Here are more than a dozen FREE and cheap things to do this first weekend of 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.
Best FREE things to do in NYC any time of year
Ending soon in NYC
Best holiday trees in NYC – It’s lights out for the Rockefeller Center tree this weekend, and other trees and holiday store window displays. See our list of holiday trees.
Museum and gallery exhibits closing soon include the Battle of Brooklyn at the New York Historical Society, an important skirmish that changed the direction of the War of Independence, closing this weekend. .
Holiday train show at Grand Central Terminal – See a mini version of NYC and vintage model trains, FREE.
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Friday in NYC
Three Kings Parade – Celebrate this Latino tradition, with live camels, giant puppets and more, at the El Museo del Barrio on Manhattan’s Museum Mile. FREE.
Create a Character: An Evening with Makeup Artist Joe Dulude II – Learn how special effects theater makeup is designed and created, from the designer for the Olivier and Tony Award winning hit musical–Wicked. Since Wicked, Joe has added many Broadway credits, designing for Dr. Zhivago, On the Town, If/Then, Beautiful, The Wedding Singer,Grease!, Follies, Jekyll & Hyde, and more. The program includes a live demonstration of the process with the design of an original character with the help of the audience. FREE, at 7:30pm, in the Cafe at the Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center.
Freebie Friday – Free admission to NYC museums including MOMA. No passes or coupons needed. Just go.
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. 7
Mulchfest – Put your holiday trees into giant chippers, to take some home for your garden or sidewalk trees, or for the NYC Dept. of Parks to use. Mulchfest locations in all five boroughs.
First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum – FREE workshops on printing, music performances, gallery tours, more. Sponsored by Target, the first Saturday of every month.
Saturday and Sunday
Vinyl Weekend – The Brooklyn Flea *mini* Record Fair returns for the fourth year in a row to Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene at the iconic Williamsburg Savings Bank, one of the most revered interiors in New York City. Browse from the collections of more than a dozen record stores and collectors while sipping locally produced beer, wine, and cider. The record fair returns next weekend, plus there’s the regular collection of vendors and foods. www.brooklynflea.com
Sunday, January 8
Prehistoric Creatures Science Festival at AMNH – Hands-on activities, meet scientists, and dynamic performances in this family-friendly science festival. FREE with museum admission.
Exploration Stations | 11 am–4 pm – Look at Museum collections, talk with scientists, and engage in hands-on activity stations.
- Meet the Experts—Ask your questions, hear stories about field research, and learn what it takes to be a paleontologist.
- Dig Pit—Pick up the tolls of a paleontologist, and dig through the model of an ancient seabed.
- Size and Scale— Experience the size and scale of prehistoric creatures with the Chewonki Foundation, and see how they compare to modern marine animals.
- Sharks— Sharks have lived in Earth’s oceans for 450 million years. Explore the adaptations of these unique creatures with the New York Aquarium and New York Seascape.
- Touch Tank— Get up-close with several ocean species that existed during the time of dinosaurs, and can still be found today. Led by the Maritime Aquarium.
- How Fossils Form— Learn about the process of fossilization, and create your own fossil model of a prehistoric marine animal to take home.
Prehistoric Puppet Performance| 2pm & 4 pm – The songs and puppetry of Rainbow Puppet Productions take you on a musical excursion back in time, to when dinosaurs roamed the land and marine animals ruled the sea. Featuring a new song provided by actress Carol Channing.
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.
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