Photo via QuietClubbing/Facebook

Well, we did it — summer is finally here! What kind of wonderful things will you do in Queens this season? We’ve already shared some excellent local nature destinations, where to find the best craft beer and places to have great outdoor barbecues, so now it’s time for a whole summer’s worth of fantastic events. Whether your tastes run toward theater, dancing, culture or food, there’s so much to enjoy in this marvelous borough!

photo via Young Sok Yun/Flickr

Astoria Carnival (Photo via Young Sok Yun/Flickr)

1. Astoria Park Carnival
June 22–26
Astoria Park, Astoria
A good, old-fashioned carnival comes to Astoria! With everything from candy apples and snow cones to a Ferris wheel and competitive water-shooting, there will be rides, games, food and fun for the whole family.


2. Beyond Momos: Himalayan Food in Jackson Heights
June 23, 6 p.m.
Himalayan Yak, Jackson Heights
Williamsburg’s Museum of Food & Drink presents a panel discussion on the cuisine and culture of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan at a Himalayan restaurant in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the entire country. Plus tastings!

3. ¡Oye Corona!
June 25, 11 a.m.
Corona Plaza, Corona
The Queens Museum’s monthly off-site celebration of culture thrown in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs featured music by Mariachi Juvenil Latinoamericano, a Latin dance class with Mujeres en Movimiento, Spanish crafting with Ñukanchik Llakta Wawakuna, and more. 

4. Mayor’s Alliance for Animals Adoptapalooza
June 25, noon
Riis Beach, Rockaways
Meet your new furry friend at this event, featuring 100+ dogs and cats (all spayed/neutered and vaccinated) available for adoption, with free microchipping on-site.

5. Quiet Clubbing
June 25, 1 p.m.
Highland Park, Ridgewood
A dance party and carnival in the park! Everyone receives headphones to dance the day away to music from one of three different DJs playing either top 40, salsa and merengue, or soca and reggae. When you get tired, head to the carnival for games.

6. Summer Kickoff Festival
June 25, 1 p.m.
King Manor Museum, Jamaica
A mostly kid-focused afternoon with read-aloud story time, art projects, historic games and ice-cream making. Plus free tours of the historic King Manor Museum.

7. Warm-Up
June 25 (and every Saturday through Aug. 27), 3 p.m.
MoMA PS1, Long Island City
This legendary outdoor daytime dance party is an NYC summer staple, featuring experimental music, sound and DJs—both local and international—across a broad range of genres.

8. Third Annual Peruvian Parade
June 26
69th to 85th streets, Jackson Heights
Celebrate and honor Peruvian heritage, folklore and history in the neighborhood with the second-largest concentration of Peruvian Americans in New York City.

photo via Thalia Spanish Theater/Facebook

The Thalia Spanish Theater (Photo via Facebook)

9. Thalia Outdoor Festival
June 26, 1 p.m.
Thomson Hill Park Noonan Playground, Sunnyside
The final performance of the Thalia Spanish Theater’s outdoor festival features a potpourri of zarzuelas (Latino romantic songs) and boelros (Spanish operettas).

10. Mister Sunday
June 26 (and all summer Sundays), 3 p.m.
Nowadays, Ridgewood
The fabulously popular dance party helmed by DJs Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter has popped up everywhere from Bushwick to Industry City, and has found a new home at outdoor bar Nowadays.

11. Only in Queens Summer Festival
June 26, 5 p.m.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing
A sprawling fest with tons to do, from scavenger hunts to a literary tent to a food and art market. There will also be tours of the New York State Pavilion and music and cultural performances all day, culminating in a hip-hop blowout featuring New York City natives Mack Wilds, Kid ’n Play and DJ Camillo, headlined by R&B star Ginuwine.

12. Muppet Shop of Horrors
June 26, 5 p.m.
Q.E.D., Astoria
FREE; two-drink minimum
Tribe of Fops has put together an excellently bizarre piece of hybridized theater: the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” recast with all Muppets. Performed live with live musical accompaniment.

