The Best Places To Dance Outdoors in New York City

There are plenty of places to get your groove on during the summer months in New York City
There are plenty of places to get your groove on during the summer months in New York City | © Stock Rocket / Shutterstock
Photo of Julia Goicochea
28 June 2019

Summer in New York City means making the outdoors your dance floor. Diverse music styles can be heard all over, from traditional rooftop bars to unexpected brunch spots and even a museum. Bring sunblock and your best moves to the best places to dance outdoors in New York City.

Nowadays

Bar, American, $$$
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People can enjoy dancing at Nowadays during its Mister Sunday parties
People can enjoy dancing at Nowadays during its Mister Sunday parties | © Natalie Keyssar / Courtesy of Nowadays

Nowadays bills its Mister Sunday party as being an event for septuagenarians, twentysomething club kids, toddlers and everyone in between. Each Sunday from 3pm to 9pm, all these groups and more head to the Bushwick-Ridgewood border for live DJ performances, food stands and a full bar. As a bonus, children and dogs are both welcome.

Industry City

Building
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New York salsa fans should all know about Industry City, home to the best Latin American dance parties around. On designated Salsa Sundays and Wednesdays throughout the summer, Brooklyn’s mini-city hosts a live salsa band and dancing. Tip: bring the kids on Sundays (1pm to 6pm) when the event features family activities and a pop-up market, and fly solo on Wednesdays (6pm to 11pm) when drink specials include a free first drink.

MoMA PS 1

Museum, Art Gallery, School
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MoMA PS1 offers a series of dance parties each summer
MoMA PS1 offers a series of dance parties each summer | © MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo

Attending this long-running outdoor dance party at a museum is a rite of passage for New Yorkers. MoMA PS1’s Warm Up 2018 kept the tradition going with more than 75 acts across 10 Saturdays. As if dancing at a modern art museum wasn’t trippy enough, the Warm Up also hosted an installation by creative studio Dream The Combine, featuring large-scale, interactive mirrors.

JIMMY

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Contemporary, $$$
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Located atop The James Hotel in SoHo, JIMMY is an indoor-outdoor lounge offering 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. Come summertime, the space, which is inspired by classic pubs and ’70s New York City, opens into a rooftop pool deck, where dance parties are known to break out nightly.

FREEHOLD Brooklyn

Restaurant, American, $$$
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FREEHOLD Brooklyn serves a range of high-quality food and cocktails
FREEHOLD Brooklyn serves a range of high-quality food and cocktails | © FREEHOLD Brooklyn

FREEHOLD Brooklyn knows New Yorkers can’t dance on an empty stomach. That’s why the Williamsburg business combines brunch – featuring dishes such as the vegetarian Impossible Burger and cocktails such as the Bae(sic) and Hot Ex – with a dance party on its open-air floor. During the colder months, dancers take refuge on FREEHOLD’s enclosed, heated outdoor space.

Le Bain

Bar, Nightclub, Pub Grub, $$$
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The dance parties at this penthouse discotheque are as legendary as the club itself. Perched atop The Standard, High Line hotel, Le Bain is known for its glitzy clientele who choose the Meatpacking District destination for its plunge pool, crêperie and discerning door attendants. Experience them all, plus performances by world-famous DJs and a state-of-the-art sound system, from the rooftop dance floor.

Midsummer Night Swing

Building, Music Venue
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Revelers at Midsummer Night Swing can dance to live salsa, honky-tonk and big-band music
Revelers at Midsummer Night Swing can dance to live salsa, honky-tonk and big-band music | © Stefan K / Alamy Stock Photo

Who would have thought New York’s prestigious Lincoln Center would host one of the summer’s buzziest dance party series? At Midsummer Night Swing, New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds rub elbows on the outdoor dance floor, where they dance to live salsa, honky-tonk and big-band music.

These recommendations were updated on June 28, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.