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May 29, 2017

50+ Things To Do This Summer in Astoria and Long Island City (2017 Edition)

Astoria, the unofficial start of summer has arrived! With Memorial Day behind us, we can finally start to plan our perfect summer fun—movies in the park, pool time, art openings, (…)

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Astoria, the unofficial start of summer has arrived! With Memorial Day behind us, we can finally start to plan our perfect summer fun—movies in the park, pool time, art openings, eating outside, street fairs, and more. Share all your summer adventures with us on social media with hashtags #whasummer2017 #weheartsummer. We’ll be updating this post all summer long, so check back in to see what new items we’ve added! Here we goooo!!!!!

Astoria Pool

50 Things To Do This Summer In Astoria, LIC, And
Surrounding Neighborhoods In Queens

1. See An Outdoor Movie


Grab a blanket, a friend, and maybe some boxed wine, (guys, don’t bring glass into our parks) and enjoy! Check out your options below.

2. Go For A Swim In The Astoria Pool

Astoria Pool

Our much beloved public pool located in Astoria Park opens June 29th. Get all the info you need before you swim here. If you are a lover of swimming laps, make sure you get all the details here, for Adult Lap Swimming.

3. LIC HENGE 2017

LIC HengeInstagram lovers get ready, this one’s for you. Twice a year this phenomena occurs and it’s best observed from the Long Island City waterfront. Observe the spectacle at sunset on July 12 and July 13, when the sun seems to set on 42nd Street, no filter needed.

4. View Nari Ward And Folly/Function At Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Park_GOATOnce an industrial landfill and illegal dumping ground, Socrates Sculpture Park is now the crown jewel in the Western Queens art scene.

5. Warm Up At MoMA PS1

warm-up-2017-collageWarm Up is not to be missed! Expect a mix of experimental music, sound, and DJs, all right here in our backyard. Local residents with proper ID get in free (contingent on tickets available); get the full scoop here.

6. Do Free Yoga In The Park

Yoga5-1024x768Grab a mat and head over to the Socrates waterfront Saturdays and Sundays this summer for free yoga in the park. Get the schedule here.

7. Celebrate Astoria…With Fireworks

Image via Abdel Berraha

Image via Abdel Berraha

Pack up the picnic basket and head over to celebrate Astoria at the annual fireworks display in Astoria Park. This year the festivities will be on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30pm. The Queens Symphony will perform. Full details here.

8. Take In The Astoria Waterfront Concert Series

fireworks crowd astoria park

Crowd waiting for the fireworks at Astoria Park

Summer is music to our our ears! Make sure you check out the Waterfront Concert series that starts on July 13 at 7:30pm, and ends on August 17. No information yet on who is performing, but we’ll update when we get more information.

9.  Take A Tour Of The Brooklyn Grange—Or Better Yet, Volunteer

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The Brooklyn Grange is a leader in the world of rooftop farms, where they grow over 50,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year. Every Saturday they host an open house at their flagship farm right here in Long Island City at no charge—just go between 11am and 4pm. Volunteer hours occur during these Open House hours, and tasks include, but are not limited to, weeding, trellising plants, and laying burlap. This is my second summer as a volunteer and it’s a great way to get your hands dirty and enjoy the fresh air.

10. All Fun & Games

Photo Courtesy of The Gutter’s Twitter page

This summer make sure you add some fun and games to the mix. Lucky for you we’ve got lots of ideas! You can lace up some rented bowling shoes and try to get a strike at the old school feel Astoria Bowl, or the newly opened Gutter LIC. Gather a group of friends and try to escape at Locked Escape Rooms NYC. You can also enjoy Billiards, Ping-Pong, Darts, Vintage Arcades, Foosball, and Hoops at Break Bar & Billiards. Finally check out The Geekery HQ and find a great new card or board game to take to the Bohemian Beer Garden.

11. Love thy Neighborhood

LIC & Astoria Love Letter” is an afternoon of storytelling, music, art and Queens Love in beautiful Socrates Sculpture Park. Meet neighbors, hear true life stories about growing up in these neighborhoods from long-time residents, and enjoy performances of music inspired by Astoria and Long Island City. Share your own stories and more in our open mic, write a love note to your neighborhood, and leave your mark on the park with participatory art-making activities reflecting the local landscape.

