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Things to do on Saturday
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Things to do in New York this Saturday

The best things to do in New York this Saturday include amazing shows and parties to keep you going all day and night

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It’s the weekend, you’re in the greatest city in the world, and its time to get wild—but what are the best things to do in NYC this Saturday exactly? We’ll tell you! Hit up some of the best New York attractions and events, and be sure to fit in a disco nap for our picks of the best parties in NYC. Strapped for cash? Fear not! We’ve picked out some of the city’s top free things to do so that you’re not broke by Sunday.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

Featured things to do this Saturday

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Two Bridges

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the thousands of dollars worth in prizes up for grabs for Best in Show. FYI: This year's location is not at Tompkins Square Park. The parade has moved to East River Park Amphitheater along the FDR at Grand Street and East River Park.  RECOMMENDED: All Halloween, NYC coverage

  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Hell's Kitchen

Photoville is back in its 10th year and the second to bring photography to every borough ofNew York City. The free, outdoor, pet-friendly photography exhibition is heading to NYC Parks — Brooklyn Bridge Park, Astoria Park, Barretto Point Park, Chelsea Park, Jackie Robinson Park, East River Promenade, St. Nicholas Park, Travers Park, Van Cortlandt Park, the South Beach Promenade — as well as Brookfield Place, the Alice Austen House (Staten Island), the Lower East Side at the Abrons Arts Center and Times Square.  You won't want to miss this year's Photoville because it is packed with 75 exhibits outside and free online programming for photo lovers between September 18 and December 1, including panel discussions, interactive workshops, one-on-one safety clinics,  professional development opportunities with Diversify Photo and Leica Camera, Photo Wings and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. New this year is "Community Day: Photo Festival Opening" on September 18, where there will be a visual storytelling event with a family activity area by Stoop Stories, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Aperture; the Penumbra TinType Sessions; pop-up music and danceperformances by the Haiti Cultural Exchange; exhibition tours by featured artists; photopuzzles on the lawn; a professional development educator lab; photo workshops with LeicaCamera and Adobe; a Smorgasburg pop-up; and an evening screening of 10 Under 10enlisting the New York Times, National Geographic, Pulitzer Center

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  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • price 2 of 4
  • Greenwood

Learn about the lives of Green-Wood Cemetery’s permanent residents on this trek, which rotates among three routes (so check the schedule ahead of time if you’re set on seeing a specific tombstone). All tours include a look at the cemetery’s historic chapel and Battle Hill, where George Washington led the Continental Army in the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Chelsea

Nationally-recognized comedy show, UpDating, is finally returning to the stage after a long year away. 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). The show comes from NY-Based Comedian Brandon Berman and Dating Blogger Harrison Forman. For more details you can check out UpDating's Instagram @updatingshow.

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  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Coney Island

One of the last of its kind, this ten-act extravaganza of human oddities aims to satisfy nostalgic and progressive temperaments alike. Finally returning after a year of closure, the iconic spectacle adds a footnote to the controversial freak-show conversation by celebrating the talents of those “born different.” The lineup includes contortionists, sword swallowers, fire eaters and escape artists.

Popular things to do this Saturday

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman The beginning of Douglas Lyons’s broad comedy Chicken & Biscuits promises comic mayhem to come. The beloved pastor of a Black church in New Haven has died; his family is gathering to honor him, and his kindly son-in law, Reginald (Norm Lewis), also a pastor, is set to assume the pulpit. “Today should be a day of peace and healing for the family, not chaos,” he reminds his righteous wife, Beneatta (Cleo King). But her tacky sister Beverly (Ebony Marshall-Oliver) and Beverly’s teenage daughter, La’Trice (Aigner Mizzelle), don’t share that sense of decorum, and Beneatta’s gay son (Devere Rogers) has been to enough Black funerals to have a sense of what’s in store. “By the end of the night,” he assures his nervous white boyfriend (Michael Urie), “it’s a full on party.”  That party, sadly, never gets started. Just when the comedy should gain momentum, Lyons stops it cold with a lengthy and mostly unfunny memorial service: a succession of sincere tributes to a man we don’t know, culminating in a set-piece eulogy delivered by Lewis (who is otherwise wasted) and a last-minute surprise that comes out of nowhere and tends back there again. Sentimental confessions and reconciliations ensue, but the characters and situations have not been shaped carefully enough to earn them. Advertised as 100 minutes long, Chicken & Biscuits actually lasts two full hours without intermission, and despite some successful laugh lines and several game performances, it drags

