The 15 Best Things to Do In Brooklyn That’ll Help You Forget Summer is Ending

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photo by Kristin Iversen

The bad news: summer is coming to an end. The good news: with weather like we’ve been having, it’s easy to pretend it isn’t. And while many museum exhibits are finishing, beaches are closing, and the heat is waning, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still fun to be had. Lots of fun in fact. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Brooklyn (or, like, really, really close to Brooklyn) before summer is officially over, and even a little after that. Because, after all, summer is really just a state of mind, right? That’s what we tell ourselves mid-January anyway.

Movies with a View, August 28
There have been plenty free movie screening series this summer that have come and gone, but it’s not too late to catch an outdoor film. And there’s one final screening at Brooklyn Bridge Park! This week’s selection is viewer’s choice, so you can head over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Facebook page to vote for either Groundhog Day, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, or Monty Python and the Holy Grail (currently in the lead, but it’s damn close!). Honestly, though, with choices like that? You kinda can’t lose.

Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco, August 29
Prospect Park’s Lakeside rink has been hosting Friday night adult skate nights all summer and the last one is coming up this Labor Day weekend. And not only are these nights adult exclusive (yay! no teens!), they are also 21-and-over, meaning it’s not even for, like, young adults. This final one is Moulin Rouge-themed, and will include costume contests, giveaways, performers, and—of course—food and drinks. You don’t even need to know how to skate! Lessons will be given and rentals are available. And who doesn’t  want to see a bunch of intoxicated adults in sparkly leggings and headbands falling on their asses?

Brooklyn Night Bazaar End of Summer Blowout, August 29
You’ve probably been hitting up BK Bazaar shows all summer, but this particular Friday you send summer away fondly with a night of booze and dancing. The lineup is heavy with punk rock headbangers, including Single Mothers, Dope Body, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Brooklyn-locals Vulture Shit, and Two Inch Astronaut. Grab a beer and mosh away your disappointment that summer is nearly gone.

Silly Dance Contest, August 30
Looking for an excuse to do the “Shopping Cart” or the “Sprinkler?” Well, here’s your chance. Head on over to Rockaway Beach Surf Club and whip out your silliest dance moves. You can win a $50 or $25 drink ticket and after each round the silliest dancers get free shots. Costumes are encouraged, so don’t even think about doing the A Night at the Roxbury head bop without throwing on a shiny suit first.

Coney Island Reggae Beach Party, August 31
If you want to go to the beach one last time this summer, make your way to Coney Island on the 31st  for the final installment of the Reggae Beach Party. Reggae music is meant to be heard loud and proud, and Carter Van Pelt is making that happen. Once a month for the past few months, Van Pelt, has been hosting a reggae party on the boardwalk at West 21st street. Join the crowds and jam along or let the beats soundtrack your tanning from 4-8pm.

Brooklyn Cyclones Final Game, August 31
Join everyone’s real favorite NY baseball team, the Cyclones, for its last home game of the season against the Staten Island Yankees. Baseball games may be the most summery activity of all time, and this one happens to be fan appreciation night, meaning pre-game autographs, hot dog and drink specials, and post-game fireworks. What better way to bid farewell to the summer than fireworks over the Coney Island Boardwalk?

West Indian American Day Parade, September 1
It’s time for what may be the largest, loudest, craziest celebration of anything in Brooklyn. If you haven’t seen what goes on at the West Indian American Day Parade first hand, then you’re missing out on an exciting display of culture and heritage. While the actual parade is on Labor Day, the celebrations go on all weekend. You’re guaranteed to see feathered headdresses (not the Native American kind), bedazzled bikinis, and other awesome costumes. There are plenty of food vendors, so take advantage of that because West Indian food is delicious. All in all, it’s a fun and wild day of traditional Caribbean music, dancing, and, for once, cultural appreciation rather than appropriation.

Fool’s Gold Day Off, September 1
What once was a free show in a parking lot has turned into an annual party and now tour for Brooklyn indie record label Fool’s Gold. The hip-hop/dance music label is expanding the Day Off festival to five cities, and they’re not skimping on thoroughly killer line-ups. They’re kicking off the multi-city tour with Danny Brown, French Montana, and a ton more at 50 Kent on Labor Day, and since you probably have the day off, there’s no excuse not to go. Tickets are $20 in advance.

