What to Do in September in New York City

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This post lists the many great things to do in NYC in September 2022, including free, family-friendly, and nighttime activities and events.

Let's dive in!


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER

This is our list of the ten best events and things to do in NYC in September. For even more suggestions, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.  

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.

For tips on the most popular activities in NYC, check out the following posts:


1. See a Sports Event! 

This month you have a bunch of different options to see a sports event. Baseball is still going strong and the football season kicks.

The U.S. Open Tennis Tournament is finishing up this month.  A soccer match is also an option.

Baseball

Football  

 Tennis

Soccer (Football)

Sports events are a great way to spend an evening and also a family-friendly activity.


2. Attend a Concert 

This month some fantastic performers come to town, so you might want to consider going to one of the following concerts on our list below.

Check out the full list of September concerts.

TIP: Madison Square Garden offers All-Access Tours so you can see how this iconic arena has become a world landmark.


3. See a Broadway Show

When in New York City, you should try to get to a Broadway show. Some great ones are on this month. 

See what is playing when you are here or take a look at our select shows below.

These are some of the popular musicals playing in September 2022:

See what other shows are running this month.

Also, NYC Broadway Week runs September 6th - 25th. Shows will be announced August 16th.

Make sure to read our Broadway Week Guide and find out how to get discount Broadway tickets.


4. Go to a Music Festival

If you're not interested in any of the concerts available, there are multiple music festivals in the NYC area this September that you might want to consider.

The Big Climate Thing takes place September 16th - 18th with such artists as Sheryl Crown, The Roots, and the Flaming Lips.

The Rolling Loud Festival has Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, Future and more, September 23rd - 25th.

The Sea.Hear.Now Festival is 17th - 18th in Asbury Park, NJ with Stevie Nicks, Greenday, Shakey Graves and more.


5. Take a Walking Tour 

September is a really nice time of the year to take a walking tour. Temperatures are comfortable both day and night.

We offer pay-what-you-wish walking tours in several neighborhoods throughout the city, including a Brooklyn Bridge

Check our schedule of pay-what-you-wish walking tours.


6. See New York City from the Water 

This month is a fine time to see the skyline of the city from a deck of one of the many NYC boat tours and cruises.

You can also take the free Staten Island Ferry or ride on the East River Ferry which costs the same as a subway ride but with a prettier view!


7. San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy

After 90 years, this festival is still going strong.

In Little Italy, The Feast of San Gennaro runs from September 15th - September 25th, in celebration of a Bishop who was martyred in 350 AD.

Activities include a processional with floats; cannoli, pizza, zeppoli, and meatball eating contests; live music; and fantastic Italian food from local vendors.

If you want to experience more New York food, then why not join us for one of our pay-what-you-wish food tours?

Both the San Gennaro festival and our pay-what-you-wish food tours are family-friendly activities.


8. September 11th Tribute in Light  

From dusk through dawn every 9/11, two massive beams of light are projected into the sky as a tribute to the Twin Towers. 

The 9/11 Memorial can be visited at any time of the day or night. Use our guide to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza to plan your visit.

If you would like to learn more about the memorial and the historic events of 9/11, check out anytime GPS audio tour.

We also offer several pay-what-you-wish tours that include the 9/11 Memorial. Check out our schedule


9. Walk Over the Brooklyn Bridge - Day or Night

The Brooklyn Bridge can be walked over 24 hours a day. There's so much to know about this iconic bridge and the views from it.

You can use our guide to walking the Brooklyn Bridge to make the most out of your experience. Or try our GPS-enabled audio tour of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Be sure to consider our daily guided tour or if you'd like to see the bridge at night, join us for our combined 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour.


10. Utilize a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

If you're looking to see and do as much as possible, using a New York City tourist attraction discount pass can help you save money and time. 

