New York State is the place to be in the summertime, and August is no exception, with plenty of super fun events the whole family will enjoy. From balloon rallies and comedy festivals to horse races and BBQ fests, your calendar will be jam packed with exciting New York State excursions.
The stars of NASCAR return to the Finger Lakes to race in the I Love NY 355 at the Glen this August. Come for the day or make a weekend out of it with the family by camping overnight at the The Glen’s storied road course. Will a championship driver keep defend their spot in the playoffs or will a wild card driver swoop in and take the prize? Don’t miss a second of the action and get your tickets today! Watkins Glen; August 3 - 6; $10 - $155
Laugh until you cry this August at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival which takes over the iconic comedian’s hometown of Jamestown. You’ll catch both rising stars and comedy royalty, plus tours of the town, exhibitions and even a puppet show for kids. This year’s headliners include Kevin James, Jim Gaffigan and Lisa Lampanelli. August 3 - 6; Jamestown; prices vary by performer and event
If you’ve never tasted a Spiedie - a delicious meaty sandwich and a local delicacy in New York’s southern tier - then get yourself (and your whole crew) to the 33rd Annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally Expo. This fun-filled festival is considered to be one of the top three balloon festivals in the country. Watch as huge hot air balloons launch through the sky while you munch on some delicious local delicacies (including spiedies, of course). It’s a perfect summer outing for the whole family. Binghamton; August 4 - 6; tickets start at $20
Looking for a nautical excursion the whole family will love? Head to the 53rd Annual Antique Boat Show & Auction in the Thousand Islands region to witness more than 100 boats, both in water and on land. There will also be vendors on site, selling everything from nautical-themed crafts and boating equipment to actual boats. The Grand Parade will close the weekend with a fleet sailing down Clayton’s waterfront to say goodbye to show-goers and exhibitors. Clayton; August 4 - 6; adults $14 - $15, kids $8 - $10, under 6 free
Be a part of this annual celebration of all things al fresco in NYC. Taking place over 3 consecutive Saturdays, almost 7 miles of open streets are cleared for people to bike, play, run and enjoy the city sights. Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and has everything from a giant inflatable water park to a zipline down 53rd street. Take the phrase “concrete jungle” seriously and spend a day monkeying around the busy streets of NYC with the kids! New York City; August 5. 12, 19; free
Did you know that grape growers in Chautauqua County produce approximately 65% of New York State’s total annual grape harvest? And it’s part of the largest grape growing region east of the Rockies? Now you do! Get a chance to sample some of these deliciously, ripe (and fermented) grapes at the America’s Grape Country Wine Festival. The two and a half day festival showcases the best local wines and distilleries from across NY State, plus food, crafts and live music. Dunkirk; August 11 - 13; $21.60 - $27 (designated driver/non-drinking tickets $5.40 per day)
Pack up the family for a weekend on Sylvan Beach during Canal Fest 2017. Highlights include vendors, helicopter rides, fireworks, live music, an outdoor family movie screening, and performances by the U.S. Waterski Show Team and the Wallendas Extreme Thrill Show. Sylvan Beach; August 11 - 13; free
Join in on 10 days of mayhem at Bill Johnston's Pirate Days on Alexandria Bay in the Thousand-Islands. Featuring two on-the-water invasions, block dances and pirate skits, you’ll really feel like you’ve traveled to a time when pirates ruled the seas. So, pack up the car and get ready to experience a family excursion you won’t forget. Aye Aye, matey! Alexandria Bay; August 11 - 20; most events free
Every year, more than a million people head to the Great New York State Fair for live music, carnival thrills and delicious local eats that will keep your mouth watering for days. This year, they’re bringing you the best of the best with larger live acts, heart-pounding rides and 12-days of pure fun. Click here for much more information. Syracuse; August 23 - September 4; most tickets $10, but several promotions are available. Check the website for details
Summer in Saratoga Springs isn’t complete without a trip to the historic race track! And August 26th is the perfect day to go, when you can witness one of the most celebrated races of the season. At the Travers Stakes, some of the world’s top thoroughbred horses race to win the prestigious Man O'War Cup. You can also celebrate with the city of Saratoga Springs leading up to the event during the Travers Festival, with an entire week of racing events, live music and restaurant deals. Saratoga Springs; August 26; $10
Calling all BBQ lovers: Spend the day at the Great Catskill Mountain BBQ Fest and get the chance to judge a tasty rib-off competition. Expect live music, a craft beer tent, kids’ activities and, of course,a lot of delicious grub! This finger-lickin’ festival is perfect for hungry families who love to eat and have fun. Fleischmanns; August 26; free
Up, up and away! Celebrate Labor Day Weekend as you gaze into a sky of colorful hot air balloons. The 36th Annual NY State Festival of Balloons has everything from balloon launches to carnival rides for all ages. You can even get the chance to ride in one of the balloons during the festival by filling out a ticket request form prior to the event. This is one event you definitely won’t want to miss out on before summer ends! Dansville; August 31 - September 4; admission $5, balloon rides $200 per person
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