  • Things to do

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is back with surreal creations this year, like a giant pumpkin sea monster and NYC streetscape made of hundreds of pumpkins each. The massive blaze has two locations—Hudson Valley returns to its location at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson for the 17th year and Blaze: Long Island returns to Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage for the second year. This year, the blaze is bigger and better than ever with thousands of hand-carved jack o’lanterns lit up in elaborate displays throughout historic landscapes. The Blaze: Hudson Valley will include a New York City streetscape and an immersive river walk-through experience. Blaze: Long Island will show off an 80-foot circus train, a new sea monster and more creatures from under the ocean. There will be plenty of nights to see each Blaze — Hudson Valley will run for a record 59 nights from September 17 through November 21, and Long Island will run for 36 nights from September 22 through November 7.   Luckily, the Blazes are outdoors and touch-free, however, capacity has been reduced to ensure social distancing. Visitors who are not vaccinated are required to wear masks at all times. Masks are not required for vaccinated visitors while on the grounds but will be required when entering buildings at restrooms or shops. Tickets go fast (flex tickets, which allow you to go any night have already sold out), so get yours today!

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  • Restaurants
  • Little Italy

Commune with the dead at Coctelería de los Muertos, a pop-up launching at The Garret Coctelería October 5th. The Nolita bar and restaurant is celebrating Día de los Muertos all month long with decorations by set designer, Michael Harbeck, and Interior Designer, Lauren Amoruso, that include custom-built altars honoring artistic icons we’ve lost over the years (Marilyn Monroe, The Notorious B.I.G., Jimi Hendrix, Frida Kahlo, James Dean, Amy Winehouse, and more), alongside traditional skulls, crosses, votive candles, and candlesticks. There will also be more than 5,000 feet of marigolds, often known as “flowers of the dead” (flor de muerto), that'll be placed on the altars, the tables and even the ceiling. White bulb string lights will be decoratively strung from the ceiling both in the indoor and outdoor seating areas and brightly colored, woven blankets and textiles will be offered tableside to keep diners warm in the outdoor dining structure. Intricately cut tissue paper banners (papel picado) will float above the tables and there will be themed drinks to boot. Order up the Weeping in Queens (White rum, pumpkin puree, orange bell pepper, cane, pumpkin spice rum, peach preserves), the Certified Sad Boy (Reposado tequila, tamarind, pineapple two ways, honey bitters, hibiscus drizzle for a “blood” effect), or the Abrete Sesamo (Mezcal, cachaca, tomatillo, poblano, cucumber, lime, coconut, chamoy smoked salt, sesame).  

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4
  • Two Bridges

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the thousands of dollars worth in prizes up for grabs for Best in Show. FYI: This year's location is not at Tompkins Square Park. The parade has moved to East River Park Amphitheater along the FDR at Grand Street and East River Park.  RECOMMENDED: All Halloween, NYC coverage

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  • Things to do
  • Financial District

Once you step into this Wall Street Mansion, you'll enter a supernatural soiree full of magic, hauntings and mystery that'll set you on a chilling journey with themed-drinks in hand. House of Spirits is a two-hour immersive experience that allows you to roam around the mansion and discover macabre magic, sinister séances, tarot readings, strange roaming specters, live music, hidden secret games and giant Ouija boards. There's a storyline to follow, too, about Molly and Francisco Vega, a young couple who lost their baby during childbirth. "Francisco focuses his grief into art and begins a series of disturbing paintings, while Molly’s grief drives her to a much darker place. Loosely based on the life and artwork of famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya, House of Spirits weaves a disquieting and interactive storyline certain to leave guests delightfully chilled." Be sure to prepare for the experience—guests are highly encouraged to dress in time period fashion, costume or elegant dress.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman The Broadway epic The Lehman Trilogy, which tells the story of the Lehman Brothers and their finance company over the span of 164 years, rarely stops spinning. Es Devlin’s magnificent glass house of a set, designed to evoke the firm’s offices at the time of its collapse in 2008, rotates on a turntable as history moves forward; wrapped on the walls around it is a giant cyclorama, where Luke Hall’s black-and-white video design sweeps the action from New York Harbor to the antebellum South and beyond. Meanwhile, Stefano Massini’s play takes the raw materials of the Lehmans’ rise and fall and processes them into a vibrant yarn about greed and American values. It leaves you dazzled and a little dizzy.  This cautionary tale about capitalist excess is, in several senses, an embarrassment of riches. Many Broadway plays now clock in at under 90 minutes; The Lehman Trilogy is nearly three and a half hours long, with intermissions at the crisis points of the Civil War and the stock market crash of 1929. Director Sam Mendes’s dynamic production passes swiftly, though—it’s like binge-watching a creative documentary with three hour-long episodes—and it presents an engrossing survey of U.S. history since the middle of the 19th century. (Written by an Italian and adapted into English by the U.K.’s Ben Power, it assumes a slight distance from American culture; the set sometimes might be a terrarium at a zoo.) Adding to the power are Jon Clark’s lighting and Nic

