Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this first full weekend of September.
There is FREE Shakespeare in Bryant Park, $20 tickets to Off-Broadway shows, the annual Washington Square Art Exhibit, 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
Tickets are now on sale for performances Sept. 3-16, and the most popular shows to sell out fast.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
What to do in NYC Today, Thursday
- 45th St between Third and Lexington Ave
PopUpNY @ LiC/Citi Corp Food Street Event
- 45th Ave between Jackson Ave and 23rd St, Queens
- 6pm to 10pm, Pier i, 70th St and Riverside Blvd
What to do in NYC Friday, Saturday or Sunday
Shakespeare in Bryant Park
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 on Friday
Emerging artists take the stage for the inaugural World Trade Center 2019 Music Festival. The FREE event also features exciting new street art installations and the popular weekly outdoor Smorgasburg food market, with delicious eats from local area vendors.
- The festival is 2pm to 7pm at World Trade Center Oculus Plaza.
The music lineup includes:
Marc Scibilia previously touring with the Zac Brown Band and Wallflowers, preview songs on Instagram.
Blac Rabbit recently rocked the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and makes its next East Coast stop in Lower Manhattan. Follow the tour on Facebook.
Greko is fresh off collaboration with other LGBTQ+ artists on #LIFTEMUP, a song that debuted in celebration of World Pride NYC and Stonewall 50. Check Facebook for more of their music.
Kid Le Chat’s electro/analog sound has sparked a faithful following with real time updates on Facebook.
Blake Charleton is a Brooklyn native producing and performing his own music. Listen to his latest songs here.
Street artists will be on-site creating unique visuals at designated public spaces, including:
BoogieRez is the dynamic duo made up of Risa Tochigi, a graphic designer, illustrator, painter, digital artist, woodworker, muralist and street artist, and Rezones, graffiti artist turned graphic designer/photographer/digital artist. BoogieRez aims to create art inspired heavily by hip hop culture and the everyday people that cross their paths. Past art can be found here.
Sarah C. Rutherford creates murals, installations and art pieces aimed at exploring the rich cultures and hidden worlds of cities. As founder of “Her Voice Carries,” a public art project featuring women who are lifting up the voices of others, Sarah showcases her work on Instagram and website.
Alice Mizrachi is a NYC-based interdisciplinary artist and educator working in the mediums of painting, murals and installation. Alice’s mural and installation work has been found in galleries and as a part of site-specific arts education and community development projects. Her work often engages local communities and reflects positive visual responses to social issues affecting neighborhood residents.
What to do in NYC Friday and Saturday
The Redhawk Native American Arts Council presents activities including jewelry-making, Indigenous dance performances, traditional storytelling with Tchin, , in conjunction with .with Tepkik, an installation by artist Jordan Bennett
The Redhawk Native American Arts Council is a not-for-profit organization founded and maintained by Native American artists and educators residing in the New York City area. Since 1994, the Council is dedicated to educating the general public about Native American heritage through song, dance, theater, works of art and other cultural forms of expression.
The council represents artists from North, South, Central American, Caribbean and Polynesian Indigenous cultures. The arts council also hosts festivals, workshops, theater presentations and educational programs, addressing stereotypes and fostering an awareness of Native cultures from a historical standpoint, with a focus on contemporary cultural practices.
- FREE, 10am to 2pm, Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Winter Garden, Brookfield Place
The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is back for its umpteenth year, showcasing fine artists and craft artisans from around the New York metropolitan area, the nation and the world. Attendees come from all over and are a cosmopolitan mix, including art lovers, tourists, faculty and students from the area’s many schools and professionals such as interior designers.
It’s a sidewalk show, not a street fair, that turns the sidewalks of Greenwich Village into a taste of Paris.
The art sprawls along University Place, starting at East 13th Street and continuing south along the east side of Washington Square Park to West 3rd Street. The southern end of the show encompasses Schwartz Plaza, (aka Bobkin Lane), between NYU’s Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.
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
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm
- The annual Labor Day Parade marches up Fifth Avenue, from 44th St., starting at 10am.
Broadway Village Street Fair
- Broadway from Waverly Pl to 14th St
Bleecker Street Festival
- Bleecker St between 7th and 8th Aves.
37th Avenue Street Fair Festival
- 37th Ave between 83rd and 89th St, Queens
- 10am to 3pm, Brooklyn Sports Club, 1540 Van Siclen Ave, Brooklyn
- Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South
- 11am t 4pm, Conference House, 7455 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island
- 11:30am to 4pm, Erie Basin Park, Red Hook, Brooklyn
- 1pm to 5pm, Marcy Ave from Gates Ave to Lexington Ave, Brooklyn
- 3pm at Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition
8pm at 1208 Surf Ave, Coney Island Brooklyn https://www.coneyisland.com
Take a Dip
NYC has FREE outdoor swimming pools in every borough. They are open daily 11am to 7pm through this weekend.
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.
NYC beaches are open for the season through Labor Day Weekend, with lifeguards, food kiosks and fun in the sun, sand and surf.
There are 14 miles of public beaches within the NYC boundaries.
Lifeguards are on duty 10am to 6pm daily, and for the third year in a row, free sunscreen is available at sunscreen stations similar to stations for hand sanitizer.
Here is our guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island you can get to by subway.