12. Support The Ditmars Park Youthmarket

DAh-WdTXoAAFm_K.jpg_largeDitmars Park Youthmarket, is back for its second season, located on Steinway Street between Ditmars Blvd and 23rd Ave. Participating youth learn small business skills, nutrition education and much more, all while serving their community. Go check it out starting June 3. Full details here.

13. Go Kayaking On The East River

kayakers on the east river

Kayakers on the East River

The 2017 kayaking season kicks off May 29 at the LIC Boathouse. Full details here. (PS: don’t miss this cool City of Water Day at Socrates on July 15.)

14. RHINOCEROS in Astoria Park

The Rhinoceros Collective is Trumpeting the message of Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist masterpiece RHINOCEROS in vibrant public art performances. Featuring puppetry, movement and original music,contemporary audiences are invited to reflect on the provocative social parallels emerging today in 21st century America. Performances start July 29. Full details here.

15. Farm Fun On The 4th Of July


From Mau C.

Brooklyn Grange events sell out quickly, so don’t miss out on tasty eats, local brews, spinning tunes, and fireworks (obviously). Get your tickets here before they run out!

16. Free First Fridays At Noguchi


The impressive art of Isamu Noguchi

On the first Friday of every month, year-round, the Noguchi Museum offers visitors free admission and tours in both English and Japanese. In the summer, Noguchi has extended hours, with a cash bar for drinks in the garden (refreshments are free for Museum members). Extended summer hours start June 2.

17. Check Queens Craft Brigade’s First Event

Queens Craft Brigade, a new group of local makers, is throwing their very first event, a summer marketplace/craft fair on July 9th, and will feature all of our favorite things: shopping, food, music, and supporting local businesses! Full details here.

18. Head Out To A Street Fair

street fairCheck out our annual no-nonsense list of upcoming summer and fall street fairs in Astoria and LIC, as well as Sunnyside, Woodside, and Jackson Heights.

19. Check Out Summerstage At Queensbridge Park

Image via Pancakes and Whiskey

Image via Pancakes and Whiskey

Puppets, hip-hop, soul disco, and more all right on Vernon Blvd. Event series starts July 22.

20. Chuckle with a Craft Cocktail

Enjoy a night of comedy at The Standing Room in LIC. While you are cracking it up, make sure you check out their collection of expertly crafted cocktails. Read about some of our favorites, and sip on their new summer additions.

21. Shake that Salsa

Learn some new dance moves and get those hips moving with Salsa in Queens. You are not required to arrive with a partner. Learn more about this cool studio here.

22. Don’t Miss Make Music New York

Make Music NY_2017Haven’t checked out MMNY yet? It’s the perfect time to take in their live, free musical celebrations on June 21, the longest day of the year! Click here to find a spot where the music’s happening in Astoria/LIC.

23. Pig Out

Pig Roast_2017The Bonnie’s bar/garden hosts their second annual pig roast on Father’s Day weekend (June 17). Chef Nick Testa will be roasting a whole 150 lb hog, served with choice of three different barbecue sauces and side dishes, like honey jalapeño corn bread and creamy four-cheese mac & cheese. The Southern Country Picnic themed event starts at 4pm, with roast pork coming off the spit around 5pm. Entry is free, and food is sold on a ticket system—$5 per ticket (one ticket for a side dish, two for a main). Event website is here.

24. Spend A Day At MOMI

entrance-museum-of-the-moving-image-momi-astoria-queensWe can’t think of a better way to spend a sweltering sticky hot NYC day than in the cool confines of the Museum of the Moving Image. Mark your calendars for the Jim Henson Exhibition, which will be open to the public on July 22!!! Full scoop on the exhibit here. We’re also super jazzed about the See It Big! Spielberg Summer (June 3-July 16) series. We’ll be at Jurassic Park reliving summers of our 90’s youth (also Jaws for scary beach nostalgia). Check out the full schedule here.

25. Go Shuck Yourself

Oyster Shucking ClassJoin one of the expert shuckers from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. in their Long Island City market to learn all there is to know about these curiously delicious bivalves called oysters, and most importantly, how to properly and safely shuck them. Classes are informational and hands-on. Students are guaranteed to successfully shuck and taste a whole bunch of delicious oysters! Sign up here.

26. Find Waldo In Astoria

whereswaldoWaldo is back and he’s hiding in some of your favorite neighborhood spots! Spend July hunting around Astoria for the chance to win some awesome prizes at the Where’s Waldo Party, Sunday, July 30 at The Astoria Bookshop. Pick up a passport at any of the participating businesses starting July 1 to start looking! Get all the details here.

