As NYC reopens, there are many virtual choices for staying home and real ones for getting out to beaches, parks and gardens. Our weekend list includes a livestream event with the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, FREE concerts celebrating two of NYC’s most famous parks, plus FREE films, theater performances and more.
There’s always so much to do in the greatest city on the planet.
So grab your favorite beverage and snacks and settle in – or go out safely, with social distancing to enjoy NYC parks and beaches, including more than 60 miles of streets closed to traffic 8am to 8pm daily,
See our list of Open Streets in all five boroughs, for strolling, skateboarding, street hockey, bicycling and meeting your neighbors as we New Yorkers turn streets into a virtual front porch.
New York City has more than 14 miles of FREE Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound beaches, and it’s one of the few places in the world where you can take the subway the ocean.
See our beach-by-beach guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island you can get to by subway.
Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are on duty, 10am to 6pm.
Or, take the ferry from Manhattan to the Jersey Shore.
NYC Outdoor Swimming Pools Reopen
Fifteen FREE outdoor swimming pools are open, at least one in each borough.
See a calendar of daily events
Free Cooling Centers
New York City has opened more than 200 Cooling Centers for New Yorkers with no air, conditioning, who need a cool place to get out of the heat.
The centers are operated by the NYC Emergency Management Department.
Locate one near you with this Cooling Center finder or call 311 (not 911). Hours vary and are subject to change daily, so be sure to check the finder for updates.
The elevated park is open with FREE timed reservations for social distancing.
Make reservations here to visit the High Line.
The popular car-free island park has reopened for the season under new social distancing rules and requirements that you make reservations for the ferry.
Weekend Street and Bridge Closures
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.
Open Streets Closed to Vehicles
NYC has closed more than 60 miles of streets in residential areas in all five boroughs, for social distancing.
Streets Closed on Weekends for Outdoor Dining
NYC has closed streets in all five boroughs on weekends to expand outdoor dining. Locations include Chinatown, the Theater District and Arthur Ave. in the Bronx.
Check our tips for outdoor dining etiquette, including social distancing and ordering everything at once to make it more efficient for you and the staff.
See more events on the
Carnegie Hall Fridays
Each week for the the forseable future, Carnegie Hall is streaming a concert from its archived recordings.
- Watch it Friday 3am through Monday, at 3 AM EDT
- Watch here on medici.tv
What to Do on Saturday
Members of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton are re-uniting for three special livestream events in August, to raise money for organizations fighting to end systemic racism.
The livestreams will feature behind-the-scenes stories, trivia, games, prizes and special “Hamilton” content.
Participating original “Hamilton” cast members include Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Neil Haskell, Christopher Jackson, Javier Muñoz and Phillipa Soo.
The first livestream was Saturday, August 1. This weekend is the second of three, and If you miss it, your last chance is next Saturday, August 15
Free on Saturday
Jazz Concert Celebrating 85th Anniversary of Fort Tryon Park
Join the Fort Tryon Tryon Park Trust, NYC Parks, and the Michels family and celebrate the Fort Tryon Park’s 85th Anniversary Year by honoring the late Council Member Stan Michels at the 12th Annual Memorial Jazz Concert. Instead of a live concert, this year it is virtual.
Enjoy streamed jazz by local impresarios Rudel Drears, Marjorie Eliot, and their ensemble.
Michels represented Northern Manhattan in the City Council for 24 yearsm from 1978 through 2001. He was a steadfast advocate for NYC parks, allocating over $50 million for park improvements in Washington Heights, Inwood, and Harlem, including virtually every playground in his district.
The promenade where this concert is usually held was named in his honor shortly before he passed away on August 1, 2008. The concert is always around the anniversary of his passing.
Note – NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter grew up in Inwood. Fort Tryon Park was my front yard and my backyard.
- FREE, 3pm to 4pm
- RSVP for the Zoom link
Jazz on the Hill
Each August, top NYC musicians get together in Central Park for a FREE jam session that includes swing dancing.
This year, Jazz on the Hill goes virtual, but you can still move the furniture at home, put on your dancing shoes, and tap those toes to some great music.
Performers include –
Alyson Williams takes the music world by storm! Starting in R&B as a featured artist with Def Jam Records, she is now a prominent jazz and blues vocalist performing in clubs and stages across the country. Her newest project is Summer Nights in Harlem, and her tribute concert to Phyllis Hyman is in collaboration with Nat Adderley, Jr.
Jeremy Pelt made is a preeminent trumpeter who made his debut in the jazz world as a member of the Mingus Big Band and the Jimmy Heath Orchestra. Now a bandleader, he has recorded 10 albums and tours nationally and internationally. He has been featured in DownBeat magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
The George Gee Swing Band attracts both millennials and long-time fans of jazz and swing. Gee and his band are leaders in the re-emergence of swing dance as a popular cultural experience, in NYC and around the world.
- Sponsored by Central Park and Jazzmobile
- Streaming begins at 7pm
See more events on our
Free Things to do on Sunday
Close the weekend on Sundays in June with Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. The performance also features a live chat and commentary from the musicians.
Recorded remotely from locations as diverse as Madrid, Los Angeles and New York City, Arturo O’Farrill and the mighty Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra are reviving their Sunday Night Birdland residency exclusively for ALJA Digital Village.
- Sunday, 8:30pm
- Link to watch Virtual Birdland
See more weekend events here
on our new
FREE Sculpture Exhibit at the Winter Garden
Artist Jean Shin, whose practice focuses on sustainability, has repurposed thousands of green plastic soda bottles into an elaborate installation that resembles an artificial landscape. This large-scale artwork floats above the Winter Garden at BFPL, engaging audiences to consider waste, dietary choices, and environmental stewardship.
Floating MAiZE is co-presented by Arts Brookfield and LMCC and as part of River To River 2020: Four Voices.
- FREE, through Sept. 18
The popular theme park has reopened. But with Coronavirus virtually out of control in Florida, you probably don’t want to get on a plane to Orlando or stuff the kids into the car for a long road trip.
Visit Disney World virtually instead, for FREE, with no admission fee.
Live From Lincoln Center has been offering plays and dance performances nearly every Friday.
The recent live showing of the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, hailed by Time Magazine as “the best musical of the 20th Century,“ is now streaming on demand.
The New York Philharmonic presents a stunning staged production of this iconic American work, featuring a star-studded cast including Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Shuler Hensley, Jason Danieley, Jessie Mueller, Kate Burton, John Cullum and New York City Ballet dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck.
Carousel is one of my personal favorites, with one of the most beautiful and poignant songs ever written – You’ll Never Walk Alone. It brings me to tears every time I hear it.
- More information on the NYC on the Cheap FREE and Cheap Events calendar.
Live From from Lincoln Center:
The renowned Metropolitan Opera, continues to live stream operas each night of the week, FREE.
Each stream becomes available at 7:30 p.m. EDT and remains accessible for on-demand viewing until 6:30 p.m. the following day.