Broadway in Bryant Park – Thursdays, July 7 through August 11
Just a few blocks over from the Great White Way, Bryant Park transforms into the new theater epicenter to kick off its Broadway in Bryant Park series. Until early August, the casts of Broadway and Off-Broadway hits perform their showstopping musical numbers—free! The 2016 lineup hasn’t been released yet, but past seasons included samplings from Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots, Carole King’s Beautiful and children’s favorite Matilda. Come early, grab a patch of available lawn and sing along to all the smash hits.
Festival of Kites and Kayaks – July 9
Let’s go fly a kite! At the family-friendly Festival of Kites & Kayaks, children and parents will craft kites out of recycled materials, sending them off into the blue above Socrates Sculpture Park. (If aerodynamics isn’t your thing, don’t worry, as teaching artists from the nearby Noguchi Museum will be on hand to help.) Situated alongside the East River, the kite festival coincides with the annual Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation. Between hundreds of kayakers paddling along the shore and countless colorful kites filling the sky, it’s sure to be a spectacular sight!
Mostly Mozart Festival – July 22 through August 27
Now in its 50th year, the Mostly Mozart Festival is a month-long celebration of its namesake prodigious composer. As in years past, patrons will be treated to concerts by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, a revival of Mozart Dances and “A Little Night Music,” a series of intimate listening parties with live performances in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, which overlooks the vast Manhattan skyline. But the talk of the festival will undoubtedly be the world premiere of the public domain, an epic performance by 1,000 volunteer vocalists on iconic Josie Robertson Plaza.
Running with the Beef – July 16
Although officially dubbed “Running with the Beef,” this Spanish-style outdoor grilling fiesta offers far more than just meat. Vendors will serve an impressive array of Spanish specialties like paella and croquettes, and regional cheeses like manchego and mató. During the daytime, dine on a mix of tapas-style pinxtos dishes, each paired with Spanish craft beer, wine or kalimotxo—a mix of cola and red wine. Come nightfall, sample different types of the smoky spirit mezcal.
City of Water Day – July 16
Despite Manhattan being an island, it’s surprising how easy it is for New York City dwellers to feel landlocked. But that’s where City of Water Day comes in: It’s a refreshing day spent along the waterfront of Governors Island and New Jersey’s Maxwell Place Park. Jump on board for a free boat tour, paddle about in a rowboat or, for land lovers, watch the competitive Cardboard Kayak Race. Participants must design a working kayak out of, you guessed it, cardboard and waterproof packing tape.