National Museum of the American Indian — This is the NYC outpost of the Smithsonian Institution, and always FREE. There are fascinating exhibits of native American peoples from Alaska to Patagonia. This weekend, there are screenings of films about the Arctic summer, when temperatures can reach a balmy 60 in the far north. The museum is in Lower Manhattan, in a Beaux Arts building with a rotunda that reminds me of the U. S. Capitol. Museum website.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab — All kinds of techie exhibits, including the chance to make your own video, a museum of video games, and the chance to play Playstation3 games. It’s part opportunity to learn about new technology, part walk-through commercial for Sony products. Always FREE. There also are free screenings of popular films every Saturday, but the theater has just 73 seats and spots get booked up a week ahead. In midtown. SWTL website.
Grand Central Terminal — Take a FREE self-guided walking tour of this magnificent building, including history of the star-studded ceiling 125 feet above the main concourse. Or, go for the big bucks and download the tour to your smartphone for $4.99, or get an audiophone headset and a map of the terminal for just $7 for adults, with discounts for seniors and the disabled at $6, and students and children at $5. GCT tour website.
Mid-Manhattan Library — Every Sunday through August the Film Noir Sunday series features FREE classic movie. This weekend, it’s the 1950 classic Asphalt Jungle. The films are at 2 p.m. This NYPL branch is on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the main branch guarded by those two famous stone lions. Event website.
Studio Museum Harlem — FREE every Sunday, including a weekly workshop for kids and teens. This week, it’s making a postcard collage. If you go on a Saturday, it will cost you $7, or $3 for seniors and students. Museum website.
Who says NYC has to be expensive? There’s lots to do in New York on a rainy weekend that won’t break the piggy bank. Release your inner cheapskate by enjoying New York City on the cheap.