Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this weekend, including car-free Summer Streets, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival and the wrap-up of Lincoln Center Out of Doors music and dance festival.
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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.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors – This is the final weekend of three weeks of FREE concerts, dance performances and film screenings. As always, it wraps up with the Roots of American Music Weekend. This year includes a musical salute to rock ‘n’ roll icon Chuck Berry who passed away recently, and a concert by multiple Grammy Award-winner Bonnie Raitt.
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.
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.
NYC Restaurant Week 2017 – Splurge on a fixed-price three-course meal at one of 400 top NYC restaurants participating in this annual program. Get lunch for $29 and dinner for $42. NYC Restaurant Week is through August 18th.
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
Bryant Park Presents offers a special double bill of the Asian Cultural Symphony of the USA plus a performance by Shoko Nagai’s TOKALA. Moore than half of the orchestra members are graduates of NYC’s own The Julliard School. The orchestra has performed throughout the United States, including concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, New York’s City Hall, the United Nations Headquarters, and The United States Capitol. Shoko Nagai’s TOKALA explores the ancient connection between Japan and the Middle East via the silk road, where cultural exchange left an imprint that is integral to Japanese culture. This FREE evening is 7pm to 9:15pm an follows the Friday Picnics wthh a pop-up food market curated by Hester Street Fair, then borrow a blanket from Bryant Park to spread out on the Lawn to enjoy the performance.
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.
Saturday in NYC
Summer Streets – Enjoy car-free streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Upper East Side. Rest stops along the way include a giant water park, entertainment and more. This is the second of three car-free Saturdays each August.
Amsterdam Avenue Fair – Street fair on Amsterdam Ave. between 79th and 86th Streets
Columbus Circle Fair – Street Fair on Broadway between 60th and 61st Streets
Tango in the Park – Since Mid 1990s, Argentine Tango afficianados have been gathering to dance, and be watched dancing, in Central Park. There are no lessons, although you can pick up a tip or two from a friendly participant. Every Saturday through the last Saturday in September, 6pm to 9:30pm, at the Shakespeare Statue, at the south end of The Mall. It’s rain or shine – in case of rain, the dancing moves nearby to “The Dairy” (Visitor Center)
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