Here are a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this last weekend of January 2017. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide always features $25 or less to enjoy NYC on the cheap with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE, and sometimes we remind you that an event is FREE, to be sure you know.
Best FREE things to do in NYC any time of year
Already underway or ending soon
Luminaries at Brookfield Place – This is your last weekend to enjoy the annual canopy of glowing lanterns suspended within the Winter Garden, which changing color and intensity every few moments. FREE, 8am to 1pm daily through Sunday, Jan 29th. Take a 360° virtual tour of Luminaries.
Holiday train show at Grand Central Terminal – See a mini version of NYC and vintage model trains, FREE.
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Friday, Jan. 27 in NYC
Freebie Friday – Free admission to NYC museums including MOMA. No passes or coupons needed. Just go.
Freebie Friday: Family Fridays at MoMath – Solve puzzles, family-style, and learn how math affects everything, from music to space flight. 6:30pm, FREE. The National Museum of Mathematics is at 11 E. 26th St.
Bryant Park Winter Carnival – Ten days of FREE events start today, including ice sculpting, skating, an ice castle, silent discoandmore. .
Freebie Friday – FREE Grand Central Neighborhood Tour. Every Friday at 12:30, docents from the Grand Central Partnership guide you through the history of the fabled Grand Central Terminal and some equally-fabled nearby landmarks including the Chrysler Building. There are no tickets, no reservations. Just meet at Sculpture court at 120 Park Avenue (southwest corner of East 42nd Street). Tour is 90 minutes.
Saturday, Jan. 28 in NYC
Winter Jam in Central Park – Enjoy FREE live ice sculpting, an ice slide for the kids, a tasting tent of New York State products and more at this annual event. 11am to 3pm at the Naumburg Bandshell.
Lunar New Year: New Year’s Day Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival – Welcome the Year of the Rooster with this annual celebration in Chinatown. Performances, including the magical Lion Dance, vendors, giveaways and more. Bring earplugs for young kids and sound-sensitive adults. FREE, 11am to 3:30pm at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grant and Chrystie Streets.
Family Day: Moon Over Manhattan! Celebrate Lunar New Year of the Rooster – Celebrate at the Asia Society with music and dance performances and a Kung Fu demonstration. 1pm to 4pm at Asia Society, 725 Park Ave., between 70th and 71st Streets. Ticketed event. Tickets are $5 to $12, depending on age.
Winter Blast – Celebrate winter by playing games from across the hemisphere at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan. Meet Talibah Begay (Navajo), who will demonstrate Keshje, a Navajo shoe game played only after the first official snowfall. Learn this game as well as Inuit yo-yo and high kick game, among others, and enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities. FREE, noon to 4pm.
Best of Brooklyn Foor & Beer Festival – Samples from the best local breweries and restaurants, plus entertainment and more. Ticketed event.
Saturday/Sunday, Jan. 28/29 in NYC
New York Times Travel Show – Visit more than 100 countries without leaving the Jacob Javits Center, plus seminars with top travel experts, cultural performances, food samplings and more. Get $8 discount tickets through Saturday only from NYC ON THE CHEAP discount ticket partner Goldstar.
Sunday, Jan. 29th in NYC
International Tribute to Elie Wiesel – Join the tribute to the Holocaust survivor, philisopher, peace activist and Nobel Laureate, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where celebrities read from his works. 3pm to 9pm. FREE tickets are still available, or attend virtually via an international livestream.
Lunar New Year’s Celebration: Oshogatsu – Kite making, Taino drumming, caligraphy lessons and more at this family-friendly event. 1pm to 4pm at the Japan Society, 333 East 47th St., between First and Second Aves. Ticketed event Tickets are $10-$18 depending on age.
Madison Street to Madison Ave. – Lunar New Year celebrations begin at 11am inside the HARMAN Store, 527 Madison Ave, with cultural performances including the New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra Conducted by Fei Fang, juggler Lina Liu, a traditional Chinese marionettes puppet show from Chinese Theatre Works, and a Martial Art performance from American Tai Chi and Health Qigong Center. Outside, on 54th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, there’s a street fair with kid-friendly activities inside heated tents. Activities include Chinese face painting, calligraphy and a themed photo booth. Also, two Lion Dance troupes make their way up Madison Avenue, stopping at retailers offering special Lunar New Year promotions. Participating retailers include Barneys New York, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Breitling, Coach, David Yurman, De Beers, Eileen Fisher, Erwin Pearl, Folli Follie, Giorgio Armani, Harman, IWC, Kate Spade New York, Lladro, Les Canebiers, Links of London, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, Vacheron Constantin and Vivienne Westwood.
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.