8 Actually Fun Things to Do in New York This Weekend
Cocktails and boozy ice cream are a necessity to celebrate National Rum Day.
By Izzy Baskette – Thrillist
“With the end of summer looming, it’s now official: this past week marked the last time New York City will experience an 8 pm sunset until May 2022. That means every single day of the month for the rest of the season should be lived to the max for fun summertime memories, so whether you’re looking to cool down with rum cocktails on National Rum Day, test how rusty your mini-golf skills are, or enhance your closet with vintage finds, we’ve got you covered.”
Read on for eight actually fun things to eat, see, and do in NYC this weekend.
Celebrate National Rum Day at restaurants and bars across the city
After a long week, a chilled cocktail is a necessity—and perfect for us, this weekend falls on National Rum Day. To celebrate, sip specialty drinks made with Caribbean-owned Ten To One rum at 15+ restaurants and bars participating around the city like Cote, Miss Lily’s, Wayan, Fats Duvall’s Rhum Cafe, and more. Not only will these cocktails help you unwind, but you’ll also be helping out the hospitality industry, with all proceeds going to the nonprofit Another Round Another Rally. And for a boozy dessert, Ten to One is also partnering with ice cream spot Van Leeuwen for a special Tropical Rum Daiquiri sorbet available until the end of the month.
Cost: Prices vary
Indulge at this kolache bakery’s first Manhattan location
Branch out from the usual Saturday morning bagel routine by grabbing a kolache—a puffy, sweet or savory stuffed pastry—from the newly opened West Village location of Brooklyn Kolache. After success at the original Bed-Stuy location, founder Autumn Stanford is now serving up these Czech-Tex delicacies at Manhattan’s only bakery dedicated to kolache. Accompany your morning stroll with a blueberry and sweet cheese option or snag an afternoon snack with the sausage, jalapeño, and cheese variety.
Cost: Prices vary
Play a round of mini-golf dedicated your favorite Pixar characters
Channel your inner child this weekend with a round of mini-golf at the Pixar Putt pop-up at Battery Park’s Pier A. From Toy Story to Finding Nemo and Ratatouille, the open-air 18-hole course is designed around beloved Pixar movies that’ll have you reminiscing on where the time’s gone. Brush up on your swing during the day (10 am-7 pm) or opt for an adults-only Pixar Putt After Dark session (from 7 pm-8:30 pm). Tickets are available on the website through to October 31.
Cost: $35 per ticket
Support sustainable shopping at a vintage pop-up
Saturday, August 14, 11 am-7 pm
Looking to spice up your wardrobe? Thrilling, a Black and Asian-owned online marketplace, is hosting a sustainable fashion pop-up festival, The Thrill, at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Fort Greene. Peruse the stands of over 75 vintage retailers while local DJ’s (Spinelli, Stretch Armstrong and Dede Lovelace) provide the vibes. After you’re sufficiently shopped-out, check out the art installations or snack on dishes from Makina Cafe, Island Spice Grill, Blackrican Vegan, or Harlem Seafood Soul. Advance tickets to enter are available on their website.
Cost: For a limited time, $3 entry fee for advance tickets and $5 at the door
Drop by a Korean rice wine tasting room debut
Saturday, August 14, 2-11 pm
After months of anticipation, Korean rice wine brewery, Hana Makgeolli, is opening the doors to their tasting room this Saturday. Sip a glass (or commit to a carafe) of carefully crafted makgeolli (a milky, lightly sparkling rice wine) while munching on classic Korean bar snacks. With a walk-in only policy, there’s no need to make a reservation, but make sure you have proof of vaccination on hand. If you’re looking to take a bottle of makgeolli home, pickup and nationwide shipping are also available via their website.
Cost: Prices vary
Satisfy your Vietnamese coffee fix at this special pop-up
Saturday, August 14, and Sunday, August 15, 9 am-3 pm
For one weekend only, Nguyen Coffee Supply is setting up shop at East Williamsburg’s Win Son Bakery. Founded by Sahra Nguyen, Nguyen Coffee Supply imports their coffee beans directly from Da Lat, Vietnam, then completes the roasting process in Brooklyn. At their first pop-up in two years, the menu will have classics like the pandan latte or a cold brew, but the stars of the show are undoubtedly the specials. Try out a Vietnamese coffee creation like the espresso martini or espresso with lemon and seltzer. Before you head out, treat yourself to a coffee and pandan soft serve swirl and enter into the raffle to win a special coffee bundle.
