Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-July weekend, including movies, music, dance, City of Water Day celebrating NYC’s love affair with our rivers, and the first ever ePrix race in NYC of Formula-e racecars. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide is always $20 or less so you can take bites out of the Big Apple without busting your budget.
New York City doesn’t have to be expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do.
Let’s start with the 10th annual City of Water Day on Saturday with dozens of FREE events on Governors Island and along the shorelines of all five boroughs, and also in Jersey City. Here’s a sampling:
- Borrow a kayak from one of the participating boathouses in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens
- Learn from the Billion Oyster Project about the importance of oysters to the NYC eco-system and how they are being re-introduced
ePrix is the first open-wheel Formula race in NYC in eons, a spectacular collection of all-electric racecars whizzing around a special track in Brooklyn, on the NYC stop of an international circuit that includes Beijing and Monaco. This is a family-friendly event, with the chance to meet the drivers, exhibits where kids can see tomorrow’s technology, and an area where grown-ups can test drive EV cars, but not the racecars. Because this is an exceptional event, NYCOTC is making an exception to our $20 or less ticket rule. Read more about the race and ticket pricing
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE, and we usually remind you that an event is FREE, to be sure you know.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm.
Best NYC Atlantic Ocean beaches you can get to by subway. NYC has 14 miles of Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound beaches, with lifeguards on duty daily 10am to 6pm through Labor Day. Remember to bring your sunscreen.
NYC FREE outdoor pools are now open for the season. Here’s where to cool off in all five boroughs:
- Best outdoor pools in Manhattan.
- Best outdoor pools in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island
- Where to find sprinklers and spray showers in NYC parks
Best NYC outdoor beer gardens for a summer afternoon and evening
FREE apps on subway track work and schedulng delays – know what trains are bypassing what stations so you aren’t late for one of these free and cheap weekend events.
NYC official street closures website – know what streets are closed when for street fairs, parades, political protests and more.
Midsummer Night Swing – three weeks of outdoor dancing to live bands in Lincoln Center end this weekend with the traditional Saturday afternoon dance program for kids, and the Saturday night program featuring the Big Band sounds of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra.
NYC Summerstage – FREE concerts and dance performances nearly every night of the week all summer in parks in all five boroughs.
NYC in the 70s Film Festival – Just about the only good thing about the 70s in NYC were the great films about the time, including Midnight Cowboy, Serpico, French Connection and Network. Those films and more are gathered up in a special film festival through the end of July, with additional screenings added for the most popular films.
Movies Under the Stars – FREE outdoor movies nearly every night of the week all summer in all five boroughs.
Films on the Green – This year marks the 10th anniversary of this FREE annual outdoor French film festival produced by the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks. Films are in French with English subtitles, curated by Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, James Ivory, Saul Williams, Isabella Rossellini, Wanda Sykes, Laurie Anderson, Matthew Weiner, Matías Piñeiro, and Amy Hargreaves. Every Friday through Sept. 7th.
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.
Bleecker Street MKT – Street Fair on Bleecker Street, between Christopher St. and Eighth Ave.
Sixth Avenue Festival – Street fair on Sixth Avenue between 14th and 23rd Sts.
Avenue of the Americas Festival – Street fair on Sixth Avenue between 42nd and 54th Sts.
Go Africa Street Festival and Africa Day Parade – Showcasing the food, music and dance of Africa and the Caribbean, on Eighth Ave. betwwwn 116th and 128th Sts., 10am-7pm
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
For updates, like us on Facebook.
For updates, follow us on Twitter.
See next page for Sunday events, including street fairs