Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-July weekend, including celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the big OZY Fest in Central Park.
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:
What to do in NYC on Thursday
Enjoy FREE introductory Argentine Tango lessons, music, and dancing in the open air, fanned by cooling Hudson River breezes. Live music and dancers will be featured on July 25.
- Thursdays in July, 6:30pm – 8:30pm in Hudson River Park
- Fishing Pier at 125th & Marginal St.
What to do in NYC on Friday
- At the Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.
Enjoy FREE concerts Fridays in July and August in Bryant Park.
Tonight it is Night of Inspiration – Inspirational music from diverse traditions.
- 6pm on the Stage, facing Sixith Avenue
What to do in NYC Friday to Sunday
Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed, and NYC is celebrating with events all weekend at two NYC museums that look to the stars.
SpaceFest is a week of events that includes a special Apollo 11 show at the Hayden Planetarium, talks by astrophysicists and more.
There is a summer-long celebration of the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary, including talks by NASA astronauts and more.
The schedule for Friday night features a FREE screening of First Man on the top deck.
What to do in NYC on Saturday
More than 100 community gardens in all five boroughs open their doors for a day of FREE family-friendly programs that include gardening and ecology workshops, music and more.
Many of the programs have support from GreenThumb, which was established in the late 1970s, provides programming, material support, and technical assistance to over 550 community gardens in New York City.
Here is a direct link to the NYC Dept. of Parks Open Gardens website page, where you can search for a garden and events by borough or zip code.
- 11am to 3pm, with some gardens open longer
What to do in NYC Saturday and Sunday
Discount tickets are still available for this two-day event that is part music festival, part TED talks, part political movement and part food fair, in Central Park that includes top musicians, Broadway and sports stars, comedians, chefs, business leaders and political heavyweights.
Women’s soccer mega-star Megan Rupino has just been added to the line-up that includes John Legend, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, Spike Lee and A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez.
Get discount tickets for as little as $20, and save yourself big bucks because you will not be paying the full price.
What to do Sunday in NYC
Learn to dance like a pro at these Salsa, Cha-Cha and Bachata lessons and group social dances led by master teachers from the Piel Canela Dance and Music School and featuring DJ Ray Colon.
- 6pm to 9:30pm at Hudson River Park, Pier I, at 70th St.
Take a Dip
NYC has FREE outdoor swimming pools in every borough. They are open daily 11am to 7pm through mid-September.
NOTE – NYC outdoor pools will stay open until 8pm this weekend, due to the heat wave in NYC
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.