Credit: @clickforthekingdom on Instagram

Festivals, parades, and air shows, oh my! There’s so much to do in New York State this summer. Try delicious new foods, jam out to live music in beautiful outdoor amphitheaters, take a spin on midway rides, celebrate rich culture and community, watch hot air balloons take flight, and more, all season long. Mark your calendars. Here are some Empire State events you don’t want to miss! 

Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available. 

Bethpage Air Show (Long Island)

The red, white, and blue underbellies of the US Air Force Thunderbirds flying overhead at the Bethpage Air Show at Jones BeachCredit: @joegallart on Instagram

Make your way over to Jones Beach this Memorial Day Weekend for a show that’ll knock your socks off! This year’s thrilling lineup includes air performances from the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, United States Army Golden Knights, the 106th Air National Guard Rescue Wing, and more! Wantagh; May 27 - May 28 from 10am - 3pm. Admission is free. Parking costs $10.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Hudson Valley)

Outdoor amphitheater lit up at nightCredit: @icantbelieveitsnotbrooklyn on Instagram

Enjoy gorgeous outdoor views while you watch an entertaining and enchanting lineup of performances. Watch classics with a modern twist like Love’s Labor’s Lost, infused with an original pop/rock score (July-September), a reimagining of the Odyssey from Penelope’s POV at Penelope (September), or Shakespearean epics like Henry V (June-September). Garrison; May 31 - September 17. Prices vary by show and seat.

Americade Motorcycle Touring Rally (Adirondacks)

Americade Motorcycle Touring Rally

Start your engines and cruise through the scenic Adirondacks at the world’s largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally! Admire the latest bikes and demos at trade shows, watch daring stunt shows, enjoy a delicious catered dinner boat cruise, and more right in Lake George! Lake George; May 30 - June 4. Discounted online pricing ranges from $99-$159. Day passes can be purchased at the event. 

Pride Month Celebrations (various regions)

A crowd of people waving rainbow flags and holding a large rainbow banner at Pride Day in New York City

Join millions in celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month at events throughout New York State! NYC holds a plethora of Pride events including the annual Pride March on June 25 which commemorates the first gay rights march that honored the first anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Long Island’s Pride events on June 11 include a day-long celebration with dancing, tons of vendors, exciting live performances, and food and drinks. Capital Pride returns June 8 - 11 with an exciting lineup of events including a festival, parade, dance party, and even a rooftop pool party! Click here for more Pride events throughout New York State. 

Bethel Woods Summer Concert Series (Catskills)

Bethel WoodsCredit: @bethelwoodscenter on Instagram

It’s not summer without a concert at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. Bethel Woods’ amphitheater is one of the best venues for live music in the Catskills! This summer’s concert series features chart-topping artists like Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Shania Twain, Tears for Fears, Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, and more! The amphitheater also hosts festivals including TAP New York Beer & Music Festival (May 20 - May 21), Outlaw Music Festival (July 29), and Catbird Music Festival (August 19-20). Bethel; June 1 - September 1. Prices vary by event.

Taste of Syracuse (Finger Lakes)

A person holds up a sandwich made of grilled chicken on warm pita bread with lettuce, tomato and cucumbers.Credit: @syracusehalalgyro on Instagram

Kick off the summer in Syracuse’s Clinton Square for one of the Finger Lakes’ biggest food and music festivals! Watch over 25 bands including headliners Eve 6 and Spin Doctors play live on three stages and taste the delicious cuisine of Syracuse from over 75 vendors including the original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Did we mention it’s free? Syracuse; June 2 and 3 from 11AM - 10PM.

Fairport Canal Days (Finger Lakes) 

Boats line docks along the historic Erie Canal during the Fairport Canal Days event.Credit: @sprungphotography on Instagram

Set sail and celebrate 46 fun-filled years of Fairport Canal Days at one of the most popular arts festivals in New York State! With free admission, over 200 artisans, tons of fine food vendors, live music, and a Kids Zone for the little ones, there’s something for everyone! Fairport; June 2, 4:30pm-9pm; June 3, 10am-6pm; June 4, 10am-5pm. 

SummerStage 2023 (NYC)

A crowd watches an artist perform at Summerstage NYCCredit: @summerstage on Instagram

A summer in NYC isn’t complete without an iconic SummerStage live performance! The festival lasts around four months and features a diverse lineup of free and ticketed performances ranging from music to dance to theater. This year's headliners include Indigo Girls (June 4), Park Jams: Juneteenth Celebration of Hip-Hop (June 19), Manchester Orchestra (August 23), Vance Joy (August 30), and more. Manhattan; June 3 - September 30. Prices vary by show.

