There’s so much to do cheap and free in NYC every summer weekend. 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
First, reminder that next week is Manhattanhenge.
Today in NYC
Movies under the Stars – See the family-friendly musical “Annie” at Alfred E. Smith Playground on the Lower East Side.
Live at SeaGlass Carousel – Enjoy live music performances every Friday night through mid-August at the beautiful SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park. Tonight is Tamar Korn and A Kornacopia performing New Orleans jazz.
- Broadway for Orlando – more than 60 Broadway stars have recorded a special version of “What the World Needs Now is Love” with all proceeds going to support victims of the Orlando massacre. It could be the most effective $1.99 you ever spent.
Friday Freebies: FREE museum admission at top NYC museums.
Coney Island Friday Night Fireworks – Why wait until Monday? On the Boardwalk at 10th St., at 9:30.
More Friday Freebies: See this week’s list of free weekday events, including films, concerts and talks, published on Monday.
Free fries on Fridays at McDonald’s through July 22nd.
Friday and Saturday in NYC
Come Out and Play – Two days of fun and games for the entire family on Governors Island, with games from around the world.
Saturday in NYC
4Knots Music Festival – This is the sixth annual festival of emerging musicians, sponsored by the Village Voice, at the South Street Seaport, 1PM to 8PM, with performances on two stages.
Witch Fest USA – It’s described as a Pagan Street Faire, with vendors selling ritual tools, books about the occult, and more. On Astor Place, between Broadway and Lafayette.
Waverly Place-Washington Square Fair – On Waverly Place, between McDougal and Fifth
Between MacDougal and Fifth Ave
Eighth Avenue Summer Festival – Street fair on Eight Avenue between 42nd and 57th Streets.
14th Annual Arab-American & North African Cultural Street Festival – Crafts, music, food and more. 11AM to 4PM on Great Jones Street, between Broadway & Lafayette St.
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.
Queens Night Market – Local food vendors offer the diverse tastes of our most multi-cultural borough, plus crafts vendors, music and more, at this weekly night market copied from the poplar night markets of Asia, including Taiwan and Thailand.
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
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.)
Sunday in NYC
Bastille Day Festival – Vive La France. Celebrate all things French with food, music, performances including by Can Can dancers and mimes, and a special FREE performance by the Broadway stars of An American in Paris. Also the chance the chance to win a FREE trip to Paris. For more than Bastille Day on 60th Street, presented by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), has been NYC’s largest public celebration of France’s Independence Day (July 14, 1789) and the historic friendship between France and with the United States. On 60th Street, between Fifth and Lexington Avenues, noon to 5PM.
Family Performance Festival in Central Park – Enjoy Sunday in the park with the entire family with great eco-education and multicultural performances. Formerly known as A Clearing in the Forest, it’s FREE fun and learning through music, storytelling, Park adventures, puppetry, and more. A different group performs each Sunday starting today, through Labor Day Weekend. Noon to 1:30PM at the Great Hill, West Side of Central Park at 103rd St.
Visit Hallett Sanctuary in Central Park – This rustic spot near 59th and Fifth is open to the public occasionally. Lucky for us, there are extended summer hours through August 31 which include Sundays, 2PM to 5PM.
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
Vendy Plaza – The best food trucks in NYC are parked under the MetroNorth train tracks, at Park Ave. and 116th St., every Sunday through Labor Day weekend. There’s also a beer garden and crafts vendors.
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.