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The best things to do in NYC this weekend

The best things to do in NYC this weekend include kicking off Oktoberfest and Oyster Week while closing out the Feast of San Gennaro

House of Yes Block Party 6.2.19 by Kenny Rodriguez
Kenny Rodriguez
By Collier Sutter and Charlie Connell |

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are meant to be filled with enough activities to get you through the beautiful chaos that is a New York workweek. For the best things to do in NYC this weekend, first remember its the tail end of the Feast of San Gennaro, which means one more chance to eat your bodyweight in epic zeppoles and cannolis. After making room in your stomach for more epic bites, (you can do it!) head to the start of Oyster Week to slurp back countless amounts of them in the name of fundraising. If stein-guzzling is more your weekend speed, you can look forward to the kick off of Oktoberfest too. Had enough over-indulging by Sunday? Go dance your socks off, at the YES block party run by House of Yes. Check out those ideas, and 15 more, below on our list of the best things to do in NYC this weekend.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best things to do in NYC

Things to do in NYC this weekend

The John Dory Oyster Bar
Photograph: Courtesy of The John Dory Oyster Bar
Things to do

New York Oyster Week

icon-location-pin Mailroom NYC, Financial District

Whether you love to slurp them straight out of the shell or just happen to appreciate their role in the ocean's ecosystem, Oyster Week has an event for you. The week kicks off with a fundraiser for the Billion Oyster Project and their plan to replenish the oyster population in New York harbor by 2035 at Pier A Harbor House, mingle with oyster experts while tasting signature bites and enjoying premium cocktails. Other events include a SHUCKeasy pairing oysters with cocktails, a rare showcase of Mexican oysters and Oystoberfest with all-you-can-drink Radeberger beer. 

Things to do

Feast of San Gennaro

icon-location-pin Little Italy Grand, Little Italy

In its 93rd year, the celebration of the patron saint of Naples will fill the streets of Little Italy with carnival games, parades, live music and more food than one could possibly imagine. In addition to vendors in town specifically for the festival, most of the local eateries will be set up to serve the dishes that put Little Italy on the map. This is a feast, afterall, so why not have a few eating contests? In addition to the famous cannoli challenge, this year also has meatball and zeppole competitions. The 11-day long festival is one that every New Yorker must experience at least once. The festival is set up along Mulberry St between Canal and Houston Sts; Grand St and Hester St between Baxter and Mott Sts.

House of Yes Block Party
Photo: Courtesy House of Yes
Things to do

YES Block Party


Art is a many splendored thing that touches our soul in so many different ways that it's imposssible to number them. The YES Block Party pays homage to the overwhelming joy we find in all forms of artistic expression. The indoor/outdoor event features installations, performances, exhibits and a lively dance party to the tunes of Soul Summit Music. All ages are welcome at this all day extravaganza.

Photograph: Courtesy Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
News, City Life

Smithsonian Museum Day

Living in New York means trying to do as many cool things as possible while not depleting all of your funds in a single weekend. Luckily, the Smithsonian Magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day is coming up which means you can pencil in a whole day of culture without paying the price. New York has a dearth of the best museums in the world, and on Sept 21 several will open their doors for free to those who present a Museum Day ticket. Each ticket provides free admission for two people so you can consider it a magic ticket to impress a first date or spend a fun day with a roommate. All you need to do is register with an email on their website and select your museum in advance.  This year’s theme is celebrating boundless curiosity, and you can start by exploring the hefty roster of participating locations here. Some standouts include the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Chinese in America, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Intrepid Sea, Museum at Eldridge Street,  Air & Space Museum, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden among others. See, being a tourist in your own city can be fun! While you’re at it, check out the best exhibitions not to miss right now, or make your way down this list of other free activities to get you out your apartment door.

Photo: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

New York Film Festival

Every September, we turn to Lincoln Center for a new edition of NYC’s revered showcase of the best cinema from around the globe: the stuff you’ll be stanning for, if anyone asks. This year’s lineup unspools Sept 27–Oct 13 and doesn’t disappoint. Things kick off in explosive fashion with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, still unseen by critics but promising to be its director’s return to his signature criminal universe. Dont wait: Tickets are still available, but not for long!

Photograph: Courtesy Kisha Bari
Things to do



Photoville is back! And your Insta is about to get meta. NYC hosts a bounty of beautiful photography exhibitions, but only Photoville can claim to be as pretty as the photographs it showcases. Held in and around giant shipping containers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the massive celebration of pictures features more than 600 artists, 80 exhibitions, talks, screenings, seminars and hands-on photography workshops for budding shutterbugs. There's also a food & beer garden from Smorgasburg. The best part: Photoville is totally free, and dog-friendly! Find a full list of hours and events on Photoville's website.

Photo: Francois Duhamel

Ad Astra

If you like your space odysseys brimming with formula-filled blackboards and quantum mechanics, consider this a trigger warning: Ad Astra is not that kind of sci-fi. This is a movie in which a man travels to Neptune, a distance of 2.7 billion miles, without aging a day—a reach, even when that man is Brad Pitt. Plan an evening around the new flick that just hit theaters.

