in August 2005.

More info

New York Philharmonic
When: Wed, Jul 12, 2006, 8:00 PM; Tues, Jul 18, 2006, 8:00 PM
Where: The Great Lawn, Central Park
What: This beloved tradition, now in its 42nd year, is coming to a park near you. Music under the stars, family and friends, and a fireworks finale make for a perfect summer evening. Followed by free fireworks!

07.12.06: Program-Tchaikovsky: Coronation March , Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Dvorák: Symphony No. 8, Featured Artists: Xian Zhang, Conductor, Jennifer Koh, Violin

07.18.06: Program-John Adams: The Chairman Dances , Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1, Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Featured Artists- Marin Alsop, Conductor, Leila Josefowicz, Violin

More info

Shakespeare in the Park

When: Macbeth-June 13 - July 9, 2006; Mother Courage and Her Children -August 8 - September 3, 2006
Where: Delacorte Theater-Central Park
What: Pick up your free Shakespeare in the Park tickets on the day of the performance beginning at 1pm at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park or from 1 to 3pm at The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street.

More info

J & R Downtown Summerfest
When: 4 dates in May and June-see below
Where:J&R stores in NYC
What:Live events taking place at J&R music and computer world

07.27.06: 12:30pm, J&R Jazz store, 23 Park Row 2nd floor, George Duke performance and autograph signing
More info

Riverside Park Summer Events
When: May-August
Where: See website for specific event locations
What: Riverside Park is a great place for both relaxation and recreation. While quiet spaces are abundant, many activities and events create a lively atmosphere. Riverside Park Fund sponsors and hosts a wide variety of activities including musical performances, theatre performances, family/ children activities and wellness events..

More info

Harlem Meer Performance Festival
When: Sundays, Last week of May thru the first week of September
Showtime: 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
What: Local residents and some visitors enjoy the rhythms of modern jazz, salsa, gospel and at times modern dance here at the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Plaza on the doorstep of the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park.
07.02.06 - SWEET GEORGIA BROWN Down-home blues, jazz, and R&B
07.09.06 - LOS SONEROS DE ORIENTE Afro-Cuban group

NBC Rockefeller Plaza Concerts
When: 7:00am mostly Friday mornings
Where: 49th St. Between 5th & 6th Avenues
What: NBC's Annual Today Show concert series at Rockefeller Plaza

06.30.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - Rascal Flatts
07.07.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - Pink
07.14.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - KC & The Sunshine Band
07.28.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - Chicago
08.11.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - Chris Brown
09.29.06 - 7:00 a.m. ET - Janet Jackson

Central Park Summerstage
When: Various dates-see below
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, 72nd St &5th Avenue
What: Summer stage is one of New York's greatest summer institutions, filling Central Park with music, theatre, opera and dance for two months each summer.

06.28.06 - 7PM Bonnie Raitt, Keb' Mo
06.29.06 - 7PM The Carnegie Hall/Citigroup Neighborhood Concert Series 30th Anniversary: An Evening with Audra McDonald and Liz McComb
06.30.06 - 7:30PM Joan Didion
07.01.06 - 3PM Antibalas, Balkan Beat Box, Ska Cubano
07.02.06 - 3PM Seu Jorge, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Cuba Band, DJ Cut Chemist
07.07.06 - 8PM Noche Flamenca, Roxanne Butterfly's Worldbeats
07.08.06 - 3PM Hakim, The Lion of Egypt and his Egyptian Orchestra with special guest Karina Pasian
07.09.06 - 1:30PM Global Family Day: Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats, Dirty Sock Funtime Band, Baby Loves Disco with special guest DJs
07.13.06 - 7PM Ani DiFranco
07.14.06 - 8PM Stephen Petronio Company, The Young People's Chorus of New York
07.15.06 - 3PM The Family Stand, Black Merda and special guest Fugi, Sharrif Simmons
07.16.06 - 3PM Amadou & Mariam, Daby Toure, Birdy Nam Nam
07.19.06 - 7:30PM UCB Theatre in the Park
07.20.06 - 6PM Umphrey's McGee with very special guest Galactic
07.22.06 - 7PM Cheb I Sabbah, Riffat Sultana & friends
07.23.06 - 3PM Maldita Vecindad, Konono No. 1, Daara J
07.26.06 - 7PM Fiona Apple, Damien Rice with David Garza
07.28.06 - 7PM Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, Sonya Kitchell
07.29.06 - 3PM Goapele, Alice Smith, DJs: The Ladies of Ubiquita
07.30.06 - 3PM Lady Sovereign, Pete Rock, Jean Grae, Curated by DJ Rekha
08.02.06 - 7:30PM An Iliad
08.03.06 - 6PM The New Pornographers, Calexico, The Frames
08.04.06 - 8PM 60th Anniversary Celebration: Limon Dance Company
Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director
08.05.06 - 3PM Gustavo Cerati, Calle 13, Mexican Institute of Sound
08.06.06 - 7PM 4th Annual Brazilian Film Festival of New York: This Is Bossa Nova, Lenine
08.07.06 - 7PM From Mambo to Hip Hop directed by Henry Chalfant
08.11.06 - 8PM Urban Bush Women, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn
08.12.06 - 3PM Soul to Soul: The Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indians with Big Chief Bo Dollis, Irma Thomas, The Hot 8 Brass Band w/The Movers and Shakers
08.13.06 - 3PM Talvin Singh (Delhi/London) - DJ set only! Asha Puthli with special guests Dewey Redman, Guru, Solar & DJ Doo Wop Prefuse 73, Outernational Curated by DJ Spooky "That Subliminal Kid"

