The best things to do in NYC this weekend

There are a ton of great things to do in NYC this weekend, but don't worry—we've whittled the list down to our 15 recs
Photograph: Erez Avissar

TGIF! There are some incredible things to do in NYC this weekend from killer summer concerts to cultural events such as the India Day Parade. If the weather is nice (and is going to be hot one), go visit New York's best beaches or public swimming pools. Need to escape the humidity? Check out one of the best comedy shows in NYC where there's definitely AC.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in NYC

Things to do in NYC this weekend

NYC Cocktail Expo
Photograph: Courtesy NYC Cocktail Expo
Things to do

NYC Cocktail Expo

icon-location-pin Long Island City

Now we’re getting warmer. Slurp your way through this craft-cocktail fest with drink tastings stirred by mixologists from, primarily, Queens bars like Sweet Afton and the Bonnie. Witness a cocktail throwdown to determine the best drinks of the night while you nibble SoCal-inspired bites from Pinks. Tip: VIP guests can try two samples from each vendor. 

Photograph: Matt Marquez
Things to do, Festivals

India Day Parade


This cultural procession down Madison Avenue to Madison Square Park is one of the city's most colorful, with saffron, white and green floats, sari-draped dancers, Bollywood stars, local politicians, and dozens of musicians playing sitars and tablas. Along the way, you'll find vendors serving dosas, samosas and regional Indian dishes. The parade runs down Madison Avenue from 38th Street to 25rd Street; the festival is on Madison between 25th and 27th Streets. 

Things to do

Oz Pearlman: Truth be Told

icon-location-pin Financial District

After hitting America's Got Talent and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the ever-mesmerizing mentalist Oz Pearlman brings his shocking stunts to the iPic for a limited engagement. Witness unreal acts of mind reading with the master at this special showcase. 

Photograph: Courtesy Shady Ladies Tour
Things to do, Walks and tours

Shady Ladies of the Met Museum

icon-location-pin Central Park

Discover the true stories behind the muses of some of the Met’s most fabulous artworks, including nude models in ancient Greece, Venetian poets and courtesans, and the true identity of John Singer Sargent’s Madame X.

Mario Cantone
Photograph: Courtesy Jill Rapapport
Comedy, Storytelling

Celebrity Autobiography

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

The only thing thing better than reading a celebrity's innermost thoughts is having a comedian read them to you. Major comedic actors prick the bubble of autobiographical puffery by performing droll, verbatim readings from stars' memoirs in Eugene Pack’s acclaimed series. The cast on August 18 comprises Mario Cantone, Lucy DeVito, Richard Kind, Michael Musto, Alysa Reiner and Dayle Reyfel.  

Photograph: Courtesy Jenni Walkowiak
Comedy, Sketch shows

All Female Reboot

icon-location-pin Flatiron

Liz Magee and her crew of very funny women give male-starring (and often overrated) movies their own spin in this hilarious and ingenious sketch show. Show up to watch some of the city's top comics rip apart beloved patriarchal films from every generation, with plenty of digs into the male buffoons of the current political and cultural era. This month's show includes Ariel Elias, Julia Johns, Carmen Lagala, Sarah Lazarus, Alyssa Limperis, Sharron Paul, Suni Reyes, Tahlia Robinson, Molly Ruben-Long, Jennie Sutton, Milly Tamarez, May Wilkerson, Emily Winter and Maria Wojciechowski. What's not to love? 

Photograph: Courtesy Alex Schaefer
Comedy, Improv

Let Me Break You Up: An Anti-Dating Gameshow

icon-location-pin East Village

At this long-running exhibit of single persons’ vengeance at UCB, the unbeatable, unpredictable Carly Ann Filbin invites real couples to her own cheeky version of The Newlywed Game to see if their relationship is actually up to snuff. The couple with the fewest points has to break up. Good luck, and let the meltdowns commence!

