Electric Zoo Festival Randall’s Island Park; various times; $79–$249
New York—just like the rest of the world—goes gaga for EDM (electronic dance music) and shows its love at this annual three-day dayglo rave-up on Randall’s Island. In its seventh year history, the fest has seen headlining DJ sets and live performances from Skrillex, Deadmau5, Avicii, Pete Tong and Moby—yep, the big names.
Star Trek: Mission New York Javits Center; various times; $55–$135
Consider yourself a diehard Trekker? Head to the Javits Center for this three-day ultimate fan experience dedicated to all things Star Trek. Your ticket grants you access to incredible panels with Star Trek crew members including William Shatner, Walter Koenig and Kate Mulgrew, as well as exclusive looks at set pieces and props from the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour. For a hands-on adventure, get a first look at the latest Star Trek video games from Ubisoft and Perfect World, and explore interactive activations from NASA and the Smithsonian. Need more? Take home some exclusive memorabilia from the Official Star Trek: Mission New York store. $55 Friday, Sunday; $70 Saturday; $135 Three-day pass.
Summer’s End Music Fest Aviv; 6pm; single-day pass $10–$15, three-day pass $30
The aptly named weekend series presides over summer 2016’s closing rites with a lineup jammed full of skilled locals at cozy DIY venue Aviv. Skronky-sax–fueled quartet Pill, garage-punk act Honduras and art-pop duo Sonnymoon (featuring neosoul-influenced Kendrick Lamar collaborator Anna Wise) are just a few of the acts that’ll lead you gently into fall.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Washington Square Park; noon; free
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.
Le Femme Noir Saturdays Highline Ballroom; 11pm; $23.50, plus $10 minimum order
Never mind that the name of the show is hopeless, as far as French gender agreement goes. This mix of acrobatics and burlesque is aimed at those in the mood for racy entertainment. To reserve a table, call 718-916-3690.
The Color Run: Tropicolor 5K Aviator Sports and Recreation; 9am; $50–$70
This edition of the “happiest 5K on the planet” promises to pepper you and your fellow runners with citrus-colored (and totally safe!) paint during your dash. Afterward, dance off your endorphins with bangin’ DJs and gallons of gushing powder paint at the Rainbow Beach art installation.
Joke in the Box: An Introduction to Gag Cartooning Q.E.D.; 2:30pm; $40
If the comics are the first thing you read when pick up a newspaper (people still read those, right?), then this class is for you! Join expert cartoonist Emily Flake for this intro to gag cartooning, where you'll complete a round of exercises with a focus on how to create funnies, dream-up characters and do some sketching. Don't worry if you can't draw like the pros, Q.E.D. says even some of the best illustrators "can't draw for shit."
Dollypalooza: An Epic Fan Tribute to Dolly Parton Le Poisson Rouge; 6pm; $20, at the door $27
Fans are encouraged to dress up at this wiggy annual tribute to national treasure Dolly Parton, which includes costume and trivia contests and a silent auction that benefits her charity, Imagination Library. Performers, drawn mostly from the worlds of drag and burlesque, include World Famous *BOB*, Sweetie, Sequinette Jaynesfield, Nath Ann Carrera, Tammy Cannons, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Lady Quesa'Dilla and Doll Parts: The Dolly Parton Tribute Band.
Electoral Dysfunction The PIT Loft; 7:30pm; $7
One part political debate, one part improv show. How are the two connected? Tom Brennan gathers some of the PIT’s favorite perfomers to make up scenes based on the week's news. And with the 2016 election looking more bananas than ever before, its likely this crew will have a stellar set of impersonations to choose from.
Pizza Zoo Space Ibiza New York; 3pm; $23
Load up on carbs and chill out at NYC’s biggest adult pizza party, where you can get down to dope jams, try your hand at chalkboard art and dig into endless slices from Williamsburg Pizza. No need to feel guilty: You’ll be dancing off the pizza all weekend long.
Freesome Block Party Location disclosed after ticket purchase; 2pm; $15
Since 2011, the party collective Fun with Friends has hosted throwdowns, shindigs and hootenannies on rooftops and in clubs all over Brooklyn. In celebration of Labor Day and the Caribbean Carnival, it’s taking over a secret block in the borough for an all-day bash that includes rowdy DJ sets, drinks in water guns and yummy barbecue on the grill. And with old-school neighborhood partying, including double Dutch, backyard movie screenings and more, you’ll have more fun on the street than the kids from Hey Arnold! Wear something comfy-—you have a long day of partying ahead of you. Location disclosed after ticket purchase.
Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition Hudson River Park, Pier 84; 9am; free
See tugboats parade from Pier 84 to the 79th Street Boat Basin then race back at the 21st annual iteration of this maritime fest. Participate in an amateur line-toss contest, and witness the Popeye-inspired spinach-eating contest. Those interested in a closer view can board a Circle Line spectator boat at Pier 83 (9am; $25, children $12).
Follow the Culture Lifestyle Expo LightSpace Studios; 11am; $12
Join Brooklyn’s arbiters of style for this marketplace of music, art and fashion. This massive fest lets you peruse sneakers and bizarre art, trade in your duds at the Luxury Swap and try your hand at body painting and henna.
Mister Sunday Nowadays; 3pm; $20
Justin Carter, an avant-garde DJ-composer, and Eamon Harkin, with a flare for Detroit techno, know how to get a party started. This year, the weekly Mister Sunday summer series moves from its previous Industry City location to the outdoor bar-meets-restaurant venue, Nowadays, located on the edge of Bushwick. There’ll be plenty to eat from with Country Boys Taqueria and Nowadays’ vegan and veggie-friendly kitchen, some fresh, locally brewed beer and sangria, sodas from Brooklyn Soda Works and no restrictions on dogs or kids!
Horse Meat Disco Cielo; 10pm $35
The disco daddies of HMD come to us all the way from London for a bit of long-weekend revelry. Join hundreds of handsome men from all five boroughs and get ready to sweat. Joining the bill for this September shindig is Brooklyn DJ Ron Like Hell.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend