NYC Sizzles With Fun In 2024

By Patricia Canole

The summer is shaping up for the record books, with an incredible lineup of festivals, concerts, sporting events, and more taking over all five boroughs. Whether you’re a local looking to soak up all the action or a visitor wanting to experience the best of the Big Apple, here are the can’t-miss NYC summer highlights to add to your calendar.

Governors Ball Music Festival For music lovers, summer in NYC is a musical dream. The annual Governors Ball Music Festival (June 9-11 on Randall’s Island) kicks things off with a bang, featuring a stellar lineup of rock, hip-hop, and electronic acts performing on multiple stages. Acts announced so far include Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, Odesza, Lil Nas X, and many more.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival This festival takes place at Prospect Park Bandshell and offers a series of free performances. It celebrates Brooklyn’s rich cultural diversity with music, dance, and spoken word performances. Expect acts from various genres, including Afrobeat, hip-hop, and indie rock.  

SummerStage Central Park’s SummerStage is a staple of NYC’s summer entertainment, featuring a lineup of complimentary and benefit concerts spanning various genres. From indie rock to classical music, this festival brings renowned artists and emerging talents to the heart of Manhattan now through October. The 2024 lineup includes headliners like Florence + The Machine, The Roots, and Alicia Keys, making it a must-visit for music lovers. 

Tribeca Film Festival The annual June event celebrates film and music, transforming Tribeca into a hub for glamorous red carpets and gala affairs. The festival screens over one hundred films worldwide.

Broadway in Bryant Park Broadway fans can catch snippets of their favorite shows for free during the Broadway in Bryant Park series. Every Thursday afternoon from July to August, the park hosts performances from current Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, offering a taste of NYC’s theater scene in an outdoor setting.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors festival provides diverse free performances, including music, dance, and spoken word. The 2024 program highlights include a tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington, contemporary dance performances, and global music nights, ensuring there’s something for everyone. 

New York City Pride Pride Month in June culminates in the NYC Pride March, one of the world’s largest and most famous Pride events. The 2024 theme is “Embrace Equity,” focusing on inclusivity and equality. Beyond the march are numerous events, including PrideFest, a street fair with vendors and entertainment, and Pride Island, a massive dance party.

Juneteenth New York Festival To commemorate the historic day when slavery was officially declared over, neighborhoods in Brooklyn and around the city gather for a three-day festival. The grand finale is a concert, parade, food trucks, and fashion show. 

Harlem Week Harlem Week, running from July 28 to August 24, celebrates the rich cultural, economic, and political history of Harlem. The festival includes music concerts, dance performances, fashion shows, and the Harlem Day parade. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the heritage of one of NYC’s most iconic neighborhoods. 

Feast of San Gennaro Held in Little Italy, the Feast of San Gennaro is an 11-day event starts September 12 celebrating Italian culture and cuisine. This street fair features parades, live music, Italian food vendors, and cooking competitions, making it a feast for all senses. 

Art Out of the Box Art fans should look at the city’s abundance of art fairs, innovative exhibits, and cultural celebrations this summer. Long Island City’s Sculpture Center showcases immersive installations and innovative sculptures from emerging artists (exhibits rotate frequently). Art fans can also look forward to the anticipated Basquiat: King Pleasure exhibit opening at the MET in July, highlighting the Brooklyn-born artist’s iconic works. 

NYC Restaurant Week NYC Restaurant Week, from July 22 to August 16, offers a chance to dine at some of the city’s best restaurants at a fraction of the price. With prix-fixe menus at hundreds of eateries, it’s a fantastic way to explore the culinary landscape of New York City.

Smorgasburg Every weekend, Smorgasburg brings many food vendors to Williamsburg and Prospect Park. Known as America’s largest open-air food market, it’s a food lover’s paradise offering everything from gourmet donuts to artisanal ramen. 

New York City Wine & Food Festival This annual event begins in late Summer. It consists of various tasting events, cooking classes, and dinners hosted by celebrity chefs, offering an early taste of the culinary delights. 

