Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this final weekend of May, first weekend of June, including the Celebrate Israel Parade, the Washington Square Sidewalk Art Fair, the first of many Pride events, and more.
Nearly everything we suggest is FREE and family-friendly, so you can enjoy more NYC for less money.
That’s the NYC on the Cheap motto – get more NYC for less money.
There’s so much to see and do in NYC and never enough time to see and do it all.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with outdoor events, including street fairs and parades.
But if it doesn’t, here are some rainy day activities in NYC, besides re-arranging your sock drawer.
Know before you go:
What to do in NYC Today, Friday
See a FREE screening of the acclaimed WWII movie Dunkirk on the top deck of the Intrepid. Bring your own seating.
Here’s the schedule for the entire summer season of FREE film screenings, all of them with a military theme.
Things to do in NYC on Saturday
Join NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter for talk and signing of my new NYC guidebook, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Meet me at 3:30pm at the Forest Hills Branch for a FREE chat about the best city on the planet, your favorite NYC museum, restaurant or retail shop, and more.
100 Things to Do in New York City Before You Die is a great guide to discovering the quirky treasures of NYC, or re-discovering some of the most famous spots in the world.
The book is available now in bookstores and online.
- Queens Library Forest Hills Branch is 108-19 71st Ave.
- Evelyn Kanter author talk is at 3:30pm.
Meet me at Queens Library –
85-12 Main St.
Mon, June 3, 6pm
A week of events celebrating the food, music and culture of the islands of the Caribbean kicks off on Saturday with cooking demonstrations by some top chefs.
Taste of Jamaica – Join Chef Samantha Davis as she makes Oxtail Curry with Lemongrass at Bloomimngdale’s 59th St. Flagship store, 2pm to 4pm.
Taste of Barbados – Join Chef Javon Cummins at the Williams-Sonoma in Columbus Circle, also 2pm to 4pm.
NYC Parades on Sunday
Street Fairs and Festivals on Saturday
Now in its 12th year, Go Green! is the place to learn about local sustainability initiatives while sampling local food, art, and music.
Participating organizations, businesses, schools, crafters and artists inform and entertain the thousands of park-goers that enjoy McCarren Park on a beautiful summer day.
Green exhibitors, school sustainability challenges, fitness workshops, dance performances, eco-art, educational & scientific displays concerning our environment, a Greencycle Swap, volunteer park clean ups, a carefully curated eco-market and more.
- McCarren Park, Brooklyn
PopUpNY @ East Village – Cooper Square, 3rd Ave-Cooper Square and 6th Ave
St. Nicholas Ave Street Fair Festival – St. Nicholas Avenue between 181st and 188th St
Third Avenue Cooper Square Street Fair Festival – Third Avenue between 6th St. and 14th St.
Hester Street Fair’s Vintage Day – Hester St and Essex St https://hesterstreetfair.com/events/hester-street-fair-vintage-day-2-2/
Murray Hill Neighborhood Street Fair Festival – West Side of Park Ave. between 34th and 40th Sts.
NYC Multicultural Festival – St.Nicholas Avenue between 141st and 145th St https://www.multiculturalfestival.nyc/events-1.html
Rockaway Irish Festival – 3pm at St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Roman Catholic Church, Rockaway & Broad Channel, Queens
Street Fairs and Festivals on Sunday
26th Annual Spring Crafts Street Fair Festival – West Side of Broadway between 65th and 72nd St
Flatbush Avenue Street Fair Festival – Parkside Ave to Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn
Things to do in NYC Saturday and Sunday
Live music and dance performances inspired by festivals around the world, and representing NYC’s multi-cultural population.
- Saturday, Noon to 6pm at St.Nicholas Avenue between 141st and 145th St.
- Sunday, 11am to 7pm at Jackie Robinson Park, 145th St. and Brathurst Ave.
This is the second and last of two weekends for the 89th annual sidewalk art fair. This is a juried collection of paintings, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, pottery and more, in a wide range of price ranges.
The sidewalk art show is around University Place, starting at East 13th Street and continuing south along the east side of Washington Square Park to West 3rd Street. The southern end of the show encompasses Schwartz Plaza, (aka Bobkin Lane), between NYU’s Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.
- Hours are Noon to 6pm daily.
- See the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit website for additional information.
Now Open for the Season
Fifteen historic houses in Nolan Park open their doors this weekend with a stunning array of free programs spanning art, culture, science, history and technology that continue through the season. On Saturday, see opening day events like a visiting artist talk at West Harlem Art Fund, augmented reality art at Swale, and environmental freestyling at House of Solutions, plus new programs from MoCADA, Pioneer Works and more.
The New Art Dealers Alliance returns to the Island for NADA House, an exhibition spanning three houses on Colonels Row featuring work by 45 artists from NADA’s international network of galleries and nonprofits. More info here.
Fabulous food and beverage vendors include newcomers like Neapolitan Express and Perros Y Vainas and returning favorites like Little Eva’s and Taco Vista. Also returning are bike rentals from Blazing Saddles and Citi Bike and the thrilling zip line and other fun activities at Adventures at Governors Island.
- Governor Island is open daily through Oct. 31.
- Check the ferry schedule here
NYC beaches are open for the season through Labor Day Weekend, with lifeguards, food kiosks and fun in the sun, sand and surf.
There are 14 miles of public beaches within the NYC boundaries.
Lifeguards are on duty 10am to 6pm daily, and for the third year in a row, free sunscreen is available at sunscreen stations similar to stations for hand sanitizer.
Here is our guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island you can get to by subway.