Attractions Available on Passes Include:

  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Empire State Building
  • Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour
  • Madame Tussauds
  • 9/11 Memorial and Guided Tour
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Madison Square Garden All Access Tour

These passes save you money by bundling dozens of popular attractions and tours into one discounted ticket (up to 55% off).

They can also save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket lines and numerous locations. Read our post comparing your options.

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on things to do in NYC.

best time to visit new york

FREE THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER

Below are just a few of the many, many free things you can do in NYC in September. Be sure to read all sections of this post, as there are other free activities throughout.

For year-round free things to do see our comprehensive post about free things to do in NYC.


Ride the Free Staten Island Ferry

Take a free ferry ride from Manhattan to Staten Island and back again.

Whether you ride it during the day or at night, you will get spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. 

Our guide to riding the Staten Island Ferry should come in handy. 


New York Caribbean Carnival Parade

On September 6th, things are getting hot, hot, hot with the colorful, flavorful, and lively parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

There will be floats with fantastic dancers shaking their stuff to the sounds of Caribbean culture. 

Grab a Ginger Beer and a Jamaican Beef Patty and you are all set! 

Find out more information here.  

NOTE: This parade can get pretty wild and extremely crowded. If you do not like crowds, you should skip this event, and it's best not to bring the little ones! 


Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit 

For decades, the streets surrounding Washington Square Park have been the home to this art show with more than 100 artists displaying their works. 

It is held two weekends this month:

  • September 3rd - September 5th
  • September 10th - September 12th

Get the details here.

Learn more about this neighborhood or combine your visit to the exhibit with one of our Greenwich Village Tours


Museum Day Live  

On September 17th, 2022 many Smithsonian museums offer free admission.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is included. It normally costs $33 and up.

If you cannot get tickets on Museum Day Live, read our post on discount tickets to the Intrepid

For a list of museums that are free or almost free year-round, click here.  


African-American Day Parade

On September 18th, 2022, at 1 pm in Harlem, you can watch the festive African-American Day Parade.

The parade is the largest of its kind in America and is now celebrating it's 53rd year.

It showcases African-American culture and heritage, with more than 200 participating organizations from all over the world.

While in Harlem, take some time to stroll the neighborhood and see historic sights and popular sites.

We have a GPS-enhanced Audio Tour, as well as a pay-what-you-wish Harlem walking tour.

You can also use our guide to Harlem to discover this interesting neighborhood.


German-American Stueban Parade New York

2022 marks the 65th anniversary of this parade.

There are decorated floats, over 50 dance groups, folks dressed in traditional costumes, ,usic, and much more.

The parade starts on the east side of Central Park, at 64th St. on 5th Avenue - heading north to 86th St.

Several groups from Germany comes in for the event each year, and it's truly fun for all involved.

If afterwards you feel like trying some German foods, consider joining one of our food tours.


Brooklyn Book Festival  

This annual week-long free literary event takes place between September 25th - October 3th in and around Brooklyn Heights

There are dozens of free readings and panel discussions with both world-famous and up-and-coming authors.

There is a Children's Day as well, on October 1st.

Find all the details of the Festival here.

TIP: Why not join us on our pay-what-you-like Brooklyn Heights tour since you are already in the neighborhood. 

For even more free activities, see our guide to free things to do in NYC.


Clio Contemporary Art Fair

Known as the “Anti-Fair for Independent Artists”, this event has received rave reviews from the 'establishment' art world. 

The Clio Art Fair is held in Chelsea and runs September 8th-11th, 2022.

If you decide to go take a look at our post on the High Line Park which is located in Chelsea.

We also run several different tours of Chelsea and the High Line as well.


THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN SEPTEMBER

Below are just some of the ideas for things to do in September in NYC at night.

Some of the events and things to do in the other sections of this post are also great nighttime activities, so be sure to read this post in its entirety. 

For even more ideas, see our post about things to do in New York City at night.


See a Free Concert at Central Park’s Summerstage

Summerstage is a summer series of (mostly) free performances that has been held in Central Park since 1986! 

