NYC is filled with FREE and cheap things to do every month, and the last two weeks of March is no different, including a full day of FREE events in Central Park to welcome spring and a FREE film festival showcasing films by and about Native Americans.
As always, nothing on NYC on the Cheap is more than $25, and most are FREE.
Put these free and cheap events on your calendar and save your money for the next holiday, birthday or anniversary.
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Today, Mon., March 18
What’s the latest on driverless car? Will they improve traffic, or make it worse? If all roads lead to a future of driverless cars, will we be in better shape as a society? Get the answers to these questions, and more, in a special FREE program at the NYPL
In a moment when the world faces a seismic change—eliminating the need for drivers to get behind the wheel, top transportation expert Sam Schwartz takes stock of where we’re headed and how best to get there. Schwartz, who served as New York City’s traffic commissioner and the Department of Transportation’s chief engineer, cautions that if we let civic leaders sit back and wait to see what happens, rather than setting policy ahead of the game, corporations will control the narrative. Humanity could find itself in “global gridlock” by 2050 if we continue on the path we’re on—a continued emphasis on individual car ownership, technology that outdates existing models at an ever-increasing pace, and figures like Elon Musk denigrating public transit.
Schwartz will be joined in conversation by Iris Weinshall who served as commissioner of New York City’s Department of Transportation from 2000 to 2007, and is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer of The New York Public Library.
- FREE at 6:30pm at the Mid-Manhattan Library.
- Registration is required to manage seating, which is first come first served (doors open at 6pm)
Based on a true story, The Best of Enemies centers on the extraordinary relationship between Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson), a fearless and outspoken civil rights activist who faced off against C.P. Ellis (Sam Rockwell), a local Ku Klux Klan leader, to blaze the way for school desegregation in Durham, North Carolina, in 1971. Through an incredible series of events and against all odds, these two people with very different views and backgrounds formed an unexpected friendship that ultimately led to large scale social change.
This FREE movie screening is followed by a special panel discussion follows the screening:
- Academy Award® nominee Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)
- Robin Bissell, writer/director/producer
- Matt Berenson and Dominique Telson, producers
- Moderated by Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson
This event is FREE, at 6:30pm, at the Temple Emanu-el Streicker Center, Fifth Avenue at 67th St.
- Registration is absolutely required to ensure space.
- Rated PG-13 for thematic material, racial epithets, some violence and a suggestive reference.
- The release date of the film is April 5, 2019.
Every Monday in March
Every Monday during Women’s History Month, the Hamilton Fish branch of the NYPL will screen a movie about trailblazing women, starting today with “Hidden Figures.”
- Mar. 4: Hidden FIgures
- Mar. 11: Suffragette
- Mar. 18: Frida
- Mar. 25: The Joy Luck Club
- FREE at 11 a.m.
- Photo of Frida Kahlo courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
Wed., March 20
What will we need to meet the challenges of climate change? What type of leadership, economic, and governance models will be required? These questions are more pressing than ever, as scientists report that the pace of climate change is faster than anticipated and as we begin to experience its catastrophic effects, including displacement of human populations, species extinction, and crop losses.
Join a diverse panel of experts at AMNH as they discuss new science and new policy, as well as their recommendations for mitigating climate change across the globe.
- Ana Luz Porzecanski, moderator, director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History.
- Afua Bruce, former executive director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s National Science and Technology Council at the White House.
- Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland.
- Larry McDermott, Algonquin from Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation and executive director of Plenty Canada.
- Paavo Järvensivu, independent researcher of economic culture and co-author of the 2019 United Nation’s sustainability report.
- Vic Barrett, plaintiff in Juliana v. United States, the lawsuit brought by Our Children’s Trust against the U.S. government over climate change
This program is presented in collaboration with the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation.
- 7pm at the American Museum of Natural History, (LeFrak Theater)
- Arrive through entrance at 81st Street
- Tickets are $15, $13.50 for , seniors and students, $12 Members
Wed. March 20
Welcome Spring in Central Park
There’s something for everyone and all ages on the first day of Spring. All events are FREE, but some require registration to manage space limitations. Here’s the full schedule from the Central Park Conservancy:
9am – Volunteer Drive
Help the park’s amazing volunteers prepare the Park for spring. Groups will take part in a weeding project in Central Park’s north end.
Can’t make it? Stop by any visitor center or information kiosk to learn about other ways to get involved throughout the year.
10am – Birding Basics: The Ramble
Central Park welcomes more than 270 migrating bird species each year. Prepare for peak migration season with a free tour of the Ramble and learn the basics of bird identification along the way.
11am – Fishing at the Harlem Meer
Join the experts at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center for catch-and-release fishing on the Harlem Meer. Fishing poles, bait, and instructions will be provided.
2pm – Stroll to Strawberry Fields
From a planned military parade ground to the site commemorating John Lennon, this is one of the most-visited spots in the Park. Learn its secrets that even seasoned Park-goers don’t know.
- For this special spring tour, dogs are welcome. They must be on a leash, of course.
- Register here
3pm – Chess Strategies and Tips
Join the experts for a free chess talk and open play at Chess & Checkers House. Chess expert Ed Feldman will share tips and techniques, and then stick around to answer questions during open play.
Wed., March 20
Spend an Evening with New York Philharmonic Music Director Jaap van Zweden as he approaches the end of his inaugural season. He’ll be discussing his path to the Philharmonic, the core values he brings to his musicianship and the Orchestra, and his views on the role of the symphony orchestra in the 21st century. Presented in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic
- FREE, 7:30pm at the David Rubenstein Atrium,Frieda and Roy Furman Stage(Broadwaybet. 62nd & 63rd St.)
- FREE seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- For more information, including program updates, visit LincolnCenter.org/Atrium
Starting Thurs., March 21
Sci-Fi Film Festival
Watch some of Hollywood’s most iconic sci-fi films as part of the series, Plastic Futures and Premillennial Tensions: 1990s Science Fiction Cinema before a New Millennium at the Museum of Art & Design, also known as MAD. The film series coincides with the opening of the exhibition Non-Stick Nostalgia:Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry.
Screenings include contemporary classics, Johnny Mnemonic, Ghost in the Shell, Hackers, and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
- Museum of Art & Design is in Columbus Circle
- See schedule and pricing here.