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30 Things You Can Do in New York City for Free
New York City is expensive; however, there are many free activities, events and attractions all year round.
Here are 30 free things you can do if you visit NYC.
1. National Museum of the American Indian
Bowling Green, Manhattan
A part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere.
2. Staten Island Ferry
South Ferry, Manhattan
Without costing a penny, ride the ferry for 25 minutes from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island for incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline. The fare-free ferry runs everyday.
Statue of Liberty
3. New York Botanical Garden
Southern Boulevard, The Bronx
Visit one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world, as well as the largest in any city, for free all day Wednesday and from 9 - 10 am on Saturday.
4. City Hall
City Hall Park, Financial District, Manhattan
Visit one of the oldest continuously used City Halls in the nation that still houses its original govermental function with a public tour run by the city's Design Commission. No reservation is required for tours on Wednesday.
5. Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Wall Street, Manhattan
At the Federal Reserve, tours teach visitors about the role of the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve System in setting monetary policy and let New Yorkers explore the gold vault, 80 feet below Street level. Tours require a reservation of at least 30 days in advance.
6. The Coopers Union
Cooper Square, Manhattan
A historic NYC institution, Cooper Union, established in 1859, offers free lectures and book readings from well-know intellectuals and writers. Registration is usually required.
7. Saint Patrick Cathedral
Learn more about the famed cathedral's deep-rooted history in the city and explore its architectural wonders with free tours Monday through Friday beginning at 10am.
St. Patrick Cathedral
8. Brooklyn Night Bazaar
The massive club with four bars, features three levels of live music, stand up comedy, vendors, arcade games, and private karaoke lounges. Check out the Brooklyn Bazaar's schedule for free or super cheap nightly events.
9. Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Just one-third of a mile long, this promenade has been called one of the most romantic spots in Brooklyn. With sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan Skyline and iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the spot is priceless.And right next door, the Brooklyn Bridge offers a ton of free events daily.
10. Bootcamp at Bryant Park
Rain or shine, every Wednesday from 6:30am to 7:00am, join The Rise NYC, a community-driven pop-up fitness group, for thirty minute rotations of crunches, planks, burpees and mountain climbers.
Bryant Park New York
11. Onassis Cultural Center
Olympic Tower, Midtown, Manhattan
The cultural center promotes Greek culture through art exhibitions and events. Its operating hours vary by events, but the Olympic Tower Atrium remains open daily and admission is free.
12. Museum of Modern Art
Midtown West, Manhattan
At one of the world's preeminent modern art museums, admission is free every Friday from 4-8pm
13. BRIC House
Battery Park City, Manhattan
In memorial of those who died in the holocaust, the museum features more than 25,000 items related to Jewish history. Admission is free on Wednesday and Thursday from 4-8pm
14. Federal Hall National Memorial
Wall Street, Financial District, Manhattan
At this spot on Wall Street, George Washington took the oath of office and was the site of the first congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The memorial is open all year from Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm and admission is free.
Federal Hall National Memorial
15. Hamilton Grange
Free and open year-round, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial is the preserved relocated Federalist style home of Alexander Hamilton. Wednesdays - Sundays, 10am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm.
16. Gracie Mansion
On Mondays only, visitors can explore the "people's house," the official house of the mayor of New York. Free tours are offered at 10am, 11am and 5pm but require a reservation.
17. Castle Clinton
Wall Street, Financial District, Manhattan
As the country's first immigration station before Ellis Island, Castle Clinton welcomed more than 8 million people between 1855 and 1890. It also was formerly a beer garden, a theater, and home to the New York Aquarium. The national is free and open every day from 8am to 8pm.
18. Stroll Through Central Park
This quite escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets is everything you imagined it would be.
New York Central Park
19. Meatpacking Sweat Sessions
Hudson River Park, Manhattan
Get ready to sweat it out at Hudson River Park's 14th Street Park in free 45-minute classes every Tuesday night during the summer. Classes include dance cardio, boxing, pilates and more. Sign up online to reserve a spot.
If in need of a relaxing retreat, head to Shambhala for silent, public meditation sessions. Public sittings classes are available for drop-ins every Thursday 6pm-7pm, Friday 6pm-7pm and Sunday 9am-11am.
Once a pool supply outlet, Union Pool has multiple bars, oudoor space, and free shows every Monday, 10pm.
22. Gotham Writer's Workshop
Garment District, Manhattan
The Gotham Writer's Workshop is the largest adult - education club in the USA. The group provides a host of free classes and workshops for those interested in memoir writing, fiction, screening and everything in between, with no registration needed.
23. 9/11 Memorial
Located in a simple, spacious wide-open plaza in Lower Manhattan, this memorial to the lost lives of 9/11 is an essential feature of New York City. The memorial is free to visit.
24. Trinity Church
75 Broadway, Manhattan
The Trinity Church has been significant to New York City's history for over 300 years. In 1696, Governor Benjamin Fletcher approved the purchase of land in Lower Manhattan by the Church of England community for construction of a new church. The parish received its charter from King William III on May 6, 1697. Admission is free.
25. Chelsea Craft Brewing
Opened in 1995, can be credited for jumpstarting the city's brewery craze. Free tours are available Saturday 2 - 6pm, and include a free beer sample.
26. Astor Wine & Spirits
Greenwich Village, Manhattan
The spacious wine hub in the landmarked De Vine Press Building provides weekly free wine tastings. Check the schedule for specific wines and other events.
27. Ryan Maguire's Restaurant & Bar
Financial District, Manhattan
This classic Irish pub offers a free buffet from Monday - Friday, 5 - 7pm
28. Pete's Candy Store
Pete's Candy Store, which has always been a free venue, has booked many unknown and unsigned bands who later become famous. In addition to live music, enjoy weekly open-mic nights, trivia and poetry readings.
29. Times Square
Day or Night, is ideal for people - watching. Walk or Sit and watch the world go by.
Times Square, New York City
30. The High Line
Explore the High Line, an elevated freight rail line transformed into public park, for free everyday.
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