While we've been luxuriating in barbecues and beach reads since Memorial Day Weekend, the official start to Summer 2012 begins Wednesday, June 20.
To formally kick things off, we've rounded up some of the best food, drink, films, music and other events happening in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and nearby 'hoods. So slap on some sunscreen and dive in to our list of
25 Things To Look Forward To This Summer
1. Shakespeare in the Park—Carroll Park, June 25 - July 8
For the third year in a row the Smith Street Stage group will bring the bard to Carroll Park, this time with a live performance of his masterpiece 'Twelfth Night.' The show takes place daily from June 25 through July 8, at 7:00 p.m. There are no Wednesday performances and you must bring your own seating. A heck of a deal!
2. Smith Street Funday Sunday, June 24
The yearly eight-block street fair will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Smith Street, featuring 's fourth annual “Cheese Eating Contest” (2:30 p.m. on the stage in front of sister store ). The BOCOCA Arts Festival will bring an array of local talent to between Warren & Baltic Streets, will provide local music groups at the corner of Butler Street, and there will be salsa dancing in front of and between Wyckoff & Warren Streets.
3. Taking A Dip in the DD Pool at Douglass Greene Park, June 28 - Sept. 3
The (aka the Double D) pool at Thomas Greene Playground, located at Nevins Street and Third Avenue, will officially open as of June 28 and close again on September 3. Splash 'em while you can.
4. America, F*** Yeah! Celebration, July 3
"Reclaim your love for the country that gave the world baseball, apple pie, rock 'n' roll and the internet," at The Bell House's annual night of stars, stripes and scantily clad burlesque dancers. , Tuesday, July 3 at 8:00 p.m. $12 per ticket—or free admission if you come dressed as Wonder Woman. BBQ will be offered by Urban Rustic. Plus, cocktail specials galore.
5. Summer Rides To Red Hook with 61 Local, July 7 & August 11
Cyclists with an interest in local food purveyors will love hitting the streets for these free monthly bike tours taking place the second Saturday of every month. will lead a group of riders to Red Hook to visit with Cacao Prieto, Red Hook Winery and other nearby vendors. Expect occasional pits stops to take in the waterfront vistas. Sign up for tickets is here. Don't own a bike? You can rent one along with a helmet from Bike Smith or Ride Brooklyn. Note: You will need cash for sampling any snacks or libations along the route.
6. Red Hook Flicks, Sundays, July 10 - August 28
Who doesn't love a good scary movie? This season's theme for the outdoor film series screened at Valentino Pier is "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks." Think The Lost Boys, Aliens, Tremors, etc. (For a complete schedule, click here.) Plus, some of our favorite local eateries will be sponsoring the concession snacks each week, such as , and . See you under the stars.
7. Bastille Day 2012, July 15
The eighth annual Bastille Day celebration on Smith Street features an 80-team petanque tournament outside of , pastis drinks, food, live music and many berets. Admit it, this festival is arguably one of the reasons you bought a home in the neighborhood.
8. Steve's Key Lime Pies
The seasonal "key lime pie and key lime pie only" purveyor known as has been open since Memorial Day Weekend. If you haven't had one yet this season, stop reading this list now, slap yourself on the wrist and head directly to the waterfront. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Trust us, they taste of pure sunshine.
9. Listening to Music at Carroll Park
From the adult musicians on offer as part of the on June 28 to the Carroll Park Summer Music Series featuring kindie rock groups including, Karen K & The Jitterbugs, Astrograss, The Deedle Deedle Dees and more, there are so many opportunities to rock out with your block out—some which will directly support local schools. Attending once is an absolute must.
10. Two Random Cans for $5 at
11. Julep Season at Seersucker
The seasonal Southern-inspired on Smith Street will feature a rotating menu of Juleps with ingredients sourced from the nearby Carroll Gardens Green Market. So far we've tried Strawberry-Rhubarb but neighbors are encouraged to collect all of the summery flavors for full bragging rights.
12. The Celebrate Brooklyn! Concert Series
Wild Flag at the Bandshell, anyone?
13. Our Amazing Summer Reading Guide From Author James Patterson
So many good books, so little time. Patterson gave us his suggestions for children , , , and . And, admittedly, some are so good the Patch team is rereading them too.
14. Brooklyn Crab
So, what you're saying is, there's this gigantic, unpretentious seafood shack dreamed up by the great minds who brought us Alma right on the waterfront and it's serving the same lobsters used in the Red Hook Lobster Pound rolls. Plus, steamer pots, oyster rolls, and other deliciousness. Wait, ? We're moving in.
15. Speaking of , How About That Roofdeck!
Another margarita? Don't mind if I do, Lady Liberty.
16. Gowanus Grove Dance Parties, Sundays
On a tree-shaded sliver called Gowanus Grove just off the Canal, a few creative types have gotten together to host a weekly dance party on Sunday nights aptly titled: Mister Sunday with Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin. Get down if you dare! 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins, Brooklyn; 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm; $10 before 5:00 pm with RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, $12 otherwise.
17. , , and Frozen Desserts
There are few things in life as satisfyingly nostalgic as a chilly bowl of ice cream or swirling tower of soft serve on a blazing hot day. Our neighborhoods happen to serve some of the most coveted scoops in the city.
18. Escaping into Air Conditioning For Hours at
From animated films like Brave (June 22) to blockbusters such as The Amazing Spider-Man reboot (July 3) or The Dark Knight Rises (July 20) to Woody Allen's latest To Rome With Love (July 6), this little local theater will provide hours of frosty-aired entertainment.
19. Walking Tours
Whether you want to snack at local establishments on 's weekly Neighborhood Eats outings or learn about the legacy behind some of Cobble Hill's most beautiful homes , there are a slew of local walking tours to take advantage of in the area. Most are kid friendly, as well.
20. Drinking Al Fresco
We have . What's yours?
21. Shopping the Season's Bounty at the
Sure, you already belong to a and you probably have stocked up on brownie bites from . But is there really anything quite like shopping outdoors and picking up fresh produce warming in the sun? No, there is not.
22. Grilling, Barbecues and Anything That Requires Charcoal
There's something about the smell of flame-kissed food, am I right? If you need to tune up your grilling instruments, . If you are looking to schlep your meal to an outdoor park, . And if you are lucky enough to have a private deck or backyard, by all means feel free to invite your local Patch editor over.
23. National Night Out Against Crime, August 7
This annual summer event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watches and organizes anti-crime rallies with the participation of local business and civic organizations. The invites members of the local community to join them from 4:00 to 7:00 pm in Coffey Park, on the corner of Richards and Pioneer Streets, for live music, youth finger printing, face painting, pony rides, food and drink, and other activities.
24. Iced Coffee
From to , there are many variations on this caffeinated beverage around the nabe and technically it's served year-round. But it's only socially acceptable to drink it for a few consecutive months. Who makes the best cup? Tell us in the comments.
25. The Third Street Block Party and Big Money Prizes, September TBA
Every year the Third Street Block Association throws a party from Smith Street to the Canal and every year it gets better and better. We don't have all the details on this year's fest yet. But for a taste you can read about . It's the best way to say goodbye to another fun-filled summer.