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What to Do in August in NYC

Best Events, Attractions + Activities

Updated: April 17, 2024

This post lists the many great things to do in NYC in August 2024, including free, family-friendly, as well as nighttime activities and events.

For even more suggestions, see our comprehensive guide to things to do in NYC.


This is our list of the ten best events and things to do in NYC in August.

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:

New York Walking Tours

1. Attend a Sports Event

The season may almost be over, but there's still a chance to enjoy baseball in August in addition to other sports.


Note that the classic tour of Yankee Stadium is available with both the New York Pass and the Explorer Pass. For more information, check our post about New York tourist passes


Games are played at MetLife Stadium. For instructions on how to get there, click here.

Soccer (Football)

The NYC FC plays at Yankee Stadium, and the NY Red Bulls play at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.


If the Islanders make it, there will be a Stanley Cup Finals game in August

US Open Tennis

The US Open runs from August 26th -September 8th, 2024

Check out Stubhub for other sports events in August.

For additional things to do in New York City with the family, check out the family-friendly section below.

2. Attend a Concert

Music is all around the NYC area in August!

You can hear diverse music in a variety of settings -- from iconic Madison Square Garden to the outdoor Jones Beach Amphitheater.



  • M72 World Tour | August 4th-6th | MetLife Stadium | Featuring: Metallica, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, and more
  • Rock the Bells | August 5th | Forest Hills Stadium | Featuring: Duran Duran, Dave Mathews Band, Arctic Monkeys, and more
  • Zamna Festival | August 5th | The Brooklyn Mirage at Avant Gardner | Line up TBD
  • Outlaw Music Festival | August 6th | PNC Bank Arts Center | Featuring: Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, and more

For even more concerts in and around the NYC area in August, visit StubHub.

If you didn't already know, Madison Square Garden offers an All Access Tour where you can see behind the scenes.

3. Take in a Broadway Show

Seeing a performance on Broadway is a must-do activity when you're in New York City!

See what is playing when you are here.

Here are a few popular musicals running in August 2024:

See what else is playing when you are here.

To see how to get discount tickets, read our post How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets.

4. Take a Walking Tour 

August is an excellent month to take a walking tour pretty much anywhere in New York City.

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

For more ideas, check our schedule of pay-what-you-wish walking tours.

5. Enjoy Free Shakespeare in Central Park

Every summer, the Public Theater puts on two Shakespeare plays at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in Central Park. 

Tickets are entirely free but will require some work on your part to get one.

Be sure to check out our post explaining the 5 ways to get tickets to Shakespeare in the Park.

The last season featured Hamlet from June 8th- August 6th.

If you do get a ticket, or even if you don't, make sure to spend some time in Central Park while you're in the area.

Read our post about things to do in Central Park for some ideas.

6. Check out a Live Comedy Show

This month will bring a few notable comedians to the New York City area.

Stand Up Comedy

Comedy Clubs

Note that there are tours of both Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden, each of them included on at least one New York City Tourist Passes.

7. Soar to the Top of a Skyscraper

In summer, the city's tallest observation decks stay open late.

The Empire State Building | Top of the Rock | One World Trade Center Observatory | and Summit One Vanderbilt all give you fantastic views of New York City.

If you aren't sure which view is best for you, read our post about the pros and cons of each of them.

There are also free options and you can find them in our post, where to get the best free skyline views of NYC.

8. Attend Free Outdoor Movie Screenings

Free, fun, and occurring almost every night of the summer!

The most well-known is Bryant Park Movie Night which usually runs on Mondays from mid-June to mid-August.

This is an especially popular event, so go early to grab a spot on the lawn. Bring a picnic basket too!

Some other places to see movies outdoors are:

For even more sites to visit, visit our post about a movie with a view.

Check out more free things to do, including more weekly outdoor movies, below!

9. View Great Street Art

New York City is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world to see street art and murals.

