September is a wonderful time to visit New York City. Although every season is busy in the Big Apple, things tend to quiet down quite a bit after Labor Day when schools around the country are back in session, and the holiday season hasn't started yet. Most New Yorkers have gone back to their routines after summer vacations, and the popular sights and attractions are a lot less crowded. Warm, mild weather continues throughout the month.
The month usually starts out warm and humid, sometimes uncomfortably so. But as September wears on, temperatures start to drop. Historical averages for Labor Day Weekend hover around 80 F, cooling down to the mid-60s at night. By mid-September, the daily average is in the mid-70s, with evenings as cool as the mid-50s. You'll usually notice a touch of fall in the air by the last week of the month when the average high temperature rarely goes over 70 F, and nights are cool.
Thunderstorms are not unusual in September, especially in the first half of the month, so it's a good idea to pack an umbrella and a light-weight, waterproof jacket. Most days it's cool enough to enjoy a walking tour.
Celebrate New York's Italian Heritage
For more than 90 years, New Yorkers have been celebrating the city's Italian heritage with the Feast of San Gennaro. The popular celebration salutes the Patron Saint of Naples with religious processions, parades, musical entertainment and even a world-famous cannoli-eating contest. The Feast of San Gennaro is very popular with visitors and locals alike. Come hungry—the streets of Little Italy are packed with food vendors cooking up traditional sausage and peppers, scooping out gelato, and much more.
Watch a Movie by the Seashore
The annual Coney Island Film Festival takes place just one block from the world-famous Brooklyn oceanfront boardwalk in two venues: the legendary SIdeshows by the Seashore Theater and the Coney Island Museum. Held on the second weekend in September, the festival presents an eclectic selection of independent films from the U.S. and all over the world, including horror, experimental, and shorts. There's an opening night party with a live stage show, and the amusement park and aquarium will be open weather permitting.
Festival-goers can fill up on hot dogs at nearby Nathan's Famous or get a slice of New York-style pizza at Totonnos Pizzeria Napolitano.
Join a Parade
Usually held on the third Saturday of the month, the annual German-American Steuben Parade, with nine marching divisions, travels down Fifth Avenue from 86th Street to 68th Street. You'll see marchers from the U.S., Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, music and dance groups, and fabulous floats all celebrating 300 years of American-German friendship. Attend Oktoberfest in Central Park (72nd Street entrance) immediately after the parade and enjoy German brews and food, as well as live entertainment with polka bands.
Don't miss the exciting Masskrugstemmen Championship event to watch competitors raise full steins of German beer, which weigh about 5 pounds, and hold them up for as long as they can without spilling any beer or bending any elbows.