50 things to do in New York City on a Saturday 2012

Make the most of your Saturday with these urban adventures.



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RECOMMENDED: The most up-to-date 150 weekend activities in NYC


Stroll through Central Park's Conservatory Garden

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The skinfest in the Sheep Meadow isn't the only thing worth eyeballing in Central Park come spring. The Conservatory Garden is a flowering paradise, with some varietals like the Lenten rose blooming as early as mid-March. For an extensive tour, download the Central Park Conservancy's Bloom Guide from its website and rent a bike from Bike & Roll.

  1. Fifth Ave at 105th St
More info
Shop and eat outside at Hester Street Fair

Shop and eat outside at the Hester Street Fair

This pretty, tree-lined Lower East Side market packs in shoppers every weekend with a killer combination of stylish vintage wares—retro jewelry, antique decor and old-fashioned hats—and one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan. Delicious new stalls include Williamsburg darling Pies 'n' Thighs, artisanal ice cream parlor Ample Hills Creamery and boozy cupcakery Prohibition Bakery. Look out for surprising booths, like Compass Yoga, which will assess your posture and align in you a suitable pose for $1.

  1. Hester St at Essex St
  2. Sat 10am-6pm.

Soak up suds and sun at the Frying Pan

This "lightship"—a floating lighthouse once used by the Coast Guard—sank and spent three years underwater before she was salvaged and converted into a floating bar. Now docked near Chelsea Piers, this nautical beer garden attracts formidable weeknight and weekend throngs of would-be revelers. After May 1, you can drink on deck—that is, if you can find room on the beer-soaked boat, jetty or the prime real estate: the jetty roof. If you're fortunate enough to nab a seat, order a burger.

  1. Pier 66A, W 26th St at the Hudson River
More info

Try capoeira at The Ailey

  • Price band: 1/4

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. 4:30-6pm.

  1. 405 West 55th St at Ninth Ave
More info

Take drawing classes in the park

  • Free

Sketch the Hudson and its gardens with artist Larry Dobens in these casual walk-up lessons; colored pencils and paper are provided.

  1. South Cove, Battery Park City off South End Ave
More info

Go to Wave Hill House for free

  • Price band: 1/4

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.

  1. 675 W 252nd St (gate at Independence Ave and 249th St), Bronx
More info

Eat and shop at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Hell's Kitchen Flea Market welcomes a mini fleet of mobile eateries back for the Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar. The lineup has yet to be confirmed, but city staples like Calexico, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and the Treats Truck have all parked there in the past. We advise arriving early to make a first pass at the secondhand wares and avoid missing out on the limited quantities of grub.

  1. W 39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves
More info

Tour the Plaza Hotel

  • Price band: 4/4

Take a one-hour guided peek into the luxurious Plaza on this tour led by art and architecture critic-cum-author Francis Morrone. (Call ahead; reservations are required.)

  1. 768 Fifth Ave at Central Park South, 10019
Book online
Photo by Michael Kirby From 16th to 17th Streets, between Union Square East & West

Fill up on free samples at the 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.

  1. Union Square between 16th and 17th Sts

Go bird-watching in Brooklyn

  • Free

The National Audubon Society classifies Prospect Park as an Important Birding Area for the many species that migrate through. Learn how to spot them by taking a free Intro to Bird-Watching tour from noon-1:30pm. Binoculars are provided.

  1. Enter at Ocean Ave and Lincoln Rd
More info

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Thanks for including RightRides in this list! We're honored to be in the great company of 49 other things. We just had some corrections to the information posted. RightRides' dispatch number is (888) 215-7233 (888-215-SAFE). We serve women and the entire LGBTQGNC community. Because of the expansion of our service area into 45 neighborhoods in four boroughs, our wait times now average 20-30 minutes. For the most updated information, visit our website, http://rightrides.org.