News Article

Ten Must-Do’s This Summer in Albany, NY

June 20, 2024

Welcome to summer! Get excited for an action-packed season throughout Albany, New York, featuring numerous opportunities to get out and enjoy all that New York’s Capital City has to offer! From thrilling live music to annual celebrations and tours, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this season. And for those driving, ParkAlbany’s garages and lots are located just a quick walk from your destination. From uptown to downtown and plenty in between, you won’t want to miss any of these must-do events during summer in Albany:

A vibrant firework display illuminates the night sky above a large modern building with tall square towers, casting colorful glows in reds, pinks, and yellows.

Celebrate July 4th with Live Music & Fireworks at the Empire State Plaza

Enjoy an Albany summertime staple with the dazzling July 4th Celebration at the iconic Empire State Plaza! Known as Upstate New York’s biggest Independence Day celebration, the plaza is the perfect place to bring family and friends for a memorable evening in Albany. Each year, the plaza comes alive with locals and visitors alike enjoying delicious food, amazing live music, and the spectacular fireworks display. This year features pony rides and a bounce house for kids, a flyover from the 109AW New York Air Guard, and live music from Grammy-winning Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers! Whether you’re there for the music, the food, or the fireworks, the Empire State Plaza is the perfect location to enjoy an unforgettable 4th of July! Visitors can enjoy free on-street parking around the plaza for this annual event or take the scenic route and park at any of our 3 downtown parking garages for just $5.00 and enjoy a short walk through the city to the Plaza!

Visit the Eclectic Albany Twilight Market

The eclectic Albany Twilight Market has moved downtown for its 2024 season, and you won’t want to miss this unique night market every second Saturday through September 14th! The Twilight Market is a distinctive curated monthly event that showcases the best of alternative creators and artists from the Northeast. Visitors will find an intriguing mix of antiques, dark arts, macabre jewelry, gothic apparel, spooky home décor, and so much more throughout this Saturday night showcase. Located in Quackenbush Square next to the Quackenbush Garage, the Albany Twilight Market is a must-visit destination for unique shopping in Downtown Albany. Be sure to park at the nearby Quackenbush Garage and visit the ParkAlbany table for free popcorn and goodies as you explore this one-of-a-kind market!

People browse booths under a bridge during an outdoor market event.
An outdoor stage setup with sound equipment and seating near a riverside park. Blue skies with scattered clouds are overhead. Handicap parking spaces and a tent with equipment are in the foreground.

Catch a Free Alive at 5 Concert at Jennings Landing

Summer is the best time for an outdoor concert, and what’s better than free music along the scenic Hudson River? The Alive at 5 Summer Concert Series has been a staple of summer fun in Albany, NY since 1990, and this year brings eight weeks of amazing live music to Jennings Landing on Thursdays for that perfect after-work outing. This annual concert series has featured everything from international icons to up-and-coming talent, and the 2024 lineup offers something for nearly every music taste! From rock and reggae to funk and hip-hop, these Alive at 5 shows are free, open to the public, and run each week through August 1st. Need to park for these must-see summer shows? The Riverfront Garage is a quick 6-minute walk across the Hudson River Walkway to Jennings Landing or avoid the after-show traffic and park a short 13-minute walk away at the Quackenbush Garage!

Explore Stunning Center Square during the Stoop Stroll & Summer Market

Get ready to experience the stunning architecture and historic beauty of Albany’s Center Square neighborhood during the 2024 Stoop Stroll & Summer Market on June 29th! This annual event celebrates the unique residences of Center Square as residents decorate their stoops and stairs throughout the neighborhood, offering a unique glimpse into the stunning streets and buildings throughout Albany’s “Village in the City”. Visitors can expect over 60 uniquely decorated stoops, featuring everything from flowers to unique art and décor that ensure no two stoops are alike! This year’s event also features a vibrant summer market in Hudson-Jay Park throughout the day, which serves as a wonderful pit-stop during your sightseeing and exploration. And for those who enjoyed HBO’s series The Gilded Age, a special walking tour will be offered this year, highlighting the various filming locations throughout Center Square with behind-the-scenes stories! So grab your comfortable walking shoes and your camera and get ready to enjoy a beautiful day in scenic Center Square!

A sunny residential street with row houses, iron railings, and plants on the steps. Trees line the sidewalk, and cars are parked along the street. An American flag is visible on one of the houses.
Vintage theater with a marquee that reads "PALACE," surrounded by colorful flowers in the foreground and brick buildings in the background.

Experience NYC Hip-Hop Legend Nas at the Palace Theatre

Legendary hip-hop mogul Nas stops at the historic Palace Theatre on July 19th, and he’s set to deliver an unforgettable show in Downtown Albany! Hip-hop fans are in for a treat this summer when this iconic New York City rap sensation brings his timeless music to Albany for a night of award-winning music. Following the release of his first full-length album Illmatic in 1994, this Brooklyn superstar has released 14 albums since, 8 of which became platinum and multi-platinum albums and defined a generation of East Coast hip-hop. From being co-founder of Mass Appeal Records to his Grammy-winning career, Nas is regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time and is a must-see act in New York’s Capital City this season! Convenient parking for the show will be available at the Quackenbush & Riverfront Garages, both located a short walk from all the upcoming action at the Palace Theatre!

