Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-September weekend.
There are plenty of street fairs, $20 tickets to Off-Broadway shows, the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, the annual Photoville FREE photo exhibit and seminars in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and so much more.
There’s so much to see and do in NYC and never enough time to see and do it all.
All events are FREE and family-friendly, unless otherwise noted.
The NYC on the Cheap motto is get more NYC for less money.
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.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm.
Know before you go:
Save money on Broadway shows during Broadway Week 2019, with half-price tickets to top musicals and dramas.
This is your annual pppportunity to get BOGO tickets to nearly two dozen shows, including Aladdin, The Lion King, Frozen, Tootsie and Beautiful: The Carol King Musical
Get tickets now for matinee and evening performances through Monday, Sept. 16.20at20
See the best Off-Broadway shows for just $20 for 20 days, Sept. 3 to 22.
It’s the annual 20at20 promotion celebrating Off-Broadway shows, including such long-running favorites as Gazillion Bubble Show, Blue Man Group, and Jersey Boys, and newcomers including Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish with English super-titles, Sistas the Musical, a new Frankenstein musical, The Exes, a comedy about divorce, a musical spoof of Star Wars, and more.
Just show up at the box office 20 minutes before curtain to claim your $20 tickets.
- 20at20 is for matinee and evening performances
In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson
This exhibit honors the 100th birthday of a NYC legend, baseball legend and civil rights hero.
In 1947 Jackie Robinson made history when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American in Major League Baseball. In honor of the centennial of Robinson’s birth
In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson features some 30 images of Robinson and the Dodgers taken for Look magazine, many of them not seen before publicly.
The exhibition also features memorabilia and rare footage of the Robinson family, as well as the published magazines, which provide a window into the media’s portrayal of this groundbreaking figure through the lens of the day’s popular picture press.
This exhibition is a co-presentation of the Museum of the City of New York and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
- Through Sept. 22 at the Museum of the City of New York
What to do in NYC Today, Thursday
There’s FREE outdoor swing dancing every Thursday in September at MetroTech Commons to some of the best swing bands in town, plus DJ music and lessons. Bring a partner or not, since there will be members of the NYC swing dance community on hand to dance with. Or, just tap those two left feet and enjoy the music.
September 12th – Gordon Webster & Friends
DJ Odysseus Bailer // MC Dandy Wellington // lesson by Jennifer Sowden & Brooklyn Swings
September 19th – Charles Turner & Uptown Swing
DJ Brian Ferdman // MC Dandy Wellington // lesson by Nathan & Gaby
September 25th – Eyal Vilner Big Band w. Queen Esther
DJ Ryan Swift from Frim Fram // MC Dandy Wellington // lesson by Evita Arce
- FREE, 5pm to 8pm Thursdays on Wiloghby Plaza, at the corner of Wiloghby and Pearl Streets.
What to do in NYC Today through Sunday
Taste of Iceland returns with FREE concerts, film screenings, and a reading by top Icelandic authors, plus a bar night with Iclandic drinks (not free) and a restaurant menu prepared by a top Iclandic chef (also not freee).
The concert, Reykjavik Calling, at the Brooklyn Brewery, features Kælan Mikla, a mesmerizing all-girl synth-punk trio who have opened for The Cure, and Sólstafir, a metal/classic rock fusion band with songs inspired by the landscapes of their native Iceland. Admission to the free concert is granted on a first-come, first-served basis, so come early! (Must be 21+ to enter.)
- FREE, Sept. 12-15 at various locations throughout Brooklyn
- RSVPs required for most events
What to do in NYC Today through Sunday, Sept. 22
Photoville NYC, the annual FREE photography festival returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park next week, with photos and mixed-media works by hundreds of 600 visual artists, plus dozens of seminars and and workshops, outdoor projection shows and more.
The 8th annual Photoville installation is Sept. 12-22 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with nearly 100 exhibitions housed in and around a collection of 50+ repurposed shipping containers.
There’s also an outdoor beer garden.
- FREE, Sept. 12-22 at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro salutes the patron saint of Naples throughout the festival’s 11-day run with food, games, food, live music, food, games, and food, including meatball-eating and zeppole-eating contests, singing contests and cooking demonstrations.