Shakespeare in the Park (NYC)

Playbill being held up in front of the brightly lit outdoor stageCredit: @ladylamlam on Instagram

Complete your summer in New York City with a dramatic Shakespearean production at Delacorte Theater in Central Park! Throughout its 45+ year history, Shakespeare in the Park has seen over five million visitors from around the world and performances from James Earl Jones, Meryl Streep, and Al Pacino! This summer’s performance is Hamlet directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon and the title role played by Ato Blankson-Wood. Manhattan; June 6 - August 8. Tickets are free but must be reserved online.

Tribeca Film Festival (NYC)

Tribeca Film Festival - Photo by Ruby TullPhoto by Ruby Tull

Watch groundbreaking storytelling and star-studded premieres unfold right before your eyes at one of the world’s most popular film festivals right in NYC! This year’s lineup includes 109 feature films, more than half directed by women (for the first time ever) and almost 40% directed by BIPOC! Manhattan; June 7 - 18. Prices for passes vary by event. 

International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend (Central New York)

International Boxing Hall of Fame

Celebrate boxing legends, honor the sport’s rich history, and enjoy a lineup of exciting events in boxing’s hometown at the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend! The four-day celebration kicks off Thursday, June 8 at the museum grounds with the opening bell rings and features a 5K Fun Run, Boxing Autograph Card Show, and a Parade of Champions, ending the weekend with the Induction Ceremony. This year’s 2023 inductees include Rafael Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr, Carl Froch, Alicia Ashley, Laura Serrano, and more! Canastota; June 8 - 11. Ticket prices vary by event.

Alive at Five Summer Concert Series Albany (Capital-Saratoga)

A diverse lineup of big-name and up-and-coming artists awaits at this summer staple of the Capital Region! With each week of the eight-week series embracing a different genre from folk rock to hip hop, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Albany; concerts are Thursdays from June 8 - August 3 (excluding June 29) from 4:30pm - 8pm. Admission is free.

Great NY State Food & Wine Festival (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Food and Wine Festival - Photo Courtesy of Food and Wine FestivalPhoto Courtesy of Food and Wine Festival

Celebrate good food and beverage from vendors all over New York State, from the white sand shores of Long Island to the roaring waters of the Thousand Islands at the Great NY State Food & Wine Festival! Last year’s vendors included north country classics like 1000 Islands River Rat Cheese and Nav’s Gourmet Popcorn, Corning’s oldest distillery, Four Fights Distilling, and Three Brothers Winery from the Finger Lakes. Clayton; June 9 - 11. Admission is $20 for adults, $5 for children 13 and up, and free for children under 12.

2023 New York State Blues Festival (Finger Lakes)

Man playing a light green guitar in a blue shirt and grey hat on stage at the NYS Blues FestivalCredit: @momma_phranque and @nysbluesfest on Instagram

Honor the history and roots of the blues genre at one of the largest free blues events in the Northeast! Catch talented headliners like Blood Brothers, Southern Avenue, and blues legend Buddy Guy, along with local and regional talent. Syracuse; June 15 - 17. Admission is free. Parking is $10 per car. 

SPAC Summer Concert Series (Capital-Saratoga)

A singer with a guitar faces the crowd at the SPAC outdoor theaterCredit: @claudesawyerphotography on Instagram

The summer isn’t complete without witnessing a live performance at SPAC. With this year’s lineup ranging from big-name performers like Dead & Company, Tears for Fears, Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Guns ‘n Roses, and Dave Matthews Band to the renowned New York City Ballet, Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, and Philadelphia Orchestra, there’s something for everyone! Enjoy the music from the open area lawn or 5,000 covered seats. Saratoga; June 16 - September 19. Ticket prices vary by event.

Annual Juneteenth Cultural Festival (Long Island)

Join thousands on Long Island for the third annual multi-cultural and intergenerational celebration of one of the United States’ most historical moments. Enjoy live music and keynote addresses from the Juneteenth Festival Soundstage, stroll through Black-owned vendors, food trucks, and businesses, and check out tons of games and activities for children. Hicksville; June 17 from 12pm-6pm. 

Annual LARAC June Arts Festival (Adirondacks)

Celebrate 52 years of art at the LARAC June Arts Festival! Stroll through one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in the state with more than 130 exhibitors and a variety of items from handmade jewelry and home items to fine art and textiles. With children’s activities and art demos for the kids, there’s fun for the whole family! Glens Falls; June 17, 10am-5pm, and June 18, 10am-4pm. Admission is free and open to the public. 

