Only in August

It’s not all dog days.



People think of August as the doldrums of summer,  marked by the twin plagues of heat and boredom. But it’s still summer, darn it, and there are many warm-weather pleasures to be had. In fact, there are some things you can only do in August. Here, a few:

    1. Request tickets to Saturday Night Live.
You see those smiling, laughing audience members week-in, week-out, but few realize that you can only request free SNL tickets during the month of August. Email your contact info to snltickets@nbcuni.com, and spend the rest of the summer running to the mailbox to see if you got lucky in the ticket lottery. More information: nbc.com/tickets. 

    2. Take a weeklong art class at Kykuit.
The Artist’s Eye—A Summer Drawing Intensive, which takes place annually at the ancestral Rockefeller home in August, immerses artists in a five-day drawing workshop. Randolph A. Williams, professor of studio and art education at Manhattanville College and artistic director of the New York State Summer School of the Visual Arts, leads the class, but Rockefeller’s collection of 20th-century art provides the inspiration.

    3. Spend a day at the Bard Music Festival.
Each year, Bard carves out two weeks from its annual, summer-long Summerscape festivities for the Bard Music Festival, the “festival-within-a-festival.” There, you can find performances, panel discussions, and symposia all surrounding the life and work of one composer. This year, the honor goes to Jean Sibelius. The festival takes place Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between August 12 and August 21. More information: (845) 758-7900; fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/2011.

    4. See the pros swing a club.
Yes, you have to cross a bridge to—ugh—Edison, New Jersey, but, if you’re bored enough, you just might be inspired to take the 90-minute ride. Once you’re there, you can watch the PGA pros compete in The Barclays tournament (purse: $8 million), which takes place from August 23 to August 28. Once you see Phil Mickelson work his magic on the green, you can leave feeling bad about your own handicap. More information: (201) 444-5356; thebarclays.barclaysgolf.com.