MLB Food Fest New York’s food scene needs no introduction, and summertime provides a chance to sample the city’s culinary delights. The mouthwatering MLB FoodFest from June 7 to 18 takes over the parking lots outside Citi Field in Queens, featuring a menu of ballpark fare from major league teams across the country. 

Queen’s Night Market The Market heats up in June (it runs through October) with even more vendors. Take a tour of global cuisines: everything from Korean BBQ to Greek pastries, Brazilian churrasco, Japanese ramen, Jamaican jerk chicken, Polish pierogies, Mexican mole poblano, and lots more. It is near the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Tasty bites are capped at $6, which means there is a lot of sampling. 

Blues BBQ Festival One of New York’s favorite summer festivals in August is the Blues BBQ Festival at Pier 76 in Hudson River Park. What could be better than listening to live blues while eating delicious BBQ from the best BBQ spots in the city? 

US Open Tennis Championships From August 26 to September 8, the US Open takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It’s one of the most noteworthy events in tennis, drawing top players worldwide and offering fans an exciting, high-energy atmosphere.

NYC Triathlon This July 21 athletes will swim, bike, and run through the streets and waterways of New York during the NYC Triathlon. This challenging event starts with a swim in the Hudson River, followed by a bike ride along the West Side Highway, and finishes with a run in Central Park. 

Outdoor Movie Nights When the sun goes down, the show goes on at several outdoor movie experiences across the city. Bryant Park’s Summer Movie Nights (Mondays through August 21) draw crowds onto the grass to watch beloved flicks from the last few decades, like Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, and Dirty Dancing. 

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy hosts a slew of waterfront movie shindigs, including Syfy Movies with a View (Thursdays), Family Friendly Flicks (Saturdays), and even a Comedy Movie Series. Those looking for a more curated experience can hit the effortlessly cool Rooftop Cinema Club, screening new indie hits and cult classics on rooftops in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

For other locations, check out venues including Green-Wood Cemetery, Fort Greene Park, and Industry City, among others; the five-borough Movies Under the Stars, the no-car-necessary-though-fine-if-you-have-one Skyline Drive-In, and Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City Outdoor Cinema, which is hip-hop centric this season. Another popular venue is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where visitors can enjoy classic and contemporary films on the flight deck under the stars.  

Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks
Celebrate Independence with the most dazzling pyrotechnics display lighting up the skyline. Take it all in from prime viewing locations along the Hudson River.

Coney Island Fun A visit to Coney Island is a quintessential New York summer experience. From riding the Cyclone roller coaster at Luna Park to enjoying Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Contest on July 4 or watching the Mermaid Parade on June 22, there’s always fun for the entire family. Check out the New York Aquarium, which offers educational and entertaining exhibits for more fun. Summer 2024 will feature extraordinary events like “Summer Nights,” where visitors can enjoy the aquarium and its marine life under the evening sky. 

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Nearly 200 dragon boat teams converge on Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s Meadow Lake to compete in one of the largest dragon boat festivals. Then, enjoy various international music, martial arts, crafts, dance, and cuisine. 

The High Line An elevated park built on a former rail line, the High Line offers beautiful gardens, public art installations, and panoramic city views. Summer programming includes stargazing events, guided tours, and art performances.

Kayaking on the Hudson River The Downtown Boathouse offers free kayaking sessions on the Hudson River, providing a unique way to see the city from the water. It’s a refreshing activity that combines sightseeing with physical exercise. 

Rooftop Bars and Outdoor Dining Summer in NYC means enjoying the skyline from one of the many rooftop bars and restaurants. Venues like 230 Fifth, Le Bain, and The Roof at PUBLIC offer stunning views, delicious cocktails, and a chic atmosphere. Many restaurants also set up outdoor seating, turning sidewalks into bustling dining spots.  

New York City in the Summer of 2024 is set to be a season filled with unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a music fan, a food enthusiast, a theater lover, or someone looking to explore the outdoors, there’s something for everyone. As the city comes alive with many events and activities, take advantage of all the opportunities to experience the vibrant culture and energy that only NYC can offer. 

For more information on Summer Events in New York City, visit