Your weekend plans begin here, with a dozen or so FREE and cheap things to do this first full weekend of march, including FREE museum admission, and the start of Daylight Saving Time. Remember to set your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night.
Get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap.
That’s our motto and we’re sticking to it.
Everything on NYC on the Cheap is family friendly, and nearly everything is FREE.
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.
Remember to reset your clock for Daylight Saving Time.
Remember what your mother told you – spring ahead, fall back – so you lose one hour of sleep but gain more sunshine.
FREE Museum Admission
Get FREE museum admission the first weekend of the month in New York City.
The list includes the Frick Collection and the Brooklyn Museum.
That will ease the pain of losing one hour of sleep.
Know Before You Go
Be sure to check the street closures advisory so you are not stuck in traffic.
What to do Saturday in NYC
Attend one or both of these FREE events at NMAI, the National Museum of the American Indian, in Lower Manhattan, where admission is always free, not just on the first weekend of the month.
Two Indigenous women living very different lives are briefly brought together on the streets of Vancouver by desperate circumstances. The story of their encounter explores the complexities of motherhood, class, race, and the ongoing legacy of colonialism. The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi) and actress Violet Nelson (Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw First Nation).
- (2019, Canada/Norway, 105 min.)
Directors: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Blackfoot/Sámi) and Kathleen Hepburn
- 2pm to 5pm
Native Nations of the Northeast invented the sweet treat known as maple syrup.
Learn the process of producing maple syrup during this drop-in program. Recommended for ages 7 and up.
- 1pm to 4pm
First Chance for These New Museum Shows
It’s all around us, and it affects everything, from food to fashion, even sex and survival – just ask the birds and the bees who prefer or avoid one particular color.
Explore all the colors of the rainbow at this playful and fascinating new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
The Nature of Color highlights the color all around us, woven so tightly into our lives that we rarely stop to question what it is and how it works.
Where do the colors in diamonds and rainbows come from? How have some animals benefited by evolving to stand out, while others survive by blending in?
Why do some colors make us happy while others make us, well, blue? How did pink come to be associated with femininity in Western culture after centuries of being considered suitable for all?
The Nature of Color reveals how color carries information in nature—where organisms use it to find food, warn off predators, and conceal or reveal themselves—and across cultures, where different colors can signal a wide range of meanings, from good luck to power to a sense of urgency.
- FREE with museum admission
- Opens Monday, March 9
- AMNH is on Central Park West, between 77th and 81st Streets.
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll RevolutionWe all love that old time Rock & Roll, from Berry to Bowie, Aretha to Zeppelin, The Doors, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and Santana, to name a few.
It’s all on display at a new exhibit at the New York Historical Society, including vintage concert posters, costumes, and such artifacts as Keith Richard’s boots held together by duct tape, Janis Joplin’s tambourine and a coat worn in concert by Jimi Hendrix.
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution focuses on the role of the legendary concert promoter, who put many artists and bands on the musical map in the 1960s and 1970s, including at the legendary Filmore Auditorium in San Francisco and the Filmore East concert hall in the East Village, which used to be called “the church of rock and roll”, along with many outdoor concerts.
The exhibit includes a stereo headset triggered by an infra-red signal, so that when you are in front of a specific section, you hear the music.
Because it’s all about the music.
- New York Historical Society is at Central Park West and 76th St, next door to the American Museum of Natural History
City/Game: Basketball in New YorkBasketball in New York is a saga set in schoolyards, street corners, gymnasiums, and packed arenas, where a shared sports culture cuts across race, ethnicity, class, and language. City/Game captures the excitement and evolution of this quintessentially urban game and the energy of the diverse New Yorkers who play it and love it.
- At the Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.
Worlds Beyond EarthThis new show at the Hayden Planetarium is the first to use a new planetarium projection system that is the most advanced in the world, plus it’s narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, .While humans have to yet to walk on another world beyond the Moon, Worlds Beyond Earth celebrates the extraordinary Age of Exploration carried out by our closest proxies, robotic explorers, over the past 50 years.Featuring immersive visualizations of distant worlds, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, the show is part of the 150th anniversary celebration year of events at the American Museum of Natural History.This is the first space show that will “land” audience members on other worlds in our solar neighborhood, reconstructing actual events at specific locations. That includes-
- a landing on the gray, cratered surface of the Moon, which viewers will reach by following an Apollo launch out of Cape Canaveral,
- the subsequent landing of the Lunar Module “Falcon,” carrying the first Lunar Roving Vehicle;
- and the liquid methane lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan, an almost Earthlike but extremely cold world 1.4 billion kilometers away, illuminated by ESA’s Huygens probe, launched from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Worlds Beyond Earth, narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, takes viewers on an exhilarating journey that reveals the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that orbit our Sun and the unique conditions that make life on our planet possible.Simply, the show is out of this world!
- Hayden Planetarium is at AMNH, Central Park West between 77th and 81st Streets.
- Get tickets online and save time.
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.Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for autographed copies.FREE Things to do in NYC every weekend
Weekend Walks are sponsored by NYC.
Check the NYC website for the schedule.
FREE Things to do in NYC every Friday
Freebie Friday – FREE admission to NYC museums including MOMA. No passes or coupons needed. Just go.
FREE Friday morning admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, until Noon.
Get FREE admission to more than a dozen NYC museums with the IDNYC card. Enrollment is also FREE.
Freebie Friday: Family Fridays at MoMath – Solve puzzles, family-style, and learn how math affects everything, from music to space flight. 6:30pm, FREE The National Museum of Mathematics is at 11 E. 26th St.
Freebie Friday – Grand Central Neighborhood Tour. FREE every Friday at 12:30, docents from the Grand Central Partnership guide you through the history of the fabled Grand Central Terminal and some equally-fabled nearby landmarks including the Chrysler Building.
There are no tickets, no reservations. Just meet at Sculpture court at 120 Park Avenue (southwest corner of East 42nd Street). Tour is 90 minutes.
FREE Things to do in NYC every Saturday
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums every Saturday all year includes the Jewish Museum
FREE Things to do in NYC every Sunday
FREE Sunday admission at top NYC museums including Morgan Library and Museum.
FREE Flatiron Walking Tour – Join professional guides on a 90-minute journey through this vibrant neighborhood, viewing some of the City’s most notable landmarks, including the New York Life Insurance Building, the MetLife Clock Tower, the Appellate Courthouse and the famous Flatiron Building.
You now get FREE admission to more than 30 NYC museums and cultural institutions with the new CulturePass. It’s a new perk to use with your library card from the NYPL, Brooklyn Museum or Queens Museum systems.
NYC isn’t expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do. And we love to share.
- Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE, but we usually remind you anyway.
- Unless otherwise noted, outdoor events are rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine.
- Street fairs are 11am to 6pm, unless otherwise noted.
Getting Around NYC – Know Before You go
FREE apps on subway track work and schedulng delays – Know what trains are bypassing what stations so you aren’t late for one of these free and cheap weekend events.
NYC official street closures website – Know what streets are closed when for street fairs, parades, political protests and more.
2018 NYC parking calendar – Know when you have to move your car, or not.
Where to eat at LaGuardia Airport – Top NYC restaurants and cafes are replacing fast food joints.
Get NYC on the Cheap in your inbox at 8am each morning.
It’s FREE, too, and you’ll start the day with what you need to know to be a NYC cheapskate.
Enjoy your free and cheap NYC weekend.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.