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  • Things to do
  • West Village

The now-abandoned Jekyll & Hyde Asylum is haunted. No one has entered in decades, but nearby residents have complained to authorities of unexplained sounds and moving shadows coming from within the asylum. Back in 1961, Dr E. Revel, the dean of the asylum, was taken into custody and charged for morbidly experimenting on his patients. The aftermath was gruesome, when the authorities discovered that most of the patients had been lobotomized. You decide to break into the old asylum to see if the rumors are true; but you arrive, you immediately get more than you bargained for. The first thing you see is a woman with long black hair in front of her face and her mouth opening ajar to reveal hundreds of sharp incisors.  If you want to stay around after that, there's live entertainment at the Jekyll & Hyde Club, where creatures and memorabilia come to life and interact with you while you enjoy your meal and drinks.

  • Things to do
  • The Bronx

The best of fall is on display at the New York Botanical Garden. Hundreds of gourd-geous pumpkins and scarecrows now decorate the Bronx landscape for autumn now through October 31. Head to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building and on the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Plaza, where you'll see pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and more than 100 whimsical scarecrows on the twisting trails of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. From 10am to 6pm, you can see these beautiful decorations but NYBG will also have autumnal events for kids and adults alike, including Puppets on Parade on weekends, where larger-than-life pumpkins and skeletons designed by puppeteer Lucrecia Novoa of Mascara Viva greet visitors as well as pumpkin-carving demonstrations by Adam Bierton, the 2015 winner of the Food Network series Halloween Wars. NYBG’s beloved tradition of kiku—magnificent displays of chrysanthemums in astonishing forms, styles, and sizes—will be integrated with KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature and on view in select galleries of the Enid A. Conservatory from Saturday, October 2 through Sunday, October 31, 2021 as well. You may also want to do some walking in the fall forest on the weekends in and around the Thain Family Forest. Here, visitors can "revel in the unique autumnal beauty and resilience of the 50-acre Thain Family Forest, the largest expanse of New York City's original wooded landscape."

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  • Dance
  • price 1 of 4
  • Midtown West

New York City Center is holding its 18th Fall for Dance Festival with five unique programs—each featuring three different groups of artists and companies presented this year without intermissions—for the price of a movie ticket. There will be four NYCC commissions presented by tap dance superstar Ayodele Casel, modern dance legend Lar Lubovitch for New York City Ballet principal dancers Adrian Danchig-Waring and Joseph Gordon, and The Verdon Fosse Legacy reconstruction of a series of dances based on trios originally created for Tony Award-winning actor and dancer Gwen Verdon and feature New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin. The fourth, a co-commission with Vail Dance Festival, will be created by sought-after choreographer Justin Peck for New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck and American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theater
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway review by Adam Feldman Lucas Hnath’s uncanny and unsettling play Dana H. doesn’t channel the dead; it channels the living. Its subject is harrowingly personal. In 1998, when Hnath was in college, his mother, Dana Higginbotham, was beaten and held captive for five months by a violent criminal and white-supremacist gang member named Jim. In 2015, Steve Cosson, of the docutheater troupe the Civilians, interviewed her about this ordeal over the course of several days. Their conversations form the basis of Dana H., but instead of editing them into a conventional script, Hnath has kept them in audio form. In the title role, Deirdre O’Connell does not speak a word; for 75 minutes, calmly facing us in an armchair, she lip-syncs to Dana’s actual voice. O’Connell is nothing less than astonishing. Long-form lip-sync is not new—one thinks of Bradford Louryk’s Christine Jorgensen Reveals, Lypsinka’s The Passion of the Crawford, much of the Wooster Group’s oeuvre—but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done quite so unshowily. This is a performance of virtuoso naturalism, radiant with inner life; the technique is so perfect that it disappears. At many points in the show, I would have believed she was talking into a body mic, even though Mikhail Fiksel’s astute sound design and editing make it clear that we’re listening to a recording. (The actor and magician Steve Cuiffo is credited as her lip-sync consultant.) The effect of this device is complex: The use of Dana’s voice gives her te

