101 Free Things to Do in Brooklyn This Summer

05/09/2012 3:00 AM |


77-81 from Katarina Hybenova, editor of BushwickDaily.com:

bushwick open studios
Celebrating its 6th year, BOS is a mega-weekend of art, music, fun and awesomness, with hundreds of artists offering sneak peeks at their works in progress. Get a printed map or a smart phone app that is being made especially for the festival, and get exploring. June 1-3, artsinbushwick.org/bos2012

holy bos
In conjunction with Bushwick Open Studios, the Bobby Redd Project Space—a former church—is hosting three nights and two days of art trucks, large-scale installations, projection mapping, aerialist performances, and a secret Sunday brunch. June 1-3, facebook.com/holybos

fireside follies reading series
The backroom reading series at Brooklyn Fire Proof brings together truly interesting writers, musicians, and visual artists. Poets Tim Donnelly and Meghan O’Rourke are among the scheduled guests. June 15, July 20, August 17, firesidefollies.wordpress.com

the onderdonk farm house
A charming, historic Dutch farmhouse surrounded by a huge garden is probably the last thing you would expect to come across between the factories on Flushing Ave. But there it is; and additionally, everything from a sculpture garden to a vintage car festival is planned for summer. onderdonkhouse.org

birddog & delinquency memorial day rooftop jam
BirdDog Productions has been organizing really awesome parties in Brooklyn for some time now. To celebrate their new concert venue, soon to open off the Morgan L stop, they’re throwing a party on a TBA rooftop, with a housewarming afterparty at the new venue. Plus food, cheap booze and kiddie pools. May 27, delinquencynyc.com

82-86 from Oriana Leckert, brooklyn-spaces.com:

city reliquary’s 8th annual bicycle fetish day
This annual Williamsburg block party is a spectacular melee packed with bikes, barbecue and bands. There’s music all day, and the street is lined with tables extolling the virtues of biking, selling homemade treats, passing out biking literature, and hawking bike accessories. There are even contests with bike-related prizes for things like Best Mutant Bike, Best Vintage, and Best Handmade. May 26, cityreliquary.org

secret project robot’s “you are here” festival
In mid-July, art duo Trouble is turning the new Secret Project Robot space into a giant transparent art maze made of wire mesh and featuring directional projections. During gallery hours—Thursday through Saturday, from 2 to 8—it’s free to come in and play around. In the evenings will be a slew of (not free) performers, including ZS JG Thirlwell, WIN WIN, Nymph, Hunter Hunt Henrickson of Liturgy, and many more. July 12-August 4, secretprojectrobot.org

join the circus day at the muse
New South Williamsburg aerial training and performance space The Muse regularly has your standard classes on silks and trapeze, but they’ll also teach you quirkier circus skills, like hand-balancing, rope tricks, and wall running. On Join the Circus day, you can sample a bit of everything, including acro partnering, circus hoops, and more, while getting acquainted with the space and all of its extremely enthusiastic (and ridiculously toned) denizens. July 14, facebook.com/TheMuseBrooklyn

showdown of the venues on the gritty b-ball court
In a move perhaps intended to thwart all expectations, the folks behind a half-dozen DIY music venues are throwing an all-day basketball tournament. The final details and location are still being hashed out, but there will be teams facing off from Silent Barn, Roulette, Shea Stadium, Flux Factory, Le Wallet, Secret ProjectRobot, and Death By Audio, with local bands between games and lots of BBQ. Can you think of anything summerier? August 5, silentbarn.org/b-ball

Brooklyn Brainery Lectures at Public Assembly
Of course you know that the Brainery offers quirk-tastic (and cheap) classes on everything from sutures to the history of zoning, but did you know about their fabulous free lecture series? Masters of Social Gastronomy is all about food (with tasty samples!); past topics include the history of fake meat and DIY candy, and June is Jell-O. The Society for the Advancement of Socal Studies, meanwhile, illuminates eccentric topics in history (with themed drink specials). June 5 is “Fun and Games in History” (inspired by the Olympics), July 3 is “Party and Bullshit in the USA,” and August 7 is “Ancient Badasses.” Brooklynbrainery.com

87-91 from Rebecca Smeyne, photographer and blogger, cofounder of myopenbar:

todd p’s acoustic unamplified bbq
Stunning locations, massive roster, and entirely non-commercial. Past locations have included the southern tip of Roosevelt Island (Matt + Kim played that one), and Fort Tilden beach (Necking played their set IN THE OCEAN). Details TBA; toddpnyc.com

rumblers car club’s kustom kills and hotrod thrills
Eye candy in the form of scores of immaculate vintage cars and their equally turned-out  rockabilly owners and groupies, under the BQE near Union Pool (which hosts related activities). rumblersnation.com

the west indian day parade
On Labor Day along Eastern Parkway, the biggest, loudest, most flesh-baring carnival this side of Rio. Attendance is in the millions. Tons of island street food too.

the afro-punk festival
After last year’s hurricane-out, the festival returns to Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park. Previous performers have included Bad Brains and Mos Def. August 25 and 26, afropunk.com

public pools
Especially, we hope, the newly reopened McCarren Pool starting this June. Bring a lock to store your valuables and lots of towels for padding on the brutal cement: no chairs (or practically anything but towels and reading material) allowed past the locker rooms.

