Best events in New York City in 2018

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Exploring New York City's sporting events, concerts, and other highly anticipated happenings in 2018

With a population of nearly 9 million people—roughly the same as the entire state of New Jersey—and more than 60 million visitors each year, it’s certainly no surprise that New York City is bursting with sporting events, concerts, and plenty of other things to do. There are countless world-class performances throughout the year, and it’s easy to find tickets for all of New York’s top events. If you’re visiting or living in NYC during 2018, don’t miss your chance to attend one of these highly anticipated events.

SPORTS

Baseball

Summer doesn’t really feel like summer without attending at least 1 game of America’s favorite pastime—and New York City has plenty to choose from. Between now and the end of September—and hopefully October—the New York Yankees and New York Mets offer more than 150 chances to take yourself out to the ballgame, and that’s just before the MLB Playoffs. Buy yourself some peanuts and Cracker Jack and watch these storied teams vie for the pennant against historic rivals like the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves.

Soccer

As 1 of Major League Soccer’s 10 founding members, the New York Red Bulls have been become one of the most recognized teams in American soccer. NYC’s rowdy fans have been cheering on the squad since 1996, but the city has had even more soccer to soak up since the 2015 arrival of the New York City FC. From now to the end of October, you can get tickets and travel to Yankee Stadium or New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena to watch a rivalry that’s been in action since the 2 teams played each other for the very first time.

Pro Wrestling

World Wrestling Entertainment—more commonly known as WWE—is the largest and most successful professional wrestling company in the world. Its productions thrill audiences with a mix of high-drama storylines, choreographed routines, and over-the-top effects that create an intriguing combination of theater and sport. While you can catch all the action on TV, there’s nothing quite like getting tickets to see the spectacle in person. From August 18 to 21, you can head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to catch 4 straight days of events, including NXT Takeover, Summerslam, Smackdown, and Raw.

Football

Say hello to fall—as well as the season’s most popular sport—with tickets to the opening games of the New York Giants or the New York Jets in early September. Though both teams have had ups and downs over the last few years, their supporters can’t wait to see them fight their way back up their respective divisions. While you can always get one-off tickets for games, truly die-hard fans won’t want to miss the chance to snatch up season tickets before they disappear.

Hockey

Come October, take to the ice to cheer on your favorite of the city’s 2 hockey teams—the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. Though both teams struggled in the 2017–18 season, this year, fans are hoping to watch them fly back to the top of the Metropolitan Division. The 4-consecutive-Stanley Cup-winning Islanders haven’t won a title since 1983, while the Rangers’ last Cup victory was in 1994. Could one of these teams bring a Cup to New York City for the first time in more than 20 years? Pick up tickets to witness all the high-speed action for yourself.

Basketball

The Knicks and the Nets may not have secured spots in last season’s NBA Playoffs, but they’re putting that behind them when the new season kicks off in mid-October. The 2 teams have had a crosstown rivalry since the Nets joined the NBA in 1976, and many have dubbed it The Battle of the Boroughs. But there are plenty of other rivalries to watch play out as well. Get tickets to see the Knicks face off against teams like the Boston Celtics and the Nets battle it out with the Toronto Raptors.

MUSIC

Billy Joel in Concert

While he hasn’t released any new music since the early 1990s, Billy Joel can still be seen in concert multiple times this year at Madison Square Garden. Finishing off the final leg of a 4-year tour, the Piano Man is treating fans to 1 show every month until the end of October. Croon along with the singer-songwriter as he performs classic hits like “Uptown Girl,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Only the Good Die Young,” and of course, “New York State of Mind.”

U2: Experience + Innocence Tour

Catch rock icons U2 as they cap off the North American leg of the Experience + Innocence Tour before heading off to Europe. The 22-time Grammy Award-winning group is back in the New York metro area with 3 shows at Madison Square Garden the week of June 25, as well as a show at Newark’s Prudential Center on June 29. Listen to the songs that have made them international rockstars for nearly 40 years, with hits like “With or Without You” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour

It’s all about reclaiming her reputation as Taylor Swift kicks off her fifth worldwide tour this summer. On July 20 and 21, the pop sensation is bringing her top hits to concerts at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, supported by opening acts Charli XCX and Camila Cabello. Dance and sing along to catchy singles such as “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Getaway Car,” and “I Did Something Bad”— songs that touch on her relationships, feuds, and fallouts with people like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and ex Calvin Harris.

