Skip to Content

30 (FUN) Things to Do in New York City in August

NYC at Night

This guide to the best things to do in New York City in August was written by Alejandro Beltran.

Visiting New York City in August is not for the faint of heart. In fact, many New Yorkers actually flee the city when August rolls around! But hey, I get it — sometimes August is the only month you can travel so you have to roll with the punches.

This post is dedicated to the people bold enough to step foot into the concrete jungle, regardless of the heat and humidity. Lucky for you August in NYC is chockfull of exciting events, activities and festivals, many of which will keep you cool.

There is no shortage of fun things to do in NYC in August, so in an effort to keep you out of the heat as best as we can we’ve rounded-up the can’t-miss events happening this summer.

Load up on sunscreen, start your days early and don’t you dare think about leaving the hotel without a water bottle in hand! Enough of the chit-chat, let’s jump right into the best events happening this August in New York City.


Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Best Summer activities NYC

Tips for Visiting NYC in August

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Visiting New York City in August means you’ll be outside exploring during the majority of your trip. Since you’ll be putting some miles on your shoes make sure to pack a pair that are comfortable and reliable. This is NOT the time to break in new shoes.
  • Take it slow and stop for breaks: This isn’t a novel tip, but in this case it’s very important. The heat and humidity in NYC during the summer has a way of sneaking up on folks. My advice? Take breaks in shady areas often and swing by for indoor activities whenever the opportunity presents itself. Also, leave 15 minutes earlier than you typically would to avoid rushing and getting even sweatier.
  • Wear sunscreen: You know I’m a stickler for sunscreen! Here’s the only sunscreen I recommend. I’ve been using it exclusively for the past 8+ years and can’t recommend it enough.
  • Pack sunglasses: As the days get longer and the sun sets later, you don’t want to be squinting all day. If you’re going somewhere with buildings that might have reflective windows, bring polarized sunglasses to help minimize any unpleasant glares (at least until the sun fully sets).
Best Ice Cream New York City

August Weather in New York City

August averages: high 83° | low 68° | rains on average 7 days of the month

So you’re planning on visiting New York City in August…that’s very brave of you. The summer heat mixed with the downright awful humidity is a duo I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

There’s no need to sugarcoat it, New York City in August is hot! Most of the city is concrete and cement, which absorbs heat and creates what scientist call the urban heat island effect

To keep things short and sweet, urban heat island effect is where an island’s temperature is up to 7 degrees higher than the surrounding area. In NYC it’s boosted by the tons of concrete that retain heat longer than greenery would.

Now that’s not to say you can’t enjoy yourself when visiting NYC in August. Instead I encourage you to take the necessary precautions to not fall victim to the heat. Stay hydrated, wear your sunscreen and stop for breaks!

Bryant Park NYC Summer
August in NYC

Things to Do in New York City in August

Table of Contents: Things to Do in New York City in August

Sunset Salsa at Hudson River Park

Date: June 1st – August 31st, 2023

Ever wanted to learn how to dance but had no idea where to begin? Well, I know just the spot if you’re seeking to get your heart racing and enjoy one of the greatest things to do in NYC in August.

Starting Thursday June 1st, Hudson River Park is turning Pier 76 into one big dance floor. Every Thursday until August folks are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and try their hand at Salsa dancing. I know this may sound intimidating but once you get going it’s hard to stop.

Beginners lessons start at 6:30 PM that will have you loose and confident in no time. By the time the open dance portion (7:15 PM) rolls around, everyone is already grooving. If it makes you feel better, just remind yourself everyone is there for the same reason — to dance! 

Expect a hodgepodge of locals, visitors, professionals and folks with two left feet. The instructor Talía Castro-Pozo is talented and friendly. It’s hard not to enjoy yourself when partaking in one of the best things to do in New York City in August.

Something to note: This is a free event. However Hudson River Park is not funded by the city so free events thrive off of donations. You can show your support by donating here.