13. Maysles Cinema Mondays
June 27 (and Mondays through Aug. 29), sundown
Nowadays, Ridgewood
In partnership with Harlem film shop Maysles Cinema, Nowadays features nonfiction and mocumentary movies every Monday night this summer, many of which will include Q&As with the directors and actors.

14. Korean Theater Festival
June 29 through July 3, 8 p.m.
Secret Theater, Long Island City
The fourth annual Korean Theater Festival features different plays each night, from the story of a coffee shop owner with amnesia, to the tale of a magician using his powers against environmental villains, to the tragedy of a father who has fled from his family to avoid the Father Liberation War.

15. Independence Day Fireworks Show
June 29, 9:15 p.m.
Fort Totten Park, Bayside
For the second year in a row, the Bayside Historical Society presents a fireworks show by Grucci, as well as musical performances by the Michelle Marie Rock Band Camp and Phil Costa & Something Special Band.

16. Jamaica International Restaurant Crawl
June 30, 5 p.m.
Presented by the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the ticket price for this foodie evening includes bites at each of four participating restaurants: Don Nico, MODA Grill, Nutripan 2 and A Churrasqueira.

17. Central Astoria Independence Day Celebration
June 30, 7:30 p.m.
Astoria Park Lawn, Astoria
The annual independence day celebration presented by Central Astoria Local Development Coalition features a performance by the Queens Symphony Orchestra and fireworks by Grucci.

photo via der_triton/Flickr

You Are Here in Berlin (Photo via der_triton/Flickr)

18. You Are Here Performance Festival
June 30 through July 4, 8 p.m.
Knockdown Center, Maspeth
This wild performance and arts festival, which has appeared previously at Secret Project Robot in Bushwick and the West German Gallery in Berlin, takes place within a life-size maze and features different DJs and musicians each night curated by Trouble, MeanRed, House of Feelings and more.

19. Born on the Fourth of July
July 1–3, various times
Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria
MoMI screens five summer blockbusters that were all released over Fourth of July weekend: “Back to the Future,” “Armageddon,” “War of the Worlds,” “Magic Mike” and “Magic Mike XXL.”

20. See You in Hell
July 2 (also Aug. 6), 8 p.m.
The Creek & the Cave, Long Island City
Funny fellas Matt Wayne and Doug Smith embody the Devil to put comedians through “comedy purgatory.” The show promises silliness like hula-hoops, celebrity impressions and unwanted audience participation.

21. Noguchi Museum Community Day
July 3, 11 a.m.
Noguchi Museum, Long Island City
Art and sculpture institution Noguchi Museum hosts its annual Community Day, with free admission to the museum, curator-led tours, open studios, tea ceremonies, art conversations and more.

22. Get Summered: Return to Riis
July 4 (also July 23 and 24, Aug. 20 and 21, and Sept. 5), noon
Riis Park Beach, Rockaways
What’s more summery than a dance party at the beach? QNS.com and Brokelyn present some terrific fun in the sun with the Get Summered crew, featuring DJs, live music, food and pop-up shops all summer long.

23. Hot Jazz / Cool Garden
July 4 (also July 23 and Aug. 13), 2 p.m.
Louis Armstrong House Museum, Corona
Spend a summer afternoon with Satchmo—each date features a different jazz band, and tickets include sweet tea, red beans and rice, and a free tour of the museum.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park

24. Outdoor Cinema
July 6 (and Wednesdays through Aug. 24), 7 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City
The inimitable Rooftop Films, in collaboration with Film Forum, brings weekly screenings to Socrates Sculpture Park. This year the films are curated around the theme of “the river” and include cinema from China, Australia, Peru, and many places in between.

25. Kites & Kayaks Festival
July 9, 11 a.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City
Go fly a kite! But first you’ll get to make one, using recycled materials and with the help of art instructors from Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum. In the background, watch hundreds of watercraft paddling up the river as part of the Manhattan Kayak Circumnavigation.

