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53 fantastic things to do in NYC in September

Written by
Time Out New York contributors

Things to do 

Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition Coney Island USA; Sept 2; $20
Host Adam RealMan invites you to grab a dog and witness the waxed and combed creations New York’s most ostentatious have cultivated on their faces. Awards include Best Moustache (both Natural and Styled), Best Fake Beard and Worst in Show. Can we ask for a lice check?

Yoga With Adriene; Terminal 5; Sept 9 at 10:30am; tickets start at $42
Practicing yogis already know Adriene Mishler from her incredibly popular YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene. Whether you know your asanas from your vinyasas or you’re brand new to the practice, you won’t want to miss the chance to flow with Mishler herself at this 90-minute yoga class meetup.

Wanderlust Prospect Park, Nethermead; Sept 10; free–$55
The peacefully minded yoga festival empire Wanderlust presents its latest offering at Prospect Park. Wanderlust 108 is billed as a "mindful triathlon," which combines a 5K run or walk, a massive 90-minute yoga class and dance party and a guided meditation. There will also be acroyoga, slacklining and hooping for the brave at the Adidas-sponsored event, plus live music, retro yard games and healthy food. Om (nom). 

Photoville Brooklyn Bridge Park; Sept 13–Sept 24; free
Kings County exhibition producer United Photo Industries returns Brooklyn Bridge Park to create a pop-up village honoring the art of picture taking. Dozens of shipping containers, which double as venues for curated gallery installations, will contain various works. And get excited, because the Smorgasburg Beer Garden is returning this year with food and drinks in addition to the night time screenings each evening; you'll find a few vendors selling all sorts of food and drinks.

StarTalk Live! With Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman; Kings Theatre; Sept 18 at 8pm; tickets start at $59
The jokes go to infinity and beyond in this podcast taping meets comedy show hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and funnyman Eugene Mirman. Your hosts will talk science, pop culture and more during this live taping of the award-winning radio show.

New York Burlesque Festival at various locations; Sept 21–Sept 24; various prices
For the 15th year of this world-renowned festival, over 120 burlesque artists will pull out the stops (and rip off their clothes) to showcase the finest the art form has to offer. This year's lineup of festivities includes decadent parties; circus, burlesque and boylesque performers; and the Golden Pasties awards, where the most brazen queens are crowned. 

Operation Slumber: Adults Take Over at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum; Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum; Sept 22 at 6:30pm; $359
Though your inner child might freak out over the opportunity the spend the night on an aircraft carrier, this slumber party is strictly for adults. Arrive at the Intrepid at sunset for dinner and a wine and beer tasting. Before it’s time for lights out, you can watch movies in the museum’s theater, take a behind-the-scenes tour and go on an Instagram scavenger hunt. Stretch your legs in an early morning yoga class on the flight deck before heading home.

Circle Line: Bear Mountain Full-Day Cruise; Departs from Pier 83; Sept 23, 24 and 30; $65.99
Fall in New York City wouldn’t be complete without some leaf peeping. Check out the Hudson Valley’s stunning foliage on this full-day cruise up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain State Park. You’ll have two hours to explore the park before it’s time to board the ship back to the city. The onboard bar will be serving seasonal Oktoberfest beers to make the trip even more festive.

Blues, Brews & Botany New York Botanical Garden; Sept 23, Sept 24; $43
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 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.

Museum Day Live! at various locations; Sept 23; free
Download a voucher from the Smithsonian museum to receive two free tickets to one of more than 20 New York City museums and cultural centers. Participating big-name institutions include the Jewish Museum, Asia Society Museum, Queens Historical Society, Fraunces Tavern Musuem and more. 