Address: 408 12th Ave West, New York, NY 10018, United States

Sunset Salsa at Hudson River Park Things to do New York City June
Image Courtesy Hudson River Park

Watch Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park

Date: August 1st – August 6th, 2023

If you’re visiting New York City in August make sure you don’t miss the last month of Shakespeare in the Park! The event is hosted by The Public Theater, an organization that has performed Shakespeare’s plays for over 60 years, for free! 

You’ll find the plays being performed at the 1,800 seat Delacorte Theater in Central Park. For tickets you’ll have to arrive at the theater the day of the performance, but they’re a hot commodity. This year the featured play is the one and only Hamlet.

There’s some serious, professional level production value going into the performances. You’ll quickly understand why folks are so eager to get in line for tickets. Plus, the shows are enjoyable for audiences of all ages and interests. 

Shakespeare in the Park is one of the most popular things to do in New York City in August so you’re going to want to show up early. Or you can always attempt to win tickets. Stand-by tickets are distributed at noon everyday there is a performance.

More info on how to get tickets, as well as what to expect can be found here.

shakespeare in the park Things to do in NYC in June
Image Courtesy Central Park

Enjoy some soothing jazz on Pier 84

Date: August 2nd, 9th & 16th, 2023

New York City’s jazz scene is quite impossible to match. The soothing tunes have been an integral part of the city for years and is not about to stop any time soon.

Attending the Hudson River Park’s Jazz at Pier 84 performance is among the greatest free things to do in New York City in August. This summer, on every Wednesday, local legends will serenade the crowd while they gaze over the picturesque Hudson River.

The event runs from 7 to 8:30 PM, making for a memorable evening. Bring a loved one, some snacks and a blanket to sit on the lawn and enjoy one of the best things to do in NYC this August.

Address: Pier 84 at Hudson River Park; 555 12th Ave, New York, NY


Any of the plethora of events Bryant Park hosts

Date: All of August

For those of you visiting New York City in August looking for things to do daily, set your GPS to Bryant Park and don’t look back.

Bryant Park is perfectly tucked into the shadow of towering office buildings that make up the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Located right behind the breathtaking New York Public Library, it’s not uncommon to find all the chairs and benches full during sunny days.

The park is constantly bustling with different activities and hosting multiple events throughout the entire month. There’s simply no shortage of things to do in NYC this August at Bryant Park. Don’t believe me? Check out their calendar.

Some events you can look forward to this August in NYC:

  • Yoga
  • Juggling class
  • Portrait drawing classes
  • Tai Chi
  • Movie nights on the lawn
free things to do with kids in NYC

Take advantage of Summer Streets

Dates: August 5th, 12th & 19th, 2023 | 7 AM to 1 PM

It may seem impossible to imagine a summer in New York City without honking cars, but guess what? New Yorkers get a taste of that utopia this August during Summer Streets.

Summer Streets is when the city shuts off main roads to cars and folks are able to enjoy the streets car-free. People can walk, bike and partake in a handful of activities in a safe environment and not have to worry about beating the blinking crosswalk light.

One of the coolest things to do in New York City in August is to get outside and take advantage of the people-filled streets. Between the workshops, vendors and other programming there is something for everyone to partake in.

Here are the streets that will be closed to cars:

  • Lafayette Street and Park Avenue between Brooklyn Bridge and East 109 Street
  • East 109 Street between Park Avenue and 5th Avenue
  • 5th Avenue between East 109 Street and Central Park North
  • Central Park North between 5th Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard
  • Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard between Central Park North and West 125 Street

Celebrate International Beer Day 

Date: August 6th, 2023

Finally, an international day I can get behind! For those brave enough to visit New York City in August you should prepare to treat yourself to a large, cold, crisp beer. The heat is no joke and hydration (of any kind) is always encouraged.

Luckily one of the best things to do in NYC this August is to go HAM on International Beer Day. Don’t worry since it’s a “holiday” it’s socially acceptable to start as early as you’d like. 😉

New York City doesn’t play second fiddle so the options of amazing breweries, local pubs and dive bars are endless.

