Everything Fun You Can Do in NYC This Weekend

Plus, a bake sale to support abortion rights, details on a hard seltzer festival, and where to staycation this weekend.

Silent disco
Oasis silent disco | Photo courtesy of Lincoln Center
Oasis silent disco | Photo courtesy of Lincoln Center

While we generally don’t champion spending a ton of time in Times Square, even the most jaded New Yorkers will be impressed with this weekend’s cool AR takeover. Concrete Jungle allows visitors at five viewing stations to see the world’s most famed intersections as if it were overrun by super-sized elephants, giraffes, and more. Is that better or worse than millions of tourists? We’ll let you be the judge.

Beyond Midtown, there’s also a lively cultural festival, brand-new music festival, and the city’s largest-ever dance party. And if you’re hungry, we’ve also got the intel on not one, but two new savory donut collabs. Read on for everything fun you can eat, drink, and do in New York City this weekend.

And for even more activities, make sure to check out exciting new restaurant openings around town and our guide to the best waterfront parks in the five boroughs.

Satisfy your savory-sweet tooth with these limited-time donuts

Various locations
Are we living in the golden age of food collaborations? It certainly seems that way, especially when there are two different savory donut mash-ups to try this weekend. First up: head to any Doughnut Plant location for their Classic Pesto Sourdoughnut created with Bowery Farming. For more of a savory-sweet treat, swing by any Dough Doughnuts, who are selling a French’s Mustard doughnut with mustard icing in honor of National Mustard Day this Saturday. But if you’re really just looking for your classic sugary pastry, we have one more spot to add to your hit list: Edith’s and NYC classic spot Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop have joined forces to make a sour cream doughnut topped with a Greek coffee and tahini glaze. But be fast: they’re selling out quickly every morning.
Cost: Prices vary

If you’re sticking in town this weekend, but want to make it feel like a vacation, head to NoMad, where the impeccably sleek Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad just opened. The 50-story hotel boasts 250 luxe guestrooms complete with Frette linens and Diptyque toiletries; plus the new (and eagerly anticipated) Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya by chef José Andrés; and the chic rooftop bar Nubeluz, with gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline. Look out later this year for the opening of The Bazaar by José Andrés, a wacky and innovative dining experience that is sure to be one of the fall’s hottest tables.
Cost: Rooms from $1,000; mezze at Zaytinya from $12

Saturday, August 6, 1 pm
Forest Hills
Unless you’ve been obsessing over Beyonce’s new album this week (fair), you’ve probably heard that LL COOL J is bringing a brand-new music event to NYC this Saturday. Curated and headlined by the Queens-born rapper, Rock the Bells features an absolutely epic lineup with greats like Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, and Lil Kim. The food lineup is also worth a stop: the Trill Mealz Food Court hosted by Bun B purports to be the first hip-hop influenced food court. It will feature everything from fried chicken to burgers to fresh juice blends.
Cost: Tickets from $119

Saturday, August 6, 12 pm8 pm
This year marks the 60th anniversary of independence for both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, making this Saturday’s Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival an especially lively one. The all-day event presented by Braata Productions will include live performances of singing and dancing, drumming circles, and a food pavilion serving dishes from across the Caribbean islands.
Cost: Free with registration

Saturday, August 6, 2:30 pm8 pm
Lower East Side
If you’re looking for a weekend activity that could involve just a bit of sloppiness, may we direct you to Seltzerland? This one-day festival celebrates all things hard seltzer: there will be over 100 different varieties to sample, from big names like White Claw and Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, as well as seltzer pong, live music, and plenty of pizza from Zazzy’s. Bonus: a portion of proceeds will go to Forage Forward, an organization that supports local communities at their biggest times of need.
Cost: General admission tickets from $39

Saturday, August 6, 8 pm
This summer’s inaugural Festival of New York aims to spark joy into the lives of millions of New Yorkers after the sh*tshow that was the last two-and-a-half years. And hey, it’s already working: this Saturday night, the festival has organized the largest dance party in NYC. The event will feature a whopping 80 simultaneous events, spread across all five boroughs (you can peruse the whole list on this map). One of the largest will be at Lincoln Center, where a silent disco will take over the outdoor space Oasis; DJ Bill Coleman will provide live spinning.
Cost: Free

We rejoiced when old-timer El Quijote at Hotel Chelsea reopened, but there’s even more reason to celebrate: the famed Spanish spot now has outdoor seating. Located on the sidewalk of the recently refurbished restaurant and hotel, diners seated on the patio can order the full menu, which includes the excellent Paella de Marisco made with squid, cockles, mussels and blue prawns; plus giant carafes of sangria made for sharing.
Cost: Share plates from $8

Sunday, August 7; 10:30 am2 pm
Midtown West
Swing by new spot Restaurant 53 this Sunday, where Bakers Against Racism will be holding a pop-up bake sale to support reproductive justice and abortion access. An enormous amount of NYC’s top bakers will be donating goods (Fany Gerson of Fan-Fan Doughnuts and Danielle Spencer of Win Son Bakery among them), while some of the city’s best shops have pledged items for the raffle (we’ve got our eyes on Shortbread Society’s huge pans of shortbread). All proceeds will go to The New York Abortion Access Fund, which helps those in need pay for abortions.
Cost: $25 per ticket; $7 per baked good

Downtown Brooklyn
There are not many forms of dance that are sexier than the Argentine tango. And whether you’re a novice on the floor or a seasoned veteran, you can learn all about this unique art at the first annual La Nuestra Tango Festival, held in locations throughout Downtown Brooklyn. And unlike stereotypical depictions of the dance, festival director Phi Lee Lam is working to transform tango’s image to be more empowering and gender-equal. Programs will include free intro classes for beginners, tango music concerts, and a traditional milonga with music from Orquesta Solidaridad, North America’s only all-female tango orchestra.
Cost: Events from $25

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Juliet Izon is a Thrillist contributor.