Hack your jeans into cut-off shorts, dust off your beach cruiser, and join us in a celebratory dance to usher in the season of sunburn, tomatoes, and ice cream dribbles: summer's almost here!
We've got warm-weather activities on the brain—those kinds of events that only summer can pull off. Usually ones best enjoyed on a patch of grass, accompanied by a dewy cooler, and a sheen of bug spray. Our team rounded up some of their favorites from all over the U.S., so mark those calendars! Add your own summer must-sees, must-dos, must-listens in the comments (especially in the midwest and west coast, we're a mostly east coast-based bunch) and we'll have one giant summer bucket list.
Just 20 minutes west of Chapel Hill is Saxapahaw—a mouthful, sure, but also home to a North Carolinian summer tradition. Every Saturday you can look forward to live music (from bluegrass to gospel to latin to celtic), a bustling Farmer’s Market, and is also a stop for Saxapahaw's Trust the Bus program—a collaborative art project where audiences board a 44-seat Bluebird Biodiesel school bus without knowing their destination, and create something together in a place unknown.
The dinner parties of your dreams—set in farms, on beaches, and in the mountains. Find one near you (they're everywhere!), sit next to someone you don't know, and let the conversation carry you away.
A Broolynite's paradise, Celebrate Brooklyn brings music, movies, dancing, (and good eats, of course) to Prospect Park. Best of all, almost every event is free! Past years have included performances by the late, great Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, a screening of the classic Dracula scored with a live orchestra, and Trombone Shorty getting even the most shy of audience members out of their seat to dance. Stake out your spot early!
To go or not to go? That is the question. (Sorry.) To go, obviously! If the beautiful Hudson Valley views from the open air tent aren't enough to entice you, the enchanting, transporting productions of Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies performed in the round will. Don't forget to pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn before the show!
The most anticipated day of summer in the tiny oceanside community of Sea Cliff, New York is Garage Sale Day! Businesses and residents alike clean out the corners of their home, drag a few tables outside, and display their 1970s electric mixers and discarded Halloween costumes for a marathon day of bargain hunting. The early birds get the best finds! And wear comfy shoes.
A dinner party featuring Park City's top restaurants—set up smack dab in the middle of the main street (also known as Main Street). Make a res with the restaurant of your choosing, and prepare for an all-out party (live music included).
Head to Sigmund Stern Grove on Sundays and you'll find an amphitheater oasis with free concerts all summer long. Good vibes only! Kool & the Gang is kicking things off this year—with the San Francisco Symphony and Mavis Staples coming down the line.
A giant water fight in the prep-perfect town of Nantucket on 4th of July? Sounds like summer to us.
Michaganders far and wide come out of the woodwork for Ann Arbor's (home to the University of Michigan) massive art fair. Come ready to buy because you're bound to find a treasure among the hundreds of talented artists who are showing off their work.
A Maine tradition since 1995, complete with a clam shucking contest, firefighters battling it out with feats of strength, and the Diaper Derby, where tots crawl it out against each other for a chance at fame and glory.
This classic town fair has all the homegrown activities you can expect, but the most adorable part is budding farmers from the 4H club auctioning off the animals they've raised to local chefs (like Food52's former chef-in-residence, Sara Jenkins).
A weeklong celebration of LGBTQ life in charming, coastal Provincetown—that features toga parties, sunset cruises, costume balls, pool parties, dune tours, and of course, a massive, joyous parade—attracts over 90,000 visitors. This year's theme is Gods and Goddesses, so come dressed in your heavenly best.
A table in a bag? It's true—we've got a packable mini table to carry to all the outdoor events you just added to your calendar. Set it up, cover with crusty bread, pimento cheese, a thermos of lemonade, and enjoy the show.
Tell us your favorite summer events and we'll mark our calendars!