New York City events, festivals, things to do – August 2018

New York City
calendar of events

August 2018
best events in New York City

Harlem Week

August 1 - 25, 2018 (begins July 29)

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, films, and a 5K. Most events are free.

Summer Streets

August 4, 11, 18, 2018

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.
CityPass New York

Renaissance fair

August 4 - Sept. 30, 2018 (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 in Tuxedo Park. Open Labor Day.

Italian traditional festival

August 9 - 12, 2018

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.

Filipino expo

August 11 - 12, 2018

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.

Dragon boat festival

August 11 - 12, 2018 (uncertain)

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.

Free dance shows

August 12 - 17, 2018

Lower Manhattan

Battery Dance Festival features evening performances by local and international dancers outdoors at Robert F. Wagner Junior Park, moving indoors Aug. 17 to Schimmel Center for the Arts. Free.

India parade

August 19, 2018

0.7 miles south

India Day Parade begins at E 38th Street and goes down Madison Avenue to food booths and cultural programs lasting until 6 p.m. at E. 26th Street. Free.

Cosmetics expo

August 22, 2018 (5 to 9 p.m.)

Location uncertain

Shop from 150 independent brands during Indie Beauty Expo, with DJ music and cocktails for sale.

Topless parade

August 26, 2018

1 mile NW

GoTopless is a topless rights parade to support gender equality, which begins at Columbus Circle and ends at Bryant Park. You must sign into Facebook before clicking this link to the map page. Free.

Brighton Beach street fair

August 26, 2018

18 miles south

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

Tennis tournament

August 27 - Sept. 9, 2018

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.

Salsa festival

August 30 - Sept. 3, 2018

0.4 miles SW

New York International Salsa Congress has workshops, performances, live concerts, and competitions at New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.

Electric Zoo music festival

August 31 - Sept. 2, 2018

6 miles NE

Electric Zoo is an electronic dance-music festival that brings top acts and 150,000 fans to Randall’s Island Park each Labor Day weekend.

Unicycle festival

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2018

5 miles south via ferry

Watch 300 unicycles roll around the city Thursday and Friday, or try it yourself at New York City Unicycle Festival, with unicycle sports, exhibitions, and races at Governor’s Island on Saturday and Sunday. Free.

Free Summer Movies

August 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

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

Jazz festival

August 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival has films and concerts in honor of jazz legend Charlie Parker. Free.

Restaurant week

August 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

Get a special deal on a 3-course lunch or dinner at 300 restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. Held in January and July.


August 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

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

The white dinner

August 2018 (undated)

Location uncertain

Tickets are scarce for Le Dîner en Blanc, a glamorous picnic and dance for couples dressed in white who bring their own food and table to a public location, which is kept secret until the last minute.

Broadway hits in the park

August 2018 (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.


August 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Ecofest has exhibits about alternative energy and the environment, green vehicles, food, and entertainment in Times Square. Free.

Outdoor concerts

August 2018 (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.

Movies in the park

August 2018 (undated)

multiple locations

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

Outdoor movies

August 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles west

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

Free mellow music

August 2018 (undated)

1.3 miles NW

American Folk Art Museum offers concerts Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m. Free.

Video game convention

August 2018 (undated)

1.3 miles NW

Play NYC is a weekend of playing games and attending talks about game development at Terminal 5.

Blues & BBQ festival

August 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles NW

Blues BBQ Festival pairs great American blues and roots musicians with great local barbecue for sale in Hudson River Park at Pier 97. No pets. Free.

Classical music festival

August 2018 (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.

Free horror films

August 2018 (undated)

1.6 miles south

TromaDance (name mimics Sundance) focuses on horror, fantasy, and sci-fi films and is free for both filmmakers and attendees at Peoples Improv Theater.

Shakespeare in the Park

August 2018 (undated)

2 miles north

For tickets to Shakespeare in the Park at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, pay $500 as a “supporter” or get free tickets by joining a lottery or waiting in line.

Break-dancing contest

August 2018 (undated)

2.2 miles south

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

Innovative theater festival

August 2018 (undated)

2.5 miles south

See 23 new and innovative works, including comedy, dance, drama, music, poetry, and puppetry, during Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City.

New music

August 2018 (undated)

3 miles east

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

Traditional music of India

August 2018 (undated)

3 miles south

Enjoy 20 outstanding performances of Indian classical music and dance during Drive East at Dixon Place.

Margarita bar crawl

August 2018 (undated)

3.4 miles south

The Margarita March includes eight tequila drinks in different bars. Buy online and check in by 3 p.m.

Children’s food festival

August 2018 (undated)

3.8 miles south

Kids Food Fest encourages healthy eating for kids of all ages with food tastings, cooking demos, hands-on activities, special guests, and family-focused entertainment at Westfield World Trade Center.

Art show for dogs

August 2018 (undated)

4 miles south

Believe it or not, Dogumenta is an art exhibition designed for your dog, open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. at Brookfield Place. Free registration online.

1920s lawn party

August 2018 (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, food, 1920s cars, croquet, and a kidland on Governor’s Island.

Afropunk festival

August 2018 (undated)

5 miles south

Afropunk Brooklyn is a multicultural weekend of live music with an art and craft market, and food trucks at Commodore Barry Park.

Readings at the bridge

August 2018 (undated)

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.

Yankees festival

August 2018 (undated)

7.4 miles north

FanFest offers free games, food samples, live music, and lines for free player autographs at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx. Free.

Tennis family day

August 2018 (undated)

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.

Beer & wine festival

August 2018 (undated)

8.6 miles SE

Brooklyn Beer & Wine Fest offers “a curated selection of 60+ craft beer and wines, along with food vendors, live music and entertainment” at 1368 Fulton Street.

Films & food on the beach

August 2018 (undated)

26 miles SE

Taste on the Beach includes food, wine, beer, and live music on the beachfront at National Boulevard in Long Beach, followed by the Shorts on the Beach Film Series in a tent at 9 p.m.

Long Island food trucks

August 2018 (undated)

96 miles east

A ticket to The Great Food Truck Derby gets you 16 tastes from food trucks and 3 drinks (kids get 4 tastes and 1 drink) with live music outside Hayground School in Bridgehampton. No dogs.

Short plays

August 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles north

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

Outdoor opera videos

August 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles NW

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