Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this 4th of July holiday weekend, including dancing under the stars at Midsummer Night Swing and FREE museum admission the first weekend of the month.
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:
FREE museum admission the first weekend of the month
This is the middle of three weeks of dancing outdoor under the stars to live bands in Lincoln Center, at Midsummer Night Swing.
This weekend features bands playing Big Band and Uptown Swing.
There’s a FREE dance lesson each night with ticketed admission for the dance band. Bands perform 7:30pm to 10pm.
See you on the dance floor.
Take a Dip
NYC has FREE outdoor swimming pools in every borough. They open today for the 2019 season and are open daily 11am to 7pm through mid-September.
What to Do Saturday in NYC
Join the American Historical Theatre, and the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society for two lively FREE debates between two of our most famous Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton at Hamilton’s home. It’s a most appropriate event the weekend after we have been celebrating what the Founding Fathers accomplished.
Debate will be held outdoors, so bring your own chairs, cushions, or blankets, and come early to guarantee sitting right next to the action. In case of rain, the debate will be brought inside.
1pm – Youth Program
Interactive debate between Hamilton and Jefferson is geared towards school-age children, followed by a meet & greet.
- This program is recommended for students who are studying , or who have already studied the Constitutional Convention and founding era.
2:30pm – General Audiences
In this program for general audiences, interpreters will bring to life an epic battle of ideas. This entertaining and educational exchange between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson will be followed by a Q&A, and a meet and greet.
- FREE at Hamilton Grange National Memorial, 414 West 141st St., Hamlton Heights.
Dance to music only you can hear, and stay cool while you dance thanks to Hudson River breezes. Be sure to bring an ID to leave as a deposit for the headphones, which you will get back when you return the headphones.
- Pier i, 70th St in Riverside Park
Hell’s Kitchen Community Summer Street Festival
- Eighth Ave. between 42nd and 57th St
60th Street Festival
- 60th Street between Fifth Ave and Madison Ave
Hester Street and Essex Street
- Governor Smith Playground, 335 East 152nd St, Bronx
Things to do in NYC on Sunday
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.
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.