Experience New York City for Free!

New York City can be super expensive. One ride on the subway or local bus is $2.75, and if you’re doing roundtrip, it’s really $5.50. So when you get something for free in New York City, it’s a day to celebrate.

But what if you can get something for free almost EVERY DAY? (Your jaw just dropped, didn’t it?)

We’ve put together a handy-dandy guide to the free things you can do in the Big Apple.

Explore New York City for free with exciting events!

Explore New York City for free with exciting events!



Music Events

Boogie woogie in the city at these great concerts and musical entertainment.

New York City Riverside Park

Riverside Park is actually river side, and it hosts many fun events annually. (Osugi/Shutterstock.com)

April 16—Brooklyn-based Star Rover (guitarist Will Graefe and drummer Jeremy Gustin) performs at the BRIC House as part of Brooklyn Independent Media’s live in-studio music series, B-Side.

May 19—Presented by Barnard College and Summer on the Hudson, Make Some Noise: A Celebration of Women and Music at Crabapple Grove North (Riverside Park) celebrates women in music with some of the finest musicians at NYC colleges and universities.

June 3Chaka Khan, the Queen of Funk, kicks off her 2015 concert series at Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park Bandshell.

June 7—The Bayside Historical Society Lawn Concert features the band Desert Highway at Crocheron Park.

July 3 and July 31—Experience Summer on the Hudson: Totally Public Karaoke at Pier 1 in Riverside Park South; we think this event speaks for itself.

July 23Disco Inferno at George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park gets your groove going.


Unique Events

Culture, education, or just plain fun—New York has it all and for free!

April 18, 2015-February 29, 2016—Cerámica de los Ancestros at the Smithsonian Latino Center will feature one of the world’s largest collections with more than 10,000 ancient ceramic objects from the Americas, including items from Central America’s first peoples.

April 19—New York will be celebrating Earth Day a little early this year with Sharing Economy Exhibition in Union Square with green initiatives, green travel exhibition, live music, entertainment, and kid activities; at Prospect Park, visitors will enjoy a duel celebration with the 10th anniversary of the park’s Audubon Center which include eco-conscious activities, fishing lessons, and more.

– Until May 2Harlem is…Theatre exhibition at the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts celebrates the history of theater in Harlem, starting at the African Grove Theater in 1821 to the present.

May 27-August 23Shakespeare in the Park returns to the Delacorte Theatre, first with The Tempest with Sam Waterston from May 27 to July 5, then with Cymbeline from July 27-August with Daniel Sullivan.

July 22-August 9Lincoln Center Out of Doors brings viewers musical, dance, and spoken-word events, including New York City and U.S. premieres and family shows.

– Until August 15The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents Curators’ Choice: Black Life Matters with documentary films, children’s books, handwritten letters, photographs, and more, related to African-American history and culture. (See video below.)

– Until September 4—Also at the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts, Sinatra: An American Icon explores the life and career of Frank Sinatra, including private photos, awards, and concert and interview footage, for what would have been the performer’s 100th birthday.

– Until September 6—History buffs will love Mapping Brooklyn at Brooklyn Historical Society with colorful pictorial road maps to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, a Red Scare-era map showing enclaves of suspected radical activities, and a map of one of Brooklyn’s earlier botanical gardens.


Ongoing Events

Some things never cost in New York City, like these events!

New York City Union Square

Union Square is a hotbed for events in the city, including free yoga every Sunday. (Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com)

– Every Sunday morning, Lululemon Union Square hosts free yoga classes, including mats, free of charge. Classes commence at 9:30 a.m.

Drop-in Family Art Workshops at the Queens Museum include fun and free hands-on art activities, including bookmaking, clay figures, and holiday activates.

Whiplash is a free Monday-night stand-up showcase, hosted by Leo Allen (former writer of Saturday Night Live) at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Recycle-to-Art turns discarded materials into works of art each Wednesday afternoon at the Poe Park Visitor Center.

Target Free Thursdays include free rock, pop, classical, jazz, Latin, and swing concerts inside of Lincoln Center’s largest public spaces.


So don’t pay a dime to explore New York! Try some of these free events and experience the culture, music, and unique lifestyle of the City That Never Sleeps (And Is Rarely Free).