Things to Do This Weekend in NYC


by staff, 08/21/2013

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Looking to fill up your Friday, Saturday and Sunday? Weekends in NYC are packed with festivals, performances, exhibits and more—many of them free. See what's in store below, plus check out our events section and Save the Date for even more things to do on your days off.

August 23–September 4


Friday, August 23
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival 
The annual festival honoring jazz legend Charlie Parker features a lineup of (free!) acts that are legends in their own right. Opening night features the world premiere of "Bird is the Word," by Jimmy Heath, and other festival performers include the Lee Konitz Quartet, trumpeter Christian Scott, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, singer Sheila Jordan and many more. The festival runs all weekend. 

Mostly Mozart
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. 

Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger
Avid couture jewelry collector Barbara Berger may have one of the most-wanted collections around. The Museum of Arts and Design displays Berger's collection, which includes custom-made necklaces, brooches and bracelets from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior—all meant to be worn with haute couture clothing. Her collection is further highlighted in a new book, Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger.

Saturday, August 24
Afro-Punk Festival
The free annual festival returns to Brooklyn with more than 25 NYC food trucks, a custom bike show, a skate park, a market and a long roster of musical acts including Big Freedia, Theophilus London, Questlove, The Heavy, Death and The Skins—to name just a few. Those who choose not to wait in line can purchase a fast pass for easier entry.

Arthur Ashe Kids Day
The US Open is always a youngster-friendly affair, but particularly so on Kids' Day, now in its 18th year. The event features a combination of music, interactive games and tennis stars and pop stars side by side. This year's talent includes singers Ariana Grande and Austin Mahone, and tennis stars Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Tickets are relatively inexpensive—cheap enough for budding fans to pay for out of their own allowance. 

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival: Silver Linings Playbook
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 Saturday, find a cozy spot on the Central Park lawn to watch a screening of Silver Linings Playbook.

Sunday, August 25
Annual Brighton Jubilee Festival 
Thousands flock to Brighton Beach's sun-drenched shores to enjoy the sand, the sea and the area's vibrant Russian flair. The Brighton Jubilee Festival showcases the neighborhood's Eastern European roots, but also celebrates cultures from far beyond the Baltic Sea. Taking place on Brighton Beach Avenue between Coney Island Avenue and Corbin Place, the event features hundreds of vendors, entertainment, merchandise, rides for kids and various ethnic eats. Browse through antiques and vintage duds, or dine on grilled meats and other specialties. The festival runs from 10am to 5pm. 

MTV Video Music Awards
The first-ever VMAs were held in New York City at Radio City Music Hall, so it's fitting that the 30th installment of the event will take place in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. It's a chance for New Yorkers and visitors to see those coveted "Moonmen" handed out in person. And, who knows, it's always possible that Kanye West might interrupt another speech. Tickets are available through a lottery system on

Robert Pruitt: Women
Head to the Studio Museum in Harlem for a gallery tour of this exhibition where the young Houston-based artist, Robert Pruitt, has installed nearly 20 large-scale drawings of black women that draw on a variety of influences, from science fiction, which shows up in subjects with super-large afros, to comic book–style treatments with dramatic shadows and colorful patterns.

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater
    Enter the park at Madison Ave at 124th St
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
  2. 2
    Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
    70 Lincoln Center Plaza
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 3
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  1. 4
    Commodore Barry Park
    Nassau Street (bet. Navy St. and N. Elliot Place)
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11201
  2. 5
    Sheep Meadow, Central Park
    West Side, mid-Park
    Manhattan – Central Park
  3. 6
    USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    Queens – Flushing
    NY 11368
  1. 7
    Brighton Beach
    Neptune Ave
    Brooklyn – Brighton Beach
    NY 11235
  2. 8
    Barclays Center
    620 Atlantic Ave.
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11217
  3. 9
    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    144 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027

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