19 Free Things to do in NYC

Statue of Liberty, NYC

  1. Every Friday and Saturday night the Brooklyn Academy of Music opens up its BAMcafé free to the public.
  2. Admire the work of contemporary artists from around the country at the American Folk Art Museum, free Friday nights from 5:30p to 7:30p.
  3. Marvel at ancient Egyptian artifacts or Renaissance masterpieces at the highly regarded and diverse Brooklyn Museum, free every first Saturday after 5 p.m.
  4. Numerous performing groups of every stripe appear on Central Park Stage during the warmer months of the year. Almost all of the performances are free and open to the public. Check their website regularly for an updated list of events.
  5. If it’s free blues shows every Friday and Saturday night at theB.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Shows start at 9 p.m.; get there early for good seats.
  6. On Friday evenings beginning at 5:45p, the Guggenheim hosts Pay What You Wish, where admission is by donation. Live music often accompanies the Friday night special. Arrive a little early so you can admire the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building.
  7. View works of international artists, or stick around for a film screening, all on Fridays from 4p to 8 p.m. when the Museum of Modern Art opens to the public.
  8. Try out your basketball moves on the half-court at the NBA Store where you might be lucky enough to encounter one of the NBA or WNBA players who frequently make appearances. Hang out during one of the many free basketball clinics or other special events that occur throughout the year.
  9. New York has its fair share of impressive churches. Admire the 16th-century Flemish windows at Riverside Church, tour the gardens of uptown’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, or enjoy the Gothic architecture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
  10. Get lost in a high-tech wonderland when you visit the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Talk to robots, watch hi-def movies on massive HD displays, or challenge the latest Playstation games.
  11. Remember that favorite TV show from your childhood? Well you can probably find an episode at the Museum of the Moving Image. Free admission to the galleries is from Friday evenings from 4p to 8p.
  12. Admire indigenous art from across the Americas at the National Museum of the American Indian, a branch of the Smithsonian. Tapestries, cave paintings, and artifacts, all thousands of years old, make up some of the displays at this free museum.
  13. Explore New York’s unique neighborhoods with a Big Apple Greeter. These cheerful and informed locals offer free tours of their neighborhoods for visitors. Be sure to schedule early, they stay busy.
  14. Check out photography, ancient artifacts, and modern artwork produced by Jewish artists from across the globe at the Jewish Museum, free on Saturdays after 5 p.m.
  15. Filled with exhibits showcasing African-American art, literature, and achievement, the Schomburg Center also hosts many free music performances by local artists.
  16. The Hispanic Society of America museum displays art and artifacts from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.
  17. Several groups offer neighborhood tours at no cost. The Union Square Partnership provides guided tours of Union Square Park. The Village Alliance offers walks through St. Marks Place, and the Times Square Business Improvement District will lead you through this famous city block.
  18. Join a free yoga class beside the Hudson or relax at the scenic gardens, all inside Riverside Park. A limited number of kayaks can be borrowed for free.
  19. The annual Broadway on Broadway show offers skits and musical numbers from every major show playing. Admission is free, but highly coveted, so book early.

*For more information visit: National Geographic

2 thoughts on “19 Free Things to do in NYC

  1. Laura

    What a great post. I've only been to NYC once and had no idea what to do. Ended up not finding a locker to stash my luggage at Penn Station so couldn't go anywhere. But I would have liked to do a lot of the free things you have posted about. If I get back there I'll plan to stay for more than just a few hours and this kind of list will be great.