The best things to do in NYC this weekend
Looking for the best things to do in NYC this weekend? Whether you’re the group planner searching for more things to do in NYC today, or you have no plans yet, here are some ideas to add to your list for this long summer weekend. Don’t miss the return of Uptown Bounce, Shakespeare in the Park, BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! festival, go out for New York Restaurant Week, do an outdoor movie screening, or take a hot tub boat tour. There’s much more to do this weekend—all you have to do is scroll down to plan yours!”
Things to do in NYC this weekend
These are just a few. Want more?
The Olympics at Time Out Market New York
Watch the Tokyo Olympics with us at Time Out Market New York, which will be screening the games every day through August 8. On top of that, all of the market’s bars will be serving up a special drink: the “Tokyo Sunrise” cocktail. The tasty, timely drink is made with Haku vodka, sake sour, lime, simple syrup, grenadine and star anise to celebrate.
- East Harlem Aug 7, 2021
The popular block party thrown by The Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, and The Africa Center is back on Saturday, August 7 from 2 to 6pm, with live performances by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Topaz Jones, Imani Uzuri, DAP The Contract, San Simon, and DJ sets throughout the day by JFuse, Tahleim, and Ultraviolet—all to celebrate Black music and culture from the 1970s to the present day. Not only will there be music and dancing, but attendees can visit exhibits now on at both MCNY and El Museo, take part in art-making workshops on 104th street, get a temporary, painted-on tattoo by a local artist, get a custom spray-painted T-shirt or baseball hat from Graff Lab Studio, and browse a marketplace with local vendors.
Your favorite Pixar characters are coming to Battery Park’s Pier A this August as part of a Pixar-themed mini-golf course pop-up! Pixar Putt will be set up at the park with 18 fun and interactive holes inspired by the stories, characters, and icons from some of Disney and Pixar’s most beloved films including Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Coco, A Bug’s Life, Wall-E, and Inside Out. The course will be open seven days a week, Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 8pm (last entry is 6:30pm) and on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm (last entry is 8:30pm), and will take about 2 hours to get through. There will also be adult-only sessions available—Pixar Putt After Dark will take place on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 to 10pm for those Pixar/Disney fans 18 and older.
Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage and Screen is set to open August 5 and run through September 26. The unique attraction, displaying over 100 designs, will feature a 20,000-square-foot immersive set within the heart of Times Square at 234 West 42nd Street. The show aims to not only provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes stage and screen experience but also play a major role in New York’s ongoing revitalization. The large-scale offering will feature the original costumes from a number of Broadway hits, past and present, including Moulin Rouge!, The Lion King, Wicked, and Chicago. A few costumes from smash television shows and films will be in the mix, too, including pieces from Saturday Night Live and the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die. Showstoppers! will “pull back the curtain on the hundreds of costuming experts who create, supply and care for them, and infuse much-needed vitality back into the Theatre District,” organizers behind the exhibition wrote in a press release. All proceeds will raise money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, which first launched last year with a goal of raising over $20,000 for out-of-work members.
NYC’s The Garret Cocteleria at 349 Broome Street has transformed into a lush and tropical oasis, channeling the rainforests of Central and South America, with floor-to-ceiling plants, frozen tropical cocktails and Latin-leaning tunes. Jungle Summer at The Garret Cocteleria, with help from Nick Amoruso of GREENCITYdesign, sourced local greenery from NYC’s flower district and garden centers in New Jersey to create the most jungle-y atmosphere. Its open-air structure is also filled with woven bamboo furniture, rattan lighting, dried palm leaves and foliage that’ll make you swear you’re not in Nolita.
Originally slated for May 2020, Seltzerland’s pivot to a post-vax Brooklyn will be better than we ever could have anticipated come August 7 at Brooklyn Expo Center. Envisioned by Cannonball Productions, this festival curates tastings of the best hard seltzers out there: from iconic national brands to beloved local companies including White Claw, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer, Vizzy, Playamar (Jose Cuervo Seltzer), Basic and Coors Seltzer. Brunch will also be provided by Hormel, in addition to other munchies. Plenty of hard seltzer swag is promised. To help with crowd control, Seltzerland will host three sessions of smaller groups. The sessions will run from 11am–1:30pm, 2pm–5pm (VIP Session) and 5:30pm-8pm. General Admission tickets start at $42 and VIP tickets start at $62. VIP ticket holders will get an extra 30 minutes of tasting, a full-sized can of hard seltzer, a specialty cocktail and a complimentary food dish. For tickets and more information, visit seltzerland.com
8. A historic tugboat ride
So often we experience New York by train, car, and on foot, but what about by boat? Well, the South Street Seaport Museum recently revived public rides on its red-and-yellow W.O. Decker, the last tugboat ever built in New York. The historic ship, first constructed in 1930, will allow patrons to gaze at key city marvels in a new way, cruising by the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Skyline over the course of a 75-minute ride. This marks the first time South Street Seaport is offering rides on the historic Decker since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 52-foot wooden tugboat was first built in 1930, back when industrial ships heavily dotted the East River. The ship was donated to South Street Seaport in 1986 and then added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The W.O. Decker will run on Saturdays through August 21, 2021. There will be three scheduled rides throughout the day, the ship leaving shore at 1:15pm, 2:45pm, and 4:15pm. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors/students, and $15 for kids, and can be purchased in advance on the museum’s website.
New York City comics collectors have something to celebrate today—St. Mark’s Comics is back! The legendary shop, which closed back in February of 2019 after 36 years of operation, has turned a new page. On Friday, it officially opened its new shop at Industry City. The new digs are a very big departure from its original spot on St. Marks among the dim sum joints, weed paraphernalia emporiums and karaoke dungeons, but it’s a new start and a rare resurrection of a small local store with a big following. St. Mark’s Comics is open daily, 11am-8pm Monday-Tuesday, 10am-9pm Wednesday-Saturday, and 11am-7pm on Sundays at 51 35th St. in Industry City.
