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

Explore outdoor markets, see Broadway shows on the cheap, and discover other ideas for what to do on Saturday.

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

    21. Shop and eat outside at the Hester Street Fair

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

    22. Snap analog pics with Lomography

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

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

    23. Get back to nature at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • Photograph: Adam Gardiner

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

    24. Try your luck at Le Bingo

  • Photograph: Zack Brown

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

    25. Catch the next big thing at Catch

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

    26. Lose your inhibitions at Le Scandal Cabaret

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

    27. See top-notch improv at Trike

  • Time Out

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

    28. Play in the park

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

    29. Join a social sports team

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

    30. Discuss great literature at WORD

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

21. Shop and eat outside at the Hester Street Fair

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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, old-fashioned hats—and one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan. Delicious stalls have included Williamsburg darling Pies ’n’ Thighs, artisanal ice-cream parlor Ample Hills Creamery and boozy cupcakery Prohibition Bakery. hesterstreetfair.com; Apr–Oct.

  1. Hester St at Essex St
  2. Sat, Sun 10am-6pm
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Snap analog pics with Lomography

What started with a group of Austrian students discovering a small Russian camera in the 1990s resulted in a company, community and movement based around taking creative snapshots with analog cameras. This one-stop shop hosts workshops for those looking to learn more—or get inspired. Just $10 ($7 if you’re a student) will get you a loaner camera and a roll of film. Visit the website for upcoming workshops.

  1. 41 W 8th St, (between Sixth Ave and Macdougal St)
More info
23

Get back to nature at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Those searching for a little peace and quiet would do well to spend a few hours at this verdant oasis near Prospect Park, one of our top 50 New York attractions. The garden was founded in 1910 and features thousands of types of flora, laid out over 52 acres. In the spring, check out the Sakura Matsuri Festival, during which more than 70 trees are in bloom along the Cherry Esplanade. We also recommend serene spots like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first Japanese-inspired garden built in the U.S., and the Shakespeare Garden, which is brimming with plants (such as primrose and crocuses) mentioned in the Bard’s works. Saturday is the day to go: You can score free admission from 10am to noon. $10, seniors and students $5, children under 12 free; Sat 10am–noon free.

  1. 990 Washington Ave, (at President St)
  2. Tue–Fri 8am–6pm; Sat, Sun 10am–6pm
More info
24

Try your luck at Le Bingo

Join wisecracking drag queen Linda Simpson and her rotating cast of lovely spokesmodels at this weekly bingo throwdown at Le Poisson Rouge, in which you can win everything from novelty prizes to cold, hard cash. Each night’s drink specials are decided by the “Wheel of Chance.” Free admission, bingo card $2.

  1. Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St, at Thompson St
  2. Sat at 7:30pm
More info
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Photograph: Zack Brown

Catch the next big thing at Catch

This bimonthly Saturday performance and video series hosted by Jeff Larson and Andrew Dinwiddie is an avant-garde variety night that’s eminently fun and accessible. Catch generally features in-development pieces by artists such as choreographer Jillian Peña, experimental theater company the Debate Society and folk-pop outfit You Won’t. Visit catchseries.org. $10–$15.

  1. Location varies
  2. Schedule varies
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Lose your inhibitions at Le Scandal Cabaret

Bonnie Dunn, the MC-chanteuse behind this burlesque-circuit stalwart, presides over a lively mix of stand-up, magic, acrobatics and high-concept strip. The city’s longest-running girlie revue, Le Scandal is still looking young, hot and ready to party. lescandal.com. $25 plus $15 minimum.

  1. Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café 407 W 42nd St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves, downstairs
  2. Sat at 10:30pm
More info
27

See top-notch improv at Trike

Nick Kanellis and Peter McNerney’s weekly show at the Magnet is one of the more artfully constructed improv offerings out there. Each Saturday, the duo meld playful physicality and expert scenework to deliver an impressively detailed story. $7.

  1. Magnet Theater 254 W 29th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Sat at 10:30pm
More info
28

Play in the park

Forgot to pack a frisbee? Don’t sweat it—plenty of New York green spaces have activities on offer. Gather some friends for pétanque at Bryant Park, show off your Ping-Pong serve at Tompkins Square Park, or test your wits in a chess game at Washington Square Park. Click here to read our roundup of outdoor games, and to find out just what kubb is, exactly.

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ZogSports co-ed sports leagues

Join a social sports team

You’ve thought about it, now do it: Put down that PS3 controller and join an outdoor league. ZogSports coed sports leagues, one of NYC’s biggest rec groups, hosts coed softball, soccer and touch football throughout the year Don’t sweat it if you haven’t swung a bat since T-ball days: When signing up, participants must assess their own skill level—from “extremely casual” newbies to jocks who’ve played high-school or college sports—and are then matched to a compatible division. As a bonus, teams are encouraged to retreat to a nearby bar for postgame drinks, and a portion of the bar tab is donated to charity. Visit zogsports.com for more information. Prices vary.

  1. Locations vary
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Discuss great literature at WORD

It’s Saturday morning: Put your foggy mind to better use than trying to figure out why you submitted to karaoke’s mysterious sorcery last night. The second Saturday of the month is reserved for the classics, a genre this neighborhood bookshop holds dear. Past discussions have focused on authors as diverse as Ray Bradbury, Arthur Conan Doyle and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Walk-ins are welcome, though the group usually comprises a decent amount of repeat book junkies. Click here to find out about other book groups in NYC. Free.

  1. 126 Franklin St, (at Milton St)
  2. Second Saturday at noon
More info


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FOR YOUR INFO...THIS WEBSITE ALSO GIVES SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK