8 Actually Fun Things to Do in NYC This Weekend
Burgers from an ice cream shop, Pride brunch pop-ups, and free museum tix. By Juliet Izon / Thrillist
“Well, kids, we made it to summer. And, even better, it’s Pride Month! We’ve got plenty to celebrate on both of those fronts, whether it’s diving into summertime treats like ice cream and hamburgers, to a unique mash-up brunch created just for Pride.
Read on for eight actually fun things to eat, see, and do this weekend in New York City. And for more actually fun things to do be sure to check out our podcast streaming below.
Be one of the first to try a famed ice cream parlor’s new burgers and fries
Morgenstern’s has long been known for its excellent and innovative ice cream flavors. And now, owner Nick Morgenstern has turned his attention to another diner staple: the humble burger and fries. Starting this week at their flagship location in Greenwich Village, Morgenstern’s will sling five different burgers—ranging from a classic hamburger to a pork teriyaki—along with innovative French fry variations like “Tater Tots Swimming in Gravy” or the spicy “Flaming Hot” fries. Make sure to get there early: the dishes will only be available from 12 pm until they sell out.
Cost: Burgers from $11
Sip a glass of real Butterbeer at the new Harry Potter flagship store
Calling all would-be Hogwarts alums: the gargantuan Harry Potter Store New York is finally open. And while we won’t blame you if you spend most of your time ogling the 15 separate retail areas inside the 21,000 square-foot-space, make sure you save time for a visit to the Butterbeer Bar. The book series’ most iconic drink will be available in draft form in souvenir tankards, bottled, and even in ice cream. Magic wand not included.
Cost: $10 for butterbeer with a souvenir mug
Honor Juneteenth early with an ice cream inspired by Booker T. Washington
Lower East Side
Whipped Urban Dessert Lab’s newest flavor for June is inspired by Booker T. Washington. In his autobiography, Washington promised himself that if he ever became free, he would eat ginger cakes that he saw the “ladies of the house” enjoying. To honor him and Juneteenth, the oat-milk ice cream shop has created “Taste of Freedom,” a creamy, milky base flavored with cinnamon spice and chewy ginger cookies. Even better, the ice cream here is dairy, egg, nut, soy, and gluten-free, making it a sweet treat perfect for just about anyone.
Cost: $13 for 14 ounces
Get your caffeine fix at a brand-new Midtown shop
Midtowners rejoice: there’s new java in town and it’s not another location of you-know-who. Company Culture opened its doors this week with a menu of Counter Culture Coffee, Breads Bakery pastries, and an airy, bright space that’s perfect for sipping brews (indoors! Because we can do that now!). Look out for refreshing summer specialty drinks like the Mon Cheri, made with cold brew, raspberries, white chocolate, and mint.
Cost: Coffee from $3.50
Listen to live music
Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5
Classical music often gets unfairly pigeonholed for being too staid and boring. Let Death of Classical shake up your preconceived notions: we promise you’ve never heard music quite like they do it. This Friday and Saturday, the group will host the New York Philharmonic at The Green-Wood Cemetery (you read that right) for an evening that will include whiskey tasting, a tour of the cemetery’s “permanent residents,” and a two-hour long concert from one of New York’s most lauded orchestras.
Cost: $100 per tickethttps://54706e8122c0b686111efd3e8f4ef253.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Sample Korean-Lebanese fare at a special Pride brunch pop-up
Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6
While June brings all manner of fun Pride Month specials, it’s hard to top the creativity of this weekend’s special Pride brunch pop-up at Edy’s Grocer. Owner Edy Massih and (mukbanger) James Park have collaborated on a special Korean-Lebanese Pride brunch for Saturday and Sunday, featuring mash-up dishes like bulgogi breakfast empanadas and kimchi pita-dillas with Syrian string cheese. The dishes will be available from 9 am until they sell out, so make sure to get there early to try everything.
Cost: Dishes from $5
Check out this museum’s landmark exhibit for free
Lower East Side
One of this year’s most arresting art exhibits comes to a close this weekend, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in luck. The New Museum’s “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” will offer free, timed-entry tickets this Saturday and Sunday to allow as many people as possible to (safely) see it before it ends. Curated by the late Okwui Enwezor, the powerful exhibit brings together 37 artists who address the themes of mourning, commemoration, and loss as it relates to increased violence against Black communities in America.
Cost: Free with reservation
Enjoy a weekend of international films (in person!)
This weekend marks the start of the Brooklyn Film Festival, an event that will stream or screen a whopping 140 film premieres from June 4 through June 13. While all films will be available to stream for the duration of the festival, there will also, happily, be a limited number of works screening in-person at Windmill Studios. Viewers have the option to buy a ticket to one screening, or a full pass that allows them entry to all 22 film programs. The theme for this year’s festival is “The Clearing”: distancing oneself from all of the past year-and-a-half’s pain and looking toward the future with optimism.
Cost: $15 for a single program ticket, $50 for a full indoor pass
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Thrillist, a site with tons of food, drink, travel & entertainment info, introduces folks to the coolest things to do in NYC (and other places when you are traveling). I like to check them out regularly. You should, too.