With sweeping skyscrapers and people with briefcases rushing through the streets, the New York City metro area seems to be all business. And although New Yorkers tend to work hard, they also know how to have a lot of fun as well. Most residents find their kicks at Central Park, which is always hopping with seasonal events. Whether you’re looking for something to do in the summer or winter months, here are five events in the park that you simply cannot miss!

1. SummerStage

There’s nothing quite like summer in Central Park, and for those of you who are visiting between the months of May and September, get ready for one of the largest music events of the year: SummerStage! Hosted by the City Parks Foundation, this huge festival runs throughout the summer with a killer line-up of artists and musicians and features everything from jazz to hip-hop to circus performances. This exciting event is sure to have something for everyone, and the best part is that admission is completely free!

2. Central Park Film Festival

This August, grab your blanket and head over to the park for a week’s worth of outdoor flicks at the Central Park Film Festival. With a large, mounted silver screen, you’ll be able to watch some of Hollywood’s greatest films while relaxing under the city’s skyline. Fun movie classics showed in past years have included Tootsie and School of Rock. This is another free event that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

The Central Park film festival is perfect for relaxing with friends and family.

The Central Park film festival is perfect for relaxing with friends and family.

3. New York Philharmonic Concerts

For a few nights out of the summer, some of the best classical music can be heard live out of Central Park. The New York Philharmonic concerts bring to life the music of Mozart, Beethoven, and many other legends within the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. Shows take place on the Great Lawn and are always a huge hit with both locals and tourists alike. Even if you aren’t a diehard fan of classical music, these free concerts are a peaceful and relaxing backdrop to enjoying the sights of Central Park.

4. Shakespeare in the Park

Every summer, Central Park runs two big Shakespeare productions that attract thousands of audience members each year. It’s an NYC tradition that allows guests to experience the plays in a gorgeous setting with other Shakespeare enthusiasts. Because NYC is filled with famous Broadway theater actors, the productions often feature Tony Award winners and other big names to play the leading roles. The performances are held at the Delacorte Theater in the park and are always free for anyone to attend.

With a beautiful garden backdrop, Shakespeare in the Park is a must-see in NYC.

With a beautiful backdrop, Shakespeare in the Park is a must-see in NYC.

5. Holiday Sights Tour

NYC is perhaps the most beautiful when it’s all lit up for the holiday season. And with the buzz of merriment that fills the park during this time, visitors love taking advantage of the Holiday Sights Tour between the months of November and January. Always guided by a fun personality, the tours take guests all around the park and its outskirts to see all of the city’s festive decorations. From the famous Rockefeller tree to the annual Christmas Light Show, you’ll get to see it all while sipping the world’s best hot chocolate.

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