There’s plenty to do free and cheap in NYC on weekends. Everything on the NYCOTC cheap weekend list is $20 or less. That makes us different from all the other “what to do” lists with expensive tickets. We’re here to help you enjoy being a NYC cheapskate with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, what we are telling you about is FREE. Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events.
any time of year
National Park Week – Celebrate the 100th birthday of our National Park Service with FREE admission April 16-24 to national parks and historic and memorial sites. In New York City, NPS sites include the Statue of Liberty, Grant’s Tomb and Gateway National Wildlife Area in Queens. By the way, the National Park Service was created by Teddy Roosevelt, the only US President born in New York City, and a lifelong environmentalist.
Intrude – Seven giant rabbit sculptures, including two that are two-stories tall, invade the glass atrium Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. The rabbits are made out of nylon, inflated, and illuminated from within. This playful FREE art installation is open noon to 9pm Monday through Saturday and noon to 7pm on Sundays, through April 30. The giant rabbits are in New York City as the first stop on a four-city tour. They hop to Houston, Los Angeles and Denver in May and June. Read more about the exhibiton the Arts Brookfield website.
Between Art and Fashion – Examine the forms, colors and shapes that influence our love of art and fashion, and the intersection between them, via pieces by top designers including Christian Dior, Issey Mayake and Hermes. FREE through Dec. 28 at the National Academy School on the Upper East Side. Museum website
Passover begins at sundown tonight for eight nights, commemorating the escape from slavery in Egypt by the Jewish people, led into freedom by Moses. Businesses operated by Orthodox Jews are closed for the week, including camera and electronics super-stores B&H and Adorama.
See our NYCOTC Passover calendar for Jewish-themed museum exhibits open during Passover, and other family events.
Friday and Saturday in NYC
Design on a Dime – Get furniture, home furnishings and more at substantial discount at this two-day sale that benefits Housing Works, the NYC charity that provides housing and other support services for the homeless. This sale will help transform a vacant 6,000 sq ft. lot, into a beautiful and safe home for 28 single, formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS, to be called Hull House. Sponsors include ELLE DECOR, Benjamin Moore, Lowe’s, Whispering Angel/ Chateau D’ ESCLANS, Hendrick’s, Milagro Tequila, AirSea Packing, Gilead, Viacom and 200 Lex (NYDC). There is FREE admission to the sale, 10am-6pm, at Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 West 18th St. in Chelsea, no ticket required.
Friday in NYC
Friday Freebies: FREE museum admission at top NYC museums. See the NYCOTC list.
Saturday in NYC
Tribeca Film Festival Street Fair – The annual TFF wraps up with a FREE family-friendly street festival with storytelling, workshops and screenings, including Ghostbusters. This year’s theme is Tribeca on Location, and includes the opportunity to experience and learn the “behind the scenes” magic of filmmaking, gaming, sports, the performing arts, and much more, including the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, the Games for Change Public Arcade, and the Tribeca Studios Backlot. Tribeca on Loction is on Greenwich Street, between Chambers and North Moore Streets, 10am to 6pm. Event website.
DUMBO Family Festival – This is the kick-off event for more than 500 FREE spring and summer programs at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Join the party in the John Street and Main Street sections of the park 11am-2pm. Scale the new DUMBO boulder, help paint a 20-foot replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, and more.
Sikh Day Parade – Enjoy colorful floats and music at this annual event celebrating Sikh culture and history. The parade marches up Madison Avenue from 38th Street, starting at 11am. Event website.
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival – This FREE family-friendly event includes Japanese music and dance performances and a tea ceremony. 1pm to 4pm in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, next to the NYC Pavilion. Event website.
Jewish Museum – FREE admission on Saturdays
- See the NYCOTC list of free days at top NYC museums.
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
NY Hot Sauce Expo – Taste samples, and more. Hot stuff! See this recent NYCOTC posting for all the details.
LIC Flea & Food – The popular outdoor weekend market is back for the season, open 11AM-6PM both days with favorite vendors returning and new vendors added. Grab a beer from the only All Queens Beer Garden and enjoy the Manhattan skyline. Located at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street. LIC Flea & Foods website.
Smorgasburg – The popular food and crafts market in Brooklyn is back for the season, open 11am to 6pm both days. Note that Smogasburg has two locations:
Sunday in NYC
Fulton Stall Outdoor Market – This popular outdoor food market is back for the season with live music and tastings of local craft food and drinks. This family-friendly seasonal market has become a community institution throughout the spring and summer, connecting New Yorkers with fresh and healthy produce from within a 250-mile radius of New York City.This celebration is also an opportunity to experience the Seaport District’s art installation, featuring portraits of over 100 farmers and chefs living and working in the Hudson Valley. South Street Seaport district at the corner of Fulton and Water Streets and inside Fulton Stall Market at 207A Front St., 11 AM – 5 PM
If you know about a free or cheap NYC weekend event you’d like to share with NYC on the Cheap, email us at [email protected]
Also, check the list of best free things to do in NYC any day of the week, including weekends.
Enjoy your free and cheap NYC weekend.