30 Wacky Holidays in September & Where to Celebrate Them in NYC

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Break out the party hats and noise makers. September is a month filled with wacky holidays. From Play Doh Day to Fortune Cookie Day we’ve pulled together a list of 30 new reasons to celebrate this month with activities and adventures in NYC.

Sept. 1: International Bacon Day

Yum, bacon. This delicious culinary staple is traditionally celebrated on the first of the month, coinciding with many Labor Day BBQs. Bacon cheeseburgers anyone? Don’t want to grill? Head to one of our favorite Long Island City spots, Sage General Store for their 3-course bacon brunch.

Sept. 2: Labor Day

This year, September 2nd is Labor Day. Celebrate the unofficial end of summer with friends and family with our 15 ideas for a fun-filled Labor Day, and hold on to summer as long as you can.

Sept. 3: Skyscraper Day

Want to pay homage to the architectural marvels that make up our famous skyline? You can take a walk around the city and look up in awe, or you can head over to the Skyscraper Museum at 39 Battery Place (yes, it exists) to get a more in-depth look.

Sept. 4: Newspaper Carrier Day

This holiday honors the first newspaper carrier, Barney Flaherty. It was actually on this day he was first hired to deliver papers. Celebrate by catching a matinee of NewsiesCan’t make it to Broadway? Set up a family movie night at home to watch it.

Homemade cheese pizzaSept. 5: Cheese Pizza Day

How lucky are we to live in the city with the best pizzas? It makes it so much easier to celebrate cheese pizza day every September 5th, though it’s not like we need an excuse to chow down on pizza, right?

Sept. 6: Read a Book Day

Everyone in the family can participate in this day. Pick your favorite book and settle down for some good reading, or check out one of Red Tricycle’s top free story times in the city instead.

Sept. 7: Neither Rain nor Snow Day

Nope, this one actually has nothing to do with the weather. It actually refers to the famous phrase “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”  inscribed on the facade of the NY Post Office, now the James Farley Post Office, which first opened for business on this day in 1914. You can take the kids to this historic mail center located at 421 8th Avenue near Penn Station.

Sept. 8: Grandparents Day

The ways to celebrate Grandparents Day are endless. Head over to the New York Historical Society for a fun activity, look through old photos, listen to stories that start with “back in my day,” take a picture including all generations possible. Let’s face it, for most grandparents, just being with their grandchildren is celebration enough.

Sept. 9: Teddy Bear Day

Does your kiddo have a favorite cuddly companion? Celebrate Teddy Bear Day in NYC by making your own at Build-A-Bear Workshop (565 5th Avenue).

Sept. 10: Swap Ideas Day

Feeling a little stuck in a rut? This day is all about sharing ideas. Ask your kids for help in planning dinner (browse our recipes for kids for some inspiration) or to come up with a brilliantly fun schedule for the weekend (check out Red Tricycle’s events calendar). A good collaboration can always brighten your day.

Freedom tower NYC

Sept. 11: Patriot Day

September 11th, now deemed Patriot Day, is a solemn day for us as New Yorkers, and as Americans. Honor those lost by dedicating some time for quiet reflection, gadget-free, or visit the 9/11 Memorial.

Sept. 12: Chocolate Milkshake Day

This deliciously-themed day is pretty self explanatory. Indulge your sweet side by visiting one of these ice cream shops and sharing a chocolate milkshake with your kids. Our guess is this will become your kid’s favorite wacky holidays.

Sept. 13: Fortune Cookie Day

Have an Asian themed day. Start by visiting the Museum of Chinese in America (215 Centre Street). Then, order in Chinese food for dinner tonight to celebrate the creation of the fortune cookie, which actually originated in California, not China!

Sept. 14: National Creme-filled Donut Day

Forget counting calories- today it’s all about creme-filled donuts. Research your favorite by visiting your local bakeries to do some taste testing. How about  the peanut butter and banana cream donut from the Doughnut Plant (379 Grand Street) on the Lower East Side? Or try a Donut Ice Cream Sandwich at Peter Pan Donuts (727 Manhattan Avenue) in Brooklyn.