The concert line-up has everything from pop, alternative rock, jazz, soul, avant-garde, and good old rock and roll. 

The series starts in May but wraps up in September. You can see shows until the end of the month.

Check our Summerstage guide for a list of performers.


Take a Night Walking Tour 

New York is really two cities - one by day and a very different one by night.

Temperature-wise, September is an ideal month for taking a night tour.

We offer several pay-what-you-wish night tours including:


Enjoy Free Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

On September 30th, 2022 this engaging museum is free to enter between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

It's one of the most popular attractions in NYC, but is usually $33 and up to visit. Take advantage of this freebie!

This museum is housed on an aircraft carrier and some of its exhibits are a Concorde, a space shuttle and more.

This is also a kid-friendly activity. Get details here.


Picnic Performances at Bryant Park

Throughout the summer Bryant Park offers free access to their performance series in Bryant Park.

Over 25 live music, dance, and theatrical events will take place, all with the help of some of New York's best performaing arts institutions.

Bring food and drink, or purchase it once you are there. Blankets and chairs are free for the borrowing or you can bring your own.

The schedule of 2022 performances include:


Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival  

In the past, you have been able to see an amazing performance by this world-famous opera on a huge HD screen in the heart of Lincoln Center's Plaza.

The Met Opera Summer HD Festival is free to attend and there are more than 3,000 seats as well as additional standing room.

In 2022 it runs through September 6th.

If you are interested in seeing what goes on behind the scenes at Lincoln Center, you can take a tour. Find out more here

Tickets can be purchased here. There are only 2,800 seats and it's first come first serve.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN SEPTEMBER

Here are just a few fun activities that will keep the kids and adults amused. 

Many events listed above are family-friendly, such as the San Gennaro Festival. 

You can find even more information about visiting New York with kids at Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City as well as our 3-day itinerary for families


Visit Governors Island 

Governors Island is a small, recreational, vehicle-free island just 7 minutes by ferry from Lower Manhattan.

You can rent bikes, kayak for free, picnic, visit the various playgrounds, and try out the longest slide in NYC — three stories high and 57-feet long! 

Read our post on Governors Island for information on ferry hours, how to get there and what activities are offered.


Visit the Bronx Zoo 

The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country and September is the best month to visit as the animals are more active this time of year.

The Zoo's Harvest Festival throughout the month allows kids to participate in apple-tasting, to learn about composting and how to press flowers.

Find out the details from the Zoo's website.

Be sure to see our post on ways to get discounts on tickets to the Bronx Zoo


Autumn Moon Festival   

The fall equinox occurs in September. This year on September 10th is the Autumn Moon Festival.

Traditionally, Chinese families go outside to admire the big autumn moon and light paper lanterns.

Here in NYC, you can be part of the Autumn Moon Festival in the heart of Chinatown.

There will be traditional Asian music and dance, food, and even storytelling for kids.

On on September 20th is parade and festival celebrating the Lunar New Year, also in Chinatown.

Find out more about the festival here


Take a Superhero Tour

Not just for kids, our self-guided Super Hero tour takes you all over the city to the sites of many movie scenes filmed here. 

You'll see locales of memorable scenes from X-Men, Spiderman, the Avengers and many more. 

Kids might really like our self-guided Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tour that includes some popular destinations around the city that Ninja Turtles fans might enjoy.

Be sure to read our post on the best things to do with kids in NYC.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt*

Stephen es el CEO de Free Tours by Foot y ha supervisado la transformación de una compañía local de paseos a pie en una comunidad global de excursiones y una plataforma de consejos para viajeros. Ha dirigido personalmente miles de excursiones en grupos en los EE.UU. y Europa, y es un experto en la planificación de viajes y visitas turísticas, con un enfoque en el presupuesto de los viajeros. Stephen ha sido publicado y presentado en docenas de publicaciones, incluyendo The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, y más
Updated: septiembre 13th, 2022
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