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May 27, 2018

50+ Things to Do This Summer (2018 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 #whasummer2018 #weheartsummer. Let’s go!!

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, maybe some boxed wine, and enjoy! You can also get a full rundown of all Outdoor Movies this Summer season here.

2. Go For A Swim In The Astoria Pool

Astoria Pool

Our much beloved public pool located in Astoria Park opens Wednesday, June 27.

3. Go for a Swim at the Profundo Pool Club


Photo credit: Ravel Hotel

The Profundo Pool Club sits atop the Ravel Hotel, so get ready for awesome views and a posh party atmosphere.

4. Check out Built At Socrates Sculpture Park

Built, is a park-wide solo exhibition of newly commissioned works by Virginia Overton.  Check out an altered pickup truck, a water feature, a roof truss gem sculpture, a suspended work, and a billboard, among others.

5. Warm Up At MoMA PS1

Warm_Up_ticket_packageWarm Up is not to be missed! Expect a mix of experimental music, sound, and DJs, all right here in our backyard. Taking place from June 30-September 1. Local residents with proper ID can get in free, contingent upon ticket availability. Full lineup 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. The Astoria Park Carnival

The Astoria Park Carnival is back June 6-10. This family-friendly event features favorite fair food, games and rides for all ages, from whimsical kiddie rides to state-of-the-art thrill rides. Admission and parking are free. Ride tickets are available onsite. Learn more here.

8. The 13th Annual Taste of LIC

The 13th Annual celebration of the food, drink, culture and community of Western Queens, to benefit The Chocolate Factory Theater’s residency, performance and community programs. Purchase your tickets here.

9. Celebrate Queens Pride

Queens Pride 1994.
Photo by Richard Shpuntoff

Kick off Queens Pride with the annual bash at Studio Square on Thursday, May 30. Keep the good vibes going at the Queens Pride Parade in Jackson Heights on Sunday, June 3. After you marched it out, head back to Astoria for a night of celebration at Albatross Bar.

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

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

The Brooklyn Grange grows 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. I’ve volunteered here for the past 2 summers, and it’s a great way to get your hands dirty and enjoy the fresh air.

11. Celebrate the Summer Solstice at Socrates

Mark this midsummer phenomenon (it’s the longest day of the year!) with art-making workshops and activities from both Socrates Park and The Noguchi Museum. At sunset, gather around the hill for Urban Shaman Mama Donna’s annual waterfront Solstice ritual uniting all in reverence and positive energy.

12. 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.

13. Eat & Drink in the Great Outdoors

Whether 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 2018 Outdoor Dining Guide here.

14. 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. Not to be missed, the fantastic Jim Henson Exhibition. 

15. 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 new kid on the block Fifth Hammer Brewing Company. Here in Astoria we’ve got SingleCut Beersmiths and ICONYCs Tap Room.

16. Free First Fridays At Noguchi


Photo credit: The Noguchi Museum

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. Right now you can check out the iconic Akari currently on display.

17. Spend A Day At The LIC Flea

LIC Flea_Top View

The LIC Flea, now in its sixth year, is back with dozens of new food vendors, a beer garden, and more. (PRO TIP—Check out their themed events during the summer)

18. Go Kayaking On The East River

kayakers on the east river

Kayakers on the East River

The 2017 kayaking season kicks off Sunday, June 3 at the LIC Boathouse. Full details here.

19. Make New Friends with 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, EVEN Trivia. (FYI in Winter they have a Cornhole league!) Learn more and sign up by contacting Astoria Social here.

20. Take in the Astoria Film Festival

A weekend celebration of independent filmmakers from around the world, Astoria NY Film Festival will have its Welcome Reception Friday, June 8 at Zenon Taverna from 8-10pm. The Screenings/Awards Ceremony will be at The Zukor Theater in Kaufman Astoria Studios on Saturday, June 9 from 11am-5pm. Finally the After Party will take place at George’s in Kaufman Astoria Studios Saturday, June 9 from 5-7pm. Tickets can be purchase here.

21. Drink in the 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, more modern garden experience, head to Studio Square.

22. Jazz at Socrates

Presented in partnership with The Jazz Foundation of America, concerts take place each second Thursday of the month on the summer events stage near the East River, and feature local food vendors.

23. 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!

24. 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 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.

25. The Metropolitan Opera comes to Queens

On Friday, June 29th enjoy an evening of sunset opera on the waterfront! The Met’s Summer Recital Series returns to Socrates for its eighth season.

26. Visit The Welling Court Murals

Welling Court Murals

The Welling Court Mural Project is one of the best collections of contemporary street culture and it’s Free and open to the public 24/7/365.

27. Lockwood’s Epic Clearance Sale

Lockwood’s 5th Annual Summer Epic Clearance Sale will feature 30-75% off hundreds of items at Lockwood Astoria, Style, Paper, and Lockwood Jackson Heights. Shop it out!

28. Beach Days at Off the Hook

After soaking up the sun all day at Rockaway Beach*, spend your evenings at Off the Hook and listen to live music and take advantage of oyster and drink specials.

29. Drink On The Waterfront


We heart LIC Landing and all those killer city views. Stroll around Gantry State Park, take kids to the Hunter’s Point South Playground, or spend the day exploring our sister neighborhood, then head over to Anable Basin Sailing Bar and Grill. 

30. Crawfish Boil At The Bonnie

Head over to The Bonnie on Saturday, June 16 for the third annual Crawfish Boil! Get your New Orleans on with classic favorites and frozen hurricanes. The festivities kick off at 3 pm and the Liftoff Brass Band party will play into the night. Full details here.

