Make this one a season to remember with explorations in your backyard and beyond. This is the only kind of to-do list anyone should have posted on their fridge during summer vacation.
J U N E
- June 3-September 1: "The Polaroid Project" - Fort Worth, TX
Shake it! This debut exhibition, which will go on to tour internationally, showcases 150 photographs from big name sharpshooters like Robert Mapplethorpe, Barbara Kasten, and William Wegman, along with all sorts of camera gear, prototypes, and other ephemera from Polaroid's archive.
- June 7: Quiet Mornings at Moma - New York, NY
On the first Wednesday of the month, the Museum of Modern Art opens its doors at 7:30 a.m. for early birds who want a breakfast of Rothko and Martin without the crowds. There's space for meditation, too.
- June 8: Wright 150 Celebration Evening - Chicago, IL
In honor of prolific American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday, the FLW Trust and Art Institute of Chicago are hosting a lecture and dinner celebration at the University Club of Chicago. Pedal Oak Club will set up a guided bike tour of 21 Wright sites for pedaling pleasures.
- June 8-9: Belmont Stakes - Elmont, NY
Wear a jaunty hat. Arrive early to visit the paddock, then grab a bench on the apron. Whoop, holler, and cheer for your favorite thoroughbred horses as they race around the 1.5-mile track during the annual summer festival — and the oldest of the Triple Crown events. It's an easy day trip from NYC on the LIRR.
- June 10: The Summer Party - New Canaan, CT
For the 10th anniversary of the Glass House, artist Philip Johnson's modernist home/concept project, guests can spend the afternoon (noon-4 p.m.) strolling 49 manicured acres, enjoying two exhibitions (Julian Schnabel, Robert Indiana), drinking champagne, playing lawn games, watching a choreographed installation piece, and bidding on top-notch works of art.
- June 10-October 27: All Wright, All Day Trolley - Buffalo, NY
For his 150th birthday celebration, visitors to Western New York can pile into a vintage trolley and tour several Frank Lloyd Wright architectural marvels — including the Filling Station, Martin House, Blue Sky Mausoleum, Fontana Boathouse, Graycliff, and Black Rock Canal. Lunch on the waterfront is included too.
- June 16-17: Porter Flea Market - Nashville, TN
A two-day hang with nice food, classy drinks, modern goods, free haircuts, and a live podcast taping.
- June 30: Tippet Rise Art Center - Fishtail, MT
A 10,000-acre sheep and cattle ranch nestled in front of the Beartooth Mountains, just north of Yellowstone, is a new hub for environmental sculpture, grandiose art, and musical performances. It's an immense refuge for creativity in the midst of nature.
J U L Y
- Throughout July-August: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs - Santa Fe, NM
A composed celebration of the limitless vision of Apple's creator premieres at the stunning Santa Fe Opera, an open-air theater that gives patrons great seats for New Mexico sunsets. Santa Fe Opera fans are hardcore — tailgate dining is a thing here, so be sure to pack a picnic and head to the parking lot early for pre-gaming.
- July 6-9: Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington D.C.
The intrigue, mystery, and sheer adrenaline of circus arts are brought to The Mall for the 50th anniversary of this outdoor fest. Watch aerialists, acrobats, object manipulators, equilibrists, and athletes of inordinate strength and grace. It's all free of charge with late afternoon dance parties and evening circus performances.
- July 6-August 18: Hudson Riverflicks - New York City, NY
Get the group together for a free summer sunset movie at Hudson River Park. Now screening: Blockbusters on Wednesdays at Pier 63, family flicks on Fridays at Pier 46, and sing-along musicals at Clinton Cove. Did we mention there's free popcorn?
- July 11-16: Brimfield Antiques Flea Market - Brimfield, MA
America's oldest antique market pops open its tents a few times a year for decorators, designers, and DIYers looking for a specialty furnishing or unique knick-knack for the home. Tuesday-Friday is the ideal shopping window to comb the stalls and beat the crowds.
