10 Things to Do in New York in August

In August, there are hundreds of things to do in New York: from going to a park to enjoy great music to attending sporting events, check out all the options!

Luisa María Lugo

Luisa María Lugo

11 min read

10 Things to Do in New York in August

Before sunset in New York | ©Michael Discenza

New York in August presents a great opportunity to do things outdoors. During this month, temperatures rise and everyone wants to cool off while having a good time. That's why many of the events take place in parks or other outdoor venues. In this way, people enjoy the surrounding environment to the fullest and get to know the more natural side of the city.

For the above, and many other reasons, I dedicate this article to inform you of all the activities you can go to in The Big Apple during the month of August.

1. Catch an exciting game of the baseball season

Barclays Center entrance| ©Reading Tom
Barclays Center entrance| ©Reading Tom

August is one of the months when baseball games are held for teams from all over the United States. Many of the games take place in New York, you can go to see the Mets or the Yankees, which one is your favourite team? Here are both options:

Baseball season games are just like the ones you see on TV, so they are full of excitement, screaming fans and much more. At them you can enjoy fast food, that's part of the experience. If you are a fan of this sport, this option is ideal for you.

Buy tickets for a baseball game

2. Get to know one of New York's most famous neighbourhoods during Harlem Week

Some houses in New York's Harlem neighbourhood| ©Rachel Martin
Some houses in New York's Harlem neighbourhood| ©Rachel Martin

During one of the first two weeks of August, the citizens of New York's Harlem neighbourhood organise a big event. The following activities take place:

  • Street fairs.
  • Performances.
  • Activities in which they show their way of living and having fun.

Harlem Week celebrates the cultural diversity and other characteristics of the iconic neighbourhood. If you are visiting New York in August, close to the dates when this event takes place, attending is a great choice.

An event for kids too

In case you are travelling to New York with children, this is a good place to go with them, as there are special events planned for kids. What I recommend is that you wear cool clothes and enjoy the walking tour of Harlem. Even if you visit the city during another week in August, you still have the opportunity to tour Harlem.

For more information about Harlem Week and the dates you can attend, visit their website. You can also book a tour of Harlem and soak up the neighbourhood beforehand.

Book a tour of Harlem

3. Have a blast at the Jazz Age Lawn Party

Enjoying the Jazz Age Lawn Party| ©Paul Stein
Enjoying the Jazz Age Lawn Party| ©Paul Stein

The Jazz Age Lawn Party, what is it all about and what can you expect? This party is planned for a few days between the first two weeks of August, it's one of the most anticipated events in the Big Apple, why?

It's inspired by the 1920's, so it's centred around the time of Prohibition. Even though you have the opportunity to drink alcohol, as it is legal, the experience you have at the Jazz Age Lawn Party is unique.

Don't think that the only thing you do at this festival is drink, the organisers make sure that there are activities for everyone. The party also features performances and you'll even see many people dressed in 1920s American costumes.

How to get to the Jazz Age Lawn Party

The event is held on Governors Island, so you'll have to take the ferry to disembark on the island and start having fun. As with the Metro, I have prepared a guide for the New York ferry.

The party has a website where the dates and planned activities are announced and if you are left wanting more after attending this event my advice is to check out this article on the best places to hear music in Harlem.

Book your ticket for a Jazz Series concert

4. Get acquainted with Asian culture at Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival competition| ©S Pakhrin
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival competition| ©S Pakhrin

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival kicks off in mid-August and is one of the activities that many people attend in New York in August. Admission is free and the aim is to raise awareness of Hong Kong culture. Boat races are the main attraction of the festival.

In addition to the sporting event, the following performancestake place at the annual event:

  • Dance.
  • Music.
  • Martial arts.

The annual event takes place in Flushing - Meadows Corona Park, which is located in northern Queens. When you attend you will find food stalls selling delicious Asian dishes. And if this experience appeals to you, don't hesitate to check out this article on where to eat in Chinatown, an ideal plan after a Chinatown tour.

Book a Chinatown tour

5. Visit the beaches of Coney Island and Boardwalk

Enjoying Coney Island Beaches| ©Jana Markova
Enjoying Coney Island Beaches| ©Jana Markova

The best time to visit New York's beaches is in the summer, when the weather in August is perfect for enjoying the sun, the water and the sand. Coney Island and Boardwalk have more than 5 kilometres of beaches.

