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How to have summer fun in NYC this fall

So you blinked and summer was over, huh? Wrong! Here are tons of ways to let the warm-weather good times roll.

By Jennifer Michalski
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The start of sweater weather got you down? Cheer up! The best things to do in the summer in NYC can still be, er, done. We’ve rounded up every sizzling BBQ bash, outdoor concert and other sun-soaked essential to enjoy before it’s too late. (And if you are looking forward to crisp-weather New York, here are the best things to do in the fall.)

Summer fun in NYC this fall

summer 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Jusay Photography

Be a baller

Attractions Parks and gardens Midtown West

Let’s be honest: The Olympics had us all amped up to perfect a new sport (maybe especially table tennis, which we admit we didn’t know was an Olympic competition until right this minute). Well, you’re in luck: Aside from being a summer haven for outdoor movies and alfresco dining, Bryant Park has two Ping-Pong tables available daily till November. Stop by to sign up for free 10-minute slots (paddle and ball are provided) to relive the summertime matches of your youth, or sign up for one of the two October tournaments if you’re really going for the gold. 40th St to 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (bryantpark.org). Daily 11am–8pm; free. Through end of Nov.

Van Morrison
Photograph: courtesy Shore Fire

Catch Van the Man

After another successful summer in Queens with big-name shows by the likes of Dolly Parton and Paul Simon, the revamped Forest Hills Stadium has further cemented its place as one of the best spots for huge alfresco concerts in town. And it’s ending 2016’s programming with a doozy: Van Morrison kicks off his short, six-date U.S. tour to promote his new studio album, appropriately named Keep Me Singing. It’s his 36th (!) LP in his 50-year music career—no biggie, right? The dude’s a pro at this whole concert thing and will have you out of your seat singing along, all before you can say, “Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah.” Hearing “And It Stoned Me,” from the man himself, while outside? Sounds kind of perfect. 1 Tennis Pl, Queens (foresthillsstadium.com). Oct 9 at 7:30pm; $65–$250.

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Atlantic Antic
Photograph: Alex Strada

Cruise Brooklyn’s largest street fest

A great avenue festival should have the following: freebies, yummy food (we’re talking more than the standard Italian-sausage–and-peppers hero) and entertainment for the whole family (translation: drinks for the adults and games for the youngsters). Enter Atlantic Antic, Brooklyn’s biggest and oldest street fete, which spans an 11-block chunk of Atlantic Avenue and touts hundreds of vendors, including restaurants like Mile End Delicatessen and small beer gardens with craft brews on tap, plus live music by local talent. (And do not forget to grab a deep-fried Oreo.) Atlantic Ave between Fourth Ave and Hicks St (718-875-8993, atlanticave.org). Sept 25 at noon; free.

Mister Sunday
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Dance your Sunday away

Nightlife

The outdoor bar Nowadays in Ridgewood, Queens, made a real splash this summer, attracting throngs of day drinkers to its expansive open-air digs. And while its scheduled outdoor movie nights and gigs are finished for the season, its biggest draw—the infamous daytime dance party Mister Sunday—takes place every Sunday through the last weekend of October. The heart-pounding, mood-boosting event pumps disco and techno well into the evening, further supporting our claim that all weekends should be of the three-day variety. 56-06 Cooper Ave, Queens (718-386-0111, mistersaturdaynight.com). Sun at 3pm; $10, at the door $20, first fifty people at the door $10. Through Oct 23.

