What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

Toast the end of the workweek with happy-hour craft brews, concerts, karaoke jams, shindigs and more ideas for what to do on Friday.

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  • What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    30. Join a good old-fashioned danceathon

  • What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    31. Sip vino at City Winery

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    33. Sing your favorite musical song en masse at the Duplex

  • Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    34. Catch a cheap flick at Cobble Hill Cinemas

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    35. Catch performances by avant-garde musicians at the Stone

  • Photograph: Tina Zimmer

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    36. Play video games at Barcade

  • Photograph: Courtesy of the Bronx Museum

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    37. Head to First Fridays at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    38. Explore the city’s literary bars

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

    40. Pop a quarter into the jukebox at the Sackett

What to do on Friday in New York City: 50 great ideas

30. Join a good old-fashioned danceathon

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Join a good old-fashioned danceathon

At the Freedom Party, DJs—Marc Smooth, Cosi and Herbert Holler—spin dance music from the ’70s through the present day (everything from classic R&B and house to Afrobeat and dancehall). This is one of the least pretentious, fun wingdings you’ll find on the weekend in Manhattan. Men $20, before 2am $10; women $10, before midnight free.

  1. Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St, at Thompson St
  2. 11pm–4am
More info
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Sip vino at City Winery

For 48 bones, you can kick off your weekend with a paired tasting at this Soho restaurant, bar and music venue. Tours include your choice of three vinos (made on-site) and crostini covered with chickpea puree, shaved cucumber, baby fennel and toasted cumin-orange vinaigrette, among other toppings. $48. E-mail tours@citywinery.com for reservations.

  1. 155 Varick St, (at Vandam St)
  2. at 5pm
More info
33

Sing your favorite musical song en masse at the Duplex

Wanna-be Broadway belters, take note: Inside the city’s oldest cabaret theater, the jaunty Ben Cameron and the vivacious Emily McNamara host this spirited, appropriately titled Mostly Sondheim  open-mike show-tune night, joined by the perpetually puckish Brian Nash at the piano. Two-drink minimum.

  1. 61 Christopher St , (at Seventh Ave South)
  2. at 11:30pm
More info
34

Catch a cheap flick at Cobble Hill Cinemas

If you’re looking to watch a new blockbuster or awards-season contender, this five-screen throwback is a nice alternative to those maddening multiplexes. Crowds are noticeably more respectful, and retro touches like prescreening announcements to turn off your pagers and refrain from smoking add to the old-school charm. And best of all? Admission is reduced to seven bones before 5pm on Fridays. 718-596-9113, cobblehilltheatre.com

  1. 265 Court St at Butler St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
35
The Stone

Catch performances by avant-garde musicians at the Stone

No bar? No advance tickets? No promoters? No phone number? No specific address? This is still a Manhattan music venue, right? John Zorn’s small East Village space is so no-frills that it’s, by necessity, only about the music—hobnobbing, partying and tweeting that the bands are, in fact, “killing it” are not in the cards here. Envelope-pushing acts (think free jazz, experimental classical music, droney guitar work), however, are. thestonenyc.com. $10 unless otherwise noted.

  1. Ave C at 2nd St
36

Play video games at Barcade

Serious old-school gamers can revisit Donkey KOng, Punch Out!!, Pac-Man and 35 other classic video games at this cavernous Williamsburg drinkery, which has a daily-changing list of 24 American brews on tap. 25¢ per play.

  1. 388 Union Ave, (between Ainslie and Powers Sts)
More info
37

Head to First Fridays at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

  • Free

The Bronx Museum’s free program is perfect for culture hounds looking for an intimate gathering with top-notch performers. Genre-spanning guests have included the Charlie Porter Jazz Quartet, pianist Valerie Capers and hip-hop pioneer DJ Ralph McDaniels. Free.

  1. 1040 Grand Concourse, (at 165th St)
  2. First Friday of every month at various times
More info
38
Kettle of Fish

Explore the city’s literary bars

Booze and books have had a long, well-documented relationship—especially in New York. Nab a stool at Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher St between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl; 212-414-2278, kettleoffishnyc.com), where Beat Generation heavyweights Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac tipped back a few in the ’50s and ’60s. Or grab a pint at Old Town Bar (5 E 18th St between Broadway and Park Ave South; 212-529-6732, oldtownbar.com), a favorite watering hole of Frank McCourt and Nick Hornby. For more of the best literary bars in town, check out our roundup.

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50 Fifty Gifts retro jukebox speaker, $18, at perpetualkid.com

Pop a quarter into the jukebox at Commonwealth

Prepare to spend at least half an hour scrolling through the selections on this low-key bar’s juke. Many of the curated tracks date back to owner Ray Gish’s days as a bartender at Park Slope’s much-missed Great Lakes; he brought the mix-CDs over when he opened Commonwealth in 2004. Expect to see plenty of indie rock (such as Guided by Voices, Pixies and Pavement), along with Britpop, classic rock and old-school punk. Early birds can guzzle $4 happy-hour brews until 7pm. 718-768-2040, commonwealthbar.com. 25¢ per song.

  1. 497 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn
40

...or at the Sackett

The topic of conversation along the small wooden bar at this friendly, no-frills pub often revolves around the tunes playing overhead. So choose wisely—not that you can really go wrong; Sackett’s indie-rock selection is solid, hitting Modest Mouse’s raw This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, Belle and Sebastian, Pavement and the late garage-punk legend Jay Reatard, and is peppered with rock-snob favorites such as Syd Barrett and the Velvets. Three songs $1, seven songs $2, 18 songs $5.

  1. 661 Sackett St, (between Fourth and Fifth Aves)
More info


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