If you’re short on time and need a quicker round-up, here are a few great spots to grab beer in NYC.

  • The Brooklyn Brewery | 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • The Pony Bar | 1444 1st Ave., New York, NY 10021
  • The Jeffrey Craft Beer & Bites NYC | 311 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
  • Radegast Hall & Biergarten | 113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Best breweries Brooklyn

Catch an outdoor movie at Bryant Park

Date: August 7th, 14th, 21st, 2023

Clocking in at 9.6-acres, this isn’t the largest park in New York City by any stretch of the imagination, but it often feels the most full. The park’s location epitomizes the city and catching a movie on the lawn is one of the best things to do in NYC this August.

This summer season is the 30th anniversary of their famous free movies on the lawn at Bryant Park. You can expect flocks of New Yorkers from all five boroughs as well as tourists clamoring for a good spot. The entire field gets filled with cheery folks on picnic blankets patiently waiting for the sun to go down.

The lawn opens every Monday at 5PM and each film starts at 8PM. Food and beverage from Hester Street Fair is available for purchase, as well as beer, snacks and wine from Stout NYC. Just note that if you do choose to drink alcohol you have to do so in a designated area in the back of the lawn. 

Here is 2023’s August movie lineup:

  • August 7th – 48 Hours
  • August 14th – Zoolander
  • August 21st – Good Burger
Where to see outdoor movies in New York City

Or at the Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown

Date: Daily | Check out the calendar with movies and start times here.

Prepare yourself for a movie viewing experience unlike anything you could imagine. Thanks to the Rooftop Cinema Club, you can watch some of the most timeless films under the open sky in New York City in August. 

On the roof of the Embassy Suites in Midtown you’ll find lounge chairs and personal headphones to maximize comfort during your movie. The hotel provides a full bar and restaurant, and you’ll also find a concessions stand with typical movie snacks. This fun New York City August activity is hard to replicate elsewhere.

Arriving early and with your full party is paramount since the seats are first come first serve. Doors open an hour before the showing so there’s ample time for drinks and snacks too. The summer in New York City is never boring thanks to the Rooftop Cinema Club.

Address: 60 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

Rooftop Cinema Club
August in NYC

Or at the Seaport Cinema

Date: August 16th, 2023 | Step Up

Pier 17 doesn’t do anything halfway, and movies are no different.

The Seaport Cinema transforms Pier 17’s rooftop into one of the best spots where to watch outdoor movies in NYC. If you’re planning a visit to New York City in August, they will be showing Step Up on August 16th and it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Food trucks provide snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) so you won’t be going hungry. The option for dinner & movie makes the Seaport Cinema one of the best places to go on a date in New York City in August.

Doors open at 6:30 PM, and movies start at 7:30 PM. Catching a flick at the Seaport Cinema is one of the most popular things to do in NYC in August because it’s one of the few places to watch an outdoor movie with chairs (no grass stains on jeans here, folks!).

With that said, seating is limited so be sure to reserve tickets in advance. Or show up early to save your butt from falling asleep. If you can’t get to a chair quick enough, you can bring a foldable one from home. 

Address: 89 South Street, The Greens on The Rooftop at Pier 17, New York, NY 10038


Join the Today Show Concert Series

Date: Check the calendar here.

The Today Show Concert Series is an array of free events that take place throughout August in New York City. You can expect to see A-list artists perform for free in the Rockefeller Plaza. 

Depending on when you’ll be visiting New York City this August, you’ll be able to catch some big performers. The only downfall is you have to arrive between 6:15 – 6:30 AM. But it’s a small price to pay for a free concert!

Keep in mind these are broadcasted events and if you’re close enough to the action you might be on TV. Guests are encouraged to make posters and to arrive bright and early, full of energy.

Spending August in New York City? Here are the Citi Concert Series’ performers this month:

  • August 11 – Kelsea Ballerini
  • August 18 – Jon Batiste
  • August 25- Becky G

For more information on tickets and what to expect click here.

Address: 48th Street, between 5th & 6th Avenues, in New York City

Today Show Concert Series  
Things to do in NYC in June
Image Courtesy TODAY

Rock out at a Hudson Yards Summer Concerts

Date: June 21st – August 9th, 2023

If all else fails, another great spot to catch an outdoor concert is the Hudson Yards Summer Concerts at The Wells Fargo Stage. I’m telling you August in New York City is unmatched when it comes to entertainment!

Now you may not get as big of performers at the Hudson Yards Summer Concerts but you’ll still be getting a hell of a show. Every Wednesday from June 21st – August 9th at 6:00 PM the Public Square & Garden will host the free outdoor concert.

What makes the concerts one of the best things to do in New York City in August is the fact that after the performances, a few restaurants and bars in The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards will hold “After Hours” events with a live DJ and specials.

August performances in NYC you can look forward to:

  • The 502’s: August 2nd
  • Alexander 23: August 9th

Stargazing on the High Line

Date: Every Tuesday from sunset to 30 minutes before the park closes until October 31st, 2023

Would you believe me if I told you that New York City offers free stargazing opportunities? That’s all thanks to the helpful members of the Amateur Astronomers Association. As one of the best free things to do in NYC in August, trust me when I tell you — you don’t want to miss out on this.

Telescopes are provided and spaced throughout the High Line, a former elevated cargo line turned beloved New York City park. You don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson to enjoy the beauty of our universe thanks this incredible New York City summer activity.

This is an excellent activity for both inexperienced and expert stargazers alike because the helpful members of the association are there to assist and answer any questions.

Bonus: If you need another reason as to why visiting the High Line is one of the best things to do in New York City in August let me help you. In the summer months the park brings in vendors that sell artwork, drinks and even ice cream. It’s a fun spot to bring the family to burn off some energy and to leave with a treat!

Moving to New York City
August in NYC
Best things to do in New York City in August | Walk the High Line

Make reservations at Grand Banks while you can

Date: Reservations start May 1st, 2023.

In the 18th and 19th centuries New York City was riddled with oyster barges (flat, wide boats) that unfortunately dwindled away. Luckily, Grand Banks is a blast from the past. Serving up sustainably harvested oysters aboard one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC.

During the colder months, New Yorkers bid farewell to the delicious waterfront restaurant and count down the days until Grand Banks has its grand reopening. So if you find yourself visiting in the summer and are looking for things to do in New York City in August, I suggest making a beeline to this popular dining spot.

Located on Pier 25 in Tribeca, Grand Banks has caused massive waves and has gained the attention of all the bigwigs in New York City. Indeed, the waterfront restaurant has rave reviews from CNN Travel, The Observer and New York Magazine. Which only help draw in bigger crowds.

With so many eyes focused on Grand Banks, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t let you know dining here is one of the best things to do in New York City in August. Consider this an inside scoop and make reservations now!

Fun Fact: The ship (technically it’s a schooner) is named the Sherman Zwicker and was hand-built in 1942. In fact, it’s the largest wooden vessel in New York City!

Address: Park, Pier 25 Hudson River, New York, NY 10013, United States

Grand Banks waterfront restaurants NYC
Image Courtesy The New York Times

Spend the evening eating your weight in food at Smorgasburg

Date: WTC: Every Friday | Williamsburg: Every Saturday | Prospect Park: Every Sunday

If you consider yourself to be a foodie, even in the slightest, one of the best things to do in New York City in August is to welcome the return of Smorgasburg, also referred to as “The Woodstock of Eating.”

Smorgasburg is the largest weekly outdoor food market in the U.S. Vendors from all across the Big Apple pitch canopies and come together enabling you to try a variety of the city’s best cuisines all in one place.

The event is hosted in three NYC neighborhoods. On Fridays they set up shop outside the World Trade Center in Manhattan. Saturdays is the original (and most popular) location in Williamsburg Brooklyn and Sundays they’re in Prospect Park (also in Brooklyn).

