The fact that you can be standing between a millionaire foreign investor and an artist dancing in a tu-tu at any given moment, is part of New York’s charm. It’s a true melting-pot that attracts people with all different interests from all over the world, and with that comes a laundry list on cultural events happening in the city at any given time. Although you can find cultural events in any city, New York is home to some of the biggest, most diverse and extremely specific (and sometimes just plain out-there).
So, if you really want to distract yourself for a day or a weekend this summer, make your way to one of these only-in-New-York events!
JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY, JUNE 10 – 11 & AUGUST 26 – 27 – GOVERNOR’S ISLAND
If you adore the glamor, food, music and spirits of the jazz age, this is an event you definitely don’t want to miss! Take dance lessons, have vintage portraits taken, and of course come dressed to the nines! This is a festival that simply celebrates and attempts to time travel back to one of New York’s most historic eras!
MERMAID PARADE, JUNE 17 – CONEY ISLAND
Coney Island’s annual event is 35 years-young and encourages everyone’s inner-mermaid spirit to dress-up and unite on the boardwalk. Check their Facebook page for event details as they are released!
EGG ROLLS, EGG CREAMS AND EMPANADAS FESTIVAL, JUNE 18 – LOWER EAST SIDE
Swedish, Arab, African. . . dozens of cultural food-centric festivals hit New York in the summer. However, if you can only make it out to one, and want to try it all, the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival will satisfy.
PRIDEFEST, JUNE 25 – GREENWICH VILLAGE
The festivities surrounding New York City’s Pride are some of the biggest and most sought-after in the world! Pride weekend kicks-off Friday, June 23 with the main event, PrideFest, happening throughout the afternoon. Enjoy vendors, entertainment and support equality!
FULL MOON MUSIC FESTIVAL, JULY 8 – GOVERNOR’S ISLAND
Can’t make it to the full moon festivals made famous by Thailand? In the spirit of the full moon parties of Southeast Asia and the party that is New York in the summer lies the Full Moon Music Festival. It’s not too massive (yet), so it’s a great option if high-traffic events like the Governor’s Ball are bit too much for you.
NEW YORK RENAISSANCE FAIRE, AUGUST 5 – OCTOBER 1 – TUXEDO PARK
Just in time for the new season of Game of Thrones! If you’ve never heard of Tuxedo Park, it’s because it’s not in the city, It’s about an hour northwest of Manhattan. However, if you’re a closeted fantasy/history buff it’s definitely worth the trek, as an entire themed-town is built and includes all of the details, from mead to axe-throwing, that you could want.
THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK DERBY, AUGUST 11 – BRIDGEHAMPTON
If you’re already planning weekends in the Hamptons, make a stop here! The Food Truck Derby hosts food trucks from Long Island and New York City, along with liquor vendors for a breezy afternoon of food and drink. The event only sells 100 tickets, so buying them early is recommended!
HONG KONG DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL, AUGUST 12 – FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK, QUEENS
Enjoy a multicultural food court and a string of performances along with the amazing dragon boat parade! It’s all in celebration of the US Dragon Boat Open Championship Race, which is on the following day.
ELEMENTS NYC MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL 2017, AUGUST 12 – SECRET INDUSTRIAL WATERFRONT LOCATION, BROOKLYN
If you’re seeking to get away from it all by way of some late nights, this event will surely please! It’s part nightclub, part rave, part art installation with five stages, aerial and circus performers and a laundry list of local and international DJs (yes, we realize we just sounded like Stefon).