June is bustin’ out all over NYC. Your FREE and cheap weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen things to do this first weekend of June, including a science fair, an art fair, a book fair, an all-you-can-eat ice cream fair, the start of SummerStage concerts in in the parks, and the start of Films on the Green outdoor movies.
Whew, I’m tired already.
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.
- Unless otherwise noted, outdoor events are rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine.
- Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 11am to 6pm.
The NYCOTC free and cheap 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.
Rockwell, Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms – You’ve seen these Norman Rockwell images all your life and know them well. But nothing compares with seeing them in person. This timely exhibit about freedom opens today, Friday, May 25, at the New York Historical Society. The exhibit commemorates the 75th anniversary of publication of the illustrations in 1943, to support the WWII war effort, and remain a timely explanation of why Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear are universal and important to us all, every day.
Stars in the Alley – FREE outdoor concert with live music that celebrates the end of the 2017-2018 Broadway season and adds to the festivities leading up to the 2018 Tony Awards®. Performances from this season’s new Broadway shows as well from long-running hit shows. And you are invited to sing along with your favs.
- 1pm in Shubert Alley. Rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine.
Films on the Green – The annual festival of FREE outdoor French movies is in a different NYC park each Friday. This year’s theme is gastronomy, with delicious films exploring the connection between food and wine and culture.
Friday through Sunday
Scooper Bowl Ice Cream Festival – All you can eat ice cream, from top national and NYC local boutique producers. This is your excuse to stuff yourself with ice cream and feel good about it, because 100% of ticket prices support a charity for kids with cancer and for cancer research.
- Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on-site. Noon to 9pm all three days at Bryant Park.
Saturday and Sunday
BookCon – Real books – the ones you can curl up with and real pages you can turn – are celebrated at the Javits Convention Center this weekend, along with the authors who write them. There are writing workshops, panels, photo ops and autographing opportunities, including the opportunity to join former President Bill Clinton and the international bestselling author James Patterson as they discuss their new novel, “The President is Missing” — the first time a U.S. president has collaborated with a bestselling novelist on a work of fiction, talking about their research and collaboration.
- Tickets for BookCon start at $10 for children ages 6-12 and $40 for adults and free for children younger than six.
World Science Festival 2018 – Explore your inner robot, astronaut and rocket scientist at FREE family-frendly events all weekend, including City of Science on Saturday, stargazing and more.
- See the full schedule here.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit – This is the 88th consecutive year for this FREE sidewalk arts and crafts show that turns the Village into a NYC version of Paris. There’s a huge roster of nearly 100 new and veteran artists in all mediums showing and selling works directly to the public. You might get lucky and find the next Picasso or Pollack.
- On the sidewalks at University Place between East 12th St. and Waverly Place and the corner of Washington Square Park. Noon to 6 pm both days.
SummerStage – The annual festival of FREE concerts in parks in all five NYC boroughs begins on Sat. June 2, with performances just about every day through Labor Day 2018.
Top performers include R&B, Latin, hip hop and jazz, folk, and the annual Metropolitan Opera Recital series, plus dance performances, and a special orchestral performance of David Bowie’s Blackstar, and the annual SummerStage Kids and SummerStage Family day.
Celebrate 20 years of Hudson River Park – The longest riverfront park in the United States is enjoyed by millions of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world each year. Celebrate 20 years of fun and games with a full schedule of events at Pier 45 at Christopher Street, all FREE to attend.
|9 – 10:30 AM||Healthy on the Hudson fitness class|
|10 – 10:45 AM||Eco Walk|
|10:45 – 11:45 AM||Healthy on the Hudson fitness class|
|12 – 3 PM||Estuary Lab Science Saturday programming!
All-day activities include Big City Fishing & Shell-ebrate Oysters
|1 – 1:30 PM||Performance: Mad Science show|
|3 – 4 PM||RiverKids magic with Kid Ace|
|4 – 6 PM||Sunset on the Hudson musical performance|
|6 – 8 PM||Sunset Salsa dancing with Talia Castro-Pozo, accompanied by Mitch Frohman and the Bronx Horns|
|8 – 10 PM||20th Anniversary screening of The Wedding Singer, 1998 blockbuster|
It’s My Park – Celebrate sustainability and have fun at this FREE eco-event kicking off summer in Union Square Park, 10am to 1pm
- Hop on the Sweetcycle smoothie bike (pictured here) to learn how to reduce food waste by creating smoothies and other recipes from food scraps or produce that would otherwise be wasted. Smoothies will be made using rescued strawberries and bananas from Whole Foods Market.
- Learn how to reduce your waste footprint with NYC’s Department of Sanitation. Pick up stickers and decals that will help you keep garbage out of landfills by properly recycling and composting trash, plus receive a free DSNY reusable bag.
- Activities for the kids include face painting and creating sustainability bookmarks and sustainability coloring, including rock painting and comic books.
- Spread out in the park and learn about nature and sustainability in a Uni Project reading corner outfitted with an Explore Cart full of books, coloring pages, and science equipment. Kids can be scientists for the day, using magnifying glasses and microscopes to explore and understand nature specimens.
Salute to Israel Parade – Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel at this festive parade, one of the city’s largest. More than 250 organizations are scheduled to march along Fifth Avenue, from 57th Street to 74th Street, including groups of rollerbladers, motorcyclists, dance groups, and juggling clowns. 11am to 4pm.
Extended Through Labor Day
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition – Note that this fabulous exhibit of Downton Abbey fashions and household furnishings has been extended through Labor Day 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.
- See our posting on Royal Wedding events in NYC for special events featuring experts on royal wedding dress, etiquette and table manners.
Another Hot Ticket
David Bowie Exhibit – This special exhibition of everybody’s favorite musician, actor and artist has been organized with unprecedented access to his personal archives, with one-of-a-kind material and music. At the Brooklyn Museum through July 15th.
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.
Get NYC on the Cheap in your inbox at 8am each morning.
It’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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