Who says NYC is a playground only for the rich? There are plenty of free events and activities to take part in all summer long, no matter your age or circumstance.
Below are 25 of our favorite things to do this summer that are perfect for the entire family.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY PARKS & ATTRACTIONS
1. Battery Park City, Manhattan
State-of-the-art playground, giant outdoor bouncy toys, majestic river views, a sculpture park with whimsical bronze creatures, a park-house that loans board games and sports equipment (balls, jump ropes, ping pong paddles), and a marina just a three-minute walk south. Doesn't get much better!
THEATRE, FILM, TELEVISION & CULTURE
2. Live-viewing of a daytime or late-night talk show
Good Morning America, Live with Kelly, The Chew, The View, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and so much more. Click here for more information for the very best live recordings in NYC, tons of which are FREE!
3. free summer movies on rooftops and in parks
One of the best ways to unwind with the family are NYC's free outdoor summer movie series, screening your favorite flicks at some of the city's most iconic locations, absolutely free. We've got you covered with all the info you need: here's a list of movies and here's a list of venues.
4. Animation Nights New York
A monthly screening of curated animated shorts with beer and wine for sale in Manhattan. For more information, click here.
FREE CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
5. QED's open mic
Free open mic nights featuring comedy, poetry, storytelling, music and more in Astoria, Queens. You can perform, too! Find out how.
6. Free yoga classes
Yoga to the People offers free classes at their St. Mark's' location and others. Mat rentals are available for a small fee. Namaste!
7. Franklin Park Reading Series
Listen to both established and amateur writers read at 8PM every second Monday of the month. Enter a free lottery to win some literary swag or take advantage of $4 draft beers during the event.
BONUS: Visit ClubFreeTime for a summer calendar of the 376 free (and almost free) workshops going on in NYC.
FREE MUSIC & CONCERTS
8. 'Erie fusion' of nostalgia
Arlene's Grocery, a downtown music venue, hosts a rock 'n' roll karaoke night, where attendees choose from a selection of hits to perform with a live band. You may want to leave the kids at home for this one... Check the Services feature in your Bixby app to see if you can grab a baby-sitter from one of our vetted partners!
9. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Enjoy weekly cuppings (that's coffee industry speak for tastings) in Stumptown’s training lab on Tuesdays at 10AM.
10. Chelsea Art Galleries
New showings at Chelsea Art Galleries are free to the public on Thursdays. Wine and cheese are free too! More info on gallery locations here.
11. Syndicated Bar * THEATER * KITCHEN
Free movie-trivia in Bushwick on Tuesday nights at 8PM. Winners get certificates to the movie theater... with additional chances to win free drinks throughout the night. A calendar of events can be found here!
12. Videology in Williamsburg
Movie trivia with free drinks for the winning team on Tuesdays at 8:30PM. More info is available on Videology's website.
13. FIT Museum in Chelsea
Free on Fridays from 4-8PM.
15. Museum of the Moving Image
Free on Fridays from 4-8PM.
16. Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Free on Thursdays from 3-5PM.
17. Frick Collection
Free the first Friday of the month from 6-9PM.
18. Jewish Museum
Free on Saturday, all day.
19. Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Free the first Friday of the month from 5-8PM.
20. Bronx Zoo
Free on Wednesdays, all day.
More: Visit NYC-Arts the complete guide.
21. Williamsburg & Astorian Brooklyn Brewery
Free tours of the facility every half hour on Saturdays and Sundays, and beer for only $5 a pint!
22. North River Lobster Co.
A floating lobster shack at Pier 81 that offers free rides along the Hudson River.
23. Staten Island Ferry
Free boat ride across New York Harbor and back, with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyscrapers & bridges of lower Manhattan.
24. Kazimiroff Trail
Pelham Bay Park's Kazimiroff Nature Trail gives hikers long and short self-guided paths.
25. Socrates Sculpture Park
This park in Queens contains seasonal exhibits of contemporary sculptors. A complimentary LIC Art Bus takes passengers between local art destinations, including The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter, and MoMA.
There's so much more to do in NYC this summer, but this list should keep you busy.
Have events, activities, or ideas that we missed? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be glad to add them!