Joey Arias
Photograph: Heath McBride
Music, Cabaret and standards

The Bartschland Follies

icon-location-pin Chelsea

When the clock strikes midnight at the McKittrick on Fridays, the club kids take over. Enter the sublime nightlife fantasy of downtown icon Susanne Bartsch at her weekly summer residency, at which she welcomes circus performers, drag divas, burlesque stars and beyond to unleash their most avant-garde creations onstage. She's joined by a rotating cast that includes Dee Dee Luxe, Shequida, Aquaria, Joey Arias, Amanda Lepore, Sherry Vine, Fou York and Dirty Martini for this wild experiment.

Lorelei Ramirez
Photograph: Courtesy Yoko Haraoka

Not Dead Yet

icon-location-pin Bedford-Stuyvesant

Anything goes at this variety show, at which demented characters, strange songs and nonsensical stand-up sets abound. Artist, video maker, surreal stand-up and indefatigably chill host Lorelei Ramirez reigns over the dark tidings, with comedy, video and music performances that you won't soon forget. 

Kurt Rosenwinkle
Photograph: Lourdes Delgado
Music, Jazz

Kurt Rosenwinkel

icon-location-pin West Village

This guitarist's presence assures quality: As a player, composer and bandleader, Rosenwinkel shows a thorough grasp of jazz history as well as a passion for adding new pages to the canon. Best of all, his nimble chops bear a narrative, storytelling expressivity that sounds seductive rather than overbearing.

Photograph: Courtesy Bryant Park Corporation
Music, Rock and indie

Emerging Music Festival

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Bryant Park lays host to ten of the city's brightest rising bands at this special two-day event. Some of these groups have carved a singular niche with outré styles and sounds—on the first evening (Aug 17), you'll find Underground System, a Brooklyn-bred group that makes a truly unique, undeniably dancey mélange of Afrobeat, punk and new wave. Follow that up with the majestic horns and tambourine beats of Palmas' evocative baroque pop. Other bands have garnered buzz on the strength of their sheer energy (garage rockers Native Sun, Aug 18) or by reinventing classic terrain (Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton & Terry Waldo Rum House Jass Band, Aug 18). And don't worry about getting bored between sets: the mini-fest also features giant lawn games, juggling lessons, and a host of local local vendors.

Photograph: Erez Avissar
Nightlife, Daytime parties

Mister Sunday

icon-location-pin Ridgewood

The unbeatable duo of Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin have grounded their world-touring record label and Mister Sunday dance party at the stunning Nowadays space in Ridgewood. Join them every Sunday for jubilant dancing, food truck bites and beyond. The Memorial Day rager promises a packed dance floor and cute looks from guests of all ages. And LGBTQ revelers will serve their cutest looks for the June 24 Pride edition with DJ Ciel and DJ Python, which benefits the Ali Forney Center. 

Hornblower Rock the Yacht Party Cruise
Photograph: Courtesy Hornblower
Things to do, Event spaces

Rock the Yacht!

icon-location-pin Financial District

Party for two hours straight on one of Hornblower's Rock the Yacht cruises. Every Thursday through Saturday night, a ship full of revelers departs from Pier 15 for a night of debauchery on the open waves. Dance to the DJ-curated mix of today's top hits along with house music and throwbacks as you snap Instagram-worthy photos of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. You can even upgrade your ticket to include unlimited beer and wine or access to a premium open bar. Aye aye, captain!

Things to do, Walks and tours

Big Apple Helicopter Tour of New York

icon-location-pin Financial District

See the city's most famous landmarks from above on an exhilarating 15-minute helicopter tour. You'll come face-to-face with the Statue of Liberty as you fly above the Hudson River, admire the iconic Empire State Building from the air and spy the sprawling green expanse of Central Park.

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
Things to do, Walks and tours

Catacombs by Candlelight Tour

icon-location-pin Nolita

This exclusive tour beneath St. Patrick’s Basilica takes you through the storied underground resting places of legendary New Yorkers including bishops and Civil War generals. 

More things to do in NYC this weekend

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