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Fun Things to Do in New York, New York in August

There are many fun things to do in August in New York City and many of these are free. While some events will charge a nominal entrance fee usually just to cover operating costs and not to make a profit.

There are many fun things to do in August in New York City and many of these are free. While some events will charge a nominal entrance fee usually just to cover operating costs and not to make a profit.

For visitors to the city it is important to remember that the month of August can be hot and humid so it is important to keep yourself well hydrated as the average high is 83F or 28C although it can be a little cooler than this later in the month. Despite the possibility of hot dry days there is also the risk of rain so it is advisable to bring an umbrella or a waterproof jacket with you.

There are many walking tours throughout the city; if the weather is too hot or uncomfortable for you then you can always take one of the city’s bus sightseeing tours. These tours are available all year round and not just during the month of August.

The summer months have an abundance of summer concerts and outdoor film festivals, some of these are free it is just a matter of checking the schedules and waiting in line on the chosen day of the performance you wish to see.

The Bryant Park film festival runs from June until August on Monday evenings. Movies are screened on a large screen and access to the grass seating areas is available from 5.00pm, so it is a good idea to arrive early with a blanket and picnic. The show always begins at sunset, so between 8 and 9 pm. If the weather causes the show to be cancelled there is no alternative screening.

Some tips on going to these showings are to arrive early, there are usually people waiting in line when the grass seating areas are opened. Many groups of people will send one or two people ahead of the main group to reserve an area of grass with their blankets to ensure they get a good space. It can become very crowded especially close to the time when the show starts. Food and drink are allowed into the park but it can be difficult to take bathroom breaks and to get through the crowds once the show begins.

The schedule for August 2011 is Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman on the 1st. One week later on the 8th the scheduled movie is the 1980 comedy Airplane and this is followed on the 15th by the Humphrey Bogart movie of High Sierra dating from 1941. The 2011 season of movie showings ends on the 22nd with Clint Eastwood as Inspector Callahan in the 1971 production of Dirty Harry.

New York’s Central Park has a variety of events during August in its Summerstage concert events. The events are featured around dance, spoken word or music and while many are free others require tickets to be purchased or reserved in advance. The series of events take place at Rumsey Playfield on East 72nd Street off Fifth Avenue. The closest subway stop is on 68th Street and entrance to the park can be via 69th Street and 5th Avenue. Entrance to the show area opens 90 minutes before performances begin during the weekend and one hour for the shows on week nights.

While food and drink are both allowed inside the seating area, glass bottles and cans are not. Food concession stands are available inside the viewing area selling a selection of food and drink. An alternative to the bustling crowds is to find a suitable space outside the viewing area and listen to the musical performances although viewing is not an option.

The August 2011 schedule includes Lykke Li on the 1st at 6.30pm, this event requires the purchasing of tickets, this helps to cover the cost of providing the free events. A tribute to the works of Shel Silverstein begins at 7pm on the 6th and entrance is free. Another free showing is available on the 7th at 3pm. Wednesday the 10th brings a show of Latin music from Joe Bataan, he is known as the King of Latin Soul and the free performance commences at 7pm.

Saturday the 13th sees more music, this time from Henry Santos at 3pm and is also free for fans of this solo artist. The next day brings Gospel into the park, again it is free and begins at 3pm. On Wednesday the 17th the performance is called Sangre and it details the effects of violence within a community, this showing begins from 8pm and is free to watch. Reggae is featured on the 20th with among others leading performers of the reggae scene from Africa at 3pm. The next day on the Sunday the musical choice is Hip-Hop, again at 3pm and both of those weekends’ events are again free. The final weekend of the festival is on the 28th with a free showing of Jagged Edge at 3pm

Harlem Week began in 1974 as Harlem Day. It quickly outgrew being an annual one day event of celebration for the people of this part of New York City and the 2011 event will feature 122 separate events lasting not just the week but spread over six weeks from the middle of July until the end of August. The events highlight the artistic talents as well as the historic struggles for Harlem residents and can be seen as a sign of encouragement and positive future in which to showcase the community.


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Comments (6)

Great travel guide for New York.

Very interesting and enjoyable.thanks

Wish to visit the city.

John, love this and only a train ride away for me!!! xoxoxo

Great article, i love New York and all its diversity, especially the food...voted

Nice ideas!