free summer cultural events for chilling out

Some days you’re in the mood to chill out and not think about anything.  And sometimes too much stimulation is well, just too much.  For that day, NYC provides plenty of outdoor opportunities to fulfill that need.

Stargazing around NYC  – The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York hosts observing sessions around the NYC area.  Thursday’s July 7th in conjunction with Brooklyn Bridge Park’s free Movies with a View, the AAA will be there from dusk until 10pm. Tuesday’s the AAA will be on the Highline.  Observation sessions are held throughout the year.  Check out their summer schedule here…

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is a favorite of mine and one we attend every year.  This year, the weekend of August 23rd will be full of jazz musicians who reflect Parker’s music playing Friday night and Saturday afternoon at Marcus Garvey Park and Sunday afternoon at Tompkins Square Park.  Lay down a blanket, bring a picnic and enjoy your wine and cheese as you listen to some fabulous jazz.


June 19th kicks off the start of NYC’s River to River Festival bringing music, dance theater, visual art, and film to lower Manhattan’s indoor and outdoor parks, plazas and waterfronts but for only 10 days this year through June 29th.  Most of the events don’t get too busy so its nice to randomly stop by on during a nice walk downtown.

shakespeare in the parkShakespeare in the Park has been running its first show of the Summer “As You Like It” since June 5th and continues through June 30th.  Its second show “Into The Woods” begins July 23rd and runs through August 25th.  If you haven’t already taken advantage of the online ticketing option, it’s easy breezy.  Register and submit your name and email address until 1pm and you’ll find out if your name was randomly drawn for that evening’s show at 3pm.  You can register your account here.

New York Philharmonic will continue its tradition of giving its free outdoor concerts throughout the New York City boroughs.  Check out the schedule here

Barge Music is literally a gathering of musicians playing chamber music on a floating barge at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Concerts are held on all days throughout the week.  You can check out the schedule here.

Happy Chilling!

About cara protzko

A wanderlust at heart, I believe there is no better city to explore than NYC. With so much culture to experience, both old and new, my mission is to share my under the radar findings to enhance the experiences of the locals and the full-time NYC wanderers. I want my experiences and this blog be your go-to place for insider tips as you travel and explore this great city.
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