Many state parks and performing arts centers are scheduling in-person events, and for Long Islanders looking to explore beyond the area borders, here are some opportunities to enjoy live music, comedy shows, festivals and more this summer.
Guests should be prepared to follow any COVID restrictions still in place at each location.
NYC AND UPSTATE NEW YORK
Shakespeare in the Park
After the nonprofit Public Theater performance company was forced to skip its 2020 shows in the park’s open-air Delacorte Theater, the organization is planning to get back on stage for an eight-week run July 6 through Aug. 28. The free show is a production of "Merry Wives," in an adaptation set in a South Harlem community of West African immigrants, and will celebrate their lives, their strength and their moments of joy.
INFO Enter Central Park at West 81st Street, walk to West Drive, then to the South Lawn; 212-539-8500, publictheater.org.
The park’s Picnic Performances calendar includes music, dance and theater events this summer. Check out the "Pride in the Park" recital featuring members of the New York City Opera on June 18. Look for more appearances from the group on July 2, Aug. 21, and Sept. 3. Visitors can enjoy free yoga sessions on the park lawn on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. between June 16 and Aug. 18; reservations (via the park website) are required.
INFO 40th- 42nd Sts., Fifth-Sixth Aves.; 212-768-4242, bryantpark.org.
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
The grounds of this performance venue are expected to reopen as of June 11, with 35 live shows slated to take place between June 19 and Sept. 12 at reduced capacity. There will be concerts on its lawn and at its Friends Field — and Venetian Theater ticket holders can also enjoy "Garden Listening," an option that provides listening ability from outside.
Upcoming events include an opening night gala jazz performance by the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (June 19; tickets start at $750), singer Joan Osborne (July 17; $47-$83) and Chanticleer (July 23; $47-$83). Visitors to the center can also take a tour of the Rosen House, the former estate of Lucie and Walter Rosen, the founders of Caramoor.
INFO 22 149 Girdle Ridge Rd., Katonah; 914-232-1252, caramoor.org
WHERE TO STAY The Crabtree's Kittle House Restaurant & Inn (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua; 914-666-8044, crabtreeskittlehouse.com) is an excellent choice at which to bunk when visiting Caramoor, the hotel is offering a 20% discount (Sunday through Friday) throughout the summer season (based on availability). The inn will also whip up picnic lunches to take to outdoor shows and features a dining room where a chef-driven, locally-sourced farm-to-table menu is served; there’s also a tap room where seasonal pub fare is available. Room rates vary depending on the date.
Saratoga Spa State Park
More than just a place to catch a performance, this park is well over 2,300 acres and comes equipped with two golf courses, a pool complex and a pair of museums. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (108 Avenue of The Pines; 518-584-9330 spac.org) is also found here, and its 2021 entertainment schedule holds shows presented by Live Nation entertainment company (livenation.com). Slated performances include a variety of musical stars, such as Phish-frontman Trey Anastasio (June 18- 20), Rod Stewart (July 31), Hall and Oates (Aug. 15) and Dave Matthews Band (Sept. 17-18); the roster of expected performances also holds nights with the New York City Ballet (July 14-17).
INFO 19 Roosevelt Dr., Saratoga Springs; 518-584-2535, parks.ny.gov.
WHERE TO STAY Among the amenities found at the park is a place to stay, the Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa (24 Gideon Putnam Rd.; 866-890-1171, gideonputnam.com). With a restaurant and a spa, room rates range between $118-$299, depending on the date.
OUT OF STATE
The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is reopening for 2021 with a truncated six-week schedule (July 9-Aug. 16), marking the Orchestra’s first live performances before a live crowd since March of last year. Other shows this season include Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians playing other forms of music, such as "American Melodies," a family-friendly event that touches on gospel, folk, jazz and more (July 17) and a night with the Boston Pops Orchestra covering music created by famed cinematic composer (and former Pops Principal Conductor) John Williams (July 23). Limited seating is available for performances held at the center's BSO Symphony Hall and Koussevitzky Music Shed, but for those who come and sit on the lawn, screens and speakers are present to allow all to see and hear what’s happening on stage; bringing blankets and chairs is allowed.
INFO 297 West St., Lenox, Massachusetts; 617-266-1200, bso.org. Tickets go on sale May 17 at 10 a.m., when prices will also be announced.
WHERE TO STAY Among the area hotels, is the Wheatleigh Hotel in the Berkshires. (Hawthorne Rd., Lenox, MA; 833-774-6752, wheatleighhotel.com) Located on a former 19th-century estate, it also offers fine dining and an outdoor heated pool. Rooms rates start at an average rate of $609.
Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center
An outdoor performance venue about a 25-minute drive from Hartford,Connecticut, the main event of this year’s calendar is the rescheduled performance from Grammy-winning singer Darius Rucker (Aug. 28) on an evening that will also feature a fireworks show ($65-$150; concerts.trantololaw.com). Other scheduled highlights include the Talcott Mountain Music Festival (July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, hartfordsymphony.org), the Simsbury Meadows Comedy Series (July 7, 14, 21) and the Simsbury Meadows Connecticut Concert Series (Aug. 4, 11, 18). The PAC is also hosting "Barre Above" classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (starting May 11), which offer a fusion of yoga, aerobics, Pilates and dance elements, which is taught on the Simsbury Meadows stage with social distancing in effect; classes are $15 each, email email@example.com for more information.
INFO 22 Iron Horse Blvd., Simsbury, CT; 860-651-4052, simsburymeadowsmusic.com.
WHERE TO STAY Due to the center's proximity to Hartford, there are many hotels available in the area. A well-placed option is the Residence Inn by Marriott Hartford Avon (55 Simsbury Rd., Avon; 860-678-1666, marriott.com), located just 5 miles from the PAC and offers a free and full American breakfast, free fitness center and a heated outdoor pool among its conveniences. Rates vary by date and room type.
Cape May Rotary Park Bandstand
Equipped with a bandstand, the city of Cape May, New Jersey, has announced its free "Music in the Park" series, featuring more than three dozen live shows between June 30 and Sept. 11. Look for performances from a selection of area-based talent and acts specializing in a variety of genres; all are welcome to bring blankets and beach chairs to catch the shows, which take place at 7 p.m. on Fridays through Mondays.
WHERE TO STAY Congress Hall (200 Congress Pl., Cape May; 609-884-8421, caperesorts.com) has more than 200 years of history as a massive spot at which to stay when in Cape May. This resort is the size of a city block, and is only about a 1,000 feet from the Rotary Park Bandstand. Reservations are required for guests to dine at its restaurants and taverns; it’s also equipped with a large lawn, swimming pool and beachfront. Rooms start at $524.