By Dean Jamieson
Friday, Aug. 6
2001: A Space Odyssey at the Museum of the Moving Image: Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic is coming to the Museum of the Moving Image this Saturday as part of their retrospective of the acclaimed director’s work. Come check out this extravagant visual and audio masterpiece, done with such scientific accuracy that some, to this day, believe Kubrick directed the Moon Landing. 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria. 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $20.
Afrobeat Nights NYC (Summer Series): Afrobeat Nights NYC, a cultural and musical celebration, is featuring DJ Tunez as part of their 2021 Summer Series this Friday. A world-renowned DJ and producer, Tunez will be performing at Cafe Erzulie starting at 10 pm. Tickets required. 894 Broadway, 10 p.m. Tickets start at $25.
Saturday, Aug. 7
Bronx Night Market: The largest event of its kind Uptown, the Bronx Night Market, a celebration of the borough’s unique culture and cuisine, attracts thousands to Fordham Plaza every Saturday. Come eat, drink and support local businesses. 1 Fordham Plaza. 12 p.m. Free to enter.
Drag Queen Brunch Show: The best in Drag Queen entertainment in New York City, Illusions: The Drag Queen Show is hosting a brunch show this Saturday. Start your day with mimosas, laughs, and classic tributes to Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner and Joan Rivers. 237 West 47th Street. 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $10.
NYC Is Dead (A Live Comedy AND Brass Music in Central Park): A stand-up comedy and brass music show in Central Park, NYC Is Dead is performing this Saturday at 7:30 pm. Spread a blanket, laugh, enjoy the music, and find out just how much the name is ironic. 100th Street and Central Park West. 7:30 p.m. Free, donations welcome.
Sunday, Aug. 8
Play NYC Gaming Convention: The biggest gaming exposition in New York City, Play NYC is returning to Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion this Saturday and Sunday for its fifth year. Featuring both video and board games, by creators large and small, Play NYC is perfect for both fans, industrial, professional, and casual fans. 125 W 18th Street. Aug. 7-8, 10 a.m. Tickets start at $25.
World’s Fair History Walk: Discover Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s sparkling history on this guided walk and tour led by the Alliance for the FMCP. See and explore the park’s remaining World’s Fair sites and structures, including the famous Unisphere and Astro towers from 1964, and relics from the 1939 fair. Flushing Meadows Corona Park at the Unisphere. 1 p.m. Free.
If you are looking for some of the best info on food and drink, restaurants and eating in New York City, then you want to head to New York magazine’s Grub Street.
Right now you want to check out: The Return of Restaurants
“Make up for lost meals. No takeout, no pasta kits, just 66 of the best new (or newly relevant) places to eat.” Edited by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld,
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Feast on Escargot and the Scene
Pastis / 52 Gansevoort St.
We’re happy to report that whatever strange alchemy it was (the warming onion soup, the cheeseburger “à la Americaine,” the spacious sidewalk operation sturdy enough for any blizzard) that elevated this fashionable Stephen Starr–Keith McNally Meatpacking District brasserie into one of the go-to destinations during the dark pandemic months is still very much intact. Like everywhere else around town, the dining room is beginning to fill up again, but the best seat in the house is still outdoors, where the sidewalk between the tables along Gansevoort Street has turned into a kind of promenade for the vibrantly reopened city. There was a jazz trio spinning out New Orleans sounds when we dropped by the other day, and couples walking arm in arm on their way to the High Line or an evening picnic in the park. Any picnic here should include some oysters and the bubbly, shell-less escargot, but be sure to save a little room for the baba au rhum, the nougat glacé, and the rest of the underrated brasserie desserts.—A.P.
Snag a Seat for Vietnamese Vermicelli
Di An Di / 68 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint
Cymande’s “bra” piped through the outdoor jukebox on a recent Friday at the Vietnamese restaurant Di An Di while patrons slurped up brothy vermicelli noodles underneath strings of white lights. Those who arrived after 8:45 p.m. were out of luck, as every table was filled with fashionable young folks in T-shirts and hosts had stopped taking names. Bowls of mi xao bo do bien, firm egg noodles studded with fat slices of squid and shrimp, scented the air with its garlicky perfume. The Before Times menu still hasn’t returned, which means no more rice-paper pizzas for now, but there are newish bánh mì lunch sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken, tofu, or pork belly. And the aromatic shaking beef (bo luc lac), with its wok-seared cubes of medium-rare sirloin and crisp tomato-watercress salad, remains.—R.P.S.
Sip Vermut Like a Basque Boulevardier
Ernesto’s / 259 E. Broadway
The pandemic was a disaster for everyone, but few felt the old “defeat snatched from the jaws of victory” moment more keenly than chef-owner Ryan Bartlow, who had to close this elegant little Basque-themed bar operation just as the buzz for its special brand of convivial tapas-style cooking was building. The bare-bones staff managed to survive on PPP checks and a pickup menu until early summer, before throwing open the floor-to-ceiling windows and filling the sidewalk with rows of tables, which, on a warm night, as the evening light filters through the leafy trees across the street, can feel a little like an outdoor café in San Sebastián. These days, the long, dinner-friendly bar is humming again, and with the first-rate drinks program (try the vermut and tonic), a roster of expertly rendered Spanish classics (the croquettes, the morcilla, the tortilla española), and a peaceful, unhurried vibe, there are, for our money, few more-enjoyable indoor-outdoor-dining options in town.—A.P.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.