Lifestyle

Everything You Absolutely Must Do in NYC This Summer

Updated On 06/01/2018 at 05:43PM EST Updated On 06/01/2018 at 05:43PM EST
negroni
Vitalii Matokha/Shutterstock.com
Monday - Sunday
Jun 4-10
Citywide
Negronis are divisive -- you love them, or you think they taste like bitter regurgitated dish soap. You’re in luck if you’re of the former propensity. Each year during Negroni Week, bars and restaurants all over the country trick out their drink menus with their takes on the Italian apéritif. Proceeds from the Campari concoctions benefit the charity partner of the venue’s choice. So pick a spot near you, and drink for good.
Cost: Depends how much dish soap you can stomach
Wednesday - Sunday
Jun 6-10
North Brooklyn
Musicians, artists, politicians, cultural trendsetters and probably some “influencers” will converge in Williamsburg for Northside Festival -- part music fest, part block party, part creative lecture series. Hear live performances from artists like La Luz and Native Sun, lectures from BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith and WeWork creative director Devin Vermeulen, and soak up all the beardy, innovative energy North Brooklyn keeps peddling.
Cost: Badges start at $75
Thursday
Jun 7
Greenpoint
Consider the lobster. The ocean floor creepy-crawlies were once used as garden fertilizer. Now they’re fit for fat cats and rich guys’ wives. Celebrate the humble crustacean’s second act at the Lobster Rumble, where 25 of the city’s top lobster roll purveyors will duke it out for the title of crowd favorite. After sampling the wares from vendors like Luke’s Lobster and The Mermaid Inn, you’ll cast your vote to determine the best of the best. Cleanse your palate between sea-cockroach sandwiches, at the dessert deck, or the open bar.
Cost: Tickets start at $185
Friday
Jun 8
SoHo
You see these people running: running on the sidewalk, running in the street, running in the bike lane, oblivious to the cyclists. And you wonder, what are you running from, friend? Well find out at this nighttime 10K. Check in at Houston Hall at 6pm, start running at 8, and undo all that hard work at 10pm at the official Midnight Run after party. You’ll have music, hype men, and loads of other people to usher you along the route.
Cost: Free if you register now
Saturday
Jun 9
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Public Art Fund will make your weiner dreams a reality when it brings Erwin Wurm's Hot Dog Bus to Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is no Weinermobile, but rather a kind of art installation-meets-food-truck where your snacking is “considered an additive sculptural process in its own right.” OK! The hot dog and hot dogs will be at Pier 1 on Saturdays and Pier 5 on Sundays, from 12-6pm.   
Cost: Free
Courtesy of Vino Verdhe
Courtesy of Vino Verdhe
Saturday
Jun 9
Chelsea
Hit the Vinho Verde Experience and learn about the nectar of the gods from the country’s top wine producers and sommeliers. Enjoy “live artwork” (this better not mean mimes) and DJ sets, discover specialty vinho verde wineries from near and far, mix it up at the cocktail bar, and pad your stomach with specially paired bites from Eataly and Ferris. Make a pit stop at the photo booth and hashtag everything #WINETIMEEE.
Cost: Tickets start at $39
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 9-10
Upper West Side
Grab your pals and turn that group text into a group gab at this two-day PopSugar fest. Get your fitness on with guided workouts, hear from celebs like Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, and Tiffany Haddish, and dance it out to performances by AlunaGeorge and other “surprise guests.” (Mimes?) Of course there will be an adult-sized playground replete with rainbow slides, ball pits, and oversized swings for you to Instagram. Never forget: this is all about brand awareness.
Cost: Tickets start at $70
Sunday
Jun 10
Washington Heights
One $5 ticket to the Fairway Food Festival at this uptown armory opens the door to a cornucopia of cheese, sushi, ice cream, sweets, and gently used toothpicks. It’s kind of like when you stop by Fairway for milk and snack on $50 worth of olives and chocolate-covered bulk nuts, without the meddling supermarket employees.
Cost: $5
Sunday
Jun 10
Upper East Side
Take a trip to ancient Rome by way of the 92nd Street Y. Food historian Francine Segan will discuss food and life in Italy through the ages with historical novelists Crystal King and Melodie Winawer, while you nosh on Roman fig cake, tarts, and Grana Padano cheese.
