In New York City, the land of $20 covers and $15 cocktails, we try to save where we can but it hardly seems possible when, well, $20 COVERS AND $15 COCKTAILS.
It seems like if you're on a budget, the safest thing to do to make sure you make rent is spending your weekends on the couch, watching TV. Just kidding, we can't afford cable!
We swear though, that if you look, there are plenty of not just cheap, but straight up FREE events going down all over NYC.
And hey, you don't actually have to look, because we did that sh*t for you.
GO. BE FREE.
Brazilian Day (September 4)
This amazing festival and live outdoor concert, which is always held the Sunday before Labor Day, celebrates Brazil's Independence Day. If you've never explored NYC's Little Brazil, which is centered on West 46th street between 5th and Avenue of the Americas, this is your chance.
What started as what was more of a block party in 1984, however, has become a mega event that now spans down a good portion of 6th Ave, which is also where their stage is set up. We have a feeling that somehow, you won't be able to miss the stage, though.
Enjoy cultural activities ranging between arts & crafts, face-painting, and the best activity– consuming delicious traditional Brazilian and Latin American foods and drinks.
West Side County Fair (September 4)
Small town carnival nostalgia without the ride on the Metro North? Sign us up!
Head over to Riverside Park, between 66th to 70th, to catch some carnival rides, sideshow performers, reptile shows, and live music. Of course, there will be local food and merchandise vendors equipped with cotton candy to complete your experience.
New York Carnival Parade (September 5)
Hosted by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), this festival actually dates back to the 1930s in Harlem. While the party moved to Crown Heights in 1969, the parade has long since been a Labor Day staple in NYC.
This year, over one million people are making an appearance to celebrate Caribbean and Jamaican culture, arts, tradition, and history. You should definitely be one of them; this will definitely be worth the packed crowds.
The march begins at 11 A.M. on Schenectady Avenue and finishes with a grand finale at Grand Army Plaza.
Also, even if the elaborate costumes, giant floats, and traditional music make this the event to beat, the festivities are going to be underway all weekend.
Have we given you enough Labor Day Weekend activities to choose from yet?
Deconstruction (September 8)
Patrick Eugène, a Brooklyn-based Haitian American painter is debuting his solo exhibition, "Deconstruction,” which is a visual exploration impacted by the change and impending change coming to East New York, Brooklyn.
Eugène’s artwork challenges our conventional tl;dr approach to information, and invites viewers to process his large and emotionally charged canvases deeply as well as for extended periods of time.
While opening night is on Thursday the 8th, select pieces from the series will be on display at the Brooklyn Arts Fellowship until the 23rd. We've also had the opportunity to speak with him about his work, so be on the look out for that!
RSVP for the opening reception here.
Ferragosto (September 11)
The Bronx has got some tasty things in the works, and this year’s Ferragosto celebration is no exception. NYC’s Ferragosto pays homage to its Italian roots as a harvest celebration with music, food, friends, and family.
They’ll be partying on Arthur Avenue, between Crescent and 187th Street from noon to 6 p.m., so stop by “The Real Little Italy.” We suggest you bring your appetite.
NVR Sleep (September 14)
Hip-hop producer and spoiled Media Creative Director, Rodney Hazard, is turning things up a notch or two at Kinfolk 90 in Williamsburg. NVR Sleep means more than a good time, so expect this Afrobeats celebration to light some fires.
Sip (or knock back) a beverage or three, get your nom on, and give yourself a high-five for locating a Wednesday night party without scraping together cash for a cover charge.
Nothing makes us want to dance more than a free dance party, so grab a friend and get ready to shake it all night long, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. We believe in you.
To get on the list for this sweet par-tay, RSVP here.
The African American Day Parade (September 18)
Showcasing Black pride in America, the African American Day parade was founded in 1968 during the Civil Rights movement. This will be the Harlem's 47th annual African American Day parade and is the most renowned African American parade in the country.
Among those marching will be community leaders, sororities/fraternities, marching bands, and dance ensembles, and more. There will be over 200 participating organizations altogether, from 12 different states.
The parade begins at 1 p.m. on 111th St. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, heads North to 136th St, then turns east to Malcolm X Boulevard.
Medieval Festival (September 18)
Couldn't make it to the Renaissance Fair this year? Or wish you could go again? From 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan will be transformed into a medieval market town.
Experience authentic music, minstrels, magic, dance, jugglers, and jesters. Of course, you'll also definitely be able to score a huge turkey leg and some mead from the vendors attending. Before the festival ends, you'll also witness a thrilling joust between four knights on horseback.
You don't haaave to dress up in medieval garb but isn't that half the fun?
Global Citizen Festival (September 24)
In case you've never heard of Global Citizen, this huge awareness driven free music festival, well, isn't exactly completely free but before you close this tab, know that in order to win tickets, you have to spend time engaging with good causes and not money. Happy again?
To earn the "points" you need, register on their website and start watching informative videos about different movements, signing petitions, and even tweeting. You'll hit 28, the requirement, in no time. Then, you'll be entered into a lottery for tickets.
Every two weeks, new winners will be announced and after that, a new campaign will be launched for everyone to be involved in.
You might think this seems like a lot of trouble but it's all for some amazing causes. Your actions will be part of a major initiative to help the world's poor. Also, the headliners for this year's festival are going to be Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, Major Lazar, and Metallica– so there's also that.
Atlantic Antic (September 25)
You definitely have to stop by the oldest and largest street festival in NYC. The Atlantic Antic runs from Hicks Street to Fourth avenue, spanning through four Brooklyn neighborhoods: Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Downtown Brooklyn.
This epic celebration of the many heritages that coexist in Brooklyn will live music that showcase different cultural genres, feature food from local restaurants, and attracts boutiques and vendors from all over the country.
Expect over 100,000 people but this one is definitely worth the crowds.
Peace Lantern Festival and Public Paddle (September 25)
Celebrate the International Day of Peace this year at a floating lantern ceremony inspired by the Buddhist tradition. It's bound to light up your 'gram so head over to Gantry Plaza State Park in LIC from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m.
While you just have to show up if you want to check it out, if you're interested in volunteering, HarborLAB asks you to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and background.
The scheduled activities include not only lantern decorating and the lantern procession, but kayaking, face-painting & temporary tattoos, yoga, music, and interfaith remarks and prayers, also from secular figures.
Feel the love![Feature Image Courtesy spoiledNYC]