Best July Events in New York City
June 19th, 2018 – July is synonymous with our nation’s independence, which NYC celebrates with the world-famous Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks blasting off from barges in the East River to the sounds of a patriotic score. Earlier in the day, the legendary Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place in Coney Island. Film series abound this month, including Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park, Hudson RiverFlicks, Movies With a View in Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Asian American International Film Festival. On the music front, there’s the Mostly Mozart Festival, Panorama and the 92Y’s Jazz in July Festival. For details on these and other happenings, read on.
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks
July 4, 2018
It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July in New York City without the annual Macy’s fireworks show, which made its debut in 1976 to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial. Thousands of shells will launch along the East River in Midtown, synchronized to a patriotic score from the West Point Band and Glee Club. Expect fireworks set to start at approximately 9:25pm.
Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest
July 4, 2018
With a combination of steely grit, limber lips and highly expandable stomachs, competitors in the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest devour wieners galore to the delight of throngs of screaming fans. A select group of skilled eaters convene at high noon, eating Nathan’s dogs (and buns) for 10 minutes straight, stopping for nothing—not ketchup, not mustard, not even a french fry.
Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection
July 3— Oct 7
Nudes with attitude are the subjects of this exhibit drawn from The Met’s Scofield Thayer Collection. On tap are erotic drawings and prints by Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele and Pablo Picasso. This is the first time these holdings have been shown together.
Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
July 9— July 14
The 14th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival brings more to the table than just music—last year’s weeklong series included conversations with prominent hip-hop personalities like Rakim, a film festival and a “Juice Hip-Hop” exhibition. Last year also brought headliners DMX and The Lox, along with performances from DJ Rob Swift, EarthGang, Mister Cee and Oshun. Visit the website for updates on this year’s lineup.
Movies with a View
July 12— Aug 30
A gently sloping hillside provides the perfect setting for outdoor movies in Brooklyn Bridge Park, easily the borough’s most dramatic green space. The views of Lower Manhattan’s famed skyline often compete for viewers’ attention with a lineup featuring recent (Wonder Woman) and classic (Desperately Seeking Susan) films.
2018 Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix
July 14— July 15
You can see it; it’s electric! Formula E, the open-wheel formula auto-racing series that uses only electric cars, returns to Brooklyn. It’s a showcase for how powerful the technology has become—the vehicles reach 150 miles per hour and go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. Come check it out at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. There will also be an “eVillage” where fans can check out race simulators, see electric vehicles up close and meet drivers. For more information about the Brooklyn race, including the event schedule, visit fiaformulae.com.
Shakespeare in the Park
July 17— Aug 19
Shakespeare in the Park is a consummate New York City institution that has drawn more than 5 million people since it was first staged in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater in 1962. Each summer the Public Theater presents two shows, with free tickets distributed in the park and other locations around the City. This year, things turn lighter with a musical adaptation of the fanciful Twelfth Night, directed by the Public Theater’s artistic director Oskar Eustis and Kwame Kwei-Armah, who also conceived this new adaptation as part of the theater’s Public Works project. It runs from July 17 to August 19.
NYC Poetry Festival
July 28— July 29
For the last eight years, a number of the city’s poetry-reading series and their affiliated collectives have taken over Governors Island for a day, creating a stage for the many voices of NYC, both celebrated and underground. This year, the crew of the Poetry Society of New York does it again, presenting readings from more than 200 poets and 50 organizations.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
July 24— Aug 12
Artists from around the world perform at music, dance and spoken-word events—including world, US and New York City premieres—and it’s all free. Expect talent like the Dance Theatre of Harlem, an NPR celebration of female songwriters, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band and several family day celebrations taking place on July 28.
July 29— Aug 25
What began in 1974 as a one-day tribute to Harlem has evolved over four decades into a monthlong celebration of the community’s rich economic, political and cultural history. Things kick off on July 29 with “A Great Day in Harlem” and reach a fever pitch during the bursting-at-the-seams weekend of events held under the banner of “Summer in the City” and “Harlem Day,” including an auto show, children’s festival, small-business expo, fashion show, educational fair, outdoor film screening and a dancing-in-the-street party. And on the final day of this celebration (August 25), there’s the Percy Sutton 5K Run.
Warm Up at MoMA PS1
June 30— Sep 1
MoMA PS1’s annual concert series, Warm Up, features an array of live and electronic music performances spanning 10 weeks this summer. The series, now in its 21st year, unfailingly features innovative and emerging artists; past seasons have included performances from Solange, Grimes and DJ Derrick May. MoMA PS1 integrates Warm Up with its gallery experience by inviting audience members to view exhibits and staging the series itself within an architectural installation of photoluminescent textiles.
Summer at Lincoln Center
June 26— Aug 12
Throughout the summer, Lincoln Center presents a number of annually recurring programs, each with a bit of a different theme. First up is the family-friendly Midsummer Night Swing, which allows you to take dance lessons and then try out your moves to live music under the stars. Out of Doors includes music, dance, spoken-word events, family shows and specially commissioned works—all for free. And, finally, Mostly Mozart showcases works of its famous namesake composer through opera, dance, symphonic and contemporary music performances.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
June 25— Aug 20
This HBO-sponsored series has been screening movies in Bryant Park for more than two decades. It’s one of the most popular summer movie series in the City, so arrive early to claim a spot on the lawn. It opens at 5pm on Mondays. And be prepared to get up and shimmy for the traditional preshow “HBO dance.”
June 19— Aug 11
A favorite among Brooklyn’s summertime concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn! is set at the Prospect Park Bandshell; tons of seating and tree-shaded areas make the venue a lovely spot for a picnic, a plastic cup of wine and a free show.