Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-May weekend.
Everything we suggest is $25 or less, and most are FREE and family-friendly, so you can enjoy more NYC for less money.
That just happens to be 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.
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
Join NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter for the launch of my new NYC guidebook, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Meet me at Westsider Books, 2246 Broadway, for a book launch party, on Friday, May 17th, 7pm to 9pm, to check out the guidebook and the other great books, records and CDs at this special indie bookstore, and chat about the best city on the planet, your favorite NYC museum, restaurant or retail shop, and more.
- Westsider Books is next to Staples and across the street from Broadway, between 80th and 81st Streets.
Meet me at Jones Wood Foundry.
Tues., May 21, 5:30p-7:30p
Jones Wood Foundry, 401 E. 76th St., bet. First and York Aves.
Happy Hour drinks & complimentary nibbles
Today and Saturday
- More than 200 blankets are available to borrow at the Bryant Park Shop + Info tent, and food and drink are available for purchase.
What to do in NYC on Saturday
In case you haven’t heard, Essex Market has moved across the street to modern, shiny new digs, and they are celebrating with an all day event with FREE food tastings, live music, cooking demos, discounts, and giveaways that include a FREE re-usable Essex Market grocery tote bag to tote home goodies by NYC-based vendors. Also, when you purchase anything, you’ll get a FREE raffle ticket. All in all, a taste deal.
The new Essex Market is at 88 Essex Street, directly across the street from the old Essex Market. The celebration is 11am to 5pm.
Here’s the schedule of events:
Live music and performances on the mezzanine
- Colombian and Dominican music by live bands Yotoco, Palortré and dj tres dos
- Performance and mask-making workshop by Junktown Duende and Yesenia Selier of The Loisaida Center
- Dance performances by the seniors at Grand Street Settlement
- Coloring with children’s book illustrator Aaron Meshon (who designed our mural!)
Mini-classes and demos in the Essex Kitchen. Seating and participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- 11am – Colorful Kids Cooking with The Creative Kitchen
- 11:45am – Fresh Bites: Free Cooking Classes at Essex Market (translated into Spanish & Chinese!)
- 12:45pm – Cooking With Granny teaches a generations-old kimchi recipe
- 1:45pm – Food Adventures with Spoons Across America – Fun & Healthy Kids’ Cooking
- 2:30pm – Mediterranean Delights Demo with Samesa
- 3pm – Intro to Medicinal Herbalism with Flower Power Herbs & Roots
- 3:30pm – Homemade Ice Cream with L.E.S. Ice Cream Factory
- 4pm – Couscous From Scratch with Zerza Moroccan Food
- 4:40pm – Creative Cupcake Decorating with Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
Frieze NY is the big annual art show on Randall’s Island, with over-the-top daily ticket prices starting at $57. Fuggedaboudit. Instead, see some of the best art from Frieze NY artists FREE in Rockefeller Center.
Frieze Sculpture is a major new public art initiative with significant sculptures across the Rockefeller Center campus by 14 international artists including Goshka Macuga, Ibrahim Mahama, Joan Miró, Paulo Nazareth, Sarah Sze and Hank Willis Thomas.
Frieze Sculpture is curated by Brett Littman of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Queens, and presented in partnership with world-leading galleries.
- Take a FREE docent-led tour of the sculptures at Noon.
- The sculptures are on site through June 28th.
What to do in NYC Saturday and Sunday
Enjoy the museum’s annual FREE Children’s Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan and explore the Taíno culture of the Caribbean.
Hands-on activities include hammock weaving, decorating clay pots, making a maraca, or making a sun design magnet to take home. Interactive dance led by Irka Mateo (Taíno) and traditional storytelling with Bobby Gonzalez (Taíno).
- This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
- 11am to 5pm both days.
- NMAI has FREE admission year-round.
Friday through Sunday in NYC
Open for the Season
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.