10 Free Things to Do in NYC

10 Free Things to Do in NYC

NYC is the greatest city in the world, but holy cow can it be expensive. There’s no reason to panic, though, because there are still hundreds of free things to do here, too. We’ve rounded up the 10 Free Things to Do in NYC! Lucky for you, you don’t have to scour the web to put together an inexpensive NYC itinerary.

1. City Hall
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-City Hall

Home to New York City’s government since 1812, City Hall tours take in its cupola-topped marble hall, the governor’s room as well as the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s coffin lay in state briefly in 1865. Tours must be reserved in advance. City Hall Park, facing the Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan.

2. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum
FIT Museum

It’s always Fashion Week in the FIT Museum, which features rotating exhibits by students and a surprisingly interesting and detailed collection of the country’s first gallery of fashion, picked from a collection of 50,000 garments dating from the 18th century to present. Seventh Ave & 27th St, Garment District, Midtown West.

3. Forbes Gallery
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Forbes Gallery

The lobby galleries of Forbes magazine have some various curios from the late Malcolm Forbes’ collection, most notably early versions of Monopoly boards. (Or watch our tour of Monopoly sites around the properties’ namesakes at Atlantic City, New Jersey.) 62 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Greenwich Village.

4. Federal Reserve Bank
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Federal Reserve Bank

Registration often needs to be completed 30 days in advance, but it’s worth it. With an hour’s visit, you’ll get to travel five stories beneath the bank to sneak a peek at the gold reserves—the largest in the world, with more than 7,000 tons of gold. There are also exhibits on counterfeit currency as well as a serious coin collection of the American Numismatic Society. The Federal Reserve Bank is located at 33 Liberty St, Lower Manhattan.

5. Central Park
Central Park

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to this 843-acre public park. Central Park offers plenty for visitors to see, from the Shakespeare Garden to Strawberry Fields, a tribute to John Lennon. As you stroll through the forest terrain, keep an eye out for the iconic Alice in Wonderland and Balto statues.

6. Brooklyn Bridge
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Brooklyn Bridge

Once part of the eight wonders of the world, the bridge gives the more than 4,000 pedestrians who cross it each day a stunning view of the city’s skyline and waterfront. The just-over-one-mile walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn gives you a chance to spot the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the World Trade Center and much more.

7. Kayaking on Hudson River
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Hudson River

From May through October, you can take a trip down the Hudson River on one of The Downtown Boathouse’s free kayaks on weekends and select days throughout the week. With all the instructions and safety equipment included, it’s easy to take advantage of this aquatic activity, held at Pier 26, just north of Battery Park City. If you’re interested in learning more, The Downtown Boathouse offers free paddling and safety classes as well.

8. Japan Society
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Japan Society

The films and lectures usually involve a ticket, but the gallery exhibits at the Japan Society (focusing on Japanese art) are free from 6-9pm Fridays. 333 E 47 St, between First & Second Aves, Midtown East.

9. Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library

The largest collection of Spanish art outside Spain fills the ornate Beaux Arts space of the Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library on the serene Audubon Terrace in far north Manhattan. Broadway & 155th St, Washington Heights.

10. Roosevelt Island Tram
10 Free Things to Do in NYC-Roosevelt Island Tram

You only need to bring your MetroCard (which you’ve already paid for if you have a multiday pass) to hop aboard the Roosevelt Island Tram for a ride. The tram system opened in 1976 and can carry 125 people at once across the East River. You’ll reach a peak height of 250 feet on your journey, which only lasts about three minutes, despite traveling 3,140 feet. You can catch the tram at the Manhattan station at 2nd Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets, and you can’t beat the view.

Let’s face it, New York City is expensive. With the average price for a night in a city hotel hovering around $250, it can be hard not to break the bank when you’re visiting.

But we did tried to help you yesterday by discovering the 5 Affordable Lodgings in New York City. Today we just saved you a lot too. We hope these articles helped.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to do all these 10 Free Things to Do in NYC, make sure to do your research first; also try looking to book your flights using online travel agencies as they tend to, on average, reduce airfare costs by about 43%, a few good ones being Flighthub.com, Travelocity.com, JustFly.com or Expedia.com.


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