New York City events calendar for August 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in NYC, New York.

Best events for 12 months
New York City
Best events for 12 months
August 2016
August 2016

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Readings at the bridge

August 1 - 22, 2016 (Mondays)

6 miles south

Hear authors read, ask them questions, and get your book signed at Books Beneath the Bridge outdoors at Granite Prospect in Brooklyn Bridge Park on July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1, 15, 22. Free.

Short plays

August 1 - Sept. 3, 2016 (begins July 22)

0.7 miles north

Summer Shorts is a festival of new American short plays at 59E59 Theaters, grouped in 2 sets of plays.

Dragon boat festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

8 miles east

Watch 170 dragon-boat teams compete on Meadows Lake, and enjoy music, dance, martial arts, folk art, and Chinese food at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Free.

Harlem Week

August 6 - 27, 2016 (begins July 31)

4 miles north

Harlem Week is a month-long celebration of local culture and history that includes performances, tributes, films, fashion, a children’s festival, sports events, a 5K, and a street fair. Most events are free.

Renaissance fair

August 6 - Oct. 2, 2016 (weekends)

44 miles NW

Travel one hour north to 16th century England to see knights joust, mingle with costumed minstrels, shop in an artisan market, play games, and watch shows at New York Renaissance Faire.

Italian traditional festival

August 11 - 14, 2016

4.3 miles north

The Giglio Feast of Saint Antonio celebrates Italian food, culture, religion, and tradition. On Sunday, a platform holding a 12-piece band and 80-foot statue is carried through the streets of East Harlem. Free.

Fringe theater festival

August 12 - 28, 2016

NYC locations

New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) features 200 companies from around the world that hold 1100 stage performances in 20 venues.

Fringe Jr is for families.

Fringe Al Fresco is free outdoors.

Free dance shows

August 13 - 19, 2016

Lower Manhattan

Battery Dance Festival [sound] features evening performances by local and international dancers outdoors at Robert F. Wagner Junior Park, moving indoors Aug. 21 to Schimmel Center for the Arts. Free.


August 14, 2016

0.5 miles SW

Ecofest has exhibits about alternative energy and the environment, green vehicles, an eco fashion show, food, and entertainment on Broadway at 43rd. Free.

Filipino expo

August 14, 2016

5.7 miles NW

Fiesta in America has a trade pavilion, food court, children’s area, and cultural-performance stage at Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ.

Margarita bar crawl

August 20, 2016

3 miles south

A ticket to Margarita March gets you eight of the tequila drinks in different bars, beginning at Parkside Lounge.

Comedy festival

August 22 - 28, 2016

Brooklyn locations

See both established and up-and-coming performers doing sketch, standup, and improvisation at Brooklyn Comedy Festival.

Tennis family day

August 27, 2016

8 miles east

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day begins with a free festival of games and tennis activities outdoors, followed by a ticketed show and concert in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Brighton Beach street fair

August 28, 2016

18 miles south

Brighton Jubilee Festival celebrates diversity with multiple entertainment stages, a marketplace, kiddie rides, and food stands on Coney Island. Free.

Innovative theater festival

August 28 - Sept. 18, 2016

2 locations

See 26 new and innovative works, including comedy, dance, drama, music, poetry, and puppetry, during Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City and Producers Club.

Tennis tournament

August 29 - Sept. 11, 2016

8 miles east

Watch the world’s best players compete under the open sky at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.

Free Summer Movies

August 2016 (undated)

NYC locations

Free Summer Movies are shown evenings at NYC parks in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Jazz festival

August 2016 (undated)

NYC locations

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has concerts, recordings, and talks in honor of jazz legend Charlie Parker. Free.

NYC Restaurant Week

August 2016 (undated)

NYC locations

Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week, not on Saturdays. Repeats in Jan.

Summer Streets

August 2016 (undated)

0.3 miles east

The city closes seven miles of Park Avenue and Lafayette Street to cars so you can play, run, walk, dance, and bike carefree during Summer Streets. Expect food, entertainment, and activities. Free.

Picnic in Grand Central Station

August 2016 (undated)

0.4 miles SE

Bring your own food or buy from vendors at Life’s a Picnic at Grand Central, which features picnic tables, entertainment, WiFi, and air conditioning. Free.

Broadway hits in the park

August 2016 (undated)

0.5 miles south

Bring a blanket to watch popular shows on and off Broadway perform their biggest hits Thursday afternoons at Broadway in Bryant Park. Free.

