Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do first weekend of November, including the opening of several holiday markets, book fairs and harvest festivals. Everything on the NYC on the Cheap weekend everything 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.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with all the outdoor events.
And if it doesn’t, here are some rainy and snowy day activities in NYC, besides re-arranging your sock drawer.
Winter Village at Bryant Park now open
Grand Central Holiday Fair now open.
Union Square Holiday Fair opens this weekend.
Get discount tickets now for holiday shows for kids, $25 or less, including the Big Apple Circus and a musical version of A Christmas Carol.
Holiday Train Show at GCT
The 17th Annual Holiday Train Show is now open at Grand Central Terminal, and it’s FREE again this year. These are classic, vintage Lionel Trains which run on eight separate loops of track through a 34-foot long miniature New York City scene, at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store in GCT.
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.
Things to do in NYC Saturday and Sunday
32nd annual Goddard Riverside Community Center Book Fair – Get great brand-new books at 50 percent off the cover price. Children’s, young adult, mystery, current events, cookbooks, fiction, all donated by the publishers. Proceeds from the Book Fair programs for the Upper West Side community, so you are buying books and doing a good deed at the same time. FREE admission. At the The Bernie Wohl Center, 647 Columbus Ave at 91st St.
Also – Saturday only –
12th Annual Brooklyn Children’s Book Fair – Meet your favorite Brooklyn authors and illustrators at the annual Brooklyn Children’s Book Fair! This free event features author readings, illustrator presentations, and book-related art-making opportunities with over forty creators presenting storybooks, picture books, and graphic novels. FREE admission, at the Brooklyn Museum
- 11:30 am–4 pm Preschool Drawing: An ongoing free draw and coloring floor activity
- 12–12:30 pm Reading: Peter Brown, The Wild Robot Escapes
- 12:30–1 pm Illustrator Presentation: Jon Burgerman, Rhyme Crime
- 1–1:30 pm Reading: Sharee Miller, Princess Hair
- 1:30–2 pm Illustrator Presentation: Stephen Savage, Jack B. Ninja
- 2–2:30 pm Reading: Abby Hanlon, Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds
- 2:30–3 pm Illustrator Presentation: Booki Vivat, Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
- 3–3:30 pm Music: Michael Hearst, Songs for Unusual Creatures
Harvest Weekend – Wave Hill’s annual celebration of the bounty of family and community includes the classic “Cornhusk Dolls” Family Art Project. Listen to Native American tales, and then learn how to tie, weave and shape dried husks into dolls—a simple, yet beautiful decoration for your Thanksgiving table. The weekend includes guided garden walks and a gallery tour, plus exclusive Wave Hill caterer Great Performances’ pastry chef leads our annual Perfect Pumpkin Pie Workshop. The weekend also includes two performances, both free with admission. On Saturday, Sunroom Project Space artist Keren Anavy collaborates with Valerie Green/Dance Entropy on Utopia, a dance performance, while on Sunday the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers perform.
- Wave Hill, West 249th St, Bronx
Renegade Craft Fair -11am-5pm both days at Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St between 6th and 7th Ave
Things to do in NYC on Saturday
International Games Day at NYPL – Come celebrate play, literacy, and games at the 11th annual International Games Day! Kids of all ages can play a FREE curated selection of videogames and try out tabletop games. Adults and teens can also enter a virtual reality experiences (with a parent or guardian signature). Get your game face on and come play.
- 11am to 5pm at the Main NYPL on Fifth Ave. All ages welcome. FREE but registration is recommended to manage attendance.
Financial Community Fair – Liberty St. between Broadway and Liberty Place
Village Fair and Expo – University Place between Waverly Place and 14th St
4th Annual Fall Field Day – 10am-2pm -Kids, teens, and their families are invited to relive classic and re-imagined field day activities as they are introduced to a new generation. With an array of activities fit for all ages and abilities, Fall Field Day offers something for everyone. FREE.
- Bronx Park, Unionport Road and Bronx Park East, Bronx
Things to do in NYC on Sunday
Community Care Fair – A FREE, intergenerational program that celebrates community based organizations that focus on care, health, and empowering communities, at the Museum of the City of New York. This all-day pop-up fair includes FREE health screenings food samplings, DJ music and more, and showcases the exhibition Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis, which explores how disease has changed us physically, socially, and culturally, and the surprising interplay between people and pathogens in an urban context. The exhibition explores care from medical, scientific and cultural-political (activist) perspectives and features sources and objects addressing topics from the HIV/AIDS crisis to the Young Lords seizing of an x-ray truck for TB screenings in East Harlem.
- FREE healthy food tastings and hands-on activities.
- Weill Cornell scientists will be onsite to swab the cellphones of adults wishing to learn about the types of bacteria (harmful and healthful) that can be found on their devices.
- A children’s swabbing activity using petri dishes will also be available.
- 11am to 3pm
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 and the Cooper Hewitt Design 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. 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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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.