As always, there’s so much to do on a NYC weekend, including on this first weekend of Autumn. Top of our list is the gi-normous Global Citizen Live concert in Central Park, plus FREE museum admission, Broadway shows are open again, the only corn maze in town is open, the annual Feast of San Genarro wraps up in Little Italy, and so much more.
All our events are family-friendly, and nearly everything is FREE.
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Here’s what to do in NYC
through Sunday, Sept. 26th
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Featured Events This Weekend
The blockbuster line-up includes Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Meek Mill, and Shawn Mendes.
It’s too late for FREE tickets to attend in person on the Great Lawn in Central Park, but you can watch live online.
New this year is that the NYC concert is part of an unprecedented 24-hour broadcast and livestream concerts taking place across six continents.
Global Citizen Live blends great music with positive social activism, and is part of the annual Climate Week NYC events.
The Amazing Maize Maze is an annual pre-Halloween event at the Queens County Farm Museum which is the oldest continuously operated farm in New York City, established in 1697 in what was then known as New Amsterdam.
It’s a three-acre puzzle of finding clues in the paths between corn stalks as high as an elephant’s eye (fellow fans of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma will recognize that phrase).
The grounds and animals are open daily. The maze is open only on weekends, Friday-Sunday through October 30.
There’s also six dusk and after-dark Maze by Moonlight events – get tickets for those soon, since it’s usually a sell-out.
The Queens County Farm Museum is at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway.
Feast of San Gennaro
The 95th annual Feast of San Gennaro takes over Little Italy and parts of Chinatown for ten days, through Sunday, Sept. 26, with music and dancing, games, cooking demonstrations, an endless supply of great Italian food and local celebrities.
There also are eating contests, including a pizza eating contest, a meatball eating contest and a cannoli eating contest.
More to do this weekend
Friday – FREE Virtual Sukkot Concert for Kids
Groove as a family with multiple notable musicians sharing songs that celebrate nature during the Sukkot holiday. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy these uptempo sounds
Under One Sky is presented by the Jewish Museum under a virtual musical sukkah welcoming singers near and far such as Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats, Melita, and Mister G with collaborators from the Global Citizen Ensemble.
Hear tunes such as “Connected,” “Our Garden,” “Better Together,” and more that explore our connection to the earth and each other in this unique concert collaboration.
FREE, Friday, September 24, 4 – 4:45 pm
YouTube Video Premiere
Tour Historic Ships at South Street Museum
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 17, you can tour two historic ships docked at the South Street Seaport.
The Wavetree is an 1885 cargo ship.
The Ambrose is a floating lighthouse which guided ships like the Wavetree into New York Harbor.
Advance reservations are suggested.
Get up close with New York City’s quirkiest residents—puppets! At the Museum of the City of New York.
Puppets of New York examines the extraordinary, surprising, and diverse history of the puppetry traditions, practices, and languages that made New York City home.
This wonderful new exhibit features more than 100 puppets that span the city’s history from theater, television, and street life—including Lamb Chop, Sesame Street, Avenue Q, The Lion King on Broadway, avant-garde theater, parades, and more, and poised to bring joy and awe to people of all ages.
Seriously – who doesn’t love puppets?
Puppets of New York is part of a multi-sited collaboration between the Museum of the City of New York, The International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC, Teatro SEA, and The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, which includes the exhibition Puppets of New York: Downtown at The Clemente (August 11–September 30), at 107 Suffolk Street.
Saturday and Sunday
Greenpoint Terminal Market
This popular outdoor market is back for the season on Saturdays and Sundays, with a full roster of vendors, including food, and also entertainment.
This season, Greenpoint Terminal Market expands with roller skate rental and lessons, Yoga, Capoeira,fitness, art and dance classes.
And there’s always the expansive and gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline.
There are more than 100 vendors, from vintage and antiques to local art and design, and fashion. International food vendors on hand reflect the multi-cultural diversity of Brooklyn.
- Subway – take the G Train to Greenpoint Avenue
- Ferry – take the East River Ferry to Greenpoint
This popular outdoor market, styled on popular street food markets in Asia and the Caribbean, is back with artisan vendors and family activities
There’s great food from two dozen vendors, serving up everything from everything from lobster rolls to yakitori to tostones—with cocktails to accompany. Celebrate culture and cuisine every Saturday from now through November.
At Fordham Plaza. Admission is free.
- Saturdays through November, Noon to 7pm.
KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is the first-ever comprehensive exploration of the artist’s lifelong fascination with polka dots and with the natural world, at the New York Botanical Garden.
The exhibit includes monumental sculptures, paintings and other artifacts across the Garden’s 250-acre landscape, including material that has never been displayed publicly before. Plus, of course, one of the artist’s famous Infinity Rooms.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter got a preview, and can report that the exhibit is truly magical, especially against the blooming cherry trees and dogwood, and there are still plenty of orchids left over from the recent Orchid Show.
Open on Weekends
Now open weekend with new safety precautions, advance online ticketing, changes to the way guests explore the building, and new activities in the exhibits.
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Museums to Visit
The famous aircraft carrier on the Hudson River is again welcoming visitors.
The Intrepid is a National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War.
Explorer Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle, plus historic aircraft collection on the flight deck and in the hangar deck.
New spaces and experiences include the bomb elevator and the ship’s pilot escalator.
Hayden Planetarium at AMNH
The iconic Hayden Planetarium Space Theater is open again, with its newest Space Show, Worlds Beyond Earth,
Narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, the show about outer space features immersive visualizations, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system.
It’s all in state-of-the-art 8K on the most advanced planetarium projection system in the world.
Several NYC museums have brought back free admission for certain days and times.
The Rubin Museum of Art offers a collection of art, sculptures and tapestries from India, Nepal, Tibet, China and other Asian nations.
Free Friday Nights are a great time to explore, but timed entry tickets go quickly.
All gallery tickets become available for reservation two weeks in advance.
- FREE Friday nights are 6pm to 10pm
The Guggenheim Museum of Art
- Pay-what-you-wish Friday and Saturday, 4pm to 6pm
- Reservations are required.
This is a great time to be a tourist in your hometown.
More staycation suggestions
Smell the flowers:
The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Queens Botanical Garden are all open.
Take a cruise:
The Staten Island Ferry is a 20 minute delight, even in winter, with picture postcard views of the Statue of Liberty, and it’s FREE.
Take a hike:
High Line, the popular elevated park is now open its full distance, from 14th to 30th Street, with FREE timed reservations for social distancing.
Make reservations here to visit the High Line.
Welcome NYC’s newest park, Pier 26 on the Hudson River.
This is the city’s first park focusing on ecology, with an elevated walkway over the Hudson, landscaped walking paths, open green lawns, areas to interact with local wildlife, and plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the view, including to enjoy a sunset.
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation list so you don’t get stuck in traffic or are forced to make a humongous detour.
Alternate Side of the Street Parking
Check the official NYC Dept. of Transportation updates so you don’t get a ticket.
Find more things to do this weekend
Friday, September 17, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th St.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
5 Noble Street, Booklyn
Fordham Plaza, Bronx
1071 Fifth Ave. (bet. 88-89th Sts.)