Buffalo Juneteenth Festival (Greater Niagara)

Two women at the Juneteenth Festival

Don’t miss one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the country at Buffalo’s Juneteenth Festival! The 48th annual event honoring the abolition of slavery and preserving African-American heritage takes place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and includes a parade, live entertainment, children’s activities, delicious food vendors, and more. Buffalo; June 17 - 18. Admission is free.

CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival (Finger Lakes) 

Head to the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival for one of the coolest experiences in American Jazz! At this nine-day celebration featuring over 1,700 artists, you’ll hear music from all over the world at one of the 19 venues throughout downtown. Catch ticketed headliners like Pat Metheny and Bonnie Raitt or free headliner shows featuring Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, St Paul & the Broken Bones, and more! Rochester; June 23 - July 1. Prices vary by event. 

Chautauqua Institution Summer Series (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

The Chautauqua Institution on surrounded by green grass and blue skiesCredit: @hasanelahi on Instagram

From chamber music to interfaith programs to kayak eco-tours, there’s always something new to experience at the Chautauqua Institution! Stop by for their summer ensemble of nine weekly themes including performances from the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Diana Ross, and more. Chautauqua; June 24 - August 27. Ticket prices vary by event. 

Park Playhouse Summer Season (Capital-Saratoga)

Audience watching a live production outside at the Park PlayhouseCredit: @skadadal on Instagram

Fill your summer with thrilling drama and exciting outdoor musicals and plays (for free!) at Park Playhouse! This year’s intriguing arrangement includes Something Rotten (June 29 - July 22) and The Secret Garden (August 3 - 19). Albany; June 29 - August 19. Admission is free.

LEGOLAND® Red, White & BOOM! Event (Hudson Valley)

Fireworks in front of LEGOLAND NYC themed land at LEGOLANDPhoto Courtesy of LEGOLAND

Celebrate July 4th weekend at LEGOLAND® New York Resort’s five-day Red, White & BOOM! event! Use 3D glasses to watch as colorful fireworks burst into LEGO bricks right before your eyes and be sure to check out other Bricktastic events all included with regular day admission. Goshen; June 30 - July 4. One-day theme park admission is $59/person online and $94/person at the front gate.

Alive on 25 Summer Street Festival (Long Island)

Green, red, and gold fireworks bursting in the night skyCredit: @draft_n_snap on Instagram

Stroll through Downtown Riverhead while you enjoy live music, car shows, local craft beverages, outdoor dining, and more at Alive on 25 Street Festival! The festival takes place on four separate nights throughout the summer with the kick-off date, June 30th, starting with fireworks! Riverhead; June 30, July 14 and 28, and August 11. Alive on 25 is from 5pm-9:30pm each day. Admission is free.

Sterling Renaissance Festival (Finger Lakes)

Knights on horses face each other as they prepare to showdownCredit: @sterlingfestival on Instagram

Merriment awaits at the 47th Annual Sterling Renaissance Festival! Prepare to be enchanted as you stroll through the Royal Marketplace, witness the Queen and her entourage touring the streets, experience plentiful culinary creations, and play authentic Elizabethan games. Sterling; Saturdays and Sundays from 10am - 7pm, July 1 through August 13 rain or shine. Single-day general admission tickets start at $40.67 for adults and $20.74 for children 4 - 11.

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks (NYC)

A vibrant fireworks display at Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in New York CityCredit: @clickforthekingdom on Instagram

Experience one of the largest and most magical Fourth of July celebrations in the country at the Macy’s 47th Annual 4th of July Fireworks! Prepare to be amazed as the beautiful bursts of color synchronize with the accompanying pop and patriotic music. Manhattan; July 4 at 8pm. See website for more information.

Glimmerglass Festival (Central New York)

Glimmerglass Festival

Encounter some of the world’s greatest opera and musical theater this summer at the internationally acclaimed Glimmerglass Festival! Take in the view of Otsego Lake while you watch performances like La Boheme (July 7 - August 19), Candide (July 8 - August 20), Rinaldo (July 28 - August 17), Romeo and Juliet (July 15 - August 19), The Rip Van Winkles (August 7 - 18), and more. Cooperstown; July 7 - August 20.Ticket prices vary by performance. 

Taste of Buffalo (Greater Niagara) 

Taste of Buffalo

Attention foodies! Mark your calendars for one of the country's largest two-day food festivals happening this summer! Get a taste of some of Buffalo’s best restaurants, food trucks, wineries, and more. While you enjoy tasty Buffalonian bites, enjoy live entertainment throughout the festival and cooking demonstrations from the Culinary Stage. Buffalo; July 8, 11am-9pm - July 9, 11am-7pm. Admission is free. Food and beverages can be purchased with tickets. $6 for 10 tickets. 

