New York's best festivals: The city's top parades, fairs and fetes

Whether you're a cinéaste, a foodie or just looking for a good party, check out our rundown of NYC's best festivals.

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From street-shuttering parades to eye-catching art fairs, we collect the biggest celebrations and the best festivals happening around town.

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Sunday best gets new meaning during this annual procession, wherein participants show off elaborately constructed hats—we’re talking noggin-toppers shaped like the NYC skyline or the Coney Island Cyclone, not just a boring old fedora. The

  1. Manhattan
  2. Sun Apr 20
More info

Full Bunny Contact

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

If bonnets and pastels aren’t your thing, take an alternate approach to Easter with this bizarre four-day carnival by the creator of Nightmare Haunted House. Games like “Chicken Scratch” (where you must beat a giant chicken at tic-tac-toe) and

  1. Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center 107 Suffolk St, between Delancey and Rivington Sts
  2. Sat Apr 19 - Sun Apr 20
More info

The Governors Ball Music Festival

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

The blockbuster three-day fest returns, sporting a lineup that screams early aughts: the Strokes, Jack White, TV on the Radio, Interpol and, oh yes, the much ballyhooed return of Atlanta alt-hip-hop funkateers OutKast. Other big draws include

  1. Randalls Island Park Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at Randalls Island
  2. Fri Jun 6 - Sun Jun 8
More info

Mermaid Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

From W 21st St and Surf Ave to the Boardwalk at W 17th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave. Glitter-covered seminude revelers, aquatically adorned floats and classic cruisers fill Surf Avenue for this

  1. Parade route
  2. Sat Jun 21
More info

Urban Bear Weekend

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Hibernation season is over! Burly, fuzzy dudes take to the streets to strut their stuff during this incredibly popular annual celebration of all things ursine, brought your way by the Urban Bear honcho Robert Valin. Events range from screenings and

  1. Various locations
  2. Thu May 1 - Mon May 5
More info

The 16th Annual Del Close Marathon

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This annual celebration in honor of long-form improvisation's mad guru, Del Close, is many things: 56 continuous hours of staged silliness, a chance to spot visiting comedy names in signature shows or weird one-off happenings, a bacchanalian summer

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri Jun 27 - Sun Jun 29
More info

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Back for its fifth year, this four-day boozy blow-out spreads out over three boroughs with parties, seminars and tastings. Whet your whistle with the swank opening gala at the New York Public Library, serving 25,000 cocktails from all-star

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri May 9 - Tue May 13
More info

Museum Mile Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

A 23-block stretch of Fifth Avenue becomes a car-free promenade when ten of the city’s most prestigious art institutions—including the Guggenheim, the Met and the Museum of the City of New York—open their doors to the public free of charge for

Mamapalooza

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This celebration on the Hudson is all about motherhood: Mamas are honored with music and burlesque performances, live stand-up routines and lots of activities for little ones. Don't miss a performance from local preschooler-regaling punk rockers the

  1. Riverside Park, Pier I W 70th St, at the Hudson River
  2. Sun May 18
More info

Gay Camp

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

[Note: This review is from the show's run at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival.] Christian Mansfield, Philip Mutz and Ken Urso (who collectively play all of the roles in Gay Camp) are adorable, boundlessly energetic and rarely less

  1. 61 Christopher St , at Seventh Ave South
  2. $18, advance $12, plus two-drink minimum
  3. Fri Apr 25
More info

Figment NYC

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This two-day art happening takes over Governors Island, turning it into a Seussian wonderland filled with fantastical installations and sculptures. Festgoers are invited to get into the spirit and join in on the arty, free-spirited vibe. (A

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Sat Jun 7 - Sun Jun 8
More info

Taste of Tribeca

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Sample grub from Tribeca's best eateries at this 20th annual alfresco tasting, which benefits arts education at P.S. 150 and P.S. 234. Cost of entry gets you a tasting card that you can use to score six dishes from more than 70 neighborhood

  1. Manhattan
  2. Sat May 17
More info

Showgasm

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Ars Nova's eclectic (and cheap!) neovaudevillian variety show features a lively mix of music, comedy and burlesque acts hosted by the very funny John Early.

  1. 511 W 54th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. $5
  3. Wed Apr 30
More info

Look & Listen Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The ambitious grassroots music and visual-art series continues with sets by So Percussion, the International Contemporary Ensemble (playing Webern as well as living composers) and the Damocles Trio—which will present a world premiere by Sebastián

  1. BRIC House 647 Fulton St, at Rockwell Pl
  2. Sun Apr 27
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Apr 24
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu May 1
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu May 8
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu May 15
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu May 22
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu May 29
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Jun 5
More info

House Party

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room;

  1. Webster Hall 125 E 11th St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Thu Jun 12
More info
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Users say

4 comments
dontjokelikethis
dontjokelikethis

To the Editors of TimeOut " Calling Columbus the most Famous Failures in History " Who u Editor Think he is to Judge Columbus ?? U arrogance Stink and ur Glorious Mental Ambition of calling ur Self a Judge to Say Columbus a Failure u are total Ignorant and Retarded

Catherine
Catherine

Check this out its a ton of activities. Diana.

Karen K.
Karen K.

Hey TONY staff, Don't forget to stop by the HARVEST ARTS FESTIVAL IN THE GARDENS, which is taking place October 5-7 in 24 community gardens below 14th Street. Each participating garden is designing its own unique and multidimensional arts program, and it’s going to be a very eclectic mix of music, dance, performance, and visual arts and workshops—from jazz to comedy to making mud balls to an art rumble competition. The Festival is free and open to all. For festival updates, visit www.LUNGSNYC.org.

fazeela
fazeela

hey this is the run down