New York City — it’s a place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. The Big Apple is often considered the unofficial capital of our country, and for good reason; it’s a major hub for art, theater, and education. Anyone can enjoy what New York has to offer, but it might seem impossible if you’re on a tight budget! Never fear; even if you’ve splurged a bit on flights to New York, there’s still plenty of free stuff you can enjoy in this amazing city.
Visiting this huge 80-acre park is a no-brainer for anyone visiting NYC, but there’s more to Central Park then just strolling around. The Central Park Conservancy offers tons of tours featuring different areas of the park, and a lot of the walking tours are free! There are also lots of free events offered here on a regular basis, from yoga in the park to lawn bowling to bird watching. If you love the outdoors and want to see some classic New York features, this should be your first stop.
African Burial Grounds
Something different to see in New York City is the African Burial Grounds, located on Broadway. This little piece of history is a sacred place, where workers discovered the bodies of enslaved Africans in the early 90s. Now, the spot is a beautiful memorial to these lives lost. There are some beautiful water features too, so go when the weather is nice. Be prepared to go through a lot of security to get into the area — much like you would have experienced in the airport before hopping on flights to New York!
Love a good beer? Brooklyn Brewery offers free tours every weekend, letting you see how the beer is made and learn a bit about the history of the brewery. The free tours don’t include tasting (a total bummer, we know), but you can easily add ‘beer tokens’ to your tour if you have some extra funds. Remember that you’ll need ID showing you are 21 or older, and children are only allowed in the company of their parent or guardian! PS – they won’t be allowed any beer.
Fashion Institute of Technology Museum
Looking to learn about something a little different? New York’s esteemed Fashion Institute of Technology has a free museum on different aspects of fashion, including a vast collection of historical textiles, clothing, and accessories. In addition to these pieces from the 18th century, they also feature modern creations from their students and famous designers. Their exhibits rotate, so check and see if there’s something new!
Want to explore something that’s not quite in the heart of the city? Take the free ferry to Governor’s Island, a 172-acre paradise features bike trails, mini-golf, and plenty of areas for picnics. There are also some important landmarks, like the military site ‘Admiral’s House’. If you’re feeling brave, you can also explore Nolan Park – an abandoned town.
Socrates Sculpture Park
New York City obviously has tons of art galleries and museums to visit, but for a more unique (and free) experience, consider visiting Socrates Sculpture Park. This park was once part of a city dump, but artist Mark di Suvero turned trash into beautiful art. Check it out for interesting sculptures, free activities such as yoga or light shows, and gorgeous views of the river. Exhibits change every few months, so check it out even if you’ve been before!
If all this great free stuff in the Big Apple looks good to you, then you need to start browsing cheap flights to New York right away!
What do you think of our list? Did we include your favorite free activity? If not, let us know in the comments!