Your weekend plans begin here, with more than a dozen FREE and cheap things to do last weekend of October, including Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations, and your last chance to see the fabulous Chihuly exhibit at the NY Botanical Garden. The NYCOTC weekend guide is always $20 or less so you can take bites out of the Big Apple without eating up your budget.
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, and we usually remind you anyway, to be sure you know. Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10am to 6pm.
Closing This Weekend
Chihuly at the NY Botanical Garden – This spectacular exhibit of nearly two dozen monumental glass sculptures is through Oct. 29, and crisp fall weather is an ideal time to enjoy the artworks.
- Get a taste of Dale Chihuly’s art in Union Square Park, where his Rose Crystal Tower goes on display this weekend for a year. It’s a 31-foot-tall tower of sparkling crystals and steel, at the Southeast Triangle, Union Square East at 14th St.
Opening This Weekend
Holiday Bazaar at Bryant Park – The shops will be selling Halloween and Thanksgiving merchandise, as well as Christmas items.
Holiday Express: Toys and Trains – Watch vintage trains zip around the lobby of the New York Historical Society, threading their way around equally vintage toys and games. The popular annual display opens Oct. 27, through Feb. 25th.
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.
NYC parking calendar – know when you have to move your car, or not.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and get NYC on the Cheap in your inbox at 8am each morning. That’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 all the 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.
Saturday in NYC
It’s a big day for family-friendly Halloween festivals at the High Line, American Museum of Natural History, and Lincoln Center.
- FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums every Saturday all year includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
Sunday in NYC
There are family-friendly Halloween festivities all over town, including at Central Park and the South Street Seaport. Details here.
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.
Every weekend in NYC
Hallett Nature Sanctuary – This almost-secret hideaway spot in Central Park is now open for the season. The gates to this locked-off sanctuary will be open daily this year, from 10AM to 30 minutes before sunset, with the caveat that it is closed occasionally due to inclement conditions. Wear sturdy closed shoes for the uneven walkways, and bring a camera. No dogs, bikes or strollers permitted.
Smorgasburg in Manhattan – Smorg Square, at 76 Varick St. (at Canal St.) on the border of Soho, Tribeca, and Hudson Square, is back every Friday-Sunday through Christmas, with a rotating lineup of food vendors curated from the Brooklyn markets, with 20+ vendors every Friday-Sunday and seating for 120. Plus, 60 world-class vintage, furniture, and handmade vendors at Brooklyn Flea’s new year-round indoor location directly across the street, at 100 Avenue of the Americas (at Watts St.).
Long Island Flea, Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are open for the season. Details here.
Pier 2 Roller Rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park – Rates are $3 to skate, $6 to rent; check the website for hours and special events, including lessons. This is a covered rink, so you get fresh air, but not raindrops.
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s bouncy Squibb Park Bridge has reopened after more than two years and $2.5 million to reduce bounce. The walkway is a handy shortcut between Brooklyn Heights and the park.
Luna Park at Coney Island – Celebrate the 90th anniversary of the iconic Cyclone roller coaster all season.
Brooklyn Bazaar Night Market offers an Asian-style night market, with international food, vendors, and entertainment.
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.
If you’re not doing this already, subscribe to NYC on the Cheap’s daily emails (just one a day).
Follow us and like us on Facebook and on Twitter @nyccheap.