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Staff Picks: Arts, Culture & Fun

New York City's parks are renowned for offering unforgettable experiences and celebrations of our city's rich culture and talent. Through our Arts, Culture & Fun program along with partners and friends, we bring free concerts, movie screenings, art workshops, theater, and dance classes to parks citywide, and now we're bringing it to you, so you can enjoy Parks@Home.

Enjoy these staff selections from the best of our Arts, Culture & Fun partners and friends' virtual and online programs: 


  • SummerStage Anywhere's digital season is coming to a close but you can watch the entire archived season via their SummerStage YouTube Channel
  • Catch some great jazz from the coolest cats around courtesy of #thenewgig on the Jazz Foundation's Facebook page.
  • Check out this virtual performance of "Still I Will Love" from the Public Theater's production of As You Like It. The performance is a collaboration of more than 150 Public Works members, including Park's Brownsville Recreation Center!
  • The Bardekoa Ensemble has performed at Poe Park for the last eight summers, but this year's summer concert was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Enjoy a special virtual performance created for Parks@Home. The Bardekova Ensemble will be performing classical chamber music as well as the music of Miles Davis and Celia Cruz. Watch now
A crowd of people gather in front of a stage in a park for a concert.

SummerStage brings dozens of concerts to our parks each summer, now you can relive them from home! (Image courtesy of CityParks Foundation)



  • The Public Theater's Mobile Unit has brought live theater to our recreation centers twice a year for six years. The Public Theater is now inviting the world to use Shakespeare’s words to connect with friends, family, and communities, all from their homes. Every week, across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they'll focus on a different passage or scene from Shakespeare and invite everyone to join in and create! Check out the Brave New Shakespeare Challenge and be sure to check out Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet translated into Spanish!
  • Check out UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE, The Public Theater’s new documentary exploring the Public Works program and the 2017 Public Works production of AS YOU LIKE IT. Co-adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub, original choreography by Sonya Tayeh, and direction by Laurie Woolery, AS YOU LIKE IT was set to be remounted as part of the 2020 Free Shakespeare in the Park season, but those plans were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crowd in the rec center looks on in awe as an actress playing Juliet leans in from the steps on a ladder to give Romeo a kiss upside down.

Through our Arts, Culture & Fun program, the Public Theater 's Mobile Unit has brought this captivating performance of Romeo and Juliet at Faber Park Recreation Center.  (photo credit: Erik Pearson, courtesy of The Public Theater)


  • Enjoy a showcase of dances and musical performances by Hispanic Culture Arts, honoring the Bronx, its people, and history! Watch Danzas de ida y vuelta
  • Watch the 2020 Queensboro Dance Festival from home! Catch up on their diverse dance companies from Queens on YouTube! Follow @queensborodancefestival on Instagram for free holiday dance classes and programming.
Dancers in traditional Mexican attire performs for an audience in the park in front of the Unisphere which is a giant steel globe

This summer, the Queensboro Festival went virtual. This performance by Karla Florez School of Dance was live-streamed from Flushing Meadows Corona Park. (photo credit: Josef Pinlac, courtesy of the Queensboro Dance Festival)


  • Looking for a new book to read? Ask the New York Public Library for book recommendations on Twitter! Share what you've been reading lately or which genres and authors you love and @NYPLRecommends will tell you what to read next. Follow @NYPLRecommends; the Reader Services Team offers recommendations on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.



You can visit the city's museums and cultural institutions online to explore amazing art from home, stay connected, and find activities for children. Check out:

Kids in Summer Illustration Art Academy tshirts pose for pictures while wearing masks that they crafted.

Every year, our rec center kids, through our Arts, Culture & Fun program learn all about illustration at Art Week for Young Illustrators in partnership with the Society of Illustrators! (Image courtesy of the Society of Illustrators)

Fun Workout Tips From a Pro Athlete

Join Olympian, marathoner, author, and actor Alexi Pappas on Instagram at @AlexiPappas for daily inspirational tips on running, working out, and life. This year, Alexi Pappas along with Director/husband Jeremy Teicher spoke at Tony Dapolito Recreation Center about their film, Olympic Dreams. Alexi Pappas is a 2016 Olympian and an award-winning actor and writer and has been profiled on the cover of numerous magazines, including recently on Sports Illustrated where she spoke about running during the pandemic. 

More from Parks@Home

While you stay home, we're bringing the Parks experience to you with Parks@Home! For more virtual/online programs, including live tours, art tutorials, and fitness, visit our Parks@Home page

A girl sitting at a table in a cafe nervously reaches out to touch her arm as she lovingly stares at her companion off screen and brushes his hands

Staff Picks: Movies in Parks At Home

Make movie night Parks-themed with our staff picks! From classics to rom-coms to new faves, watch our selection of films set in our near our parks. View our movie picks

A painting of various strokes of colors including hands than stretch out to face with two yellow circles on the sides.

Art Tutorials with the Art Students League

The Art Students League Seeds of the League brings quality art instruction to our recreation centers and outdoor parks, and now you can enjoy classes from home! Check out Art as Meditation with Max & Jacob Cohen, Paper Cutting with Megumi, and DIY Origami Tulips and Botanical Printmaking with Sonomi Kobayashi.

Cartoon graphic of a tree singing into a microphone on a sunny day in the park.

Music Playlists

Tune in to the soundtrack of our parks with our specially-curated music playlists! Enjoy while you work from home, commute to your essential job, or host a party online. Listen to our music playlists

Leaves, barks, and other found objects transformed into art are pinned on a board in the gallery.

The Arsenal Gallery Goes Online

Check out our latest exhibition, Alice Momm's The Gleaner's Song, a love song to Central Park that pays tribute to the ragged beauty of found objects in nature. View this exhibition online

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