There’s plenty to do cheap and free in NYC on this wonderful mid-June weekend,, including street fairs and parades. 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 ideas, because we’re here to help you enjoy being a NYC cheapskate with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our NYC cheap weekend list is FREE.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10AM to 6PM.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events.
any time of year
Friday in NYC
Northside Festival – Most concerts are ticketed. But this one is FREE. Grandmaster Flash pioneer of the South Bronx hip hop movement of the 1970s takes the stage at McCarren Park for an all-ages show with Kweku Collins, Radamiz, and I.O.D. Starts at 6pm.
Friday Freebies: FREE museum admission at top NYC museums. See the NYCOTC list.
More Friday Freebies: See this week’s list of free weekday events, including films, concerts and talks, published on Monday.
Saturday in NYC
Liberty Challenge – Polynesia comes to NYC with this daylong festival that includes outrigger canoe races, hula shows and lessons, a traditional Hawaiian luau, a kid’s tent and more, in Lower Manhattan. Full event schedule.
Kids’ Rock Fest at Macy’s: Learn how to DJ with Scratch DJ Academy, and dance to your own beat at a kids’ silent disco. There are also FREE drinks and snacks from Reed’s Soda, Brookie’s Cookies NYC and Fluff Factory (while supplies last), plus special surprise appearances by some top musers of the video social network, musical.ly. 2PM at the Kid’s Department, 7th Floor, Macy’s Herald Square.
AmpLit Fresh Voices in Literature: This is for anyone who reads books, magazines, newspapers or webzines, which is all of us. NYC authors of all styles, backgrounds and levels of recognition offer readings, workshops and panels, exploring one of life’s most solitary acts – the act of writing. AmpLit also includes a community market. 11AM to 6PM at Pier I at 70th St. in Hudson River Park.
Jewish Museum – FREE admission on Saturdays. On exhibit now are more than 250 items of clothing and costume designs, sketches, photographs and video that tell the story of popular fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, from his first collection in 1987 to today, from his “semi-couture” lines to his work for Target. Through Aug. 7. The Jewish Museum is at 1109 Fifth Ave.
- See the NYCOTC list of free days at top NYC museums.
LIC Flea & Food – The popular outdoor weekend market is open 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:
- Saturdays: Williamsburg, East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7th)
- Sundays: Prospect Park, Breeze Hill (at Lincoln Rd.)
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
Big Apple BBQ Party – The music is FREE, the pulled pork, ribs and beer are not. In Madison Square Park.
American Crafts Festival – More than 300 juried artists offering paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography and more. The quality of these items is several levels above the normal street fair schlock. Also, live music performances. At Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 64th St. at Columbus Ave., 10AM to 6PM both days.
Cucumber Fesival of Wonder – This offbeat event is sponsored by Hendricks Gin, as a send-up to National Cucumber Day. The event includes roaming cocktails, a cycling track, and more. It’s 4M to 10PM both days, at Pier 97. Registration is required for admission, and you have to be 21 to register, for FREE two-hour admission at 4PM, 6PM or 8PM.
Into the Night – Music, dance, workshops and discussions focusing on Jewish culture and the role of religion in modern life. Starts at 7:30PM at the 14th St. Y, and continues into the night with an open ended schedule. See our recent posting for the full event schedule.
Sunday in NYC
Puerto Rican Day Parade – Hola amigos and celebrate the music, dance, culture and history of Puerto Rico in this annual parade. New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, whose father was Puerto Rican, is the festival king, and actress Rosario Dawson, whose mother is Puerto Rican, is festival queen. More than 1.5 million onlookers are expected to watch tens of thousands of marchers shimmying and shaking their way uptown, on Fifth Avenue, from 44th Street to 79 Street, starting at 11AM.
Drums Along the Hudson – This is a multi-cultural festival of dancing and drumming, with Native American, Japanese, Brazilian, Flamenco, and Korean dancers and drummers from around the world. Plus international cuisine, crafts and more. Activities include a Tree of Peace planting, international cuisine, Native American storytelling, a Pow Wow, crafts. and visits from Captain Planet. This is the 14th annual Drums Along the Hudson event, in Inwood Hill Park, 218th St. and Indian Road.
- For you history buffs, this northern tip of Manhattan is where Peter Minuit purchased the island from the local tribe, for $24 in trinkets.
German Soccer Brunch – Watch Germany’s first game, against Ukraine at the best German restaurant in Brooklyn. Special $20 Combo for a 1 Liter Radeberger plus a full German breakfast. Black Forest Brooklyn, 733 Fulton St.
39th Annual Plantathon and Crafts Fair – Broadway between 73rd Street and 86th Street
New York City Expo – Third Avenue between 23rd and 34th Streets
Let’s Dance – Dance lessons in Riverside Park. Learn to Salsa, Cha Cha and Bachata from master teachers from the Piel Canela Dance and Music School. Sundays in June, 6PM to 9:30PM at Pier I at 70th Street, Riverside Park. There are also Tango lessons on Thursdays, through August.
Grand Army Market – The team behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg is launching a new weekly market at Grand Army Plaza starting Sunday, May 1. Situated at the northern tip of Prospect Park (at the landmark arch/rotary), Grand Army Plaza has long been home to the weekly Saturday Greenmarket and is within walking distance to Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Every Sunday, 10am to 5pm, though October, with some of the most popular maker vendors from Brooklyn Flea, plus many new additions, and prepared- and packaged-food vendors.
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. 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.