22 Things to Add to Your End-of-Summer Bucket List

The road to fall is paved with summer plans we never got around to doing. Don’t let that happen this year: Here’s everything to put on your August calendar so you can close out the season with no regrets.

6 Places to Eat, Drink and Hang Out on a Boat in NYC

things to do in nyc in august froot loop cake
Courtesy of Ebb & Flow

1. Even if you don’t have a boat, you’ll want to stop by the new ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina: It’s home to two restaurants with star chefs (François Payard and Danny Brown) at the helm. Estuary features a locally driven menu that includes a healthy amount of seafood, while the grab-and-go Ebb & Flow serves baked goods and picnic-ready lunch boxes. (The insane white-chocolate strawberry Froot Loops cake is available at both.) 

2. Outdoor concert season is still going strong, and Forest Hills Stadium delivers with a lineup that feeds our ’90s nostalgia: Sarah McLachlan (August 2), Beck and Cage the Elephant (August 17) and Morrissey (September 7).

3. Feeling nostalgic for color wars and canoe races? Head to Nitehawk Prospect Park for summer camp–themed screenings throughout the month, including Wet Hot American Summer and Dirty Dancing.

4. We love the international food wonderland that is the Queens Night Market, and now we don’t have to wait until Saturday evenings to get a taste of Burmese flatbread or Portuguese custard tarts: A new Rockefeller Center outpost is now open Mondays to Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., through August 9.

things to do in august in nyc summer streets
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

5. Live your best pedestrian life during Summer Streets, when certain usually congested Manhattan streets go totally car-free the first three Saturdays in August. Along the seven-mile stretch, you’ll find activities like fitness classes, live music and even zip-lining.

6. Round up your girl squad for Spice Girls in Xanadu at Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco on August 2. (Bonus points for an authentically over-the-top Y2K outfit.)

7. August 5 is National Oyster Day. If you get down with bivalves, get your fix at Noho Thai spot Fish Cheeks with $1 oysters topped with nam jim sauce and crispy shallots during happy hour (every day from noon to 3:45 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.).

8. MoMA may be closed for the summer, but MoMA PS1 is very much open and hosting its always-popular Warm Up series every Saturday through August 31. Make sure to take a break from the dance party to check out exhibitions from Simone Fattal and Gina Beavers.

things to do in nyc in august camp rockaway
Riis Park Beach Bazaar

9. Too tired to schlep back on the train after a day at the beach? Stay the night at Camp Rockaway, a collection of luxe safari tents (plus a fire pit, hammocks and games) at Jacob Riis Park. Better yet, plan to get there on Friday afternoon in time for the weekly Lobster Jam.

10. Take a day trip to Kingston for Huichica Hudson (August 10), an intimate one-day music fest inside a historic venue. (The show will honor the memory of former headliner Roky Erickson, who passed away in May.)

11. Eat your heart out during NYC Restaurant Week, now through August 16. You’ll find two-course lunches for $26 and three-course dinners for $42 at spots including Augustine, Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, Rahi and Claudette.

things to do in august coney island sand sculpting competition
Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

12. It’s too late to register as a contestant for the 29th annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Competition (August 17), but you can still show up and admire other people’s handiwork (which, TBH, is way better than any bucket pile we could make).

13. Spend a Saturday with good music and good beer at the Bronx Brewery’s Summer Done Right series. The final installment (August 17, noon to 10 p.m.) is Caribbean Night, featuring a lineup of DJs spinning dancehall, reggaeton and soca.

14. Hit up your local Greenmarket ASAP: It’s peak season for peaches, heirloom tomatoes, string beans and corn, among other gorgeous produce.

15. Swing by Little Tong Noodle Shop from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and brunch on weekends for Dumpling Days of Summer: $1 pork chao shou dumplings and, at the East Village location, half-price bottles of rosé.

things to do in nyc in august levain ice cream sandwich
Kate Previte

16. What’s better than a Levain cookie? A Levain ice-cream sandwich, made with the iconic treats and Ample Hills vanilla. They’re available only on select days at the bakery’s new Upper East Side outpost—keep an eye on Instagram to find out when you can get your hands on them.

17. Throw on your best tropical-print shirt for all the rum and whimsically shaped drinking vessels you can handle at the New York Cocktail Expo’s Tiki Throw Down (August 18), featuring cocktail masters from spots like Paradise Lounge and Mother of Pearl.

18. Hands down one of the city’s best music fests, Afropunk returns to Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn on August 24 and 25. (Catch us in the front row for Leon Bridges and Tierra Whack.)

things to do in nyc in august us open serena williams
Shaun Brooks/Action Plus via Getty Images

19. Watch as Serena Williams goes for a record-tying 24 Grand Slam titles at the US Open, August 26 to September 8. (While you’re there, be sure to play spot-a-celeb in the stands.)

20. A lobster roll and a cold one is a quintessential summer combo, so get your fill while you can at Hester Street Fair’s aptly named Lobster & Beer Summer (August 31).

west indian day parade
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

21. Celebrate Caribbean culture at the West Indian American Day Parade, which winds through Crown Heights on Labor Day. The all-day carnival (which actually kicks off at dawn with the J’Ouvert Parade) is a sensory marvel of colorful costumes, reggae and calypso music, dance and food vendors galore.

22. Head to the Red Hook waterfront for Pig Island on September 7 (yes, technically it’s still summer), when scores of chefs fire up their best pork-centric creations and you get to sample the results. 

purewow author


From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.