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The best NYC street fairs

Gotham knows how to do outdoor fun! Check out the best alfresco NYC street fairs during the warmer-months.

Photograph: Courtesy Hester Street Fair

Once the weather starts getting warmer, NYC street fairs invade various blocks in Gotham. Get ready for vehicle-free roads chock-full with some of your favorite eats from the best restaurants in NYC as well as some great vintage wares and antiques like you would find at the most popular flea markets. You can also expect artisanal crafts, live music and even more fun things to do outside at any one of these alfresco bazaars. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, including awesome free things to do, while these streets are full of fun.

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

Best NYC street fairs

PopUp New York Street Fairs

PopUp New York Street Fairs

If you’ve ever stumbled upon a random street fair while wandering the city, chances are you’ve walked into one of Pop Up New York’s street fairs. The brand hosts numerous outdoor bonanzas while giving back to local non-profits. From the end of April to late October, the company hosts a new wave of bazaars featuring up-and-coming restaurants, designers and musicians in trendy neighborhoods. Check out the full lineup of upcomoing events online.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Andrea Moed

Mad. Sq. Eats

Twice a year, this outdoor bonanza brings buzzworthy munchies from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. When the foodie fete officially opens May 13, stuff your face with Roberta’s famous pizza, cheesesteaks by the Truffleist and Hawaiian cuisine by Gotham Poké. This one-stop shop for the tastiest grub in town is open every day until June 9, so consider your lunch and dinner plans set for the next month. (When you go, don’t forget to wear your stretchy pants.)

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General Worth Square , Flatiron Until Friday June 9 2017

Bushwick Collective Block Party

A chunk of Brooklyn’s top-notch outdoor artists stage a Bushwick street takeover, fully armed with food trucks, live jammin’ and Instagram-worthy graffiti to celebrate the nabe’s trendy art scene. Watch spray-can masters create new masterpieces in real time, while local hip-hop and rock-and-roll artists provide the backdrop tunes. Groove to performances by Foxy Brown, rapper Busta Rhymes, CL Smoother and many more. 

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Various locations Saturday June 3 2017
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Smorgasburg

At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 10,000 visitors per day with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors. Our pro tip? Make sure you peruse the lineup before you go—those mouthwatering scents and the bevy of choices can make you dizzy (and the dense crowds can make you hangry).

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By: Christina Izzo

LIC Springs!

There’s a major block party happening in Long Island City on Saturday 6, and you don’t want to miss a single minute of it. The jam-packed six-hour affair along Vernon Boulevard is loaded with activities for adults and little ones, including art- and sculpture-making lessons, fitness classes and eating contests. You can fill your tummy, work up a good sweat and get crafty, in one place! Less interactive entertainment, such as live music and dance performances, are also on the lineup. Vernon Boulevard between 50th Ave & 46th Ave.

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06 May 2017

Hester Street Fair

Out of all the street fairs in New York, this Lower East Side hot spot has the trifecta: Great food, shopping vendors and live entertainment. Although Hester Street Fair is most notorious for its wide selection of finger-lickin’ bites (awesome dishes joining the fray this year include slammin’ bento boxes from NYture Natto x Chiso and sips from Pilot Kombucha), it’s really upping its entertainment factor with themed events such as a vintage day with Housing Works on May 13 and a lobster-and-beer blowout on May 27, at which the best seafood joints might compete for the best lobster tail.

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Hester Street Fair Until Saturday October 28 2017
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Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival

Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side at this block party. While Peking Opera performers and klezmer bands take the outdoor stage, you can catch free language lessons, master your mah-jongg game and, best of all, learn how to prepare empanadas, Chinese dumplings and kreplachandchallah bread. Endless grub will be available for sale. 

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Museum at Eldridge Street , Chinatown Sunday June 18 2017

Red Hook Fest

This neighborhood cultural bash includes dance, music and spoken-word performances from local talent. Check out the killer lineup of acts, including dancing from The Dash Ensemble and Loni Landon Dance Project. 

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Louis J. Valentino Jr. Park and Pier , Red Hook Saturday June 10 2017

Museum Mile Festival

This festival is back for its 39th year, which turns Fifth Avenue into the city’s largest block party. Live music and entertainment flood the streets while museums open their doors to the public at no charge. This year’s participants include Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, Cooper Hewitt, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie New York and more. Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th Sts. 

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Various locations Tuesday June 13 2017
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Coney Island Mermaid Parade

After spending nearly a year getting sequins and glitter out of their bedsheets, NYC’s mermaids and seamen are ready to undo all their hard work. Join a packed crowd on Coney Island’s streets for an epic procession of wild floats, barely clad revelers and beachside celebrating. Now in its 35th year, the world’s largest arts parade welcomes partyers of all ages to rejoice in kitsch, camp and craft, but those who are serious about their scales can register to win iconic titles, including best sea creature, best motorized float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid. 

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Coney Island USA , Brooklyn Saturday June 17 2017
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Grab a drink al fresco!

The best rooftop bars in NYC

Have a cocktail high above the city and take in spectacular views at one of the best rooftop bars NYC has to offer

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By: Christina Izzo

Comments

10 comments
Debra S
Debra S

Vendy Plaza opens on May 1. It's held every Sunday from noon-6pm at the historic La Marqueta at 116th & Park. Unlike other fairs/markets in NYC, Vendy Plaza focuses on the diverse foods of NYC's immigrant communities and promotes emerging food businesses. Come check it out! If you visit 5 times, you get a FREE BEER!!

Matthew
Matthew

All NYC Street fairs have become nothing but crapfests. Every one has the same garbage, and that's all it is. They have zero to do with the neighborhood that hosts them and clog up the streets with unnecessary junk. Why would you want to go to one of these junkfests? I'm grateful for this list so I know what places to avoid on any given summer weekend in NYC!

Lawrence J
Lawrence J

@Matthew The Big Apple BBQ Block Party is nothing of the sort, you are sadly mistaken. 

Robin
Robin

The booth street fair cosmetics has tons of discount makeup! Lauder, Lancôme !!

sean R
sean R

Good list but missing some major events like jamaica ave which runs for about 20 blocks in queens on Sat Aug 3

maude blake
maude blake

Thanks, it was so easy to find the fair i wanted to go

Anonymous
Anonymous

Most of the fairs are the same, so content is pretty much what you would expect. Things being sold, food, drinks and crowds. No surprise there!

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is a great list but a bit of detail about what is actually HAPPENING at each festival would be good... the websites aren't much help.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This list is always hugely helpful. Thank you for publishing these every week.