New York City events calendar for August 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in NYC, New York.

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New York City
Best events for 12 months
August 2015

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do in August 2015 with this calendar of events.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Water balloon fight

August 1, 2015

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. Discount tickets $29.

Lincoln Center Festival

August 1 - 2, 2015 (begins July 6)

1.5 miles NW

Enjoy extraordinary opera, music, dance, and theater that showcases contemporary artistic viewpoints at Lincoln Center Festival in and near Lincoln Center.

Animation festival

August 1 - 2, 2015 (begins July 30)

6 miles south

Animation Block Party exhibits all genres of the world’s best independent, professional, and student animation in Brooklyn.

Outdoor concerts

August 1 - 9, 2015 (begins July 22)

0.5 miles west

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

Arts festival in Brooklyn

August 1 - 12, 2015 (begins June 3)

8 miles south

Celebrate Brooklyn! is a performing arts festival of music (sometimes combined with film), theater, and dance at Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn. Free.

Summer Streets

August 1, 8, 15, 2015

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.

Classical music festival

August 1 - 22, 2015 (begins July 22)

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.

Harlem Week

August 1 - 22, 2015 (begins July 26)

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.

Shakespeare in the Park

August 1 - 23, 2015 (begins July 23)

2 miles north

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

Relive the Ziegfeld Follies

August 1 - 29, 2015 (also July)

0.7 miles SW

Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic is Ziegfeld’s extravaganza redone with lavish showgirls, thrilling aerialists, risqué burlesque at Liberty Theater. Discount tickets $44.

Short plays

August 1 - 29, 2015 (begins July 17)

0.7 miles north

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

Tony-winning musical

August 1 - 29, 2016 (Saturdays from July)

4.5 miles north

The cast of In the Heights sings and dances around you to vibrant hip-hop, pop, and Latin music as they tell the story of tight-knit Dominican-Americans at Harlem Repertory Theatre. Discount tickets $25.

Children’s musical

August 1 - 30, 2015 (weekends from July)

3 miles south

Pinkalicious eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink. Kids 2 to 10 enjoy seeing how she gets out of this predicament with help from her brother, at Culture Project on Bleeker. Discount tickets $15.

Sailboat ride

August 1 - 31, 2015

4.5 miles south

Tour the New York City Harbor aboard the beautiful Clipper City tall ship, which sails from Battery Park.

New music

August 1 - Sept. 5, 2015 (Saturdays from July)

3 miles

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

Renaissance fair

August 1 - Sept. 27, 2015 (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. Discount tickets $12.


August 1 - Oct. 3, 2015 (also July)

NYC locations

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

Popular musical

August 1 - Nov. 30, 2015 (also July)

0.2 miles west

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical entertaining audiences since 1960, at intimate Snapple Theater in Times Square. Discount tickets $39.

Funny Hitchcock play

August 1 - Nov. 30, 2015 (also July)

1.7 miles south

The 39 Steps is a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock about a wrongly accused man racing to clear his name while evading the law. This comedic spoof is a fast-paced play at Union Square Theatre.

Discount tickets $20.

Classic musical

August 1 - Dec. 6, 2015 (also July)

0.6 miles SW

On the Town is a joyful 1940s musical comedy about 3 sailors on a whirlwind tour of NY full of song, dance, and romance at Lyric Theatre. Discount tickets $37.

Popular puppets

August 1 - Dec. 20, 2015 (also July)

0.4 miles west

Humans and puppets live in a shabby neighborhood on Avenue Q and entertain mature audiences with sassy songs and funny antics at New World Stages.

Discount tickets $45.

Black musical

August 1 - Dec. 27, 2015 (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 $25.

Tony winning musical

August 1 - Dec. 31, 2015 (also July)

0.4 miles west

The N.Y. Times calls A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at Walter Kerr Theatre “spirited, quirky, and altogether delightful.” Discount tickets $35 to $79.

Award-winning show

August 1 - Dec. 31, 2015 (also July)

0.5 miles SW

STOMP has high-energy dance, acrobatics, comedy, and nonstop rhythym from unusual instruments at the Orpheum Theatre. Discount tickets $50.

Blue Man show

July 27 - Dec. 31, 2015

2.3 miles south

Blue Man Group is back with a new stage show that combines comedy, art, science, visual effects, and music at Astor Place Theatre.

Discount tickets $56.

New York City
August 2015

Freshkills Park preview

August 2, 2015

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.

Restaurant Week

August 2 - 14, 2015 (begins July 20)

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 Feb.

Brunch cruise

August 2 - Dec. 27, 2015 (Sundays)

3 miles south

Enjoy a buffet, live jazz, and two hours of views on the Sunday Brunch Cruise by Hornblower Yachts, departing from Pier 40.

Discount tickets $44.

Readings at the bridge

August 3 & 10, 2015 (Mondays from July 6)

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. Free.

Movies in parks

August 3 - Sept. 26, 2015

NYC locations

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

Magic show

August 3 - Dec. 28, 2015 (Mondays at 8 p.m.)

2.4 miles south

Five professional magicians perform card tricks and feats of wonder with plenty of humor at Monday Night Magic in Players Theatre. Discount tickets $15.

James Taylor

August 4, 2015 (7 p.m.)

10 miles east

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Taylor & His All Star Band play old favorites and songs from a new album at Forest Hills Stadium.

Indie music festival

August 6, 2015 (also July 9 & 23)

2.8 miles SW

River Rocks is a music concert on three Thursdays along the water at Hudson River Park. Free.

Burlesque on a boat

August 6, 2015 (9:45 to 11:45 p.m.)

4.5 miles south

A Burlesque Sail aboard the Clipper City tall ship offers go-go fun of ‘60s mod with British pop and '60s garage rock for age 21+. Discount tickets $36.

