NYC's September calendar is brimming with excitement, including tons of festivals, exhibits, and Broadway fall previews. The US Open starts the month off, plus there are blockbuster concerts, the San Gennaro Festival, the Chile Pepper Festival, the Cloisters' Medival Festival, and much more! From walking the High Line to exploring Greenwich Village to taking a cruise to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, you won't want to miss out on any of this. There's history to be learned at Ellis Island, Broadway shows to gawk over, food halls to dine in, and plenty of views to take in while on top of the Empire State Building. From Brooklyn Heights to the Upper West Side, the Big Apple will not disappoint.
Things to Do in New York in September: Exhibits
Terry O'Neill (British, born 1938). Raquel Welch in a Pierre Cardin outfit featuring a miniskirt and necklace in blue vinyl, worn with a Plexiglas visor, 1970. Image courtesy of Iconic Images. © Terry O’Neill / Iconic Images.
(7/20-1/5/20) Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at Brooklyn Museum is the first Cardin retrospective hosted in New York in 40 years. It will display over 170 objects from the Pierre Cardin archive, including fashion pieces. It will also make connections between Cardin's futuristic aesthetic and that of his design contemporaries. Cardin’s bold, geometric fashions reflected mid-century advances in technology and industry—most explicitly those concerned with space exploration. In fact, on a visit to NASA in 1971, Cardin donned an Apollo 13 astronaut suit and became the only civilian ever to do so! brooklynmuseum.org
(9/1-9/2, 9/7-9/8) Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit The event showcases fine artists and craft artisans from around the New York metropolitan area, the nation and the world. Attendees come from all over and are a cosmopolitan mix, including art lovers, tourists, faculty and students from the area's many schools and professionals such as interior designers. wsoae.org
(9/12-9/22) For its eighth edition, Photoville at Brooklyn Bridge Park will transform the Brooklyn Bridge Plaza into an immersive photography village populated by over 80 exhibitions in 60+ shipping containers, providing an accessible venue for the public to experience both challenging and entertaining visual stories from a diverse group of artists, curators and organizations. In addition to exhibitions in and around the freight containers, Photoville offers panel discussions, artist lectures, professional development seminars, hands-on workshops, extraordinary nighttime programming, and our Education Day that brings together hundreds of public school students for a unique photo-based field trip. FREE!
Photograph by Thomas Lau, courtesy of Anna Sui.
(9/12-2/23/2020) Opening September 12 during New York Fashion Week, The World of Anna Sui celebrates one of the country’s top designers at the Museum of Arts and Design . The 75 fashion looks on display in this exhibition will showcase Anna Sui’s decades-long career, beginning with the groundbreaking fashion show in 1991 that introduced the world to her one-of-a-kind eclectic aesthetic.
(Now-10/1) Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When you see the sheer volume (some 130) of mind-blowing instruments that have been played by a broad cross-section of iconic musicians, all tucked into one space, you'll understand why the Met is the appropriate place for this show. It's the first time a music exhibit of this magnitude has been presented, co-organized with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While guitars primarily make up the exhibit (you can see the white guitar Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock, Prince's 1993 "Love Symbol" guitar, one of Pete Townshend's smashed guitars encased in Lucite, and Joan Jett's guitar, among others), there are other instruments, including Jerry Lee Lewis's gold baby grand piano, Lady Gaga's custom Artpop piano, and The Who's drum kit. #MetRockandRoll
Pieces from Shepard Fairey's Obey Giant series, part of his 30th anniversary collection. Photo: Dan Bradica, courtesy of Beyond the Streets.
(Now-9/29) Extended! Beyond the Streets at the space Twenty Five Kent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn celebrates some of the biggest names in graffiti, including work from NYC legends Tats Cru, Lady Pink, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as Shepard Fairey, Invader, Brooklyn duo FAILE, artifacts from NYC's beloved Beastie Boys, street photographer Martha Cooper, and much more. Get tickets at beyondthestreets.com.
(Now-1/3/20) The most significant site of the Holocaust, Auschwitz was not a single entity, but a complex of 48 concentration, forced labor, and extermination camps, at which 1 million Jews—and tens of thousands of others—were murdered. Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., a new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, explores the legacy of history’s deadliest mass murder site. More than 700 original objects and 400 photographs are on display, many for the first time in North America. Among the artifacts: personal possessions, fragments of a barrack, a gas mask used by the SS, and an original German-made Model 2 freight wagon used for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Poland.
