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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

  • 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

  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • price 0 of 4
  • Downtown Brooklyn

This annual literary celebration brings together 140-plus 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 a celebration of childhood reading at its Children’s Day (October 2) with authors David Levithan, Mahogany Browne, Sophie Blackall, Sayantani DasGupta, Brian Floca, Gayle Forman, R.J. Palacio in Brooklyn Commons in MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn. Don't miss the Literary Marketplace (Sunday, October 3), or its virtual Festival in the evenings until 11pm.

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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.

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs
  • Chelsea

So often, these art fairs feel unattainable. The Affordable Art Fair is focused on bringing art to those who might not otherwise be able to afford artwork, and this year, it'll have 400 artists showcased by 60 galleries. This year, don't miss Trade Hours, where accredited interior designers and decorators, architects, art consultants and their clients get free access to the fair. If you have young kids, stop by during Stroller Hours, a family-friendly hour dedicated to parents and little ones. And for those who would like a drink while they shop, come during Art After Dark, where you'll get a can of Volley tequila seltzer. Metropolitan Pavilion; September 23-26; Thursday noon-9pm, Friday noon-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.

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  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • DUMBO

Caustic wit, witchy charisma and subversive queer wisdom have made Justin Vivian Bond one of New York’s essential performers: part den parent, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. In this two-week theatrical concert run at St. Ann's Warehouse, Bond teams up with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo—who memorably played Pharaoh Amenhotep IV in Phillip Glass's Akhnaten at the Met—for a trans-genre night that explores the queer histories and futures of opera, pop music and cabaret. The set list runs from “Dido’s Lament” to Dido’s “White Flag” and from Akhnaten to “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

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  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway leading lady Christine Andreas could coast on her pure, silvery soprano, but she’s also a strong storyteller who knows how to dip beneath the pretty surfaces. This collection of hopeful material—which includes  songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon—features a guest spot by Italian tenor Marco Romano.

  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Two rapidly rising stars of the musical-theater universe—the huge-voiced Bonnie Milligan, who made a triumphant Broadway debut in Head Over Heels, and the writer, performer and charisma machine Natalie Walker (Alice by Heart)—follow up on their much-buzzed-about 2019 debut concert, Bonnie Milligan and Natalie Walker Were Always Supposed to Do a Show on September 6th and Have Been Planning It For Months. Expect big belting and show-tune-nerd mayhem.

Popular things to do this Saturday

  • Art
  • Midtown West

After more than a two-year absence, the Met Gala returns in 2021 to celebrate the opening of the brand-new Costume Institute exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Once again, one of the best museums in NYC will be dedicating a new exhibition to delving into the larger social and aesthetic context of a singular fashion theme. This time around that theme is American fashion. However, there are a number of things about the exhibition that are quite different than past Costume Institute shows. Here are five things you should know before heading to see “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” for yourself. 1. This is only Part One of the exhibition For the first time, this year’s Costume Institute exhibition is being divided into two separate parts. Part One, which opens on September 18, is located in the Anna Wintour Costume Center and uses the organizing principle of a patchwork quilt. Around 100 men’s and women’s ensembles (but mostly women’s) are on display and are organized into 12 sections exploring what the show is calling the “defining emotional qualities” of American fashion. Those sections are: “Nostalgia,” “Belonging,” “Delight,” “Joy,” “Wonder,” “Affinity,” “Confidence,” “Strength,” “Desire,” “Assurance,” “Comfort,” and “Consciousness.” Wondering which category a garment belongs to? Don’t worry, you’ll know. Giant word bubbles located above each dress are pretty clear on the matter. 2. It’s a lot smaller than you’re probably expecting If you’re accustomed to seeing

  • Museums
  • Fashion and costume
  • Prospect Park

The Brooklyn Museum is giving The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute a run for its money this year with its high fashion exhibit featuring the House of Dior. The museum is establishing itself as a destination for major surveys of fashion, following incredible exhibits like "Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion" and "The Queen and The Crown: A Virtual Exhibition of Costumes from The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown." This year, "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" continues that trend. "The Brooklyn Museum has a long record of recognizing important contributions in the history of fashion design, from 'The Story of Silk (1934)' to the groundbreaking 'Of Men Only (1976)' to the recent 'Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion (2019') and now 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.' Each exemplifies the power of fashion to influence and shift visual culture at large," says Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, Brooklyn Museum. Opening September 10, the major exhibit — co-curated by Dior scholar Florence Müller of the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum — thoroughly explores the high fashion history of The House of Dior, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the brand's namesake Christian Dior founded the label. RECOMMENDED: An immersive Bill Cunningham exhibit is opening downtown Photograph: Delia Barth   The multi-gallery exhibit brings many of Dior's sources of inspiration to life, including flowers,

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  • 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!

