curated by Sara Maher

Summer may officially be near its end, but the beautiful, warm days are not. Make the most of every sun-filled morning, noon, and night with these (mostly) outdoor activities.

Before Breakfast

Start your day on the right foot with a peaceful walk through Bryant Park. An instructor from the Shinnyo Center for Meditation & Well-Being will introduce you to fundamental Buddhist principles and provide instructions for meditation before taking you on a slow, mindful walk around the park. If you can take a minute or two before rushing off to work, take advantage of free art supplies and books at the Art Cart and Reading Room, or grab a coffee and fresh-baked treat from one of the many food kiosks and enjoy them in the crisp morning air.

• Walking: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and find the Upper Terrace in the park. Wed through September 28, 8:30-9am. Other activities: located throughout the park and available daily. Activities free; food available for purchase.

Lunch Break

If you don’t take your lunch hour, you should – and if you usually “take” it at your desk, you should switch it up. If you only have an hour, bring your binoculars to Washington Square Park for a guided bird tour. If you have some time to spare, get active with free juggling lessons in Bryant Park, then picnic while listening to a piano performance.

• Bird walk: F downtown to W 4th St and walk northeast to the northwest corner of Washington Square Park (Washington Square West and Waverly Pl). Thu through Sept 29, 1-2pm. Free. Piano: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and find the Upper Terrace in the park. Weekdays through Sept 30, 12:30-2:30pm. Free. Juggling: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and find the lawn in the park. Weekdays through Sept 30, 12-1pm. Free; equipment provided.

Evening Events

Did this wet summer’s blooms and buds make your green thumb tingle? The Making Compost Work for You workshop from GreenThumb will teach you the fundamentals of compost cultivation. Never quite make it up to Shakespeare in the Park? Try the ticket-free Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare’s performance of Measure for Measure instead.

• Compost: F downtown to 2nd Ave and walk northeast to the 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden (Ave B between 5th and 6th Sts). Tue Sept 13, 6-7pm. Free; RSVP at Shakespeare: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and find the Upper Terrace in the Park. Through Sept 17; Thu 9pm, Fri-Sat 7pm. Free.

Daylong Dates

Just couldn’t make it to Cannes? Tribeca and TIFF not to your taste? The Coney Island Film Festival caters to an audience all its own. If you’re uncertain about seeing titles like Sucklepump, Superboob, L’Assassins: Fire of Love, or Don’t Do Laundry in the Basement When You Live in a Haunted House and Satan is Your Landlord, remember that you can get an all-day pass for $12 (as opposed to, like, $1,200). For slightly more introverted entertainment, check out the Brooklyn Book Festival. These two days of bookmania include panels and presentation featuring some of the biggest names in books (Margaret Atwood! Joyce Carol Oates! Chip Kidd! Jacqueline Woodson!), as well as activities and giveaways from local publishers and bookstores. Every genre from cookbooks to graphic novels to zines will be represented, so every bibliophile will find something that speaks to them. If you have little book-lovers, go on Saturday for special Children’s Day activities.

• Film Fest: F downtown to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave and walk south to Coney Island (1208 Surf Ave). Sept 16-18; times vary. Tickets start at $8. Program and tickets: Book Fest: F downtown to Jay St-MetroTech and walk west to the plaza near 209 Joralemon St., Sun Sept 18, 10am-6pm. Book Fest Children’s Day: F downtown to Jay St-MetroTech and walk northeast to MetroTech Commons (Lawrence St and Myrtle Promenade). Sat Sept 17, 10am-4pm. Free.

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

Contact Info

The Main Street WIRE
531 Main Street #413
New York, NY 10044
Tel: 212-826-9056