With more than 60 vendors you’ll find a broad variety of eats. If you do it right you’ll have to be rolled home. Plus, the portions at Smorgasburg are usually on the smaller side, enabling you to try a plethora of options. 

One of the best things to do in New York City in August is meeting up with friends and jumping from vendor to vendor trying all the delicious food.

This is one of the most popular events in New York City in August, drawing 20,000 – 30,000 visitors every weekend!

Address: Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Williamsburg, World Trade Center in the Financial District and Prospect Park in Brooklyn

Smorgasburg
August in NYC

Spend the morning at Governor’s Island

Date: August 12 & 13, 2023

Only a 10 minute ferry ride from lower Manhattan, Governor’s Island is a relaxing reprieve from the nonstop pace of New York City in summer.

You will find history dating back to the Revolutionary War at the island making it a great spot for history buffs. You can walk around Fort Jay and Castle Williams which are both run by the National Park Service.

There will be some exciting events hosted at Governor’s Island this August in NYC. This summer you’ll find the Jazz Age Lawn Party, Urban Farm Tour and an ice cream social fun-run. Some of these events may require tickets however, info can be found here

If at the end of the day relaxing is more your style I suggest you bring a book and hang out at Hammock Grove. It’s a dedicated space for an array of hammocks available for visitors to enjoy. August in NYC is a fantastic time to visit Governors Island, where you can spend the day exploring or relaxing.

Address: Ferry from Manhattan boards at 10 South St, New York, NY 10004

August in NYC

Cheer on the Dominican Day Parade

Date: August 13, 2023

Originally started as a small, neighborhood celebration by New Yorkers of Dominican descent the annual Dominican Day Parade has completely transformed into one of the most popular events in New York City in August.

The exact details have yet to be announced but normally the parade marches north on Sixth Avenue from around 38th Street to about 58th Street. I’ll update this article when the Dominican Day Parade’s website posts an update.

In the past more than 10,000 participants have helped made the parade a full on Latin party. There’s no reason to believe the parade held this August in New York City will be any less thrilling.


Free Kayaking on the Hudson

Date: Weekends & Holidays from May 27th to October 9th, 2023

Kayaking on the Hudson River is a fantastic way to spend a day in New York City in August, regardless of your skill level. With a variety of locations offering both free and professional instruction, anyone can partake in this summer activity.

The best part? This NYC August activity is completely free! It’s good, clean fun that the whole family can be involved in. There is the ability for kids to kayak with a guardian, as well as Kayak Polo for the more competitive crowd. I can think of few better things to do during the New York City summer.

With so many available dates and times, it’s easy to add this summer activity to any NYC August itinerary. Check out the calendar here. Kayaking on the Hudson is simply a treat to experience!

Address: 10 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201


Spend the evening bopping around a Night Market

Date: Uptown Night Market: 8/10 | Bronx Night Market: 8/26 | Queens Night Market: Every Saturday night starting April 29

Exploring a night market is one of the best things to do in New York City in August largely due to the never ending options of entertainment. 

The amount of food, drinks, art and live performances right at your fingertips under the gorgeous summer skies? Insane! The weather is comfortable and with the sun setting later in the evening, don’t expect to be home before bedtime. 

Everyone has heard of bar hopping, but have you ever heard of vendor hopping? That’s exactly where you can find me whenever the Uptown Night Market is up and running on the Upper West Side. This is one of the best things to do in New York City in August if you’re into trying a little bit of everything. 

Enjoy authentic savory food or chilled sweet treats, catch whatever live performance is happening and soak in the the beauty that is night time in New York City.


Visit The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for free

Date: August 25th, 2023

Home to a remarkable collection of military vessels of the sea and sky, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City is a must-see for any military enthusiast or history buff. 

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is considered one of the 10 best aviation museums in the world, reason alone to visit. Fortunately visiting is one of the best free things to in New York City in August thanks to Free Fridays. 

