Summer in New York City means plenty of outdoor festivals, concerts, and other gatherings. Those who prefer the great indoors (and air-conditioning) will find plenty to occupy themselves as well, including new plays and museum exhibits—and let’s not forget Restaurant Week!
July 7-October 29 | Hayes TheaterPerfect timing is key to a successful farce. Fortunately The Cottage director Jason Alexander—aka Seinfeld’s George—has proven to be a master of comedic timing. So have Eric McCormick (Will and Grace), Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde the Musical), Alex Moffat (Saturday Night Live), and other cast members of this new comedy by Sandy Rustin.July 9-August 6 | Polonsky Shakespeare Center, BrooklynThe Theatre for a New Audience is taking on one of Tennessee Williams’s lesser-known plays, a Southern Gothic take on Greek mythology’s Orpheus. Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) leads the cast in the sultry tale of passion and repression—the usual Williams themes—perfect for a warm summer evening.July 15-August 12 | Lincoln CenterThe final Mostly Mozart program under the leadership of music director Louis Langrée features Langrée conducting Mozart’s Mass as well as the world premiere of Dhikra by Amir ElSaffar on July 25 and 26. Other highlights include Gemma New conducting Mozart’s Prague Symphony on August 1 and 2 and Langrée conducting Mozart’s final three symphonies on August 11 and 12.August 23-September 6 | MoMAA companion to MoMA’s exhibit Before Technicolor: Early Color on Film, this series presents restored short and feature films made between 1894 and 1937 that used tinting, stenciling, and other techniques to present color in motion pictures. The films include Georges Méliès’s groundbreaking A Trip to the Moon, D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms, and Cecil B. DeMille’s original, silent version of The Ten Commandments.August 27-September 3 | Delacorte Theater, Central ParkPublic Works, an offshoot of the Public Theater (perhaps best known for producing Shakespeare in the Park), launched in 2013 with a production of Shakespeare’s Tempest. This summer it is revisiting the play as a musical production. In keeping with Public Works’ mission of making theater accessible and open to all, this free production includes local community members along professional actors.
July 7-February 4, 2024 | Cooper Hewitt“The mother of modern weaving,” Dorothy Liebes integrated everything from cellophane to leather to bamboo into her textiles—which may not seem revolutionary now but definitely was in the mid-20th century. This exhibit not only shines a light on her distinctive designs but also shows her importance to modern-day fashion and interiors.September 8-10 | Javits CenterHaving long outgrown the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, the Armory Show is taking place at Javits Center for the third year running. More than 225 galleries from around the world will present modern and contemporary works from over 800 artists.September 10-January 13, 2024 | MoMADuring his 60-plus-year career, Ed Ruscha has mastered multiple media, producing paintings and photography, films and installations. This exhibition, spanning his entire career, includes more than 250 works and demonstrates how his influence extends far beyond Pop Art.September 13-November 26 | The Museum at FITWhat does food have to do with fashion? This exhibition aims to explain the connection with more than 90 garments, accessories, and textiles from the past several hundred years. Included are pieces by Comme des Garçons, Judith Leiber, William Morris, and Charles Frederick Worth.September 24-January 7, 2024 | The Met Fifth AvenueÉdouard Manet and Edgar Degas were friends and rivals at the forefront of the Impressionist movement. Sure to be one of the year’s blockbuster art events, this exhibit of more than 150 works considers how their artistic trajectories both overlapped and differed and how they helped give birth to what we now consider modern art.
July 8 | Fountain of the Planets, Flushing Meadows-Corona ParkWater lantern festivals originated in China as a symbolic way of releasing cares and welcoming a new beginning. At this contemporary version, attendees can enjoy live music and food before designing their own eco-friendly floating lanterns and launching them into the pool surrounding the fountain. While many events declare themselves as fun for all ages, this one truly is.July 16 | Madison Avenue, 59th-63rd StreetsThe national holiday of France, Bastille Day takes place every July 14. This year the French Institute Alliance Française is celebrating the Sunday after the holiday with a street fair that includes French delicacies (mmm, macarons!) from dozens of purveyors, a Rosé & Bubbly Party, luxury shopping, games for les enfants, and musical performances including numbers from Moulin Rouge! The Musical performed by cast members of the Broadway show.August 1-12 | Joyce TheaterThe modern dance troupe is making its debut at Chelsea’s Joyce Theater with two programs, each consisting of four works celebrating its four-decade repertoire. One of the programs includes the world debut of A minor Dance, performed to a Bach partita.August 10-August 20 | various locations“Be the Change: Hope, Joy, Love” is the theme of this year’s celebration of African, Caribbean, and Hispanic culture and history. Live music and dance performances, parades, fashion shows, stalls selling food and merchandise, exhibitions, and scores of other events will take place on the streets and in a range of venues throughout Harlem.August 12-18 | Rockefeller Park, Battery Park CityThree international dance troupes—India’s Rudrakshya Foundation, Norway’s Tabanka Dance Ensemble, and Poland’s Teatrnowszy—will make their U.S. debuts at this year’s free public festival. Among the other performers will be Lori Belilove and the Isadora Duncan Dance Company with a tribute to Ukraine, the percussive dancers of Sole Defined, and Fanike! African Dance Troupe.
