13 Top Summer Things to Do in Brooklyn

USA, New York State, New York City, Panorama of Brooklyn

Christian Heeb/Getty Images

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

01 of 13

Do Coney Island: Mermaid Parade, Cyclones Baseball, Fireworks, & Roller Coasters

Crowds at Brooklyn Cyclones Game
E. Freudenheim
602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224, USA
+1 718-265-3474

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.
02 of 13


A view of the Manhattan bridge in DUMBO

 Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

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.

03 of 13

Chill at a Brooklyn Beer Hall

Exterior of the Brooklyn Brewery

 Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

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!

04 of 13

Go Swimming in an Outdoor Public Pool, or Go to the Beach

New York City Public Pools Open For Summer
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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.

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05 of 13

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Explore Brooklyn Bridge Park

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline behind it.

 Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038, USA

An afternoon can cover a trip to DUMBO and these activities:

06 of 13

Visit a 9/11 Memorial in Brooklyn

Brooklyn wall of remembrance

 Wally Gobetz / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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 at the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance

07 of 13

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.

08 of 13

Go Boating in Brooklyn or Take a Ferry

Sebago Canoe Club offers kayaking and canoeing on Jamaica Bay.
Chris Bickford

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!
  • 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.
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09 of 13

Watch Free Outdoor Movies

SummerScreen Movies in Williamsburg
334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
+1 718-222-9939

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.


10 of 13

Take a Bike Tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard or a Movie Tour of Brooklyn

Get Up and Ride Bike Tours in Brooklyn
E. Freudenheim
141 Flushing Avenue Unit 801 Unit 801, Brooklyn, NY 11205, USA
+1 718-907-5900

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.


11 of 13

Shop Till You Drop, Eat Your Heart out at Brooklyn Flea and the Smorgasburg

A vendor making fresh food at Smorgasburg

 Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

80 Pearl St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
+1 718-928-6603

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.

12 of 13

Summer Streets: August Biking, Walking, and Running Through No-Traffic Streets

Sunrise over Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, New York City
JulieanneBirch/Getty Images
Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038, USA

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.

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13 of 13

Go to the West Indian Labor Day Parade

Man on Stilts at The West Indian Day Parade, Brooklyn
Catrina Genovese/Getty Images

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.

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Top Summer Things to Do in Brooklyn