Escape Brooklyn End of Summer Camp, September 5-6
You thought summer camp was just for kids? Well, not anymore thanks to Escape Brooklyn. The site that blogs about day trips in NY is now hosting an end of summer camp in upstate Phoenicia. For about $100 per person (including bus fare and tent rental) you can spend the weekend in the great outdoors, all without giving up indoor plumbing (there are bathroom facilities on site)! While reservations are made through the campground itself, Escape Brooklyn will be planning group activities like tubing, bar hopping, and hiking. So it’s the perfect way to spend the first weekend in September forgetting the pile of work waiting for you.

MoMA PS1 Warm Up, Saturdays through September 6th
MoMA PS1’s Warm Up series is no new thing—it’s finishing up its 17th year—but that’s no reason not to go again and again… or fine, at least once a summer. Each week from 3-9pm there’s a new line-up of experimental music and DJ sets. And since, of course, this is first and foremost an art exhibition space, there have been rotating stage installations all summer long. Hurry because there are only two Saturdays left to catch the masterfully curated outdoor series. Admission is $18 in advance.

Pig Island, September 6
As an act of sheer summer decadence and gluttony, you owe it to your belly to stop by the 5th annual Pig Island, a day in which attendees feed on every pork-related food they could dream up, all of which is prepared by some of NYC’s best chefs. A ticket not only gets you all the meat you can handle, but also endless beers, ciders, and wine! You can even bring your defiant, vegetarian-to-spite-you preteen friend (uh, we all have those right?), because kids under twelve are free and they even have “vegetarian-friendly side stations.” Previous years have seen everything from pig head tacos to bacon hot buns. We suggest fasting the day before.

TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint, September 7
Join 40+ Williamsburg and Greenpoint restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries for the 5th annual celebration of local food. Tickets for 6 or 12 “food and drink tastes” are $25 or $45 in advance. All proceeds go to the building of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center. You better be there because stuffing your face for a good cause is the best way to stuff your face. Live music curated by Rough Trade will include Jack + Eliza, Ben Fields, and Son Little.

NYC Century Bike Tour, September 7
For some of you weirdly athletic exercise enthusiasts, the end of summer is a reminder of the imminent end of biking weather. Well, satisfy your endless biking desires with the NYC Century Bike Tour. Choose between a 35, 55, 75, or 100-mile route that begins either at Prospect Park or Central Park. You’ll be given a tour of many New York neighborhoods, through one or several boroughs. And this is the 25th year of the event, so you know the organizer really know what they’re doing. Basically, if you want to end the summer in peak athletic shape (or you just have some masochistic desires) be one of the 6,000+ participants in the tour. You won’t regret it.

BEAT Brooklyn, September 11-20
For a week and a half in Brooklyn, performing artists will take over the borough. The BEAT Brooklyn is a performing arts festival that aims to showcase some of Brooklyn’s most talented upcoming performance artists in mediums like music, dance, and conceptual art. While the opening night celebration transforms the Brooklyn Museum via a party with live performances, the festival also has performances at Greenwood Cemetery, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the MetroTech Center, among others. Events range from free to $30, so it’s easy to come out and support some of Brooklyn’s local artists. There’s even an enticing “Mp3 Experiment,” best described as a sort of unrehearsed flash mob.

Grove Alley Paint Nite, Sep 12
Celebrate the last of summer nights and pay homage to 5 Pointz with a live art and music event at Grove Alley. The Sole Rebel and brokeMC will be painting and adding to last year’s murals on the alley walls and others will be creating pieces on canvas. Along with the musical styling of DJ Chela, there’ll be performances by F. Stokes, Napoleon, and Legs, because no block party is complete without music. Vendors will have art for sale and food and beer will be available to purchase.

Greenpoint Film Festival, September 18-21
The Greenpoint Film Fest is returning for its third year with regenerated excitement, literally. Hosted by Brooklyn arts group Woven Spaces, the festival will showcase 25 films including animation, documentary, narrative, and experimental. In addition to the screenings, there will be panels and Q&As. And the festival will also feature a collection of shorts, music videos, and microbudget films that fall under their special Environmental and Community themes. So although most of the park screenings are finished, check out what some of Brooklyn’s finest filmmakers can offer you.

Follow Brie Roche-LIlliott on Twitter @BrieRocheL

Follow Rachel Aster Perlman on Twitter @cRAEzy


  1. Hey there.. thanks for the plug! FYI the dates are the 5th-7th in case anyone is interested. Thats Friday September 5th through Sunday September 7th! Come for all three days or pick your own.


    Denny + Erin


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