Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-June weekend that includes Father’s Day, including your last chance to visit MOMA before it closes, and more.
Nearly everything we suggest is FREE and family-friendly, so you can enjoy more NYC for less money.
That’s the NYC on the Cheap motto – get more NYC for less money.
There’s so much to see and do in NYC and never enough time to see and do it all.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with outdoor events, including street fairs and parades.
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:
Today, Friday, is the last day to get aboard the Comp Train for comp tickets to shows, concerts, attractions, party cruises and more in NYC, for dates through Autumn..
And not just New York City. There are Comp Train offers nearby in Philadelphia and Boston, and nationwide, in such cities as Los Angeles and Miami.
This is the last weekend to go to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) before it closes on Saturday, June 15, for four months of renovation, which will add thousands of square feet, allowing for better traffic flow along with he ability to display more pieces from its permanent collection.
When the museum reopens in October, it will also have extended hours. General admission will begin at 10am, and members will have their own new dedicated entrance and early admission.
During the closure of MOMA in Manhattan, MoMA PS1 in Queens, will maintain its regular schedule, noon to 6pm, Thursday through Monday.
- MOMA is on West 53rd St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
- Read more of how MOMA will evolve in this article by NY Times arts critic Roberta Smith
Things to Do in NYC Today, Friday
Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.
While not a federal holiday, this special day is observed across the nation, from small towns to big cities, often with parades. Since 1916, Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York has hosted the Flag Day Parade, Celebration, and Open House here in New York City.
The parade is one of the longest running parades in our city, and in its early years, one of the largest. Thousands of marchers participate from organizations such as the NYPD, FDNY, civic associations, veterans groups, various historical societies, and most importantly, New York City public schools.
Along the Parade route the marchers distribute small American flags to passersby. The Parade ends at the Grandstand at the corner of Broad and Pearl, just outside the steps of Fraunces Tavern, beneath a four-story American flag hanging from the Museum’s façade.
There are numerous events throughout the city.
Things to do in NYC on Saturday
The John Coltrane legacy is personified by the DeJohnette-Coltrane-Garrisson trio, featuring the most influential an accomplished jazz drummer, saxophonist and bassist on the scene today, joined by a top modern harpist.
The trio performs FREE at 7pm at SummerStage, Central Park. Doors open at 6pm.
Brooklyn Museum Pop-Up Market
- 11am to 6pm, Brooklyn Museum Plaza 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
Live music, dancing, vendors and more.
- 5pm to 10pm, Fort Greene Park, DeKalb Ave and S. Oxford St, Brooklyn
Things to do Saturday and Sunday
Did you know that next week is National Pollinators Week? Many of us city people don’t know the importance of pollinators. From busy bees to beautiful butterflies, pollinators do a lot to help gardens thrive and put food on our tables.
Celebrate them and learn more about them at this bee-loved weekend, where you will learn about the secret lives of these tiny, yet important creatures.
If you have a greenspace at home—or are just curious about the relationship between pollinators and flowers—attend a talk by a master gardener on making your garden, or windowsill, more pollinator-friendly. Also on the agenda is a walk and talk contributing to the Empire State Native Pollinators Survey, a community-science project for sharing observations of native pollinators with scientists in the field, helping to enrich their research.
- Admission is $10 adults, $6 students and seniors 65+, $4 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesday mornings until noon.
- Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens.
- Wave Hill is 675 West 252nd Street, Riverdale, Bronx.
Things to do in NYC on Sunday
This annual FREE street fair celebrates the cultures of the Lower East side. This multicultural block party unites the vibrant cultures of the neighborhood around the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, now the Museum at Eldridge Street, pairing Chinese Opera and acrobatics with klezmer music and mambo.
Enjoy al fresco Mah jongg games, Jewish scribal arts, Puerto Rican lace making, tea ceremonies, and much more. Plus, enjoy the iconic foods of all three cultures, including eggrolls, egg creams and empanadas.
- Sun, June 16, Noon to 4pm
- Museum at Eldridge Street is at 12 Eldridge Street
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.
It will help get you ready for Midsummer Night Swing, three weeks of dancing to live bands in Lincoln Center, which starts on June 25th.
- 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.
Fifteen historic houses in Nolan Park are now open with a stunning array of free programs spanning art, culture, science, history and technology that continue through the season. On Saturday, see opening day events like a visiting artist talk at West Harlem Art Fund, augmented reality art at Swale, and environmental freestyling at House of Solutions, plus new programs from MoCADA, Pioneer Works and more.
The New Art Dealers Alliance returns to the Island for NADA House, an exhibition spanning three houses on Colonels Row featuring work by 45 artists from NADA’s international network of galleries and nonprofits. More info here.
Fabulous food and beverage vendors include newcomers like Neapolitan Express and Perros Y Vainas and returning favorites like Little Eva’s and Taco Vista. Also returning are bike rentals from Blazing Saddles and Citi Bike and the thrilling zip line and other fun activities at Adventures at Governors Island.
- Governor Island is open daily through Oct. 31.
- Check the ferry schedule here
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.