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May 31, 2016

50+ Things To do This Summer in Astoria and Long Island CIty (2016 Edition)

It’s here! Our massive, action-packed guide for summer living in Astoria and Long Island City is finally here. Movies, pool time, boozy brunches, QNS themed pop ups, and so much more. Read on…

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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, dance parties, street fairs and more. This post is a labor of love, and last year’s was our most read post of all time! Here’s to a cool, inspiring, and local summer! -Mackenzi

Astoria Pool

As always, the party doesn’t stop at 50- submit your awesome summer events in the comments and we’ll continue to add to this post. (You can also submit your events here on our WHA event calendar!)

So, without further ado…

50 things to do this summer in Astoria, LIC, and surrounding neighborhoods in Queens!

1. See An Outdoor Movie


Photo credit: Socrates Sculpture Park

You might have already checked out our GIANT post on outdoor movies in Astoria & LIC. If you haven’t yet, bookmark this one, grab a blanket, a friend, and maybe some rose and enjoy! (PRO TIP– the boxed Rose at Astoria Wine & Spirits on Broadway is killer.)

2. Go For a Swim in Astoria Pool

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.

3. Check Out Landmark at Socrates Sculpture Park


Image via Socrates Sculpture Park

Once an industrial landfill and illegal dumping ground, Socrates Sculpture Park is now a crown jewel in the Western Queens art scene. Don’t miss their 30th anniversary installation, LANDMARK, which transforms the land both physically and symbolically.

4. Warm Up at PS1


Warm Up is a 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, get the full scoop here.

5. Do Free Yoga in The Park


Grab a mat and head over to the Socrates waterfront Saturdays & Sundays this summer for free yoga in the park. Get the schedule here.

6. Celebrate With Fireworks

Image via Abdel Berraha

Image via Abdel Berraha

Celebrate the 4th Astoria style at the annual fireworks display in Astoria Park. PRO TIPthis year’s celebration happens June 30th.

7. Don’t Miss Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony


Did you know Tom Sachs: Tea Party is the first work by a single artist other than Noguchi to be shown at the Noguchi Museum? This unique exhibition reworks the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and it’s on display through July 24. Don’t miss it.

8. Queens Pride Celebrations

Queens Pride 1994. Photo by Richard Shpuntoff

Queens Pride 1994.
Photo by Richard Shpuntoff

Kick off Queens Pride with the annual bash at Studio Square on Thursday June 2nd. Keep the good vibes going at the Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights on Sunday, June 5th.

9. Take in The Astoria Waterfront Concert Series

fireworks crowd astoria park

Crowd waiting for the fireworks at Astoria Park

Enjoy country, jazz, and doowop on the waterfront this summer in Astoria Park. Check out the full line up here. Concerts start this July and continue into August with Bon Journey, the Bon Jovi cover band. (!!!) Our full list of outdoor performances in Astoria and Long Island City can be found here.

10.  Take a Tour of The Brooklyn Grange

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

Did you know Queens’ own Brooklyn Grange is open for tours twice a month? Tour the roof, learn about urban agriculture, and take a gander at their farm stand. The tours meet at COFFEED on Northern Blvd.

11. Catch The Sparrow Film Festival


A WHA fave, the Sparrow Film Festival kicks off June 16th at MoMI. Join them for an evening of films, food, drinks, awards, and live entertainment as they celebrate this year’s honorees and the spirit of filmmaking in Astoria.

12. Go Kayaking on The East River

kayakers on the east river

Kayakers on the East River

The 2016 kayaking season kicks off May 30th at the LIC Boathouse. More info here. (PS- don’t miss this cool kites + kayak mash up at Socrates on July 9th.)

13. Check Out The Bang On a Can Music Series


For the sixth year in a row, The Noguchi Museum partners with Bang on a Can to present an innovative performance series held in the Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. Kicks off Sunday, June 12th. Get the full deets here.

14. Catch the 4th of July Fireworks on a Rooftop


From Mau C.

Join our friends from Butcher Bar + the Brooklyn Grange for a night of BBQ, beer, and fireworks this 4th of July. (PRO TIP- get your tickets early, Brooklyn Grange events sell out quickly.)

15. Shop The First Ever QED Bazzar


We’re super excited about the inaugural QED Bazaar on SundayJuly 17th, from 1-6pm. Local vendors in a space we love, what could be better? Apply here to be a vendor. (Keep an eye on their events page fore more info.)

