Official New York Blog

Submitted by Lizz Riggs on tagged in:

Yes, NYC discounts and deals are nice, but free is even better, right? 

We think so. And New York City is filled with free things to do on vacation so that you still feel like you're getting the full NYC Tourist experience, without paying the price. So many of the most popular NYC attractions are free to see. Of course many of them offer tours or cost money to get to the top of the building, and those things are well worth the money, but we know you want to save your money for the things that matter most to you and still see all the top New York destinations on your trip.

Luckily, you don't have to pay to see it all! Of course, we still suggest you should take at least one guided tour, eat in a least one trademark NYC restaurant and maybe even spoil yourself with a night in one of the famous New York City hotels, but for the rest of your trip, you might as well see the Big Apple for the perfect price and save your money for all of these things. And New York souvenirs. Let's face it, you know you'll need some souvenirs!

So no matter what your occasion for visiting New York City is, here are all our suggested things to do if you're here over the weekend, or during the week, here are a few of the best free things to do in New York City that you're not going to want to miss out on!

Free things to do in NYC For a Limited Time Only:

  • Flow.12 is on exhibit at the Randalls Island Park until November 1st. Sculptures and statues have been placed in the park, and there are even statutes with faces cut out for passerbys to pose and take a picture or two in.
  • Welling Court Mural Project: Located in Queens, drop by and see the newly beautified murals that over 60 painters contributed to when they decorated some of the street walls of New York City! This is a newly annual project that you can visit time and time again for something new to look at every time you're in NYC.
  • Charles Dickens: The Key to Character is an exhibit at the New York Public Library until Saturday January 26, 2013. View artifacts and examine the works of Charles Dickens and the effect they've had on pop culture.
  • American Museum of Natural History: Free the last hour (quarter to 5 until closing) - other times the price of admission is the "suggested" price of $19 - but like, if you suggest $0 for your price of admission, that's on you buddy (so add that to your list of free events if you will.)
  • Bronx Zoo: Every Wednesday you pick your own price, be it $1 or $100. (We don't suggest you choose the $100 option.)
  • MoMA Fridays: Get in for free (with everyone else in the city - literally, it's going to be packed) from 4-8pm every Friday.

 Free Things to do on a Date in New York City

  • Take her to the High Line: Stroll through the park, pack a picnic or have a photo shoot with the beautiful views of the Hudson River as your backdrop.
  • Take him on a brewery tour: You're going to have to pay if you want to actually drink the beer, but most breweries offer free tours, so if you have a favorite local beer, look into the possibility of a free tour. Brooklyn Brewery offers them, that's for sure.
  • Travel By Ferry: The ferry to Governor's Island is free, and so is the Staten Island Ferry, which goes over to the Statue of Liberty. Not to be confused with the ferry tours that you'll get a little more with, but of course have to pay for.

Free Touristy things to do in NYC

  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York: You have to make a reservation to take a tour about a week (or more) in advance, but it's pretty cool to see the inner workings of one of the 12 regional reserve banks that make up the American Central bank.
  • New York Public Library: This library is over 100 years old and is by far the most famous library in New York, maybe even America.
  • NYC Memorials: There are memorials all over New York City, including (but not limited to) Grant's Tomb, Hamilton Grange, the African Burial Ground, the Old Stone House, and more. There's plenty of history to explore.
  • Central Park, of course: Whether you're there for people watching, being active, taking a stroll or snapping some trendy pics, of course you're not an NYC Tourist if you don't take at least one trip to Central Park in your lifetime!
  • 9/11 Memorial: It's free to see this monumental NYC destination. 
  • Window Shopping: Don't feel confined to the windows, browsing inside the stores is free too! You'll definitely want to head inside Sake Fifth Avenue, FAO Schwartz and Macy's along your trip down Fifth Avenue! 
  • Grand Central Station: There is always tons of entertainment on the streets and in the subways to stop and enjoy, and musicians and singers are often hanging around Grand Central to make you feel all the more elegant as you discover all the hidden corners of this tourist destination. There's a free Grand Central Neighborhood Tour every Friday at noonish as well! 
  • Walk the Streets: New York is one of the most walkable cities there is, just make sure you know how to walk in NYC before you take to the streets yourself! Walk around in Rockefeller Center, Times Square, or take a free walking tour of Freenwich Village, the Lower East Side and more!

No cover at the club? We'll take it!

  • Glossy is New York City's Premier after-work girl-party! Every Wednesday from 7pm-midnight come to Studio XXI for an open vodka bar from 7-8pm and enjoy music and special guest DJs!
  • There's never a cover charge at the tiki bar Otto's Shrunken Head - but it's cash only, so don't expect that fat wallet you walked in with not to shrink if you're planning on boozing it up tonight! Ever night they have a different party going on!

Let us know what your favorite free things to do in New York City are by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and keep track of all the new ideas we have coming in and all the other tips we have for you!