Many of you have probably made vacation plans already.  Whether it be a cruise, a vacation to see family across the country, day trips, long weekends at the lake or shore, summer is an exciting time of the year.  Packing is easy--throw a bathing suit and suntan lotion into a tote and off to the beach you go.  Sit in a park, people watch, bring a bag lunch and a good book—mini-vacation.  There are so many possibilities and many that are FREE.  Activities abound around the City and particularly, on Staten Island for the summer. 

The outdoor concerts at the parks are always a favorite of mine.  When I was a child, my Dad would pack the kids up and off to Silver Lake we would go.  He would spread a blanket in the grass, we would snack on fruit—grapes, cherries and the like and settle in for an evening of orchestra music.  It didn’t matter that we were raised on music from the 40’s and Dad’s favorite “Cowboy” songs.  We enjoyed cooling off at Silver Lake.  I can still remember staring at the stars and being mesmerized by the silence of the skies and the music at the same time. 

Borough President Oddo has announced the Summer Concert series kick-off on July 10 and every Thursday night until September 4.  Also, the annual “Back to the Beach” begins at Midland Beach on 7/12 and 7/13.  The schedule is as follows:

7/10-Seaside Wildlife Nature Park, Lovemedo and The Brake Brothers Band

7/17-Westerleigh Park, Rachel Isaac’s Band and Airtite

7/24-Historic Richmondtown, London Fogg and Screaming Broccoli

7/31-Conference House Park, Breaktheway and The Prettiest Meltdown

8/7-Clove Lake Park, Gifford’s Lane and James Santarella

8/14-The Children’s Park and Splaza in Midland Beach, The Silas Knight Project and The Plastic Soul Band

8/21-Bloomingdale Park, Angelica Jade and Radio Daze

8/28-Corporal Thompson Park, TBD

9/4-Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Charlie Poveromo and the Staten Island Community Band

For the 49th season, the New York Philharmonic is presenting a free indoor concert at the College of Staten Island Campus in the Center for the Arts.  You can reserve your tickets at the Springer Concert Hall Box Office or by calling 718-982-2787.  This is an exciting evening and one that you cannot afford to miss.  It’s also free! 

Another great event that should be added to your list is Shakespeare in the Park.  “Much Ado About Nothing” begins Tuesday, 6/24 at 8:00 p.m. and continues to 6/29.  You can pick up vouchers (for two only) for that night’s performance at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terr. between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. or at the Delacorte Theater Box Office in Central Park between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.   “King Lear” begins 7/22 through 8/15.  You can enjoy a picnic dinner beforehand at the Park.  Being outdoors is the name of the game! 

Remember:  You can enjoy your summer without leaving the Island.  Every day, every night can be a mini-vacation.  Check out other free events for children and adults at  And do stop by the Gillani Homes booth at “Back to the Beach” on 7/12 and 7/13.  We look forward to seeing you.

Share with me your plans for the summer, exciting trips, day-tripping, events and activities for the children.  Write me below or at or call me at 646-258-9696.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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