31. Shop at The Summer Spree

The Queens-Made Market is brought to you by Astoria Craft Mamas and Okabaloo #FunArtFactory! Enjoy a community-supported arts & crafts market that provides an eclectic alternative to the traditional retail and shopping experience. Head over to 35-53 32nd St. (at 36 Ave.) on July 21 & 22.

32. Hop On The Citywide Ferry


Taken at Hunters Point South Park in LIC.

Enjoy great views of the City skyline and hop on the Ferry. Rides are $2.75 each way (the current price of a one-way fare) and with Citywide Ferry you’ll be able to connect to the Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, Midtown and Lower Manhattan (in that order) docks. The Astoria dock is located by the Astoria Houses just off Vernon Blvd.

33. 2018 Independence Celebration

Image via Abdel Berraha

Everyone is invited to the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition 2018 Independence Celebration on June 28! Enjoy a performance by the Patriot Brass Ensemble, followed by a spectacular Grucci fireworks display. This is always a favorite summer event!

34. The Queens Cup Cocktail Competition

The Bonnie’s biannual cocktail competition brings Queens’ best mixologists to the bar garden to battle for the Queens Cup. This year the battle will take place on Monday, August 6. 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 award. I’ve judged this competition in the past, and it is SO MUCH FUN.

35. Find Waldo In Astoria

Summer’s right around the corner, but where’s Waldo? He’s back and he’s hiding in some of your favorite local Astoria stores! Spend July hunting around the neighborhood for the chance to win some awesome prizes at the Where‘s Waldo Party on Sunday, July 29 at The Astoria Bookshop. Keep an eye out at the Astoria Bookshop website, Instagram, and Twitter for more details.

()36. Make Music New York

On Thursday, June 21, the summer solstice and longest day of the year, NYC musicians of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels will be empowered to perform from over 400 outdoor, public spaces in a celebration of music like no other. Find Astoria locations here.

37. 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.

38. Enjoy a Sweet Summer

ample-hills-creamery-logoThis summer you can eagerly await the opening of Ample Hills Creamery over on 30th Avenue along with a ton of other sweet spots that should be up and running this summer!

39. Dance at Socrates Park

This August, Norte Maar’s Dance at Socrates returns to the Park for its 6th season! Check out performances on August 11th, 18th, and the 25th from 4-5:30 pm.

40. Take In The Astoria Waterfront Concert Series

Summer is music to our our ears! Make sure you check out the Waterfront Concert series that starts on July 12 and ends on August 16.

41. Summer Party at The Brass Owl

Celebrate the first weekend of summer with The Brass Owl! Head over for a day filled with treats, deals, and fun! Sip complimentary Sangria while taking 15% off the entire store, free gift with any purchase of $10 or more, AND get double loyalty points. Stay tuned for more details here.

42. Frosé at Vintage Wine Bar

This delicious boozy Icee for adults is waiting for you at Vintage Wine Bar! It’s the perfect way to cool things down.

43. Summer Beach Party at The Bonnie

Head over to The Bonnie on Saturday,July 7 from 12 pm-Midnight on for a 90’s throwback beach party w/DJ Frankie Pancakes & 90’s cover band Paul Madd Thang.

44. Pick Up Volume VI of The Paper

Although we are sad to say goodbye to our print publication The Paper, it’s a great resource to use this summer. This edition has Biking Adventures, 11 Places in Queens You Must Not Miss, local Business Profiles, and much more. Check out an electronic version here, or find a copy out in the neighborhood.

45. See More with Citi Bike

PHOTO CREDIT: DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

Get around Astoria/LIC faster with Citi Bike! Full map with stations here.

46. Frozen Irish Coffee at Passage Irish Bar & Kitchen

Need something a little stronger than Frosé? Then the Frozen Irish Coffee from Passage might work for you. Handmade with Jameson Black Barrel, it is their most popular drink. They also just introduced a Frozen Spring Mule made with Absolut Lime. Beware of brain freezes!

47. Get your Artist on at AlterWork

alterwork-studios-astoria-queens AlterWork Studios is a shared space for artists. Check out all of the different classes/workshops, and do something artistic this summer!

48. Summer Music Fest at The Bonnie

Summer Music Fest goes down at The Bonnie on August 25, 12 pm – 12 am. Details TBD, but it’s always an awesome day filled with local musicians and boogie-inducing jams!

<49. Take a Class at Q.E.D.

Need to get out of the Summer slump? Learn a new skill at Q.E.D. They have a full lineup of classes, workshops, and events, that can make summer all the more awesome.

50. Staycation for Reals

Get a whole new perspective on your neighborhood and treat yourself at the same time. You have your pick of beautiful boutique hotels (Boro Hotel, Paper Factory, Z Hotel) that offer great amenities… most of all great AC for when the weather is just too hot for your window unit. Many of these options can put you in brand new spot around the neighborhood so explore a new avenue or street.

51. Shop at The Queens Craft Brigade

The Queens Craft Brigade brings together the best makers from our borough making artwork, fashion, food, jewelry, crafts, and more! Each event is carefully curated to create a positive vibe for the community. Check out the two events they’ve got coming up this summer!

June 3: Pride Event
Vendors include Crafty Lumberjacks, Donut Diva, Dovecote Collective, Poppin and more. Proceeds from select items from vendors will support the Queens Community House. Learn more here!
July 15: One Year Anniversary
Vendors include Frank Ape, HISS, Arianna Rose, Bench Flour Bakers, Flattopps, and more. Get all the 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:

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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