As one of the most recognizable places in all of New York City, Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park is special all year round, even when the famous arch disappears behind the barrage of a whiteout snowstorm. But in the summer, the park truly comes alive, with locals and visitors sprawled out on the verdant lawn, splashing in the fountain, or picnicking to the tune of busking musicians. With the finicky spring weather fading fast and the long, warm days of summer ahead of us, we’re looking forward to the (free!) events taking place at Washington Square Park this summer.
MacbethMay 3rd, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.Garibaldi Plaza
Shakespeare’s work, when performed skillfully, is thrilling in any setting. However, there’s something truly electrifying about watching his work come to life at Washington Square Park. Perhaps it’s the rich history of the park’s setting that informs the performance, or perhaps it’s just the pleasure of gathering outside with an audience that may or may not be fans of theater – either way, this performance is a must-see. Shakespeare in the Square NYU strives to create a show that is “fast, accessible, and precise,” relying on Shakespeare’s prose rather than “elaborate sets or effects.” The result is something that feels communal, organic, and genuine. The show is completely free and no reservations are required.
May 14th, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
You may be familiar with some of the more iconic facts surrounding Washington Square Park, like its importance as a gathering place for turn-of-the-century labor activists and the beatnik poets and folk singers of the 1960s. But there’s much more to the park’s history than these famous details, and there’s no one better to learn about it from than George Vellonakis. As Park Administrator and Executive Director of the Washington Square Park Conservatory, Vellonakis is an expert on all things Washington Square Park, and his talk will touch on little-known facts about the park and what the future has in store for this prized public space. Plus, he’s hinted he plans to discuss the notoriously enigmatic door hidden in the Arch, a treat for anyone who loves a good mystery.
June 2nd, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Who doesn’t love science? Even those of us who flunked chemistry in high school have an inner mad scientist, hiding within, just waiting for a chance to launch projectiles twenty feet overhead with a seismic accelerator or create an entire universe using a Warped Space Gravity Simulator. City of Science, an event put on by the World Science Festival, offers an opportunity for just that. The massive event will stretch across Washington Square Park, with hands-on demonstrations for people of all ages.
Play with a robot, light up a bicycle-powered light bulb as you pedal, hold a replica of the human brain in your hands, and experience the childlike wonder of learning how our world works. The event is free and lasts almost all day, so you can swing by for an hour or so or spend an entire day wandering the exhibits.
June 8th, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Let’s get one thing clear: you don’t have to be a Hare Krishna to enjoy this festival. In fact, you don’t even need to be all that familiar with the movement, which is a branch of Hinduism. The Hare Krishna Festival welcomes everyone, regardless of faith, and presents an opportunity to learn more about the New York based organization. Hang out around the fountain, where you can take part in the free vegetarian spread and sit in on philosophical discussions. You may just come away feeling a bit more enlightened.
June 13th, 2019 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
June is Pride Month, and this summer marks 50 years since the famous Stonewall Riots, a Greenwich Village uprising widely considered to mark the beginning of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. It makes sense, then, that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a screening of Rebels on Pointe in Washington Square Park. The documentary film gives an inside look at the famous, all-male troupe of comedic drag ballerinas of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, which was founded in the wake of the Stonewall movement. The film is warm and funny, just right for a summer night in Washington Square Park. This is another free event – just bring a blanket to spread out on and maybe a few snacks, and enjoy some cinema under the stars.
June 22nd from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Whether you have children or you’re just a child at heart, there’s no denying the fun of blowing bubbles. The Billion Bubble Party is a simple celebration of summertime, in the form of sudsy, effervescent, rainbow fun. The premise is straightforward: meet at the fountain, and bring your own bubbles. There, you’ll find people of all ages making bubbles and frolicking amid them, probably to the music of local musicians. Whether you choose a classic wand, an oversized hoop, or a fancy bubble machine, the Billion Bubble Party will have you feeling like a kid again.