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3 Awesome Things to Do With Your September Weekends 2013

Image of the Dumbo Arts Festival, where people are walking around looking up at a projection of different designs and images on a city building

Summer's just about over which is definitely sad, but that means New York City's Fall culture/food/crazy-event season is just about to kick in, which is the extreme opposite of sad. Joyous? Thrilling? Awesome? Anyway, there are a zillion things going on all over town starting the weekend after Labor Day (though Fashion's Night Out was canceled this year, which is too bad) and carrying us straight through to the Holiday Season, which will mean even MORE fun. Here are three ideas, for three September weekends, just to get you started.

Landscape photo of Storm King center, in which you can see some of the sculptures on the property.

Visit The Amazing Storm King

I'm including the phenomenal Storm King Art Center, located in the Lower Hudson Valley town of Mountainville, mostly because I'm bummed I didn't get up there this summer. Also, in my experience, the cooler Fall weather makes your stroll around these magnificent 500 acres, filled with more than 100 world-class sculptures from a hall-of-fame roster of artists, just that much more pleasant. Really, one of my favorite-ever days was spent on these grounds, and I've been dying to get back ever since. Truly a special place, with great art in a beautiful setting. The one caveat: though there is a public bus that takes you there and back, it costs $46 and is kind of limited in terms of departure times. Storm King is really a better car/zip car outing. The Storm King website has all the information you need. There are special events, too, like the Moonlit Walking Tour on September 20.

A Maker Faire installation that looks like a life size dinosaur made out of scrap metal

Get Creative at Maker Faire: The Greatest Show (And Tell)

Although the Maker Faire–which the organizers from the Make magazine call "part science fair, part county fair, part something entirely new"–has been around since 2006, it's really exploded of late, with last year's edition attracting record crowds to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. At this point, especially if you have children, it seems like a can't-miss fun Fall activity for the whole crew. Basically, there are more than 650 exhibits, most of them interactive, from scientists, students, inventors, designers, engineers, craftspeople… anyone who's used their smarts and ingenuity and DIY-ness to create something new. Categories include Kinetic Art, 3D Printing, Hacks, Toys, Chemistry, Flying, Music, Robots, Culture Jamming, Wearables, Furniture, Gadgets, on and on and on. In addition to the individual exhibits, which are spread throughout the New York Hall of Science and the grounds outside, there are performances, hands-on how-to workshops, sponsored giveaways and, of course, food. Maker Faire will happen on September 21 and 22.

Men walking around with helmets and matching uniforms as pedestrians watch them behind police barricade at the DUMBO Arts Festival

Have a Blast at the DUMBO Arts Festival 

Always one of my favorite Fall events, the DUMBO Arts Festival may have grown considerably in the last few years, acquiring corporate sponsors and such, but there's still a definite guerilla-street-theater vibe to the sprawling, neighborhood-wide gathering. The schedule of performers, events, artists, and exhibitors isn't yet available, but you should expect a eclectic, slightly-edgy mix. I usually go on Friday night to see the fantastic projections and light-based art, especially the show on the archway under the Manhattan Bridge, and then again either Saturday or Sunday, and just stroll around DUMBO's historic cobblestoned streets and lovely Brooklyn Bridge Park taking in all fun craziness. The DUMBO Arts Festival website will likely be updated with more info soon. The Festival runs on September 27, 28, and 29. 

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