92-96 from Tim Donnelly, Brokelyn.com:

bleed for the mets
Yes, you can go to Mets games for free, several times throughout the summer even, and no, it’s not because the Mets are terrible and desperate to fill the seats. The Brooklyn office of the New York Blood Center offers a pair of free Mets tickets to anyone who donates platelets during the summer. While you don’t get to pick the game, you do get to pick what kind of pouched wine you sneak in under your jorts. nybloodcenter.org

the rev. vince anderson and his love choir
This free show happens every Monday night at Union Pool all year round, but check it out in the dead of summer to really soak in the feeling of being transported to a muggy Southern revival tent, sweating out the demons and praising all the notes of musical salvation. It’s hot gospel like this that will have even you, gentle sinner, believing You Are The Miracle. facebook.com/pages/Rev-Vince-Anderson-and-his-Love-Choir

coney island mermaid parade
Coney Island just ain’t all that great of a boardwalk, now that the last remaining vestiges of its beach culture have been stomped down by cookie-cutter buildings that belong on a highway off ramp in Ohio. The Mermaid Parade is the one exception, as it’s the one day a year you can see all the old ghosts of the Coney Island that used to be come out in full, beautiful summer color to welcome the first weekend of the season. It feels like a time warp back to when Coney Island was a strange and wonderful place where you could expect curiosities around every corner. Also, turns out mermaids are quite attractive. Who knew? June 23, coneyisland.com/mermaid.shtml

roberta’s tiki disco
When the topic of Roberta’s’ monthly free garden party came up at a pizza counter one day last year, a stranger in neon wayfarers leaned over and said, “Listen: I’ve been to Carnival. I’ve been to Ibiza. I’ve been to Berlin. Tiki Disco is the craziest freaking party I’ve ever seen.” Our guardian party bro had a point: the sexy garden scene in the middle of industrial Bushwick makes for a unique kind of bacchanalia. Get there early or your only party will be the waiting-for-two-hours-in-line party. Robertaspizza.com

free movies at habana outpost
All of the outdoor movies are personal favorites during the summer, but a particular plug here for Habana Outpost’s movie night, because it’s a Sunday night, when we’re all normally beat from the weekend and watching movies anyway, and usually features Brooklyn-centric films. A hot summer night in Fort Greene watching Do the Right Thing outside with the rest of the neighborhood sounds just about perfect. Cafehabana.com

97-101 from The MyFreeConcert.com Team:

summerstage in red hook park
Summerstage is one of the best and most anticipated free summer concert series in NYC, and they’ve already announced their full lineup. Red Hook gets Das Racist and Deer Tick, among others. Summerstage.org

the house of vans
The House of Vans know how to throw it down out in Greenpoint. Last summer featured free performances by Cults, Smith Westerns, Fucked Up, Tokyo Police Club, and more, all with free alcohol. They’ve confirmed that the shows are back for another summer. Vans.com

celebrate brooklyn!
The bandshell in beautiful Prospect Park hosts this yearly staple for concertgoers. Free shows announced thus far are Jimmy Cliff on June 5, and Laura Marling on June 14. bricartsmedia.org

williamsburg park concerts
Williamsburg Park, a new outdoor location at 50 Kent Avenue near the waterfront, has announced this year’s crop of shows, including a free one with OK Go and Eugene Mirman on July 19.

seaside summer concert series
This year’s lineup has yet to be announced but expect a solid list of established acts at the Borough President’s outdoor series on Coney Island. Brooklynconcerts.com

Movies | Music | Performance | Art | Fairs & Festivals | Food & Drink | Activities | Books

4 Comment

  • You didn’t include Bushwick Open Studios!

  • And then I clicked next….nevermind! delete!

  • …and in Clinton Hill (Putnam Triangle Plaza at Fulton/Grand), FAB Flicks presented in partnership with BAMCinematek will feature a Richard Pryor Triple Play, Tuesdays in July (8,15,22): “Bustin’ Loose,” “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings,” and “Mel Stuart’s Wattstax.” FREE!!

  • There is also a FREE outdoor concert series at On Stage at Kingsborough: July 5 at 8:00 PM / Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra; July 12 at 8:00 PM / Grammy Nominee John Beasley’s MONK’estra; July 19 at 8:00 PM / Carole J. Bufford in SPEAK EASY; July 26 at 8:00 PM / Swingadelic. All shows are FREE and take place at Kingsborough’s Outdoor Bandshell. Gates open at 7:00 PM. No reservations are necessary. RAIN OR SHINE! For more information visit http://www.OnStageAtKingsborough.org or call the Box Office at 718-368-5596