(Now-9/8) Last chance!! Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything at The Jewish Museum is the first exhibition entirely devoted to the imagination and legacy of the influential singer/songwriter, man of letters, and global icon from Montréal, Canada. The exhibition includes commissioned works by a range of international artists who have been inspired by Cohen’s style and recurring themes in his work, a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings, and an innovative multimedia gallery where visitors can hear covers of Cohen’s songs by musicians such as Lou Doillon; Feist; Moby; and The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Richard Reed Parry, among others.
(Second half 7/24-1/5/20) Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial American artists of the late 20th century, is represented in great depth in the Guggenheim’s collection. In 1993 the museum received a generous gift of approximately two hundred photographs and unique objects from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, creating one of the most comprehensive public repositories in the world of this important artist’s work. In 2019, 30 years after the artist’s death, the Guggenheim will celebrate the sustained legacy of his work with a yearlong exhibition in two sequential parts in the museum’s Mapplethorpe Gallery on Tower Level 4.
(Ongoing) Faith and Empire at the Rubin Museum. Religion has influenced and empowered countless political leaders throughout history, and Tibetan Buddhism is no exception. “Faith and Empire: Art and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism” is the first exhibition of its kind to explore Tibetan Buddhism’s dynamic political role in the empires of Asia from the 7th to the early 20th century. Artwork highlights include a set of 8th-century gilt-silver drinking vessels from the Tibetan Empire; an early 13th-century wrathful icon made of silk and ornamented with tiny seed pearls; a 4 ½-foot-tall 680-pound gilt-bronze bodhisattva from the early 15th-century Ming court; and a 19th-century 8-feet-wide Mongolian depiction of the final battle against the heretics and nonbelievers. The exhibition is arranged chronologically, beginning with the Tibetan Empire in the 7th century, and includes sections on the Tangut kingdom of Xixia, the Mongol Empire, the Chinese Ming dynasty, the rule of the Dalai Lamas, and the Manchu Qing dynasty.
(Permanent) The Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image will celebrate the life and legacy of the famed Muppet creator, exploring both his prolific career and the enduring effect his work has on pop culture to this day. Visitors can expect to learn more about the creation of such beloved works as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labryinth, as well as to discover the cutting-edge experimental works Henson made throughout his career.
(Permanent) The Museum of the City of New York presents NY at Its Core. Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core presents the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition.
Comedy Shows to Catch
(9/5) The Gotham All-Stars Taping Hosted by Pete Davidson at Gotham Comedy Club. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of a live virtual reality event with Oculus & NextVR hosted by Pete Davidson!
(9/6-9/7) Adam Ray at Gotham Comedy Club.
(9/12) Dave Hill's Live Comedy Album Recording at Union Hall, with Dave Hill and Clare O'Kane.
(9/13-9/14) Colin Kane at Gotham Comedy Club.
(9/20-9/21) Adam Ferrara at Gotham Comedy Club.
Things to Do with Kids
(9/21-9/22) Now in its 37th year, the traditional County Fair at the Queens County Farm Museum features blue ribbon competitions in produce, livestock, arts and crafts, and more. Enjoy the Amazing Maize Maze, pie-eating and corn-husking contests, pig-racing, hayrides, carnival rides, and a midway. Visit craft vendors, food vendors, enjoy music, and more. 11am-6pm. queensfarm.org
Photo: Chris Lee
(9/22) Fall Family Day at Carnegie Hall. Families can enjoy live performances, build their own instruments, sing and dance with professional musicians, and more. This event runs from 12 PM to 4 PM. Join in for an enriching afternoon of musical fun for the whole family. FREE.
(Ongoing) Aspiring scientists and astronauts will want to explore the New York Hall of Science in Queens, brimming with interactive exhibits (plus an outdoor playground).
Food, Music, & Nightlife
(9/7) Pig Island 2019 at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It's back, celebrating its 10th anniversary! Chefs will be cooking half or whole Flying Pigs Farm pigs. Special ribs challenges! Fletcher's Brooklyn BBQ, Hoodoo Brown BBQ and many others. Craft beer, cider & spirits. Celebrity judges. Live music. pigisland.com
(8/29-9/2) Celebrate Brooklyn's global influence in music and promote social justice at Brooklyn Music Week. Look for live performances, art and fashion exhibitions, panel guests, themed parties, and more. brooklynmusicweek.com
(9/3-9/5) Hot Chip at Brooklyn Steel.
