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The best NYC events in August 2019

Plan your month with the best NYC events in August 2019 including the Jazz Age Lawn Party, street fairs and more

By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors

Get ready to use our NYC events in August calendar as your guide for ending the summer with a bang! Now that we’re stuck in a heat dome, now’s the time to take advantage of New York beaches before they close for swimming next month. There are many more things to do outside this month, like incredible summer concerts, festivals and delicious alfresco food and drink opportunities too. And use August as your last change to take advantage of all the outdoor movies at the best NYC parks. This is the last full-month of summer—make it count!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar

Featured NYC events in August 2019

Summer Streets NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/NYC DOT

1. Summer Streets NYC 2019

Things to do

During Summer Streets NYC 2018 around seven miles of Gotham turf along Lafayette Street and Park Avenue is completely car-free in order to create a pedestrian paradise. Hundreds and thousands of revelers descend upon the asphalt for invigorating sight-filled tours, plus free activities including a rock climbing wall, a zipline, outdoor art installations and misting stations. You won’t want to miss this year’s five rest stops which normally include fitness classes, a dog park, arts and crafts workshops, plus walking tours that explore NYC parks and some of the most beautiful NYC buildings. This is one of the best NYC events in August, so make sure to hit the streets for the first three Saturdays. We'll be sure to alert you when it's time to sign up for popular attractions such as the water slide and other hot-ticket items. 

Photograph: Courtesy The Color Factory

2. Color Factory

News City Life

Color us stoked! The Color Factory—a collaborative and now traveling art exhibition—promises to give you even more opportunities to flood your Instagram feed with rainbows post-Pride. After a successful run in San Francisco, the creators have transformed a 20,000-square-foot Soho space (located at 251 Spring Street) into an immersive selfie nirvana that is meant to help folks explore and appreciate how fun and joyful being surrounded by vibrant colors can be. Not only a sight for sore eyes, the event is also meant to be a fun zone filled with whimsical installations to explore. 

Christina McHale seen playing in the US Open
Photograph: Matthew Stockman

3. The U.S. Open tennis tournament

Things to do Festivals

For two weeks, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park will be the tennis capital of the world for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. While Wimbeldon has its white, New Yorkers bring the party to the National Tennis Center with a celebrity-studded crowd, international food vendors and live musicians performing on the grounds—not to mention tennis's top pros.

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HO99O9 - Afropunk Fest
Photograph: Filip Wolak

4. Afropunk Festival 2019


Afropunk Festival is an annual event that takes place in late August at Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park (City Park). Over the course of a weekend, the outdoor summer music festival—which celebrates multicultural arts—hosts a wide array of well-known musical artists (including some of the biggest hip-hop artists), as well as “BITES & BEATS” food trucks, live artworks and the SpinThrift Market. Additionally, Afropunk strives to raise multicultural awareness in New York City with its Activism Row initiative.

NYC Cocktail Expo
Photograph: Courtesy NYC Cocktail Expo

5. NYC Cocktail Expo

Things to do

Expect to see the room spinning after your tastings at the cocktail expo. Sample the spirits from craft distilleries, along with cocktails mixed by local bartenders competing in the “Best Cocktail” competition.

The Smashing Pumpkins
Photograph: Courtesy Olivia Bee

6. Smashing Pumpkins

Music Rock and indie

What better way to endure the dog days of summer than with a good dose of ’90s angst? The alt-rockers hit town on their reunion tour, which has an almost-complete original lineup. (Alas, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky will be absent because of a feud with Billy Corgan.)

Secret Summer
Photograph: Courtesy Secret Summer

7. Secret Summer

Things to do

It’s a summer blowout disguised as a cocktail party. Yes you can enjoy great drinks made by city mixologists, but you’ll also watch aerialists, listen to live music and chow down on trendy eats in the verdant space.

Hudson River Park's Blues BBQ Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Polcer

8. Blues BBQ Festival


Get ready to chow at this 20th annual riverside bash with barbecue from local grillmasters like Dinosaur Barb-B-Que and Mighty Quinn's, while tuned to live blues and roots performances by The Campbell Brothers, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Terrie Odabi, Dumpstaphunk and more. 


9. Flame Con 2019


Now in its fourth year, this epic assembly of queer fandom moves from Brooklyn to Manhattan for its biggest edition yet. Look out for panels, performances, costumes and enough merch to satisfy you for a full calendar year; along with signings and appearances by comics favorites like Kevin Wada, Jen Bartel and Kris Anka. And be sure to stunt in your most outrageous cosplay for the Ignite party at Copacabana club on Friday night. 


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