We’ve compiled the ultimate guide for everything worth doing as a couple this summer in New York City. From the best outdoor summer concerts and film screenings to one-night-only events throughout the five boroughs — we’ve got your summer calendar ready to go. Tag us on Instagram @idktonight if you plan on going to any of the below events or if there’s something we desperately need to add to this list. Happy summer-ing, lovers.
Pier 25, Tribeca
Dinner Pairing: Homemade Picnic by Whole Foods & Verve Wines
Special occasion coming up? Birthday? Anniversary? Bookmark this plan right now. When you’re looking for something truly spectacular to do together, consider booking a private sailing charter with Sail Sunset. This 1982 37 foot O’Day owned and operated by Captain James Brooks can comfortably seat up to six people, but of course, we recommend you create a private oasis for two. The charters are available morning, afternoon, and evening (we vote for the sunset sail) and take you on a stunning trip around lower Manhattan with great views of the city and a close pass by the Statue of Liberty.
You can book anything from a two-hour charter ($390) up to a multi-day charter ($950/day). But since we believe in loving on a budget, we’ve secured our readers 10% off the charter of your choosing with code idktonight.
Stop by Verve Wines on your way over to pick up a couple bottles of rosè and at Whole Foods for cheese, crackers, and charcuterie. Your S.O. is sure to be blown away.
Heart for Art
Gallery Tours in Chelsea & Lower East Side
Dinner Pairing Chelsea: The Red Cat
Dinner Pairing Lower East Side: Kiki’s
We all want to check out the multitude of art galleries around New York, but where do you even begin? Heart for Art offers a two-hour gallery tour every single day in either Chelsea or the Lower East Side. With exhibitions constantly changing, they show you the must-see exhibits of the season, introduce you to artists, and tell you the stories behind the most mesmerizing pieces. We love the knowledgeable tour guides — they’ll even point you towards a great spot for a drink or bite to eat post-tour.
The best part of all is that idk tonight readers get 30% off with code IDKTONIGHT. Pick a day when you want to play hooky from work (or just choose your next lazy New York weekend) and make going on a Heart for Art tour your first priority.
Mad Hatters Bus
173 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn
Dinner Pairing: Humboldt & Jackson
If you’re a big fan of Alice in Wonderland or a fan of immersive experiences, you’re going to want to head to East Williamsburg for this epic evening.
Fall down the rabbit hole and into a mad tea party hosted by the Hatter himself where you and yours will create 4 outlandish cocktails inside a cottage on top of a vintage double-decker bus. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, we know. Take a sip of The Flamingo’s Cup or The Caterpillar’s Chrysalis and you’ll really start to wonder where you are and how you got here. This pop-up will only be in New York for a few weeks, so don’t miss your opportunity to mingle with the mad.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival: Prospect Parks Bandshell
141 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn
Dinner Pairing: Flora
Summer activities should include two things: being outside and experiencing huge, well-produced events. And hanging with your person too, obviously. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival at Prospect Park Bandshell is the first one of these you need to know about. BRIC is the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn, intended to present and incubate work by artists and media-makers who reflect the diversity that surrounds us.
All summer long, they’ll be hosting free concerts and performances in Prospect Park. We can’t wait for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal on July 6th — the work debuted in Canada to great acclaim last year and the full piece will have its American premiere at the Bandshell. Check out the full summer calendar at their website here.
635 Sackett Street, Brooklyn
Dinner Pairing: Runner & Stone
Littlefield is an independent live event venue in Gowanus, Brooklyn that produces comedy, live music, art, dance parties, film and (somehow) even more. Some events that should be on your radar this summer include Punderdome on July 10th (the “hilarious cult-favorite pun competition” as described by the New York Times) and Mortified on July 12th (a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts like journals, letters, home movies, stories and more as shared by their original authors before total strangers). See their full summer lineup at their site here.
27-16 23rd Avenue, Queens
Dinner Pairing: The Bonnie
Simply described as “a place to show and tell”, Q.E.D. is one of our favorite performance venues in New York — and it’s in Astoria! Which seems to be the cool new neighborhood every young couple is moving to. Mark your calendars for the following shows: the “I Love You” Open Mic, hosted by Lauren Hope Krass on June 26th. LGBTQED presents Spot the Straight! — a show with five queer comics and one straight comic that pokes fun at stereotypes while providing laughs along the way on June 25th. One of our all-time favorite recurring shows — Relationsh*t! on June 29th — hosted by Lynn Bixenspan and Morgan Pielli, the show features a mix of stories about all kinds of relationships and good old-fashioned advice from real-live therapists on stage.
Last but not least, on July 3rd is Sugar and Spice: Erotica Open Mic where every first Tuesday performers are given a “safe space to explore and express themselves in this sensual, romantic and playful show.”
They even offer something called a Q.E.D. Pass where you have unlimited access to shows for $19.99/month. We highly recommend looking into it if you live in the area. It’d be cool to see more venues doing something similar to this. Subscriptions to real life…we’re into it.
Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue, Manhattan
Dinner Pairing: Vaucluse
Part American palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory is dedicated to supporting unconventional works in the visual and performing arts space. This summer they have several experiences of note. The Let Go, through July 1st, is a dance-based town hall created by interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave. New Yorkers are invited to “let go” and speak their minds through movement within the installation to music curated by some of New York’s leading DJs. Tickets range from $17-35.
Next up this summer is The Damned from July 17th-28th. Directed by Tony winner Ivo van, performed by the Comédie-Française troupe, and adapted from Luchino Visconti’s dark drama, this is the can’t-miss theater event of the season. One of the coolest parts? Cameramen actually prowl between the actors throughout the show for close-ups during key moments to project on massive screens around the theater.
Rooftop Films Festival
Dinner Pairing if Green-Wood Cemetery: Greenwood Park
Dinner Pairing if Downtown Brooklyn: Queen
Raise your hand if you love movies and you love watching them outside. You get both (plus intriguing locales, strange short film programs, fun after parties and more) with the Rooftop Film Festival taking place all summer long throughout New York. Venues range from the Brooklyn Army Terminal to Grand Central Station. Keep an eye out for Dangerous Documentaries on June 27th at MetroTech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn and Wild Nights With Emily on July 7th in Green-Wood Cemetery. Plus, only idk tonight readers get 30% off tickets with code: IDK@ROOFTOP.
House of Yes
2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn
Dinner Pairing: Faro
If you’re not familiar with House of Yes yet, where have you been hiding? House of Yes is a cross between a club, bar, movie theater, circus, house party, concert hall — with a few other unexpected ingredients thrown in. It houses some of the most impressive talent around New York, and its number one mission is to create a loving, fun, inclusive environment. They keep ticket prices really low to continue that mission. If you’ve never been, make it a priority to get there this summer.
Here’s what we recommend: Bad Behavior: NYC Pride After Party on June 24th, Foreplay (note: you will not be allowed entrance if you’re not in a creative costume for this one) on June 30th from 7-10, House of Love: Animal Nature on June 30th from 10-4 a.m., Summer Lovin’ on July 3rd, Dirty Thursday 90s Night on July 5th.