NYC is a pricey vacation destination. Visiting its biggest attractions will mean spending a chunk of the trip’s budget on admission alone, and then there are the added costs of eating out. Fortunately, there are several tours, sites and attractions and outdoor activities in the Big Apple that won’t cost you a dime! Check out these fun things to do on your next New York City tour, because the best things in life are still free (or at least cheap), even in the Big Apple.
Here’s a list of free things to do in NYC:
Most parks around the world are free to visit but then, but you won’t find any that match Central Park! You can spend days in the park and never run out of free events: historical landmarks, picture taking and people-watching, picnicking amidst waterfalls, statues, rustic bridges, castles, hiking around the North Woods, pond fishing and live music at the Harlem Meer Performance Festival.
This 172-acre island is located about 800 yards from the southern tip of Manhattan, where the first settlers landed. The island has primarily become parkland and is entirely free. The ferry to the island is FREE before noon on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost is $4 on weekdays and $6 on weekends (kids under 5 are free). An all day pass is only $12 if you want to hop around the boroughs. On weekday mornings there are free bike rentals. The place has a lot to keep visitors absorbed: a picnic area, a bike path, and FREE kayaking.
Shaped out of an elevated railroad track above the streets of NYC, this linear public park is a walker’s paradise. Tourists can meander its pathway lined with wildflowers and public art installations for free. Sweeping views of the Hudson River and NYC skyline will not disappoint. If you want to avoid the crowds and do something romantic for free, try stargazing with Amateur Astronomers who set up telescopes between W. 15th and W. 16th.
Prospect Park hosts free concerts events and film screenings (check their calendar). Families can picnic on the grass or cool off with 21 water jets at The Splash Pad at Lakeside for free. The famous carousel is free on Thursday’s in August. There is a zoo that charges $8 for adults and $5 for kids 3-12
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
There’s no better place to quench an artistic appetite than the MoMA. There is FREE admission on Friday from 4-8pm and. There’s a lot to explore and enjoy inside the museum, including paintings, oversized sculptures, rotating exhibits, tech-driven media collections and interactive exhibits. Every morning from 9:30-10am you can visit the sculpture garden for free.
Tour the Brooklyn Brewery
NYC’s breweries are a popular attraction for visitors from across the world. The brewery in Williamsburg is well-known and tends to fill up fast, so make sure you grab free tickets early. The brewery offers free tours and you might even sip a complimentary beer or two!
Brooklyn’s Botanic Gardens
If you need a break from your NY tour, come cool off in the lush gardens of Brooklyn Botanic on Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 10-noon, and it won’t cost a cent!
The Jewish Museum
Learn about the rich cultural traditions of the Jewish heritage. You can enjoy interactive exhibits and some 30,000 works of fine art that span 4000 years. Saturdays offer FREE admission from 11am-5:45pm.