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New York is known as the city that never sleeps and little wonder, with so much to see and do in this glittering metropolis. The Big Apple is instantly recognisable from its appearances in countless movies, and you will feel like a film star on a New York holiday.
Marvel at the city’s towering skyscrapers. Browse its famous museums then take in a Broadway show. Shop ‘til you drop on Fifth Avenue then sip cosmopolitans in a trendy Manhattan bar. Whether on a city break or longer holiday, we guarantee that you will want to be a part of New York.
August is bursting with events, so embrace the sunshine and go in search of outdoor activities taking place in the parks. Or retreat to nearby beaches on sizzling summer days and enjoy a much welcomed change of scenery and some alfresco socialising.
There is plenty of fun to be had for families, some of which is absolutely free. Head to Bryant Park and enjoy playing a selection of your favourite table top games, from Scrabble to dominoes and Jenga. Or if you’re feeling more adventurous why not kayak on the Hudson
Enjoy a traffic-free NYC. Summer Streets takes place on three consecutive Saturdays, where seven miles of the city, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central park, become a pedestrian paradise. Explore the activities at the five rest stops – which include a zip line, whole foods market and adventure zone - as well as a seven-block-long art installation in the Park Avenue Tunnel.
9 and 10 August brings the Dragon Boat Festival to Flushing Meadows Park. This celebration of culture and sport invites 170 teams from around the world to compete, come rain or shine. The sporting event will be accompanied by traditional Chinese performances and food.
The Museum of Modern Art introduces UNIQLO Free Fridays, between 4pm and 8pm. Don’t miss Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988, which runs until 24 August or Jasper Johns: Regrets, which ends on 1 September.
On 16 and 17 August you can embrace the elegance of the 1920’s at the Jazz Age Lawn party. As antique gramophones bring to life original recordings, bathing beauties parade in their finest swimwear and contestants show off their best Charleston moves.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city in the sweltering summer heat and seek out a little sanctuary at a rooftop bar. With trellises woven with flowers, weathered wooden tables and an antique railcar it’s impossible to resist the charm of the terrace at Gallow Green. Why not enjoy a Bottomless Brunch – available on Sundays from 11:30am to 4pm?
Head to Prospect Park on the third Sunday of the month and sample treats from New York’s best food trucks at the Food Truck Rally. Join the crowds as you eat like a New Yorker – from these city meals-on-wheels you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice.
Or enjoy a Sunday Supper at North Brooklyn Farms – where farm-to-table dinners are made from the freshest produce and harvested just 20 feet away.
Calling all tennis lovers, the US Open Tennis Championships will be gracing New York from 25 August at the famous Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Enjoy free entry to the qualifying rounds before 23 August and open practice sessions on the 24 August.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is a two day event that takes place from 23 August – in celebration of musical genius Charlie Parker. This longstanding jazz festival happens every August in the neighbourhoods that Parker lived and worked in — Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem’s historic district and Tompkins Square Park in the Lower East Side.
Over Labor Day weekend head over to Randall's Island Park and explore eight miles of pedestrian and bicycle pathways, accessible from points in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. On 29 August it’s also the venue for the Electric Zoo Festival , so grab tickets if you can.
Escape the city heat and embrace the glorious beaches that can be found nearby. Rockaway Beach in Queens is a popular hangout for hip Brooklynites with its foodie eateries and artsy scene. This bohemian hotspot is the largest urban beach, with a huge surfing vibe. Or explore the miles of boardwalks and beach trails of Long Island, which is renowned for its irresistible white sands – you’ll feel a million miles away from New York.
New York stands resolute this month – from fashion to film, food to festivals, this city is a hive of activity, determined to show the world what fabulous hosts they are. Daytime temperatures are balmy, carnivals are in full swing and the mood is upbeat and positively resilient.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes place from 4 – 11 September at the Lincoln Center. You may not fulfil the guest list credentials, however you can still join the style-conscious and fashion forward, by picking up the latest trends as they emerge on Fifth Avenue.
Experience a different side of New York with Summer on the Hudson. Take the family along to West Side County Fair at Riverside Park South & 68th on 7 September from 1 to 6pm. The kids will love the carnival rides and the impressive aerialists, while live bands and the greenmarket stalls vie for your attention.
Brooklyn Academy of Music 2014 launches its Next Wave Festival on 9 September, featuring 30 theatre, music, dance and film productions, plus 13 music concerts from Nonesuch Records.
Each September, New York City continues its tradition of remembering and honouring the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. 911 Memorial hosts concerts and fundraisers throughout the month or you can book tickets to visit the eight-acre 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.
