Things to Do This Weekend in NYC


by staff, 08/14/2013

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Weekends in NYC are packed with festivals, performances, exhibitions and more—many of them free. See what's in store below, plus check out our events and Save the Date tool for even more things to do.


Friday, August 16
The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter
Delving into the world of children's literature, this exhibition celebrates our first experiences with reading. The ABC of It brings together stories from throughout the New York Public Library's collection that span cultures and generations, showing their connections to art, pop culture, technology and history. The eclectic mix of titles on display includes the version of Mother Goose owned by the family of Nathaniel Hawthorne; selections from Charlotte's Web recorded by E.B. White; and a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland once owned by the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to write the tale. The show seeks to go beyond the titles themselves and bring to light their impact on society and the lessons they teach to both children and adults.

New York International Fringe Festival
A brief synopsis just can't do the New York International Fringe Festival justice. For 17 days, Fringe Fest will include more than 1,000 distinct stage performances—including absurdist comedies, social commentaries and hip-hop musicals—with participating theater companies from down the street and around the globe. Choose a show—or two—that floats your boat, or buy a multiday pass to get the full experience. 

Hudson River Park's RiverFlicks for Kids: Beetlejuice
Free outdoor movie screenings are a welcome New York City tradition. This summer's offerings include flicks from almost every genre—including blockbusters, indie films and cult classics. This Friday, round up the family to see Beetlejuice at Hudson River Park's Pier 46.

Saturday, August 17
Jazz Age Lawn Party 
Over two weekends this summer, take a seat on the lawn at Governors Island and travel back to the 1920s and '30s courtesy of Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra. The festival brings live music, dance instruction and games, along with the perfect picnicking opportunity.

Mostly Mozart Festival
What would come to be known as the Mostly Mozart Festival began in August 1966, with help from new air-conditioning in Lincoln Center. While the climate control is no longer a novelty, the huge popularity of the event endures, a testament to the artistic triumphs of one Wolfgang Amadeus as well as the organizer's curatorial prowess. Thanks to inexpensive ticket prices, the festival attracts its fair share of classical music novices in addition to aficionados of Mozart and his ilk. Check for today's offerings.  

Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest 
Sink your toes into the sand and test out your sculpting skills during Coney Island's annual competition. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. After all sand creations are finished, judges will choose the winners and award prizes to the best design in each category.

Sunday, August 18
Back to the Beach 
For two weekends this summer, Back to the Beach (now in its 18th year) attracts visitors to the Midland and South Beach boardwalks for free celebrations. Bask in the sun while you browse hundreds of vendors’ merchandise and listen to live music throughout the day—from reggae to country Western. Tempting fare includes sausage and peppers, funnel cake and cotton candy.

Free Fashion District Walking Tour
Explore New York City's Garment District during this one-and-a-half-to-two-hour tour, led by Mike Kaback. You might visit a private showroom, a sample sale, Mood Designer Fabrics and more, all while learning about the neighborhood's historic background and importance. The tour—which starts at 10am on weekdays and 2pm on Sundays at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 39th Street—is free, but reservations are required.

Bronx Salsa Fest
"New York's 'Salsa Borough'" presents a month of programming including the "Hip Hop Generation Next Block Party," music performances at Orchard Beach and The Morrison Avenue Festival—a community celebration packed with food and music. Today, the Orchard Beach Summer Concert Series stages a tribute to Puerto Rican salsa artist Hector Lavoe. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Hudson River Park, Pier 46
    Charles St
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10014
  2. 2
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  3. 3
    Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
    70 Lincoln Center Plaza
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 4
    Coney Island
    Surf Avenue
    Brooklyn – Coney Island
    NY 11224
  2. 5
    Midland Beach
    Father Capodanno Blvd
    Staten Island – South Beach/Midland Beach
    NY 10306
  3. 6
    South Beach
    Father Capodanno Blvd
    Staten Island – South Beach/Midland Beach
    NY 10306

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