New York's Best Free AttractionsWashington Square Park. The Bank of America Winter Village track in Bryant Park. Finding free things to do in New York City is like finding gold. New York is one of the best cities in the world, but for God's sake, is it expensive?.
Watching Broadway shows or dining at one of the city's most popular restaurants will cost you a lot of money. Luckily for us, the city also offers a great list of free museum days, walking tours, exhibitions, comedy shows, and much more. Read on for our list of the best free things to do in New York. Fortunately, most museums offer free hours or days and admission pays whatever you want.
You just have to know where and when they are. We have the information you need in our guide to everyday free museums and cheap tickets in New York that you should know. The track is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 14:00 to 17:00. Little Island, one of New York City's most popular attractions, welcomes visitors and locals who flock to see Manhattan's magnificent “floating green space”.
The park is full of open grass, colorful foliage, great facilities, and even a secret garden. The Schwarzman Building and its beautiful Gottesman Room are more than 250 unique and rare objects extracted from its research centers, including the only surviving letter from Christopher Columbus announcing his discovery of the Americas to the court of King Ferdinand and the first Gutenberg Bible brought to the Americas. Every Sunday at 11 in the morning, rain or shine, expert guides are ready to offer you a historic tour of the Flatiron-Nomad neighborhoods. On these fascinating walking tours, take a stroll through this iconic area while admiring architectural jewels and even learn some outrageous details.
It's totally free; there's no need to RSVP. Meet your guide at the tip of the Flatiron Building on 23rd Street, just east of Fifth Avenue. This Queens County treasure is well worth the bus, hike, or car trip. As the longest continuously cultivated site in the city (it's been in operation since 169), the 47 acres seem like a completely different world compared to Manhattan.
Feed and pet the animals in the pen, such as sheep, ponies and goats, hop on a carriage ride and return during the fall harvest season, when you can go pick pumpkins and try to make your way through the incredible corn maze (yes, it's a corn maze). Founded in 1971 and with more than 1000 works, this multicultural art museum focuses on artists from the 20th and 21st centuries who live in the Bronx or are of African, Asian or Latin descent. The museum offers family programming from time to time. Enjoy the outdoors while appreciating the impressive sculptures and large scale installations in this 4.5-acre public space.
Built on a former landfill, today the park offers beautiful, lush green gardens with views of the East River and has a reputation as a premier outdoor venue for artists to create site-specific wonders. Supervised by fashion historian Valerie Steele, the FIT Museum exhibits selections from the institute's permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on individual designers and the role of fashion in society. FIT has one of the largest and most impressive collections of clothing, textiles and accessories in the world, which includes some 50,000 suits and fabrics dating from the 5th century to the present day. The Jewish Museum, located in the Warburg Mansion of 1908, exhibits temporary exhibitions of contemporary and modern art and also maintains an important collection of works of art and Judaica.
Visiting the museum is free on Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. Reservations are required, available one week in advance. Central Park is a wonderful place to spend a day in New York, and throughout it, you'll find many iconic sights, such as the Bow Bridge, the Alice in Wonderland statue, and the Boat House. The views of the surrounding Manhattan skyline are also spectacular from the park.
New York's street fairs are an institution. Do your research before you come to find out which ones to visit while you're here. Sure, you could throw in a bunch of coins to climb to the top of the Empire State Building, eat at the fanciest restaurants, or stroll through the grounds of the Statue of Liberty. But what if we told you that you can take a boat ride with Lady Liberty without spending a penny? It's a possibility, and thousands of New Yorkers who ride the Staten Island ferry do so every day.
New York is full of free jewels like these, but to find them, the secret lies in connecting with a local who knows all the tricks. Lucky for you, we're revealing the best free places to enjoy in New York City. So, no matter how small (or nonexistent) your budget is, you can still have a good time in the Big Apple. Now, without further ado, let us introduce you to the list of the 10 best things to do for free in New York City.
The Socrates Sculpture Park was founded in 1986 to provide artists with the opportunity and space to exhibit large scale sculptures and multimedia presentations. In this unique outdoor environment, trees are dwarfed by the results of creative expression. Before 1986, the place was an illegal landfill until artist Mark di Suvero transformed it into an open studio, allowing the space to be expanded from there. During the summer, crowds gather for all kinds of events, from kite flying events to circus performances.
The free yoga classes are designed for all levels and there's even an eight-week outdoor movie program that celebrates the cultural diversity of Queens. Said to be the only major gateway left in Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal (not station as it is often erroneously called) is a great example of functionality for art meetings. The Beaux Arts-style façade that extends along 42nd Street features a beautiful clock and the crowned statues of Minerva, Mercury and Hercules. Inside the terminal, a huge blue roof shines with fiber-optic lighting that represents the zodiac constellations, while one level lower, sixty railroads transport more than 500,000 people a day.
Since the revitalization of the building, Grand Central has attracted both visitors and locals, with snacks and delicacies at the Grand Central Market, excellent cuisine in the dining room, and free art events at Vanderbilt Hall. For nearly a century, the brightest lights, the loudest music, the longest parties and all the star power you could ask for came from a street called Broadway. At one point, not long ago, this area was a paradise for decay. Sordid sex shops and peep shows infested the area until a successful revitalization effort and the arrival of tenants like David Letterman paved the way for a new Times Square.
Now, it's one of the most influential theater districts in the world. Times Square is also home to the biggest New Year's Eve celebration in the country. Half a million people come to the square every year to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the New Year, in the style of the New York party. Eight hundred acres of green space in midtown Manhattan seem like a fable.
However, that's exactly what Central Park is, so you'll find joggers, nature lovers, and cyclists enjoying their supply of greenery every day. In winter, visitors can put on their skates for a ride at Wollman Rink, while summer favorites include the Central Park Zoo and the Friedsam Memorial Carousel. For quieter days, sunbathe with the bathers at Sheep Meadow or Great Lawn, and if you stay after the sun goes down, you can enjoy one of the many live performances offered here, including some by the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. There's no better place in the city to escape the city, making Central Park an oasis amidst the chaos of the suburbs.
Whether you're a long-time resident in New York City or visiting for the first time, the Bronx Zoo is a great place to learn about wildlife and see some of your favorite animals up close. Hamilton was born and raised in the West Indies and arrived in New York at age 17 to attend Columbia University. New York is famous for being a paradise for artists and art lovers alike, and Chelsea is the beating heart of the New York art scene. Hamilton Grange National Monument, also known as The Grange or The Hamilton Grange Mansion or simply The Grange, is one of the best things to do for free in New York City, especially for history lovers, and should be added to any New York City itinerary.
However, sometimes visiting New York can be expensive, but if you know where to look, you can find dozens of amazing free things to do and enjoy all over the city. You'll feel like you've been driving for hours out of town, and at the same time, you'll be just a short subway ride away from New York's busiest attractions. Walt Whitman fans can enjoy following in his footsteps, as Green-Wood Cemetery was one of his favorite places to frequent and people-watch, which inspired his writing about life in New York City. A trip to Prospect Park, Brooklyn's “Central Park”, is undoubtedly one of the best things to do for free in New York City.
One of the secrets to surviving in New York is learning how to have fun with the least amount of money possible, because this city is usually even more expensive than you imagine. The Staten Island ferry is one of New York City's favorite open secrets because it's the best time without spending a single dollar. If you visit the Bronx, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the New York Botanical Garden. This former military base, located on an island in New York Harbor, has been transformed into one of the best urban green spaces the city has to offer, accompanied by some of the best unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
The Bronx Museum of Art is a cultural gem for the South Bronx community, and well worth a visit for visitors from anywhere in New York City. .