Central Park Summer Stage
Shakespeare in the Park

Summer is synonymous with alfresco fun in the Big Apple. Here are the outdoor best concerts, performances and events to enjoy this season.

 

Holding a series of concerts across NYC’s parks in all 18 boroughs, SummerStage is a marvelous way to make the most of city. The series of outdoor performances features an unbeatable lineup of musicians, bands and solo artists hosting free gigs on dozens of dates through to October. There’s plenty to suit every musical taste, from pop, soul, latin and Afrobeat to classical; we’re most excited by the Bowie Symphonic, Kool & The Gang and the Met Opera sessions. 

Raise your thespian cred at the city’s annual Shakespeare in the Park. Held in dreamy under-arbour setting in Central Park, this season’s programme by The Public Theater stars two of the Bard’s biggest hits: Othello and Twelfth Night. Tickets are free, but it’s essential to book in advance; up the ante with a decadent picnic prepared by The Peninsula.

June is Gay Pride month, during which a diverse range of LGBTQ screenings, parties, fundraisers, performances and events are held, culminating in the Gay Pride March on Sunday 24 June. Whatever your persuasion, shimmy along to this definitive New York experience.

If you’re looking a dash of old-school glamour then the Jazz Age Lawn Party is for you. Inspired by prohibition-era music and drinking customs, the Michael Arenella-conceived event sees some of the world’s top jazz musicians perform alfresco, accompanied by food and an excellent cocktail bar, but natch. Hailed by the New York Times as one of the city’s ‘most memorable events of the year’, frock up and (Lindy) hop on down. 

 

Central Park SummerStage / E 72nd & 5th Avenue / +1 212 360 2777 / various dates throughout summer / cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage

Shakespeare in the Park / Central Park / enter at 81st St & Central Park West or 79th Street & Fifth Ave. / +1 212 539 8500 / various dates throughout summer / publictheater.org

Gay Pride / parade starts at noon, Sun 24 Jun / nycpride.org

Jazz Age Lawn Party / Governors Island / from 11am 16-17 June & 25-26 August / jazzagelawnparty.com