August is a great month in New York City. The weather is beautiful, the people are happy (for the most part) and the festivities are endless. It's the last month of what many of us consider the summer season, before Labor Day arrives and school starts to get harder, not to mention travel time gets much rarer, the days get shorter and the weather starts to cool down. It's time to take advantage of the warm days in NYC and all of the festivals, celebrations and events in the Big Apple before we have to break out our pea coats and snow boots.
These are the last few weeks that we're going to love being outside for hours upon hours before all the events get moved inside, so soak up the sun and attend more than one! Here's some popular things to do in New York City on our agenda this August!
A free festival, rain or shine, for the whole family to enjoy! Break in the month this first weekend in August with these boat races on Meadow Lake! More boats than you can imagine will be racing through the waters to the finish line. Walk around the festival and enjoy all the Chinese food and live performances to celebrate the fifth moon of the lunar calendar at one of the largest dragon boat festivals in North America!
What began as just a day almost 40 years ago is now a cultural icon in the city of New York, and a celebration throughout the month of August. Fashion shows, concerts, food vendors, kid friendly activities and a 5k will all be revering the success and prosperity of Harlem. The festivities are promoting healthy habits from the 5k to the locally grown foods at the farmers market, and while the official kickoff to this hoopla was July 29th, "A Great Day in Harlem," the actual Harlem Day isn't until August 19th. You don't have to wait until then though - celebrate with the rest of the city all month long!
Ding ding! Ding ding! No, not just the dinner bell will be ringing non-stop this August, because 3 Saturdays this month, from 7am to 1pm, the city streets are going to be a biking frenzy! From Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge, Park Avenue is closing the roads to cars and the two wheeled contraptions are taking over! Every year, the first three Saturdays of the month are dedicated to Summer Streets, encouraging the city of New York to turn off their motors and walk, run, ride a bike, or take advantage of the great NYC public transport system. There are quite a few NYC bike tours available year-round, but take advantage of these three August weekends (the only chance you'll ever get to feel safe biking on the streets) in the city and strap on your shades, wear something loose and comfortable and join the rest of the city on your bike!
16 days in August are dedicated to this multi-arts festival in Manhattan. The performances (over 1,000 concerts, plays, dances, musicals and art shows) are edgy and unique, so go to one or check out a few! You can get discounts with passes for multiple (or all) shows, so definitely take advantage of those if you know you're going to be here more than once!
Come on down for a few laughs, where for a whole week, there will be over 100 different comedy shows in Manhattan. These comedians are competing for a money prize, so the jokes are going to be good and even some money goes to local NYC charities! Tickets start around $12, so get yours today!
Central Park Film Festival
For 10 years, New Yorkers have been congregating in Central park as the sun is setting (well, around 6:30) for the annual outdoor film festival. This year, the movies start on August 21 with 'Do the Right Thing' and there's one a night for the next four nights. 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure,' 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Animal House' are playing the following nights, so do the right thing and be there!
There will be several concerts and festivals throughout the month. Some are free, some aren't, but all are worth going to!
- Charlie Park Jazz Festival (August 17-26) is celebrating it's 20th year of dedication to this famous jazz musician. It's a free week of shows celebrating Charlie Parker and jazz music!
- Back to the Beach (August 19-20) is a free concert on the South Beach boardwalks, with hundreds of vendors, all the unhealthy food that you just love to hate and live music in every genre you can imagine.
- Afro-punk Festival (August 25-26) is just that, in Commodore Barry Park.
While there's so much happening all through the month, August is coming to a close on Labor Day weekend, which will surely hold plenty of festivities of it's own, so keep checking back for the happenings of that last weekend summer as we know it. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to keep updated on all the goings on in this beautiful city so that you never miss a thing when you're in town!