Here are more than 20 FREE and cheap things to do this pre-holiday weekend. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide is always $20 or less, to enjoy NYC for less, with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for outdoor events, including outdoor holiday markets and weekend tree lighting ceremonies.
Best FREE things to do in NYC any time of year
Already Underway in NYC
Holiday crafts markets – See the entire holiday craft market schedule here.
Holiday tree lighting ceremonies – Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park trees are already glittering brightly, and there are more tree lighting ceremonies to enjoy. See the schedule below, or check our the entire city wide schedule of holiday tree lighting ceremonies.
Holiday train show at Grand Central Terminal – See a mini version of NYC and vintage model trains, FREE.
Where to see Santa in every borough of NYC – He’s making a list and checking it twice, all over NYC.
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Friday in NYC
Friday Freebies – Free admission to NYC museums
Saturday in NYC
Wrappy Hour at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott – Bring your holiday gifts to The Bar in the lobby for FREE borough-themed gift wrapping by the hotel’s resident “wrapper”. Okay, it’s not exactly free – it’s with with the purchase of a limited edition Brooklyn Republic Vodka. But in addition to the wrapping, you get a coupon to save up to $500 at the Century 21 outpost which just opened a few blocks away. Wrappy Hour is this Saturday and again on Dec. 17th, from 4pm – 7pm.
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
Yorkville Holiday Exhibit and Sale – Handmade crafts and more. Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 E. 88th St between First and Second Ave
Sunday in NYC
Ride vintage subway trains from the 1930s – What used to be called the Nostalgia Train is now called Shopper Special, between Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you miss the ride this Sunday, your last chance for 2016 is next Sunday, Dec. 18th.
Let’s Zydeco – Get those toes tapping and feet moving to the uptempo music of the Big Easy here in the Big Apple. Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble perform live, for listening and dancing (we prefer dancing). NYCOTC followers get a special discount – just $20 – for this performance. At Connolly’s, 121 West 45th St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves., 3rd floor. Doors open at 5pm for drinks, dinner or socializing. Live music and dancing is l6pm to 9:30pm.
43rd Annual Merry Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center – This popular annual tradition features tuba bands from around the USA. Earplugs are recommended for those with tender ears, especially young kids. At the Rink at Rockefeller Center, Fifth Ave and 50th St., at 3:30pm.
Holiday on the Hudson and Christmas Tree Lighting – Enjoy holiday fun that includes dancing with the Harlem Swing Dance Society, music with Barnard Bacchante, and kid’s activities on the Baylander. Complimentary hot chocolate – please bring your own reusable mug. 125th Street and Marginal Street in West Harlem Piers, 4:30pm- 6:30pm
The Highline Neighborhood Tree Lighting and Holiday Concert – Enjoy caroling and hot chocolate.5:30pm-8pm at multiple locations indoors and outdoors. Check the website for schedule.
Smorgasburg and Winter Flea – The popular food and crafts market in Brooklyn is back indoors for the winter, returning to Skylight One Hanson with 75 Brooklyn Flea vendors selling vintage, antiques, clothing, and handmade items, alongside 25 Smorgasburg food vendors. It’s a shopping and eating and drinking experience (there are two bars) and part museum-style field trip to the stunning landmark interior that was once home to the Williamsburg Savings Bank. Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm. $1 entry, kids 16 and under FREE.
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.