Cost: Tickets start at $29
Thursday - Sunday
Jun 14-17
Citywide
Sure, the U.S. Men’s Team didn’t qualify this year. And you can never remember where the accent goes in fútbol. But you only get a chance to truly enjoy the rest of the world’s favorite sport every four years, so pick a team at random, find a bar in our guide, and enjoy the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Cost: Varies
Friday
Jun 15
Chelsea
You’ve got your craft beer snobs, and your wine savants, but whither the sake buffs? For the 13th year running, Joy of Sake will bring 400 premium label sakes from all over the world to New York City -- so you can brush up on all the rice-wine knowledge you’ll need to become a true aficionado. Not only is this the largest sake tasting in the world outside of Japan, but bites will also be on offer from 19 top New York restaurants, including Sushi Nakazawa, Ivan Ramen, and Momofuku.
Cost: Tickets are $110
Friday
Jun 15
Chelsea
Get ready to Jump! Jump! around to killer ‘90s tracks by throwbacks like Aaliyah, Puff Daddy, and Usher. Lyrics will be projected karaoke-style at Slate, a cavernous nightclub with a dress code that curiously bans the type of attire this theme would seem to invite.
Cost: Tickets are $10
Saturday - Monday
Jun 16-18
Fort Greene
Unplug your earbuds and hear your favorite podcasters give talks or tape their shows live before your eyes, all over one roof. Catch fiction series’, crimecasts, scientific explorations, business talks, and personal stories, and rest your ears at the cafe or bar between segments.
Cost: Tickets start at $15
 Thrillist BDOYL
Courtesy of Thrillist BDOYL
Saturday
Jun 16
Sunset Park
Spend a full day of endless eating and drinking with the Thrillist crew at Industry City. Make the most of every minute of the longest day of the year with live music, lawn games, cooking demos, an ice cream sundae station, a summer spritz bar, and, come on, take a look at all that food!
Cost: Tickets are $65
Saturday
Jun 16
Governors Island
Break out your flapper finery at the Governors Island Jazz Age Lawn Party. Guests dripping in sequins, fringe, pinstripes, and fedoras take to the island to celebrate the music and zeitgeist of the storied ‘20s. Enjoy the style, gourmet food options, and blessedly legal alcohol.
Cost: General admission is $35
Sunday
Jun 24
Brooklyn Navy Yard
The mavericks at scenic Rooftop Reds vineyard will pair the pink stuff with sauce-slathered ribs this this summer. General admission gets you rooftop views, two glasses of rosé and brisket, BBQ chicken, classic sides, and all you can eat ribs.
Cost: Tickets start at $50
Pinknic
Courtesy of Pinknic
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 30-Jul 1
Governors Island
You’ve had your fair share of picnics this summer, but have you had a pinknic? As in, Governors Island awash in pink blankets, rosé, gourmet chef-curated bites (which may or may not be pink), costumed mermaids, and live musical performances by artists like Klingande and Autograf? We didn’t think so. Once you’ve soaked in the rosy tones, settle in to watch pop-up poolside fireworks, and try not to get distracted by the beautiful NYC skyline in the background.
Cost: Tickets start at $115
Tuesday
Jul 3
Central Park
Do you want it that way? Well quit playing games, make your way to Central Park, and sing along with the boys who made you weak in the knees when you still dressed in Limited Too.
Cost: Free
Monday
Jul 9
Park Slope
Bring your furry friend to Park Slope’s favorite dog park (J.J. Byrne), and emBARK (get it?) on a bar CRAWL (‘cause dogs crawl like on four legs, sort of?) through the area’s finest dog-friendly venues. Your ticket includes your first drink and complimentary ice cream -- and 20% of proceeds from the event will go to animal rescues.
Cost: Tickets are $35
Thursday
Jul 12
Seaport
Stop by Water Street for a good old-fashioned block party. Make use of a putting green and a set of soccer goals, try your hand at shuffleboard and cornhole, and, as is customary with any good block party, finish off your afternoon with plenty of suds from beer gardens by Le Dama and Le Pan Quotidien.
Cost: Admittance is free
Saturday
Jul 14
Various Locations
Pretty-up your birthday suit and march through Manhattan in celebration of art and the body. Watch out for oglers. There’s always oglers.
Cost: Free to participate, $12 for after party (presale), $20 day of
oysters
Bondarenco Vladimir/Shutterstock.com
Friday - Saturday
Jul 20-21
Brookfield Place
If you don’t have a Hamptons house to escape to on the weekends, hit Brookfield Place for the next best thing: a rotating selection of the freshest seafood available on this coast. On the weekends of July 20 and July 27, and the weekends of August 3 and August 10, a new spread of edible sea creatures will arrive at Brookfield Place, along with craft wine and beer to pair. Oh, and did we mention ice cream?
