NYC events in September 2018

The best NYC events in September range from last-minute summer excursions to Oktoberfest celebrations and more
Photograph: Matt Marquez
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out New York editors |

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 some of the best things to on Labor day, the West Indian Day Parade, and the one of the best NYC street fairs: Atlantic Antic. Sure, summer is nearly over, but the warm-weather isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So make sure to enjoy all of the wonderful things to outside in New York before the cold front sweeps in!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2018

Featured NYC events in September 2018

Oktoberfest NYC
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Oktoberfest in NYC

One of the top things to do in New York this fall includes two weeks of drinking some of the best beer in NYC during Oktoberfest. Take in the beautiful fall foliage while drinking at one of the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York City. Oktoberfest New Yorkers, take advantage of this glorious holiday to sample fine Bavarian beer and food. Prost!

Photograph: Raydene Salinas

New York Fashion Week

Get camera-ready for Fashion Week 2018. NYC will be filled with a stampede of posh editors, bloggers, stylists and shutterbugs. (They will be invading your favorite coffee shops and cafes. You’ve been warned). Tickets to some of the major runway shows aren’t available to the general public, but newsflash: you don’t have to be part of the elite fashion world to feel like an insider. Maybe you don’t have a front-row seat to the shows or a spot reserved next to Anna Wintour, but don't fret—we’ve got you covered. 

Photograph: Courtesy Jonathan Grassi
Things to do


Get excited for the coolest event during Fashion Week 2018. NYC is the home base for 29Rooms—Refinery29’s stellar and interactive exhibition featuring 29 rooms designed by retail brands, artists and other creatives. This event will definitely be one of the most Instagrammed New York attractions of the year. For more information on this immersive funhouse, we’ve provided all the essential details—including how to snag last-minute tickets—below. 

Dîner en Blanc New York 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Heffner/Vita Images
Things to do

Dîner en Blanc

Dîner en Blanc—NYC’s pièce de résistance of picnics—returns to New York every year to give Gothamites an opportunity to show off their all-white wardrobe, decorative skills and Top Chef-level cooking. The location for the event changes every year, which makes the party hard to crash. But if you register your table in advance, you can partake in one of the coolest secret things to do in NYC and one of the best things to do outside. 

Food trucks
Photograph: Clay Williams

Vendy Awards

The Oscars of street food returns for its 14th 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. Public nominations determine the winner, so you get to choose by casting a ballot to crown the next food truck champ.

Photograph: Paul Seibert
Things to do, Event spaces

Sunset Sail Happy Hour

You’re king (or queen) of the world! Hop aboard Hornblower’s Sensation and cruise along the Hudson while taking in unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline. Each ticket includes one beer (don't worry, there's a cash bar, too) to loosen you up to hit the dance floor with live DJs on all three of the Sensation's decks. Plus there will be light bites, games, giveaways, and more. And, yes, we’ll forgive you if you say, “I’m on a boat!” all night long. (We’ll be saying it too.)

Photograph: Courtesy Bronx Night Market
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Bronx Night Market

icon-location-pin The Bronx

This food-centric market features Bronx-based vendors serving up tamales, soul food, latkes, ice cream, pastries, elotes and vegan creations, plus libations from the Bronx Brewery, Port Morris Distillery, Brox Beer Hall and others. In addition to all of the delicious provisions, the market offers nifty wares from local artisans and live music performances from Bonx musicians. Come appreciate all that NYC's northernmost borough has to offer.

Things to do, Literary events

Pop-up Magazine

icon-location-pin Fort Greene

This live talent showcase invites authors, comedians, scientists and others to present researched stories on a wide range of interesting topics. Presentations include spoken word, musical compositions, photography and more. The fall tour is the biggest one yet, with stops in San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and other spots. This time, they hit BAM with an excellent lineup and musical support from the Magik* Magik Orchestra. September's edition features multimedia stories from Rebecca Skloot (#1 New York Times bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Ann Friedman (co-host, Call Your Girlfriend), Ed Yong (The Atlantic), Yowei Shaw (NPR's Invisibilia), Emily Dreyfuss (Wired), Jason Parham (Wired, Spook), Meg Smaker (filmmaker, Boxeadora), and NYC's own Landon Nordeman (photographer, New Yorker, New York Times) among others. They're set to discuss thirst traps through the ages, terrorist rehabilitation centers, small-town American businesses, robot ethics, flower extinction and other interesting topics.

Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher
Things to do

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin The Bronx

Lions, tigers and bears—oh my! The Bronx Zoo goes all out every Halloween season, and this weekend kicks of its month of spooky festivites. Drop in to take a hayride through a haunted forest, watch live performances, get wowed by a mentalist, participate in a costume parade and lots more.

Photograph: Courtesy The Color Factory
Things to do

The Color Factory

icon-location-pin West Village

The Color Factory NYC is officially open to the public as of Monday, August 20, and the experience is red hot. Actually, it covers a spectrum of hues, and it is guaranteed to be one of the most vibrant, educational and downright enjoyable Instagrammable moments you’ve encountered in New York. It really blue us away. The interactive exhibition, which is located in Soho, was designed and launched by event planner Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day (a crafts and celebrations blog) to help visitors explore the fun and importance of color. There are 16 rooms to explore throughout the 20,000-square-foot space which showcase immersive artwork from local writers, poets and musicians. The event got its start in San Francisco, but the Gotham iteration is very much an ode to New York, as there are various poems and tips for folks who live in the Big Apple throughout. Similar activiations such as a baby-blue ball pit remain in addition to a disco-themed dancefloor, oddball artifacts (think puke-inspired art) presented by the Mmuseumm and more. Best of all, you can wander through the installation phone-free (if you want.) Upon entry, you are given a card to scan at each of the various photographic experiences inside. The photos will be sent directly to your email, so you can focus on enjoying the art versus panicking over taking the perfect picture. That’s pretty convenient, but what we really love is that this ticketed attraction ($38) is worth the price in freebies alone. During your visit

