Your weekend plans begin here, with more than a dozen FREE and cheap things to do this first weekend of Spring and final weekend of March, including the March For Our Lives to protest gun violence in our schools, a panel of writers and educators discussing the tremendous achievements of feminist activism in New York City, and Luna Park opens for the season in Coney Island with freebies and fun.
The NYCOTC weekend guide is $25 or less so you can take bites out of the Big Apple without eating up your budget, plus a few occasional splurges worth the money. And everything is family-friendly.
NYC isn’t expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE, but we usually remind you anyway, to be sure you know.
March for Our Lives – Join the protest against gun violence in schools, at concerts, in nightclubs, and anywhere else people with military assault weapons shoot down innocent non-military Americans. The gathering begins at Columbus Circle at 10am. Speakers, including students from Parkland, Sandy Hook parents and teachers, and others who have been impacted by gun violence, speak at 11am. After the speakers, the route heads east along Central Park South and down Broadway to Times Square.
According to the organizers, this is not about politics or photo-ops, this is about students and and all victims of gun violence, since school safety is not a political issue. The mission and focus of March for Our Lives is ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing, and demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address gun issues.
The NYC march is one of an estimated 100 events around the USA on Saturday. More than one million participants are expected in Washington, D.C.
Friday through Sunday
Browse for home decorating ideas, and be educated by seminars with design luminaries including Aerin Lauder, Alexa Hampton, India Hicks, HGTV star Genevieve Gorder, event planner David Monn, Victoria Hagen, photographer David Friedman, Fern Mallis, Amy Astley, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest and many more. Feast your eyes on DIFFA’s DINING BY DESIGN, a showcase of jaw-dropping dining installations ranging from the lavish to the outrageous. Get discount $15 tickets here.
The Women Who Made New York City – Celebrate Women’s History Month, the explosive #MeToo movement and more, at this special program about the tremendous achievements of feminist activism in New York City, from the Suffragettes to Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress, from Brooklyn, and to today’s women who are redefining social activism. Following a panel of top writers and professors, there’s a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon to create and refine Wikipedia pages on women’s social activism. The seminar is $20, $15 for students and seniors. The Wikipedia session is FREE with museum admission, at the Museum of the City of New York.
The day’s program is inspired by the museum’s current exhibit, Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics. Here’s the schedule:
1pm to 3pm – Teen Vogue’s executive editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay is the keynote speaker, about how the young women and men of “Generation Z” are redefining social activism today. Then, join a conversation with leading writers and scholars illuminating the essential but little-known stories of New York City’s feminist trailblazers and their struggles and triumphs over the last century.
Susan Goodier, Lecturer in American History, SUNY Oneonta
Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies, Columbia University
Premilla Nadasen, Professor of History, Barnard College
Julie Scelfo (moderator), author and journalist
3pm to 5:30pm – FREE Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon training session for new Wikipedia editors
Family Day at the Jewish Museum includes music and dance performances and art workshops. FREE with museum admission.
Pop-Up Passover at the Museum of Jewish Heritage include a scavenger hunt through the museum, a kid-friendly cooking demonstration, and more.
Macy’s Flower Show – The annual extravaganza of flowers and plants takes over Macy’s flagship Herald Square store through Sunday, April 8. The flowers are FREE, as are seminars on flower arranging, gardening, spring entertaining, and more, including events for kids, celebrity appearances, and the chance to win tickets to shows.
This year’s theme is Once Upon a Springtime, transforming the store into enchanted gardens of beauty and renewal and the whimsy of a fairytale journey, with princesses, evil queens, fairy godmothers, and noble knights that lead to a wondrous journey.
Luna Park Opens for 2018 Season – Opening Day events include FREE rides on the historic and iconic Coney Island Cyclone, the traditional Blessing of the Egg Cream, FREE egg cream samples from the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, and the chance to have your photo taken with Mr. Met. The fun starts at 11:30am, at W. 10th St.
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition -This is your last chance to see the fabulous exhibit of Downton Abbey fashions and household furnishings, which closes next weekend. Get $25 discount tickets for your chance to drool over three floors of luscious costumes, sumptuous family rooms, the kitchen and servants quarters below stairs, plus see unseen footage from the popular series. In Midtown.
The Virtue in Vice – The Seven Deadly Sins – pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth – are on display in these objects chosen from Cooper Hewitt’s collection. Through mid-April. Save $2 on tickets purchased online.
The Butterfly Conservatory – Warm yourself in the beauty and color of thousands of butterflies, flittering around you in this annual winter treat at the American Museum of Natural History. FREE with museum admission, through mid-May.
The perennially popular Orchid Show is back for its 16th season at The New York Botanical Garden with thousands of colorful orchid blooms, plus large-scale installations floral artist Daniel Ost. The specially commissioned works pay homage to his training in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. In ikebana, artists value the ideas of wabi-sabi, a philosophy that finds beauty in imperfection, asymmetry, and impermanence.
Know before you go
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.
2018 NYC parking calendar – Know when you have to move your car, or not.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and get NYC on the Cheap in your inbox at 8am each morning. That’s FREE, too, and you’ll start the day with what you need to know to be a NYC cheapskate.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for outdoor events. If not –
Every Friday in NYC
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.
Every Saturday in NYC
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums every Saturday all year includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
FREE guided tour of the High Line. Hear the story behind NYC’s trend-setting park in the sky on a special winter walking tour! Join us for a free 45-minute long tour led by High Line Docents, knowledgeable volunteer guides who offer you an insider’s perspective on the park’s history, design, and landscape. Saturdays through April 7. Meet at the Gansevort Steps at Noon.
Every Sunday in NYC
FREE Sunday admission at top NYC museums including Morgan Library and Museum.
FREE Flatiron Walking Tour – Join professional guides on a 90-minute journey through this vibrant neighborhood, viewing some of the City’s most notable landmarks, including the New York Life Insurance Building, the MetLife Clock Tower, the Appellate Courthouse and the famous Flatiron Building. Every Sunday at 11am, rain or shine. No advance registration is required. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
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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