New York City explodes with activity in the summer. For 3 months, from June to August, New Yorkers have a calendar overflowing with events and activities to attend, and many of them are FREE. We’ve taken the opportunity to cull some of our favorite free New York City summer events from the mix.

Photo: Ed Yourdon, Flickr

Al Fresco Films

Lower Manhattanites love Brooklyn Bridge Park’s scenic Movies with a View under the Brooklyn Bridge every Thursday night starting in July. For those who don’t fancy crossing the bridge, the Bryant Park Film Festival screens a movie classic on the Lawn Area of Bryant Park every Monday night. In the heart of midtown and steps from Times Square (and a Crumbs outpost!) it’s a location that’s just about as New York City as you can get.

Get Jiggy with It

Central Park’s SummerStage may be New York’s most well known summer concert series, but every Thursday night Union Square also features music and theater performances. Performances start at 6:00pm, and run through mid-August as part of the Union Square Partnership’s Summer in the Square free weekly series of events.

Sprawl in the Sand

Many New York area beaches are accessible from Manhattan via public transit. Our favorite is Far Rockaway – you can get there on the good ol’ A train, and as of this summer has become a sort of foodie hot spot. If your tastes are more classic, Coney Island has also been revamped this summer, with massive renovations to the historic boardwalk and amusement park.

Sail Away

Boats aren’t just for a privileged few. Hop on the free Governor’s Island Ferry to catch the island’s ongoing series of summer exhibits and events, feel the wind in your hair, and soak up the sun. The Governor’s Island Ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry in Lower Manhattan (also free, if you’re keen on visiting Staten Island). BONUS: For 2 weeks in June, the newly unveiled East River Ferry is also offering free service from Midtown to Long Island City, Brooklyn, South Manhattan, and Governor’s Island.

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