Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this final weekend of August, including movies, music and dance. The NYCOTC weekend guide is always $20 or less so you can take bites out of the Big Apple without eating up your budget.
New York City doesn’t have to be expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE, and we usually remind you anyway, to be sure you know. Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm.
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Metropolitan Opera HD Festival – See ten nights of FREE Metropolitan Opera performances on a giant screen in Lincoln Center Plaza. Operas include such favorites as Mozart’s The Magic Flute, La Traviata and The Barber of Seville. The Met Opera 2017 Summer HD Festival starts Friday, Aug. 25th, through Labor Day, featuring productions from the Met’s Live in HD simulcast series.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – FREE concerts, movie screenings and dance performances by both famous and up-and-coming artists, honoring the legendary musician’s contribution to the music form that was born right here in New York City. At multiple locations including Marcus Garvey Park, through Aug. 27th.
Get on the fence at this annual photo exhibit at Brooklyn Bridge Park, back for its sixth year, through September 10th. THE FENCE is a large-scale traveling photography exhibition reaching over 4 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in seven cities across the United States. Since its inception, THE FENCE has attracted exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world, providing them with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities. This year’s installation will explore the themes of Home, Streets, People, Creatures, Nature, Play, and Food. THE FENCE is at Empire Fulton Ferry and along the Greenway. The exhibit is FREE, as are the cool breezes from the East River and the picture postcard view of the Manhattan skyline.
- When The Fence ends, Photoville begins. Get a preview of this special annual photo event here.
SummerStage FREE concerts in parks in all five boroughs all summer
Movies Under the Stars – FREE outdoor movies nearly every night of the week all summer in all five boroughs.
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 a great way to beat the heat. 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.
Friday in NYC
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.
Friday through Sunday
Macbeth – This FREE Shakespeare in the park is in Brooklyn Bridge Park. If you don’t already know the plot – Ambition goes unchecked by moral restraint and destruction befalls all but a lucky few. This classic story of the perils of ultimate power is fueled by the supernatural forces that haunt the castles and forests of early Scotland. Performances by the New York Classical Theatre, on the Pier 1 Promenade, 7pm each evening.
Saturday in NYC
Battle of Brooklyn Tales and Tunes – Mark the 241st anniversary of thus important Revolutionary War battle e Battle of Brooklyn with a truly revolutionary exprience. Stroll Green-Wood’s dusk-lit landscape as Revolutionary War reenactors illuminate life at the time of our country’s battle for survival: setting up camp, cooking, socializing, and steeling themselves for the next day’s battle. There will be dance demonstrations, festive music, 18th-century food to sample, and storytelling about battles won and lost amidst the glow of a campfire. The songwriting duo Charming Disaster will provide musical interludes. 7pm to10pm on Saturday, and again on Sunday aftrnoon. Tickets are $25, children to age 5 free. Reservations required to ensure space.
Washington Square Fair – Street fair on Waverly Place between Fifth Ave and University Place
Eighth Avenue Festival – Street fair on Eighth Ave. between 42nd and 57th Streets
3d Annual Indonesian Street Festival – Celebrate the food and music of Indonesia, including dance performances, at this street fair on 68th St. between Fifth and Madison Aves. Noon to 5pm.
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
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See next page for Sunday events, including street fairs