During the event the Intrepid Museum extends its hours and is open, free of charge from 5 to 9PM on the last Friday of each month, April through September.

More than 1 million visitors per year choose to visit this important New York City museum to explore the exciting collection and you get to do it for free! Expect to find authentic WWII fighter planes, aircraft carriers, a submarine used during the Cold War, a supersonic jet and the NASA space shuttle Enterprise.

The event is especially one of the best things to do in New York City in August with kids. I was able to take my nephew to the museum last year who was wide-eyed during our entire visit!

Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036


Attend the U.S. Open

Date: August 28th – September 10th, 2023

Even casual sports fans have heard of the US Open. It’s the final tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year and has been hosted at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York since the 1970’s. 

In 2022 the sum of all the prize money awarded was over $57 million, making it the largest pot in the Open’s history. If you have plans to visit NYC in August, don’t forget to grab tickets in advance for the US Open.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and go live on June 5th. From the 34th St-Penn Station terminal you can take the LIRR for 25 minutes to the Tennis Center and enjoy the competition from August 28th to September 10th.

Few sporting events are as epic as the US Open, making it a great thing to do in New York City during August. 

Address: Flushing Meadow – Corona Park, Flushing, NY 11368

Summer NYC
Image Courtesy US Open

Go on the hunt for the best ice cream in New York City

If this article has drilled anything into your head, let it be that New York City summers are hot.

Aside from the boring (but necessary) ways of cooling down like staying hydrated, there is another way to escape the heat for a brief moment. A flavorsome reprieve that some might go so far as to call a heavenly experience. 

That’s right, I’m talking ice cream. One of the most delicious things to do in NYC in August is to hunt down the (ice) crème de la crème.

And trust me, you won’t struggle! Ice cream shops are sprinkled all over the city. Some are on wheels, located in malls and markets and others are good old-fashioned brick and mortar stores. Regardless of where you’re at, you’re bound to have something close by.

Here is a round up of some of the best ice cream spots in NYC to visit this August:

  • Van Leeuwen Ice Cream 
  • Milk Bar
  • L’Arte Del Gelato
  • Ample Hills Creamery
  • Caffè Panna

Have more time? Check out 15 Satisfying New York City Ice Cream Shops (No Need for Napkins Here Folks).

New York City Best Ice Cream
August in NYC

Enjoy rooftop bars while you can

Date: All of August

My general rule of thumb when it comes to New York summers is that if I’m going to be outside there sure as hell better be an epic view.

That’s why rooftop bars make for a great summer activity when looking for things to do in NYC in August. Cocktails seem to go down easier, vibes seem to be higher and the sun setting over the city seems a little more magical.

In the land of skyscrapers and dreams, finding a decent rooftop bar in New York City won’t be too difficult. But if you need some guidance, here is a quick round up of some of the best rooftop bars to enjoy this August in NYC.

  • Mr. Purple | 180 Orchard St 15th floor, New York, NY 10002
  • Time Out Market | 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Westlight | 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • Dear Irving | 55 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
  • The Ready Rooftop | 112 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

Need more suggestions on which rooftop bars are worth visiting in New York City in August? We are currently working on a roundup of the best. Until then check out 10 Tasty Lower East Side Rooftop Bars (You Won’t Want to Miss).

THE ROOF Lower East Side Rooftop Bars
Image Courtesy Public Hotel

Plan a sunset picnic in the city

Date: All of August

Ask any New Yorker what their favorite pastime is and many will answer sitting in a park. In a city labeled as a “concrete jungle” it’s normal to run to the nearest bit of greenery to find some reprieve. One of the best things to do in NYC during August is to pack up some snacks and plan a picnic in the park.

But I’m going to be honest with you, August in NYC is hot… too damn hot. So don’t make the mistake of planning a lunch in the park unless you’re trying to overheat.

Instead opt for an early breakfast in the park or an evening dinner. Find the shadiest bench or spot on the grass and park yourself with a delicious meal in hand and watch the sun go down.

This is one of the most affordable things to do in NYC in August since you can keep things simple. Now the question stands which park is the best?