Beyonce & JayZ: On the Run II Tour

See the entertainment industry’s most influential couple with tickets to the On the Run II Tour at MetLife Stadium on August 2 and 3. Starring husband and wife Beyonce and Jay-Z, the show is sure to provide all the tantalizing spectacle, triumphant vocals, and tight choreography that we’ve come to expect since their first sizzling On the Run Tour. Combining slick raps with booty-shaking anthems and emotional duets, it’s easy to see why the insanely talented and powerful couple is on the top together.

Jason Aldean, Lauren Alaina & Luke Combs: High Noon Neon Tour

Grab your cowboy hat and dust off your boots for one of the hottest country music concerts of the summer. Starring Jason Aldean, one of the genre’s most consistent live draws, the High Noon Neon Tour comes to Madison Square Garden on August 11. Aldean is joined by special guests Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina for a night that’s guaranteed to be a true treat for fans of country music.

Ed Sheeran: North American Stadium Tour

Grab tickets to see one of today’s biggest stars hailing from Britain—singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Back on the road with his third headlining tour, Sheeran is coming to MetLife Stadium for 2 nights on September 21 and 22. Sing along to tracks from his newest album, ÷, which broke records by becoming the UK’s all-time fastest-selling album by a male artist. Longtime fans will also get to hear favorites from his early days like “You Need Me” and “The A Team.”

Bruno Mars & Cardi B: 24K Magic World Tour

Bust out your best hat and your Michael Jackson-like dance moves because Bruno Mars is hitting NYC on October 4 and 5. Bringing his trademark talent, style, and swag to the Barclays Center, Bruno’s set is a dynamic mix of pop, doo-wop, funk, soul, R&B, and reggae. You won’t be able to stay in your seat as he performs infectious songs such as “Uptown Funk,” “24K Magic,” and “That’s What I Like.” The show also opens with “Bodak Yellow” singer Cardi B, former star of Love & Hip Hop: New York.

Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

Celebrate the legacy of one of the world’s most recognized and successful musicians with tickets to Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Returning for the zillionth time to Madison Square Garden for 2 days in both October and November, the iconic popstar is writing a love letter to his fans as he performs his very last tour. Pay homage to the indelible mark he’s left on the music industry as he sings hit after hit like “Tiny Dancer” “Rocket Man,” “Funeral for a Friend,” and “Bennie and the Jets.”

NYC Music Festivals

Can’t decide who you want to see in concert this year? Thankfully, there are plenty of music festivals that allow you to flit between tons of stages and performers. Catch headliners Eminem and Jack White at the annual Governors Ball, see The Weeknd and Janet Jackson at Coachella-esque Panorama Music Festival, or bust out your best dance moves for the EDM-centric Electric Zoo. In late August, head to Brooklyn to celebrate the African American punk scene in all of its form at the Afropunk Festival. Throughout the summer, you can also find music in all 5 boroughs, with SummerStage hosting everything from local hip hop in Harlem to big-name rock bands on the Central Park mainstage.

COMEDY

Adam Sandler & Rob Schneider

Catch one of the big screen’s most successful comedic stars with tickets to see Adam Sandler at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 25 and 26. Returning to his stand-up roots, Sandler is joined by frequent co-star and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Rob Schneider for a routine that’s being filmed for Sandler’s upcoming Netflix special. Get ready for a night of hilarity as the 2 bring the laughs with their sharp insights and boyish charisma.

Steve Martin & Martin Short

On May 4, two of comedy’s most legendary names come together for a joint performance at the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side. In a show titled An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, Steve Martin and Martin Short being their genius together in a playful comedy variety show. The performance also features music, with tunes by jazz pianist Jeff Babko and the Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass band, with which Martin frequently performs and records.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, the Emmy Award-winning host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, is back by popular demand to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on September 7 and 8. Since being introduced to American audiences in 2014, the South African standup has become one of today’s brightest comedic masterminds. Get tickets to experience his unique global perspective on everything from politics to pop culture, with observations that are just as thoughtful as they are funny.

Kevin Hart

Bringing “The Irresponsible Tour” to Madison Square Garden on September 27, Kevin Hart is back on the New York stage for the first time in 3 years. Known for his trademark self-deprecating humor, Hart’s routine in heavily influenced by his racial, physical, familial, and gender role experiences. Laugh along as the 5’4” comedian jokes about being “shorter than medium,” the awkward and hilarious dynamics of his social interactions, and how he fails to live up to the traditional definitions of being a man.

