There’s so much happening FREE in NYC every week of the summer season. Add these free outdoor film screenings, concerts, dances and lectures and more to your “to do” list to enjoy NYC on the cheap. Outdoor movies generally begin at dusk (8PM or 8:30PM), but check the links for specific times.
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- Daily Through July 7th
The Swings, an Exercise in Musical Cooperation – These high-tech swings make music as you move, and each one is different. Call it exercise, call it interactive art, call it fun. At the outdoor plaza of Brookfield Place, which used to be called the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan. For kids and grown-ups, noon to 8PM daily.
- Monday, June 27
Stonewall Inn National Monument Dedication Ceremony – Join federal, state and local officials honoring this site in Greenwich Village for its role in launching the Gay Rights Movement. Noon
Bryant Park Summer Film Series – Every Monday this summer, see a top film at this popular event. Tonight East of Eden with James Dean.
- Tuesday, June 28
Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation – The history of the gay liberation movement usually is discussed in terms of political proress and sexual freedom. Author Jim Downs discusses how the 1970s also gave birth to a literary, cultural and religious awakening. 6:30PM at the Mid-Manhattan Library, the branch of the NYPL at Fifth Ave. and 40th Street, one block from the main branch with the lions out front.
- Support the Orlando LGBT community by downloading Broadway for Orlando, featuring more than 60 top Broadway performers singing a special version of “What the World Needs Now is Love”. 100% of the $1.99 download price is being donated to the victims and their families.
Sunset Swing – Outdoor dancing to the Baby Soda Jazz Band, at Pier 45 at Christopher St. There’s a free beginner lesson at 6:30, and the dancing starts at 7:15. Starting next week, it will be Sunset Salsa on Tuesdays, through August 16th.
- Midsummer Night Swing begins its second week of three weeks of dancing in Lincoln Center to live bands playing swing, rock, Latin and funk. It’s free to listen beyond the dance floor, but $17 to dance. Tonight is Septeto Santiaguero playing Cuban Son.
“Despicable Me 2” (Movies Under the Stars): Stapleton Playground, Stapleton
“Ant Man” (Movies Under the Stars): A.R.R.O.W. Community Center
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Movies Under the Stars): Concrete Plant Park, Foxhurst
“Open Season Scared Silly” (Movies Under the Stars): Osborn Playground, Brownsville
Stargazing at the High Line – Every Tuesday until October 25th, take a closer look at the stars. Peer through high-powered telescopes provided by the knowledgeable members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York to see rare celestial sights. At the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck, on the High Line at West 14th Street
- Wednesday, June 29
Accordian Festival in Bryant Park – Accordian players wander through the park every Wednesday through August. Different musicians, different music styles each week.
Love Unites Us: Winning the Freedom to Marry in America – Executives of Lambda Legal and the NYC Anti-Violence project share the story of the struggle for same sex marriage rights and marriage equality. Part of the NYC Pride Week programming at the Mid-Manhattan Library, the NYPL branch on Fifth Ave. at 40th Street, a block from the main branch with the lions out front. Lecture is at 6:30PM
“Cinderella” (Movies Under the Stars): Mosholu Playground, Bedford Park
“The Great Escape” (Movies Under the Stars): Carl Schurz Park, Upper East Side – an all-star cast including Steve McQueen doing this own motorcycle stunts.
“Shaun the Sheep” (Movies Under the Stars): Beach 59th Street Playground, Arverne
“Zootopia” (Movies Under the Stars): Osborne Playground, Brownsville
“The Way We Were” (Movies Under the Stars): Long Meadow Ballfields, Prospect Park – Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford fall in and out of love.
- Thursday, June 30
The Music of George and Ira Gershwin – Brothers George and Ira Gershwin wrote some of the most famous songs in American history, including for Broadway shows and Hollywood films. This is a musical evening of videos of entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland singing some Gershwin songs. 6:30PM at the Mid-Manhattan Library.
Fiddlers on the Roof: Alicia Svigals klezmer string band concert – Part of Kulturfest NYC celebration of Yiddish theater and music. This is more than a concert. It also includes a fiddler’s music workshop. 7PM at the JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave at 76th St.
FAB Flicks celebrating favorite African-American films and stars every Thursday in June. Tonight is the final night, featuring a screening of Shining Star: A Tribute to Maurice White, the Earth, Wind and Fire star who passed away recently.
Everybody Tango – FREE lessons in Argentine Tango by instructors from Strictly Tango NYC, followed by the chance to practice what you learned. 6:30PM to 9:30PM through August 6 at Pier I at 70th St., Riverside Park. There also are FREE Latin Dance lessons, including Bachata, on Sundays in June.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (Movies Under the Stars): West Bronx Recreation Center, High Bridge
“The Wiz” (Movies Under the Stars): Heritage Park, Richmond
“Shaun the Sheep” (Movies Under the Stars): Rosemary’s Playground, Ridgewood
“Ant-man” (Movies Under the Stars): Thomas Jefferson Park, East Harlem
- Friday, July 1
“The 400 Blows” (Films on the Green): Transmitter Park, Greenpoint
“Little Giants” (Movies Under the Stars): Elmhurst Park, Elmhurst
“Tootsie” (Movies Under the Stars): Corporal A. Seravalli Playground, West Village – Classic, vintage Dustin Hoffman
Good Morning America free summer concerts in Central Park. Today, Blink.
Today Show free summer concerts in Rockefeller Plaza. Today, Rachel Platten.
Saturday, July 2
“Minions” (Movies Under the Stars): Kiviehan Playground, New Dorp
“The Lego Movie” (Movies Under the Stars): Maurice Park, Maspeth