The best free events in NYC this weekend

By Kari Langslet

This list was compiled and written by Nooklyn Agent Kari Langslet.

Arguably the coolest part about living in New York City is that there is always something going on; art shows, concerts, block parties, even movies in the park. What makes it even better? A lot of events in the five boroughs are free. Go splurge on that avocado toast, because we’ve rounded up the best wallet-friendly events happening this weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Outdoor Movie: Grease (Astoria Park, Queens)

image alt

If you’re feeling nostalgic this Friday evening, take your main squeeze (or a gaggle of friends!) to the parking lot in Astoria Park for an 8:30 PM drive in showing of Grease. Don’t forget your leather jacket and hair gel.

Outdoor Movie: Drive-In Movie Night, The Rules of the Game (Washington Square Park)

Sacré bleu! Don’t have a car? Fear not! Pack a blanket and picnic basket to watch the classic 1939 French film, The Rules of the Game. Head towards the arch and head there early! Spots will fill up quickly if we get nice weather. Wheelchair accessible and starts at 8:30 PM.

Outdoor Movie: Pacific Rim: Uprising! (Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem)

Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival 2018 presents Pacific Rim: Uprising! If you’re a fan of monster movies, this screening in Manhattan may be the perfect start to your weekend. The screening starts at 6:30 PM, and you can check out the trailer here.

Concert: Savoir Adore (The Surf Lodge, Montauk)

In Montauk for the weekend? Enjoy the sun and head to the famous Surf Lodge for some food (and free music!) Performing at 7:00 PM is Savoir Adore, a fun pop-rock duo from Brooklyn.

Outdoor Movie: Moonstruck (Hunter’s Point South Park, Queens)

Check out this screening of Moonstruck at 7:30 PM, and don’t forget the garlic bread! Another classic movie in the park featuring Cher, Danny Aiello, and our famous defender of the Declaration of Independence, Nicolas Cage.

Outdoor Movie: The Lego Ninjago Movie (Columbus Park, Manhattan)

Whether you have a kid, or you’re just a kid at heart, The Lego Ninjago Movie is a great film for all ages. Another screening in the park, from 8–10:30 PM. Get there early for some pre-screening games and activities. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Concert: De Tierra Caliente (Rockwood Music Hall, Manhattan)

Spice up your Friday night with some Latin flavor, featuring music by De Tierra Caliente at 11:30 PM! Not tired yet? You animal! Rock out with Christian O’Connor at 12:30. No cover charge.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Festival: Mermaid Day Parade (Coney Island, Brooklyn)

image alt

This has got to be one of the best days in NYC! The annual event brings out the brightest and the most fun characters in the city. Full of glitter, colors, and costumes, the parade starts at 11:00 AM and goes on all day. Get dressed up and join in on the fun — if you make friends with a fellow mermaid, you might just find out where the best after parties will be.

Concert: Beat Brigade and Alexander Orange Drink (Riis Park Beach Bazaar)

Ipsum Presents Beat Brigade and Alexander Orange Drink at one of New York’s favorite beaches. Show up in the morning to get some sunbathing in before the 1:00 PM show. Make sure to stay hydrated in the heat and pack plenty of snacks!

Concert: Wand and The Spirit Of The Beehive (Union Pool, Brooklyn)

Always packed on a weekend, get in the thick of the hip Brooklyn crowd in this Williamsburg joint! Bar, taco trucks, and music venue in the way back. At 2:00 PM grab a taco and check out their Summer Thunder lineup including Wand and The Spirit Of The Beehive.

Concert: Rhiannon Giddens and Son Little (Summerstage Central Park)

The smooth vocals of** **Rhiannon Giddens and Son Little are coming to you smack dab in the middle of Central Park at 7:00 PM. Follow the crowds and music through the park’s winding walkways and enjoy!