When you want to get away from the heat of the city, going to one of these beaches is the best option. There are boardwalks, am usement rides and much more. To get to these beaches you can take a taxi or you can book a Coney Island tour from Manhattan.

Book a Coney Island tour

6. Take part in some of the Summer on the Hudson activities

Yoga in Riverside Park| ©kaet1
Yoga in Riverside Park| ©kaet1

Throughout the summer people have the opportunity to attend Summer on the Hudson. This is a festival that features activities and performances of all kinds, some of which include:

  • Concerts.
  • Dance.
  • Dance parties with DJ music.
  • Movies under the stars.
  • Children's shows.
  • Pilates.
  • Karaoke.
  • Yoga.
  • Many more.

The festival's location is Riverside Park, which runs from 59th Street to 153rd Street. Access is free and no registration is required to attend events, the only exception to this is if otherwise noted. Find more information on the Summer on the Hudson website.

Book a Zodiac ride on the Hudson

7. Famous free plays at Shakespeare in the Park

Bryant Park in summer| ©Istock
Bryant Park in summer| ©Istock

Shakespeare in the Park is one of the most anticipated events in the Big Apple, taking place in the summer, which obviously includes August. It features plays from well-known theatres, but what's so special about it? The tickets are free and the performances are in a wonderful location.

How much do you love New York? I'm sure if you're looking forward to your trip to the city, you've done a lot of research on the best venues. Have you seen pictures of the Delacorte Theatre or have you had the opportunity to attend? If you have, I have no hesitation in saying that you were impressed.

It is at the Delacorte Theatre that Shakespeare in the Park takes place, this is an open air theatre. Tickets for the plays are given out at the box office on the day of the performance.

Shakespeare in the Park opening times

Tickets to the plays are very popular in August, so the queues are long. So if you want to get one or more, keep in mind thatthe box office opens at 12 noon, but the lines start earlier.

If you want to make sure you get your free ticket, it's a good idea to go at 9 or 10 in the morning. Check the Central Park website for the schedule and theme of the plays.

And if you like these shows, be prepared to be blown away by the best Broadway musicals during your visit to New York. Don't hesitate to book your ticket to a Broadway musical, it's a unique experience.

Book your ticket for a Broadway musical

8. Tour New York without cars around you on NYC Summer Streets

In NYC Summer Streets| ©Travis Estell
In NYC Summer Streets| ©Travis Estell

Can you imagine having the streets of the Big Apple free of cars, vans, taxis and public transport? This is possible thanks to NYC Summer Streets, an original activity that closes the streets to vehicles on three Saturdays in August and encourages New Yorkers and tourists to make the most of them. It's a great time to book a tour of New York.

One of the things that most characterises New York is the traffic - whenever we see films set in the city, the streets are full of cars. It's natural to assume that the level of traffic increases when there are more tourists in the city, and that's absolutely true. Summer Streets has the following benefits:

  • It allows visitors to enjoy the city to the fullest.
  • The atmosphere is freed for a few hours from the pollution caused by the large number of vehicles in the city.

The streets between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park are the ones that are free of vehicles - more than 11 kilometres where you won't find any cars walking! It's definitely worth taking part if you get the chance.

NYC Summer Streets Schedule

Traffic stops from 7am to 1pm, so what do you do during that time? Citizens take the opportunity to play in the streets and even eat, anyone can bike, walk and take advantage of all the free space.

Here's a trick! During the days of this activity it is even more convenient to take a walking tour of New York, take advantage of it!

Book a tour of New York

9. Attend outdoor concerts with SummerStage

Summerstage is over| ©John Saeyong Ra
Summerstage is over| ©John Saeyong Ra

During the summer in New York there are a lot of free concerts, one of which is SummerStage. SummerStage starts in August and ends in early September, so there are plenty of shows to attend.

Although the main stage is in Central Park, Rumsey Playfield to be precise, there are performances in other New York parks. In addition to bands or soloists, there are dancers, actors for plays and even poets. It all adds up to a great show available to everyone in New York.

SummerStage Location

As I mentioned before, it takes place at Rumsey Playfield, how do you get there? The area is located just off 72nd Street on the famous Fifth Avenue. I'm sure you'll want to know who's performing before you go, so check out the SummerStage website.