Enjoy a foodie night on the North Plaza of Union Square Park from 6 to 10pm on 18 September. Watch local chefs prepare signature dishes, while you sample microbrews or pair wines, listening to music at Harvest in the Square.
Named one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine, Coney Island Film Festival screens close to 100 innovative films from 9 - 21 September. Soak up the atmosphere in the heart of the boardwalk, at 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn. Book early to avoid disappointment as many nights sell out.
It’s worth planning ahead if you’re looking for things to do in Manhattan on 27 September – from 1 August download and print a free ticket for two people to visit any of 27 New York City museums free of charge, courtesy of Museum Day Live.
Come rain or shine, one of the city’s biggest and best street fairs – the 40th Annual Atlantic Antic takes over Brooklyn on 28 September. Atlantic Avenue fills with multiple stages playing host to jazz, rock, R&B and more, storytelling and pony rides occupy the kids and cuisine from every corner of the globe satisfies all tastes.
Temperatures have dropped and crowds have dispersed – leaving film buffs, architect enthusiasts and comic fanatics to thrive, before Halloween takes hold and puts on a frighteningly good show.
The New York Film Festival takes place from 1 to 12 October. See classics by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and full-length feature films including Howard Brookner’s Burroughs: The Movie, Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America.
Starting on the 7 October and running until 11 November, Lincoln Center hosts the White Light Festival. Showcasing world-class performances and films with a focus on music.
From 11 to 12 October gain access to many places and spaces that are usually closed to the public. Architecture open house invites you to visit the best of the city’s architecturally and culturally significant buildings in New York.
Fans of comic books, animation, sci-fi, manga and more will enjoy a meeting of minds at the Pop culture convention. The exhibition from the New York Comic Con takes place from 9 to 12 October at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan.
The annual Oktoberfest is an experience not to be missed on the 19 October. Sample sausages of every kind, washed down with copious amounts of beer at the Garden at Studio Square in Queens. Tickets sell out fast, so be quick.
All budding scientists should attend the Family party at the museum on 21 October. The American Museum of Natural History offers a host of activities from digging for gems and peering into microscopes to speaking to museum scientists in the flesh.
Get into the Halloween mood with free entry to Pumpkin Fest at Central Park Bandshell on 26 October. There’s a haunted house, Harry Potter-style quidditch matches and pumpkins to carve and take home.
Join The Village Halloween Parade on 31 October along 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street from 7pm to 10:30pm. The theme this year is ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ so dress up for the occasion if you can and enjoy the long list of entertainment.
Cool, quirky and wonderfully diverse, Downtown Manhattan is a multicultural melting pot and the epitome of cutting-edge style. Soho’s high-end boutiques are a must for shopping on luxury holidays, or head to Chinatown for imitation-designer labels and kitsch souvenirs. While you’re there, sample delicious dumpling soup at Joe’s Shanghai restaurant or tuck into tasty traditional pizza at Little Italy. Stay at the elegant Ritz-Carlton New York hotel and benefit from enviable views across the harbour to the Statue of Liberty.
On New York breaks, head to the Big Apple’s core of Midtown Manhattan for the essential city experience. Here you will find the iconic Empire State Building, majestic Grand Central Station and the sparkling Chrysler Building. Stay at the InterContinental New York hotel for excellent proximity to the bright lights and buzz of Times Square. Be sure to visit world-famous department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s for some serious shopping. Dine at Marriott’s The View restaurant for stunning 360-degree city vistas.
For fine art, antiques and luxury purchases, head to trendy Tribeca and neighbouring Soho. A centre for style populated by wealthy fashionistas, it offers excellent shopping and dining options. The area segues between the Financial District and the laidback bohemia of the West Village, with an array of boutiques catering to retro-industrial chic. The luxurious Trump Soho hotel is a perfect base for exploring stylish Soho. Tribeca feels more residential but still attracts the ‘in crowd’ and the odd celebrity.
Colourful and eclectic, the Meatpacking District is an epicentre of New York activity. On the West Side of Manhattan, the district is a hub of fashion, design, food and culture. Creative sophisticates live and work alongside meatpacking businesses in this buzzing community. Visitors come for the lively atmosphere and wide variety of quality bars and restaurants. Stay at the deluxe Hotel Gansevoort in the heart of the District and watch the sunset while sipping cocktails in its stylish rooftop bar.
Former FHM fashion director Gary Kingsnorth picks his favourite areas to shop in New York City