Queens County Fair Queens County Farm Museum; Sept 23, Sept 24; $10, children 12-and-under $5
Get a little rural living without leaving the city limits at the 35th iteration of this down-home festival. For two days, the Queens County Farm Museum will become even more agrarian than usual with livestock competitions, pie-eating contests, awards for the fastest corn huskers and pig races and Irish and German musicians to keep your feet stomping. While there, try to make your way through the Amazing Maize Maze, a three-acre labyrinth, or take a spin on carnival rides. Glean tips on fashioning your own farm-to-table fare at a colonial cooking demo, or knock back a few at a Bavarian beer garden. You can even register online to enter your own craft, vegetable, or baked or canned goods in one of the blue-ribbon contests.

Atlantic Antic at various locations; Sept 24; free
NYC’s largest street festival takes over Downtown Brooklyn for its 43rd year, with 10 blocks of food, performers, art and more. Peruse dozens of Brooklyn-based food vendors, craft breweries and artisanal shops, and try to catch all the acts at performance stages while burning a hole in your pocket with all the provisions. Pace yourself.

Hudson Valley Fall Foliage, Wine and Local Cheese Tour; Departure point TBA; Sept 30; $144
Spend a day sipping local wines and tasting gourmet cheese on this guided tour of some of the Hudson Valley’s best wineries. After picking you up from a central meeting point, your guide will drive you to three nearby vineyards, including the oldest continually operating winery in the country. Locavores will have the chance to shop at farm stands, cheese shops and bakeries along the way, too.


2Scoops: Legally Oblig8ted Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; Sept 1; $20, plus $12 minimum
Aaron Fuksa and Adam Enright play former bandmates from 2Scoops, a fictional ’90s pop duo better known for its breakups and comebacks than for its music. Watch the divas rap and battle like it’s 1996 at this outrageous show, which features special guest appearances from Allison Guinn and Anna Marquardt, and plenty of sass.

Nore Davis Union Hall; Sept 4; $8–$10
With an easy stage presence, Davis wheels out personal stories about family and relationships while making larger points about identity, race, politics and sex. He delivers an hour of new material here, with support from Marie Faustin, Yassir Lester, Sydnee Washington and Petey Deabreu. Musical entertainment for the evening comes courtesy of Mamoudou N'Diaye. 

Punderdome 3000 Littlefield; Sept 5; $8–$10
Jo Firestone and her Rodney Dangerfield impersonator father, Fred, host this beloved competition, in which the first 18 individuals or duos to sign up at the door attempt to pun-up each other’s spontaneously-produced wordplay. Winners are determined by the Human Clap-O-Meter and go home with a Mystery Box prize. Get ready to laugh—and groan.

Hater’s Roast: The Shady Tour Beacon Theatre; Sept 8; $31
In Latrice Royale's immortal words: "The shade of it all!" Watch Trixie Mattel, Darienne Lake, Thorgy Thor, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, Jinkx Monsoon, Ginger Minj and Kim Chi shred one another to bits at this deliciously savage roast night. 

Julia Mattison: Ruby Manger Live! A Farewell Engagement Feinstein’s/54 Below; Sept 25; $25–$60, plus $25 minimum
Mattison plays fictional Tony Award winner, failed indie-film actress and ertswhile Rod Stewart paramour Ruby Manger in this much-buzzed-about evening of original show tunes and demented Broadway satire. Taylor Trensch (Hello, Dolly!), Andrew Kober (Hair), Sara Chase (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Noel Carey (Brooklyn Sound) join the shenanigans.


Yas Mama C’mon Everybody; Sept 2; $5
Hannah Lit and Horrorchata spin a delicious night of Latina bangers, featuring your favorite pop songs from Selena, Paulina Rubio and beyond. Momo Shade performs. 

The Late Late Show at Hardware Bar; Sept 3, Sept 10, Sept 17, Sept 24; free
Marti Gould Cummings—one of the sharpest drag MCs in town—reigns supreme over this weekly getdown at Hardware, featuring guest diva performers, drink specials and beats from DJ Kiki Darling. 