In case you want to do other things in the park while the show is on, I'll tell you what to see and do in Central Park in another article. My favourite plan is to rent a bike in Central Park and ride around the park at my own pace while enjoying nature.

Rent a bike in Central Park

10. Quality entertainment at Lincoln Center at Home: Restart Stages

Lincoln Center at Home entrance| ©Kate Glicksberg
Lincoln Center at Home entrance| ©Kate Glicksberg

During the summer, specifically the first two weeks of August, Lincoln Center hosts free performances. The focus is on music, dance and theatre. Everything takes place outdoors and the facility takes care to create a welcoming and safe environment for each attendee.

The performances are put on by various New York organizations, such as community arts venues and more. How can you purchase tickets? Tickets are given out at the lottery, once you have them you head to Lincoln Center and find the perfect spot to see each performance.

How and when to get to Lincoln Center's Restart Stages

On the ticket you will see when the show is at Lincoln Center, do you want to make sure you find a good spot? In that case, I recommend arriving a little early, as access to the area where the event takes place is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lincoln Center is located between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, so if you're getting around the city on the Metro, how do you get there? Ideally, take Line 1 to 66th Street Station. In case you still don't know how to use this type of transport, here is a guide to the New York Subway.

To learn more about this event, I encourage you to visit the Lincoln Center website.

What is the temperature in New York in August?

Enjoying summer in New York| ©Robert Nyman
Enjoying summer in New York| ©Robert Nyman

August is one of the hottest days of the New York summer. The minimum is 19°C (can occur in the evenings) and the maximum is 28°C, very rarely exceeding 30°C. The weather this month has the following characteristics:

  • It is hot and humid.
  • There are 7 to 10 showers.
  • On average, only 3 rains are significant.
  • The weather is hot most of the time, hence the citizens of La Gran Manzana prefer outdoor activities.

Book your New York City Sightseeing Flex Pass

Are there a lot of tourists in New York in August?

Tourists in Time Square| ©Andreas Komodromos
Tourists in Time Square| ©Andreas Komodromos

All the things to see and things to do in New York make it a city with many visitors throughout the year. One of the biggest tourist influxes is experienced in August and, in fact, for many, summer is the best time to visit New York, so if you go during this time, you're bound to see a lot of tourists.

However, don't worry about the hotels or restaurants, as places like these are used to catering for large numbers of people. And although many of the city's citizens choose to travel elsewhere in August, you won't get the feeling that the streets are empty. So you'll still get a chance to see the life of a New Yorker.

Book your New York Sightseeing Day Pass

Do prices in New York go up in August?

Doing the maths| ©Karolina Grabowska
Doing the maths| ©Karolina Grabowska

It is true that in the summer, prices tend to rise in the city due to the influx of tourists. However, compared to July, August prices are lower, and as the end of the month approaches, prices will go down more and more.

Therefore, it will be possible to find good accommodation, restaurants, entrance fees and tours at reasonable prices.

Book a Sunset Cruise on the Hudson River

What to bring on your trip to New York in August

Packing| ©Craig Adderley
Packing| ©Craig Adderley

Packing is an important time, you need to make sure you take what you need and what's right for you. You don't want to bring clothes or items that you later discover you don't need. To avoid that, here are the most important things to pack for a trip to New York in August:

  • Comfortable, lightweight clothing and footwear.
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, hat and, most importantly, sunscreen.
  • Water bottle to carry water wherever you go.
  • Umbrella to protect you from the sun or, in case it rains.
  • Light jacket, due to the heat, inside some places, air conditioners have low temperatures.

Book a tour of Central Park

What to do if it's raining in New York or it's hotter than you can handle

The famous Friends flat| ©Hellotickets
The famous Friends flat| ©Hellotickets

The plans I'm about to tell you about are ideal if it's too hot, too sunny or raining during your trip to the Big Apple:

  • Friends The Experience: New York exhibition where you see iconic locations from the "Friends" series, from Monica and Rachel's flat to Central Perk.
  • Visit some of New York's best museums.
  • See the New York Public Library.
  • Spend hours in one of the coffee shops.
  • Buy tickets to a Broadway musical.

Book your ticket to a Broadway musical