Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (Conservancy) announce another vibrant season line-up full of free and low-cost arts and culture, fitness, recreation, environmental education, and volunteer opportunities for everyone to enjoy from May to October. Open daily, Brooklyn Bridge Park hosts more than 5 million visitors who come to enjoy this oasis of greenery and summer fun. Learn more about all programs below and please check Brooklyn Bridge Park’s online event calendar for full program details, and to learn more as new events are added.
ARTS & CULTURE
The season officially kicks off with the exciting return of the Conservancy’s Lift Off: A Kite Festival on Saturday, May 13 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This family-friendly festival takes over the beautiful sports field of Pier 5, uniting S.T.E.A.M concepts, the Caribbean’s rich history of kite-flying, and outdoor adventures. Guests will be able to fly their own kites, as well as purchase or build their own, to watch them soar above the Manhattan skyline celebrating the one day of the year kite-flying is open to the public in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
On May 16, Public Art Fund debuts an exhibit by artist Nicholas Galanin at Empire Fulton Ferry. The installation, In every language there is Land / / En cada lengua hay una Tierra, displays a steel sculpture reflecting on the continued legacy of colonization and occupation of Land, Water, and life. Photoville Festival returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park for its 12th year, bringing over 30 photography exhibitions, artist-led walking tours and workshops to Brooklyn Bridge Park, on display from June 3-18 at the Emily Warren Roebling Plaza. Photoville Festival will kick off an Opening Day Community Celebration on June 3 and 4 at Pier 1.
On Saturday, May 27 at 11:00 AM, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s DanceAfrica Community Workshop provides a hands-on all-ages workshop led by BAM teaching artist Dánice Jones, teaching fundamentals of Ghanaian movement and music at Pier 6 Liberty Lawn.
Held on the first Friday of the summer months (June 2, July 7, August 4) Summer Fridays celebrate the start of the weekend, with live music and chill vibes curated by performance and community hub Friends and Lovers. Each evening begins at 6:00 PM at the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace. June 2 celebrates New York’s Afro-Latin roots through music and movement, with Super Yamba, DJ Woof, and Mamacana; July 7 explores funk and soulful vibes with Brass Queens, Fried Dynamite: Run P. x Nina Vicious and Shake! W Monk One & DJ Prestige, and August 4 celebrates 50 years of hip-hop in NYC with Grand Wizzard Theodore, DJ Boogie Blind, and more artists to be announced.
The Conservancy welcomes two unique artist groups to their Open Studios Residency program this year. Artists-In-Residence KEIGWIN + COMPANY develop Rhapsody, a new community dance work developed in Brooklyn Bridge Park, inviting members of the public to join. Dancers and non-dancers of all ages are welcome in a celebration of movement, shared space, and connection, accompanied by live music by William Catanzaro and CHAIN. Artistic Director Larry Keigwin introduces the project with a creative movement Rhapsody Workshop on Sunday, June 11 at 11:00 AM at Pier 6 Plaza. Open Studios rehearsals for Rhapsody run July 17 to July 28, with final performances on July 29 and July 30 at Pier 6 Plaza at 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Artist-In-Residence composer Angélica Negrón’s Labyrinth Exploration(working title), presents an Open Studios Residency project developed specifically for and engaging with the unique sound structures of the Pier 3 Labyrinth. Collaborating with International Contemporary Ensemble, and other acclaimed artists, they present a one-of-a-kind audio-visual immersive performance, developed over the course of the summer. Open Studios rehearsal dates to be announced, with final performances scheduled for Friday, September 8-Saturday, September 10, by reserved timed-entry performances.
In celebration of NYC Pride 2023, the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, June 24 for an all-day family-friendly event of free live music that includes country, folk, blues, jazz, and more, while celebrating LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists. From 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM music fans can find performances across Pier 6, with the main stage at Pier 6 Liberty Lawn.
With joyous reception the last two years, the Conservancy also expands their Big Summer Get Down dance party to two evenings on the waterfront at Pier 3 Plaza from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Herbert Holler and the Freedom Party gets the party started on Saturday, June 17 and a second all-ages dance party takes place August 19, with DJ to be announced.
Waterfront Dance Socials also return, with expert instructors and local dance legends highlighting distinct dance styles that have important NYC roots. On Saturday, July 15, NYC’s only queer and trans-centered salsa band Las Mariquitas perform live as dance instructor Luca Diaz leads an introductory “On-2” salsa class. On Saturday, August 16, Jeff Selby teaches hustle with a live DJ curating the vibe to the moves. Each night kicks off at 7:00 PM with an all-levels introductory class, and transitions into a full dance party, taking place at Emily Warren Roebling Plaza.