16. Free First Fridays at Noguchi


The impressive art of Isamu Noguchi

Extended Summer First Friday hours continue this summer with free gallery talks, and a cash bar and drinks in the garden in the evening. Get the full scoop on Noguchi First Fridays here.

17. Pedal Over To The LIC Bike Parade


Sunday, June 11th, transform your bicycle, tricycle, or scooter into a mobile work of art and then flaunt it in their annual LIC Bike Parade. The festivities kick off at 11am.

18. Head Out To a Street Festival

street fair

Check 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, poets, jazz and more all right on Vernon Blvd. Events kick off July 26th.

20. Shop The Saturday Greenmarket at Socrates Sculpture Park

socrates-greenmarket-j-glebocki farm-greens-potatoes-astoria-queens

Gorgeous display of greens and potatoes from J. Glebocki Farm

Shop one of our original greenmarkets at Socrates Sculpture Park Saturdays from June 4th to November 19th. PRO TIP– bring your compost to the market to be collected by NYC Compost Project.

21. Don’t Miss Make Music New York


Haven’t checked out MMNY yet? This year is the perfect time to take in their live, free musical celebrations on June 21, the longest day of the year! Click here to find all the best places in LIC and Astoria for free music.

22. Vist Astoria Heights Playground

Freinds of Astoria Post Card 4 x 6-1

Yoga, puppets, Shakespeare, and a reading room for kids? It must be the Astoria Heights Playground.

23. Shop The Brass Owl’s Summer Party

Photo Courtesy of The Brass Owl

Celebrate the first weekend of Summer with Ditmars’ favorite shop, The Brass Owl. Treats, deals, a Queens88 pop up shop, and specials await you June 18th. More info here.

24. Play Some Video Games


We can’t think of a better way to spend a sweltering, stick hot NYC day than in the cool confines of MoMI playing classic video games. We’ll be trying our hand at Asteroids, Space Invaders, Ms. Pac-man, and Donkey Kong just to name a few.

25. Eat Oysters Outdoors


Grab a friend and head to Mar’s for some excellent patio time filled with ice cold oysters and expertly crafted cocktails. (PRO TIP– their kale salad is also a WHA staff fave, and their sexy vibes make for a seriously perfect date spot.)

26. Check Out Flattops Later This Summer


Rumor has it new Ditmars burger joint Flattops will be opening early this summer, bringing “cold drinks, hot grill, fat beats” to the Ditmars area. Follow them on Instagram here for the latest updates.

27. Find Waldo in Astoria


He’s back! Our favorite literary character will be hiding in lots of Astoria & LIC spots again this year- don’t miss this month long hide-and-seek game, perfect for fun seekers of all ages. Details on their fb page- Where’s Waldo in Astoria.

28. Get Boozy With Bottomless Brunch

Image by Marketa

Astoria is no stranger to the brunch scene, and better yet, the bottomless brunch scene. Our updated round up highlights some of the best places in Astoria to get brunch with DRINKS. Better yet… lots of our favorite choices have great outdoor seating options (think: Tacuba, MexiBBQ, Katch…)

29. Celebrate The Solstice


Bring your friends and family to Socrates to celebrate the longest day of the year, June 21st! This year’s Summer Solstice Celebration will feature vibrant afro-Brazilian drumming, a performance and capoeira demonstrations, and an eclectic selection of delicious Brazilian BBQ.

30. Run in The Park!

Runners_Astoria Park

Catch 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! (Not into running? Try OPA-size and Zumba at this local spot.)

31. Hop on The Ferry


Taken at Hunters Point South Park in LIC.

In the heat of summer, we all know being on the water is the best. Why not hop on the East River Ferry and head to Williamsburg, Greenpoint, or Governor’s Island? All the info you need is here. (PRO TIP– on Saturdays why not take it to Smorgasburg? Sure we miss the Queens Smorgasburg, but the orginal Williamsburg location is perfection.)

32. Spend A Day At LIC Flea

LIC Flea_Top View

The LIC Flea, now in its fourth year, is back with dozens of new food vendors, a beer garden, and vendors galore. (PRO TIP– we hear they’re hosting their first annual music festival later this August. Details here.)