Sept. 15: National Women’s Friendship Day

This day is for you! Gather up your girls and get a sitter, or put Dad on duty! It’s time to celebrate the friendships we’d be lost without. If you can’t schedule a dinner or time for coffee, at least send an email or text to let them know they’re appreciated!

girl playing with play doh

Sept. 16: National Play Doh Day

It’s hard to want to celebrate a toy that gets stuck in your rug and can be considered a weapon when you step on the dried pieces on the floor. But let’s face it, few things are as irresistible as a brand new container of Play Doh. Check out the awesome selection at Toys “R” Us Times Square (1514 Broadway) if you dare.

Sept. 17: Apple Dumpling Day

September is prime apple picking season. If you’re searching for recipes that use apples so you can get through the bushel before they start rotting celebrate this day by cooking up your own dumpling.

Sept. 18: National Cheeseburger Day

Cheddar, brie, bleu cheese, American. No matter what cheese you like on your burger, today’s the day to celebrate all cheeseburgers! A visit to your favorite diner, like Market Diner in Hells Kitchen, known for their sizable burgers, is definitely in order.

Sept. 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Aarrgh, me hearties. The kids will really get a kick out of this one. Spend the day talking like a pirate. Take it a step further and have the family dress up like pirates for dinner, or go all out and get tickets to see Shipwreck: Pirates and Treasure at Discovery Times Square.

Sept. 20: POW/MIA Recognition Day

Honor those who have served our country and have either been captured or have gone missing in action. Thank a soldier you know, or sit down with the kids to write a letter to one serving. There are many different organizations you can contact about writing letters, like Operation Gratitude.


Sept. 21: Miniature Golf Day

Pay a visit to one of NYC’s mini golf courses and putt putt your way to victory while celebrating this fun holiday.

Sept. 22: Elephant Appreciation Day

Learn more about these massive and beautiful animals by checking out some books about them at your local library, sit down with the kids as they draw and color their own elephant or head up to the Bronx Zoo to see them in action.

Sept. 23: Checkers Day

Break out the board or pay a visit to the Chess and Checkers House (yes, really) in Central Park. It’s time to channel your inner competitive spirit for a rousing game of checkers, even though the day is actually referring to Nixon’s campaign speech where he mentioned his daughters had received a dog as a gift, named none other than “Checkers.”

Sept. 24: Cherries Jubilee Day

Seems like another excuse to have dessert, but you’ll find no complaints here. Typically, Cherries Jubilee is made with cherry pie filling, over ice cream with a bit of cognac, but you can definitely leave out the booze when making it for the kids. Or try Magnolia Bakery‘s take on the dessert (401 Bleeker Street).

Comic books

Sept. 25: National Comic Book Day

Whether you’re a Marvel fanatic or not, today’s the day to celebrate graphic novels. Visit one of NYC’s top comic book and toy stores Forbidden Planet (832 Broadway).

Sept. 26: Johnny Appleseed Day

An American settler, Johnny Appleseed travelled west, planting apple trees as he went. He was born on this day in 1774, and the best way to celebrate would be to have apples on your day’s menu. Maybe give our braised pulled pork and apple cabbage slaw a try.

Sept. 27: Native American Day

A great day for a history lesson. Celebrate those who lived here from the start. Read up about their traditions, tribes, or visit the National Museum of the American Indian.

Sept. 28: Good Neighbor Day

Do a good deed for a neighbor today, and get the kids involved too. Bake, or buy cupcakes, and deliver them to a neighbor celebrate.

Sept. 29: Confucius Day

Today is all about Confucius, one of the world’s greatest philosophers. Get inspired by browsing the Confucius exhibit at the China Institute (125 East 65th Street).

Sept. 30: Mud Pack Day

Spa treatment, anyone? Head to one of Red Tricycle’s top spa sanctuaries for a mother-daughter day, like Spa Castle in College Point, Queens. Relax, sit back, and prepare to get muddy. It’s an awesome way to end a month of celebrating zany holidays!

What’s your favorite wacky holiday?

— Jesseca Stenson