What is the latest trend in New York this Summer? Immersive events and festivals are taking over the city. We’ve rounded up the latest and best immersive events and festivals coming this Summer in New York (NYC).
immersive events and festivals are more popular than ever
Summer is coming, and you may be looking for ways to immerse yourself in all that New York has to offer. Whether you’re looking for actual immersive events – hey, there’s nothing like an air-conditioned break from the heat – or other ways to go all-in on summer in the city: we’ve got you covered.
If you’re spending the summer in New York, here are the immersive events and festivals you need to hit over the next few months.
10 best immersive events and festivals in New York (NYC) this Summer
1. The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience
Bridgerton fans, rejoice: from now until July 30th, you can be part of the story. The Queen’s Ball is a once-in-a-lifetime Regency experience, filled with music, period costumes, acrobatic performances, specialty food and drink, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with actors, learn to ballroom dance, and fully immerse yourself in the world of the show. Put on your best Regency-core clothes, and “get ready to party like it’s 1813.” It’s a party, a performance, and a fan’s dream come true – all in one.
2. Destination Cosmos: The Immersive Space Experience
Destination Cosmos is the latest exhibition at New York’s new immersive art center, Hall des Lumières. Open for only eight weeks, Destination Cosmos was created in collaboration with NASA, and allows visitors the chance to experience a spellbinding journey through outer space. Across thirteen sequences, you’ll get to explore planets throughout our solar system, confronting the vastness of our universe as you never have before. The immersive technology at Hall des Lumières allows for some one-of-a-kind experiences, and Destination Cosmos raises the bar even further.
3. Bryant Park Picnic Performance
When it comes to summer, Bryant Park is the place to be. Year after year, their Picnic Performances are a highlight of the season, gracing midtown with the presence of the biggest names in music, dance, and theater. From June through September, plan to spend your evenings with the New York City Opera, Shaina Taub, Terk Lewis, Kayla Farrish, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the American Symphony Orchestra, and so many other superstars.
4. Summer for the City
Hosted by Lincoln Center from June 14th to August 12th, Summer for the City is sure to be an event to remember. Completely free to the public, Summer for the City treats New Yorkers to two months of mind-opening performances: music, dance, theater, poetry, conversation, and more. This is a festival that thinks outside the box, showcasing everything from line dancing to choreopoems to educational panels and more. This is an opportunity for our city to immerse itself in the rich, vibrant culture that surrounds us, learning and growing even while we’re entertained.
5. Titanic: The Exhibition
Due to popular demand, this new immersive exhibit has extended through June 18th – and you should bookmark it now, as something to do on the season’s first sweltering day. Experience the tragedy of the Titanic as never before, led by an expert audio guide, and inside a recreation of the ship’s interior. You’re even able to interact with real-life photographs, relics, and personal belongings of those aboard. We love the way immersive experiences help to blur the line between “museum” and “theater,” and this exhibit is a great example.
We look forward to SummerStage the way we used to look forward to the last day of school. Of course, we’ll take a good concert anywhere – and if it’s outdoors, all the better – but there’s something special about getting to enjoy our favorite artists inside the magical envelope of Central Park. This summer, the park welcomes a slew of your favorite artists, including St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Indigo Girls, Skip Marley, and Kool and the Gang. There’s also a Juneteenth Celebration, many recitals from the Metropolitan Opera, and several concerts celebrating 50 years of hip-hop. Many events are free to the public, and all are worth your time.
7. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn
In many ways, BRIC is Brooklyn’s counterpart to Manhattan’s SummerStage, and it should not be overlooked. This year, the season kicks off on June 7th with performances by Taj Mahal, Corrine Bailey Rae, and The Harlem Gospel Travelers, and closes on August 24th with a performance by The Head and the Heart. Though the rest of this year’s lineup has yet to be announced, we know it’s going to impress.
8. Wonderland Dreams
No story lends itself to immersive art better than Alice in Wonderland, and Alexa Meade’s Wonderland Dreams proves that point in this new hand-painted exhibit. Meade’s art brings Wonderland to life, letting visitors fall through the rabbit hole and explore a fantastical world of mad tea parties, fabulist gardens, and so much more. As immersive art and theater both gain traction, we appreciators gain a whole new understanding of what an immersive art installation can do – and Wonderland Dreams is here to transport you to another realm.
Inter_ is officially open for beta in Soho, and we think that means you should go – that way you’ll be able to say you saw it first. Difficult to describe, Inter_ offers two levels of – you guessed it – interactive exhibits, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in another world. And what is that other world? Well, that’s for you to discover. Inter_ is appropriate for all ages, and could make the perfect rainy day activity. The beta period ends on May 19th, so try to snag a ticket as soon as possible. Who knows – it just might change your life.
10. Rooftop Cinema Club
What could be more immersive than a huge movie screen in the great outdoors? Outdoor movies are one of our favorite things about summer, and no one does them better than Rooftop Cinema Club. They have eight locations around the world, but of course we’re focused on the one in Manhattan, whose first screening of the season is Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Star Wars Day – May 4th. Summer’s starting early! And there are many other favorites this month, including Love & Basketball, Grease, and Everything Everywhere All At Once. Check the schedule, because if there’s a movie you love – chances are they’re showing it.
10 best immersive events and festivals in New York (NYC)this Summer
That’s our native New Yorker’s edit of the 10 latest and best immersive events and festivals coming this Summer 2023 to New York (NYC). See you there, dear reader!