Curated all for you, a list of fun & free things to do in NYC!

The world economy is getting shattered thanks to the coronavirus, and if moving to NYC sounds expensive to you we have a list, of the best fun and free things to do in NYC, for you!

New York City (NYC) is the largest and most influential city in USA. It is a very dense and diverse city where people of different ethnicities and religions live together. New York is commercially driven, and to many people, it is the most attractive urban sector of USA. NYC is very a expensive place to live in, but if you ask “what to do for free in NYC” or “What can one do in New York for free” then we have a number of free things for one to do in NYC.

Keep on reading to find some of the best free and cheap things to do in NYC, and also ones that are not cheap but are certainly worth the money.

Free Museums and Monuments to visit in NYC:

1. African Burial Ground National Monument

The African Burial Ground National Monument is an archaeological site located in lower Manhattan. It is a graveyard in which around 20,000 Africans were buried from 1690-1794. The monument can be visited for free except, Sundays and Mondays.

NYC - Civic Center: African Burial Ground National Monument

2. 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Museum was built in tribute to the victims of 9/11 attack. Outside the 9/11 museum, there is a 9/11 memorial, which is exactly at the place where the Twin Towers of World Trade Center were once located. The memorial is always free and the museum is free from 5pm-8pm on every Tuesday. However, the museum is always free for the families of victims of 9/11 attack, first responders and the recovery workers.

9/11 Memorial - free things to do in nyc

3. Bronx Museum of Arts

The Bronx Museum of Arts (BxMA) is located in Bronx. It focuses on the 20th century works by American Artists, but also has exhibited works from multiple other areas of world. The museum is always free to enter but is closed these days because of COVID-19, and is scheduled to be reopened on September 9.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City

Free Art Galleries:

1. Japan Society Gallery

The Japan Society gallery was established in 1971. It focuses on displaying Japanese art from Buddhism scriptures to the works of 21st century. The art gallery is free Fridays 6 pm to 9 pm.

Image Credits: Jim Henderson via Wikimedia

2. Brooklyn Central Library Galleries

Located next to Prospect Park, there are multiple galleries along the Brooklyn central library. These galleries exhibit arts of local as well as International artists. The galleries and Library are always free for anyone that lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in the New York State.

The Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library - free things to do in nyc

3. Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park is an internationally acclaimed outdoor museum that supports local artists. The park is open from 9 am till the sunset and is always free. The Socrates Sculpture park is considered to be an ideal location for picnics. A ferry can be taken along the river after visiting the park for some more recreation too.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Free Bars and Restaurants:

1. Ryan Maguire’s Restaurant & Bar

Ryan Maguire’s Restaurant & Bar is an Irish pub in Manhattan. The pub offers free buffet Monday to Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The buffet food comes with different varieties. Apart from the free buffet there other menus are usually considered expensive but worth the price.

Texas Aggie Ring’s Wild Christmas Eve - free things to do in nyc

2. Crocodile Lounge

Free drink with a pizza, it’s a common deal but at crocodile lounge, you get a free pizza with every drink you buy. There is a large variety of beers, too, which are relatively inexpensive. There are happy hours every day from 12 to 7 pm that provide a number of other discounted deals.

Crocodile Lounge

3. Alligator Lounge

Like the crocodile lounge in Manhattan, Alligator lounge in Brooklyn also gives a free pizza with every drink you buy. The bar and restaurant is relatively cheaper than others in the city. Moreover, there are several combo deals too.

Alligator Lounge - Brooklyn

4. Matt Torrey’s

Matt Torrey’s is a sort of sleek East Williamsburg sports bar. On Saturdays and Sundays, Matt Torrey’s offer free spread of bagels and all the fixings with 5$ bloody mary.

Matt Torrey's - free things to do in nyc

The NYC Central Park

The NYC Central Park is located in Manhattan, in the centre of New York City. The park covers about 840 acres of land and is one of the biggest parks in city.

There are a number of places to see in NYC Central Park. Five of the best top places to visit in NYC central park are:

1. Central Park Zoo:

The Central Park Zoo is not absolutely free but is one of the most famous and least expnsive cheap things to do in NYC central park.  The ticket price for adults is 12$ without the 4D theater, and 18$ (16.20 online) with 4D. Central park zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the USA. The zoo is open from 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, but the tickets’ sale closes at 04:30 pm. The Zoo is home to about 1487 animals from 163 different species (as per wildlife conservation society’s census held in 2016).

