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The best thing to do in New York each day from now until Labor Day

Written by
Tolly Wright

Summer may not officially end until September 22nd, but we all know it’s just not the same after Labor Day. That means there’s only 38 days left of fun in the sun, rooftop parties and perfect beach days. Here’s the best thing to do each day leading up to the start of fall.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC

Aug 1
Summer Streets
Go Dancing—or touring, walking and even sliding—in the streets when seven miles of the city’s pavements become a no-car fun zone for pedestrians from 7 am to 1pm during three consecutive Saturdays.

Aug 2
Brasil Summerfest SummerStage, Central Park
Add some samba to your summer during this annual 10-day Brazilian music festival. Tonight’s offering is Nação Zumbi, a band that infuses funk, punk and traditional Brazilian rhythms into their brand of Latin rock, at Central Park’s SummerStage.

Aug 3
Books Beneath The Bridge Brooklyn Bridge Park
Enjoy the great outdoors, a beautiful view, and a heavy dose of culture at this weekly summer reading series. Toning, two fantasy authors Naomi Novik (Uprooted) and Peter V. Brett (The Skull Throne) discuss their newest books.

Aug 4
North River Lobster Company Pier 81
Unlike the myriad of other docked floating boat bars the city has to offer this one actually takes advantage of the vessel’s capabilities with regular short cruises down the river. So grab a beer and hit the deck for great views of the city’s skyline and some fresh sea—er, river—breeze.

Aug 5
Summerscreen McCarren Park
“Hold on to your butts,” because the ‘90s blockbuster starring precocious brats, chaos theory and Steven Spielberg’s love of special effects, Jurassic Park is coming to McCarren Park.

Aug 6
Lincoln Center out of Doors Damrosch Park
During Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Damrosch Park becomes a haven for the city’s culture hounds looking to spend nada. On August 6th, Boogaloo music pioneer Ray Lugo and several other Latin musicians play live.

Aug 7
Quiet Clubbing in the Garden Studio Square Beer Garden
Silent discos are all the rage here in New York, and this event combines the pleasures of the trend—each person gets their own set of headphones so they control the volume of the music and can choose among multiple genres of tunes—with dancing alfresco.

Aug 8
Tune-Yards + Shabazz Palaces Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell)
Party beside thousands of New Yorkers when Tune-Yards (Merrill Garbus) brings genre-defying tunes of her third LP, Nikki Nack, to Prospect Park.

Aug 9
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
Watch boating teams from across the world race in colorful teak vessels and appreciate Chinese food, performances, and cultural demonstrations.

Aug 10
Flicks on the Beach: Mrs. Doubtfire Coney Island
Head to New York’s most famous beach to see this beloved family comedy. In it, Robin Williams is both a good dad and an even better elderly British nanny.

Aug 11
Cyclones vs Staten Island Yankees MCU Park
Scarf down a hot dog (Nathan’s, natch) at this battle of the boroughs where rival minor league baseball teams the Coney Island Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees go head to head.

Aug 12
Shakespeare in the Park Delacorte Theater
Wake up early and brave the line for your free ticket to see the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of the bard’s tragicomedy Cymbeline.

Aug 13
Broadway in Bryant Park Bryant Park
The Great White Way sets up shop a few blocks further east during this lunchtime concert series where Broadway and off-broadway casts perform hit songs from their musicals for nada.

Aug 14
Tap+Cork Brooklyn Beer and Wine Festival Restoration Plaza
Craft beers, wine and tons of tastings along with live music and neighborhood-block party vibes make this Bedstuy foodie event one you won't want to miss. 

Aug 15
Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest, Coney Island
Amateurs and master sand-architects alike show off their best beach structures including classic castles, detailed animal sculptures and recreations of iconic Coney Island attractions.

Aug 16
Jazz Age Lawn Party Governors Island
Dust off your best flapper dress or zoot suit and Charleston you way over to this celebration of the Swinging 20’s on Governors Island.

Aug 17
New York Fringe Festival various locations
Theater lovers rejoice! The 19th annual edition of this festival is bringing 200 shows that run the gauntlet of traditiona dramas and comedies, musicals, solo shows, performance art, dance, burlesque and other genres for 1,100 performances over 16 days.

Aug 18
"Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" New York Botanical Garden
Get a taste of the influential artist’s home life and work process at this reimagining of her garden and studio at the Casa Azul—her home near Mexico City.