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Music events in September 2018

Photograph: Edmond Sadaka/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Drake + Migos

After pairing on single "Walk It Talk It," Canadian R&B superstar Drake joins forces with hip-hop trio Migos on the Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour. Expect to hear plenty of ubiquitous new tracks from his latest album Scorpion. Here's hoping that Drake and Migos play at least part of the show in the Soul Train-themed attire from their collaborative video. While he's in town for gigs at both the Garden and Barclays Center, Drake will also be hosting an event called "The Day Party" at Brooklyn Mirage on Sunday, August 26. Drake associate DJ Spade is spinning, and you can also expect an appearance by Youtube star Shiggy a.k.a. the guy behind the “Shiggy Dance” from the “In My Feelings” challenge. (No word if Drake himself will be performing or just hanging out.)

Sun Ra Arkestra
Courtesy the artist
Music, Jazz

Sun Ra Arkestra

The world owes a great cosmic debt to time-traveling bandleader Sun Ra. He went back to Saturn and left the funkiest, swingingest band in the Milky Way here on Earth. This afternoon matinee show is your opportunity to travel the spaceways; your captain is 90-year-old Arkestra mainstay Marshall Allen.



icon-location-pin Lower East Side

A rapper who keeps company with the indie rock crowd (she's signed to Philly label Don Giovanni), Sammus writes hip-hop paeans to geek culture—gamers, comics fans and so forth. She plays with a rotating cast of openers for this Mercury Lounge residency. Most notably, you'll find multi-instrumentalist Mal Devisa performing Sept 11, who works surprisingly textured tunes from a pared down framework: soulful vocals soaring over loops of understated bass guitar. Her strikingly direct tunes have garnered her quite a word-of-mouth reputation in the local indie scene, exploring resilence, displacement and isolation with a revelatory spirit. Also look out for hectic noise-duo Machinegirl (Sept 18) and self-described "future-soul" quintet Jelani Sei (Sept 25).

Panorama Festival 2017
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Music, Music festivals


Pitchfork and October present their second annual pairing of bands and brews. The fest hits Governors Island with a two-day lineup of more than 20 acts, including Vince Staples, Yo La Tengo, Chic, Vagabon, Julie Byrne and the Flaming Lips. Between sets, grab beer samples from over 90 different breweries based near (Blue Point, Circa) and far (India's Bira 91, Germany's Aktien). A single-day ticket includes 45 ounces of beer, a two-day ticket includes 90 ounces and plenty more is available for $1.50 per 3-ounce pour. Come thirsty.

Photograph: Courtesy Alicia J. Rose
Music, Rock and indie


Portland, OR, singer-songwriter Liz Harris brings her murky yet lovely tunes to NYC for the first time in over two years. She hits town behind her latest, Grid of Points. A sparse affair à la 2014's RuinsGrid of Points finds Harris once again at the piano, her voice swathed in reverb and drifting among the chords like a slowly curling mist. It's music well worth losing yourself in.

Van Morrison
Photograph: Courtesy Shore Fire Media
Music, Rock and indie

Van Morrison + Willie Nelson & Family

The great bard of Irish R&B turns up in Queens for a rare show. You never know what you're going to get from a Van gig—or what mood the famously prickly singer-songsmith will turn up in—but he remains one of the least contrived performers of his generation. While Morrison's vocals might have diminished over the years, his penchant for thrilling improvisational risk remains very much intact. Outlaw-country figurehead and genuine American institution Willie Nelson brings his road-sharped crew to open the night.

Rina Sawayama
Photograph: Courtesy Lillie Eiger
Music, Pop

Rina Sawayama

The London singer imbues her sugary music with pop-punk riffs, J-pop nuances and video-gameworthy synths, putting it all together in a very post-internet way. Her debut, Rina, is essentially a study in society’s obsession with new technology, from the imagined life of a blogger on “Ordinary Superstar” to the smart-phone addiction of “Cyber Stockholm Syndrome.”

Riot Fest 2017, Jawbreaker
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Punk and metal


Seminal ‘90s punk band Jawbreaker came out of retirement last year, which meant two decades’ worth of teenagers who passed around 24 Hour Revenge Therapy CDs finally got to shout along to a live rendition of “Boxcar.” Since reuniting for Riot Fest last September, the trio has gradually expanded its tour and even revealed plans to log some studio time. If you weren't able to catch the band during its sold-out run at Brooklyn Steel in February, consider this Coney Island appearance your shot at redemption.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Photograph: Courtesy Warwick Baker
Music, Rock and indie

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

The Aussie quintet has peddled bright, bounding indie rock on its two splendid EPs—2016's Talk Tight and 2017's The French Press—and now it's added an equally infectious debut album to its oeuvre. A 35-minute collection of pristine guitar pop, Hope Downs beautifully showcases RBCF's keen melodic sensibilty, chugging motorik vim and clever, impressionistic lyrics.

David Byrne
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Buck
Music, Rock and indie

David Byrne + Tune-Yards

The former Talking Head, active solo artist and avid bicyclist returns to Forest Hills for the first time since his erstwhile band visited in 1983 (he's also doing a two-night stint at Kings Theatre directly afterward). His new show is a choreographed spectacle that echoes his Stop Making Sense heyday. In the opening slot, Merrill Garbus and Co. supply Afrobeat-inspired pop with vocal gymnastics that never fail to impress. 

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See more NYC concerts in September
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