27. Get Boozy With Bottomless Brunch

Image by MarketaAstoria is no stranger to the brunch scene, and better yet, the bottomless brunch scene. Our round-up highlights some of the best places in Astoria to get brunch with DRANKS.

28. Eat, Drink, Be Outdoors

gastroteca astoria_outdoor spaceWhether it’s a sunny brunch or nighttime cocktail under the stars (or, more accurately, streetlights) we’ve got LOTS of great places that offer outdoor dining and drinking. Check out our Outdoor Dining Guide here.

29. Grab A Cold One

Big Alice_Emily PictureAstoria/LIC is becoming a hotbed for carefully crafted beers—Saisons, IPA’s, Ales, Stouts and more! No matter the type, these brewmasters are mixing personal passions with delicious flavor combinations. So when the going gets hot, enjoy a super refreshing glass of locally made suds. In LIC you’ve got Big Alice Brewing, LIC Beer Project, Rockaway Brewing Company, and Transmitter Brewery. Here in Astoria we’ve got SingleCut Beersmiths and new on the block, ICONYCs Tap Room.

30. Celebrate The Summer Solstice

summer-solstice-1024x768Bring your friends and family to Socrates to celebrate the longest day of the year, June 21 from 5pm to dusk. This year’s Summer Solstice Celebration will have art-making workshops, oracle readings, face painting, sun bouncing, and stargazing with the LaGuardia Community College’s telescope. The best part is when Urban Shaman Mama Donna performs a special ceremony of light and blessing. This is a great activity for families!

31. Run In The Park!

Runners_Astoria ParkCatch an open run most Saturdays in Astoria Park this summer, courtesy of NYRR. Open to all ages, experience levels, walkers, strollers, and dogs—All are welcome! FYI, Global Running Day this year is June 7. Make a pledge at and tell them why you run.

32. Shop For Summer At The Brass Owl

Photo Courtesy of The Brass Owl

Photo Courtesy of The Brass Owl

Summer calls for sandals, sunnies, and super cute accessories. Make sure you are ready for the season and shop The Brass Owl’s big Summer Party on June 17. Treats, deals, and more. Get all the information here.

33. Hop On The Citywide Ferry


Taken at Hunters Point South Park in LIC.

Last December we got the scoop on the upcoming Citywide Ferry, and by August 2017 the Astoria routes should be up and running. Don’t want to wait until August to travel, take advantage of the East River Route which picks up and drops off at Hunters Point South.

34. Spend A Day At The LIC Flea

LIC Flea_Top ViewThe LIC Flea, now in its fifth year, is back with dozens of new food vendors, a beer garden, and more. (PRO TIP—Check out their themed events during the summer from a Taco Get Down, to a Wine Tasting.) Speaking of Taco Get Down, we’ve got a VIP Ticket giveaway going on right now! Enter to win here.

35. Drink At A Beer Garden

bohemian-beer-garden-astoria-queensAstoria is lucky to have two very different beer gardens to choose from. For the classic experience, spend the day at Bohemian Beer Garden, full of pierogies and pitchers of Czech beer. For a newer, more modern garden experience, head to Studio Square where you can pair mac & cheese with a Loaded Electric Lemonade.

36. Drink On A Rooftop

Vista_RooftopGrab a drink at one of these awesome rooftop bars with mesmerizing city views: Vista Ballroom, Z Hotel, Penthouse 808, Boro Hotel, or the Luna Asian Bistro.

37. Get In A Killer Workout

Summer_Shredd_LICReady for an intense workout this summer? We’re excited to check out Summer Shredd in Gantry Park.

38. Drink On The Waterfront

LICLanding3-522x347We heart LIC Landing and all those killer city views (see LIC HENGE above). Stroll around Gantry State Park, take your littles to the Hunter’s Point South Playground, or spend the day exploring our sister neighborhood, and then kick back at LIC Landing for a drink (or two).

39. Lights, Camera, Action

tony-awards-2017This Sunday, June 11 is the 71st annual Tony Awards, taking place at Radio City Music Hall across the river in Manhattan. This year, Kevin Spacey will host; you can see the nominees here. Check out our roundup of local spots where you can watch the musical magic and drama unfold!

