Your NYC FREE weekend plans begin here, with more than a dozen FREE things to do this Memorial Day Weekend including Fleet Week NYC events, parades, street fairs and the official opening for the season of NYC beaches.
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NYC isn’t expensive when you know where to go and what to do, and we do.
- 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.
- Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 11am to 6pm.
Fleet Week NYC
Tour US Navy and US Coast Guard ships FREE, see demonstrations of the latest military hardware, enjoy concerts by military bands, interact with uniformed military, and more, at this annual celebration of the Sea Services.
Visiting ships include the USS New York, built in part with reclaimed steel from the World Trade Center Twin Towers.
Memorial Day Parades and Observances in NYC
Sunday, May 26
Staten Island 100th Annual Memorial Day Parade – Begins at Forest Ave and Hart Blvd down Forest Ave to Stop and Shop near Jewitt Ave, Noon to 2pm
Monday, May 27
Manhattan’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Day Observance takes place at Riverside Dr. and 89th Street at 10am.
Join NPS Park Rangers for a FREE walking tour of war memorials near Federal Hall National Memorial at 15 Pine St., in the Financial District, Noon to 2pm. starting at noon. Stops include:
- Soldiers’ Monument
- Admiral George Dewey Memorial
- American Merchant Mariners Memorial
- Coast Guard Memorial
- East Coast Memorial
- Fort George Memorial
- New York Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The biggest Memorial Day parade in Queens, Little Neck-Douglaston, kicks off at Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard in Queens at 2pm, although festivities begin at 10am.
The 152-year-old Kings County Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade starts in Bay Ridge at 78th St and Third Ave at 11am and ends at John Paul Jones Park for the memorial service.
Today in New York
All the films have a flight theme, and all are FREE.
Saturday in New York
See NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter on the popular WABC-TV morning show, talking about my new NYC guidebook, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
I’ll be sharing some information that’s here on the NYC on the Cheap website, and some that’s only in the book.
I hope you’ll be watching at 9:30am.
NYC Beaches Open for the 2019 Season
NYC beaches are open for the season Memorial Day Weekend 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.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
The 89th annual sidewalk art fair is over two weekends, May 25-27, 2019 and June 1-2, 2019. This is a juried collection of paintings, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, pottery and more, in a wide range of price ranges.
The sidewalk art show is around University Place, starting at East 13th Street and continuing south along the east side of Washington Square Park to West 3rd Street. The southern end of the show encompasses Schwartz Plaza, (aka Bobkin Lane), between NYU’s Shimkin Hall and Bobst Library.
- Hours are Noon to 6pm daily.
- See the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit website for additional information.
Street Fairs on Saturday
West Fourth Street Festival – West Fourth St between Sixth Ave and MacDougal
Hester Street Fair’s Lobster and Beer Summer – Hester Street and Essex St
Street Fairs on Sunday
Mamapalooza – This annual event celebrates kids and the mamas and papas who love them, with FREE music performances, giveaways and more.
- Noon to 5pm at Riverside Park Pier I, along the Hudson River at 70th St.
Puerto Rican Day Parade and 152nd Street Cultural Festival – Jackson Ave, Bronx
Greenpoint Ave. “Sunnyside” Street Fair Festival – Greenpoint Ave. between 42nd-48th St
32nd Annual Liveable West Side Street Fair Festival – West Side of Broadway between 72nd and 86th St
Street Fairs on Monday
Broadway “Astoria” Memorial Day Street Fair – Broadway between Crescent St and 42nd St
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.
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.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for outdoor events. If not –
Every Friday in NYC
Freebie Friday – FREE admission to NYC museums including MOMA. No passes or coupons needed. Just go.
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.
Every Saturday in NYC
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums every Saturday all year includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
FREE guided tour of the High Line. Hear the story behind NYC’s trend-setting park in the sky on a special winter walking tour! Join us for a free 45-minute long tour led by High Line Docents, knowledgeable volunteer guides who offer you an insider’s perspective on the park’s history, design, and landscape. Saturdays through April 7. Meet at the Gansevort Steps at Noon.
Every Sunday in NYC
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. Every Sunday at 11am, rain or shine. No advance registration is required. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Also, check the list of best free things to do in NYC any day of the week, including weekends.
Enjoy your free and cheap NYC weekend.
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