Your weekend plans begin here, with a couple of dozen FREE and cheap things to do this mid-September weekend including movies, music, dance,the German Stueben Day Parade and the San Gennaro Festival. The NYCOTC weekend guide is always $20 or less so you can take bites out of the Big Apple without eating up your budget.
New York City doesn’t have to be 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.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for all the outdoor events. If not –
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.
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.
91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro – Quite possibly the biggest and most popular annual NYC street fairs, taking over the streets of Little Italy from September 14-24, with parades, food, entertainment, food, games, food, activities for the kids, and food.
Best NYC outdoor beer gardens for a late summer afternoon and evening
20at20– Get $20 tickets for Off-Broadway shows for matinee and evening performances through Sept 24.
Photoville – The annual FREE photography festival returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park bigger and better than before, feauturng work by more than 500 visual artists, plus dozens of seminars and and workshops, outdoor projection shows and more. The installation is through Sept. 24, with more than 75 exhibitions housed in and around a collection of 50+ repurposed shipping containers, free photo workshops and more.
Snoopy and Belle in Fashion – The beloved Beagles are all dressed up by top designers at this FREE exhibit in the West Street entrance at Brookfield Place, 8am to 10pm daily, through Oct. 1.
Brooklyn Book Festival – The week-long FREE event is one of America’s premier book festivals and the largest free literary event in NYC, wrapping up this weekend with a lively Children’s Day on Saturday and a celebratory Festival Day on Sunday with more than 300 authors and 200 booksellers in a Literary Marketplace. Events are in around Borough Hall and MetroTech.
Thursday in NYC
Ferris Buler’s Day Off – No need to play hooky to see this FREE outdoor screening of this popular family-friendly flick in Hudson Park, in the new Hudson Yards complex, between 34th and 35th Streets, between 10th and 11th Aves., at 7:30pm.
Friday in NYC
2nd Annual El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival – Celebrates the birthplace of Latin Jazz with a FREE concert, sponsored by the Museo del Barrio and Cafe Bustelo, featuring the Mambo Legends Orchestra and a tribute to the legendary Tito Puente. 6pm at Marcus Garvey Park, on of the last of this season’s SummerStage concerts.
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
SUBMERGE – Celebrate NYC’s coastal waters at this FREE all-day family-friendly festival in Hudson River Park that brings marine science to life with scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, ship tours, and kid-approved science entertainment and presentations by renowned scientists, at Pier 26, N. Moore St. in Tribeca.
Raptor Fest – Marvel at birds of prey including hawks and owls at the FREE annual Urban Park Rangers event featuring live demonstrations, activity tables and more. At Stadium Ball Filds, Van Corlandt Pzrk. nter at Putnam Ave. and Van Cortlandt Park South, noon to 3pm.
60th Annual Stueben Day Parade – Celebrate all things German, including the German general who helped George Washington win the Revolutionary War in this annual parade. Bands, marchers, floats and dance groups in traditional Karneval costumes and historic Tracht come from all over the United States, Germany, Austria and Switzerland for this event, marching up Fifth Ave. from 68th to 86th Street, Noon to 3pm. Enjoy the best view of the Parade from the Grand Stand on Fifth Avenue. Grand Stand Tickets: $15 available at Shop-Tickets
There’s also an Oktobrfest party in Central Park. This is a ticketed event with German brews and bratwurst, and entertainment including “Spitze!” and “The Polka Brothers” along with other bands, as well as the 9th annual National Masskrugstemmen Championship sponsored by Hofbrau Bier. Location is Rumsey Playfield, Summer Stage.Enter Central Park at East 72nd Street. Tickets are $31, an exception to our $20 rule.
Harlem Stage Open House – Explore the historic Gatehouse Theater and enjoy a FREE drum circle, dance performances and more, 3pm to 6pm. Harlem Stag Gatehouse is at 150 Convent Ave. throughout the day.
8th Avenue Theater District Festival – Street Fair on Eighth Ave., 42nd to 55th St.
FREE Saturday admission at top NYC museums includes the Jewish Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
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