There are tons to do in Brooklyn in the summer, from running in the parks to attending a wonderful First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum. You can eat pizza in Bensonhurst, ice cream in DUMBO and calzone in Carroll Gardens. Watch firework at Coney Island, go fishing off of Sheepshead Bay, and much more.
For starters, here are some great summer activities in Brooklyn. For times and locations, see this month's Calendar of Activities. Have fun!
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Like the best things in life, this only happens once in awhile: NYC streets are closed to traffic so you can cycle, walk, hop, jump rope or dance from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park. Find out where, when and (if you really don't get it) why!
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Brooklyn residents may get sick of the Brooklyn Bridge, and even ignore the fact that there's a cool neighborhood right below it: DUMBO. If you haven't been, go. And if you are visiting Brooklyn for the summer, here's what to look for in DUMBO.
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New York City's beer hall tradition has been revived in Brooklyn. Check out various locations, many in Williamsburg, where you can taste imported and locally brewed beers, and relax. It's summer!
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Go Swimming in an Outdoor Public Pool, or Go to the Beach
Find out where to find the perfect summer outing: at the beach? Or at a pool? learn more about sun and surf in Brooklyn.Continue to 5 of 17 below.
05 of 17
You can do these three things in an afternoon:
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge: Why not walk across one of the Big Apple's most famous bridges? Here's how to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Explore DUMBOWander around Brooklyn's hip neighborhood, and the area nearest the Brooklyn Bridge: DUMBO. Take a little walking tour of DUMBO's Front Street
- Have a picnic near the Brooklyn Bridge. Discover where and what to eat near Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO.
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This huge, raucous, happy affair on Labor Day is one of NYC's biggest parades. Get the scoop on Mardi Gras in Brooklyn! When and where to find the Caribbean Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn.
07 of 17
Life's not all a bowl of cherries. Brooklyn was profoundly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001. Go see for yourself how the borough of Brooklyn has memorialized that day and the people who lost or gave their lives on 9.11.
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Global warming or just a heat wave. Whatever. But sometimes New York City weather is just too hot to handle. Where to go and what to do, in Brooklyn? Actually, you've got a ton of choices, from seeing movies in your local (air conditioned) public library to finding a beach or a pool, to window shopping at one of Brooklyn's (air conditioned) malls.Continue to 9 of 17 below.
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Attend Great Summer Concerts (Many are FREE!)
Enjoy great concerts and outdoor music in Brooklyn! It's amazing how many free musical events are held here throughout the summer. So get your calendar out and start making plans. There are at least nine major outdoor venues in Brooklyn with noteworthy concert series coming up this summer:
- SummerStage in Brooklyn, July, and August, borough-wide (FREE)
- Jazz at Herbert Von King Park (FREE) produced by Summer Stage
- Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park (FREE)
- Martin Luther King Concert series at Wingate Field (FREE)
- Rhythm and Blues Series at Metrotech Downtown: produced by BAM (FREE)
- Williamsburg Waterfront aka ‘East River State Park’ (prices start at about $40)
- Shore Road Park Oldies But Goodies in Bay Ridge (FREE)
- May: Brooklyn Bridge Park jazz, salsa, and hip hop
- June: Red Hook Jazz Festival
- Opera at Brooklyn Bridge Park (FREE)
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Go Boating in Brooklyn! Kayack & Canoe! Or, Take a Ferry to Governors Island
You have lots of opportunities this summer to get on the water.
- GO BOATING on Jamaica Bay with the Sebago Bay Canoe Club! Weather permitting, every Saturday is Open Paddle in Jamaica Bay, a National Wildlife Refuge in Brooklyn. You simply will not believe you are in the city! Check out the details of paddling on Jamaica Bay.
- Go BOATING off Brooklyn Bridge Park for free, with experts. You can't beat the views of the Brooklyn Bridge, lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty! Find out more.
- TAKE A TRIP! Governors Island makes for a fabulous weekend outing. Take the ferry from Brooklyn to Governors Island. Bring your bike, or rent a bike there, and explore this fabulous old site. The island is open on Fridays-Sundays, and special tours are offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and 1 pm.
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What fun it is to watch a movie outdoors on a summer evening! Brooklyn offers a wealth of summer movie watching, from rooftop screenings of indie films to blockbuster movies shown in Brooklyn Bridge Park to a classic film (like the 35th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever in Prospect Park's Bandshell to family friendly movies in Williamsburg.
Check out the schedule of free outdoor movies this summer in Brooklyn!
- Flicks on the Beach in Coney Island (Mondays) Free!
- Red Hook Flicks against an incredible backdrop of the Statue of Liberty.Free!
- Movies in McCarren Park in Williamsburg (Wednesdays) Free!
- Movies in DUMBO at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Thursdays) Free!
- Outdoor Movies at Habana Outpost in Fort Greene (Sundays) Free!
- Rooftop Film Series (various days)
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Coney Island is fun just about any time of year, with its rollercoasters, quirky history, and seamy-artistic settings. But the weirdest and wackiest Coney Island event of all is the annual Mermaid Parade, an all-day affair with floats, adults, and kids dressed as sea monsters and mermaids and mermen, a parade of antique cars, followed by a post-parade bash at the nearby New York Aquarium.Continue to 13 of 17 below.
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Take a Bike Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or a Movie Tour of Brooklyn
Want to see Brooklyn by bike? Take yourself on a self-guided tour using NYC's bike route maps, or join a tour organized by the Brooklyn Historical Society, Urban Oyster or other tour companies.
And, you can take an interesting TV and Movie Tour!
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One of the highlights of the summer is the weekend outdoor Brooklyn Flea market. It's a happily curated jumble of old and new, trendy and cool stuff.
Brooklyn Flea is held in two different locations, and it doubles as a social meeting place, shopping zone, and taste trend setter. And, you can get lobster rolls, fish tacos, fabulous bite-sized cupcakes, homemade ice cream in season and more at the food trucks and food stands at Brooklyn Flea. Find out more about food at Brooklyn Flea.
Plus, don't miss the Saturday food fest at Smorgasburg, in the same location!
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Don't miss the free weekend fireworks at Coney Island. You can go on Friday or Saturday nights for a walk along the boardwalk, people-watching, and a show of fireworks after sundown.
Find out more about fireworks at Coney Island!
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July Fourth, Independence Day, means a lot of different things. It's time for a trip to the beach. And a barbecue with friends. If you can handle a few million fellow onlookers, maybe go see the huge fireworks display. But you can also hang in Brooklyn at a beer hall, read the book, or take your kid to see where the ragtag American patriots fought the British, right here in Brooklyn, in the first battle of the American Revolution.Continue to 17 of 17 below.
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(Past) Join a Group Bike Ride: 5 Boro Bike Ride, and More
Sign up in advance. But these are fun group rides in different parts of Brooklyn.