13 fun things to do this weekend in Harlem and beyond

Updated: Aug 7


The Pubic Theater's Mobile Unit is coming to the Johnny Hartman plaza in Harlem.
The Pubic Theater's Mobile Unit is coming to the Johnny Hartman plaza in Harlem.

Live jazz on the Great Hill, the Public Theater's roving Mobile Unit, the Creole Food Festival, and more fun things to see and do this weekend.


Harlem Week

August 6-15

Various locations

This annual festival celebrating Harlem kicks off this weekend with two big outdoor events: Great Jazz on the Great Hill on Saturday at 4pm in Central Park and "A Great Day in Harlem," featuring vendors and live performances on Sunday starting at noon in front of Grant's Tomb.


Tammy McCann "Yes Mahalia!"

Friday, August 6 7pm-8:30pm

Central Harlem Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, Marcus Garvey Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 124th St

Tammy McCann and the Eyal Vilner Big Band get together for this tribute to gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.


Faces of Harlem photo exhibit

Opening reception: Saturday, August 7 noon-3pm

Central Harlem Morningside Park, Manhattan Ave and W 112th St

One hundred portraits of Harlemites are spread across four Harlem parks—Morningside, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson and Rucker—in this outdoor photography exhibit co-curated by Harlem's own Sade Boyewa El.


Creole Food Festival

Saturday, August 7 & Sunday, August 8 2pm-8pm

West Harlem Skinny's Cantina on the Hudson, 701 W 133rd St and 12th Ave

A two-day festival highlighting the food of top Creole chefs, including Harlem star JJ Johnson.


The Public Theater Mobile Unit's Summer of Joy

Saturday, August 7 & Sunday, August 8 at 4:30pm

• Johnny Hartman Plaza, W 143rd St and Hamilton Pl (Saturday)

• 125th Street Plaza, Park Ave and E 124th St (Sunday)

The Public Theater's mobile unit is coming to Harlem for two afternoons of spoken word, songs, and call and response featuring poetry by Shakespeare.



In case you missed it:


"Up from Ground Zero"

Through August 8; Wed-Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat & Sun noon-8pm

Central Harlem Kente Royal Gallery, 2373 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between W `138th and W 139th Sts

Elizabeth "Queen Ann" Burnett's detailed shadowboxes—many of them autobiographical—make the leap from Harlem Chocolate Factory's windows to this gallery next door.


Goatham 2021

Through the summer

Morningside Heights Riverside Park between W 119th and W 125th Sts

Five goats return to a two-acre, fenced-in section of Riverside Park to help with the weeds.


The goats are back for the summer in Riverside Park.
The goats are back for the summer in Riverside Park.

Open Streets on Frederick Douglass Boulevard

Through Sept 30; Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-9pm

Central Harlem Frederick Douglass Blvd between W 111th to W 120th Sts

Nine blocks of Frederick Douglass Boulevard are closed to traffic on the weekends through September. The stretch includes a long list of restaurants with expanded outdoor seating, including Melba's, BLVD Bistro, Lido, Vinateria, and more.


Traveling While Black: A Century of Pleasure & Pain & Pilgrimage

Through December 31; Tuesday-Thursday by appointment, walk-ins Friday & Saturday

Central Harlem Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd and W 135th St

Visit the Schomburg on Fridays and Saturdays without an appointment and see its two current exhibitions, including a show exploring a century of "traveling while Black."


Zaq Landsberg's  "Reclining Liberty" in Morningside Park.
Zaq Landsberg's "Reclining Liberty" in Morningside Park.

"Reclining Liberty"

Through April 2022

Central Harlem Morningside Park, Morningside Ave and 120th St

Take a selfie with artist Zaq Landsberg's 25-foot-long sculpture, "Reclining Liberty," right above the entrance to the park at 120th Street.


Harlem Grown: Saturdays on the Farm

Saturdays through October

Central Harlem 134th Street Farm, 118 W 134th St between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvds

Free workshops for children on farming (sample themes: pollinators, leafy greens, edible flowers) on Harlem Grown's urban farm. Registration is mandatory.


Live jazz at the Grange

Sundays 6pm-9pm

Hamilton Heights The Grange Bar & Eatery, 1635 Amsterdam Ave at W 141st St

The Grange hosts the Sam Taylor jazz trio every Sunday night.


Estamos Bien - La Trienal 20/21

Through September 26; Sat & Sun 11am-5pm

East Harlem El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave between E 104th and E 105th Sts

The culmination of two years of research and studio visits, this national survey takes a closer look at the work of 42 Latinx artists and collectives from the United States and Puerto Rico, exploring themes such as identity, structural racism, migration and more.


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