There are dozens of FREE and cheap things to do this lovely May weekend, including big food festivals, street fairs and a dance parade. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide is always $20 or less so you can enjoy NYC on the cheap with no apologies and without busting your budget.
Who says New York City has to be expensive? Not NYC on the Cheap.
Unless otherwise noted:
- The NYCOTC list features FREE events. Ticketed events are kept to a minimum.
- Street fairs are 10am to 6pm.
- Everything on the NYCOTC list is family-friendly.
- Listed events are rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine.
Your weekend begins here.
NYC official street closures website – know what streets are closed when for street fairs, parades, political protests and more.
Subscribe to a FREE daily email
also get giveaways available only to NYCOTC subscribers
Good Morning America Summer Concert Series – FREE morning concerts in Central Park by top recording artists. Today – Green Day.
Today Show Summer Concert Series – FREE morning concerts in Rockefeller Plaza by top recording artists. Today – Mary J. Blige.
Guitar Festival – International guitarists, with a special emphasis on East Asian “raga” music, perform in Brookfield Place, in an all-day jam session, followed by a dance party with a DJ. FREE, from 8am to midnight.
Freebie Friday – FREE admission to NYC museums including MOMA. No passes or coupons needed. Just go.
Get FREE admission to more than a dozen NYC museums with the IDNYC card. Enrollment is also FREE.
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.
Freebie Friday – Grand Central Neighborhood Tour. FREE 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.
Grand Central Food Block Party – Street fair on 41st St between Third and Lexington Ave
Friday and Saturday
NYC Bike Expo – See the latest gear from top local and national manufacturers, FREE, at Penn Plaza Pavillion, across Seventh Avenue from Penn Satation. Opens both days at 11am.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Shakespeare in Bryant Park – FREE performances The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare’s first sitcom, with the classic misadventures of Falstaff. Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm, at the Upper Terrace
Saturday and Sunday
Ninth Avenue International Food Festival – Join thousands of your fellow foodies at this annual street fair celebrating NYC’s international foods and the Ninth Avenue bars and restaurants that serve them. This is one of the city’s largest and oldest food festivals, always crowded, always delicious. On Ninth Avenue between 42nd and 57th Streets.
NYC Vegetarian Festival – Vegetarian and vegan foods and beverages, seminars and more at this weekend food fair at the Javits Convention Center. Get discount tickets here.
New York Baby Show – This is the largest annual show in NYC and the Tri-State area for expectant parents, new parents, grandparents and caregivers. See the latest gear including strollers, safety and learning products, and more. There are product giveaways and seminars including with pediatricians, mommybloggers and daddybloggers. At Pier 94. Tickets are $20 per person or $30 for a family.
See more events for Saturday and Sunday on the next page
including Taste of Tribeca and the Dance Parade