Spend the Day at Art on Lark along Historic Lark Street

Art on Lark is back! This vibrant street festival presented by the Lark Street BID is slated to energize Lark Street on Saturday, June 22nd, bringing thousands to the neighborhood for a lively gathering celebrating the best of Capital Region art and artists! With an average attendance of nearly 10,000 people, Art on Lark is the second largest street festival in Upstate New York and has been named the Capital Region’s Best Arts event by the Times Union. Get ready to enjoy a bustling atmosphere along a closed-off Lark Street during this must-visit festival, featuring endless displays of incredible painters, jewelers, photographers, and ceramicists promoting and selling their art. This family-friendly festival also features kids activities, delicious local food, and amazing live music performances! Free on-street parking will be available in the area of the event, and additional paid parking will be available at Parking Lots 2 & 3, just a short walk from the lively Art on Lark Festival!

A city street lined with trees and brick buildings, one displaying a rainbow flag. Cars are parked along the street, and a pedestrian walks on the sidewalk. A "road work ahead" sign is visible.
A theater performance takes place outside at sunset, with a full audience watching. The stage is brightly lit, featuring a colorful backdrop, and the surrounding area is filled with trees and buildings.

See a Performance of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at the Washington Park Playhouse

Another sure sign of summer in Albany is the return of live theatre to scenic Washington Park, and the 2024 season kicks off in a big way with “The Marvelous Wonderettes”! Presented by the amazing Playhouse Stage Company, this dynamic performing arts collective has been putting on incredible plays and musicals in Albany’s premier public park since 1989! Located at the amphitheater of the Washington Park Lakehouse, this season features nearly 5 weeks of musical performances Tuesdays-Sundays through July 14th. “The Marvelous Wonderettes” is set to bring viewers through a musical time machine into a nostalgic journey through the music of the 1950s-1960s, featuring music and fashion from this storied era and plenty of humor and wit along the way, as four talented friends take the stage at their high school prom. Seats for these must-see shows are free on the lawn and available on a first-come, first-served basis, and premium reserved seats are on sale now! So get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy some amazing outdoor summer theatre in the heart of Albany’s scenic Washington Park this summer!

Enjoy the Inaugural Summer Art Fest in Quackenbush Square

Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss the first ever Summer Art Fest in Quackenbush Square on July 27th! Presented by the Albany Center Gallery, this must-visit festival celebrates the very best of Capital Region-based creatives and encourages visitors to embrace their affinity for the arts in a vibrant, immersive environment. This highly anticipated free outdoor festival offers something for everyone, including interactive art activities, a kid’s corner, live art creation, and so much more! Plus, visitors will be treated to amazing live music, delicious food and drinks, an array of community/nonprofit/artisanal vendors, and a specially curated pop-up gallery from the Albany Center Gallery! The Summer Art Fest is set to extend throughout Quackenbush Square and transform this historic space into an energetic community celebration of all things art in the heart of Downtown Albany, and parking for this must-visit festival will be available at the nearby Quackenbush & Riverfront Garages, located just around the corner from all the action in Quackenbush Square on July 27th!

People gather at an outdoor plaza with tables and tents. The area is surrounded by trees and brick buildings.
Outdoor market with people browsing stalls under white tents on a sunny day. Flags are hanging overhead, and a brick building is in the background.

Discover Unique Vintage Items & Clothing at the Summer Vintage Roundup

Vintage and antique enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Summer Vintage Roundup on August 31st! Located at 946 Broadway within Albany’s vibrant Warehouse District, the Vintage Roundup is the largest curated vintage and antique market in Upstate New York! During each market, the Warehouse District is bustling with activity as over 55 vintage/antique vendors from across the United States set up shop between Lost & Found and Lionheart on the Green for an eclectic, energetic market! Visitors can find everything from timeless vintage clothing and accessories to vintage art, décor, vinyl, and antique furnishings. Each market also features delicious local food and drinks so you can enjoy a bite to eat after you peruse endless tents of unique, sustainable goods from the past! Free on-street parking will be available in the area of the market, so be sure to show up early and beat the crowds during this must-visit seasonal market in Albany, New York! [Photo Credit: The Vintage Roundup]

Rock Out with Megadeth at the MVP Arena

Head to the MVP Arena on September 10th for a high-octane evening with thrash metal legends Megadeth! There’s nothing quite like a summertime rock show, and Megadeth’s “Destroy All Enemies” Tour is the perfect show to bang your head and rock out in Downtown Albany! This Grammy-winning metal collective led by the infamous Dave Mustaine formed in 1983 and are known as one of the “Big Four” of thrash metal (the others being Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax). Following their first major-label album Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? was released in 1986, Megadeth quickly rose to stardom following its commercial success and they have been a staple of the thrash/speed metal scene ever since! The MVP Arena has hosted an endless roster of world-class musicians, and Megadeth is slated to make their return to this iconic arena for the first time since 2007, featuring support from special guests All That Remains and Mudvayne! Convenient event parking will be available at the nearby Green-Hudson & Riverfront Garages, located a quick walk from the arena and plenty of amazing bars and restaurants in the area to enjoy before the show!

Exterior view of MVP Arena entrance with glass doors, wide steps, and a modern façade on a clear day.

This summer is jam-packed with so many amazing events and activities, and ParkAlbany is proud to continue to offer convenient parking at our parking garages and lots near your destination. To stay up to date with these and other events happening throughout Albany, NY this summer, visit our events calendar for information on each event and where the best places are to park!