More info

Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
When: Tuesday evenings at 7:30PM
Where:The Namburg Bandshell and Mall Concert Ground, mid-Park from 66th to 72nd St.
What: The oldest free outdoor concert series in the US, the Naumburg features symphonic and semi-classical music. (No rain dates)

06.27.06 - The Imani Winds;Featuring Pianist Andre-Michel Schub
07.11.06 - The Naumburg Orchestra George Garrett Keast, conductor;Andrew Armstrong piano soloist
07.25.06 - The Naumburg Orchestra - Sarah Ioannides, conductor; Scott Hartman - trombone soloist
08.08.06 - Early Music Concert - Arthur Haas, conductor and director with members and friends of the Aulos Ensemble

More nfo

Piano in the Park
When: Daily, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Where: Bryant Park at the Fountain terrace
What: Some of the best pianists from all over New York come to Bryant Park to play on the Piano in the Park. Tap your toes to the music of Scott Joplin, the Gershwins, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, and more every weekday.

Mon-Fri, 26-30 Yuka Aikawa

Mon-Wed, 3-5 Dan Manjovi
Fri, 7 Dan Manjovi
Mon-Wed, 10-12 Victor Lin
Fri, 14 Victor Lin
Mon-Wed, 17-19 Deanna Witkowski
Fri. 21 Deanna Witkowski
Mon-Wed, 24-26 Kuni Mikami
Fri, 28 Kuni Mikami
Mon, 31 Sheldon Forrest

Tue-Wed, 1-2 Sheldon Forrest
Fri, 4 Sheldon Forrest
Mon,7 Linda Presgrave
Wed,9 Linda Presgrave
Fri, 11 Linda Presgrave
Mon,14 Linda Presgrave
Wed, 16 Linda Presgrave
Mon-Fri, 21-25 Todd Robbins

More info

Metropolitan Opera in the Park
Metropolitan Opera in the Park
Tuesday, August 22, 8:00 pm
(Rain date: Thursday, August 24)
Great Lawn Mid-Park from 79th to 85th Streets Verdi's La Traviata.
Metropolitan Opera in the Park
Wednesday, August 23, 8:00 pm
(Rain date: Thursday, August 24)
Great Lawn Mid-Park from 79th to 85th Streets Verdi's Rigoletto.

Other Central Park events

Other Free Opera events

Bryant Park Summer 2006 Free Film Series
More info

Movies with a View: Brooklyn Bridge Park Summer Film Series
This free series features films with a "Movies in Motion" theme on Thursdays from July 6 - August 24. You can bring a low chair if you like, but there are also chairs for rent, as well as concessions. Pre-movie music begins at 6 and the movies begin at sunset.
More info

Rooftop Films
Movies on a Rooftop in Brooklyn
Runs from June through September and includes everything from independently produced animation to documentary films about New Yorkers. Screenings feature music at 8 p.m., followed by a series of short films beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8. If it rains, the movies will be shown at an indoor space in the same location
More info

Celebrate Brooklyn Movies & Music Series
This series of movies feature soundtracks performed live by a variety of musical acts. Free performances take place at the Prospect Park Bandshell, but a $3 donation is suggested.
More info

On The Waterfront ** Awaiting 2006 Update
Every Wednesday from July 6 - August 31 Socrates Sculpture Park's annual outdoor festival features international film, music, dance and food. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and movies begin at sunset. More info

Prospect Park Events:
More info


The Tin Star
Thursday, August 17 at sundown
On The Waterfront
Friday, September 15 at sundown
War Of The Worlds (original)
Friday, October 13, 7:00 PM
More info

The Official NYC Free Summer List