Outdoor concerts

August 2016 (undated)

0.5 miles west

Out of Doors is three weeks of world-class music, dance, and spoken word in the plazas of Lincoln Center if dry. Free.

India parade

August 2016 (undated)

0.7 miles south

India Day Parade begins at E 38th St. and goes down Madison Avenue to food booths and cultural programs at E. 27th Street, which close at 6 p.m. Free.

Movies in Central Park

August 2016 (undated)

1.2 miles north

See popular films at Central Park Conservancy Film Festival. Bring a picnic and blanket for the lawn, but no chairs, bottles, or alcohol. Captioned. Free.

Outdoor movies

August 2016 (undated)

1.2 miles west

See free movies about outer space at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum outdoors. Arrive early.

Outdoor opera videos

August 2016 (undated)

1.2 miles NW

See popular Metropolitan Opera shows onscreen in Lincoln Center Plaza at Summer HD Festival. Free.

Classical music festival

August 2016 (undated)

1.5 miles NW

Attend concerts, operas, late-night recitals, and world premieres at Mostly Mozart Festival, performed by the festival orchestra and special guests at Lincoln Center.

Shakespeare in the Park

August 2016 (undated)

2 miles north

Wait in line or join the online lottery for a free ticket to Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Break-dancing contest

August 2016 (undated)

2.2 miles south

Eight award-winning East Coast dance crews battle to win $5,000 at B-Boy Royale II in NYU Skirball Center.

Indie music festival

August 2016 (undated)

2.8 miles SW

Hudson RiverRocks is music concerts on 3 Thursdays along the water at Hudson River Park Pier 84. Free.

Urban adventure race

August 2016 (undated)

2.8 miles south

Xplore New York City is a 5K race to solve clues and complete challenges as you travel around the city.

New music

August 2016 (undated)

3 miles east

Warm Up is experimental live music, DJs and dancing in the outdoor courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens.

Yankees festival

August 2016 (undated)

3 miles south

FanFest offers free games, food, live music, and lines for free player autographs on Mulberry St. (from Broome to Canal). Free.

Blues & BBQ festival

August 2016 (undated)

3.5 miles south

Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ Festival pairs America’s best blues and roots musicians with the best of local barbecue at Pier 26. No pets. Free.

Japanese pop-culture festival

August 2016 (undated)

4.4 miles SE

Waku Waku features Japanese anime, manga, music, video games, food, film, fashion, and art at Brooklyn Expo Center and venues nearby. Schedule.

1920s lawn party

August 2016 (undated)

5 miles south via ferry

Wear a flapper costume and dance to the Dreamland Orchestra at Jazz Age Lawn Party, which includes a Charleston dance contest, dance lessons, follies, food, 1920s cars, and a kidland on Governor’s Island.

Afropunk festival

August 2016 (undated)

5 miles south

Afro Punk Fest is a multicultural weekend of live music with an art and craft market, and food trucks at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn. Donation.

Beer & wine festival

August 2016 (undated)

7 miles SE

Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest begins with a pub crawl Friday evening, followed by a Saturday tasting of craft beer, artisanal wine, and curated cuisine with entertainment at Restoration Plaza.

Racy movies

August 2016 (undated)

8 miles SE

Hump! features 18 five-minute explicit films made by amateurs of all persuasions at Roulette for age 21+.

Freshkills Park preview

August 2016 (undated)

18 miles SW via ferry

Enjoy biking, kayaking, picnicking, trail walking, and food trucks on Discovery Day, a sneak peak at the park built on Staten Island landfill. Free, shuttle too.

Water balloon fight

August 2016 (undated)

18 miles SE

Water Balloon Combat rewards the winning team with free beer. It also has a DJ, corn hole tournament, games, and a free shuttle from bus/train to Aviator Sports and Events Center.

Films & food on the beach

August 2016 (undated)

26 miles SE

Bring chairs or blankets and register to see free Shorts on the Beach (music at 5 p.m., short films at 8:30 p.m.), optional Taste on the Beach ($100 21+).

Long Island food trucks

August 2016 (undated)

96 miles east

A $65 ticket to The Great Food Truck Derby gets you servings from 15 food trucks, with beer and wine for sale outside Hayground School in Bridgehampton.
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© August 2016 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.