Kathleen Madigan

See for yourself why Kathleen Madigan has been called both “the funniest woman in America” and “easily one of the best comics alive” with tickets to Boxed Wine and Bigfoot at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on November 3. The longtime comedian is known for her no-holds-barred sense of humor and refusing to shy away from any topic. Watch as she goes to town on everything from politics to religion to her favorite way to spend the holidays—alone and drunk—in this night of side-splitting night of laughter.

DANCE, THEATER & LIVE SHOWS

New York City Ballet

Founded in 1948 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet is America’s premier company for performances of both classic ballets and original new works. Based at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, the renowned company attracts some of the greatest dancers from around the world. With roughly 60 ballets performed throughout year, you can get tickets to celebrate the beauty of Balanchine’s most famous work, the brassy Broadway style of Jerome Robbins, or the contemporary creations of choreographers from the 21st century.

Cirque du Soleil: Volta

Embark on a spellbinding story of freedom and the thrill of blazing your own trail with a stunning performance of Volta by Cirque du Soleil. Set under a Big Top in East Rutherford, New Jersey from the end of March until early May, Volta is inspired by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports. Watch in awe as the show weaves jaw-dropping acrobatics, colorful costumes, and daring stunts with a stirring and melodic score.

Savion Glover & Marcus Gilmore

Savion Glover, described as “the greatest tap virtuoso of all time,” joins forces with in-demand jazz drummer Marcus Gilmore in a supreme and inspired meeting of 2 rhythm wizards. On May 3 at the Birdland Jazz Club, the duet are treating audiences to a dynamic performance that explores the relationship of tap with the rich tapestry of jazz. By the end of the scintillating show, it’ll be clear to see why Glover is easily considered the most famous tap dancer in the world.

Harry Clarke

See the wickedly funny one-man thriller Harry Clarke in its limited run until May 13 at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Starring Tony Award-winner Billy Crudup, the show follows the story of a shy Midwestern man who leads an outrageous double life as a cocky Londoner. Moving to NYC and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family’s life as the precocious Harry, whose increasingly risky and dangerous behavior threatens to undo more than his persona.

Lobby Hero

From Kenneth Lonergan, the Oscar-winning writer and director of 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, comes Lobby Hero, a new play that tells the story of 4 New Yorkers in the lobby on a Manhattan apartment who find themselves involved in a murder investigation. Featuring Hollywood stars Michael Cera and Chris Evans, the show examines what happens when our emotions come into conflict with our principles, and how the choices we make under pressure define who we are. Get tickets to see to see the critically acclaimed play on its limited run until May 13 at the Hayes Theater.

Peppa Pig Live!

Immerse yourself in the colorful, child-friendly world of Peppa Pig Live!, the delightful stage show based on the British preschool TV program of the same name. On May 19 and 20 at the Beacon Theatre, you and the kids can enjoy a fun-filled afternoon that brings Peppa, George, Suzy, Danny, and all their friends to life through puppetry, singing, comedy, and dance. Get whisked away on a day of imagination, education, curiosity, and adventure.

In & Of Itself

Set off on a mind-bending journey with In & Of Itself, a magic show that’s been described as astonishing, jaw-dropping, and heart-stoppingly wondrous. Through June 18 at the Daryl Roth Theatre, you can watch in amazement as magician Derek DelGaudio delivers a modern allegory on the illusion of one’s identity. Fall under the show’s heady spell as you explore new ways of seeing the unseeable, the inexplicable events that we witness today, and the secrets that are imagined for tomorrow.

Bring It! Live

On July 21, don’t miss the thrilling and explosive performance of Bring It! Live, a show that brings all the energy and skill of hip hop majorette dance competitions to the big stage. At the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, be dazzled by the fierce, original, and high-octane numbers by The Dancing Dolls of Lifetime’s reality show Bring It! Back after their 2017 tour and now hotter than ever, the Dolls prove definitely prove that they can bring it.

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Expedia Local Expert

Our articles are designed to make sure you spend more time having fun, exploring, and living like a local and less time trying to figure out the logistics on the go. We share our pointers for maximizing your time and stretching your dollar, offering ideas and advice for attractions, things to do, and itineraries. Our writers are lovers of travel and are eager to share their know-how with you. Read on, and travel better!

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