July 8 | Industry City, BrooklynThe name pretty much says it all: Here’s your chance to sample barbecued meats prepared by top pit masters, along with your choice from more than 60 beers and 40 bourbons. Those who still aren’t sated can buy more barbecued foods and beverages, along with sauces and accessories for creating their own fest. Live bands add to the fun.July 24-August 20 | various locationsMore like Restaurant Month, this twice-yearly event lets you relish prix-fixe lunches and dinners at some of the city’s most lauded restaurants for as little as $30. Bookings open July 6, and the hottest restaurants tend to sell out fast. Nonetheless, with some 600 eateries participating throughout all five boroughs, you should be able to savor at least one bargain meal.August 20 | Melrose Ballroom, Long Island CitySample new, novel, and notable cocktails from some of the city’s most popular bars, along with craft gins, whiskeys, and other spirits—there’s even a dedicated rum room. The Tiki Throw Down, a competition for the premier exotic cocktail, is certain to be a highlight.August 24 | Gotham HallAugust 24 | Louis Armstrong Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean KingNational Tennis CenterEach of these culinary events serves as a warmup to the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Suchanan “Bao Bao” Aksornnan of Baoburg, Fany Gerson of Fan Fan Doughnuts, and Jack Logue of the Lambs Club are among the participating chefs at the Taste of Tennis, which will also feature cocktails, live music, and appearances by Carlos Alcaraz, Belinda Bencic, and other top-ranked tennis pros. David Burke and Alex Guarnaschelli are two of the celebrity chefs who will be cooking up dishes at the Flavors of the Open, where attendees can also watch players practice on the court and sip the tournament’s signature Honey Deuce cocktail.September 14-24 | Little ItalyHonoring the patron saint of Naples, this annual event includes the Grand Procession—this year honoring Italian-Americans in pro baseball—on September 16, live music, and food… lots of food. Stands will be selling everything from sausages to smoothies, arancini to zeppole. There will be eating competitions too, so if you have an unlimited capacity for pizza, meatballs, or cannoli, sign up to chow your way to glory.
July 4 | East RiverThe pyrotechnics will be launched from barges along the East River between Manhattan’s 26th and 40th Streets, with official viewing stations set up. Of course, you can also see the spectacular simply by looking up from a high-rise facing the river. Last year’s show averaged 1,920 shells and effects per minute, and weather permitting, this year’s event should be just as extravagant.August 5 | Central ParkThis footrace covers the length of Central Park, starting at the 102nd Street Crossing at the East Drive, to the top of the West Drive at 108th Street, down to 59th Street, then back up again, before running a smaller loop twice. Those who prefer to watch can find plenty of sunny lawns and shady groves from which to cheer the runners on.August 12 & 13 | Governors IslandSwing to live jazz from Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra and others, watch the Dreamland Follies dance troupe before having a go at the the Charleston and the Peabody yourself, take part in the Bathing Beauties and Beaus Promenade: This alfresco festival is the next-best thing to partying at Gatsby’s West Egg mansion. Spats and flapper dresses are optional but definitely welcome.August 28-September 10 | USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis CenterThe fourth and final tournament of tennis’s annual Grand Slam is once again holding court in Queens. Those who fail to score tickets can still get in the swing of the event during the U.S. Open Fan Week, August 22-27, where you can watch qualifying matches and the open practice day for free, as well as participate in the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day festival.September 10 | Pier 1, Riverside ParkNo need to head upstate to partake of a county-fair experience. Live bands, carnival rides, sideshow performers, game booths, local vendors, and snacks galore—yes, even cotton candy—are heading to the Upper West Side for this free day out.