The are so many FREE and frugal things to do on Autumn weekend in NYC. The NYCOTC free and cheap weekend guide is $20 or less. That makes us different from other “what to do” lists with expensive ideas, because we’re here to help you enjoy NYC on the cheap with no apologies.
Unless a price is noted, our weekend list is FREE.
Unless otherwise noted, street fairs are 10AM to 6PM.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the outdoor events, including street fairs and parades.
any time of year
Starting Today in NYC
New York Film Festival – Through Oct. 16th, see indie and international films, including documentaries, at this annual film festival at Lincoln Center.
Blood Manor – Our favorite haunted house returns for the Halloween season, where adults only can scare yourself silly. Get discount tickets now for your choice of dates.
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Today in NYC
Midtown East Food Block Party – On 54th Street from 3rd to Lexington Avenue
Saturday in NYC
Chile Pepper Festival – It’s hot stuff at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden today for the annual hot pepper festival, with sauces, spice-infused chocolates and more.
Third Avenue Festival – Street fair on Third Avenue between 6th Street and 14th Street
Sixth Avenue Fair – Street fair on Sixth Avenue between 42nd and 56th Streets
Randall’s Island Harvest Festival – Note this has been cancelled because of the rainy weather expected
Nigeria Independence Day Parade – Marching up Second Avenue, from 44th to 54th Streets, starting at 11am
My Dog Loves Central Park Fair – Central Park goes to the dogs today for this fair, with dog training workshops, dancing with your pooch and more. The NYC Dept of Health all be on hand to get your dog licensed or your dog license renewed, while you wait. 11am-3pm at Naumberg Bandshell, Mid Park at 72nd St
- NOTE – Dogs must be leashed. No exceptions.
Hester Street Grub Street Festival – This foodie event is sponsored by New York Magazine’s Grub Street, on the corner of Hester and Essex Streets.
Korean Parade – on Sixth Avenue, between 27th and 38th Streets, Noon to 3pm
Saturday and Sunday in NYC
27th Annual Autumn Crafts Festival – Nearly 300 artisans are displaying handcrafted artworks, clothing, jewelry, home fashions and more. This is a juried show, with quality offerings, not the schlock you see at street fairs. At Lincoln Center, 64th St. at Columbus Ave. 11am to 8:30pm Saturday and 10am to 6pm Sunday. If you miss it this weekend, you get a second chance next weekend.
Maker Faire – This is a science fair for the entire family, at the Hall of Science in Queens. The best deal is the family ticket for $25, for up to four people.
The Roots Picnic Fest – Music and dancing all weekend in Bryant Park, with a full schedule of performers including Wu-Tang Clan. This is a ticketed event, which the cheapest tickets at $99, but the music will be loud enough that you’ll be able to hear it elsewhere in the park. Which is also a warning for those who don’t want to be blasted out of their park zen.
LIC Flea & Food – The popular outdoor weekend market is open for the season, open 11AM-6PM both days with favorite vendors returning and new vendors added. Grab a beer from the only All Queens Beer Garden and enjoy the Manhattan skyline. Located at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street. LIC Flea & Foods website.
Smorgasburg – The popular food and crafts market in Brooklyn is back for the season, open 11am to 6pm both days. Note that Smogasburg has two locations:
- Saturdays: Williamsburg, East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7th)
- Sundays: Prospect Park, Breeze Hill (at Lincoln Rd.)
Sunday in NYC
28th Annual Upper Broadway Harvest Festival – On Broadway between 96th and 106th Streets
Third Avenue Autumn Fair – On Third Avenue between from 14th and 23rd Streets
Grand Army Market – The team behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg is launching a new weekly market at Grand Army Plaza starting Sunday, May 1. Situated at the northern tip of Prospect Park (at the landmark arch/rotary), Grand Army Plaza has long been home to the weekly Saturday Greenmarket and is within walking distance to Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Every Sunday, 10am to 5pm, though October, with some of the most popular maker vendors from Brooklyn Flea, plus many new additions, and prepared- and packaged-food vendors.
Fulton Stall Outdoor Market – This popular. family-friendly outdoor food market features live music and tastings of local craft food and drinks connecting New Yorkers with fresh and healthy produce from within a 250-mile radius of New York City. Experience the Seaport District’s art installation, featuring portraits of over 100 farmers and chefs living and working in the Hudson Valley. South Street Seaport district at the corner of Fulton and Water Streets and inside Fulton Stall Market at 207A Front St., 11 AM – 5 PM
If you know about a free or cheap NYC weekend event you’d like to share with NYC on the Cheap, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.