Things To Do: NYC

Free Fun Away from Roosevelt Island This Weekend

Updated 1 year ago Peter McCarthy
Mermaid Parade on Coney Island
Mermaid Parade on Coney Island
Photo thanks to Invertzoo for Wikimedia Commons

It's Father's Day weekend, and there's a city full of things to do. We picked three exciting and free events easy to reach on the F Line.

    1. First up, Coney Island Mermaid Parade, Saturday, June 18, starting at 1:00. An annual event since 1983, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid lead a rowdy, seminude parade. Wild, bejeweled and in costume, the marchers celebrate in a sort of Coney Island, funky Mardi Gras style without the Dixieland jazz. Exhibitionist fun, exhilarating to watch, the Mermaid Parade kicks off at Surf Avenue and West 21st Street and ends on the boardwalk by the Steeplechase. If the parade doesn't slack your thirst for fun by the time it's over, look at it this way: you're in Coney Island, great beach, breathtaking rides and food everywhere. Take the F all the way to Coney. For scenic excess, detour the D where it crosses the Manhattan Bridge. New York Harbor stretches out on the far side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
    2. Got a taste for live jazz? Also on Saturday, June 18, at 6:00 p.m., Natasha Diggs of Soul in the Horn DJs for emerging jazz lions Kamasi Washington and Jacob Collier at Summer Stage in Central Park. Washington who has performed or recorded with McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Quincy Jones and other jazz greats brings his own band, The Next Step, hailed as a modern spin on big band. In advance of his debut album, In My Room, Collier delivers a "one-man, multi-instrumental, multi-visual format of music" like nothing you have seen before. Collier, who is British, is currently being mentored by Quincy Jones. The concert is part of this year's Blue Note Jazz Festival. Arrive early for this free concert. Gates open at 5:00.
    3. On Sunday, Father's Day, June 19, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. swing down to the Lower East Side for the Museum at Eldridge Street's Annual Festival. The Museum at Eldridge Street's home is the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the first great house of worship built by East European immigrants in America, and now a National Historic Landmark. But the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival is multiculturally aware of the neighborhood that has evolved around it. What can you expect at this event? According to the museum: "Lots of fun, including klezmer, cantorial, Peking opera, bomba and plena music; Hebrew and Chinese scribal art, yarmulke making, Chinese and Puerto Rican mask making; games of Mah Jongg; community arts and crafts; and, of course, kosher egg rolls, egg creams, empanadas and other tasty traditional foods!" The museum is at 12 Eldridge Street. Take the F Train to East Broadway, Exit at Rutgers Street and Canal. Walk four blocks west on Canal. Turn left on Eldridge Street. This should take only about five minutes.
Plan on some free pleasures for your weekend mix. The weather should be fine, both days, with lots of sun and highs in the 80s.
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