Saturday, 9 June 2012

Free Events Taking Place in New York City Parks

Central park
Australians and people from other Southern Hemisphere countries are encouraged to leave winter behind and enjoy the summer months in New York City parks.  Most people associate the city with the term “concrete jungle” but in fact nearly 14% of New York City is covered in green spaces.  Throughout June, July and August the City’s parks become the most scenic venues for some of the most exciting events taking place throughout all five boroughs, most of which are free.  

Shakespeare in the Park, one of New York City's most treasured summer traditions, continues its mission of bringing art and culture to Central Park from June 5 – August 25 by presenting the classics As You Like It and Into the Woods. As You Like It will be directed by Daniel Sullivan and begins performances in June; Into the Woods will be directed by Timothy Sheader and begins performances at the end of July. This year marks the 50th anniversary of free Shakespeare in the Park performances at the Delacorte Theater.

From June 5–August 30, SummerStage has been the City's preeminent outdoor concert series, providing countless hours of entertainment. A number of high-profile benefit shows help fund the otherwise free-of-charge performances that run the gamut from readings by famous authors to kid-friendly events, parties with bands from around the world and theatrical and dance productions. Formerly only in Central Park, SummerStage now takes place in all five boroughs. This season's performers include Foster the People, Young the Giant, M83 and many more to be announced.

New Yorkers share the same passion for summer BBQs as Aussies. Each year in Madison Square Park, locals and visitors gather for the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party. On June 9-10 pit masters from NYC, Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts, South Carolina and many other locations descend on Madison Square Park for a lip-smacking food and music festival.

Every Thursday from July 12 – August 16 at midday Bryant Park will become Broadway’s new theatre for Broadway in Bryant Park. Pick up some lunch at the ‘witchcraft’ kiosk and settle in the park to watch hour long performances from Broadway’s most popular shows. The cast of each show will perform three to four numbers.

Prospect Park
Designed by Central Park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Prospect Park is a massive playground in the center of Brooklyn.  Every summer since 1979, the beautiful Prospect Park Bandshell becomes an outdoor stadium for musicians ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to emerging, cutting-edge artists during Celebrate Brooklyn! June 5 – August 11.

Watch blockbuster movies on Brooklyn’s waterfront with awe inspiring views of Manhattan for free. The Brooklyn Bridge Park, as its name would suggest, is stationed under the Brooklyn Bridge. Get there by water taxi or by strolling over New York City’s most iconic bridge.

Socrates Sculpture Park
Socrates Sculpture Park, in collaboration with Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films, presents this annual international film festival focused on a different country or culture each Wednesday evening. Now in its 14th year, this program invites visitors to picnic on the grass, see musical and dance performances, enjoy the cool waterfront breeze as the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline and watch exceptional international films on an outdoor screen. July 4 – August 22.

Wave Hill

Wave Hill is a public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River, with sweeping views west to the New Jersey Palisades. Aside from the traditional gardens that one expects, Wave Hill has some more unexpected surprises, like paths that wind across a carpet of bright wildflowers in springtime and a pool adorned with water lilies and lotus flowers through the summer and fall. Art classes, tai chi, garden walks, trunk shows and many other events take place all summer long.

Staten Island:
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, one of Staten Island’s cultural treasures, will present ISLAND SOUNDS: A 500-Year Music Mash Up until December, 2013. The year-long, interactive, multi-media exhibition will be mounted in the Main Hall on the Snug Harbor campus at 1000 Richmond Terrace and will include memorabilia, instruments, artifacts, photos and videos from musicians and artists who were born, or based on Staten Island throughout history. ISLAND SOUNDS features a timeline of Staten Island’s music history that begins pre-1500, with songs of the Lenape Indians, and includes among its exhibits Dutch tavern music of New Amsterdam music of the 1600s, 1850s classical opera, 1900s vaudeville, jazz of the 1920s, the Big Band era of the 1940s, disco and folk music of the 1970s, and today’s rock and rap. ISLAND SOUNDS also celebrates the 120th Anniversary of Snug Harbor’s Music Hall. In October 2011, Lady Gaga filmed her recent biopic music video Marry the Night in the Music Hall and several other Snug Harbor locations which are represented in the exhibition.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center
For a more comprehensive list of free events taking place in all five boroughs, visit

For the latest announcements on NYC & Company programs follow and Visit to find out everything there is to see, do and eat in New York City.

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