In NYC, warmer weather means one thing: street fairs! From April through October, several of Manhattan's streets transform into open-air fairs, as they are closed to vehicular traffic and opened to throngs of fair fans who come to chow down, browse wares, and soak up the sun. While you're almost certain to stumble upon one during the course of any busy summer weekend, don't leave your outing to happenstance, thanks to this ultimate guide to NYC street fairs in 2016.
Come hungry (with plenty of lemonade stands, souvlaki vendors, crepe stands, and more), and ready to browse, with stands upon stands lined with everything from CDs to clothing, to more unexpected finds—I came home with a 10-pound piece of quartz crystal one year! Some street fairs can feel cookie-cutter, but others have more of a cultural flair (like the Japan Block Fair in June or the Bastille Day Festival in July). Still others feature live entertainment, rides, and activities.
Click through the below month-by-month links to find out when and where dozens of Manhattan street fairs will be unfolding that month. Please keep in mind that street fair listings will be updated monthly as soon as information becomes available:
- June 2016 Street Fair Listings in Manhattan: More than 20 street fairs are scheduled for June—look for some of the biggies like the Turtle Bay Festival (June 25), Avenue of The Americas Expo (June 18), and the Murray Hill Neighborhood Festival (June 4).
- July 2016 Street Fair Listings in Manhattan: Check out some two dozen fun street festivals in July, including the popular Bastille Day Festival on July 10.
- August 2016 Street Fair Listings in Manhattan: Choose from 15 street fairs unfolding across the city, with larger ones to look out for like the Eighth Avenue Festival (August 26) or the Lexington Avenue Summerfest (August 7).
- September 2016 Street Fair Listings in Manhattan: September is a great time, with pleasantly cooled-down temps, to indulge in your favorite fair fare, like the famous San Gennaro festival.
- October 2016 Street Fair Listings in Manhattan: Enjoy fall's crisp days with some 25 fall street fairs scheduled, with some unique highlights like the Japan Block Fair.
Note that most street fairs run between 10am and 6pm, though for a safer bet, arrive between 11am and 4pm to ensure the vendors are all still there and that the fair is in full swing. We recommend coming earlier in the day, before noon, ahead of the crowds—you'll get best dibs on shopping, and the freshest fare from the food stands.
Note that this information was accurate at time of publication; street fairs might be cancelled or rescheduled for inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Did I miss one? Please let me know about any and all street fairs that didn't make this list on About.com Manhattan's Facebook page.