You can see masterpieces for free if you know where to look. 

We can help you discover the latest, greatest pieces of street art around NYC if you join us on one of our pay-what-you-like Street Art Tours.

We have tours in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, including a tour of Bushwick and its highly-regarded Bushwick Collective Street Art Gallery

If you can’t make it to one of our tours or prefer to move at your own pace, enjoy our Bushwick Collective self-guided tour to explore the area and find the best art.

10. Utilize a City 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 Met
  • 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.


Below are just a few of the hundreds of free things you can do in NYC during August. And be sure to read the other sections of this post for more ideas.

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

Enjoy Free Music in Bryant Park

Last year, Bryant Park presents Picnic Performances.

The August announced shows are:

Attire is casual, picnic blankets can be borrowed, and attendees may bring food or purchase it on-site.

If you miss these performances, find out how to get discount tickets for Broadway shows here.

Read about some of the other ways to get cheap Broadway show tickets.

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Harlem

This annual free event, now in its 31st year, offers the public three evenings of free music featuring the music of jazz legend Charlie Parker.

The Festival took place from August 19th - 26th last year, in Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

2024 dates are yet to be released.

For more details click here.

dizzie gillespie murals harlem

Parker used to play jam sessions in Harlem. You might also find our post on things to do in Harlem or come along on our pay-what-you one of our Harlem Tours.

Note that Harlem Week, a celebration of the best of Harlem, takes place August 7th - August 18th, 2024.

Kayak Under the Brooklyn Bridge

Head over to Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO to enjoy a free 20-minute kayak ride.  You can get an up-close look at the Brooklyn Bridge.

It's safe and unlike anything you have done before.

Click here for more information.

Find out about some other ways to get out on NYC's waters for free or cheaply, such as riding the Staten Island Ferry.

Summer Streets

Each August, NYC closes off to vehicular traffic for Summer Streets. While cars are not allowed, every other mode of transport is!

People can walk, run, bike, play, and generally enjoy nearly 7 miles (11 km) of Park Avenue between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park.

2024 dates and events have not been posted yet, but details should be coming to their website soon.

Indulge in Ice Cream

In the heat of the summer where best to spend some time than in what is called a "gloriously Wonka-like" ice cream factory.

The 15,000-square-foot Red Hook Factory churns out over 500,000 gallons of delicious ice cream a year.

Entry is free. With that, you can watch them making the ice cream and also visit their interactive ice cream museum.

You can also purchase one of their ice creams which come with names like I Wanna Dance With Some Berry!, PB's Fluff & Fold, and Pistachio Squared.

They also have traditional flavors like Strawberries and Cream and Just Vanilla, Please.

For more information, visit their website.

Good Morning America Concert Series

Great for early birds and lovers of top pop stars! Many musical artists head to Bryant Park for the free GMA Summer Concert Series.

To see a taping of Good Morning America, see our post on how to attend a live TV show taping.

For More Free Things to Do

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


Many of the activities included in our other sections can be enjoyed at night as well, but here are a few more ideas on how to spend a great night in August in NYC.

For even more ideas, see our post, Things to Do in New York City at Night.

Take a Night Bus Tour

A night tour on an open-top double-decker bus is a wonderful way to see more of the city while giving your feet a break from all that walking!

With so many tours out there, you may want to read our post comparing New York City bus tours as you might decide this is a good way to spend your night in New York.

Many tourist passes include a night tour by bus, so you may want to look at our post comparing NYC Tourist Passes before buying tickets.

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge can be walked over 24 hours a day, although we definitely do not recommend you take a 4 am stroll.

For those who want some guidance to enjoy the Bridge when the sun goes down, join us for our combined 911 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour

Free Outdoor Concerts

There are numerous free, outdoor concert series in NYC during the summer. Here are just a few of them:

Summerstage in Central Park

Every year, this annual festival in Central Park draws famous and talented performers. Some concerts are held in Harlem and some in Coney Island.