DRAGS Book Launch Highline Ballroom; Sept 7; $75, VIP $125, Royalty $200
Join RuPaul's Drag Race season 9 champion Sasha Velour and more than 30 NYC divas—including Shequida, Marti Gould Cummings, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Momo Shade and Merrie Cherry—for the launch of Gregory Kramer's stunning new collection of drag photo portraiture, DRAGS. Especially devoted fans can opt in for the Royalty ticket, which includes a copy of the book and a meet-and-greet with Sasha Velour before the show. All proceeds benefit LGBT teen homeless shelter Ali Forney Center. 

Rupaul’s DragDon Javits Center; Sept 9, Sept 10; $40, weekend pass $60
Finally. After selling out convention halls in Los Angeles, Mama Ru's juggernaut culture fest hits Javits Center for a full weekend of panels, pageantry and plenty of shade. Meet your favorite queens, buy merch, and watch the ladies go head to head at after-parties all weekend. The stacked lineup is pretty unbeatable, and continues to grow with alumni and celebrity fans from the series' decade-long run, including: Sasha Velour, Shangela, Tammy Brown, Trixie Mattel, Amanda Lepore, Michelle Visage, Detox and the eternal diva herself, Rupaul.  

Bushwig Knockdown Center; Sept 23, Sept 24; $30, weekend pass $45
Bow down and worship as the nastiest, boldest and most brilliant drag and queer performers in town gather for this mad, joyous festival in the borough that’s at the vanguard of the artform. Step out of the nightclub and into the dirt for two days of outrageous performance, art installations, food trucks, sweaty dancing and next-level costumes. 

Food & Drink  

Vendy Awards Governors Island; Sept 16; $60–$1,600
You don’t have to track down roving trucks to get a taste of the best mobile bites at this food fest. The Vendy Awards brings your favorite trucks to one location for plenty of sampling, concluding with crowning winners in specific categories like “Rookie” and “Dessert.” This year, munch on snacks from trucks like Tramezzini NYC, Dulcinea Churros, Momo Bros and Stuf’d.

Pig Island Erie Basin Park; Sept 9; $75–$1,000
It’s simply di-swine. This pork-centric festival has more than 25 NYC pitmasters creatively cooking locally-sourced, savory porcine. This year’s chefs include Matt Fisher (Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue), Rodrigo Duarte (Casiero e Bom) and Roxanne Spruance (Kingsley NYC), while dishes from previous years include glazed pork belly and peach on cold ramen, wood-smoked pork pizza, pig-ear lettuce wraps and caramelized-bacon banana bread.

Oyster Week Various locations; Sept 16–Oct 1; Various prices
Oyster Week has two equally important components–either attend bivalve-focused events, or slurp some special oyster dishes from your favorite restaurants. While this year’s events are still pending, restaurants participating with shellfish dishes include Grand Banks serving Blue Point Number 9 Oysters with roasted shisito peppers, cucumber and shiso, Gramercy Tavern with Roasted Island Creek Oysters with peppers & leeks and Grand Army dishing out baked oysters with chipotle, breadcrumbs and lime.

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint East River State Park; Sept 17; $35–$85
Celebrate the adjacent Brooklyn ‘hoods with a block party loaded with lots and lots of food. Fifty of the top restaurants, bars and merchants from the area will convene for tastings–think newcomers like Leuca, Llama Inn, Du’s Donuts and Cheeseboat, along with returning favorites like Pies ‘n’ Thighs and Maison Premiere. All proceeds will benefit the Firehouse North Brooklyn Community Center, which has planned to reopen its doors this year. 

NYC Craft Coffee Festival Villian; Sept 30; $35–$45
This event deserves all the hype. Enjoy sampling brews from twenty specialty roasters and coffee shops at this java jubilee from popular NYC vendors like Toby’s Estate, Cafe Grumpy and Brooklyn Roasting Company. Dunk some Underwest donuts into your sample cups while listening to live music.


Shabazz Palaces Warsaw; Sept 6; $20 
The Seattle-based alt-hip-hop outfit doles out the spacey futurist beats off its latest two albums, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and its "extra-spatial twin" Quazarz Vs. the Jealous Machines. Prepare to have your mind expanded.

