As summer continues to dwindle down, you’re probably looking for some exciting ways to enjoy the final days of the season. But if you’re familiar with New York City, then you know not to worry, because it would never leave you without fun things to do even as summer comes to an end. There are still a myriad of unique events going on around the city, from music festivals to parades, with many of them making the most of the last days of warm summer weather by taking the fun outside. Though summer-long series like outdoor movie screenings are slowly but surely seeing their last days, some of the biggest festivals are only just beginning. Here are 14 New York City events during the week of August 18th to August 24th, 2017, that you simply can’t have a complete summer without.
Friday, August 18th
If you’re a music junkie or frequently attend New York City’s many music festivals, then the Emerging Music Festival (EMF) is for you. Taking place at Bryant Park from August 18th-19th, the 3rd annual EMF is showcasing an array of musical genres that is sure to meet anyone’s tastes, from indie rock to pop and soul. Ten on-the-rise bands will be making their break-throughs on one of the biggest stages of their careers, and now you can play a part in welcoming them while listening to some of the best emerging tunes. Artists on August 18th will include Adam Schatz’s art pop combo Landlady, indie rockers Mail the Horse, growling balladeer Luke Elliot, and psychedelic soul stars 79.5. On August 19th, welcome musicians like country rock guitarist Breanna Barbara, Afrobeat and psychedelic dance music from Super Yamba Band, post-punk rockers RIPS, psych-rock cosmonauts Space Captain, and melodic indie folk band Maybird. Better yet, there are between-set activities like lawn games, juggling lessons, and of course, food and drink from local vendors.
Saturday, August 19th
Since April, Smorgasburg has taken center stage in Williamsburg and Prospect Park. And now, with just a couple of months left, say hello to Smorgasburg in SoHo! Launching today in “Smorg Square” at 76 Varick Street (at Canal Street), Smorgasburg is bringing the tastes of 20 food and beverage vendors to SoHo for lunch, dinner, and drinks. It will have enough seating for 120 people, along with a full bar and deck. This outdoor market, always bustling with crowds and an overwhelming amount of delicious options, will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11AM-10PM and Sundays from 11AM-9PM. Smorgasburg has become an iconic New York City staple, so if you haven’t had the chance to try it out in Brooklyn, here’s another chance to give vendors from Ramen Burger to Goa Taco a chance in a more convenient location.
August really is the month for music junkies, who should head over to the Blues BBQ Festival at Pier 97 at Hudson River Park at 2PM. The 18th annual festival is returning to the park for a day of food, friends, and amazing blues tunes. The lineup includes some of America’s best Blues and Roots musicians: The Campbell Brothers, Sugar Ray and the Bluestones, Eric Gales, Terrie Odabi, and Dumpstaphunk. Great music will also be paired with New York City’s best BBQ restaurants, like Dinosaur BBQ and Big Peach, along with ice cream sandwiches from Melt. This combination of food and funk will make for a truly unforgettable day in the park.
For a fun-filled day of culture, art, and history, head over to the Rockaway Caribbean Carnival from 11AM-5PM at Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard at the Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk. This free carnival will feature tons of traditional entertainment through a celebratory display of festivities and grand carnival. The parade will start on Mott Avenue and Beach 20th Street and continue to Seagirt Blvd ending at Beach 17th Street performance stage in O’Donohue Park.
Finally, with all the other events happening today, you can’t forget that it’s the last day of the annual Summer Streets. From 7AM-1PM, head over to this annual tradition, which started in 2008, for both invigorating and relaxing fun. The New York City Department of Transportation will open nearly seven miles of routes, from East 72nd St. to the Brooklyn Bridge along Park Avenue, that are typically meant for vehicles, pedestrians, and bikers. The activities at each rest stop include zip lining, yoga, dance lessons, mini golf, fitness classes, and a 270-foot-tall water slide! Summer Streets’ route starts at Lafayette and Chamber Streets by the Brooklyn Bridge, travels up Lafayette Street and Park Avenue to 72nd Street and ends at East 72nd Street and Central Park. Now’s your last chance to attend this staple summer event, so make sure to head over there today!
The story of Grand Central Terminal is that of New York City itself: the structure embodies the social, cultural, economic and technological evolution around it. It is one of great men, feuding architects, ingenuity, rejuvenation, secrets and surprises. On this tour, we will tell you these stories – about what once was, what could have been, and what can be; about the struggle to save and restore the terminal as a preserved icon of the past, and of challenge to ensure that it serves New York’s future. On our Secrets of Grand Central Tour, we will show you what it was like in the booming age of the railroad, as a rundown embarrassment, and as a renovated jewel at the center of the city. Peek into the entrance of its glass walkways, locate lost armchairs, see its hidden tennis courts and learn about its backwards ceiling. Whether you pass through it every day on your morning commute or stroll through the Beaux Arts beauty for the first time, you are sure to leave having learned, seen, or experienced something new and extraordinary.