40. Crawfish Boil At The Bonnie

indexOn July 15, enjoy a Jazz Fest-inspired menu of muffuletta sandwiches, crawfish and fried green tomatoes, plus Hurricanes for all! The festivities kick off at 5pm and a live brass band will keep the party going into the night. Entry is free, and food is sold on a ticket system—$5 per ticket (one ticket for a side dish, two for a main).

41. Something For The Kiddos

Tinkergarten_AstoriaTake the little ones to an outdoor class in Astoria Park! Tinkergarten is a network of leaders that bring families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play. Get the full scoop here.

42. Visit The Welling Court Murals

Welling Court MuralsThe Welling Court Mural Project opening happens June 10, with a tour of fantastic murals painted by legendary artists.

43. Celebrate Changes At Lockwood

lockwood-dancers-astoria-queens-pkdcWe jumped for joy when we found out that Lockwood was shaking things up, moving Lockwood Style to a bigger space on Broadway (33-06 Broadway), and bringing us Lockwood Paper. Expect to see both new stores open to the public in August. Read the full scoop here. And don’t forget Lockwood’s EPIC Clearance sale on June 23-30; enjoy 50-75% off hundreds of items.

44. A League Of Your Own

Photo from Astoria Social Astoria Social wants to build a community of awesome locals coming to together to have fun. Currently they have four leagues that you can join; Darts, Kickball, Softball, and Trivia. Learn more and sign up by contacting Astoria Social here.

45. Drink Like A Pirate

Off the Hook_New Rum BarOff The Hook has a new and expanded rum bar! The OTH team loves rum and treats it as a complex tasting drink, not just something to put in your Coca-Cola. So get in touch with your inner Jack Sparrow and learn more about this tropical liquor—plus while you drink like a pirate, eat like one too and enjoy some of Off The Hook’s excellent seafood.

46. Check Out The Backlot Art Festival

KAD Backlot FestivalThe Kaufman Arts District is creating its first annual signature event called the Backlot Art Festival. The festival will showcase the variety of content produced here year round by our growing artist community. Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime mark your calendars and save the date: June 24-25. Get more details here.

47. Get Your Pride On

50 Things_Pride PartyThe Queens Pride Parade kicks off June 4 in Jackson Heights. Join the march and celebrate PRIDE with the LGBTQ Bars of Astoria!!! They’ll have FREE T-SHIRTS for everyone who marches, after the march come back to Albatross and ICON to PARTY the night away! Full details here.

48. Q.E.D’s Summer Craft Bazaar

Astoria-Queens-QED-ditmars-23rd-ave-live-music-comedy-standup-improv-classes-theaterHead over to Q.E.D. on July 22 from noon to 5pm for their Summer Craft Bazaar. Showcasing the neighborhood’s most creative makers, this curated marketplace features one-of-a-kind jewelry, quirky collectibles, hand-crafted cards, tasty treats, eye-catching art, and vintage finds all offered up in an atmosphere that’s about having fun and celebrating the local community.

49. The Queens Cup Cocktail Competition

Photo Credit: Mike Di Tota

Photo Credit: Mike Di Tota

The Bonnie’s biannual cocktail competition brings ten of Queens’ best mixologists to the bar garden to battle for the Queens Cup. This year the battle will take place on August 7. Competitors will be challenged to create a cocktail around an assigned liquor and theme. Entry is free, and guests can taste a sample of each bartender’s creation before casting a vote for the People’s Choice winner. I’ll be judging this year’s competition…and I’m coming thirsty.

50. Don’t Let The MTA Get Ya Down!

Image source: Adam_T4 via the WHA Flickr Pool

Image source: Adam_T4 via the WHA Flickr Pool

Clearly this post is an argument for staying local this summer, but the MTA likes to reinforce the idea. Summer schedules and public transport are the worst! Take advantage of staying in Astoria and make sure you shop the “No Trains, Stay Local” event on August 11-13. Show your MTA card at participating local stores and businesses for 10% off your purchase. Get more details here.

…And here’s a small list of awesome things to do ALL over NYC that we heart, even though they’re not in Astoria or LIC:

  • Stand up at The Queens Stands Up Rally on June 11th. Summer is no time to slack on liberty, democracy, and political participation.
  • Make sure you check out Queens Nightmarket. Eat all the noms!
  • Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack, and root for the Queens home team! Full Mets game schedule here.

About Emily Rios

Emily Rios manages special events, sponsored content and advertising clients as WHA's Business Development Director. She is a passionate and dedicated youth developer with a strong background in non-profit management, and works as Senior Manager of Youth Leadership at generationOn.

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