(9/7-9/14) New York Shakespeare Exchange's ShakesBEER Turns 30! New York Shakespeare Exchange (NYSX) announces the 30th consecutive NYC original Shakespearean Pub Crawl: ShakesBEER turns 30! on September 7 & 14, 2019 from 3-6 PM. The crawl begins in Alphabet City at The Donnybrook (35 Clinton St, Manhattan) with check-in at 2:30pm and moves to Parkside Lounge, C Lounge, and Mama's Bar. Tickets are $49 and are available at https://shakesbeer.brownpapertickets.com/. Tickets include performance and four drinks (beer, wine, and select cocktails). $25 "sober" tickets are also available, which include admission only.
(9/6-9/14) It's New York Fashion Week, and there will be afterparties. nyfw.com
Image: Maro Hagopian & Sasha Zabelina
(9/7-9/8) Bushwig returns to the Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens for 23 hours of over 160 performers and non-stop drag, live music, and DJ sets from legendary and rising children of New York and the world! Featuring two stages of drag plus, shopping, food vendors, ice cold drinks from SIX+ bars, Cheeky darkroom, VIP Kiki-lounge, friendly LGBTQ security, and a FREE direct shuttle bus from the Jefferson L station to the venue! 21+. bushwig.com
(9/9) Antoni in the Kitchen: NYC A Delicious Conversation at The Town Hall. Join Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski for a special evening of beautiful conversation and fun, in partnership with Williams Sonoma to celebrate the publication of his first cookbook, Antoni in the Kitchen.
(9/17-10/12) Madonna: Madame X Tour does an intimate residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Limited tickets still available. (*Please note beginning date schedule change).
(9/13-10/20) Oktoberfest NYC.
(9/22, 24) Lizzo : Cuz I Love You, Too Tour stops by Radio City Music Hall.
(9/20) Jeff Buckley & Gary Lucas The Lost Songs at The Cutting Room. Besides their well known anthems "Grace" & "Mojo Pin", Buckley & Lucas have written a dozen songs. Tonight Lucas pays tribute to his friend by performing their lost songs, among others.
(9/20-9/22) The Big Chocolate Show is returning to the New York City area for the fourth consecutive year. This weekend-long event, which features both family-friendly activities and a special 21+ area, is moving to Resorts World Casino NYC in Queens, the “World’s Borough.” Featuring three full days of samples, chocolate tastings, live demonstrations, and classes, The Big Chocolate Show benefits Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national nonprofit committed to funding research for new, improved and less invasive treatments for kids’ cancers. Tickets are on sale now at thebigchocolateshow.com. Use City Guide's discount code (CITY20) for 20% off!
(9/23) Conversations with Nick Cave at The Town Hall: An Evening of Talk and Music. Described by Cave as “an exercise in connectivity,” no subject is sacred and audiences are encouraged to be bold and challenging, confrontational and unafraid.
(9/28) New York Vegandale Food & Drink Festival at Randall's Island. Back for a second year (originating out of Toronto), this time a full schedule of food, drinks, music, and art. vegandalefest.com
(9/30) Deborah Harry speaks at Town Hall, to discuss her memoir, Face It, out Oct. 1. With Chris Stein and Rob Roth.
(Ongoing) Color Factory, a massive interactive art space, began in August 2017 in San Francisco. Wildly popular, the project has set up shop in SoHo and is sure to inspire lines as long as the cronut did at nearby Dominique Ansel Bakery. Designed by a wide spectrum of artists, Color Factory walks visitors through 16 rooms devoted to the wonder of color. You’re invited to compliment someone using color words, discover your signature color, and read wishes for the world written by NYC school children on varicolored balloons. Each room is equipped with a camera that can take a picture of you and send it to your phone: the better to post with! On view now through August, 2019. 251 Spring St., [email protected],colorfactory.co, @colorfactoryco
Sightseeing in NYC
© Stu99 | Dreamstime.com - Little Italy Photo
(9/12-9/22) The Feast of San Gennaro celebrates its 93rd anniversary this year! It's NYC's longest running, biggest religious outdoor festival, stretching along the streets of Little Italy. sangennaro.org
(9/1) The annual Brazilian Day Festival returns to Manhattan's Little Brazil (around 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). Load up on tasty food, music, vendors, and more. brazilianday.com
(8/26-9/8) We can think of one good reason to look forward to the end of the summer, especially if you’re a big-time tennis fan: the 2019 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, held right here in New York City. This will be the tournament’s 139th year, with Flushing Meadows, Queens hosting all the excitement. One of the most prestigious events in tennis, the U.S. Open is the final event in the Grand Slam, following the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. The matches are easily reached by subway; some 700,000 fans attend the U.S. Open every year. Tickets for the biggest matches can be scarce, but with tennis of this caliber, even a warm-up rally on a side court can be thrilling. Just getting onto the grounds is exciting, and you’ll find a full range of food to keep your energy from flagging. usopen.org
(9/16) 36th Annual Antique Motorcycle Show at Queens County Farm. The show will include a display of various makes and models of motorcycles that have been out of production for 10 years or more. Music, farmhouse tours, hayrides, and food will provide fun for the entire family. 11am-4pm. queensfarm.org
(9/21) The German-American Steuben Parade kicks off at noon, marching along Fifth Ave., from 68th Street to 86th Street. The festivities continue at the 2019 OktoberFest at Watermark Pier 15 (9/13-9/15, 9/21-9/22, 9/28-9/29, 10/5-10/6). Prost!
