There’s so much to do free and cheap 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. Outdoor movies generally start at 8PM or 8:30PM, so its best to click the links provided for exact times.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events.
any time of year
Today in NYC
Summer of Hamilton Family Fridays – Special family-friendly events connected with Alexander Hamilton. FREE with museum admission, which is pay-as-you-wish on Fridays.
- See the NYCOTC list of free days at top NYC museums.
Friday Freebies: FREE museum admission at top NYC museums.
Friday Freebies: FREE outdoor movie screenings, including family favorites
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Movies Under the Stars): Crocheron Park, Bayside
- The Goonies (28 Liberty Plaza): Lower Manhattan, with FREE popcorn.
Coney Island Friday Night Fireworks – On the Boardwalk at 10th St., at 9:30, every Friday night of the summer.
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Saturday in NYC
Lincoln Center Out of Doors – The final event of the 2016 season features renowned choral conductor Simon Halsey presiding over more than 1,000 volunteer vocalists for the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang’s the public domain. This is described as a groundbreaking work of unprecedented scale honoring the stream of humanity that connects us all. 5PM in the Josie Robertson Plaza. Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 14.
Summer Streets NYC – The second of three Saturdays in August when a large chunk of Lower Manhattan is closed to vehicles in favor of cyclists and pedestrians. There are several rest stops with entertainment, goodie giveaways, water slices and crafts projects for the kids, and more.
Sun Gaze – Join members of the Amateur Astronomer’s Association to gaze at the sun through a safe scope and see the central star in our solar system. 2PM to 4PM at the base of Pier I, Hudson River at 70th Street.
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
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
Dominican Day Parade – Sixth Ave., between 37th and 54th Streets will be filled with music and dancing. Noon to 6PM.
EcoFest – This is the 28th annual eco-friendly event in Times Square, with displays on energy efficiency, sustainable food, and more.
Battery Dance Festival – Daily traditional and modern dance performances by troupes from around the world, including India, Turkey, Bulgaria and the USA.
Pokemon Go! New York Festival – Find the gremlins in Central Park. Registration is required to find out additional information, like when and where. FREE.
Amsterdam Avenue Fair – Amsterdam Ave, between 79th and 86th Streets.
World Trade Center Block Party – Liberty Street between Broadway and Trinity Place
Free outdoor movies:
- The Land Before Time (FMCP Movie Night): Lawrence Playground, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona
- The Good Dinosaur (Outdoor Movie Night): Randall’s Island Connector, Randall’s Island Park
- “Viva Las Vegas (Habana Outpost Events): Habana Outpost 757 Fulton Street, Fort Greene
- 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.