15 Free Things to Do in NYC
Here’s the borough breakdown you’ve been waiting for.
Stretch and unleash city stress at Bryant Park or Socrates Sculpture Park at free yoga sessions than run through the warmer summer months. Hop on your own yoga mat or arrive early to reserve one for free to join the rows of down-dogging people.
If you’re meandering around the Financial District, you’re bound to come across the 9/11 memorial. This design features two acre-sized pools where the towers once stood, and the names of the people who died are engraved into bronze panels along the sides. It’s a somber yet important experience to memorialize.
Alexander Hamilton Harlem Estate
It’s an art gallery of its own: The Hamilton Grange in Harlem catapults you into the past with its elaborate period rooms filled with time-correct furniture. See the pastoral setting that the Founding Father would have created as his gardening hobby. This historical house is a bit hidden, like these 11 NYC hidden gems even New Yorkers don’t know about.
If you thought street vendors were bad, try getting past a comedian trying to lure you into their free show. A walk around the East Village during the evening will typically get you invited to a budding comedians show, like at the East Village Comedy Club. Some of these comedians will make you want to stand up and leave, but others will have you out of your seat in a fit of laughter.
This is a free activity that you can do literally anywhere. But one of the more interesting spots to do so is Washington Square Park. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect: Skateboarders occupy the southern part of the park, kick-flipping over the traffic cones they stack in the middle. Walk straight towards the fountain and you’ll see “the crazy piano guy” passionately playing his grand piano that he transported and assembles daily. Come afternoon time, the park poets come alive with their on-the-spot poems (although there’s typically a suggested donation).
NYC is the only place where you’ll be able to see headliner artist after headliner artist—for free. SummerStage, a City Parks Foundation, puts on an outdoor concert every night in parks across the city where 200 artists performed in the summer of 2019. If the crowds in the small venue become too much, there’s a lush lawn right outside of the gates that’s perfect for boogying or laying down to let the sound roll over you. Taking advantage of all these free things to do in NYC is only scratching the surface of the many ingenious ways to save money while traveling.