On June 10, join the New York Transit Museum for the Bus Festival in the Emily Warren Roebling Plaza, where visitors can step aboard vintage buses and celebrate the vehicles and drivers who keep our city moving! On Friday, June 23, stars of the Metropolitan Opera come to Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn to perform for one of the City’s most beloved summer evening traditions. In August, London’s iconic fan destination, the Hill at Wimbledon, will again be recreated at Pier 6 where tennis fans can watch the finals live and get the authentic championship experience.
The Conservancy’s most popular series, Movies With A View returns Thursday nights in July and August on the Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn. Celebrating the theme of “We Are Family”, titles include Despicable Me,E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Goodfellas,Psycho, Smoke Signals, Top Gun, and a public choice vote of The Addams Family (1991), Little Women (2019), or Romeo + Juliet (1996).Show dates for all titles will be released in early June. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the movie begins at sundown. This year, the Conservancy celebrates a new partnership with Time Out Market providing delicious food and drink options for patrons to purchase, from 5:00 PM through the start of each film along the Pier 1 Promenade. Other partnerships include music by DJs curated from Brooklyn Radio, film shorts curated by BAM Film, and bike valet parking provided by Transportation Alternatives.
Hindu Lamp Ceremony returns for its 11th annual celebration on Saturday, August 12 from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Dance artist and educator Aeilushi Mistry brings peace and harmony to the community as she performs the traditional Hindu Aarti ceremony at Pebble Beach.
Mark Morris Dance Group returns to Brooklyn Park Bridge, for a special, outdoor performance and an all-ages family-friendly workshop at Pier 1 Harbor View Lawn on Saturday, September 23 at 2:00 PM.
Walt Whitman Initiative’s Song of Myself returns for their 20th anniversary annual reading of Whitman’s epic poem on September 10 at Pier 1’s Granite Prospect on Sunday, September 10 at 3:00 PM.
Closing out the season on Saturday, October 21, the Conservancy’s annual Harvest Festival celebrates the changing of the seasons, with a parade procession, arts and crafts, storytelling, lawn games, pumpkin patch, and other fun fall activities throughout the day, from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.
FITNESS & RECREATION
From May through September, the Conservancy’s popular free weekly Waterfront Workouts return to locations across the Park. Hosting over 3,500 participants in a typical year, classes include Sunset Yoga, Amp’d Bootcamp, Zumba, and a new Core and Flexibility course led by instructors from local partners Abhaya Yoga, Chelsea Piers Fitness, and Dodge YMCA. Registration is open on a monthly basis.
Affordable Conservancy adult volleyball leagues run May through November and adult soccer leagues run throughout the spring, summer, and fall, while youth soccer is offered in the spring and fall. Free Youth Basketball Clinics are hosted on Tuesdays, May 30 through July 25; two age group ranges are offered for 7-12 and 13-17 year olds at the Pier 2 Courts.
With the Conservancy’s ever-popular free kayaking program held in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, visitors can enjoy gliding across the East River on Wednesday and Thursday evenings 5:00 PM-7:00 PM, as well as Saturdays 10:00 AM-3:00 PM starting in June through the end of September. New family kayaking on Sundays from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM will also be offered. No experience is necessary; basic instruction, life vests, and all equipment is provided. Children under 18 must have an adult guardian present. Advance registration is required, open two weeks ahead of each date.
International Day of Yoga takes place on June 20, with Abhaya Yoga providing an inspirational evening with an all-levels yoga class and meditation, accompanied by live music at Pier 3 Lawn starting at 6:00 PM.
The Conservancy’s Environmental Education Center at 99 Plymouth St. provides a fun destination for families, with Open Hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays (3:00-5:00 PM) and Saturdays and Sundays (1:00-5:00 PM) throughout the year. Highlights include a 250-gallon aquarium filled with critters from the East River, a ten foot scale model of Brooklyn Bridge Park, crafts, and monthly educational themes and activities. The Education Center’s eighth birthday celebration will take place in September, with date and details to be announced.
Guided by the Conservancy’s Education team, free Citizen Science Fishing Clinics provide attendees the opportunity to learn the basics of rod and reel fishing through catch-and-release while contributing to local fish data. Dates include Sunday, June 18 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, Sunday, August 27 4:00 PM-7:00 PM, and Saturday, September 9 10:00 AM-1:00 PM. Public Seining allows visitors to observe the East River’s biodiversity, as educators use a seine net to catch-and-release a variety of organisms that live below the water’s surface. Dates include Saturday June 10 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, Saturday, July 15 4:00 PM-7:00 PM, Sunday, July 30, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, and Saturday, August 5 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. Both event series are all ages and family friendly.
