Free Activities » New York City, NY

Free Activities in New York, NY

Looking to savor brews without giving up a penny? Want to spend an afternoon with a doll? From burlesque shows to fresh farm dishes, explore New York City on us.
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Union Square Greenmarket

There are hundreds of designer retailers throughout Manhattan, but sometimes taking a stroll down one of the city’s historic parks is a better deal for those on a budget. Union Square is where high-fashion meets unique flare, plus it's more than just a park. The Square has one-of-a-kind gifts from over 100 merchants offering everything from fine jewelry and clothing to delicious homestyle desserts. Of course, the real treat being offered at Union Square Greenmarket is all those free samples. Savor fresh yogurt, creamy cheese, crunchy pickles, thirst quenching stout, plump berries, and so much more, all provided by farmers from upstate New York. Since 1976 over 100 farmers, fishermen, and bakers have been coming here to sell their goods, all while giving New Yorkers a taste of what they're all about. You may even be tempted to leave Union Square with a tote bag filled with new groceries!

Penthouse 808 at Ravel Hotel

Movie buffs, rejoice! The luxurious Ravel Hotel in Long Island City is always a treat for ladies seeking a short getaway from Manhattan, but let’s not forget those film lovers in the city also looking for a place to call their own. In honor of the easy, breezy summer months, Ravel Hotel’s ultra posh rooftop lounge, Penthouse 808, is featuring a weekly movie screening held every Monday. Dubbed A Reel Look at NYC, classic flicks will be projected on a large screen, paying tribute to New York City (can you say Seven Year Itch?). Best of all, we couldn’t think of a better place to unwind than watching the finest films of New York City and breathtaking views of the waterfront. Toast to the skylines with a flute of Penthouse 808’s finest champagne! A Reel Look at NYC begins on June 13th. We’ll be there…will you?

Time's Up!

The steamy spring and summer months are the perfect times to take out that dusty bike and explore the five boroughs. Not only it is great exercise, but it saves some much needed moolah on public transportation. However, what if you need to brush up on your skills? Time’s Up, New York City’s grassroots environmental organization, is here to the rescue. Their goal is to educate New Yorkers on how they can live a greener lifestyle and promote a less “toxic” city. That’s where bikes come in! Time’s Up offers bike repair classes in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, but the BK location highlights more days and hours to all New Yorkers. Learn how to fix your bike, recycle your old ride, or make new friends-all for free. Donations and volunteers are always encouraged!

Nurse Bettie

There’s no denying that New York City is home to the thriving neo-burlesque scene, but if you’re looking to spend the night with tassel twirling beauties then make classy Lower East Side dive Nurse Bettie your hot spot. Nurse Bettie, named after legendary model Bettie Page, is the city’s only pinup bar where both ladies and gents can mingle with real life bombshells over a round of cocktails. While the towering Gil Elvgren paintings and countless drink specials are always a treat, the real deal at Nurse Bettie is free burlesque shows. Find out why ladies like Honi Harlow and Calamity Chang always get New Yorkers hot and bothered without spending a buck. Free burlesque shows are held every Wednesday and Thursday night, but don’t procrastinate on arriving early for a seat. Make sure you check out Nurse Bettie’s Twitter page for the daily password, a must-have for exclusive deals.

The Center for Book Arts

Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea neighborhood boasts numerous free galleries on nearly every block, but The Center for Book Arts is one that stands out from the colorful pack. While several New Yorkers don’t mind showing off their latest Kindle or iPad, The Center for Book Arts aims to educate audiences how artists are reinventing the book as “an art project.” Founded in 1974, the Center for Book Arts is the first organization of its kind in the nation and you’re welcome to explore it for free. One of their free exhibitions include With Food in Mind, which celebrates how your favorite dishes are highlighted in  book art, print, and digital media. Before making a visit, make sure you call in advance to find out which exhibitions, opening receptions, and open houses are free.