However, the fun in the city does not need to stop once the school year is over. New York City has things to do all year round, but the best and most affordable time to be in the city is during the summer. With free concerts, food festivals and craft shows, Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs have cheap and fun activities every weekend.
If you are a student who is staying in New York over the summer or are planning to visit the city for vacation, here are some of the most interesting summer events.
Every Saturday through Sept. 27, Brooklyn, N.Y. has its unique food festival called Smorgasburg. On the waterfront of Williamsburg, in East River State Park, food vendors from N.Y.C. and the surrounding regions come together to share packaged and prepared foods and food-related items. The festival is free and is usually from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
During this time of year, Brooklyn, N.Y. is also known for its flea markets. Through Nov. 23, multiple venues in Brooklyn hold flea markets showcasing local artists’ work as well as crafts and clothing. The Brooklyn flea market is in Fort Green on Saturday and in Williamsburg on Sunday.
In Manhattan, N.Y. each Saturday afternoon, the Central Park Dance Skater Association holds a free Central Park skate circle. You can rent roller skates or bring your own for a day full of music, skating and barbecues.
Starting in Union Square this weekend, and throughout the rest of the summer, the Union Square Partnership and Big Onion Walking Tours will be having free 90-minute tours around New York’s Gramercy and Flatiron district. The Union Square: Crossroads of New York tour gives a history of the surrounding neighborhoods and takes place on Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Not only are there events happening weekly throughout the season, but there are also parties and parades happening throughout June and July. For those interested in museums, some of the most renowned institutions are opening their doors to the public for free on June 10 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This event is the Museum Mile Festival, a walk down 5th Avenue with amazing exhibits open. To see specific exhibits, try to get there earlier and plan out your evening ahead of time.
Another museum that is celebrating the season is the Museum of Natural History. On May 16 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the museum is hosting One Step Beyond, an ongoing party series in the Rose Center for Earth and Space. This includes DJs, dancing and a multimedia presentation. Tickets come with a free pass to the museum for future use.
Parades are fun and affordable activites. For those who are new to the area, Coney Island is a fun way to go to the beach while staying in the city. On June 21 at 1 p.m., Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade will be taking place down Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, showcasing art and music.
New York City’s Pride March is an exciting experience as well. Starting at 12 p.m. on June 29, the parade begins on Fifth Avenue and 36th Street and heads down into Greenwich Village. There are elaborate costumes and floats, and social and political organizations come to support LGBT rights.
While parades and flea markets are always fun to do for a spontaneous outing, the real events in New York City involve free (or fairly low-priced) concerts. The Governor’s Ball Music Festival is coming up in the beginning of June, and if you are lucky enough to have a ticket you are in for a great couple of days of music and dancing. But, if you are one of those not-so-lucky students (myself included), you should look into the other concert choices for over the summer.
In Madison Square Park, near the Flatiron district, there is a Big Apple Barbecue Block Party taking place June 7 and 8. The event is free and offers music and food.
On June 14, the Chelsea Music Festival is hosting at various venues with all types of music, including classical, opera, chamber and post-classical.
For continuous concerts throughout the summer, do not forget the Central Park SummerStage, from June 29 through August 30. Central Park is full of concerts all over and, even if you cannot get a ticket beforehand, the acoustics can reach most of the park. Also, television networks like ABC and NBC always have morning concerts. As long as you get there early enough, you will be able to get a seat to some of the best performances of the summer.
So, whether you are staying on campus or planning a trip back to New York for the summer, try to get as much out of the city as you can.
For more information go to http://www.timeout.com/newyork.
Amanda Giglio is Assistant Culture Editor at The Fordham Ram.