Local restaurants set up street booths along Mulberry street offering pizza, sausage and peppers, cannoli, fried dough, and torrone, a honey nougat candy usually flecked with almonds.
The religious focus of the event is the a customary procession of the statue of San Gennaro.
Click here for the official website with the official schedule of events
- Sept. 12-22, Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets.
What to do in NYC Friday and Saturday
Head to Madison Square Park for two days of FREE family-friendly events, including puppet shows, a spinning plate performance, a water balloon show, face painting, singalongs and more.
- The annual Kids Fest starts at 6:30pm Friday, and continues on Saturday, 11am to 3pm.
- See the full schedule of events here.
The outdoor season is winding down, but there still are screenings
- Through October 12, 2019 at Various Venues in Queens
- Through Sepptember 9, 2019 at The Rooftop at Pier 17, South Street Seaport
What to do in NYC Saturday and Sunday
4th Annual Camp Doughboy WWI History Weekend
The fourth annual Camp Doughboy World War I History Weekend comes to Governors Island National Monument this weekend, with living history, reenactors, authors, experts, vintage vehicles, and animals.
This is the largest free public WWI exhibition in the United States.
Reenactors representing the Allies and Central Powers — as well as civilians in Edwardian-era attire — are invited living history participants. The centennial of the service members returning to Governors Island is in 2019 and this group of volunteer reenactors will share the story of WWI participants. See living history, weapons and equipment displays, and vintage vehicles.
Sponsored by the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission, the WWI Centennial Committee for NYC, and the National Park Service.
- All events are FREE and open to the public.
- Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 9am to 3pm, on the Parade Ground, Governors Island.
This sprawling and engaging art fair returns to Governors Island with works that take over four of the historic brick homes on Colonels Row. Nearly 100 artists are included. Each one is given a room, or a kitchen, hallway, stairwell, closet, front porch or a spot on the front lawn to do whatever they like with it.
Artworks include sculptural pieces, paintings, mixed-media stuff, animations, and conceptual installations, and many of the artists are on hand to talk about their work, even sell it to you.
- FREE, every Saturday and Sunday in September along Colonels Row, Governors Island
What to do in NYC on Saturday
Meet some of New York City’s premier predators live and up close, but not too close.
Join NYC Parks at the annual Raptor Fest, hosted by the Urban Park Rangers, to meet many birds of prey, also known as raptors, that are found throughout New York City and beyond, They include including eagles, falcons, including Peregrine falcons owls, and hawks.
The family-friendly event includes education and activity tables stations along with live birds of prey performing aerial feats.
- FREE, Noon to 3pm, Saturday, Sept. 14
- East Meadow in Central Park North of East 97th Street and Fifth Avenue
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm
Columbus Circle/Broadway Street Fair
- Broadway between 60th and 61st St
Eighth Ave Midtown Street Fair Festival
- Eighth Ave. between 42nd and 55th Sts.
- 43rd St between 9th and 10th Ave
- 40th Road and Prince St, Flushing
What to do in NYC on Sunday
Vroom! See a world-class collection of vintage bikes from the classic era of motorcycling at NYC’s oldest antique motorcycle show.
This event includes a judged show of more than 100 antique bikes, live music, food vendors and bikes for sale. Trophies will be awarded for various categories.
- Sunday, 11am to 4pm at the Queens County Farm Museum
- Advance Tickets: $7 all ages, Door Tickets: $11 all ages. Buy tickets
SAVE THE DATE – 37th Annual Queens County Fair, next weekend, at the Queens County Farm Museum
Sixth Avenue Merchandise Street Fair
- Sixth Ave between 14th and 23rd St
- Third Ave between 66th and 86th St
PopUp Food Event @ MCC Festival at Third Ave
- Third Ave and 72nd St
- Fifth Ave between 44th and 59th St, Brooklyn
2019 Autumn Moon and Lantern Parade
- Eighth Ave between 47th and 63rd St, Brooklyn
Need more things to do in NYC?
My new book is full of them. 100 Things to be exact.
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.
Available online and in bookstores now.