33. Shop Locally at MiQ Pop Up Shop


Look for newcomer MiQ (Made in Queens) Pop Up Shop to open later this June, chock full of Queens made items you’re sure to covet. Full details including how to apply to become a vendor here.

34. Drink at a Beer Garden


Astoria 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 garden experience, head to Studio Square where you can pair your risotto balls with sangria on tap.

35. Drink on a Rooftop


Grab a drink at one of these awesome rooftop bars with mesmerizing city views: Vista Ballroom, Z Hotel, and Penthouse 808.

36. Get in a Killer Workout


Ready for an intense workout this summer? We’re excited to check out Summer Shredd in Gantry Park, happening Sundays at 10am.

37. Check Out Aloha NYC


Have you heard about Astoria’s Hawaiian inspired bar set to open this summer? We can’t wait for tropical inspired drinks in a little slice of paradise.

38. Drink on The Waterfront


We heart LIC Landing and all those killer city views. 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 three.)

39. Attend The Taste of LIC


The eleventh annual Taste of LIC is back and better than ever. A WHA fave event, Taste of LIC is full of killer food, networking, and amazing city views- all while supporting local the local arts scene.

40. Go To an Ice Cream Party!


Join the Queen of Astoria for one of her famous ice cream socials. DJs + BBQ + ice cream + beer. Happens at Rockaway Brewing Company June 11th from 4-9.

41. Do Pilates in Astoria Park

Take a Pilates mat class in Astoria Park on the pool terrace every Saturday morning at 9am through the end of June. Students must bring their own mats and can connect on Instagram or on the ShapeUpNYC website (choose: Saturday, Queens) for more information.


42. Get The Kids Involved


Take the littles to an outdoor class in Astoria Park! Tinkergarten holds weekly classes aimed at a variety of age groups, where activities progressively build week after week, season after season. Get the full scoop here.

43. A Midnight Harry Potter Party


We can’t even….new Harry Potter?! We’re so in. Join Astoria Bookshop at their midnight release party of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Saturday, July 30th at 10pm.

44. Get Your Oysterfest On


That’s right. A second entry just for oysters, that’s how committed to these little briny beauties we are. Off The Hook is turning 3 and celebrating with all things OYSTER.

45. Watch The Tonys Live

The Astor Room_Interior

Grab a cocktail and watch Hamilton just crush the competition (BONUS! James Corden is hosting!) The Astor room hosts this live Tonys Viewing party complete with beer or wine and passed hors d’oeuvres. June 12th, Tickets here.

46. Head Over To Lollipops & Leather


Tuesday night’s just got way more playful! Lollipops and Leather is a monthly mismatch of comedians spanking the sweet logic out of life. The show prides itself on its diverse lineup – making sure audiences hear all voices.

47. Grab a Classic Daiquiri


Join Proof + Gauge for a night of RUM on June 1st! Meet the woman behind this Brooklyn made spirit, and enjoy specialty cocktails at a local LIC distillery. (PRO TIPgrab a doughnut before things kick off- we heart the Brooklyn Blackout.)

48. Hit Up This New Breakfast Truck


Photo credit: The Breakfast Shack

This quote says it all, “His signature dish is the “Shack Bites,” which are made with scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon and cheese that’s dipped in pancake batter and rolled in honey corn flakes and deep-fried. “Basically breakfast in a bite.” The full scoop is here, including where to find them in Astoria this summer.

49. Visit The Welling Court Murals


The Welling Court Mural Project happens June 11th, with a tour of more than 40 murals painted by legendary artists. We hear the awesome folks at Sticker Social Club will be rocking sticker-making workshops all day, so get ready to create some magic.

50. Shop Lockwood’s Epic Clearance Sale


Lockwood’s semi-annual Epic Clearance Sale kicks off July 22nd. 50-75% off 100’s of items.

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

+ Eat delicious Indian food in Jackson Heights (or around the city!)

+ The Ramones exhibition closes July 31st at the Queens Museum, but don’t miss this Heavy Metal Flea happening June 25th.

Fly By Night, an interactive LIGHT UP display of trained carrier pigeons happening this summer in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

+ Make sure you check out Queens Nightmarket. Eat all the noms!

+ Grab a burger at the new Forest Hills Shake Shack.

+ Get tacos at this hip beach club in the Rockaways.


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