NYC Culture on the Cheap: Weekend 8/31

Free and Cheap things to do Labor Day Weekend 2012 in NYC, Cheap cultural events in New York CIty Labor Day weekend, Art, Music, Fun, Staycation ideas, Day trips from NYC, Cheap, Affordable things to do in NYCClick to enlarge

Here are our free and cheap suggestions for things to do this Labor Day weekend 2012 (August 31 to September 3) in NYC. We’ve included some staycation ideas as well as fun and easy day trips within an hour or two from New York via public transportation.

1. Music- AM & Shawn Lee at the Knitting Factory. Friday 8/31. Doors 7pm. Show 8pm. $10 to $12.

2. Art –  Avery McCarthy‘s Destination: UnknownIncludes a large, vast canvas framed by LED lights, allowing itself to be both an optical trick and aesthetic object: a modern day vanity mirror of total blackness. At Orchard Windows Gallery. 37 Orchard St. Fri, Sat, Sun 8/31 to 9/2. FREE

3. Day Trip/Food/CultureMitsuwa Marketplace A little taste of Tokyo only a bus ride away. In Edgewater, NJ, this shopping center immerses you in Japanese culture with a food court, books, magazines, toys and a supermarket filled with Japanese products. Take the shuttle bus from Port Authority. $3 each way. All weekend.

4. Music/PartySwimming with Sharks at The Standard’s Le Bain. Saturday 9/1, 3pm-9pm. FREE with RSVP.

5. ArchitectureVertical Tour at the Cathedral St. John the Divine. No need to go to Europe to tour a spectacular church. This tour takes you up to parts of the Cathedral you never knew existed! Saturday 9/1, 12pm still available. $15 Get tickets here.

6. Day Trip/Art DIA:Beacon in Beacon, NY. Beautiful galleries filled with spectacular installations and all your favorite contemporary artists. MetroNorth from Grand Central or 125th Street gets you within steps of the building, 80-minute train ride. Train and admission package: $31.50 for Adults. All weekend.

7. Food/ViewsLa Marina in Inwood. It’s a waterfront resort in Manhattan. Beautiful views of the Hudson and GW Bridge. Take the A-train.

Alternatively in Food/Views: Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook on the waterfront. Free Shuttle Bus or the IKEA Water Taxi from Pier 11. All weekend.

8. Architecture Tour – Before Brooklyn Bridge Park. Learn about the history of Brooklyn’s waterfront with architectural historian and author, Matt Postal  Saturday 9/1, 11am.$20. Tickets.

9. MusicTroublemakers; Midnight at Arlene’s Grocery. Saturday 9/1, 12am. $10

10. Fun/LeisureUnicycle Fest on Governors Island. World-famous riders will display their skills, and members of the public will have the opportunity to try one-wheel riding. Saturday 9/1 and Sunday 9/2, 12pm to 5pm. FREE.

11. Day Trip/Relaxation/Food/FunSpa Castle. Okay, maybe not so free or cheap but if you consider what a spa trip costs…this looks pretty good. We’ve yet to try, but have heard good things. A sort of “Disneyland” of spas, in Queens no less!  Weekdays $35; weekends $45.

12. Fun/Music/Food/CultureWest Indian Day Parade and Festival, Eastern Parkway near Brooklyn Bridge Museum. Labor Day, Monday 9/3 starts at 11am.

Also, in Comedy/Improv: The Friday Night Sh*w at the Magnet Theater in Chelsea. Friday 8/31, 11:30pm $5.

Also, in Food/Music/Beach: Caracas Rockaway at Rockaway Beach at 106th St. has music events Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4pm. (Though, lately, we’re partial to the beautifully wide unpopulated beach at 67th, if you’re okay with limited food and bathrooms…shhh.)


Art/Music/Design/Experiment: Stranded V: Laboratory, a night of eureka moments, bold experiments and a Nobel-worthy science fair built by King’s County’s creative catalysts. Saturday 9/1, 10pm-5am, at the Pfizer plant in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Near the JMZ and G trains. 21+. $26 Tickets here.

Music/Food: Mister Sunday Labor Day Weekend Special; Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter at Gowanus Grove. Sunday 9/2, 3pm-9pm. $10 advance; $12 door.

Performance: The Moth StorySLAM, Monday 9/3 at The Bell House, Brooklyn. 7:30 doors;  8pm starts. $8 at door; $16 advance. 21+

Or check our previous Culture on the Cheap posts for links to Free Met Opera HD, PS1’s WarmUp, and ongoing museum exhibits that we recommend. Have a great weekend and check back for possible updates!

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