DJ Set: Skyshaker (The Ace Hotel, Manhattan)

Head to one of the trendiest hotels in Manhattan to check out some great electronica beats by
Skyshaker of Loveless Records. Good crowd and good vibes. Free and open to the public, so feel free to bring a plus one (or two).

Tasting party: Sixpoint Brewery (Timbuk2, Brooklyn)

Fancy a pint? Sixpoint Brewery is having a Canning Party and Tour that is free if you RSVP! 11:00AM isn’t too early, right? Get your tickets now before they’re out.

Concert: Kool & the Gang (Flushing Meadows Corona Park)

image alt

How about this flashback? Bring your gang to Corona Park because Only in Queens SummerStage Concert Presents Kool & the Gang. KOOL & THE GANG, GUYS! Need we say more?!

Concert: Panama Wedding and Great Good Fine Ok* (The Surf Lodge, Montauk)**

If you’re still in Montauk, head back to Surf Lodge at 5:00 PM and check out Panama Wedding. Get your synthpop on and and keep it up until 7:00PM to check out Great Good Fine Ok.

Outdoor Movie: Black Panther (Bloomingdale Park, Staten Island)

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen Black Panther, you can always see it again. If you’ve been living under a rock, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Wakanda with your friends, starting at 8:30 PM.

Outdoor Movie: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Bill Brown Playground, Brooklyn)

There couldn’t be a better place to catch a screening of the original Willy Wonka than on a playground. Whether you’re celebrating Father’s Day Weekend with the fam or just wild about Gene Wilder, it’s a classic movie for all ages to enjoy. Show starts at 8:30PM.

Museum: Pay What You Wish at The Guggenheim (Guggenheim Museum, Manhattan)

If art is what you seek, you’re in luck! It’s Pay What You Wish Day at the Guggenheim, so keep your wallet happy and immerse yourself in the art world for free (or a minimal fee if you can) from 5:45–7:00 PM. Make sure you get in line early so you’re not stuck outside for an hour.

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

World Cup Viewing: Germany vs Mexico (Banter Bar, Williamsburg)

image alt

Attention soccer fans wondering where to watch the World Cup this summer: Banter Bar is showing all the games-for free-with great ambiance and drink specials. Check out Germany vs Mexico at 11:00 AM. Early riser? Costa Rica vs Serbia is on at 8:00AM. Go and get ‘em!

Food Festival: Taste of Jewish Culture (6th Ave from 42nd to 56th)

If you’re feeling a bit peckish, skip your usual spots and meander over to the fourth annual Taste of Jewish Culture Street Festival! Diversity is delicious. Dozens of food stands to try. Yum!

Outdoor Activity: Kayaking (Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City)

Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens will let you kayak and canoe for free! Work those arms and take in a different view of the city. Kayaks and canoes are offered on a first come first serve basis from 1:00PM-4:00PM, so get there early — especially if it’s a nice day.

Food Festival: Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas Festival (Museum at Eldridge Street, Manhattan)

Yep, another delicious food festival. This one, which is all about Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, and Empanadas, starts at 11:00AM on Sunday. Whatever food you’re in the mood for, from Chinese to Puerto Rican, make sure to RSVP here for your free entry.

Concert: Cortelyou Jazz Jam (Bar Chord, Brooklyn)

Jazz up your Sunday evening with free live music at Bar Chord in Flatbush-Ditmas Park! Starting at 9:00 PM and going to whenever, let your mind and your weekend bounce where the notes take you.

Can’t get enough of Nooklyn Stories? Follow us on Instagram at @nooklyn.stories, Twitter at @nooklyn, and here on Facebook.

Kari Langslet* is a seasoned vegan, impulsive adventurer, traveler, and animal lover. You’ll usually find her at a dive bar playing Jenga with her dog or cheering on Chelsea FC at a rude hour in the morning. Stalk her on (Instagram)@karilangslet.*

All GIFs courtesy of GIPHY.

Photo by Stig Ottesen on Unsplash