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NYC events in September 2021

The best NYC events in September range from last-minute summer excursions to San Gennaro celebrations and more

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Time Out New York editors
&
Shaye Weaver
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The best NYC events in September include everything from last-minute things to do in summer to early fall celebrations including incredible art and cultural events. Utilize our events calendar for September to help you schedule all the happenings you don’t want to miss like the Brooklyn Book Festival, the Bronx Night Market and new exhibits at newly reopened museums.

Sure, summer is nearly over, but the perfect isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So make sure to enjoy all of the wonderful things to do outside in New York before the cold front sweeps in!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2021

Featured NYC events in September 2021

  • Music

Governors Ball is usually one of the most-anticipated summer concerts in NYC alongside Central Park SummerStageBRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park and the Northside Festival. Gov Ball, which usually competes for talent with major events like Coachella and Austin City Limits, is scheduled for the fall this year. After being canceled last summer because of the pandemic, organizers are hopeful it can finally go forward with a new layout. The event will bring big-name rappers, beloved veteran acts, rising pop stars and more to Citi Field this year. Here’s our complete guide to the Gov Ball experience.

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  • Theater

In a major signal toward a return to semi-normalcy, Broadway is beginning to welcome spectators back inside of theaters. Although the majority of the Broadway shows that were suspended last year will not return until the fall, most of them have already announced official return dates—and have made tickets available for purchase. Click through to see all the Broadway shows for which you can now buy tickets in advance, listed in order of when they are scheduled to open. Many are returning favorites: some of Broadway's best shows, including Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Hadestown. Others were meant to open last year but got pushed back, such as Company, Six and the much-anticipated revival of The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. Still others, including Pass Over and Thoughts of a Colored Man, are new this season.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Although new restaurants have been opening in New York City at an exhilarating rate all year long, fall is prime time for new eating and drinking destinations. Call it back-to-school syndrome, the pumpkin spice effect or simply a break from the sleepy summer heat, there’s something about autumn that lends itself to getting excited about dining out. This fall, the 2021 restaurant forecast is particularly promising. In the weeks and months ahead, we’re looking at three new openings from one of NYC’s best restaurant groups, a long-awaited and highly-regarded British import, offshoots of sushi favorites, exciting cocktail programs, glamorous dining rooms and unending new chances to nab reservations before they run out. 

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  • Art
  • Art

The cultural season in New York is about to roar back to life. Part of that wave will be new museum shows, must-see art exhibitions and exciting new gallery happenings. If you’re looking to get a jump-start on taking it all in, then you may want to note September 18 on your calendar now—the date of this year’s annual Smithsonian Museum Day. Once again this year, museums across the country will be offering free admission for the one-day event to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address which will provide general admission access for two people. (That’s right, access to the museums is completely free!) While 40 museums and cultural institutions are taking place across New York state, a smaller amount is actually located within the five boroughs. Taking part in this year’s event are the following participants, some of the best museums in NYCThe Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum,  The Museum of Arts and Design, The Museum of the City of New York, The New York City Fire Museum, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor, Poster House, The AKC Museum of the Dog, The Noble Maritime Collection, and Williamsburg Art & Historical Center.

  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

On Thursday, September 23, New Yorkers will get to enjoy the magic of Broadway…. for free. In honor of Broadway’s long-awaited comeback, a bevy of productions are coming together for a free, one-night spectacular performed in Bryant Park.  The performances, organized in part by New York soft rock station 106.7 Lite FM, will run from noon through two p.m. Confirmed shows taking part in the event include, Aladdin, Caroline, Or Change, Chicago, Diana The Musical, Girl From The North Country, Mrs. Doubtfire, Six, Stomp, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, and Waitress. 

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  • Art
  • Art

Have you herd? The CowParade is back! New York City is playing host to 78 painted fiberglass cows—now through September 30—each of which is uniquely and vibrantly designed by artists such as Cey Adams, Lady Pink and The Love Child, and big names and groups like Neil Patrick Harris, Zac Posen, FIT, Macy's and Moulin Rouge! The Musical! They can be found in eight "pastures" across the boroughs—Industry City (Brooklyn), Hudson Yards (Manhattan), the New York Hall of Science (Queens), Bronx Community College (Bronx), National Lighthouse Museum (Staten Island), Rockaways Beach (The Rockaways), and Macy’s at 34th Street and Bloomingdale’s at 59th Street. 

  • Art
  • Art

Fans of British street artist Banksy, rejoice! "Banksy Expo: Genius or Vandal?," a new immersive exhibit featuring a ton of the artist's work, is now open. Here is what we already know about the exhibit: it will feature over 80 "genuine and certified works belonging to private collections" alongside a "virtual reality experience through the artist's career, created especially for this event." The entire shindig will last between 60 to 80 minutes and it will be appropriate for guests of all ages. Let's be honest: they had us at "Banksy." The show, which has apparently toured through 15 other cities around the world already, is also set to take over Los Angeles in the upcoming months. Full disclosure, though: the exhibit has not been authorized by the artist himself, "who remains anonymous and independent from the system," a fact that doesn't surprise us given his history.

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  • Art
  • Art

The New York Public Library has dug through its expansive and centuries-spanning archive to stage an impressive free exhibition filled with cultural artifacts. Launching this week, The Polonsky Exhibition of New York Public Library’s Treasures spans 4,000 years of history and includes a wide range of history-making pieces, including the only surviving letter from Christoper Columbus announcing his “discovery” of the Americas to King Ferdinand’s court and the first Gutenberg Bible brought over to the Americas.

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