The Meadows Citi Field; Sept 15–17; single day $115, three-day pass $305
Governors Ball and Panorama might have passed but fret not—this end of the summer fest boasts over 60 artists on four stages, including Jay-Z, Gorillaz, Erykah Badu, M.I.A., the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nas (not to mention food from local mainstays like Roberta's, Dough and Bareburger). Rest up, because it's going to be a long weekend—in the best possible way. 

Father John Misty The Capitol Theatre; Sept 14; $45–$75
The former Fleet Foxes member airs his soaring, soulful folk-rock lysergically spiked with energy and intelligence. This year's Pure Comedy is a sometimes-brutal look at modern life that should provide plenty of fodder for Misty’s scenery-chewing live show. 

Jay Som Bowery Ballroom; Sept 21; $15–$18
This Bay Area songwriter—née Melina Duterte—continues her meteoric rise from indie obscurity with her biggest headlining NYC show yet. Rest assured, the atmospheric bliss and cathartic release from her latest album of alluring dream-pop, Everybody Works, soars even higher live. 

Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds: The Final Performances Radio City Music Hall; Sept 23; $55.50–$251
If you've felt the recent Wilson-less Beach Boys lineup to be lacking, you won't want to miss this extended celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding member's songwriting masterstroke, Pet Sounds. Summer may be coming to a close, but that'll be the furthest thing from your mind when you're singing along to classics like "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Sloop John B," and "God Only Knows."


As long as this hugely anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s 1,100-page doorstop brings the evil clownness (and Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise looks absolutely terrifying), it’s bound to please its audience—though not those who suffer from coulrophobia. Drop that word at a party. The rest of It is sure to remind viewers of Stranger Things, perhaps a good thing. Sept 15 

Never mind that Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem don’t exactly scream “perfect couple”; it’s what happens after some unexpected guests show up—including Michelle Pfeiffer in what’s being whispered about as a career comeback—that has us strapped in for wherever Darren Aronofsky’s latest crazy train takes us. No, we’re not bringing our own moms. Sept 15

Battle of the Sexes
In 1973, obnoxious Trump-like tennis champ Bobby Riggs claimed that, at 55 and well past his prime, he could still beat any female tennis player. Court legend Billie Jean King took that bet, and the stage was set for a titanic smackdown. With La La Land’s Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, this promises to be a fun take on a fascinating, still-relevant true story. Sept 22

The Lego Ninjago Movie
The LEGO Cinematic Universe is two for two so far, kicking things off with 2014’s everything-is-awesome The LEGO Movie and following it up with LEGO Batman Movie, which was funnier than any Christopher Nolan film. We have no reason to doubt the quality control behind this third effort, which builds out their ninja line with voice parts for Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani and Jackie Chan. Sept 22

Victoria and Abdul
Judi Dench plays a starchy Queen Victoria—and we realize that for some people, reading further is unnecessary; they’ve already lined up. For anyone else, director Stephen Frears’s drama chronicles the monarch’s unlikely friendship with an Indian servant (Furious 7’s Ali Fazal). Few filmmakers on the planet do history-based movies as well as Frears (The Queen). Sept 22 


A Clockwork Orange at New World Stages; Sept 2–Jan 6; $59–$99
Action to the Word’s acclaimed London production of Anthony Burgess’s dystopian classic, directed by Alexandra Spencer-Jones, features pop music, stylized movement and a jacked-up all-male cast led by British import Jonno Davies.

KPOP at A.R.T. / New York Theatres; Sept 5–Oct 7; $45, premium $75
The immersive-theater specialists of Woodshed Collective team with Ars Nova and Ma-Yi Theater, for a show based at a Korean pop-music factory. The script is by Jason Kim (Girls); Teddy Bergman directs a mostly Asian-American cast.

Mary Jane at New York Theatre Workshop; Sept 6–Oct 15; $45–$65
Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) plays a single mother struggling to care for a chronically ill child in the New York premiere of a play by Pulitzer finalist Amy Herzog (4000 Miles), directed by the astute Anne Kauffman.

