IN honor of the summer season, I outlined some of the free and low-cost, family-friendly cultural activities occurring throughout the five boroughs.

There are countless opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors to experience the creativity that makes New York City a great place to live, work and visit.

New York City offers hundreds of events, exhibits and performances that are free or low-cost to the public.

Call 311 or visit for more information on these and other programs.

Every summer, public spaces in all five boroughs host exhibitions, performances, movies and more that give New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to access some of the most exciting work our remarkable creative community has to offer.

Our administration is proud to work with arts groups and community partners to bring this summer programming — much of it at little or no cost — to audiences as diverse as the city itself.

Festivals and concerts

New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

Since 1965, New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks have provided New Yorkers with an opportunity to hear the best classical music under the stars.

This summer, Music Director Alan Gilbert leads four free outdoor concerts and the New York Philharmonic Brass gives a Free Indoor Concert at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.

• July 10, 8 p.m., Prospect Park, Brooklyn

• July 11, 8 p.m., Cunningham Park, Queens

• July 14, 3 p.m., College of Staten Island, CUNY

• July 15, 8 p.m., Great Lawn, Central Park

• July 16, 8 p.m., Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

Oval Lawn Series and Mad. Sq. Kids at Madison Square Park

The Madison Square Park Conservancy celebrates its 11th year hosting free outdoor concerts.

The Mad. Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series features acclaimed artists from jazz to blue grass to soul, and occurs Wednesday evenings through Aug. 7 (times vary).

Mad. Sq. Kids, a series of outdoor performances for children and families, takes place Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m., through Aug. 8. Madison Square Park, Manhattan.


River to River Festival

Each year, River to River presents work artists working across disciplines and responding to the architecture of some of New York City’s most iconic locations and hidden gems.

From dance, visual art, film, mixed media, literature, poetry, music, theatre and more, River To River includes over 150 events throughout Lower Manhattan and Governors Island.

Through July 14.

Times and locations vary.


Summer in the Square

Union Square’s Summer in the Square is back this year and bigger than ever.

Union Square Partnership’s free weekly summer entertainment series is held Thursdays in Union Square Park from June 13 to Aug. 15.

The series offers a vibrant mixture of activities for everyone.

This year, in partnership with Paragon Sports, start each morning with a heart-pumping fitness regime for all levels that includes a weekly running club, boot camp from Circuit of Change, and yoga classes from Jivamukti during Fitness in the Square from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

At 10 a.m., Kids in the Square kicks off in the Pavilion with Yoga StoryTime with Karma Kids, followed by a rotating lineup of the hottest children’s performers and acts at 11 a.m. on the South Plaza of the park.

At lunchtime, enjoy live jazz from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in the park’s Westside Seating Area.

Finally, each Thursday will close at 6 p.m. with free dance lessons and performances by Peridance Capezio Center.

Mark your calendar and join the free fun in Union Square Park this summer.

A complete schedule of activities and performances is coming soon to


Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Lincoln Center Out of Doors brings three weeks of world-class music, dance and spoken word to the plazas of Lincoln Center.

July 24 to Aug. 11, exact times and locations vary, Manhattan.


Performances in parks citywide

In addition to larger music festivals, the Parks Department is hosting dozens of artists to standalone performances all summer long. Some of the many concerts taking place include:

• DJ Kool Herc

Considered by many to be the founder of hip-hop culture, DJ Kool Herc returns to the borough where it all started for this performance in Crotoan Park.

July 10, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Crotona Park, Bronx.


• Central Astoria Waterfront Concert Series 2013

The Swingtime Big Band performs as park of Central Astoria Local Development Corporation’s Waterfront Concert Series.

July 11, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Astoria Park Lawn on Shore Blvd. between Hell Gate Bridge and the Pool, Queens.


• “King Kong” Written by Alfred Preisser & Randy Weiner / Directed by Alfred Preisser

As part of SummerStage, Randy Weiner and director Alfred Preisser team up for a hip-hop themed theater remake of “King Kong,” a totally original music/dance/comedy spectacle that upends everything you thought you knew about one of the most famous love stories of all time.

Presented By Time Warner.

July 30, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Herbert Von King Park, Brooklyn.


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