Free things to do this Saturday

  • Things to do
  • price 0 of 4
  • Hell's Kitchen

Photoville is back in its 10th year and the second to bring photography to every borough ofNew York City. The free, outdoor, pet-friendly photography exhibition is heading to NYC Parks — Brooklyn Bridge Park, Astoria Park, Barretto Point Park, Chelsea Park, Jackie Robinson Park, East River Promenade, St. Nicholas Park, Travers Park, Van Cortlandt Park, the South Beach Promenade — as well as Brookfield Place, the Alice Austen House (Staten Island), the Lower East Side at the Abrons Arts Center and Times Square.  You won't want to miss this year's Photoville because it is packed with 75 exhibits outside and free online programming for photo lovers between September 18 and December 1, including panel discussions, interactive workshops, one-on-one safety clinics,  professional development opportunities with Diversify Photo and Leica Camera, Photo Wings and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. New this year is "Community Day: Photo Festival Opening" on September 18, where there will be a visual storytelling event with a family activity area by Stoop Stories, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Aperture; the Penumbra TinType Sessions; pop-up music and danceperformances by the Haiti Cultural Exchange; exhibition tours by featured artists; photopuzzles on the lawn; a professional development educator lab; photo workshops with LeicaCamera and Adobe; a Smorgasburg pop-up; and an evening screening of 10 Under 10enlisting the New York Times, National Geographic, Pulitzer Center

Movies to see this Saturday

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

Joaquin Phoenix is devastating as a monster-in-the-making in this incendiary tale of abuse

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Concerts to see this Saturday

  • Music
  • East Harlem

Take an exuberant look back at the music of the 1980s in New York City at a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The show examines this transformative era through the lens of emerging pivotal music genres and the influence they played on New York’s broader cultural landscape. It highlights diverse musical artists from Run DMC to the Talking Heads and from Madonna to John Zorn through a series of key moments and more than 350 objects, including video footage, photography, artifacts, and ephemera like An MTV Music Awards Moon Person award statue, vinyl records from Madonna, Funky 4+1, Liquid Liquid, and Konk, a T-shirt and other ephemera from Keith Haring and DJ Larry Levan’s "Party of Life" event, music videos and rare concert footage including Grand Master Flash, Fort Apache Band, Lounge Lizards, Cyndi Lauper, and others.  "The early 1980s were a time of significant transition in New York, with the city facing crime, urban decay, and homelessness. And yet, despite those challenges, it was also a particularly fertile time for music and other creativity in New York City," says Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director and President, Museum of the City of New York. "The musical innovations of this time period are a great example of the resilience of the city and the importance of art and creativity as forces of transformation."

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  • Music
  • Hell's Kitchen

Honk NYC!, the annual street festival of street bands, is back in New York City's boroughs with a week-long series of accessible and affordable celebratory outdoor performances, sidewalk parades, and small indoor concerts. Hear from the hottest eclectic street bands such as Brass Queens, Extra Syrup Horns, The L Train Brass Band, Batala New York, festival founders Hungry March Band and more. In Harlem, musicians Melvin Gibbs, Arto Lindsay, and Greg Tate will present "the Ancestors here Us/the ancestors Hear us" and artist Pat Oleszko's "Be/Where the Writing Waters!" will play along the waterfront in Lower Manhattan.

Looking for the perfect brunch?

The best brunch in NYC
  • Restaurants

Consult our comprehensive guide to the best brunch NYC has to offer and enjoy the perfect late breakfast this weekend

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