Led by Conservancy volunteer docents, Waterfront Walks return on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM, May 28-October 29, as a free walking tour about the history of Brooklyn waterfront, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s sustainable design, and how the Park came to life. New Sunset Waterfront Walks offer the same tour in the evening, running at 6:30 PM on the first and third Tuesday of each month from June-October. Online RSVP’s are encouraged for both.
A hardworking and dedicated volunteer team is essential for assisting with park beautification, environmental clean-ups, and bringing many of the Conservancy programs to life! Visitors can join in a multitude of volunteer roles, from joining the Park’s weekly Green Team assisting horticultural staff with gardening and landscape work, to regular Coastal Cleanup projects working to keep the Park’s shoreline clean, beautiful, and healthy. Other opportunities include volunteering as a Park Greeter, supporting Conservancy staff at large-scale festivals and movies, aiding the Education team during the Environmental Education Center’s Open Hours, and providing volunteer photography and videography services. Full details on all opportunities and information on how to get involved, visit brooklynbridgepark.org/support/volunteer.
Teens can get involved with TIDES (Teens Interested In and Dedicated to Environmental Stewardship) to learn about ecology and sustainability through hands-on projects and workshops, while earning community service hours. The program takes place September through November (fall semester) and April through June (spring semester), with opportunity for advancement in the TIDES apprenticeship series and internship program.
All proceeds from the Conservancy’s benefit events support over 500 arts and culture, environmental education, and recreation programs in the Park, enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Supporters can party for a great cause – and watch a glorious sunset on Pier 1 – with the Conservancy’s SUNSET! celebration on Thursday, June 1. The family-friendly bash lets guests revel under the stars, all while enjoying spectacular views of the NY Harbor, Manhattan skyline, and Lady Liberty from Harbor View Lawn.
On Thursday, October 5, guests can join for the Conservancy’s most incredible night of the year with the annual Brooklyn Black Tie Ball. An end of season blow-out to celebrate another year of successful programming as well as say good-bye to the warmth of summer, the celebration held at Pier 2 offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline while overlooking the New York Harbor.
BBP welcomes back concessions for the summer season: Fornino, Pilot, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., and Luke’s Lobster, and is excited for the first summer season with High Tide, a seafood bar and restaurant, and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream at the Historic Fireboat Station, both at Fulton Ferry Landing. This summer, the popular Jane’s Carousel will offer visitors more chances to ride its historic horses with increased hours of operations. The Pier 2 Roller Rink is open for the summer season with new and exciting themed public skate nights; the Cliffs will again be open the season.
Full details on all programs and events, as available, can be found at brooklynbridgepark.org and the event calendar at brooklynbridgepark.org/events. Questions on current or upcoming events may be sent to email@example.com.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors to another summer season full of activities at Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Eric Landau, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Thanks to the work of the Conservancy and our other great programming partners, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers an amazing collection of opportunities for everyone to learn, play, and enjoy this premier summer destination.”
In celebrating the start of the season, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Webster shared, “We’re excited to kick-off another robust season, beginning with the return of Kite Festival, and expanding many of our newer programs including dance parties like Big Summer Get Down and Waterfront Dance Socials. Annual favorites like Movies With A View and kayaking on the East River have become iconic summer to-do’s, providing fun and enrichment for tens of thousands of New Yorkers each season. We’re grateful to the support of our sponsors and partners, and thrilled to welcome some new and exciting collaborations, especially for our Open Studios Residency programs this year. Our programming also offers year-round environmental education, helping kids and adults discover nature and biodiversity right here in Brooklyn Bridge Park, nurturing a life-long connection and appreciation. We’re proud of the diverse range of programming we’ve cultivated this summer, and can’t wait to see everyone out in the Park!”
ABOUT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation develops, capitally improves, maintains, and fully operates the Park as a 501 (c) not-for-profit, controlled by the City of New York. Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of the largest and most significant public projects to be built in New York City in a generation, has transformed a once dilapidated industrial waterfront into a vibrant and thriving 85-acre civic landscape. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, rolling hills, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities, and the popular Jane’s Carousel.
ABOUT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK CONSERVANCY
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy plays a vital role in creating and energizing this community-focused, world-class urban oasis on the Brooklyn waterfront. A 501(c)3 non-profit, we bring this unique park space to life with more than 500 innovative and engaging educational, cultural, fitness and recreational programs each year. Our free and low-cost events create new and exciting opportunities for tens of thousands of NYC residents and visitors to learn, grow, and experience all that Brooklyn Bridge Park has to offer.