There’s more than a dozen FREE and frugal things to do in NYC this weekend. Everything on the NYCOTC cheap weekend list is $20 or less. That makes us different from all the other “what to do” lists with expensive ideas, because we’re here to help you enjoy NYC on the cheap with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our NYC cheap weekend list is FREE.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10AM to 6PM.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events, which include a fall harvest of street fairs.
any time of year
Today in NYC
I Don’t Get It – Every Friday evening, a group of young, talented comedians takes the stage in the East Village for a FREE comedy show, with a rotating roster of stand-ups and improv groups each week. Producers Matt Schwartzer and Gary Levitt guarantee us there is no cover charge and no drink minimum, although you really should support the venue and these comedians by buying a drink to sip between bursts of laughter. Doors open at 7:30PM, the show begins at 8PM. I Don’t Get It is in the back of HiFi, which still carries that rock-n-roll vibe from when it was the great indie rock club Brownies, and there’s an element of danger in the atmosphere that creates an unusual kind of excitement for a comedy show. The HiFi is at 169 Avenue A, between 10th and 11th Streets. Take the L to 1st Ave, the 6 to Astor Place or the F to Second Ave; the M14 stops in front of the door (Thanks, Matt, for the transpo info).
Friday Freebies: FREE museum admission at top NYC museums.
Memorial Concert to the Victims of 9/11 – FREE performance of Mozart’s Requiem, at Loving Theater, Lehman College, Bronx.
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Saturday in NYC
Kite Festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park – Go fly a kite! Learn how, make one, bring one. FREE 11AM to 3PM.
Broadway Festival – Street fair on Broadway between Waverly and 14th St.
Memorial Concert to the Victims of 9/11 – FREE performance of Mozart’s Requiem, at St. Bartholemew’s Church, Park Ave. at 51st St.
– This street fair celebrates Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and the Columbia Waterfront, with music, arts and crafts, local food vendors and more. Noon to 5PM, on Columbia St. between Degraw and Union Streets, and on Union St, between Columbia and Hicks Streets.
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
Maya Creativity and Culture – Celebrate Maya artists and culture at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan. Community representatives discuss the challenges of maintaining traditions and the value of traditions that have transformed, and show examples of continuity and ingenuity that have resulted from, or in spite of, migration and immigration. Guatemalan Maya youth and weavers, representing partner organizations Unlocking Silent Histories and the Maya Traditions Foundations, will share their Maya identities, illustrating their resilience, knowledge, and unique traditions demonstrated through documentaries and traditional backstrap weaving. Unlocking Silent Histories is a global organization with an aim to open spaces for indigenous youth to capture, represent, and revive their traditions and associated cultural knowledges. Maya Traditions, leverages traditional Maya heritage and art, connecting female artisans with national and international markets committed to the Fair Trade Principles. 10AM to 5PM both days. NMAI is at 1 Bowling Green.
LIC Flea & Food – The popular outdoor weekend market is open for the season, open 11AM-6PM both days. Grab a beer from the only All Queens Beer Garden and enjoy the Manhattan skyline. Located at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street. LIC Flea & Foods website.
Smorgasburg – The popular food and crafts market in Brooklyn is back for the season, open 11am to 6pm both days. Note that Smogasburg has two locations:
- Saturdays: Williamsburg, East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7th)
- Sundays: Prospect Park, Breeze Hill (at Lincoln Rd.)
Grand Bazaar NYC – This large curated weekly market opens for the fall/winter season today, with vendors both indoors and outside, offering antiques, vintage collectibles & fashion, art & photography, handmade jewelry & furniture, plus artisanal foods. The best part is you are shopping for a cause, since Grand Bazaar NYC donates all proceeds to NYC public schools on the Upper West Side, more than 4,000 children while you also support local artists, designers, artisans, and entrepreneurs. 100 West 77th St., at Columbus Ave. 10AM to 5:30PM every Sunday through Spring. Full list of merchants, with links.
Third Avenue Community Benefit Festival – Street fair on Third Ave., between 66th and 86th Streets.
Theater Mania at the Third Avenue Street Fair – This is a fair within a fair. Musical performances by stars of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including Chicago the Musical and Waitress, ticket giveaways and more. Third Avenue, between 74th and 75th Streets.
52nd Street Fair – Street Fair on 52nd St., between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
– Focus on books, as well as food and crafts, at this weekly festival. Hester and Essex St
Verdi Square Festival of the Arts – Music from Broadway shows and from opera, performed by students of the Manhattan School of Music. FREE, of course, at 5PM, at Broadway and 72nd St.
Memorial Concert to the Victims of 9/11 – A special FREE performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn Heights.
Grand Army Market – The team behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg is launching a new weekly market at Grand Army Plaza starting Sunday, May 1. Situated at the northern tip of Prospect Park (at the landmark arch/rotary), Grand Army Plaza has long been home to the weekly Saturday Greenmarket and is within walking distance to Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Every Sunday, 10am to 5pm, though October, with some of the most popular maker vendors from Brooklyn Flea, plus many new additions, and prepared- and packaged-food vendors.
Fulton Stall Outdoor Market – This popular outdoor food market is back for the season with live music and tastings of local craft food and drinks. This family-friendly seasonal market has become a community institution throughout the spring and summer, connecting New Yorkers with fresh and healthy produce from within a 250-mile radius of New York City. Experience the Seaport District’s art installation, featuring portraits of over 100 farmers and chefs living and working in the Hudson Valley. South Street Seaport district at the corner of Fulton and Water Streets and inside Fulton Stall Market at 207A Front St., 11 AM – 5 PM
If you know about a free or cheap NYC weekend event you’d like to share with NYC on the Cheap, email us at email@example.com.
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.