NEW YORK—Why pay for fun when you can have it for free? New York City is filled with things to do on weekends. You can meet new people, learn new things, and experience different aspects of the city by stepping out of your comfort zone and attending one of the events below. All of the activities are free unless specified. Have fun!
1. A Shakespeare Workout
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Learn about voice production, movement, acting, and stage combat. Open to all actors ages 13 and up. Space is limited, email to register.
Location: Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Riverside Park W. 89th Street and Riverside Drive, Manhattan
2. Catch and Release Fishing
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cast your line and wait for a bite from one of the many species in the Harlem Meer. Poles are available to borrow. Fish must be released after being caught.
Location: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Contact: (212) 860-1370
Brooklyn Bridge Park
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Get on the water with a free kayak ride at Brooklyn Bridge Park, right across from the Pop-Up Pool. Children under 18 must have an adult with them.
Location: Pier 2 Dock
4. Conservatory Garden Tour
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy thousands of vibrant trees, shrubs, bulbs, and perennials with staff from the Conservatory Garden. No reservation needed.
Location: Meet at the Vanderbilt Gate at 5th Ave. between 104th and 105th Streets.
5. Bird Walks
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Experience the wildlife in Van Cortlandt Park as part of a guided walk by the NYC Audubon experts or the Urban Park Rangers.
Location: Call for details
Contact: (718) 430-1890 or firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Read, Ride and Play at Bryant Park
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Bryant Park has an open-air reading room in the back of the public library on 42nd Street (look for the burgundy and white umbrellas). The park also offers free table games and and ping pong balls and paddles. The Marshall Chess Club lends chess, checker, and backgammon sets for a small fee. To lift your spirits hop on a colorful animal at Le Carousel ($2 a ride) and ride to French Cabaret music.
Location: 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, Manhattan
7. Start Your Own Worm Bin
Siempre Verde Garden, Lower East Side
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Learn what it takes to start your own worm bin for little or no cost. Learn how to harvest compost and share and sell worms.
Location: 181 Stanton Street, Manhattan
Contact: (646) 504-6468
8. Explore Prospect Park
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Journey through the wilds of Prospect Park with staff from the Audubon Center. The day kicks off with a bird watching tour from the Brooklyn Bird Club followed by an animal encounter, a pond prowl, and a discovery tour.
Location: The Nethermead in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Contact: (718) 287-3400
9. Learn About Urban Forests, Get Your Hands Dirty
Highbridge Park, Uptown Manhattan
12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
The Highbridge Forest Crew works every Saturday to remove invasive species and care for native trees in Highbridge Park. Learn about basic plant identification, forest ecology, invasive plant removal, and urban forests.
Location: Laurel Hill Terrace in Highbridge Park, Manhattan
Contact: (917) 291-6436