Best Things To Do In New York City This Weekend

June 19, 2015 6:00 AM

This weekend is super special, and not just because it’s the 33rd annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. Summer starts on Sunday, the longest day of the year, which also happens to be Father’s Day. No matter what you do to welcome the sunny season or celebrate dad, go forth and have fun! By Jessica Allen.

(credit: Adventures NYC)

(credit: Adventures NYC)

Since 2004, Adventures NYC has promoted the great outdoors in the Big Apple. This year, you can log-roll, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, learn to fish, take a fitness class, rock climb, browse a fine selection of outdoor gear, and have your bike valet parked. And, yes, you read that right: log-rolling will indeed be one of the featured activities, part of the 30th anniversary Stihl Timbersports Competition. Saturday, June 20, 11 am to 5:30 pm, free.

The wacky, weird, wonderful Mermaid Parade is back, to welcome the start of summer and to remind everyone that Coney Island can’t be tamed, regardless of how quickly it gentries. For 33 years, the largest art parade in the United States has featured the bold, the beautiful, the naked, and the nearly so, along with vintage cars, floats, and marching bands. More than 1500 people participate in the parade each year; many, many more come out to watch. Saturday, June 20, parade begins at 1 pm, free.

(credit: Governors Club)

(credit: Governors Club)

For the second year in a row, the Governors Club (on Governors Island) will become a hotbed of crawfish, music, and general New Orleans-style shenanigans at the aptly named NOLAfunk Crawfish and Music Festival. The James Brown Dance Party, a tribute band that always strives to “make it funky,” is headlining. Saturday, June 20, festivities begin at 4 pm, $55 (includes a crawfish platter), tickets required.

Make Music New York celebrates the city, and welcomes the start of summer, through music. This all-day music festival features over 1000 concerts, in such genres as Americana, folk, Latin, opera, R&B, and reggae, all free and open to all on the city’s sidewalks and in its parks. New this year: Exquisite Corpses, featuring improvised duets in six of the city’s cemeteries, and Pop Up Musicals, featuring a roving U-Haul of musicians. Sunday, June 21, see schedule for details, free.

Is there a better way to welcome the summer and enjoy the longest day of the year than to hang out in an awesome park? If there is, we haven’t found it yet, so you can find us at Socrates Sculpture Park’s eleventh annual event, featuring face-painting, art workshops, numeric clapping patterns, music from instruments made from recycled materials and found objects (including artillery shells), and a concert by the Queens Symphony. Sunday, June 21, fun starts at 5 pm, free.