The first day of summer is June 21, 2022.
While Memorial Day may have marked the start of the summer season for many people in the United States, the official first day of summer is Tuesday, June 21!
June 21 is the summer solstice, the day in the Northern Hemisphere in which the North Pole is tilted the furthest it will go in Earth’s orbit towards the Sun. This results in the longest day of the year, with sunrise at 6:29 AM and sunset at 8:16 PM. The days will only get shorter from here to the end of the year, so expect many people to be outside taking advantage of the excess sunlight.
If you’re in New York City, there is no end to the fun you can have during the summer!
Among the most popular outdoor locations is Central Park, the landmark 843-acre park open for the public to enjoy. It is home to the most greenery in the whole city: you could make a whole day out of simply strolling around and appreciating the beautiful landscapes, or even utilizing one of its famous walking tours, running tours, or horse and carriage tours.
The park has many artists, musicians, and public events to check out as well. Here are some of our favorites.
In addition to the occasional street musician playing on the park’s paths, you can attend several full-fledged concerts at its various venues.
The SummerStage Festival has been an annual event at Rumsey Playfield since 1986, and its proceeds go towards more free musical productions throughout all of New York City. This year’s lineup includes the bands Barenaked Ladies, Modest Mouse, and The Decemberists.
Also held at Rumsey Playfield are the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital series and the New York Philharmonic Concerts, in which renowned opera stars and the members of the New York Philharmonic orchestra give free performances.
Another iconic location for music in Central Park is the Naumberg Bandshell, built in 1923 and sponsored by Elkan Naumberg. Since 1905, the Naumberg Orchestra has held free outdoor classical music concerts at the Bandshell, and they are scheduled to perform this year from June 14th to August 2nd.
Central Park Zoo
A family favorite, the Central Park Zoo is located in the southeast corner of Central Park. During the summer, the zoo is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays and until 5:30 on weekends and holidays, and admission tickets are currently $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for children, and $16.95 for seniors.
The zoo is well known for its conservation programs and efforts to protect rare and endangered wildlife. Some of its most popular animal exhibits include snow leopards and monkeys, lemurs and tropical birds, and grizzly bears. You can even watch penguin and sea lion feedings!
Shakespeare in the Park
Entering its 60th season is one of Central Park’s most beloved and enduring traditions: Shakespeare in the Park! Since 1954, the program has staged free productions of William Shakespeare’s famous plays at the open-air Delacorte Theater.
This season’s chosen productions are Richard III (June 21 - July 17), the biting historical drama centering around the life of King Richard III of England as he struggled and schemed his way to the throne, and a musical adaptation of As You Like It (August 10 - September 11), the romantic comedy about life in the country. See here for more information.
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