Since I started this blog back in November 2011, we’ve covered A LOT of free happenings and events around the city, which we’ve personally attended and enjoyed. I realized that it could be super helpful to have some of the most popular posts corralled all in one place, so if you’re searching for something fun and free to do in the city, you have a menu to pick from.
So, voila! Below you’ll find 50 FREE ways to use your (NY) city! We’ll update this list every season with the best of the freebies. Happy exploring!
1. Take a tour of the Austrian Cultural Center.
2. Catch some sunshine in the MOMA’s Sculpture Garden.
3. Go to the NYPL and use your membership card to check out one of these fabulous books set in NYC.
4. Window shop at a store you will ONLY find in NYC.
5. Experience the best of Broadway with Broadway in Bryant Park throughout the summer months.
6. Visit the Museum of Arts and Design.
7. Enjoy free nights/days at these NYC museums.
8. Join other New Yorkers in December to Christmas carol.
9. Watch these 13 NYC films in November/December to put you in the holiday spirit.
10. Take a tour of the Roosevelt House.
11. Visit the original Winnie The Pooh at the NYPL.
12. Watch these 10 fabulous films set in NYC.
13. Attend an outdoor movie during the summer.
14. Usher at one of these 5 theaters to see shows for free.
15. Take a tour of the NYPL.
16. If you have littles (or are babysitting), do one of these 10 free activities in NYC with kids!
17. Attend performances in dance, theater, and music by the rising stars at Juilliard.
18. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in person…or the balloons being inflated the day before!
19. Check out the National Museum of the American Indian–all the way downtown!
20. Listen to a free Christmas concert at one of NYC’s many churches.
21. Take a stroll through the Brooklyn Flea Market.
22. Stop and smell the roses at the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.
23. Visit this secret UWS neighborhood.
24. Check out the smallest park in NYC.
25. Take a stroll around Central Park’s Conservatory Gardens.
26. Splash around in one of the 56 public pools in NYC.
27. Take a trip on the tram to Roosevelt Island.
28. Visit one of the NYC beaches you can get to without a car.
29. Downward dog in one of these outdoor yoga classes during the summer.
30. Spend your weekend attending open houses for fancy (and not so fancy) apartments for sale.
31. Join other New Yorkers to volunteer somewhere you feel passionate about.
32. Clean out your closet (and apartment!) and get a free charity pickup.
33. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
34. Visit this delightful used bookstore and peruse for your next favorite read.
35. Learn something new in one of these classes.
36. Go fishing in the Hudson River–supplies provided.
37. Enjoy an afternoon of kayaking.
38. Listen to classical music concerts in Central Park.
39. Watch the sun set in Wave Hill.
40. Take this walk of the Upper East Side, as written by a neighborhood local.
41. Visit the Museum of Chinese in America, free the first Thursday of each month.
42. Giggle all the way through a laughter yoga class.
43. Make one of these iconic NYC dishes at home.
44. Get your NYCID and have access to so much culture, all for free.
45. Make an effort to stay in touch with your family and friends who live outside of NYC.
46. Take in an artsy exhibit at the NYPL for the Performing Arts.
47. Listen to an excellent podcast as you walk around the city.
48. Zen out in on a meditation class.
49. Sit in one of these quiet spots to read/study/work, that’s NOT a cafe.
50. Check out the latest fashion exhibit at FIT.
Would love to know…what’s your favorite FREE way to use your city? Share below!