Summer is around the corner, and there are few better ways to spend the balmy evenings than basking in the beauty of one of New York’s finest historical landmarks, Central Park.
As is the case annually, the Park is putting on a variety of events to provide both NYC natives and tourists fantastic ways to enjoy the season. Here are five of our favorites.
Ol’ Bill Shakespeare would no doubt be thrilled to know that, over four centuries after his heyday, men, women, villains and wenches were still gathering outdoors to enjoy the pageantry and poetry of his finest works. To mark the 50th anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park, this year will feature performances of hilarious, mistaken-identity farce, The Comedy of Errors (between May 28 and June 30) and a musical adaptation of Loves Labours Lost (from July 23 to August 18). Performances take place at the Delacorte Theater, just off of 80th street on the southwest corner of the Great Lawn. Expect to be enchanted.
Over five nights, starting August 20th, the 11th annual Central Park Film Festival will be blowing up a giant inflatable screen and turning the space just south of the 72nd St Cross Drive into an outdoor movie theater. Since gates open at 6:30pm and screenings don’t start until 8pm, the event is perfectly timed for you to head to straight from work and enjoy a quick picnic before the films commence. No word on what will be showing in 2013 yet, but last year featured cult classics like The Big Lebowski, Coming to America and Do the Right Thing. We hope the options this year are just as raucous.
Central Park’s most delicious event, Taste of Summer, not only brings together food from 28 of the city’s finest chefs, restaurants, wine bars and bakeries, it also serves as a fundraiser for the Central Park Conservancy (a.k.a. the folk who keep the Park is such tip-top shape all year round). Tickets start at $400 each, and we recommend fasting before you attend, to fully make the most of the fantastic treats on offer. Taste of Summer takes place at the always-stunning Bethesda Terrace, overlooking the lake, on June 19, 2013, between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
New Girl Zooey Deschanel will be hitting the SummerStage, at Rumsey Playfield (near E. 69th and 5th Ave) on July 6, with her musical partner M. Ward, to serenade your evening with the warm-hearted, retro-centric pop-folk of She & Him. In support will be the equally delightful indie-pop darlings of Camera Obscura. Tickets are $40 and well worth it, since this event helps to fund all of the free shows taking place as part of the SummerStage musical extravaganza. Take your dancing shoes – the fun starts at 7pm.
While the New York Philharmonic has yet to announce its schedule for this July’s free concerts, this annual event – featuring performances in all five boroughs, incidentally – is one of the highlights of the summer, every year. Central Park hosts this feast of classical music at the Great Lawn’s band shell, accessible from either West 81st or 86thStreets, or East 79th or 85th Street. It doesn’t get more romantic than this.