Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this Thanksgiving holiday weekend besides Black Friday shopping.
There are FREE light holiday shows, FREE museum shows and the start of the MTA Holiday Nostalgia Train rides.
Everything on NYC on the Cheap is family friendly, and nearly everything is FREE.
Get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap. That’s our motto and we’re sticking to it.
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.
Know Before You Go
Be sure to check the street closures advisory so you are not stuck in traffic.
Holiday Light Shows
FREE includes the show at the Shops at Columbus Circle, in the Time Warner Center.
Ticketed includes the NYC Winter Lantern Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Get aboard for a trip back in time, on a vintage NYC subway train.
The annual and popular MTA Holiday Nostalgia Train rides again for five consecutive Sundays, starting this Sunday, Dec. 1, with vintage R 1/9 cars that were in service 1932 to 1977, and conductors dressed in vintage uniforms.
You might remember light bulbs, woven wicker seats, ceiling fans and windows you could open before air conditioning.
And the straps to hang on to, which are the reason NYC subway riders are called “straphangers”.
Ride the vintage trains for the cost of a MetroCard swipe, $2.75 a full price or less if you have a discount pass.
Best Museum Exhibits for Kids
This popular display is back at the American Museum of Natural History for its 22nd season with more than 500 butterflies fluttering among colorful tropical flowers and lush green vegetation.
The butterflies are from farms in Florida, Costa Rica, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, and Australia.
Beyond being just beautiful, butterflies are important harbingers of environmental change, and the exhibit includes an educational component about the roles butterflies play in ecosystems and the importance of protecting them.
- At AMNH through May 2020
- FREE with museum admission
Experience the world’s largest display of LEGO® art.
Artist Nathan Sawaya created more than 100 pieces for this exhibition using only LEGO bricks. The collection features original pieces, as well as re-imagined versions of some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces, including the famous painting known as Scream.
More than one million LEGO bricks were used to create Sawaya’s sculptures.
In addition to the LEGO artworks on display, there are activity stations where kids of all ages can create and design their own.
- Art & Architecture – Recreate famous building, bridges and structures using LEGO bricks.
- Hidden Hands – Build a mystery object inside a covered box using only your sense of touch.
- Assistive Devices – Design a tool that will allow you to pick up an object on a post through a series of various sized windows.
- Describe It – Build a simple object out of view and describes the object to your friend. Then, see if your friend can build the same object based only on the description.
- Six Bricks – Find out how many different things you can build using only six LEGO Duplo bricks.
- LEGO Drag Race – Build a LEGO brick car and test it out on ramps of different inclines.
- Tilt Maze – Rearrange straight LEGO “bar” bricks to create a maze for a wooden ball to navigate through on a tilt-table.
- LEGO Music Box – Create your own unique song using a special LEGO baseplate. On the baseplate, horizontal lines represent different “tracks,” and vertical columns represent the eight “beats.” Use different colored LEGO bricks as instruments or notes/pitches to create your song. Then put the visual representation of your song under a camera, where simple image processing algorithms will turn it into music.
Art of the Brick is at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadow Park.
- $7 per person, plus NYSCI admission.
- Take the 7 train to the 111th St. station.