NYC is full of great free music and Queens has a wonderful array of lawn sitting free concerts to pick from going on all summer. These concerts are also a great way for families to hang out and have an evening picnic locally. Here is a listing of some of the best free outdoor music in Queens NYC.
Dancing Under the Stars in the Parks:
Not just a concert, this series also involves raffles, face painting, and Latin dance class under the stars.
- Rufus King Park Friday, June 1 from 7PM to 10PM
- Brookville Park Friday, June 15 from 5:30PM to 7:30 PM
- Astoria Park Friday, June 29 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park Friday, July 13 from 5:30PM to 7:30 PM
- Windmuller Park Friday, July 27 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- Grover Cleveland Park Friday, August 10 from 5:30PM to 7:30 PM
- Gorman Playground Friday, August 24 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- Elmhurst Park Friday, September 7 from 5:30PM to 7:30 PM
This program is part of the Noguchi Museum’s Second Sundays program, which takes place on the second Sunday of each month at 3pm. All programs are free with admission. The series runs from Sunday, June 10 through to Sunday, September 9. It features an eclectic mix of modern music players: a double bass player, a postclassical string quartet, a steel pan player, and a guitarist.
When: The Second Sunday of every month, June through September from 3PM-6PM
Where: Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Forest Park Summer Concert Series:
- Irish Night Saturday, June 16 at 5PM
- Motown Show featuring the Rhythm Dogs Sunday, June 17 at 5PM
- All Summer Long: Beach Boys Tribute Thursday, July 12 at 7:30PM
- Swingtime Big Band Thursday, July 19 at 7:30PM
- Queens Symphony Orchestra- Latin Jazz Heat Sunday, July 22 at 5PM
- Queens Symphony Orchestra- La Traviata Sunday, July 29 at 5 PM
Where: Forest Park, George Seuffert Bandshell, Woodhaven Boulevard and Forest Park Drive
The Louis Armstrong House Museum will be hosting exciting jazz concerts and special events this summer. Their Hot Jazz/Cool Garden Series happens on the third Saturday of June, July, and August at 2:00 PM. The series will feature traditional jazz bands that play and promote Armstrong’s music. Admission to the concerts is $15 and includes a historic house tour.
For the 15th year, PS1 will be presenting its outdoor series which features experimental live music, sound, performance art, and DJs. This series, which is held in PS1’s courtyard, will also feature a temporary urban landscape called Wendy which is basically a giant blue spiky sculpture which provides shade and water. This outdoor series is free for MoMA members and LIC residents.
When: Every Saturday between July 7 and September 8
Where: MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, at 46th avenue
The City Parks Foundation offers free arts programming through Summer Stage. There are a number of concerts specifically geared towards children. Below is a selection of this year’s performances. See the whole list here.
- Illstyle and Peace Productions (hip hop dance company) at Rufus King Park on Tuesday, July 10 from 10:30AM to 11:30AM
- Andes Manta (traditional Andean music) at Rochdale Park on Monday, July 16 from 10:30AM to 11:30AM
- Big Daddy Kane and Marley Marl (hip hop legends) at Queensbridge Park on Wednesday, July 18 from 7PM to 9PM
- Queens Family Day at Springfield Park on Sunday, July 29 from 4PM to 7PM
- The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital at Socrates Scuplture Park on Thursday, August 9 from 7PM to 8:30PM
An interactive morning of music and movement for children aged 7 and under.
When: Wednesday, July 11 at 10:30AM
Where: Buz O’Rourke Playground, Crocheron Park, 214 Place and 33 Road
Swing Music in Astoria Park
Live free music down on the Astoria Waterfront. Swing music no less!
When: July 12th
Where: Astoria Park
This is an interactive performance which will feature folk music and children’s songs.
When: Thursday, July 12 at 10:30AM
Where: Alley Pond Park, 76 Avenue and Springfield Boulevard
This free concert under the stars always ends with a bang—fireworks! The concert at Cunningham Park will feature selections from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger Von Numberg, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.
When: Thursday, July 12 at 8PM
Where: Cunningham Park, 193 Street Field
Music in the Garden at Queens Botanical
Starting in July there will be performances outdoors at the Queens Botanical Garden.
This August, Sunnyside Shines will be sponsoring their fourth annual Summer Streets under the Sunnyside arch. It will begin, as always, with the Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Jazz Concert. The concert will feature jazz music and will include a performance by the neighborhood’s Sunnyside Drum Corps. Other Saturdays in August will also feature concerts.
When: Saturday, August 4 from 3PM to 7:30PM
Where: 46 Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Queens Boulevard
By: Sandy Jimenez