It’s Father’s Day and the summer solstice this week, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. James Joyce fans will want to check out the annual Bloomsday on Broadway event, while artsy beach lovers should flock to the colorful Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. There’s also a celebration of the diverse cultures of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, plus free yoga in Times Square. To get away from it all, head to the moon—Destination Moon, that is. This weekend-long music and art festival in the woods is sure to transport you.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
June 16 | Lit tribute
Bloomsday on Broadway XXXV
Are you among those intrepid souls who have worked their way through Ulysses, or at least managed to parse Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? If so, then gather with other admirers of the enigmatic and revolutionary author James Joyce at the 35th annual tribute to his life and works at Symphony Space. The 17-act show will feature readings from contemporary luminaries like actors Fionnula Flanagan and Reg E. Cathey and musical direction by Lisa Flanagan.
7 p.m. | Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York | From $21 | website
June 18 | Beach party
Celebrate the start of the summer season with one of the most colorful, iconic New York events: the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. Now in its 34th year, it has grown into the world’s largest art parade, with thousands of participants in outlandish nautical costumes. As a spectator, you have the choice of dressing up or not, but it’s as good an excuse as any to let out your inner sea-maiden or Triton. The event ends with parade founder Dick D. Zigun leading Queen Mermaid and King Neptune (this year model Hailey Clauson and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo A. Scissura) down to the beach for an inaugural dip in the Atlantic.
1 p.m. | Starts at West 21st St. and Surf Ave., Coney Island | Free | website
June 18–19 | Escape the city
A weekend getaway to the moon might be overreaching a tad, but luckily you can head to Destination Moon instead—a weekend-long music festival in Wurtsboro, New York. What started as a party in the founders’ Crown Heights apartment has evolved into a solar-powered, “immersive artistic experience” with a sustainable, eco-friendly slant. This year the art and music extravaganza will take place June 17 to 19 at Camp Lakota, less than a two-hour drive from the city; there are even shuttle buses leaving from Brooklyn. Stay one day or the whole weekend: Overnight accommodation options range from tent camping to rustic cabins. There will also be healthy, reasonably priced food available in the dining hall. Musical guests include legendary Afro-funk band Antibalas, as well as favorites like Porches, TIGUE, and more.
Camp Lakota, 56 Park Rd., Wurstboro | From $35 | website
June 19 | Cultural celebration
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival
What could egg rolls, egg creams, and empanadas possibly have in common? They represent the rich diversity of the inhabitants of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. The local Museum at Eldridge Street is behind this annual festival, which celebrates the Jewish, Chinese, and Puerto Rican communities that make up this area. There will be music (klezmer, Peking opera, bomba); Yiddish, Mandarin, and Spanish lessons; art making and games; and, of course, egg rolls, egg creams, and empanadas, as well as other tasty foods. Plus, the timing is perfect for doubling as a fun Father’s Day outing.
12–4 p.m. | Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., New York | Free | website
June 20 | Yoga
Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga
Finding peace in the middle of frenetic Times Square may seem counterintuitive, but in honor of the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—you can register to take one of seven free yoga classes in one of the busiest hubs in the country. Get into your asanas alongside thousands of other yogis of all skill levels, and choose from classes that run throughout the day. In lieu of an entry fee, donations to yoga-related charities are encouraged, although not required.
Times vary | Times Square | Free | website
A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.