10 fun (and mostly free) things to do in NYC this weekend

It’s the first official weekend of fall! After a scorching summer, temperatures will reach the (high) 40s on Saturday. Don’t reach for your scarf just yet, but you can say goodbye to the sweat on the subway and say hello to the sweater weather!

If the last two years of the pandemic have kept you from missing out on the city’s IRL fun, you’re in luck — there are plenty of free events to attend in person this weekend in every borough. Explore banned books in Brooklyn, comic books in the Bronx, and movies across the city. To get your wheels spinning, here’s a sample from this weekend.

Enjoy the film festival under the stars

The city’s Parks Department invites you to the TIDE Film Festival Short Film Night at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Green. Bring a blanket and some food – but no wine or glass bottles. The event is Friday, September 23, 7pm-8.30pm, and the movie will start at dusk. You can find more information here.

Celebrate the Coloring Book (and Meet Santa)

Picture book authors and illustrators will kick off the Brooklyn Book Festival with live music and readings at the Jalopy Theater. More fun? Santa will be there. (He’s reading his new book.) It’s Sunday, September 25th at 2pm. For more information on this event and others this week, check out the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Celebrating Banned Books Week

In honor of Banned Books Week, Castle Hill Library is screening “The Color Purple” starring Whoopi Goldberg. The film is based on Alice Walker’s classic 1982 novel, which has been banned from some schools across the country for more than 30 years.You can catch up on Saturday, September 24th from 1:30pm to 4pm

Know a comic nerd?Check out the history of Batman
Comic book lovers may know that Batman was born in Detective Comics #27 in 1938. But did they know it all started on a park bench in the Bronx? Stop by the Poe Park Visitor Center any time Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm to see Batman illustrations by contemporary artists and learn more about comic book history.

Get artistic at the Common Ground Festival

The Common Ground Festival, organized by Friends of Morningside Park, offers fun for the whole family, including kite-making workshops, fashion shows and puppet shows. The festival takes place on Saturday, September 24th from 11am to 8pm. Most of the activity will take place on the lawn near the pond in Morningside Park.

Enjoy the Lantern Parade at Morningside Park (or bring your own!)

This is the 11th year of the Morningside Lights Parade! Watch beautiful handmade lanterns light up the sky. The event starts at Morningside Park at 8pm on Saturday and travels approximately 1 mile and ends at the Columbia campus.

Understanding Soil Health at Compost Pa-Looza

Learn how to compost – and why! —Sunday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Compost Pa-Looza at the Queens Botanical Garden, Gothamist editor Steve Smith said he took his family last year and it was “An explosion”. Registration is encouraged; visits are welcome. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for children ages 4-12. Children under 4 can participate for free.

Sip and paint at the Central Library
Invite the whole family to bring a drink (non-alcoholic please) and start painting with lecturer Erica Purnell at the Jamaica Central Library. The fun starts on Saturday, September 24th at 10:30am and lasts for two hours.

Celebrating black girl magic

Dubbed the “Back to School Bash”, the event will feature entertaining and motivational speakers at the Snug Harbour Cultural Centre and Botanic Gardens. It is aimed at girls aged 8-15 and their guardians and is held on Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 3pm. The event is free and registration is encouraged.

Catch up with Vin Diesel in the latest ‘Fast and Furious’ movie

Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and the crew reunite for the ninth(!) Bring your blanket and head to the lower parking lot at the Greenbelt Recreation Center. The event, sponsored by the city’s parks department, will start at 7pm on Saturday, September 24th, with the film starting at dusk.

For more fall fun plans:

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