Oswego Harborfest (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Fireworks light up the night sky at Oswego Harborfest

This once small local event is now one of the largest free festivals in the region, seeing around 75,000 visitors annually! With four fun-filled days complete with live entertainment, a wide variety of vendors, midway rides, a children’s parade, and fireworks, there’s something for the whole family! Oswego; July 27 - 30. Admission is free.

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

Images of Lucille Ball on two screens on the exterior of the National Comedy Center in JamestownCredit: National Comedy Center

Get ready to laugh at The National Comedy Center’s annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival! Join visitors from across the nation at more than 50 events featuring 30 artists in Jamestown. This year's headliners include the world's top-selling comedian for 2022, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias (August 3) and Taylor Tomlinson (August 4), who is currently breaking ticket sale records set by the likes of Jerry Seinfeld! These two comedy record-breakers join the festival's history of renowned headliners like Trevor Noah, Jay Leno, John Mulaney, and Ellen DeGeneres, just to name a few. Jamestown; August 2 - 6. Ticket prices vary by event and go on sale to the public May 19 at noon. 

Annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally Expo (Central New York)

Multicolored hot air balloons flying above head at Spiedie Fest in Binghamton on a partly cloudy summer dayCredit: @eggypan on Instagram

Join over 100,000 travelers from across the country as you watch 25 colorful hot air balloons take to the skies at the 39th Annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally Expo! Rock out at three nights of live performances from Gavin Degraw, Scotty McCreery, and Tommy DeCarlo from the band Boston. Kids will love performances from the Disney Tribute band and CoComelon meet & greet. Binghamton; August 4 - 6. One-day admission to the festival is $10. Prices for concerts and meet & greet vary. 

The Great New York State Fair (Finger Lakes)

Neon lights from various midway rides glow at night at the Great New York State FairCredit: @dennis.inbliss on Instagram

Discover what makes New York State so great at the 13-day celebration of the Great New York State Fair! Join thousands of fairgoers and experience delicious food, exhilarating exhibits, adorable animals, midway rides, and big-name entertainment like REO Speedwagon, Theory of a Deadman, Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line, and more! Syracuse; August 23 - September 4. Monday-Thursday 9am-11pm and Friday-Sunday 9am-12am. Admission is $6 per person and free for 12 and under and 65+. Parking costs $10 per vehicle.

Rockin’ The Bay (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Travel back to the days of eight tracks and cassette tapes at Alexandria Bay’s free outdoor live entertainment weekend, Rockin’ the Bay! Enjoy a weekend filled with classic rock, classic cars, and more. Alexandria Bay; August 24 - 27. Entry is free. 

US Open (NYC)

US Open - USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Experience the only Grand Slam tournament that takes place in America and the final major of the tennis calendar at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens this summer! Watch two weeks of the world’s best tennis player’s battle for titles like defending US Open singles champions Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek. Queens; August 28 - September 10. Individual tickets go on sale to the public June 5. Prices vary by event.

Hampton Classic Horse Show (Long Island)

A horse and jockey trots in front of the tent and Hampton Classic signCredit: @hamptonclassic on Instagram

End summer with one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States at the Hampton Classic! Watch 200+ separate competitions, including the coveted Hampton Classic Grand Prix, complete with top equestrians, national champion hunter competitors, and Olympic medalists. Spectators can also enjoy 80 onsite shops, international food options, kids activities, and Animal Adoption Day on Monday. Bridgehampton; August 27 - September 3. Daily admission is $20 per car, cash only. 

National Buffalo Wing Festival (Greater Niagara)

National Buffalo Wing FestivalCredit: Visit Buffalo Niagara

Attention wing lovers! Be sure to hit up the official Home of the Buffalo Wing this summer for the National Buffalo Wing Festival! Join over 50,000+ visitors as you sample over 100 styles of chicken wings from local, national, and international eateries. While you snack, check out other activities like the hot wing eating competition, celebrity-influencer “sauce-off,” bobbing for wings, and the United States Buffalo Wing Eating Championship! Buffalo; September 2, 12pm-9pm and September 3, 12pm-7pm. Admission is $20 per person per day (cash only) at the gate. Children under eight are free. Food tickets are an additional $13.95 per ten tickets. 

Don't forget to post photos of your New York adventures on TikTokInstagram and Twitter with #iSpyNY and tag us on Facebook!