Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do first weekend of November, including FREE museum admission. Some are family-friendly, others for adults only, the NYC Marathon is for everybody, and auditions for America’s Got Talent, for those who want to be on TV.
The NYC on the Cheap weekend list is $25 or less, and most things are FREE, so you can enjoy NYC more for less money.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm, rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine, especially for all the outdoor events.
So much to see and do and so little time.
The biggest event of the weekend is the NYC Marathon, with naerly 50,000 runners and one million spectators.
See our complete guide to the best spots to watch and the best spots to eat along the five borough route.
Runners should pick up race bibs and other materials at the NYC Marathon Expo at the Javits Convention Center
Advisory on Central Park Closures
Large portions of the Park will be closed to all visitors on race day:
- Central Park West perimeter sidewalk from 59th to 85th Street;
- West Drive from 59th to 85th Street;
- East Drive from 59th to 90th Street;
- All of Center Drive beginning at the 6th Avenue and 59th Street entrance
NYC Events Ending This Weekend
New York City’s favorite haunted house is back with a host of fright-filled environments, including attractions The Crypt, Thunderdome, The Wake, Maggot Invasion, Hannibal’s Hell, Killer Clown Room and Mayhem!, in which beasts and demons will vie for your body — and your soul.
- Discount tickets start at $19, for dates through early November.
Other Israel Film Festival, through Nov. 8th
Documentaries, dramas, comedies and shorts from an international roster of writers and directors, about Jewish and Muslim experiences in Israel, including about chemists and handymen, riding trains and starting businesses.
- Tickets are $12, $6 with a student ID, or a Festival Pass for binge-watching is $50.
- Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 344 Amsterdam Ave at 76th St
Reel Recovery Film Festival, through Nov. 8th
Films about addiction and recovery, plus comedy shows about addiction and recovery, and more, including a documentary about Eric Clapton and another about Bill W., founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Village East Cinema, Second Ave. and 12th St
The Kol Isha Concert of modern and traditional Jewish Liturgical music was scheduled long before this week’s terror massacre of Jews attending prayer services in Pittsburgh, which makes this concert so much more appropriate, especially since it is in the Museum at Eldridge Street the historic landmark synagogue that was the spiritual home of so many immigrants who landed on the Lower East Side.
Cantors Hayley Kobilinsky and Galit Dadoun Cohen are at the forefront of the changing face of the American cantorate. Emerging from traditional Ashkenazic and Sephardic backgrounds respectively, they each infuse their heritage into their cantorial work, incorporating Yiddish and Ladino with the common prayer languages of Hebrew and English.
This concert will include an eclectic mix of Jewish music, from traditional chazzanut to recent compositions by leading Jewish composers, accompanied by Joyce Rosenzweig, who has appeared as a soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic and Texas Festival Orchestra.
- 3pm to 4:30pm Sunday at the Museum at Eldridge Street Tickets are $25, $15 for Seniors and students.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with all the outdoor events.
And if it doesn’t, here are some rainy day activities in NYC, besides re-arranging your sock drawer.
Audition for America’s Got Talent TV Show, – Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2/3
What’s your talent? Besides the ability to stand in line to wait for an audition. Once-in-a-while auditions for the America’s Got Talent TV show are Nov. 2 and 3, at the Javits Convention Center. You could just show up and hope, or you could sign-up for a specific time and have a better chance.
- We recommend signing up, including uploading what your specific talent is, on a Performer Profile. And good luck.
Union Square Autumn Street Fair – Broadway between 17th and 23rd St
Pumpkin Smash – 11am-2pm, Chelsea Waterside Park, 11th Ave and 23rd St
Saturday and Sunday
Staten Island Fall Food Truck Festival – 1pm-10pm, Staten Island Mall, 2655 Richmond Ave
Queens Veterans Day Parade, 80th St and Metropolitan Ave, Queens
Now Open for the Holidays
No, you didn’t sleep through Halloween and Thanksgiving. The annual Bryant Park Winter Village is now open for the season, with FREE ice skating and more than 170 vendor kiosks for holiday shopping. Also this year is a a rink-side bar and food hall with a dozen food vendors.
The Winter Village opens at noon on Saturday, and to celebrate, Bryant Park and village sponsor Bank of America are treating the first 100 entrants to a free skate rental, a pair of red gloves courtesy and a cup of hot chocolate.
- The shops are open through Jan. 2. The ice skating rink is open through mid-March or later.
- Also now open for the season is ice skating at Rockefeller Center.
Must-See Museum Exhibits
Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow examines the meaning of citizenship for African Americans following the abolition of slavery, through Reconstruction and the rise of the Jim Crow era. By 1868, all persons born in the United States were citizens and equal before the law, but efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. A harsh backlash ensued, ushering in the “separate but equal” age of Jim Crow.
Marking the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment – back in the news today with all the headlines about immigration and birthright citizenship – and featuring art, artifacts, photographs and media, the exhibition highlights the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights and also examines the depth and breadth of opposition to black advancement. Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow is part of New-York Historical’s new initiative to dedicate rotating gallery space to covering topics of freedom, equality, and civil rights in America.
- New York Historical Society, Central Park West at 76th St., through early 2019.
Also at New York Historical Society is the Harry Potter History of Magic exhibit.
See both exhibits for one price on the same ticket.
- The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), Seventh Ave. at 27th St., through early January 2019.
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.
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.
You now get FREE admission to more than 30 NYC museums and cultural institutions with the new CulturePass. It’s a new perk to use with your library card from the NYPL, Brooklyn Museum or Queens Museum systems.
NYC isn’t expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do. And we love to share.
- 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.
- Street fairs are 11am to 6pm, unless otherwise noted.
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.
Where to eat at LaGuardia Airport – Top NYC restaurants and cafes are replacing fast food joints.
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It’s FREE, too, and you’ll start the day with what you need to know to be a NYC cheapskate.
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.