Time Out says
Rebecca Vigil, Evan Kaufman
Photograph: Courtesy Alex Schaefer
Comedy, Improv

Your Love, Our Musical!

icon-location-pin Caveat, Lower East Side

As musical comedians, Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman have played just about every room in NYC, and at their beloved monthly show, they play your heartstrings. Watch as the manically inventive duo interviews a couple in the audience about how they met, then spins their love story into an epic, totally-improvised musical extravaganza. 

Hester Street Fair
Shopping, Markets and fairs

Hester Street Fair

icon-location-pin Hester Street Fair,

This Lower East Side flea and street fair hosts one of Manhattan’s best collections of vendors, with more upstarts joining the fray every week. Standouts from recent years that have gotten their start at the fair include Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwich. Eeach weekend, each fair covers a specific theme from Vintage Day to a CBD Fair and Lobster and Beer Fest. Check the website in advance to see what's happening next. 

Things to do


icon-location-pin Multiple venues

Deal with your dating hang-ups front and center at this live romantic experiment. Two New Yorkers will be paired on-stage for a blind date, and you get to join in on the magic (or the meltdown). 

Brooklyn Book Festival
Things to do, Literary events

Brooklyn Book Festival


This annual literary celebration brings together spectacular writers from across the globe for a full week of talks, shopping and even yoga to satisfy the borough’s brainiacs. Bookend events will be taking place all week, including an editors roundtable and a reading of Walt Whitman while traipsing around in the dark. The full schedule of these events can be found here. All those events lead up to the main draws: Saturday's Children's Day and Sunday's Festival day. This year boasts appearances by authors Jonathan Safran Foer, Ebony Flowers, Joyce Carol Oates, Tina Chang, Ilya Kaminsky, Nick Bruel and many more.   

Delmonico's Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Delmonico's Restaurant
Things to do

Delmonico's - Restaurant History Remixed

icon-location-pin Museum of Food and Drink, Williamsburg

Today, New York City has over 30,000 restaurants but back in 1837 that number was much much smaller—one. When Delmonico's opened its doors it was thought to be the first restaurant in the United States to allow people to order á la carte, have a printed menu and wine list, to have tablecloths and to allow women to dine by themselves. In other words, it radically changed the American dining experience. The Museum of Food and Drink is partnering with Delmonico's for an evening exploring the rich culinary history that lies within. Delmonico's Executive Chef Billy Olivia and MOFAD Executive Chef Eric Kwan have created a menu that offers a modern take on nearly 200 years of history.

Bubbles, Beats & Brunch 2019
Things to do, Event spaces

Bubbles, Beats & Brunch

icon-location-pin Pier 15,

A brunch with fresh beats out at sea? Count us in. Hornblower’s Bubbles, Beats & Brunch Cruise every Saturday until October offers unlimited mimosas, a brunch smorgasbord, onboard DJ, and bottomless champagne, all while on a boat cruising the waterways around NYC. Boarding begins at 12.30pm and you'll cruise from 1:30pm-2:45pm, returning at 3pm. Now that’s a brunch worth waking up for.

Photograph: Courtesy Gillian Todd
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Bronx Night Market

icon-location-pin Fordham Plaza, The Bronx

This open-air, food-centric market features Bronx-based vendors serving up tamales, soul food, latkes, ice cream, pastries, elotes and vegan creations, plus libations from the Bronx Brewery and others. In addition to all of the delicious provisions, the market offers nifty wares from local artisans and live music performances from Bonx musicians. Come appreciate all that NYC's northernmost borough has to offer.

Hash Bar
Things to do


icon-location-pin East River State Park, Williamsburg

Everything you need to know about visiting Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave; East Dr at Lincoln Rd). At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 20,000 to 30,000 visitors per week, with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors doling out everything from Dutch waffles to pasta doughnuts. Where is it?Depends on when you go. For the spring/summer 2019 season, the fest is in Williamsburg’s East River State Park (90 Kent Ave) on Saturdays and Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill (East Dr at Lincoln Rd) on Sundays. Additionally, starting April 12 2019, Manhattanites won’t have to cross the river to taste the treats. A Smorgasburg market at Westfield World Trade Center, Oculus Plaza is open every Friday from 11:30am to 7pm.  When can I go?Smorgasburg is open year-round. The summer months might be the most popular, running from April through October at 11am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but in the winter months (November to March), the market joins forces with Brooklyn Flea and moves indoors. This past winter, the indoor Smorg was located at Atlantic Center (625 Atlantic Ave) on weekends from 10am to 6pm. Is there anywhere to sit?There are some picnic tables set up by the Smorgasburg team, but don’t plan on snatching one unless you have patience of steel. The organizers encourage you to bring picnic blankets with which to sit on the lawns of East River State Park or Prospect Park. Are there rain dates?Nope. The grub will be there rai

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