Time and the Conways at the American Airlines Theatre; Sept 14–Nov 26; $39–$139
Rebecca Taichman (Indecent) directs Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of J.B. Priestley's 1937 drama, starring Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) as the matriarch of a moneyed English family on the verge of decline after World War I.

Torch Song at Pershing Square Signature Center; Sept 26–Nov 19; $30–$119
The preternaturally charming Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) steps into Harvey Fierstein's heels as a lovelorn drag performer in this revival of Fierstein's 1982 groundbreaker, directed by Moisés Kaufman and featuring Mercedes Ruehl as a hard-to-please mother.


“Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field” The Museum of Arts and Design; through Jan 7, $16, seniors $14, students $12. 18 and under free; Pay what you wish Thu 6pm–9pm
Part studio residency, part exhibition, this show features artists pushing the boundaries of craft by creating large-scale immersive installations in situ. 

Dominick Di Meo JTT Gallery; Sept 10–Oct 22; free
Born in 1927, this veteran artist survived a childhood encounter with polio to become a principle figure in Chicago’s postwar “Monster Roster,” a school of figurative Expressionists that also included such noted figures as Leon Golub and Nancy Spero. This show features some of Di Meo’s works in assemblage.

Keith Edmier, “Mother Mold” Petzel Gallery; Sept 6–Nov 4; free
Edmier worked in Hollywood as a special effects wizard and he’s used the tricks of the trade to produce sculptures and installations that combine the surreal, the fantastical and the hyperrealistic to uncanny effect. This show, a survey of sorts, collects examples of works made over the last 25 years.

Kara Walker Sikkema Jenkins and Co.; Sept 7–Oct 14; free
Best known for her monumental sugar sphinx, Walker returns with more of her wry—and often incendiary—takes on the troubled history of race in America. New paintings are on tap for this show, which features an extremely long title written in the style of a Civil-War era broadside.

David McDermott and Peter McGough, The Oscar Wilde Temple The Church of the Village; Sept 11–Dec 2; free
The artistic duo who dress and live like Edwardian dandies (with an apartment—sans modern conveniences like electricity—to match) raise an altar to the memory of the prolific 19th-century Irish writer whose trial and imprisonment for sodomy have made him a contemporary gay icon and martyr.


Dance Now Festival at Joe's Pub; Sept 6–9, 28; $20–$30
Dance Now's 22st season offers a massive festival of short works by 40 dance makers of every stripe, all challenged to create five-minute pieces for the teeny stage at Joe's Pub. The best of the fest return for an encore on Sept 28.

Larissa Velez-Jackson: Zapatografía/Shoegraphy at the Bushwick Starr; Sept 6–10; $20
Velez-Jackson values humor, absurdity and vulnerability. Her latest work, created with Bushwick senior citizens, is a minimalist solo that touches on slippery questions of language, gentrification, cultural diversity and footwear.

Amanda Szeglowski/cakeface: Stairway to Stardom at HERE; Sept 12–23; $25–$45
Fans of the 1980s cable-access talent show Stairway to Stardom, whose hapless performers made up in ardency what they may have lacked in talent, will eat this tribute up. Expect sequins and affectionate irony.

New York City Ballet Fall 2017 at the David H. Koch Theater; Sept 19–Oct 15; $30–$175
The company's fall season begins with two weeks of Peter Martins's full-length Swan Lake, followed by two weeks of programs of shorter pieces, including evenings devoted to George Balanchine, 20th-century violin concertos and world premieres.

Twyla Tharp Dance at the Joyce Theatre; Sept 19–Oct 8; $26–$111
The legendary Tharp took on Bob Dylan in the ill-fated 2006 Broadway musical The Times They Are A-Changin'. Now she tries again in Dylan Loves Songs, a brand-new suite that zeroes in on the Nobel Prize–snubbing songwriter's softer side.

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