- July 12-16: Marfa Film Festival - Marfa, TX
How about five days of screenings in a starlit desert — everything from documentaries to shorts to experimental works and music videos.
- July 14-16: Santa Fe International Folk Art Market - Santa Fe, NM
The handmade triumphs over the mechanized at this global gathering of makers, artisans, and craftspeople from Tanzania to Tuscon. The market and jury panel includes design world notables like trends forecaster and Dean of Hybrid Studies at Parsons Li Edelkoort. Eight hundred artists from 90 countries show and sell and demo their crafts and work.
- July 21-31: Frontier Days - Cheyenne, WY
Round up the kids, put on some blue jeans, and cherish the land's Old Western roots with rodeo action, chuckwagon cook-offs, behind-the-chutes tours, and a wild-horse race.
A U G U S T
- August 20: Opera House Cup - Nantucket, MA
Every year, on the third Sunday in August, Nantucketers watch as a series of all-wood sailboats unleash their white sails to the wind in this rousing regatta, which ends with a party (and raw bar) on the beach.
- August 18-21 Wyoming Eclipse Festival - Casper, Wyoming
It's been 38 years since the last eclipse. Join happy stargazers for First Contact (when the moon touches the sun's edge, 10:22 p.m.) and keep looking up until the Totality Ends (around 11:46 p.m.). The actual eclipse is only 146 seconds long, but there are a lot of happenings celebrating the night sky awesomeness before and after the main event.
- August 26-27: Jazz Age Lawn Party - New York City, NY
Michael Arenella, the dapper Brooklyn bandleader, commits year-round to his pomade-and-pinstripe styling, but two times each summer, he invites all of NYC to join him in partying like it's 1929. On the rolling lawns of Governor's Island, guests dressed to the nines in Prohibition Era garb throw out picnic blankets, shop artisan stalls for fedoras and spats, drink St. Germaine, and hit the dance floor of swingers guided by Arenella's 11-piece Dreamland Orchestra and a bevy of flappers.
- Thru September 10: The North American Indian - Muskegon, MI
From 1906-1936, the American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis traveled all over the United States photographing the daily lives of 80 Native American tribes, recording Native American music, and collecting artifacts. Everything's on view, along with objects from the photographer's life.
- Thru September: Grand Staircase-Escalante - Kanab, UT
The Grand Staircase is just one of the 30 stunning national landmarks and monuments that are under review at the moment and subject to lose federal protection. See it now in all its glory. End of the summer season is best, as temps go down along with the number of tourists.
S E P T E M B E R
- Through September 3: "Magnum Manifesto" - New York, NY
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of photo agency Magnum Photo, ICP Museum will showcase an outstanding exhibition of the legacy of the photographers that were part of this project, all of whom had strong ties with the cultural and social events of their day. These are not just photos, these are stories that allow a glimpse of the past.
- Through September 3: Oracle at The Broad - Los Angeles, CA
Protest movements are on display. This power exhibition offers a contemporary interpretation of "globalization," as both a political and creative statement.
- September 2 & 3: Phoenicia Flea - Hunter, NY
Make a beeline for the countryside: Scribner's Catskill Lodge hosts a curated market of makers and merchants from the Catskills, Hudson Valley, and beyond. Shop some of the region's best indie brands, including The Highlands Foundry and The Hudson Standard, before settling in for a late lunch at Prospect.
- Ongoing: Mass MoCA Building 6 - North Adams, MA.
In case you missed it this summer, Mass MoCA inaugurated its renovated Building 6 and is featuring long-term installations from famed artists Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, and James Turrel. The latter's exhibition, Into the Light, has nine installations. Space is limited, so make an appointment before you go.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
We'd love to hear about more things to do, people to see, and places to stargaze this summer. If you have a favorite seasonal happening somewhere in the good ol' U.S.A., drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.