Your free and cheap weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen things to do this first weekend of Summer, including free hot dogs in Brooklyn Bridge Park, outdoor concerts and Pride Fest events,
Whew. We’re exhausted already, and the weekend hasn’t even begun yet.
NYC isn’t expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do. And we love to share.
The NYCOTC free & cheap weekend guide is $25 or less
Take bites out of the Big Apple without eating up your budget
- 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.
Closing This Weekend
King in New York – Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., his death, the exhibition traces the civil rights leader’s encounters with New York from the 1950s until his assassination in 1968. The historic images reveal a lesser-known side of King’s work and demonstrate the importance of New York City in the national civil rights movement.
- Through Sunday, June 24 at the Museum of the City of New Yor
Must See Museum Exhibits
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 is 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 every one of us, every day.
David Bowie Exhibit – This special exhibition of everybody’s favorite musician, actor and artist and trend-setter 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.
Free concerts in NYC Parks
SummerStage – The annual festival of FREE concerts in parks in all five NYC boroughs 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.
Saturday and Sunday
Hot Dog Bus – Get FREE hot dogs every weekend through August 25th from this vintage VW Microbus. You can’t miss it. It’s bright yellow and looks like a food truck bulging at the seams. It’s part food truck and part art project, from the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm and the Public Art Project, designed, literally to “encourage audiences to reconsider the relationship between capitalism and consumption” in today’s culture, according to the project’s press release. Not to mention the relationship between over-consumption and obesity, by feeding us free hot dogs.
- Noon to 6pm in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Saturdays at Pier 5, Sundays at Pier 1.
- Limit one per person, while supplies last
SEE ALSO: NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter’s trip across North Africa in a VW Microbus
What to do in NYC on Saturday
Harlem Pride 2018 Celebration Day – Show your pride at this afternoon of music and dance performances, food and fun.
- 12th Ave between West 135th and West 138th St.
SuperHero & SciFi Carnival – The second annual NYSoM Superhero Sci-Fi Festival is coming to Martinez Playground in Brooklyn — and it’s bringing more good times than you can shake a lightsaber or Infinity Gauntlet at. Hang out with your favorite characters from Star Trek, Transformers, Star Wars, DC and Marvel, make your own lightsaber and have a blast playing classic carnival games. All FREE.
- 2PM at the Martinez Plaground, 195 Graham Ave. Brooklyn
- Full story about the organizers of Brooklyn’s own ComicCon in this NYTimes article.
What to do in NYC on Sunday
Pride Fest – One of the biggest FREE events of Pride Weekend, a giant street fair.
- University Place between 13th Street & Waverly Place, 11am to 6pm
Gay Pride Week: The March – Thousands of marchers, music and more.
- Begins Seventh Ave and 16th St and ends at 29th St and Fifth Ave, Starting at Noon
Columbus Circle/Broadway Street Fair – Broadway, between 60th and 61st Streets, 10am-6pm
Grand Army Plaza Festival – Eastern Parkway between Flatbush and Washington Ave, 10am to 6pm
Smith Street Fun Day – Smith Street between Union and Bergen St, Brooklyn
Downton Abbey Exhibit 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.
Getting Around NYC – 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.