Aug 19
Battery Dance Festival Robert F. Wagner Park
The former Downtown Dance Festival delivers companies and troupes from all around the world—including India and Poland—to the Robert F. Wagner Park and Pace University. Today’s dancers come from Ohio, New York and Norway.

Aug 20
When Harry Met Sally Hunters Point Park
You’ll have what she’s having when the Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal rom-com is screened at Hunters Point Park. From you spot on the Long Island City waterfront you’ll have a great view of Manhattan—the very place the titular Harry and Sally fall in love.

Aug 21
Afropunk Festival, Commodore Barry Park
Grab some grub from the “BITES & BEATS” food trucks and get down to live music at this festival celebrating multiculturalism. Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones and Ms Lauryn Hill headline.

Aug 22
Blues BBQ Festival Pier 26
Live blues music is served beside brisket, pulled pork and ribs Southern-style barbecued to perfection.

Aug 23
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Tompkins Square Park
This annual fest honoring the legendary jazz saxophonist brings acts both new and old to the East Village park.

Aug 24
Dive into a pool Multiple Locations
Dive into your salvation from the unbearable August heat at a free public pool, because when Labor Day comes around not only will summer be over, but those swimming oases will close for the season.

Aug 25
Life’s a Picnic Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central
With warm weather comes the dream of leisurely eating on a red and white blanket; with sweltering august heat comes the dream of lunching in free air conditioning on a red and white table cloth as live entertainment plays at Grand Central terminal.

Aug 26
Brooklyn Comedy Festival Knitting Factory
For six nights Kings County comics will come out in droves to provide laughs. Many of the shows are free and premium sets are just ten bucks.

Aug 27
Central Park Conservancy Film Festival Sheeps Meadow
New York’s premier picnic and frolicing destination, Sheeps Meadow is given over to five nights of free film screenings. Tonight see goofy '80s comedy Airplane!

Aug 28
Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco Party Lakeside, Prospect Park
Sure, ice skating might be more romantic, but roller skates are so much better for boogying. So tease your hair and apply plenty of eyeliner—dudes, this goes for you, too—because the theme of the night is Hair Metal.

Aug 29
Xplore Urban Adventure Various Locations
Assemble a team or go solo for this huge city-wide scavenger hunt which will have you racing all over the city to compete for awesome prizes.

Aug 30
Brighton Beach Jubilee Brighton Beach
Now in its 39th year, this jubilee brings plenty of street vendors and live entertainment to the Coney Island-adjacent summer destination.

Aug 31
US Open Tennis Tournament USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Watch the biggest names in pro tennis—Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Nova Djokovic, Maria Sharapova—compete for the title and the glory live in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Sep 1
Metropolitan Opera’s 2015 HD Festival Lincoln Center Plaza
Tickets to the famed Met Opera can be a bit pricey, but the cultural institution gives back to the city by hosting these free screenings of some of their best performances outside in the Lincoln Center Plaza. Tonight’s double billing is two fairy tales: Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle.

Sep 2
The Roof Garden Commission: Pierre Huyghe The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Check out the French artist’s installation while sipping a cocktail on one of the city’s most beautiful rooftops.

Sep 3
Unicycle Festival, Battery City Park
The three day of fun (Sep 3-5) on one wheel begins with a long ride from Battery City Park up Manhattan’s west side through Central Park. Other activities during the fest include tricks, attempts at beating world records, lessons for newbies and sports on unicycle like basketball and sumo wrestling.

Sep 4
Burlesque at the Beach Sideshows by the Seashore
The scantily clad men and women performing at this Coney Island weekend burlesque show aren’t just relying on the same old risque dance moves—they also bring some of that wacky, freaky sensibility you’d expect from the quirky seashore community and plenty of vaudeville-type antics that makes this night as funny as it is sexy.

Sep 5
Electric Zoo Randall's Island
Randall’s Island becomes a Mecca for EDM fans when many of electronic music’s biggest stars come for an epic three days of dancing and partying.

Sep 6
Beach Bazaar, Jacob Riis Park
If you haven’t made it out to Beach Bazaar at Jacob Riis Park yet this summer then time is nigh—the lifeguards pack up for the summer September 13! So hop on the Beach Bus to this Rockaway beach to enjoy delicious bites from food vendors, dance to live music on the sand and splash your heart out.

Sep 7
West Indian-American Day Carnival, Crown Heights
Say goodbye to the season with this annual colorful carnival in Brooklyn. Caribbean culture is celebrated in style with this Crown Heights parade that includes elaborate costumes, calypso bands and powdered paint.

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