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Beef Ribs at Hometown Bar-Be-Que
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

Feed your gut

Restaurants

Barbecue tastes delicious year-round, but something about eating it outside as the sun starts to set makes the grub all the more finger-lickin’ good. As part of the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ recruited guest chefs from some of Gotham’s best meat outposts (Strip House and Hometown Bar-B-Que to start) to do the rubbin’, moppin’ and grillin’. Oh, yeah, and Bobby Flay and award-winning chef Michael Symon are your hosts. So the backyard part of “Backyard BBQ” may not be accurate, but the rooftop of Pier 92 ain’t the shabbiest substitute. Pier 92, W 52nd St at the Hudson River (nycwff.org). Oct 16 4–7pm; $52–$185.

summer 2016
Photograph: Courtesy Smorgasburg

Finally Instagram the hell out of a Raindrop Cake

Things to do

We’ll always love you, Cronut, but there’s a new food-porn sheriff in town. Even if you haven’t heard about it, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it: The Raindrop Cake is a wobbly, transparent gelatinlike confection that resembles a giant waterdrop, and it reached viral-food status in Japan before making its way over to Smorgasburg this season via New York chef Darren Wong. You have precisely seven weeks to get your hands on it before Smorgasburg closes shop for the season (and while you’re there, nab treats from Solber Pupusas and Red Hook Lobster Pound). East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn (raindropcake.com). Sat 11am–6pm; $8. Through Oct 29.

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Brooklyn Barge Bar
Photograph: Courtesy Oleg March

Float on

Restaurants Hamburgers Greenpoint

Despite a super-delayed opening—not to mention a weeks-long closure in the middle of the summer—the Brooklyn Barge has nevertheless become a go-to spot for those looking for a casual, on-the-water hangout. Docked where Greenpoint meets the East River, the boat delivers a homey vibe that evokes its surrounding community, plus a straightforward menu of shared plates like BBQ pork fries and garlic shrimp tacos from an on-premises food stand. Wash it all down with a Greenpoint Mule (silver tequila, ginger beer and lime) while taking in the salty air and killer Manhattan views and, obviously, enjoying bobbing on the barge. 3 Milton St, Brooklyn (929-337-7212, thebrooklynbarge.com). Through end of Oct.

Gaze at stars under the stars

Movies

Four months of almost-daily outdoor movies have come and gone, people (boo!). But don’t worry: Luckily for you, our partnership with Rooftop Cinema Club goes well into the fall (yay!). There are 12 more screenings left on Yotel New York’s rooftop, where you can experience the coolness that is viewing the grit (Goodfellas, September 21) and giddiness (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, September 30) of the city you call home. The lineup also features classics, both of the cult (Pulp Fiction, September 28) and black-and-white (It Happened One Night, September 23) variety. A personal pair of headphones to block out the cabs below and the chatty Cathys next to you and, perhaps most importantly, topflight cocktails and nibbles really complete the experience. 570 Tenth Ave (rooftopcinemaclub.com/newyork). Various dates at 8pm; $30. Through Sept 30.

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summer 2016
Photograph: Shutterstock

Get your licks in

In a perfect world, ice cream trucks would be readily available all year round (and Beyoncé would be our best friend), but alas, the majority of Mister Softee’s fleet closes up shop in the late fall. (Each vehicle’s exact schedule is left to the driver’s discretion, but it’s a good bet that trucks in your ’hood will start disappearing by Thanksgiving.) So be sure to experience the childlike thrill of chasing down a jingle-blasting four-wheeler and scarfing (or slurping) down a soft-serve cone, shake or root-beer float while you can. Various locations (mistersoftee.com). Through end of Nov.

summer 2016
Photograph: Shutterstock

Go into the wild

Attractions Zoo and aquariums The Bronx

Love critters but hate toddlers? No judgment! Skip the daytime crowds and the youngsters by signing up for the Bronx Zoo’s first-ever adult overnight program, where, unlike at the American Museum of Natural History’s very cool sleepover, the animals you’ll spend the night with are very much alive. The event’s schedule includes a DJ set (we suggest requesting music by, ahem, the Beatles or the Eagles), up-close animal encounters and zookeeper discussions. Your ticket (a steep $350) gets you meals, beer and wine, and a tent rental. Bring your own sleeping bag—that’s if you dare to shut your eyes. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my, you guys! 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx (718-220-5100, bronxzoo.com). Oct 14, 15 6pm–10am; $350, registration closes Oct 9. Ages 21 and up.

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