Moonviewing concert at Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden
(914) 669-5033; www.hammondmuseum.org
The garden at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden is known to inspire a Zen-like sense of calm—and, with a tea garden, lily pond, and fragrant katsura trees, why wouldn’t it?—but that doesn’t mean it can’t liven things up every once in a while. On August 1, the garden hosts the 12-piece Norm Hathaway Moonlight Swing Band, who will play for visitors Lindy-Hopping into the night. Then, on August 9, Hammond presents a Moonviewing Concert, which will see the garden illuminated by paper lanterns.
(914) 864-7263; www.lasdonpark.org
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to Lasdon Park for its annual Music in the Park series, which hosts the jazz and contemporary song stylings of Jon Doty and Friends on August 22. If you feel like having dinner or snacks alfresco, the park has hot dogs, pretzels, ice cream, beer, and other summertime favorites available for purchase. The concert starts at 6:30 pm, but we recommend going early-—gates open at 5:30 pm—so you have a chance to check out the Chinese Garden, Historic Tree Walk, Memorial Garden, and other flora before the entertainment starts.
Dawn at Innisfree Garden
(845) 677-8000; www.innisfreegarden.org
The 150-acre Innisfree Garden in nearby Dutchess County—named after a line from a Yeats poem—often flies under-the-radar, but it’s stunning nonetheless. Artist Walter Beck worked with landscape designer Lester Collins to create the garden based on a mix of Modernist ideas and traditional Chinese and Japanese garden-design principles. On August 16, though, you’ll be the one creating the art: The Morning Light at Innisfree event opens the gardens an hour before sunrise for artists and photographers who want to capture it during the magic light of dawn. (Visitors with no artistic ability just looking for a beautiful sunrise are welcome, too.) At this time of year, the garden is filled with lotus, water lilies, and mallows.
(914) 512-4818; www.untermyergardens.org
Untermyer’s recent restoration should be reason enough to visit—the once sad-looking park has been transformed into a thriving oasis. (This spring alone, 25,000 new tulips were planted.) But if the garden’s flowers, fountains, and classically inspired architectural details aren’t enough of a draw, there’s the The Untermyer Performing Arts Council’s Worldfest Summer Concert Series, which takes place on Saturday evenings all summer. The schedule for 2014 includes a celebration of Latin choreographers, an evening of gospel performances, a tribute to Isadora Duncan, and music from the Korean Cultural Center. Visit www.untermyer.org for specific dates.
(718) 817-8700; www.nybg.org
We know that, when it comes to green spaces, we like to think we have an advantage over our New York City brethren, but there are blooms to be found south of our border. This summer, The New York Botanical Garden has ongoing cultural programs to coincide with its floral exhibition, Groundbreakers: Gardens of the Early 20th Century and the Extraordinary Women Who Designed Them. On Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays, there’s a concert series titled “From Ragtime to Jazz: The Roots of Pop,” which focuses on the music during the Groundbreakers time period, from Scott Joplin to George Gershwin. Or, if you’re feeling Gatsby-esque, stop by for one of the “Jazz Age Evenings: Cocktails, Concerts, and Dancing,” featuring the music of the Roaring ’20s with Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra. (The featured cocktail of the evening on August 21 is the Crabbie’s Straight Up, made with Crabbie’s Ginger Beer.) The NYBG also has other events that cover the same time period, such as poetry walks that match Edna St. Vincent Millay’s verses to the flowers she writes about in her poems.
(718) 549-3200; www.wavehill.org
While the NYBG usually gets all the Bronx floral glory, it shouldn’t overshadow Wave Hill, where a view of the Hudson River and Palisades provides the backdrop for a blooming pergola. During Wave Hill’s Sunset Wednesdays, visitors get a little of everything: a 6 pm outdoor Hatha yoga class, a garden walk, and an outdoor cultural performance. Find Latin percussion virtuosos Los Monstritos (Young Monsters) on August 6, and an evening of dance with Bronx choreographers on August 13.