50 things to do in New York City on a Saturday
Make the most of your Saturday with these urban adventures.
Wed Oct 13 2010
Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Every Saturday from 10am to noon, go and smell the flowers for free. This 52-acre park is home to the climate-controlled Steinhardt Conservatory (which houses plant life from three different temperate zones), as well as gardens devoted to fragrances and plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. If you want some fauna to go with your flora, check out the ducks in the picturesque Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. 900 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). 10am--noon; free.
Tour the Plaza Hotel
Take a 45-minute guided peek into the luxurious Plaza (including some areas normally off-limits to tourists) on this tour led by art and architecture critic-cum-author Francis Morrone. (Call ahead; reservations are required.) The Plaza Hotel, 768 Fifth Ave at Central Park South (212-546-5477, fairmont.com/theplaza). Sat 3pm; $15, seniors and students $10.
Check out Hell's Kitchen Flea Market
Secondhand items reign at this market, which features more than 50 vendors shilling designer clothing, vintage vases and plates, and everything in between. It gets crowded quickly, so come early for a first pass at the vendors' wares. W 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-243-5343, hellskitchenfleamarket.com). Sat, Sun 9am--6pm.
Step into the roda (circle) at a beginner's capoeira class with Brazilian professor Tiba. With the percussionists and singers accompanying the class, you might actually think you're in Brazil. The Ailey School, 405 W 55th St at Ninth Ave (212-405-9500). 2:30--4pm; $17.
Take drawing classes in the park
Sketch the Hudson and its gardens with artist Larry Dobens in these casual walk-up lessons; colored pencils and paper are provided. South Cove, Battery Park off South End Ave (212-267-9700, bpcparks.org). 10:30am--noon; free.
Shop at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene
You'll be spared the sight of sock vendors at this Fort Greene bazaar: The space outside of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School features a quirky roster of items, including antiques, vintage clothes, records, art and jewelry. Hungry for more than merch? Blue Marble organic ice cream and Whimsy & Spice cookies should sate your appetite. Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Sat, Sun 10am--5pm; free.
Go to Wave Hill House in the Bronx for free
This city-owned garden in the north Bronx retains the same horticultural traditions from when it was a private estate. You'll find some of the area's most meticulously groomed gardens, plus stunning, sweeping views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. Wake up early to take advantage of free admission between 9am and noon every Saturday. 675 W 252nd St (gate at Independence Ave and 249th St), Bronx (718-549-3200, wavehill.org). Apr 15--Oct 14 9am--5:30pm; Oct 15--Apr 14 9am--4:30pm. $6.
Drink during the day at the Sunburnt Cow and
This convivial Down Under duo provides the perfect excuse to get the party started early: $18 all-you-can-drink brunch. The Sunburnt Cow (137 Ave C between 8th and 9th Sts; 212-529-0005, thesunburntcow.com) caters to Alphabet City lushes, and Bondi Beach (153 Rivington St between Clinton and Suffolk Sts; 212-253-5311, bondiroad.com) keeps the Fosters flowing on the LES.
Fill up on free samples at Union Square Greenmarket
At this outdoor produce mart, you'll find yourself shopping elbow to elbow with top chefs, perusing regionally grown culinary pleasures from more than 140 different producers each week. You'll want to keep coming back until you've sampled them all. Union Square between 16th and 17th Sts (212-788-7476, cenyc.org/greenmarket)