Cost: Prices vary
Explore an art and performance festival dedicated to Black culture
Spend a day outdoors exploring the debut weekend of the arts festival From A Place, Of A Place hosted by ARTNOIR—a female-majority and minority-owned collective focused on promoting intersectionality within art and culture. Dedicated to “Black art, culture, and commerce,” the five-part festival runs until October and for its lineup, admire displays like a large-scale sculpture by artist Olalekan Jeyifous, a gallery exhibit by Danny Baez, and a multi-sensory live performance by Dario Calmese. Afterwards, dot around following the festival’s Guide to the Meatpacking District, which highlights Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood.
Swing by Little Island for a weekend of free events
With a calendar packed full of free summer series events, Little Island is your go-to for a financially-responsible weekend. De-stress from the workweek on Friday at 7:30 pm with a performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn with Adam Tendler, or catch a late night comedy show with River L. Ramirez at 10:15 pm. After relishing those extra hours of sleep on Saturday and Sunday, get lost in the fast-paced movements of tap dancing routines by The Foreman Brothers and Joshua Johnson from 12:30 pm-2:45 pm. On Saturday night, a DJ set by SONI withanEYE at 11 pm is the ultimate path to some feel-good energy. If you’re not sure of your weekend schedule just yet, check the lineup posted on the website and be sure to secure free timed entry reservations to go anytime after 12 pm.
Cost: Free but free timed entry reservations are required
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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.
So many things to see and do, to eat and drink in NYC.
Here are 12 of my NYC faves:
Here are the NYC places you can only go if you’re vaccinated – silive.com
NYC Michelin Bib Gourmands 2021: The Full List – Eater NY PUB
New York’s 2021 Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurants, Mapped Eater NY PUB
Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirror room opens in August – TONY
The Best Restaurant Patios In NYC – New York – The Infatuation
15 Best Happy Hours In NYC – Secretnyc
The NYC Best Restaurants and Markets for Loading Up on Picnic Supplies – Eater NY
The 80 best things to do in NYC for locals and tourists – TONY
The Best Mexican Restaurants In NYC – New York – The Infatuation
The best Statue of Liberty tours – TONY
Where To Find The Best Caribbean Food In NYC – The Infatuation
Secret New York: 30+ off the beaten path spots in New York City to love
Best new restaurants in NYC
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, Photographs by Dina Litovsky
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Try Simone Tong’s New Menu
Silver Apricot / 20 Cornelia St.
Last summer, as restaurateurs hastily built makeshift patios, Silver Apricot partners Emmeline Zhao and Simone Tong created a space that truly translated the dining experience to the street without sacrificing a bit of elegance or refinement. (Being situated on one of the West Village’s quieter blocks didn’t hurt.) Purse hooks on the plastic dividers, lavender planted along the perimeter, and quality glass and plateware made for a setting worthy of Tong’s inventive Chinese American dishes like chile-crab rangoon dip and burnished scallion puffs. Now they are renovating the dining room in preparation for indoor service and plan to reopen June 17 with a new seasonal menu.—A.K.
Binge on Bánh MÌ
Bánh Vietnamese Shop House / 942 Amsterdam Ave.
Veteran chefs John Nguyen and Nhu Ton began peddling their Vietnamese sandwiches and crispy pork-belly salad rolls from an empty pop-up space on the upper reaches of Amsterdam Avenue last summer, and the operation was such a hit that by January they’d put down permanent roots in the neighborhood. There are five varieties of toasty bánh mìs to choose from (when in doubt, order the charcoal-grilled pork), numerous sturdy classics from Ton’s native central Vietnam (try the Frisbee-size rice-noodle delicacy called bánh dap), and a deeply flavorful beef pho. —A.P.
See How Cervo’s Spruced Itself Up
Cervo’s / 43 Canal St.
Last summer, the outdoor-dining setup at downtown Portuguese-Spanish restaurant Cervo’s was a destination almost in spite of itself. Simple wooden folding tables and chairs sprawled across an unadorned and fluorescent-lit expanse of Canal Street. Counter-service orders were called out brusquely over a loudspeaker mounted on the building’s exterior. Serviceware was disposable. You found and bussed your own table. But the Dimes Square denizens flocked nonetheless, pushing together tables laden with dark-pink Spritzes, fried-fish sandwiches, and glistening head-on prawns. It was casual, cool, and as COVID-safe as one could hope for. Now, after a winter hiatus operating as a shop, the scene returns to Cervo’s, but this time the restaurant has full-service outdoor dining on a newly built yellow-tiled patio with proper glassware, plateware, and a menu of old favorites like piri-piri chicken, mussels escabeche, and crispy shrimp heads.—A.K.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
all 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.