Free Things to Do in New York City

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Weekly Activities and Events Calendar

There are tons of free things to do in New York all day, every day! Tours, attractions, museums, events, shows, sports, movies and more. Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, lazy…you name it!

So whether you want free Museums, neighborhood tours, a moonlight bike ride in Central Park, to ride the Staten Island Ferry, walk the High Line or Brooklyn Bridge, we have you covered with 100s of free things to do in NYC.

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Free Things to do on Monday in NYC

  • Museum at Eldridge Street – 10-5pm
  • Union Square Greenmarket – 8am-6pm
  • New York Public Library – Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • Federal Reserve of Bank of NY Museum and Gold Tour – Mon-Fri, 1pm & 2pm. Very difficult to get reservations, but worth a try!
  • Free Comedy Show – Giggle Pit Comedy @ Klimat Lounge, 77 E. 7th St. 6-8pm (FREE w/1-drink minimum)

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Free Things to Do in New York City Tuesday

  • 9-11 Memorial Museum – 5-8pm free admission with reservation
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Morgan Library & Museum, McKim rooms (Mr. Morgan’s Library, Study, Rotunda, and Librarian’s Office), 3-5pm
  • Wave Hill, all or 9am to 12pm, depending on time of year
  • New York Public Library – Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • Federal Reserve of Bank of NY Museum and Gold Tour – Mon-Fri, 1pm & 2pm. Very difficult to get reservations, but worth a try!
  • Paragon Run Club– join Paragon for a run every Tuesday at 6:30pm; www.paragonsports.com

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Free Things to do on Wednesday

  • Union Square Greenmarket – 8am-6pm
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage – 4 to 8pm
  • Bronx Zoo, pay-what-you-wish, all proceeds support their animal care work
  • NY Botanical Garden
  • New York Public Library – Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • Federal Reserve of Bank of NY Museum and Gold Tour – Mon-Fri, 1pm & 2pm. Very difficult to get reservations, but worth a try!

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Free Things to do on Thursday in NYC

  • Museum of Arts and Design (formerly American Craft Museum), 6-9 pm
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts, 4-6pm
  • New Museum of Contemporary Art, 7-9pm
  • New York Public Library – Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • Federal Reserve of Bank of NY Museum and Gold Tour – Mon-Fri, 1pm & 2pm. Very difficult to get reservations, but worth a try!

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Free Things to do on Friday in NYC

  • New York Public Library – free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • Grand Central Terminal – free 1.5 – 2 hour walking tour, 12:30 pm in the sculpture court at 120 Park Avenue, located at the southwest corner of East 42nd Street and Park Avenue directly across from Grand Central Terminal.
  • MoMA, Uniqlo Free Fridays, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • International Center for Photography (ICP), 5-8pm
  • Morgan Library & Museum, McKim rooms, 7 to 9pm
  • New-York Historical Society – Pay-what-you-wish 6 to 8 pm
  • Whitney Museum of American Art – Pay-what-you-wish 7 to 10 pm
  • Union Square Greenmarket – 8am-6pm
  • Central Park Moonlight Bike Ride – 10pm, first friday of every month.
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan – 5-8 pm free admission, 1st Friday of every month
  • Federal Reserve of Bank of NY Museum and Gold Tour – Mon-Fri, 1pm & 2pm. Very difficult to get reservations, but worth a try!

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Free Things to do on Saturday in NYC

  • Greenwich Village Free Walking Tour – 11:30 a.m. (June – September)
  • Union Square Greenmarket – 8am-6pm
  • Union Square Free Walking Tour – 2pm
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 10am-noon
  • Guggenheim Museum, 5:45-7:45 pm
  • Jewish Museum, 11:00 am – 5:45 pm
  • NY Botanical Garden – 9am – 10 am
  • Wave Hill, 9am to 12pm
  • New York Public Library – Free one-hour tours of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (42nd St & 5th Ave) 11am & 2pm, Monday – Saturday.
  • MoMA – A Closer Look for Kids – Saturdays and Sundays, 10:20–11:30 a.m. Engage in lively discussions and fun activities while looking closely at modern masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary art. A new theme is introduced each month.
  • Beach Volleyball – 11am-3pm, Tribeca (May-Sept)

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Free Things to do on Sunday in NYC

  • Lower East Side Free Walking Tour – 11 a.m. (April – December)
  • Frick Collection, 11:00-1:00 pm
  • Morgan Library & Museum, McKim rooms, 4 to 6 pm
  • New York Hall of Science – 10 am to 11am
  • MoMA – A Closer Look for Kids – Saturdays and Sundays, 10:20–11:30 a.m. Engage in lively discussions and fun activities while looking closely at modern masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary art. A new theme is introduced each month.

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Free Things to do Every Day in NYC

There are plenty of free things to do every day in NYC, including some of our most popular attractions.

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NYC Insider Free Event Picks by Month

January Free NYC Events – Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Kids’ Night on Broadway (buy one get one free), Broadway Week (buy one get one free)

February Free NYC Events – Chinese New Year Parade & Festival, Top of the Rock Winter Starlight Music Series (free with ticket purchase), Broadway Week (buy one get one free)

Free Things to Do in New York in Summer – Whether you want free tennis, an outdoor concert, a movie under the stars or free opera outdoors in the park, we have you covered with over 100 FREE things to do in NYC in summer.

June Free NYC Events – Annual Museum Mile Festival, Shakespeare in the Park, Philharmonic in the Park, Taste of Times Square, Pride Week, Midsummer Night Swing (watching is free), Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series, Bryant Park Film Festival, River to River Festival, Intrepid Museum Summer Movie Series, Bryant Park Film Festival

July Free NYC Events – July 4th Fireworks, Shakespeare in the Park, Midsummer Night Swing, Met Museum Roof Martini Bar, FREE Broadway (and Off Broadway) in Bryant Park, Riverflicks Movies in Hudson River Park, Free Fitness in New York City, Lincoln Center Festival

August Free NYC Events – U.S. Tennis Open Qualifying Rounds, Central Park Film Festival, Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival, Met Museum Roof Martini Bar, Shakespeare in the Park, Bryant Park Film Festival

September Free NYC Events – U.S. Tennis Open Free Day, Feast of San Gennaro, Broadway Week (buy one get one free), Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, African American Day Parade

October Free NYC Events – Columbus Day Parade, Annual ‘Open House’

November Free NYC Events – Ice Skating at Bryant Park, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Watching the New York City Marathon, Holiday Window Displays, Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square

December Free NYC Events – Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Ice Skating and Christmas Tree at Bryant Park, Guggenheim Holiday Concert, Holiday Window Displays

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NYC Museums Free Days Calendar

NYC Museums Free Days Calendar

Most New York City Museums are non-profit organizations. Their goal is to make art and culture affordable to everyone. As non-profits, they ask for a “suggested donation” or contribution to access the museum, rather than an admission price. Know the difference and the best times to visit all NYC Museums at NYC Museums and on our NYC Museums and Tours cheat sheet in the NYC Print Guide and free Mini Guide.

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NYC Hotels with Free Bicycles

NYC Hotels with Free Bicycles

Don’t miss out on your choice of NYC Hotels with Free Bicycles. If had to pick my FAVORITE way to explore NYC, it would be on bicycle! Just ask anyone who has visited me, I take them all around on bike. The views and hidden nooks of NYC you can see along our greenways are second to none. So why not get yourself a fabulous hotel that offers free bikes to explore our amazing city?

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NYC Insider Searchable Events Calendar

NYC Insider Searchable Events Calendar

For even more FREE things to do in NYC, check out our NYC Events Calendar, searchable by category and date.

We welcome all NYers who submit their concerts, art exhibits, shows, plays, festivals, fairs, fashion events and more!

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Visiting New York on a Budget

Visiting New York on a Budget

If you are visiting New York on a budget, or even just looking to get the best "bang for your buck," without compromising quality, NYC Insider Guide has 1000s of ways to save BIG in NYC. Here’s a round up of all our top posts on discounts, coupons, cheap, free, half price and many more ways to save on things to do in NYC.

Read More: Visiting New York on a Budget

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