Don't have plans this holiday weekend? You do now. Wizards of the Coast has released the Basic Rules for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons as a free PDF right here. The 100-page document details how to make a character, play the game, and covers magic, too.
Specifically, the Basic Rules "covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets."
Now, the official D&D Starter Set comes out on July 15th, which contains the Basic Rules and a 64-page adventure book that includes "The Lost Mine of Phandelver... along with a 32-page rulebook for playing characters level 1–5, 5 pre-generated characters each with a character sheet and supporting reference material, and 6 dice" so you can be on the lookout for that. But for many of you, I'm guessing the Basic Rules are all you need — so it's pretty cool they're giving them out for free.
Also cool: The new D&D seems very positive about sex and gender identity, as folks at The Mary Sue points out. I've heard mixed reviews of the newest edition gameplay-wise, but for now, I'm nothing but impressed.