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

Immersive art exhibit Arcadia Earth has reopened after being closed due to the pandemic, and it looks better than ever! The exhibit aims to inspire visitors artistically and ethically, as it uses 15 rooms to spotlight the environmental challenges that our planet is facing (such as overfishing, food waste, and climate change). This exhibit will not only leave visitors in awe, but it will help support Oceanic Global, an organization devoted to raising awareness around our aquatic ecosystems. In addition, a tree will also be planted for every ticket sold, making it a perfect gift for your eco-conscious friends!

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  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • price 0 of 4
  • Downtown Brooklyn

This annual literary celebration brings together 140-plus 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 a celebration of childhood reading at its Children’s Day (October 2) with authors David Levithan, Mahogany Browne, Sophie Blackall, Sayantani DasGupta, Brian Floca, Gayle Forman, R.J. Palacio in Brooklyn Commons in MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn. Don't miss the Literary Marketplace (Sunday, October 3), or its virtual Festival in the evenings until 11pm.

  • 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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  • Attractions
  • Queens

You won't want to miss the Floral Escape at the farm either if you're looking for another fall-themed photo opp. The multi-sensory floral-filled installation is full of multi-colored pumpkin displays, splashes of eye-popping flowers and beautiful floral arbors to stand under. It'll be here through Halloween along with the annual corn maze!

  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

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  • Art
  • Greenpoint

Enter a trippy world at "Cascade," an interactive dreamworld of hypnotic projections, mind-bending paintings, and transformative patterns. In her most ambitious project to date, Los Angeles-based artist Jen Stark harnesses the intricate systems of the natural world to bring tranquility to chaos. This interactive art exhibition built into Brooklyn's venerated William Vale Hotel features 6,000 feet of interactive projections and 3-D mapped environments. Walking through Cascade, visitors will be surrounded by tantalizing visual effects and enveloping sounds. Kaleidoscopic environments showcase the artist's signature drips and cascading designs, immersing the viewer in Stark's ecosphere of kinetic and undulating patterns.

Free things to do this Saturday

  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • price 0 of 4
  • Downtown Brooklyn

This annual literary celebration brings together 140-plus 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 a celebration of childhood reading at its Children’s Day (October 2) with authors David Levithan, Mahogany Browne, Sophie Blackall, Sayantani DasGupta, Brian Floca, Gayle Forman, R.J. Palacio in Brooklyn Commons in MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn. Don't miss the Literary Marketplace (Sunday, October 3), or its virtual Festival in the evenings until 11pm.

  • 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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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."

  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • DUMBO

Caustic wit, witchy charisma and subversive queer wisdom have made Justin Vivian Bond one of New York’s essential performers: part den parent, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. In this two-week theatrical concert run at St. Ann's Warehouse, Bond teams up with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo—who memorably played Pharaoh Amenhotep IV in Phillip Glass's Akhnaten at the Met—for a trans-genre night that explores the queer histories and futures of opera, pop music and cabaret. The set list runs from “Dido’s Lament” to Dido’s “White Flag” and from Akhnaten to “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

Advertising
  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Broadway leading lady Christine Andreas could coast on her pure, silvery soprano, but she’s also a strong storyteller who knows how to dip beneath the pretty surfaces. This collection of hopeful material—which includes  songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon—features a guest spot by Italian tenor Marco Romano.

Advertising
  • Music
  • Cabaret and standards
  • price 3 of 4
  • Midtown West

Two rapidly rising stars of the musical-theater universe—the huge-voiced Bonnie Milligan, who made a triumphant Broadway debut in Head Over Heels, and the writer, performer and charisma machine Natalie Walker (Alice by Heart)—follow up on their much-buzzed-about 2019 debut concert, Bonnie Milligan and Natalie Walker Were Always Supposed to Do a Show on September 6th and Have Been Planning It For Months. Expect big belting and show-tune-nerd mayhem.

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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