If at all helpful, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorite parks to sit and people-watch for hours.

  • Central Park
  • Bryant Park
  • Domino Park
  • Little Island
  • Riverside Park

Need more suggestions? Check out 15 ICONIC New York City Parks You Can’t Afford to Miss.

Best things to do in the Lower East Side
August in NYC

Explore Coney Island

Date: All of August

Coney Island’s famed amusement parks and beaches are hot commodities during New York City’s summer months. You can spend an entire day eating delicious food and riding some fun rides and still be itching to come back for more.

That’s why one of the most entertaining things to do in NYC this August is to gather all your friends and make way to Coney Island in Brooklyn.

This vibrant neighborhood holds a lot of history and has fun things to do for all ages. Peruse the boardwalk and see if you can win a prize playing a carnival game or ride the nearly 100 year old wooden roller coaster named the Cyclone. You’re never short of fun summer activities in this New York City neighborhood.

Coney Island NYC Summer
August in NYC
Image Courtesy New York Post

Catch a Yankees Game 

Date: Yankees Schedule

Grab your ball caps boys (and gals, or course!), we’re about to embark on a New York City summer activity locals can’t live without. With a record 27 World Series wins, the New York Yankees are always an exciting watch.

Located in the Bronx, Yankee Stadium is accessible by subway and tickets can be found for as little as $10 depending on the game. With a whopping 162 games played every season, there’s a plethora of both weekday and weekend games to choose from if you’re looking for things to do in NYC this August.

There’s no excuse for not checking out a game this summer. 

Whether you love them or hate them, the New York Yankees are icons of both American sports as well as NYC. 

Making it to one of their games should be high on your list of things to do during your trip to NYC this August. 

This year the Yankees are one of the best teams in Major League Baseball, meaning every team they play against is hoping to bring them down. The intensity of every game will have the crowd fully engaged making this one of the best things you can do this August in New York City. 

Address: 1 E 161 St, Bronx, NY 10451

Yankee Game NYC Summer
August in NYC

August Festivals in New York City


Spend the day enjoying BBQ and Blues at the Blues BBQ Festival 

Date: August 19, 2023

There are few better ways to spend a sunny day in NYC in August than eating incredible food and listening to live music. The best part? Entry to the event is completely free!

Hudson River Park hosts an annual BBQ & Blues event on Pier 76 where folks are welcome (and encouraged) to bring the entire family to one big lively BBQ under the sun.

The event starts at 1:00 PM and goes well into the evening. There will be food available for purchase, and the delicious smell in the air could bring even the strongest man to his knees.

This is a great, family- friendly event happening in NYC this August that you don’t want to miss out on.

The talent lineup is already out but the food details are yet to be up. Check for updates here.

Address: 408 12th Ave West, New York, NY 10018


Rock out at SummerStage Festival

Date: June 3rd – September 30th, 2023

SummerStage is a festival that takes over New York City starting in June. The flagship venue for their concerts is at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park but they also put on shows at other parks in all 5 boroughs.

The reason we consider this a can’t-miss thing to do in NYC during August is because majority of the shows are free!

The free shows require no RSVP and are first come first serve, however they also put on benefit concerts that require a ticket.

SummerStage’s music varies in genre, so make sure to check the calendar to see who is performing before heading to the park. The event gets lively with people of all different generations and backgrounds. It’s a great way to spend your time if you’re looking for things to do in New York City in August. 

Here is the brochure for SummerStage 2023 where you will find showtimes and locations.


Partake in the Annual Hindu Lamp Festival 

Date: August 12, 2023 | 4 to 7:30 PM

Brooklyn Bridge Park is hosting its 11th annual Hindu Lamp Festival this August in NYC. Hosted by Aeilushi Mistry, an educator and dance artist, folks are in for a treat as she performs the traditional Hindu Aarti ceremony at Pebble Beach.

The Aarti ceremony is traditionally performed each morning and evening along India’s rivers, in order to convey gratitude to mother river, reflect on community, and remember loved ones.

