New York

9 Actually Fun Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

From beer gardens to pizza spots, all of our favorites are back.

April can seem a little two steps forward, one step back. We get a few days of gorgeous sun, and then a weird cold snap. Similarly, whether it’s the pausing of certain vaccines or the continued police brutality seen throughout our country, this year has already had some staggering highs and lows. This weekend, be good to yourself and your fellow New Yorkers: go support some of your favorite local businesses, be an ally to those who need it, and do something fun.

We’ve rounded up some of the best things to actually eat, see, and do this weekend, whether it’s visiting the opening of The Met’s latest rooftop commission, or trying a brand-new Mexican restaurant with killer cocktails. As always, don’t forget your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing when you’re in public. And for more fun things to do, check out our Weekend Guide podcast below.

Celebrate a beloved pizza spot’s triumphant return

It ain’t summer without an outdoor meal at Roberta’s, and thankfully, their flagship location has reopened for indoor and outdoor dining with plenty of time to spare. In addition to their famed pizzas—definitely try the Bee Sting, made with mozzarella, soppressata, chili, and honey—the reopening menu also boasts seasonal fare like grilled sweet corn and wood-roasted summer beans. Day drinking is also back: their Tiki Hut offers drinks like Hot Girl Bummer, made with a strawberry-black pepper infused vodka.
Cost: Pizzas from $15

Taste the vibrant flavors of Baja California at this new Mexican spot

While we can’t help you with your Mexican vacation that was put on hold this year, we can advise you to grab a meal at the brand new seeyamañana, which opens this Friday in NoMad. Featuring the vibrant flavors of the Baja California peninsula region of the country, the menu is primarily plant-forward (think beet tacos and vegan chorizo enchiladas), but also includes pole-caught fish and free-grazed meat options. The cocktail list features many mezcal and tequila-based cocktails, of course, but made unique with botanical ingredients sourced from the peninsula.
Cost: $89 per person for the prix-fixe menu (reservation only); walk-ins can order dishes a la carte (entrees from $11).

Sip some suds at this reopened beer garden with a view

Financial District
Does the Oculus Beer Garden boast the best view of any bar in NYC? Find out for yourself this weekend, at the newly reopened watering hole at Two World Trade Center Plaza. Not only does the 5,000 square-foot space have postcard-perfect views of the Oculus and One World Trade Center, it also boasts a stellar local beer list, with varieties from Coney Island Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery, and Ithaca Beer Co. And, if you get hungry, never fear: light bites include Bavarian pretzels and Schaller & Weber bratwurst.
Cost: Beer from $8

Ring in Thai New Year (a little late)

Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17
Ok, while Songkran (Thai New Year) is technically from April 13-15, continue celebrating Thailand’s biggest holiday by chowing down on Mao Mao’s special New Year menu (within newly expanded businesses launched especially for the festivities). This weekend, head to Bushwick where the restaurant will be serving five different iterations of som tum (papaya salad), as well as screening vintage footage of Songkran celebrations from Thailand. And for more tasty Thai spots to hit up this weekend, check out our new list of the best in NYC.
Cost: Entrees from $12

Explore The Met’s new Roof Garden commission

Upper East Side
While The Met’s usual collections may veer more towards the classical than the contemporary, its Roof Garden installations are often some of the most innovative artworks in the city. For the 2021 season, the museum has selected conceptual artist Alex Da Corte to create a piece to dazzle New Yorkers all spring and summer-long. Entitled As Long as the Sun Lasts, the installation is made of plastic, stainless steel, and aluminum, but no other details have been released yet. Be one of the first to see it (and duh, post it on social media, too) when the commission is unveiled this Friday.
Cost: $25 per ticket 

Pick up produce at the coolest new grocer in town

Saturday, April 17
Lower East Side
Out: traditional grocery stores. In: Mediterranean-inspired shops from a fourth-generation grocer. You may never want to step inside a supermarket again after your first visit to Alimentari Flaneur, which opens this weekend inside The Market Line. Run by Daniel Emilio Soares, the shop aims to bring the selection and charm of a traditional European produce market to the heart of the Lower East Side. For their grand opening festivities, expect goodies from their partners like Il Buco Alimentari, Wildair, and Dada Daily.
Cost: Varies

Play a private game of pool inside Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
While we’re inching closer to normalcy, many of our favorite group activities are still off-limits.  But, thanks to Sharks, a new pool room rental company, playing a round with your pod-people is definitely something you should add to your weekend agenda. Their newest—and first Manhattan location—is in the iconic 30 Rock Concourse, and apart from a sweet pool table, also contains a mini-fridge, Bose speakers, and a lounge area. As for safety, all reservations are contactless and the space itself has no staff, plus every pool room has its own sanitation station.
Cost: $50 an hour for up to four people, $10 for each additional guest 

See a theater performance that’s not on Zoom

Saturday, April 17 at 7 pm
Midtown West
Broadway may not be open quite yet, but theater lovers still have reason to celebrate: The Green Room 42 inside the Yotel is finally reopen, with a live performance this weekend from kooky lounge act Kenn Boisinger (otherwise known as actor and singer Michael West). The venue has made sure it’s COVID-safe as well: new rules include keeping the room at 33% capacity, performers 12 feet from the audience, and no food or beverages. But, the ticket price does include a $10 credit to Social Drink and Food also at the Yotel; the largest rooftop of any hotel in the city. We’ll drink to that.
Cost: Tickets from $29

Listen to a theater production created just for you

We won’t lie, Candle House Collective’s production of Claws is genuinely the scariest immersive theater experience we’ve ever had. And while the company has always specialized in remote immersive theater (meaning the show is experienced during a one-on-one phone call), the pandemic, obviously, has made this kind of production especially appealing. We don’t want to give anything away about this utterly creepy and engaging show, but just know you may be tempted to sleep with a nightlight on after it’s over.
Cost: Tickets from $35

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Juliet Izon is a contributor for Thrillist. 
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