Many people say they love to visit NYC but it isn’t in their budget. I get it; it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But it might surprise you to learn that there are many events, tourist attractions and things to do here that are free, or pay what you wish. Most people already know the secret that many museums in the Big Apple have suggested donation rates or special days that are pay-what-you-wish (usually Fridays), but you might not realize just how many things to do in NY offer the same.

You might need to do a bit of digging or look on their events or calendar pages, and sometimes the list for each year comes our late spring or early summer, so keep checking back (or just call them) for times and dates.

If you’re looking for the most romantic things to do, click here. For more adventurous souls, click here. For the scandalous list, click here.

Check out the ultimate list of free/ almost free places to go, concerts, performances, festivals, events, and things to do in NYC.



African Burial Ground Site
American Folk Art Museum
American Museum of Natural History
Annual Thompkins Sq. Park Halloween Pet Costume Contest
Asia Society
BAM Dance Africa Festival
BRIC Free Concerts and Events
BRIC House
Bierkraft Brewery Tour
Bronx Museum of the Arts
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Brewery Tours
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum First Saturday Party
Bryant Park Free Ice Skating
Bryant Park HBO Outdoor Summer Free Movies
Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival Concert Series
Central Park Rollerskating & Dance
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
City Hall Lunchtime Tours
Cloisters Museum and Garden
Cloisters Annual Medieval Faire
Coney Island Boardwalk Parties
Coney Island Free Outdoor Films
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Coney Island Luna Park Deno’s Pet Costume Contest
Cooper-Hewitt  Smithsonian Design Museum
El Museo del Barrio
Federal Hall National Memorial
Foraging Walk
Franklin Electric Free Comedy Show
French Film Festival Films on the Green
Frick Collection
General Grant National Memorial
Godwin-Ternbach Museum
Guggenheim Museum
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Hamilton Grange
Hare Krishna Festival Washington Sq. Park
Historic Richmond Town
International African Arts Festival
International Center for Photography
Irish Hunger Memorial
Japan Society
Jazz St. Peter’s Church
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jewish Museum
Kayaking on Hudson
Kayaking under Brooklyn Bridge
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Lincoln Center
Martin Luther King Jr Concert Series
LGBT Center
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Movies Under the Stars
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Museum of American Finance
Museum of Arts and Design
Museum of Chinese in America
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Museum of the Moving Image
Neighborhood Tours with Free Tours by Foot
New Museum
New York Aquarium
New York Hall of Science
New York Historical Society
Prospect Park Drum Circle
Queens Botanical Gardens
Queens County Farm Museum
Queens Museum of Art
Rowing on Hudson
Rubin Museum of Art
Saturday Night Live
Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center
Shakespeare in the Park
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens
Socrates Sculpture Park
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Soul Summit Dancing in the Park
Southstreet Seaport Museum
Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island Museum
Staten Island Zoo
Studio Museum in Harlem
Summerstage Concerts
Thunderbirds Annual PowWow
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
The Federal Reserve Bank
The Harbor Defense Museum
The Hispanic Society of America
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Museum of Eldridge Street Synagogue
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
The National Museum of the American Indian
The National September 11th Museum
The New York Public Library Free Events
The New York Transit Museum
The Noguchi Museum
The Pace Gallery
The Staten Island Ferry
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
View of Manhattan and Rooftop Lounge Gansevoort Hotel
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Water Taxi IKEA Shuttle Ferry
Waterfront Museum
West Indian Day Parade
Whitney Museum of American Art

Habana Outpost Free Outdoor Movie Night

I know there are plenty of things we missed. If you know of any amazing things to do, see or experience in NYC that are free, please leave a comment below and share it with us. Thanks!






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