(9/21-11/10) Circle Line's Bear Mountain Cruise is back! Take a cruise up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain State park, while enjoying the autumnal sights and our on-board Oktoberfest with live oom-pah music, and German food and beer (available for purchase). Bear Mountain State Park features 50+ hiking and biking trails, a stunning lake with paddle boats, a zoo, museum and The Bear Mountain Inn restaurant (reservations recommended!). There's a 30 minute walk up a winding path to access these facilities. Adults from $65+, kids 5-12, $52+.
(9/29) The 44th Annual Atlantic Antic is the largest street festival in NYC, taking place along Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. atlanticave.org
(9/28) The Chile Pepper Festival 2019 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Save the date for New York’s spiciest fall tradition! Brooklyn’s end-of-summer blowout sets the garden ablaze with scorching bands from around the world, dozens of fiery food artisans, and hours of chile-chocolate debauchery.
(9/28) Global Citizen Festival at Central Park This year's concert will feature acts including Queen fronted by Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., and Carole King. Tickets are free, but one must engage in specific activist actions in the realms of health, gender equality, the environment, and/or education, in order to get a ticket. Learn more at globalcitizen.org
(9/29) Cloisters Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park. The Medieval Festival brings to life the customs and spirit of the Middle Ages. Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a medieval market town decorated with bright banners and processional flags. Performers, guests and festival goers dress in medieval costume.
(Now-9/30) Final month! It’s rosé all day once again. Rosé Mansion is back for another summer residency in NYC after a successful run last year. The designs in all 14 rooms will be brand-new, and the mansion will be twice the size of last year’s iteration. You’ll get tastings of 8 different pink wines as you travel through a champagne ball pit, a mini-theme park called Roséland, and a tree house! There will also be two different rosé wine bars where you can hang out, plus grub from Taco Dumbo on hand. 111 W. 32nd St., rosewinemansion.com, @rosewinemansion
(New!) Madame Tussauds New York Presents Broadway. Take a magical journey starting with a cocktail at the Broadway Bar, and then traveling through a kaleidoscope of your favorite musicals. Enter the world of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Sunset Boulevard, and Cats. You can sing “Memory” with Grizabella the “Glamour Cat” and wear the Dreamcoat yourself as you become a Broadway star. The Phantom of the Opera will also guide you through this dazzling backstage experience, and perhaps do a little singing himself along the way. Live actors will be on hand to enhance the rush both on- and offstage.
(Ongoing) Get the full stadium experience with Yankee Stadium Tours, which offers exclusive access to New York Yankee historic spots like Monument Park, The Great Hall, and even down to the dugout. The daily tours also bring you close to baseball artifacts like Babe Ruth’s bat, Lou Gehrig’s jersey, and rings and trophies representing the Yankees’ 27 world championships.
Things to Do in New York in September: Ongoing
Every year New York marks the September 11th attacks with the Tribute in Light, a display of 88 searchlights visible in the night sky for miles around. There will be other tributes and memorials all around the city, and a visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum will provide moving context.
Part tour, part show, all entertainment! Take THE RIDE and see NYC like never before!
Experience Downtown NYC, enhanced with virtual reality, with THE RIDE's DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE.
Immerse yourself in the deep, dark depths of the ocean, where Humboldt squid fight to the death, 50 foot whales ride overhead, play with sea lions, navigate a sea kelp maze and more at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey! Here's a coupon!
Bring a loved one to take in the breathtaking view at Top of the Rock.
New York Weather in September
Come September the summer heat is fading and there can be a crispness in the air, particularly in the evenings, making this a great month to visit the city. Highs average 81°F (28°C) on September 1st and cool down to 69°F (21°C) by September 30. Average lows overnight go from 66°F (19°C) at the month’s start all the way down to 55°F (13°C) by month’s end. There’s rain on about 10 days, but it usually isn’t heavy—4 inches in total precipitation is scattered across the month. Bringing an umbrella can’t hurt, but generally you won’t need many layers for September, with little more than a lightweight jacket necessary to meet the elements.