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20 kick-ass things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 16

The Joy of Sake Metropolitan Pavilion; 6:30pm; $95 per person
Choose from more than 400 sakes to pair with contemporary Asian plates from top restaurants like 15 East, EN Japanese Brasserie, Insa, O-Ya and more. Sake to us! 

Coney Island Film Festival Party Sideshows by the Seashore; 9:30pm; $25, festival pass $50
Every year, this fest celebrates kitschy, bizarre and experimental movies during two packed days of premieres. To kick off the weekend, join fans, filmmakers and performers for a wild night of revelry, featuring host Adam the First Real Man, an open bar (9:30 to 11:30pm), Italian eats from Gargiulo’s and burlesque acts all night.

Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival at various locatiosn and times; $15–$57
This annual Kings County event, conceptualized by the titular Brooklyn comic, continues to be a fall highlight of the local comedy scene. This year's happenings include "Haunting Renditions" hosted by Eliot Glazer featuring Ilana Glazer and Jon Glaser, a recording of StarTalk Live with Neil deGrasse Tyson and showcases with titles such as "Comedians That Would Be Terrible Firefighters." 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

Sat 17

German-American Steuben Parade at various locations; noon; free
This annual march is named for General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who helped out George Washington in a little scuffle known as the American Revolution. The parade continues to honor German immigrants and their descendants with plenty of dirndls and lederhosen, and beer steins at a ticketed (and sold out) Oktoberfest after-party in Central Park. Fifth Ave from 68th St to 86th St. 

Vendy Awards Governors Island; 12:30pm; $100
The Oscars of street food returns for its 12th annual roving-eats smackdown, where nominated food trucks, stalls and pushcarts post up on Governor's Island to compete for your final vote. Experience cuisine from all around the world with diverse offerings from top contenders like some of last year's favorites, like Guandong Cheong Fun's Cantonese rice noodles, Greek skewers from Astoria's Souvlaki Lady and maple-syrup-infused grilled cheeses from 2014 Rookie winner Snowday Food Truck. Public nominations determine the winner, so you get to choose by casting a ballot to crown the next food truck champ. 

Nerd Nite Littlefield; 7pm; $10–$14
Brainiacs unite at this monthly series that brings you TED-style talks on gleefully geeky subjects such as the cultural implications of those ’80s Sweet Valley High books. The 2016–2017 season begins with discussions on placebos, voodoo deaths, exploding stars and more.  

Brooklyn Oyster Riot Brooklyn Bridge Park; 5pm; $95
Fans of surfside delicacies rapture at this yummy annual event, where over 12 varieties of oysters will be shucked and served raw with high-brow selections of sauces, along with clams, curry and other sea fare. While guests dish on wine, beer and seafood, folk band Jan Bell and the Maybelles will take the stage and participants can try their hands at lawn games.  

Watermark Oktoberfest Watermark Bar; noon; Free–$60
Escape to Munich without ever leaving NYC thanks to Watermark’s annual Oktoberfest extravaganza on Pier 15. You’ll get a killer arm workout while carrying one-liter steins ($16) filled to the brim with Hofbrau, Weihenstephan or Radeberger beer (and that means you won’t have to feel too guilty about gorging on German cuisine such as brats and pretzels). While you’re munching and getting tipsy, enjoy amazing views along the East River. Make sure to reserve your spot or book the two-hour tasting before you go.

Blues, Brews & Botany New York Botanical Garden; noon; $30
Hang out in a beer garden like no other when the New York Botanical Garden hosts two days of music, tastings and talks. Listen to live bluegrass and blues (courtesy of Moonshine Falls Sat 17 and the Paul Josephs Blues Band Sun 18) while playing lawn games and sampling craft brews and ciders, or head over to the Perennial Garden to learn about the botany of beer from brewers and scientists. 

Modern Sky Festival Governors Beach Club; 3:30pm; $59
Chinese hip-hop and pop giants come to Governors Island for an all-day party, with food from Xi’an Famous Foods.

Batman Day Midtown Comics; 2pm; Free
Tip your hat to the Dark Knight by nabbing free comics and partaking in signings from incredible artists and writers in honor of Batman Day! Comic book icons Frank Miller, Tom King, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo will be turning up to Midtown Comics. Klaus Janson will appear at Jim Hanley's Universe (32 E 32nd St).  

