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.

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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.

Sailboat ride on Clipper City

August 1 - 5, 2016 (from May)

4.5 miles south

Tour New York City Harbor aboard the majestic Clipper City tall ship, sailing from Battery Park.

Spectacular show

August 1 - 7, 2016 (begins June 15)

0 miles

New York Spectacular is a musical about a family spending an extraordinary day in New York, featuring the dancing Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Discount tickets $50 to $90.

Readings at the bridge

August 1 - 15, 2016 (Mondays from July 11)

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.

Classical music festival

August 1 - 27, 2016 (begins July 13)

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. Discount tickets $33 (July 28 and later).

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.


August 1 - Sept. 23, 2016 (begins May 16)

NYC locations

Enjoy outstanding music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The free concerts are popular, so arrive early.

Lobster & beer sail

August 2 & 16, 2016 at 7 p.m. (also July)

4.5 miles south

Enjoy lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster, coleslaw, potato salad, craft beer, and a two-hour cruise around Lower Manhattan on Lobster & Beer Lovers Sail aboard Clipper City Tall Ship, leaving Battery Park. Discount tickets $76.

Baseball meal deal

August 3, 2016 (also June & July)

8 miles north

New York Yankees package deal includes a field-level seat plus unlimited picnic food until 30 minutes after game time at Yankee Stadium. Discount tickets $75.

Outdoor concerts

August 3 - 13, 2016 (begins July 20)

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.

Shakespeare in the Park

August 3 - 14, 2016

2 miles north

Buy a ticket for Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, or to get a free ticket, wait in line or join an online lottery.

Free Summer Movies

August 1 - Sept. 15, 2016 (begins in May)

NYC locations

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

Romantic jazz cruise

August 3 - Sept. 28, 2016 (9:45 p.m. Wed.)

4.3 miles south

Enjoy skyline views and live jazz on an Evening Jazz Cruise aboard the 158-foot Clipper City Tall Ship departing from Battery Park. Discount tickets $42.

Broadway hits in the park

August 4 & 11, 2016 (begins July 7)

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.

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.

New music

August 6 - 27, 2016 (Saturdays from June 11)

3 miles east

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

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.

Black musical

August 7 - Sept. 25, 2016 (weekends 4:30 p.m.)

0.6 miles west

Sistas the Musical celebrates the history of an African American family using catchy hit songs from each era at St. Luke’s Theatre. Discount tickets Sunday $25.

Brunch on a sailboat

Aug. 7 - Oct. 9, 2016 (11 a.m. Sundays)

4.1 miles south

Enjoy skyline views on a two-hour Champagne Brunch Sail Aboard the Shearwater classic schooner, leaving Lower Manhattan. Discount tickets $67.

Burlesque on a sailboat

August 11, 2016 (9:45 p.m.)

4.5 miles south

A Burlesque Sail on Clipper City tall ship features music, dancers, and drinks, departing from Battery Park for age 21+. Discount tickets $36.


August 11, 2016 (7:30 p.m.)

10 miles NW

Watch the New York Jets play the Jacksonville Jaguars in a pre-season game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Discount tickets $20 to $50.

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.

1920s lawn party

August 13 - 14, 2016

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.

Filipino expo

August 13 - 14, 2016 (gala Aug. 12)

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.


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.

Free dance shows

August 14 - 20, 2016

Lower Manhattan

Battery Dance Festival features evening performances by local and international dancers outdoors at Robert F. Wagner Junior Park, moving indoors Aug. 20 to Schimmel Center for the Arts. Free.

Long Island food trucks

August 19, 2016 (4 to 7 p.m.)

96 miles east

A 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.

Blues & BBQ festival

August 20, 2016

1.5 miles NW

Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ Festival pairs America’s best blues and roots musicians with the best of local barbecue at Pier 97. No pets. Free.

Margarita bar crawl

August 20, 2016

3 miles south

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

India parade

August 21, 2016

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.

Picnic in Grand Central Station

August 22 - 26, 2016

0.4 miles SE

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

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.

Jazz festival

August 26 - 28, 2016

NYC locations

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

Break-dancing contest

August 27, 2016 (7 to 10 p.m.)

2.2 miles south

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

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.

Outdoor opera videos

August 27 - Sept. 5, 2016

1.2 miles NW

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

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

2.5 miles south

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 18+.

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.). Taste on the Beach is an optional dining event.
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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.