Boo! The are so many FREE and frugal things to do this Halloween weekend. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide is $20 or less. That makes us different from other lists with expensive ideas, because we’re here to help you enjoy NYC on the cheap with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10AM to 6PM.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events, including street fairs and parades.
any time of year
Already Underway in NYC
Blood Manor – Our favorite haunted house returns for the Halloween season, where adults only can scare yourself silly. Get discount tickets now for your choice of dates.
Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink – This legendary rink is now open for the season, the first real sign of winter. This is the rink’s 40th Anniversary, so expect special events throughout the ice skating season. Get there now, before Thanksgiving, when the Holiday tourist crowds take over Rockefeller Center. Also open is the Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink.
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Friday in NYC
Film Forum – Escape all the Halloween “stuff” for scary comedy hijinks on screen in this classic silent film starring Harold Lloyd. Needing dough to marry his sweetheart, lowly salesclerk Harold Lloyd cooks up a million dollar “human fly” publicity stunt. Shot on rooftop sets looming over a real downtown L.A., the death-defying climb up the skyscraper – interrupted by Lloyd’s über-iconic encounter with a huge clock – is, nine decades on, still one of the funniest and most suspenseful sequences in movie history, but only the one of many priceless gags. The screening honors the 80th birthday on this day of maestro Carl Davis, who composed and conducted the film’s orchestral soundtrack. 6pm Friday. BUY TICKETS
Saturday in NYC
Brookfield Place Halloween Party – This family-friendly event returns to Brookfield Place noon to 3pm. Bring your costume-clad kids to a wicket afternoon of fun with FREE treats. SPOOK-tacular activities include,, , , a , Costume Catwalk, Pumpkin Carving Demonstration, and more. At what used to be called the Winter Garden, in what used to be called the World Financial Center, in Lower Manhattan.
Haunted High Line – Travel back in time to learn the history of the High Line, get into character with artistic face painting, capture memories with our old-time photo booth, go on a scavenger hunt, dance, and watch live performances. 11am to 3pm. FREE, but anis requested to manage the crowds.
Seventh Annual Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival – Beginning at 11am, the fun includes pumpkin carving, puppetry, and musical performances. Make art with Private Picassos, get active with Dodge YMCA’s obstacle courses, dare yourself to take a tour of the Haunted Marsh, try tasty snacks from B. Good, explore the Conservancy’s terrarium, make instruments with the Little Orchestra Society, enjoy face painting from Broadway’s CATS, decorate pumpkins and more, all at Pier 6.
Meet the Animals 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Halloween Parade 11:00 am – 11:15 am
ZapOte 11:15 am – 12:00 pm
Control the Sound 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
The Pop Ups 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Halloween Night Bazaar – There will be gifts, food, and alcohol at this artisan market in Ridgewood, Queens, with more than 40 independent and local artisan vendors. The German Gottscheer Hall is serving beer and specialty cocktails for this occasion. Admission is FREE. Food and drink is not. 5pm to 11pm at Gottscheer Hall, 657 Fairview Ave. Ridgewood.
– Asian-style night market, with international food, entertainment and artists, Saturday nights in October. At Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 6pm to Midnight.
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
Intrepid Museum – Visitors in costume receive discounted admission all weekend. On Sunday, there’s a Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt for children and a screening of Ghostbusters (1984) for Museum members.
Halloween Harvest – This is the final weekend for “spooktacular fun” at Luna Park in Coney Island with face painting and trick-or-treating, spooky karaoke, a pumpkin patch and more.
LIC Flea & Food – This the final outdoor weekend of the season, focusing on the fall harvest, 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.
- Note that LIC Flea & Food closes for the season next weekend.
Smorgasburg – The popular food and crafts market in Brooklyn is 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
Central Park Pumpkin Flotilla – Enjoy the sight of 50 jack o’lanterns floating across the Harlem Meer at twilight. If you think you are good enough, submit your own creation – drop off your completed jack o’lantern at one of the two designated drop-off areas near the Dana Discovery Center between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Grand Army Market – The team behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg has opened this weekly market at Grand Army Plaza. 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. family-friendly outdoor food market features live music and tastings of local craft food and drinks 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.