Cost: Free to attend
Saturday
Jul 21
Upper East Side
Ozyfest -- where Grouplove and Martha Stewart are both headliners. Don’t bother trying to figure out what this fest even is -- all you need to know is Joe Biden showed up once. Just sit back and enjoy politicians, best selling authors, musicians, and pretty much anyone you could put on a daytime talk show. This year you can check out Malcolm Gladwell (!), Passion Pit (!), Rose McGowan (!), and A-Rod (?).
Cost: Single-day: $85,  two-day GA: $111, two-day VIP: $276
Sunday
Jul 22
Roosevelt Island
New York loves to pair vice with victory, and this time, it’s spoon-feeding you dairy products at the end of a 5 or 10K run. The NYCRUNS ice cream social takes place on Roosevelt Island, meaning you’ll have some of the most beautiful views of Manhattan and frozen treats as motivation.
Cost: Race fee is $40
Friday - Sunday
Jul 27-29
Randall's Island
If most festivals you go to have, like, Coldplay, Elvis, and Jesus Christ on the first day, and then the local ukulele quartet on the second day, you’ll be shocked by the balance at this year’s Panorama Music Festival. We’re talking Father John Misty and The Weeknd kicking off Friday, JANET JACKSON, and St. Vincent on Saturday, and uhhhhhhh only The Killers, Odesza, The XX, Fleet Foxes etc. on Sunday. Along with the lineup, food for all dietary needs/preferences is a staple at music festivals nowadays, so feel free to hula-hoop yourself hangry and dive right in.
Cost: One day: $99, two days: $185, three days: $250
Saturday
Jul 28
Governors Island
The NYC Poetry Festival’s outdoorsy location is a zag for stereotypically in-ish poetry folk. The festival is headlined by Terrance Hayes (National Book Award winner), Nico Tortorella (actor, author, podcaster, and queer community advocate), Danielle Pafunda (Best American Poetry repeat customer), and Ladan Osman (Somali-born social and political powerhouse), and sponsored by local literary luminaries like the Brooklyn Poets, New York Distilling Company, and other refreshment providers.
Cost: Free
21st Amendment Brewing
21st Amendment Brewing
Saturday
Aug 11
Brooklyn
Wait, the brewing industry is dominated by men? Who knew. At least the folks at Hop Culture were inspired to create a celebration of brewing pioneers, featuring over 20 female-owned or managed breweries, including Five Boroughs and 21st Amendment Brewing Co. A general admission ticket gets you unlimited tasting privileges, as well as conversation about the latest in brews, sans mansplaining.
Cost: GA ticket is $50, designated driver ticket is $20
Saturday
Aug 18
Times Square
For four years running, Flame Con is New York’s biggest and baddest queer comic con. Held in a Midtown hotel banquet room, the event is a family-friendly environment with a 21+ twist. By day, the conference features comics, arts, and discussions from some of the community’s greatest influencers. Once the sun sets, an array of musicians perform a soundtrack to a geeky, burlesquey, gymnastic-y spectacle for all legal attendees to enjoy.
Cost: Tickets start at $25
Sunday
Aug 19
Central Park
The New York Road Runners will host a 5-mile -- whoops, excuse my American -- 8-kilometer “French” run through Central Park. Inspired by French culture, this event will feature sweet treats, and big giveaways, including a free trip to Paris.
Cost: $23 for members
Afropunk Brooklyn
Afropunk Brooklyn
Sunday
Aug 26
Brooklyn
The most multicultural fest in the US, is all about the participants, and encouraging diversity and self-expression through a mutual love for music. Afropunk Fest is largely political, digging into subjects of race and oppression, and has been since it made its first debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2005. Check out movers n’ shakers in the biz, speakers and artists, and of course performances by Janelle Monae, Tyler, The Creator, and living legend Erykah Badu.
Cost: $110 for GA weekend, $50-$60 for single day
Friday
Aug 31
Central Park
You could sit in a horse-drawn carriage and watch that poor filly drag your ass across Central Park, or you could go for a dignified horseback ride along the park’s bridle trail. The trail gently loops around Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, providing a wide and woodsy escape from a the forest of skyscrapers beyond the park.
Cost: $79 for one person, $149 for two