Most performances are free and the few concerts that require tickets are benefit shows to raise money to keep the festival free.

Celebrate Brooklyn!

This annual festival of free concerts is held at the Bandshell in Prospect Park in Park Slope.

Opening night of the 2024 season is yet to be announced. You can see the impressive lineup here.

Click here for even more options.

For even more things to do, see our New York City Summer Guide.

Stargaze with an Astronomer

Every Tuesday in August, head to the one-of-a-kind High Line Park to gaze at the stars, planets, and moon through high-powered telescopes.

Experts are on hand to answer any astronomical questions. Arrive by dusk. There is no charge for this activity. Click here for more information. 

An alternative free activity at the High Line is to take a free High Line Tour!

Learn more about the High Line, with our guide to the High Line or our GPS audio tour.

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

On select nights, you can visit this highly interactive and engaging museum for free between 5 pm (17:00) and 8:30 pm (20:30).

In August 2024, that date is August 23rd.

This museum is housed on an aircraft carrier whose exhibits include a Concorde, a submarine, a space shuttle, and much more.

This is a fun way to spend an evening in NYC. This is also a kid-friendly activity. Plan your visit and learn about additional discounts.

For even more ideas, see our post, Things to Do in New York City at Night.


Many things in the other sections of this post are certainly family-friendly. Below are a few more things to do with kids in August in NYC.

Check out our posts Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in New York City or our 3-day itinerary for families.

Summer Fun at Coney Island

Visit Coney Island and find out just how much there is to do at this legendary New York seaside spot.

You can go to Luna Park, one of the best amusement parks in the NYC area. Ride the Thunderbolt, a 115-foot-tall roller coaster that reaches up to 55 miles per hour.

Don't worry there are plenty of rides for those weak of heart and toddlers like water rides and the classic Steeplechase.

Afterward, walk along the Boardwalk to the New York Aquarium, where you can see penguins, harbor seals, otters, and more.

TIP:  Luna Park is included with the NY Pass, while both Luna Park and the Aquarium are included in the Sightseeing Pass.

Get out on the water!

Cool off with cool views of New York City. It doesn't cost much to get out into the beautiful NYC Harbor.

check out the many New York Boat Tours and Excursions you can take, such as the Circle Line and other affordable, fun cruises.

Consider taking a ride on the East River Ferry which costs the same as a subway ride but with a much nicer view.

Visit Little Island

In Hudson River Park, near the Meatpacking Districk, you'll find Little Island.

This park sits on 132 "tulip-like" concrete piles in the Hudson river and is described as "a lush, seasonal, landscape with rolling hills, winding pathways, and dazzling views, coupled with programming that includes music, dance, theater, poetry, comedy and art workshops for all ages."

Items in the playground include spinning chairs, dance chimes, and a Sing for Hope piano.

There are also food items for purchase. A 40-minute audio tour of the park can be found online as well.

Hours are 6 am to 11 between May 29th and September 3rd.

Tickets for performances gain you entry to the park so no additional tickets are needed.

Although events for summer 2024 haven't been listed yet, you can check here for park entry tickets as well as future performances.

Take a Bike Tour

With expanded bike paths and a bicycle-friendly attitude, NYC is a great place for kids to ride a bike and explore the city.

Consider joining us for a pay-what-you-wish bike tour!  

See our post about New York Bike Tours + Rentals.

Visit a Farm

You'll find all sorts of four-legged friends at the Queens County Farm Museum, on land which has been farmed since 1697!

The farm offers free admission to the general public (except on special admission days).

They also offer hayrides from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on weekdays, and 11:00 am - 4:00 pm on weekends.

You can stroll the fields and gardens, feed the animals, and enjoy a picnic. They also have a seasonal farmstand, an apiary, a farm store/welcome center, and more.

Visit their website to plan your visit.


About The Author

Lori Pickhardt

Updated: April 17th, 2024
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