Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this final weekend of February, including FREE celebrations of Black History Month, FREE movie screenings and a FREE art show.
As always, everything NYC on the Cheap suggests is $25 or less, and most things are FREE, so you can enjoy more NYC for less money.
So much to see and do and so little time.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with outdoor events
And if it doesn’t, here are some rainy and snowy day activities in NYC, besides re-arranging your sock drawer.
Free Art Show in Rockefeller Center
What do polka dot artist Yayoi Kusama, Helen Frankenthaler, and Andy Warhol have in common? Their artwork is on display for you to see at Christie’s, FREE. This exciting opportunity is in advance of special Post-War to Present art auction on February 28, and features pieces from emerging and renowned artists, as well as three artists who have mounted large-scale installations at Rock Center: Anselm Kiefer, Takashi Murakami and Ugo Rondinone.
The artworks include one by Brooklyn artist Hein Koh. Her installation, ”Braving the Cold,” features sculptures inside 45 Rock, as well as digital drawings on vinyl inside 10, 30, and 50 Rock, and outside on the Plaza.
All FREE to enjoy before they are auctioned off for millions of dollars.
Additional information here
February is Black History Month, and several NYC museums have special events, including film screenings.
Enjoy FREE weekend screenings of films and TV shows featuring African-American performers, including a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, classic comedy programs, a Scandal marathon, and previews of two new documentaries.
All the screenings are at the Paley Center for the Media, in Midtown, a museum of broadcasting, founded by William S. Paley, who founded CBS. There is also a branch in Los Angeles, with a similar schedule.
- Jackie Robinson photo courtesy of MCN
Through Feb. 24
It’s called the Tribeca Drive-In Dinner and a Movie, but you can enjoy the FREE indoor film screenings with or without food before or after.
This is the third year for this indoor movie festival in the Oculus, celebrating Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winnng fan favorite films leading up to the Oscars on Feb. 24th.
Free films include E.T. and Field of Dreams.
Even though FrostFest is over, the Bumper Cars are staying on, meaning that you can bump, spin, and slide on the ice through February 24.
You can make your reservation online here.
Sunday, Feb. 24
New Shanghai Circus is considered to be China’s most celebrated acrobatic company, amazing audiences all over the world with their acrobatic skills.
Each year the troupe adds new performers creating a revolving line-up of award winning favorites the Human Strength and Beauty, Plates Spinning, Jar Jugglers, Diabolo, Magic Clock, Butterfly Lovers, and more. Over 40 Acrobats of China showcase dramatic interpretation of classic Chinese dance and physical performance art with extraordinary and inventive feats of strength and skill, control and balance, grace and charisma.
- The New Shanghai Circus performs one day only at Schimmel Center at Pace University, at 4pm. Tickets start at $29 for adults and $20 for children.
- Purchase online at www.schimmelcenter.org, by phone at 212-346-1715, or by visiting the Schimmel Center Box Office at 3 Spruce Street in Manhattan. Box office hours are Tuesday-Saturday, Noon-5pm, and then beginning three hours prior to each performance, through intermission.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter visited the city of Shanghai recently, including attending a performance of the top Shanghai circus show, Circus World ERA.
Things to do in NYC every Friday
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.
Things to do in NYC every Saturday
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums every Saturday all year includes the Jewish Museum
Things to do in NYC every Sunday
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.
Free Exhibit in Lincoln Center
Enjoy the exuberance and brilliance of dancer, choreographer, artist and poet – and native New Yorker – Jerome Robbins in this FREE exhibit celebrating the 100th year of his birth, and his hometown, where the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down, and the people ride in a hole in the ground, as we learned in On the Town.
Jerome Robbins was an inveterate observer, seeker, and creator. In diaries, drawings, watercolors, paintings, story scenarios, poems—and, especially, in dance—he reimagined the world around him. And New York dominated that world, where he was born one-hundred years ago and where he lived his entire adult life.
Ideas of New York have long inspired artists but often the city serves as a backdrop in an artwork rather than the basis for plot, theme, and meaning. Robbins put the city at the center of his artistic imaginings. From Fancy Free—his breakout hit ballet in 1944—to the musical West Side Story on stage (1957) and screen (1961) and the ballets N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz (1958) and Glass Pieces (1983), Robbins explored the joys, struggles, grooves, routines, and aspirations of New York. And in recreating the city around him on stage, Robbins found a place for himself.
Voice of My City traces Robbins’ life and dances alongside the history of New York, inspiring viewers to see the city as both a muse and a home.
- Open through March 30th, 2019. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
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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Enjoy your free and cheap NYC weekend.