Sunday, August 20th
Did you know the world’s first commercially viable rooftop vineyard is hidden within the Brooklyn Navy Yard? Untapped Cities will be bringing readers on a special wine tasting and tour at Rooftop Reds, led by one of its founders who will share their knowledge of winemaking.
Within the 14,800 square foot rooftop, you will see a unique urban planter system that is the first of its kind, developed with Cornell University and Finger Lakes industry leaders. As an added bonus: all guests will get 20% off purchases of Rooftop Reds wines. Get in on this experience early, as the first harvest will be taking place in October 2017. Take in an amazing view, lounge in a hammock, and sip on Rooftop Red wines in our tours. Please note that the wine served on the rooftop is from Rooftop Reds partners in the Finger Lakes until the first harvest off the Navy Yard rooftop are ready!
The largest Indian Day Parade in New York is taking place today, bringing a host of vibrant floats and invigorating stage performances. Brought to you by the Federation of Indian Associations, the parade will celebrate Indian culture with great fanfare and a number of Indian guest speakers. The parade begins at noon, starting at Madison Avenue and 38th street and ending with cultural programs at 25th-26th streets and Madison. There will also be food courts and merchandise booths between the streets all day long.
If you need relief from the loudness and energy of summer in New York City, The Big Quiet Mass Meditation has you covered. Join thousands of people from the Big Quiet Community at Madison Square Garden for a morning mass meditation, sound and gong bath, and a series of in-the-round performances, with seating on the court and floor section of the arena. This is the first mass meditation in Madison Square Garden history and a unique gathering of people that blends culture with well-being, deepening your sense of human connection. It starts at 10AM, with meditation beginning at 11:30AM. Outdoor Voices and Sky Ting Yoga will lead the group in a pre-meditation body warm up, and Sweetgreen will also be hooking you up with $15 app credit. And don’t worry if you’re a novice, as a simple technique will be shared for first time meditators. Get your ticket here.
Monday, August 21st
Head over to the Coney Island Beach for a free outdoor movie screening of Crown Heights, as part of the outdoor movies series Coney Island Flicks on the Beach. At 8:00 PM, a giant 40-foot inflatable screen turns the beach at West 10th Street into an outdoor movie theater. Today’s film is the American biographical drama Crown Heights, telling the story of a wrongfully convicted person and the journey to proving his innocence. Bring a blanket, food, and friends for this eye-opening film and laid-back way to end the summer at the Coney Island Beach. For directions, maps, and the full schedule, visit coneyflicks.com.
It’s also the first day of Drive East, a week of over twenty concerts that celebrate the beauty, diversity, and wonder of Indian arts, now in its fifth year. It’s brought to you by the team at Navatman, an organization dedicated to creating a sustainable home for the South Asian arts in New York City and its surrounding neighborhoods, especially emphasizing Indian classical music and dance. Drive East is taking place at Dixon Place at 161A Chrystie Street. See their full lineup here.
Tuesday, August 22nd
Head over to the Museum of the City of New York’s discussion at the New York Academy of Medicine, called Get Me Out: Childbirth in Early 20th-century NYC. This historical talk is the first in MCNY’s series Who Controls Women’s Health?: A Century of Struggle. It will feature medical writer Randi Hutter Epstein, as she explores the approaches taken in the interim by doctors, medical charlatans, and feminist activists, which demonstrate what can happen when the origins of a condition are debated. Afterwards, listen to Peter Schafer, the Acting Director of Family Health and Disparities at the New York Academy of Medicine, who will further the riveting conversation. The event takes place at 6:30PM, and an RSVP is encouraged.
Wednesday, August 23rd
As part of its series Zines Collaborations and Publications in NYC, the MoMA is hosting a lecture/panel about Pau Wau Publications. The series explores how publications provide platforms for collaboration and exchange, moderated by members of MoMA’s Library staff. This event is at 3PM at the MoMA’s sculpture garden, and will specifically spotlight Andreas Laszlo Konrath and Brian Paul Lamotte, cofounders of Pau Wau Publications. This is an opportunity to hear conversations that feature voices from MoMA’s extensive zine collection and use other forms of self-publishing as a springboard for discussions about artistic collaboration.
Enjoy the atmosphere of the US Open during Queens Day, a free day of musical performances and tennis tips from the pros. You’ll get to access the USTA courts and grounds to watch US Open players in qualifying matches.
Thursday, August 24th
Experience the second day of the 25th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival happening at several locations around New York City today: Marcus Garvey Park, 6BC Botanical Garden, The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, and Ginny’s Supper Glub. Every year, the City Parks Foundation brings together some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect Charlie Parker’s musical individuality and genius, to honor the highly influential and world-renowned artist. This free celebration marks the confluence of veteran players and the next generation of jazz artists. The festival is taking place from August 24th-27th, and you can view their full lineup and locations here.