Between the new social features, the upcoming season of 1 vs 100, and Halo Waypoint, there's a lot happening on Xbox Live that you can't participate in without an Xbox Live Gold membership. Whether you are broke, indifferent, or simply averse to paying $50 a month to play games online, you'll be able to give these new features a spin when Microsoft hosts Free Xbox Live Weekends later this month. Everyone except Europe will have full access to all Gold membership benefits from November 20th to the 23rd.
Europeans have to wait a little longer, but their weekend is longer as well, running from November 25th through the 30th.
Upcoming Free Xbox LIVE Weekends [Major Nelson]