Cheapskate: The best FREE events this week in New York City

Get in touch with your creative side.

Movie Night at Crocheron Park: ‘Despicable Me 2’

Gather up your brood of minions and head on over to Queens’ Crocheron Park for a screening of “Despicable Me 2.” Spend the evening with Gru, Margo, Agnes, Edith and a whole new slew of fun characters. And who could forget the minions? Back and better than ever. (Friday, 8-9:55 p.m., FREE, Crocheron Park, 35th Ave. and Cross Island Parkway, nycgovparks.org)


Lee Child in conversation with Esquire’s David Granger

In Lee Child’s new novel, “Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel,” retired military cop Jack Reacher is back in service, working for the State Department and the CIA to find the person responsible for taking a shot at the French president. Child will be discussing the latest in his Reacher series with Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger Wednesday at Barnes & Noble Union Square. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., FREE, B&N Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com)


Madison Square 200: Historic Fair

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the naming of Madison Square Park this Saturday with a meld of past and present. Kick off the day with historical games, art, food and performances in the park (from 3 to 6 p.m.), followed by modern cuisine food samplings and music in the second half of the day’s events (from 6 to 9 p.m.). Also, take a turn at participating in “Task,” an interactive art piece by Oliver Herring where strangers write artistic tasks on strips of paper for other strangers to fulfill. (Saturday, 3-9 p.m., FREE, Madison Square Park, 23rd to 26th sts. btwn Fifth and Madison aves., 212-538-1884, madisonsquarepark.org)


African Film Festival’s Family Day Celebration

Immerse yourself in African culture this weekend at the African Film Festival, taking over a part of Governors Island. Grab the ferry over to the island this Sunday to enjoy the fest’s Family Day Celebration, with FREE films, African dance classes, Double Dutch, needle arts and storytelling. The rain date for the event is the following Sunday, Sept. 14. (Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., FREE, Governors Island, Colonels’ Row, film screenings at the Commanding Officer’s Headquarters, africanfilmny.org)


92Y Arts and Culture Crawl

Get in touch with your creative side this weekend and peruse the offerings at the 92nd Street Y with its first-ever Arts and Culture Crawl. Head on uptown and check out what 92Y has to offer in art, music, dance, DIY crafts and more, tour the studios, meet the faculty and try a class, from painting workshops to flamenco to duct-tape wallets and plenty more. Who says back to school is just for kids? (Sunday, 1 p.m., FREE, 92Y, Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., RSVP at 92y.org/artcrawl)


JCC in Manhattan health-and-wellness programming open house

Kick your fitness routine into high gear this fall at the JCC in Manhattan. Check out the center’s health-and-wellness offerings for FREE this Sunday afternoon. Programs include Zumba, yoga, indoor cycling, nutrition lectures, meditation, martial arts and much more. The open house will also run next Tuesday evening (5:30 to 10 p.m.). (Sunday, 1-5 p.m., FREE, JCC in Manhattan,334 Amsterdam Ave., 646-505-5708, jccmanhattan.org/open-house)

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