Brooklyn has tons of things to do in the summer, from running in the parks to swimming and boating for free. You can eat pizza in Bensonhurst, ice cream in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and calzones in Carroll Gardens. Watch fireworks at Coney Island, go fishing off of Sheepshead Bay, and much more.
For starters, here are some great summer activities in Brooklyn. Have fun!
Edited by Alison Lowenstein
Coney Island is fun just about any time of year, with its roller coasters, quirky history, and seamy-artistic settings. But the weirdest and wackiest Coney Island event of all is the annual Mermaid Parade (June 16, 2018), an all-day affair with floats, adults, and kids dressed as sea monsters and mermaids and mermen, and a parade of antique cars, followed by a post-parade bash at the nearby New York Aquarium.
You can also:
- Ride the Cyclone
- Attend a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game on the boardwalk
- See free weekend fireworks at Coney Island after sundown on Friday and Saturday nights.
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. Take a little walking tour of DUMBO's Front Street.
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!
Enjoy a day at the beach or at a pool and soak in the sunny Brooklyn days. The best part? The beaches and pools are free all summer long. Don't forget to wear sunscreen.
An afternoon can cover a trip to DUMBO and these activities:
- 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.
- Have a picnic near the Brooklyn Bridge. Discover where and what to eat near Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO.
Life's not all a bowl of cherries. Brooklyn was profoundly affected 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.
Attend Great Summer Concerts (Many Are Free!)
It's amazing how many free musical events are held in Brooklyn 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. Check out Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, SummerStage in Red Hook, or Sunset Sounds in Industry City.
Go Boating in Brooklyn or Take a Ferry
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.
- 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! Take the ferry from Brooklyn to Governors Island. Bring your bike or rent a bike there, and explore this fabulous old site for a weekend. The island is open on Fridays through Sundays, and special tours are offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Brooklyn offers a wealth of summer movie watching, from rooftop screenings of indie films to blockbuster movies shown in Brooklyn Bridge Park, to family-friendly movies in Williamsburg.
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.
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 trendsetter. 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.
Like the best things in life, this happens only once in a while: 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.
This huge, raucous, happy affair on Labor Day weekend is one of NYC's biggest parades. Get the scoop on Mardi Gras in Brooklyn, such as when and where to find the Caribbean Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn.