Friday, July 19, 2024

Things to Do in New York City on a Budget

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10+ Things to Do in New York City on a Budget

Heading to New York for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’re working on a budget. But don’t worry: there’s plenty of things you can do and see in the city without breaking the bank. Here’s 10+ activities and sights to check out without spending a fortune.

Free Month-long Activities

  1. SummerStage – Every summer, the Central Park Conservancy hosts outdoor music and theater performances from some of the best and most diverse acts in the city. Check out SummerStage’s various free and “pay what you can” performances for some amazing experiences.

  2. Shakespeare in the Park – This annual performing arts festival produces beautiful renditions of classic family plays—like Hamlet and The Tempest— for free (yes, free!) in Central Park. Free tickets are available daily, no strings attached.

  3. MoMA PS1 – This art museum and performance space in Long Island City is free to the public all the time on Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm; on a random Tuesday of the month; and on the first Friday of each month, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Free But Limited-Time Activities

  1. Broadway Open House – Are you itching to see a Broadway show but don’t want to break the bank? Then this open house is the way to go. It’s a selection of Broadway shows, often including classics like Hamilton and Wicked, which run tickets for as low as $40.

  2. Bryant Park Movies – Every Monday during summer, the park screens classic films and modern blockbusters for free in its inviting lawn space before fireworks let them off for the night.

  3. DUMBO Free Movie Series – Located at Brooklyn’s waterfront, this free-movie series runs every Thursday from July to August.

  4. Lincoln Center Out of Doors – This free, three-week performing arts festival usually starts in late July to early August during summer. They often show outdoor plays, movies, and plenty of music acts, with free tickets to the first night performance for different summer shows.

Low-Cost Attractions

  1. High Line – This elevated-park-turned-modern-public-space was built on an old elevated railway line. The cost of admission is di minimis: it’s totally free and open to the public.

  2. Brooklyn Bridge Park – This park is located by the East River, with breathtaking views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. It hosts a range of art and entertainment such as BAM/PFA’s Film Festival as well as plenty of free activities for families.

  3. Brooklyn Botanic Garden– Escape the busyness of urban life in this respite of well-manicured gardens and lush green grounds. Admission is free on weekdays—although you’ll have to pay a nominal fee if you visit on a weekend.

  4. Bronx Zoo – This award-winning zoo makes for a great option if you have animal-loving kids in tow! The admission fee is significantly lower if you don’t plan on taking special exhibits into consideration.

  5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art– walk through its famed European painting galleries and hallowed Egyptian art collections as well as galleries devoted to American and modern art, musical instruments, and more. Don’t forget to take advantage of their pay-what-you-wish admission policy!

  6. Times Square – One of the most visited places in the Big Apple, Times Square is free and always buzzing with people from all over the world.

  7. New York Public Library – Let your inner bookworm go wild in this iconic library. Free guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about its extensive collections.

The Big Apple has all sorts of activities and attractions that can be enjoyed on a budget. Whether you’re into Broadway or want to explore the richness of New York’s art and cultural scene, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences that won’t leave your wallet withered. Have fun!

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