Summer Concerts and Performances

The long days of summer are well spent listening to tunes and watching dance and theatrical performances in the great outdoor spaces of New York City. A wide variety of summer concerts and performances take place all summer long.

Outdoor Summer Concerts

Excellent options for enjoying music on summer evenings. All events below are free and open to the public.

SummerStage in Central Park

Central Park SummerStage has music, dance, and theatre events on afternoons and evenings from June through September.

SummerStage sign

The performances are held outdoors and most are free. The events have concessions stands but you can bring your own food and drinks as well.

All Mainstage events are held at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park (Enter the park at East 72nd Street off Fifth Avenue).

Summer Concerts at Madison Square Park

Mad. Sq. Music Concert

Madison Square Park hosts laid-back family friendly events all summer.

Join after-work business people and families with kids for the Oval Lawn Series Concerts on Wednesday nights in June and July.

For a more kid-oriented affair, try the Madison Square Kids Concerts, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Free Opera from The Metropolitan Opera

Listening to free opera music is a lovely way to spend the evenings of your summer in New York City. The Met Opera provides great opportunities to do just that.

  • Summer Recital Series: Features six free concerts in July and August, two in Manhattan and one in each of the other four boroughs.
  • Summer in HD Festival: Performances are broadcast outdoors in Lincoln Center Plaza for 10 days straight beginning in late August.

Broadway in Bryant Park

Want a cheap and easy way to see Broadway musical talent?

Look no further than Broadway in Bryant Park on Thursdays at lunchtime during the summer.

Broadway in Bryant Park

The free hour-long shows on the Bryant Park lawn feature performances from some of the biggest hit musicals on Broadway and have different performers every week.

The lunch hour shows attract large crowds of business people, families, and tourists. As long as you're in the park you won't have trouble hearing the hit songs, although finding a chair is a different matter.

Washington Square Music Festival

The Washington Square Music Festival in the middle of Greenwich Village features four evenings of free outdoor classical music concerts.

Depending on the night, you may be treated to opera, vocals, orchestra, or jazz in beautiful Washington Square Park. The concerts take place on Tuesday evenings.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Lincoln Center is a world-famous center of performing arts. During the summer months, it's easier and cheaper to experience the arts.

In July and August, Lincoln Center Out of Doors features over 100 free performances across the plazas and public spaces of beautiful
Lincoln Center.

Outdoor Summer Theatre

Perhaps you would like to add a little Shakespeare to your summer evening? Both options below are free.

Shakespeare in the Park

Every summer The Public Theatre puts on free performances of Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. The plays for Summer 2015 are The Tempest and Cymbeline. They are performed during the evenings.

Tickets are free but in high demand. To get tickets, you can either line up at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park on the day of the performance or use the online virtual ticketing lottery.

New York Classical Theatre

New York Classical Theatre presents free summer productions of classics and masterpieces in public venues like Central Park and Battery Park.

The scenes take place in different locations and the audience moves with the actors, so come prepared to walk. This performance series is less well-known than Shakespeare in the Park but has some nice advantages – no lines and no reservations required.

Other Summer in New York City Activities:

Movies with a View

Outdoor Summer Movies

NYC street fairs

NYC Street Fairs

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