The Guilty Party McKittrick Hotel; 10:15pm; $95, VIP $150
The wickedly clever minds behind Sleep No More turn the McKittrick Hotel into a mansion of mystery for this immersive party, based on 1985’s camp classic, Clue. You have to dance to pop music, navigate multiple floors of decadent drinking (and open bars) and witness outrageous performances to find the night’s culprit—or your next makeout partner. Costumes are mandatory, so you better grow out your Colonel Mustard ’stache or Mrs. White bob now. 

Oktoberfest in Central Park Rumsey Playfield; 1:30pm; $30
Strap on those lederhosen—really, people will be wearing them—and head to this German wunderland. When the display of intricate Karneval costumes and the cheerful Austrian tunes during New York’s Steuben Parade end, quench your thirst with pitchers of Bavarian brews (Hofbräu, Erdinger), and cheers to lively sets from Spitze! and the Polka Brothers. Wunderbar! Presale tickets already sold out (omigod), but more drop around September 12, so get ready. 

NYC Pizza Run Tompkins Square Park; 11am; $55
This two-mile course sends intrepid participants on four laps around Tompkins Square Park, but here's the catch: Each round requires tapping your inner competitive eater to down a slice as you pass go. Top finishers will take home bragging rights and gift cards, but everyone's a winner with T-shirts, branded swag bags and the warm fuzzies for donating to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Runners and supporters alike are invited to the nearby Double Wide Bar and Southern Kitchen for the official after-party. 

Sun 18

Brooklyn Book Festival Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza; 10am; free
Hey, bookworm—you don’t want to chew your way out of the Big Apple this weekend. Instead celebrate the written word during this literary throwdown, featuring more than 200 writers, poets and authors from around the world. Join some of the greats such as Margaret Atwood, Jacqueline Woodson and Ralph Nader as they participate in panels and readings and discuss their latest works. 

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint East River State Park; 1pm; $35–$100
In its seventh year, this riverside block party—raising funds for the renovation of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center—unites the best bites from two Brooklyn hoods. Your ticket gets you a choice of two drinks and four dishes including grub from Lilia, Oddfellows Ice cream, Pies 'N' Thighs, The Camlin and more, but you can double that allowance for a mere 25 bucks. Beyond eats, the fest spotlights the borough's musical talent.  

92Y Street Fest 92nd Street Y; noon; free
The Y takes over 15 city blocks with performances from the casts of Beautiful andFiddler on the Roof, art, music and more.

New York Gypsy Festival Drom; various times; $25
Tradition and whimsy joyously collide during this celebratory series, which showcases performances by musical nomads around the globe. Strap on your dancing shoes and enjoy mellifluous artists such as Turkish clarinet master Hüsnü Şenlendirici, the electric Hungarian folk fiddlers of Söndörgő and a wild night of live music and belly dancing with the Brooklyn Oryantal Parti. 

Golden Girls Trivia Videology Bar & Cinema; 8pm; free
Bring a team of up to four pals and confidantes to Videology’s screening room for a night of Golden Girls adoration that’s more fun than a game of Gugenspritzer. With more than five rounds of clips, images and Miami minutia, host Maggie Ross challenges your knowledge of all 180 episodes of the eternal series, from Blanche’s many men to Rose’s history of St. Olaf. So roll up your polyester sleeves, slice into some cheesecake, and study up on your Sicily stories, or else you might be left out on the lanai.

The Brew Hop Randalls Island Park; 10am; $50–$60
We don't know about you, but we feel way more motivated to run (okay, walk) a 5K knowing that there will be tons of beer to drink and tasty grub to snack on at the finish line. Y'know, to refuel. That's the concept of New York's first-ever Brew Hop. Work up a sweat and then treat yourself to brews from local spots such as Single Cut Beersmiths, Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint and Blue Point breweries and munch on finger-lickin' treats from Bareburger, Pointi Rossi and Blossom Ice Cream. If you want to burn off even more calories, shake your tail feather to music provided by High & Mighty Brass band and DJ sets from Argonaut&Wasp. This event benefits City Harvest by donating 10 percent of profits to charity to help feed hungry New Yorkers. 

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