26. The Tulsa Swinton Variety Hour
July 9, 7 p.m.; July 10, 4 p.m.
Flux Factory, Long Island City
The latest unusual offering from long-running art collective Flux Factory is a play within a labyrinthine art installation courtesy of the Aesthetics of Waste. The show boasts 20 backdrops, an armada of miniature trains, chrysanthemum and tobacco ice cream, the Fountain of Youth, and more.

The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (photo via Facebook)

The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (Photo via Facebook)

27. Queens Museum Children’s Book Celebration
July 10, 11 a.m.
Queens Museum, Flushing
The annual Children’s Book Celebration features award-winning authors and illustrators doing readings, story time in multiple languages, and art and other hands-on activities.

28. Bang on a Can Music Series
July 10 (also Aug. 14), 3 p.m.
Noguchi Museum, Long Island City
FREE with museum admission ($10)
Experimental classical music organization Bang on a Can brings two shows to Noguchi Museum’s sculpture garden this summer: Czech violinist and composer Iva Bittová in July, and contemporary strings group American Contemporary Music Ensemble in August.

29. Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital
July 11, 7 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City
For the fifth season, SummerStage brings Metropolitan Opera singers to Socrates to perform a variety of arias and duets.

30. Rubix Kube
July 14, 7:30 p.m.
Forest Park, Woodhaven
Billed as “the galaxy’s most original ’80s tribute band,” Rubix Kube is known for their over-the-top wardrobe (sometimes doing more than a dozen costume changes per show) and exuberant stage personas. Expect songs by everyone from Paula Abdul to Poison.

31. Queens Lit Fest
July 16 and 17, 11 a.m.
LIC Landing, Long Island City
The second annual Queens litstravaganza entails a half-dozen open mics, featured readers including current and former Queens Poet Laureats Maria Lisella and Paolo Javier, showcases from Queens-based reading series, and musical interludes.

32. Out in the Streets
July 16 and 17, 1 p.m.
Onderdonk House, Ridgewood
$24/day; $38/weekend
Two full days of rock, indie rock, garage rock, and punk, featuring New York–based favorites like the So So Glos, Big Ups, The Teen Age and Future Punx, plus Frankie Rose, Guerilla Toss and many more.

33. Queens Bike Bonanza
July 17, 11 a.m.
RISE Center, Rockaways
The Rockaway Waterfront Alliance wants to get kids (of all ages) riding bicycles! This event includes a bike swap, riding lessons, free helmet giveaways and activity tables for bike-related crafts.

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival (photo via beleaveme/Flickr)

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival (Photo via beleaveme/Flickr)

34. Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
July 17, noon
Roy Wilkins Park, Jamaica
New York’s biggest Caribbean food festival includes dozens of restaurant vendors, culinary demos, a jerk cook-off, and music from Third World, Gyptian, Fay-Ann Lyons, Bunji Galin and Dexta Daps.

35. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
July 21–31, 7:30
The Secret Theater, Long Island City
The award-winning comedic musical comes to Queens, complete with audience participation! Show off your spelling chops while taking in some great theater.

36. Bangladeshi Historical Memory Project Day
July 23, noon
Diversity Plaza, Jackson Heights
A celebration of Bangladeshi history and culture. There will be live-painting by artist Shurmmi, alpona by Amrin, a food workshop by Jhal NYC, and performances by the Feringhees, Zarrin Maisha, and the Bangladeshi Historical Memory Project’s jatra troupe.

37. From Forest Hills to Rock Rock Rockaway Beach
July 23, 2 p.m.
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows
A day of punk rock in conjunction with the Queens Museum’s exhibit “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!: Ramones and the Birth of Punk.” Start in the museum with an exhibition tour, followed by a bus ride through Forest Hills—“the land of musicians, degenerates and dentists”—and over to Rockaway Beach. The day culminates with a concert at Low Tide Bar featuring Sick Feeling and Unstoppable Death Machines.

38. The Moth Storyslam
July 25 (also Aug. 22), 8 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall, Flushing
New York City’s most popular storytelling event comes to Flushing Town Hall! Anyone can put their name in the hat in hopes of performing. Themes are “neighborhood” in July, and “back to school” in August.

39. Asian American International Film Festival
July 26–28, 6 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall, Flushing
Now in its 39th year, AAIFF include films and video by artists of the Asian Diaspora hailing from more than 30 countries. The festival spans three boroughs and 10 days; three evenings of screenings will take place at Flushing Town Hall.

40. Nuyorican Poets Café’s Night of Queens Poets
July 29, 7 p.m.
Queensbridge Park, Long Island City
This SummerStage event features current and former Queens Poet Laureats Maria Lisella and Paolo Javier hosting many more poets from the borough.

41. NYC Shadow Puppet Slam
July 29, 7 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall, Flushing
The first-ever shadow puppet festival brings together “the luminous, the laughable, the shady, the digital and the ancient analog.” Chinese Theatre Works’ co–artistic directors curate multiple puppeteers and their many different explorations of the form.

Thunderbird Powwow (photo via thebearmaiden/Flickr)

Thunderbird Powwow (Photo via thebearmaiden/Flickr)

42. Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Powwow
July 29, 7 p.m.; July 30–31, noon
Queens County Farm Museum, Floral Park
$11/day or $16/weekend
The oldest and largest event of its kind, the 28th annual Thunderbird Powwow comprises three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions with representatives from more than 40 Indian nations. There will also be a marketplace with Native American art, crafts, jewelry and food.

43. JAMS: Jamaica Arts & Music Summer Fest
Aug. 5 and 6, 5 p.m.
Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica
This annual multicultural and educational day showcases the diverse talents, foods, arts, crafts of the borough of Queens, attracting 185,000+ resident and visitors to downtown Jamaica.

44. “La Cage aux Folles
Aug 5–21, 8 p.m./2 p.m. matinees
Post Theater at Fort Tilden, Rockaways
It’s a great summer to celebrate and honor queer culture! Throughout August, the Rockaway Theater Company will perform their production of the multi-award-winning Harvey Firestein musical.

New York Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (photo via Facebook)

New York Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (Photo via Facebook)

45. Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Aug. 6 and 7, noon
Flushing Meadows Park, Flushing
Based on an ancient legend, the Dragon Boat Festival takes place each year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the festival in New York and will feature more than a dozen boat races, Shaolin monks, a steel orchestra, Asian folk arts and crafts, a food court and more.

46. Queens Book Festival
Aug. 7, 10 a.m.
Citi Field, Flushing
For the first time ever, Queens gets a book festival! The inaugural literary bonanza will have dozens of panel discussions on multiple stages, more than 200 exhibitors and booksellers, and an abundance of book signings, entertainment and activities.

47. Taiwan: A World of Orchids
Aug. 12 to 14, 8 a.m.
Queens Botanic Garden, Flushing
FREE with admission ($2–$6)
In partnership with the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York, the Queens Botanic Garden offers a huge display of orchids and a day filled with Taiwanese music, dance and art.

48. Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra Parade
Aug. 13
Hare Krishna Center Queens, Richmond Hill
This annual Hindu religious ceremony traditionally involves parading deities on chariots. The Krishna Bararama celebration parades to the Hare Krishna Center for a Festival of India, which in past years has included free vegetarian food all day, as well as dramas, dances, bhajans and devotional talks.

49. LIC Block Party
Aug. 20, noon
Sculpture Center, Long Island City
An artful street fair takes over a whole LIC block, with live performances, activities, a market filled with affordable and functional art and objects, and more.

50. Declaration of Independence Celebration
Aug 27, 1 p.m.
Onderdonk House, Ridgewood
$5 suggested
A family-friendly celebration including dramatic readings of the Declaration of Independence in 18th-century style, a history scavenger hunt, writing with quill pens, and simulated wampum jewelry.


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