Brooklyn Bridge park

The ceremony’s goal is to unite the neighborhood in harmony and peace. Visitors are encouraged to paint palm leaf lamps and release them into the East River as a way to pay respect to loved ones.

The event is completely free and one of the most unique things to do in NYC this August.


Partake in Summer on the Hudson

Summer on the Hudson is an annual festival put on by NYC Parks in collaboration with the Riverside Park Conservancy. There are endless activities all summer long to partake in for both kids and adults alike so adding this to your NYC itinerary during August is a no-brainer. 

The activities include things like movie showings, musical performances and Tai-Chi lessons. There’s a full PDF schedule available for you to survey the options and choose which you’d like to participate in. Luckily all the fun events that take place on the Hudson are free and easy to join.

If scheduling isn’t your style and you’re more go with the flow consider following Summer on the Hudson’s social media pages. This way you’ll get consistent reminders as to that day’s activities. August in NYC has never been more eventful!

Some events to look forward to this August in New York City:

  • Trivia: August 4th
  • FlyNYC: August 19th
  • Pier I Game Night: August 11th
  • Star Gaze Saturdays: August 26th
  • Shakespeare Workout: August 12th
  • Silent Disco: August 5th
  • Game Days: Tuesdays in August

The full event list can be found here.

Address: Riverside Park between 59th Street and 153rd Street

Summer in New York City
August in NYC
Image Courtesy Hudson River Park

Summer Restaurant Week

Date: July 24th – August 20th, 2023

Foodies rejoice!

Participating in Restaurants week is one of the best things to do in NYC in August for those of us who live to eat. Restaurants all across the city offer two to three course meals at a discounted rate giving folks the opportunity to sample a little bit of everything.

This is the perfect way to spend your August in NYC if you’re anything like me and can never settle for just one dish. Temptation gets the best of me and Restaurant Week is the ideal way to indulge.

Hundreds or restaurants across all five boroughs take part in the fun foodie event. General reservations begin July 6th, 2023 so set your alarms and make sure you sign up for one of the best things to do in NYC this August.


Pros of visiting New York City in August

  • The city is full of color
  • Late sunsets
  • Plethora of outdoor activities (some free & some at night)

Cons of visiting New York City in August

  • Summer means tourist season & crowds.
  • Prices of flights + hotels are high
  • The heat and humidity combonation
Summer in NYC
August in NYC

Best things to do in New York City in August (Post Summary)

  1. Sunset Salsa at Hudson River Park
  2. Watch Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park
  3. Enjoy some soothing jazz on Pier 84
  4. Any of the plethora of events Bryant Park hosts
  5. Take advantage of Summer Streets
  6. Celebrate International Beer Day
  7. Can an outdoor movie at Bryant Park
  8. Or the Rooftop Cinema Club
  9. Or at the Seaport Cinema
  10. Join the Today Show Concert Series
  11. Rock out at Hudson Yards Summer Concerts
  12. Stargazing on the High Line
  13. Make reservations at Grand Banks while you can
  14. Spend the evening eating your weight in food at Smorgasburg
  15. Spend the morning at Governor’s Island
  16. Cheer on the Dominican Day Parade
  17. Free Kayaking on the Hudson
  18. Spend the evening bopping around a Night Market
  19. Visit The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for free
  20. Attend the U.S. Open
  21. Go on the hunt for the best ice cream in New York City
  22. Enjoy rooftop bars while you can
  23. Plan a sunset picnic in the city
  24. Explore Coney Island
  25. Catch a Yankees Game 
  26. Spend the day enjoying BBQ and Blues at the Blues BBQ Festival 
  27. Rock out at SummerStage Festival
  28. Partake in the Annual Hindu Lamp Festival 
  29. Partake in Summer on the Hudson
  30. Summer Restaurant Week

Map of New York City August Activities


And there you have it folks, the best things to do when visiting New York City in August!

I hope you found the article useful, cheers.