Show tunes

August 6, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

10 miles east

Tony winner Sutton Foster sings Broadway theater songs as the New York Pops plays at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. Discount tickets $10 to $89.

Italian traditional festival

August 6 - 9, 2015

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.

Broadway hits in the park

August 6 & 13, 2015 (Thursdays from July 9)

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.

Intoxicating show

August 6 - Sept. 28, 2015

2.7 miles south

Your ticket to The Imbibe includes 3 craft cocktails plus a comic romp through the history of spirits and cocktails at Soho Playhouse. Discount tickets $23.

Art of Mexico

August 6 - Oct. 29, 2015 (from June)

12 miles north

A ticket to Frida al Fresco Evenings includes a beer or margarita to sip, a stroll in Frida Kahlo’s recreated studio, and weekend music at New York Botanical Garden for age 21+. Schedule.

Discount tickets $30.

Evening of pop & jazz

August 7, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

9.5 miles east

Hear The New York Pops with Pink Martini (a “little orchestra” from Portland playing pop, jazz, Latin, and classical) at Forest Hills Stadium. Discount tickets $10-89.

Films & food on the beach

August 7, 2015

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+).


August 7 - 8, 2015 (8 p.m.)

0.4 miles north

Ballet superstars Natalia Osipova & Ivan Vasiliev dance in Solo for Two at New York City Center. Discount tickets $27.

Disney spoof

August 7 & 21, 2015 (also July)

1 mile SW

Distorted Diznee has high-energy dancing, comedy, dazzling costumes, and lip synching by drag queens dressed as Ariel, Mary Poppins, and Snow White at Laurie Beechman Theatre. Discount tickets $10.

Baseball lunch deal

August 7 - Sept. 12, 2015

6 miles north

New York Yankees package deal includes a field-level seat and unlimited picnic food until 30 minutes after game time at Yankee Stadium. Discount tickets $91.

Cabaret on a sailboat

August 8, 2015 (9:45 p.m.)

4.5 miles south

Clipper Castaways features live music from pirate rock band Skull Buggery plus sultry and naughty-ical Dances of Vice on the Clipper City tall ship leaving Battery Park for age 21+. Discount tickets $36.

Dragon boat festival

August 8 - 9, 2015

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.

Classic rock: Yes & Toto

August 11, 2015 (7 p.m.)

7 miles south

Hear Grammy winners Yes and Toto play their hits (Roundabout, Owner of a Lonely Heart, Rosanna, Africa) at Barclays Center. Discount tickets $20 - $75.

Outdoor movie: Wall-E

August 13, 2015 (all dates below)

1.2 miles west

See free movies about outer space at Summer Movie Series at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum outdoors. Arrive early May 22; July 9, 16, 23, 30; Aug. 13.


August 14, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

10 miles east

Santana (Black Magic Woman) blends Latin music roots with blues and jazz influences at Forest Hills Stadium. Discount tickets $38.

Long Island food trucks

August 14, 2015 (4 to 7 p.m.)

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.

Beer & wine festival

August 14 - 15, 2015 (2 to 8 p.m.)

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.

Fringe theater festival

August 14 - 30, 2015

NYC locations

New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) features 200 companies from around the world that hold 1200 stage performances in 20 venues. Fringe JR is for families. Fringe AL FRESCO is free outdoors.

1920s lawn party

August 15 - 16, 2015

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 15 - 16, 2015

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.

Free dance shows

August 15 - 21, 2015

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.


August 16, 2015

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.

India parade

August 16, 2015 (begins 12 p.m.)

0.7 miles south

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

Sunset sail from Brooklyn

August 16 - Sept. 13, 2015 (7 p.m.)

7 miles south

Enjoy skyline views and three drinks aboard the 80-foot Adirondack Schooner, which departs from Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina. Discount tickets $41.


August 21, 2015 (7:30 p.m.)

10 miles NW

Watch the New York Jets play the Atlanta Falcons in a pre-season game at MetLife Stadium in E. Rutherford, NJ. Discount tickets (groups of 2 to 4) $22.

Jazz festival

August 21 - 23, 2015

NYC locations

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

Break-dancing contest

August 22, 2015 (7 - 10 p.m.)

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.

Blues & BBQ festival

August 22, 2015

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.

Beach party

August 22, 2015 (1 p.m.)

5 miles south via ferry

Enjoy music by local reggae and rock bands plus a seafood platter at Governors Island Music & Seafood Beach Party at Governors Island Beach Club. Expect lines.

Discount tickets $20 to $35.

Afropunk festival

August 22 - 23, 2015

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.

Comedy festival

August 24 - 30, 2015

Brooklyn locations

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

Movies in Central Park

August 25 - 29, 2015

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.

Racy movies

August 28 - 29, 2015

7 miles south

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

Outdoor opera videos

August 28 - Sept. 7, 2015

1.2 miles NW

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

Urban adventure race

August 29, 2015 (noon)

2.8 miles south

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

Tennis family day

August 29, 2015

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.

Long Island music festival

August 29, 2015 (4 p.m.)

40 miles SE

Hear Gregg Allman, The Doobie Brothers, and Bruce Hornsby at the Laid Back Festival at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh.

Discount tickets $55.

Counting Crows

August 29, 2015 (7 p.m.)

48 miles SW

Counting Crows perform Mr. Jones and more on their Somewhere Under Wonderland tour at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Discount tickets $18.

Brighton Beach street fair

August 30, 2015

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 30 - Sept. 20, 2015

3 miles south

See 24 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 31 - Sept. 13, 2015

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.
Next month: September 2015
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August 2015 calendar of events in NYC, NY. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in New York City, New York.