THE BRONX — Summer in the borough means more than just Yankees games and trips to the zoo.
The Bronx has some of the best activities for New Yorkers who want to get outside and have fun, ranging from playing tennis at some refurbished courts in Crotona Park to checking out the works of Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Garden.
Visit The Bronx River
The Bronx River Alliance has a full slate of events planned for New York City's only freshwater river this summer, including canoeing and kayaking trips and a 17-mile bike tour along the water on May 31 that begins at 10 a.m. at the Williamsbridge Oval and ends about three hours later at Valhalla's Kensico Dam. The cost of the trip is $40.
Officials at the BRA were particularly enthused about the Bronx River Festival, which takes place on June 6 from 12 to 4 p.m. at East 180th Street and Boston Road in celebration of the new fish ladder at River Park.
The ladder allows herrings to migrate upstream and spawn, a process that has been tough for the fish thanks to the river's manmade dams.
The party will include free canoeing, an animal show, music and a performance by Bronx choreographer Davalois Fearon.
"We're going to be celebrating the return of the migratory fish with dancing and free paddling and lots of activities," said BRA spokeswoman Maggie Greenfield.
The BRA will also offer free community paddles this summer at Concrete Plant Park and $30 voyages that boaters will need to register for from Shoelace Park, which generally last for 2.5 hours.
Play Some Tennis
New York Junior Tennis and Learning is just weeks away from officially opening its new $26.5 million tennis center at Crotona Park, which will include 20 reconstructed tennis courts and a two-story clubhouse.
The center will offer nine-week sessions of full day tennis camp for kids starting on June 29, as well as a free Community Tennis Program starting weekdays on July 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. where children can learn the basics of the sport.
For those athletes who just like the running component of tennis, check out DNAinfo’s map of great places to go jogging in the South Bronx.
Listen to Free Music
The Bronx will host a series of free concerts this summer, including a performance by the New York Philharmonic in Van Cortlandt Park on June 23 at 8 p.m. by Broadway and West 251st Street and a May 24th concert in the park with the Bronx Arts Ensemble at 2 p.m. by Broadway and West 246th Street.
Torres is a Bronx native with hit club songs like "Please Stay Tonight," "No Reason To Cry," and "Back In Your Arms Again," a top 10 hit in 2001, while hip hop artist Touch just came out with his seventh commercial release, "The Piece Maker 3...Return of the 50 MCs."
Mott Haven residents can listen to some free music nearby on July 7 at 7 p.m. in St. Mary's Park, when Our Latin Thing and Grammy award winner DJ Afro will perform. Our Latin Thing plays a variety of "Salsa Gorda" hits, a genre influenced by jazz, soul and rock, while DJ Afro is a guitarist, composer and producer who has done more than 50 remixes for artists including The Beastie Boys and David Byrne.
Check Out Frida Kahlo Paintings
The New York Botanical Garden is hosting a Frida Kahlo exhibit from May 16 through Nov. 1 that features more than a dozen works by the artist and a reimagining of her studio and garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
The garden has developed several programs surrounding this art show, including "Frida al Fresco" evenings in the Visitor Center on select Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., where people can dine on margaritas and tacos, listen to live music and enjoy outdoor performances ranging from a parade of Oaxacan stilt dancers to live paintings by street muralists.
Additionally, during the weekend of July 11-12, the garden will host a "¡Viva La Frida!" celebration, complete with live mariachis, a workshop to make flower crowns and a Frida look-alike contest on Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m.
Watch the Sunset in Wave Hill
The famed garden in Riverdale will start hosting this year's Sunset Wednesdays on July 1, when it will stay open until 8:30 p.m., giving visitors a chance to watch the sun go down over the Palisades. People will also have the opportunity to do some outdoor yoga and take guided tours of the gardens.
Additionally, from June 7 to Sept. 7, Wave Hill will take part in a multi-museum art show about the seven deadly sins, focusing on wrath. The exhibit will center on artist responses to natural disasters like hurricanes, forest fires and tsunamis.
Did we miss any great summer activities in The Bronx? Let us know in the comments!