It's a big year for summer concerts on Long Island -- Nikon at Jones Beach Theater fires up with new headliners, and white blues legend B.B. King gets top billing at the ever-growing Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue. But, if alfresco nightspots are your thing, you can grab a drink with a water view as the sun goes down or go dancing in Eisenhower Park!
GET A CLASSICAL FREEBIE
The Long Island Philharmonic plays two free concerts under the stars, both on stages named for late singer-songwriter and arts patron Harry Chapin. Led by music director David Stewart Wiley, the Philharmonic performs 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, and 8:30 the following night on the Chapin Rainbow Stage in Huntington's Heckscher Park (631-293-2222, liphilharmonic.org).
TRY THURSDAY NIGHTS IN EAST MEADOW
A new weekday outdoor night scene is brewing at The Carltun in Eisenhower Park. On 10 summer Thursdays beginning June 12, the space will yield to live music outdoors from 7 to 10 p.m. for a more mature crowd, with DJ sets following for the clubbing set -- and bottle service. No cover charge, either (516-204-5633).
MEET B.B. --IN PATCHOGUE
Chicago has Lollapalooza, Long Island has the Great South Bay Music Festival. Now in its eighth year, the festival brings its most varied roster yet with headliners from B.B. King to Taking Back Sunday to moe. on four outdoor stages. Festivalgoers can enjoy the music while sipping brews from the Blue Point tent and shopping in the vendor market. Got kids? Bring them Sunday for Laurie Berkner's special noon> performance ($33-$70, 631-331-0808, greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com).
SEE A CONCERT AT JONES BEACH
A perennial favorite summer pastime, seeing a show at the outdoor amphitheater is practically a rite of passage. Highlights of this year's lineup: Fall Out Boy and Paramore (June 21), the Vans Warped Tour (July 12), plus John Fogerty and Jackson Browne on a rare co-bill Aug. 5 (800-745-3000, livenation.com).
Surely there can't be a more authentic German scene than what awaits at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square. The indoor-outdoor space has a biergarten and hosts the Bavarian Heritage Festival (June 7-8) with live music and vendors. Wursts, brews, brats and giant soft pretzels -- of course, it all abounds at this day-into-night gathering spot (516-354-3131, parkrestaurant.com).
HIT THE ROOF AT SUNSET
An old classic becomes new again at the Breakers in Bayville, where a renovation to expand the rooftop deck beckons patrons for a tap beer or cocktail with a great view of Long Island Sound (516-624-2337, breakerssportsbarandgrill.com).
GATHER AROUND A FIREPIT
The dog days of summer may be sweltering, but the nights can be chilly -- Prime in Huntington has an answer: the fire pit on its Fantail Deck. The flames are lit daily at dusk, and although food is not served in this area, guests can enjoy cocktails while basking in twilight views of Huntington Harbor (631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com).
HEAR A CONCERT ON THE LAWN
Pack a picnic dinner and head to Deepwells Mansion in St. James where the Live@Deepwells series hosts its annual summer concert at 4 p.m. July 12. Chill out on the front lawn as you listen to this year's lineup of Flearoy, Last Charge of the Light Horse, Jack's Waterfall and The Gold Magnolias ($5, 631-862-2020, liveatdeepwells.org).
HOIST A CRAFT PINT
Southampton Publick House has some good food to go along with the sudsy repertoire. Try the seasonal Biere de Mars and year-rounders such as Burton India Pale Ale and Keller Pils (631-283-2800, publick.com). Meanwhile, the Port Jeff Brewing Company in Port Jefferson offers tours on Saturdays. And the brewery's English-style Schooner Ale and refreshing, summertime White's Beach Wit are good choices (877-475-2739, portjeffbrewing.com).
GO TO THE HAMPTONS -- FOR HAPPY HOUR
Friday nights in the Hamptons need not be a bank-breaker. Dockers Waterside in East Quogue is doing a 3:30-6:30 p.m. happy hour where patrons choose from a menu of $5 appetizers to combine with any drink ($5 each) -- sunsets over the water: no extra charge (631-653-0653, dockerswaterside.com).