For the first time in a year, NYC movie theaters are open, there are FREE online celebrating Women’s History Month and the Lunar New Year, and more.
The weather forecast is cold but sunny and in the 30s through Sunday, so bundle up for the outdoors.
Every weekend is a good weekend to support our local NYC restaurants by eating out or taking out, and supporting our local NYC businesses by shopping with them instead of the national chains, especially right now.
NYC restaurants and bars are open for indoor and outdoor dining until 11pm, but can continue take-out after that. Many restaurants have added outdoor heaters, too.
Indoor dining returns, but with limited seating for social distancing, so be sure to make reservations.
Movie theaters re-open Friday, March 5, with reduced capacity, up to 50 people per theater.
See our list of what’s playing, and which theaters are serving popcorn and other snacks, and which theaters open later in March.
Staying indoors with the kids?
Keep the kids entertained with these FREE cooking and crafts projects.
If you need a Covid-19 test, find one by zip code or address on the official NYC location finder site, or text “COVID TEST” to 855-48.
There are now Covid-19 vaccination sites open 24/7 in each NYC borough, plus additional sites.
NYC vaccination sites, including those at hospitals and pharmacies, are by appointment only. No walk-ins are accepted at any time.
T. rex: The Ultimate Predator
The blockbuster exhibition about the world’s most iconic dinosaur, at the American Museum of Natural History, is closing on March 14.
The exhibition introduces visitors to the entire tyrannosaur family and reveals the amazing story of the most iconic dinosaur in the world through stunning life-sized models, fossils and casts, and a shadow theater re-creating an epic battle.
You’ll encounter a massive life-sized model of a T. rex with patches of feathers as well as reconstructions of a fluffy, helpless T. rex hatchling and a four-year-old juvenile T. rex a shadow theater where a floor projection of an adult T. rex skeleton will come to life; and a life-sized animation of T. rex n the Cretaceous.
Read my review of the T. rex: The Ultimate Preadator exhibit when it opened.
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents (with ID):
- The amount you pay for General Admission is up to you.
- The option to pay what you wish applies only to General Admission, and the transaction must be completed at a Museum ticket counter.
- How to pay what you wish.
Despite the weather, the annual Orchid Show is a sure sign that spring is on its way.
Spotlight on Orchids features unusual orchids and other plants from NYBG’s permanent collections to be displayed in select galleries of the landmark glass greenhouse Haupt Conservatory, February 20 to April 4, 2021.
Full information about the exhibit and ticket information here.
The new museum opens mid-March. Tickets are now on sale.
There’s space enough for some works to be displayed for the first time. and for the museum’s signature The Progress of Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, to be shown together in its entirety for the first time in the Frick’s history. The installation also debuts new acquisitions.
NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter had a media preview tour this week. We’ll have full details for you on Monday. Hint – it’s fabulous.
Full information about new exhibit formats and ticket information here.
Extended Through April
Holiday Express Toys and Trains at New York Historical Society
And you thought the holidays were over! This magical wonderland is an annual tradition, that normally continues through mid-Febrauary. Since this is not a normal year, the popular exhibit has been extended through April 21.
Kids of all ages to enjoy the toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection, Holiday Express from a bygone era.
The installation includes a variety of toy train stations dating from the turn of the 19th century to the World War II era, showcasing the evolving designs of American and European toymakers. New to the display this year are Marklin’s Onion Dome Station and Grand Station (1904–08).
Visitors are greeted by animations and fun facts about the toys on nearby screens, and kids will be delighted by a specially created bench inspired by a sleigh in New-York Historical’s collection.
- Timed entry tickets are required.
- New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
What to do on Friday
Women are often entrusted with cultural and language transmission, and Mother Tongue highlights this responsibility by bringing together women directors on a roundtable each year.
The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting a FREE online conversation with Becs Arahanga (Hinekura), Valeriya Golovina (Our Love), Sophia Pinheiro (Being Imperfect), and Patricia Ferreira (Being Imperfect), moderated by Smithsonian digital curator Amalia Córdova and curator and filmmaker Cass Gardiner.
Live real-time captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for this program while it is live.
The Mother Tongue Film Festival is presented by Recovering Voices, a collaboration among the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
- Friday, March 5, 2 PM (ET)
- Watch online
What to do on Saturday
Celebration of the Lunar New Year continues with this special historic online program by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company includes dance and music that originated during the Tang Dynasty more than 3,000 years ago to contemporary work for festivals and celebrations.
FREE, sponsored by the Brooklyn Public Library.
- Saturday, March 6 / 1 pm
Dolly Parton’s 75th Birthday Party
Celebrate the 75th birthday of Dolly Parton in a FREE online party on Saturday, March 6.
It’s great way to salute an American icon who is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian all wrapped up one incredible package of drive and talent who has sold more than 100 Million records worldwide.
Full information, including where to register to get the Zoom link.
Sunday – Free Jazz Concert
This weekly free jazz concert via Zoom is presented by Music on the Inside, Inc. (MOTI) which brings music education and hope to individuals impacted by incarceration.
Each Sunday concert features formerly incarcerated musicians alongside jazz and pop luminaries.
MOT statement: We stand in solidarity and we heal in harmony. We’re grateful to all the wonderful musicians contributing their talents and hearts to uplift us all.
- 6pm Sunday
- FREE, but donations are accepted to support the work of Music on the Inside, a NYC-based non-profit group.
- You’ll receive the Zoom login with your free registration confirmation.
Ice skating at the iconic Rock Center rink is probably the most famous place in the world to skate.
The ice skating rink at Bryant Park once again offers FREE skating. Reservations are required – that’s new this year.
Go ice skating at a rink that overlooks the Hudson River.
The Rink at Brookfield Place is back open for the season. In addition to its usual skating options, The Rink is offering “private pods” for skating and ice hockey lessons, where small groups of three to six children can take classes together.
Full pricing details and hours can be found on The Rink’s website.
Winter Nature Walks at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
This winter, BBG offers new ways to safely tour and learn about the Garden from staff and expert naturalists.
The first in a series of audio Winter Nature Walks led by naturalist Brad Klein is available online now. The walks lead visitors through the Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and Osborne Garden. As you stroll through the Garden, listen to descriptions of the habits and survival strategies of wildlife you may encounter in the winter months.
Discover (or rediscover!) some of the many remarkable trees in the Garden’s collection on the self-guided Treasured Trees Tour. Use the interactive map to explore the trees—start at any one, then visit them all! While you are here, use BBG’s guide to identifying trees by their bark and deepen your tree knowledge!
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. The new installation is The Lotus Effect,
- 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.
Museum of the City of New York
- Re-opened after emergency building repairs
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.
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.
Anytime – Virtual Jazz Concerts
Sadly, the iconic jazz destination Birdland has closed, due to financial issues caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, and this popular weekend jazz concert is no longer available.
However, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is streaming concerts on its Facebook page, including concerts by Arturo O’Farrell and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Anytime – Streaming Now
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.
Find more things to do this weekend
Friday, March 5, 2021
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021