This week, four especially varied and exciting festivals are taking place in New York. It’s hard to beat the BEAT Festival if you like performing arts or the FONT festival if the trumpet is your thing. The NY Moon Festival Cocktail Feast has well over a dozen tipples to try, and the Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park will transport you back in time. To escape the city, head to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, for a festival that celebrates good food and drink as well as physical activity.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 15 | Performing arts
For the fifth year running, the annual BEAT (Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theater) Festival presents 10 days of cutting-edge performances across Brooklyn. Expect immersive and experimental theater, dance, vocal performances, and more. The opening night takes place at the Brooklyn Museum, while other performances will be at venues such as MetroTech, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and the Industry City Distillery. From Rastafarian dance/music/poetry mash-ups to a comical dance-theater work incorporating two 11-foot tall sculptures on wheels, there’s a little of everything at this festival.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
September 16 | Chinese moon festival
NY Moon Festival Cocktail Feast
Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival (also called the Mid-Autumn Festival) with a late-night cocktail party designed by some of the city’s best bars. Each of the 17 locations will create a special cocktail inspired by and highlighting Asian ingredients, and you’ll be able to sample them all. Try a tipple made with assam tea–infused gin, lime, pineapple, five-spice powder, and passion fruit, or a drink combining rum, orgeat, matcha, lime, pineapple, and orange blossom water. There will also be Thai ice cream rolls from Juicy Spot Cafe to nibble on.
9 p.m.–12 a.m. | The Bowery Hotel, 355 Bowery St., New York | From $50 | website
September 17–18 | Escape the city
For an unusual getaway, hop on a short flight to Quebec and head to Mont-Tremblant to participate in the Tremblant Gourmand, North America’s biggest festival for active epicureans. That means a weekend of food and beverage demonstrations, classes, and tastings combined with hiking excursions, yoga, cycling, and more activities. The beautiful setting in the village of a year-round ski resort with an expansive national park on its edges couldn’t be better. Indulgence meets physical activity and natural beauty—sounds like the perfect way to recharge!
Times vary | Tremblant’s Pedestrian Village, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec | From $15 | email | website
A visit to The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park on even a regular day is enough to send you back to the Middle Ages, but the feeling will be even more immersive during the annual Medieval Festival. The park will be transformed into a totally decked-out medieval market town. Brightly colored banners and flags? Check. Period music? You betcha. Folks in medieval costume? Oh yeah. There will be music, dancing, magic, minstrels, jugglers, and jesters. Among the medieval food- and crafts-making demonstrations, those same items will be available for sale. The day concludes with a joust among four knights on horseback.
11:30 a.m.–6 p.m. | 99 Margaret Corbin Dr., New York | Free | website
September 19–25 | Music festival
Festival of New Trumpet Music
If you love the trumpet, or want to know more about it, then check out the annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), starting this week. With the goal of supporting and promoting trumpet players and those with whom they work, the festival aims to celebrate the diversity of contemporary trumpet music. Through a series of performances across the city, FONT seeks to challenge and broaden the idea of who a trumpet player is and what a trumpet player plays. There will also be a panel discussion on brass pedagogy and a tribute to legendary jazz musician John McNeil.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.