Central Park Zoo Trellis

2. Cleopatra’s Needle:

Cleopatra’s needle is the oldest artifact present in New York City which dates back to 1460 BC (around 3500 years ago). Cleopatra’s needle was made in Egypt 3500 years ago for the Pharaoh Thotmes III. A similar obelisk is present in Paris as well as London. Cleopatra’s needle was brought to the US in early 1880s. The needle took 32 horses hitched in pairs to bring it from the banks of the East River to Central Park.

Cleopatra’s Needle - free things to do in nyc

3. The Ravine:

The Ravine is a 40-acre land mass of pure natural beauty. Several meandering walking paths take visitors through this forest retreat, lustrous with thick treetops and threaded with a stream called the Loch that pools and cascades in small waterfalls. It is an ideal place to take pictures for your Instagram.

The best stuff on earth

4. Alice in Wonderland:

Alice in wonderland is a statue in NYC central park, which is an ideal location for photographers to showcase their talent. It has been a fixture of Central Park’s storybook landscape since 1959. Multiple generations of little ones have climbed upon this whimsical scene set in bronze, which depicts Alice and her friends at a tea party held by the Mad Hatter.

Alice in Wonderland - free things to do in nyc

5. The Harlem Meer:

The Harlem Meer is named after the Dutch word for lake; the Meer. The Meer is a large body of water located north of Conservatory Garden and east of the North Woods. Various types of trees can be found along its banks, including the ginkgo, cypress, black locust, oak, and beech trees. It is the water body in the central park.

Harlem Meer

Other Free Places to visit in NYC

Gracie Mansion

Archibald Gracie Mansion commonly known as Gracie Mansion is the official residence of the Mayor of New York City. It is located in the Carl Schurz Park, at East End Avenue and 88th Street in the Yorkville, neighborhood of Manhattan. The Archibald Gracie mansion is a 2 story building with five bedrooms. It was built by a Scottish merchant named Archibald Gracie in 1799. A free tour is offered for the Gracie mansion every Monday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 5:00 pm. The tour is about an hour long and free, but reservation should be made in advance from here.

Gracie Mansion_Ed Reed, Office of the Mayor - free things to do in nyc

The Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island, located between Queens and Manhattan is one of the best places to visit in New York City. Visiting The Roosevelt Island is one of the most fun things to do in New York City. Most suitable ways to reach the island is by using the tram or the F train subway, which costs 2 dollars and 75 cents each but could also be reached by walking the bridge, which makes the visit into one of most enjoyable free things to do in NYC. The tram of Roosevelt Island was built in 1976, and is the first commuter aerial tramway of North America. In 1880s, the Roosevelt Island was used as a prison but today it is a residential area and the lower sides of Island are parks. The best thing about the Roosevelt Island is the perfect view of the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island Tram

The Coney Island

Visiting the Coney Island is not only one of the most fun things to do in Brooklyn or NYC, but also in the whole of United States. A big number of small walls in the island are covered with the Wall graffiti, which makes them picture-perfect spots for instagram models. The original franchise of Nathan’s hot dog is also present in the Coney Island. Coney Island Luna Park, Coney Island Boardwalk and Coney Island beach are also the places to visit in the Coney Island. Coney Island is not one of the free things to do in New York City or even one of the cheap things. The beach is completely free to go while Nathan’s hot dog is relatively expensive which makes sense as it is the original of a hot dog restaurant famous all over the United States.

Coney Island - free things to do in nyc

The Empire State Building

Empire State building is one of the top most New York tourist attractions, it’s construction completed in 1931, and then this 381 m high (443 to the tip) building remained as world’s tallest building for first 40 years.  This 102 story building is one of the tallest buildings in NYC today, and everyone can go there up to the 86th floor after buying the ticket that costs $38 for adults, $32 for children and $36 for senior citizens. For going to the 102nd floor, you need to pay 20$ more. The ticket is not cheap, and as the ticket only lets you visit the building and it’ll be much more expensive to buy anything, visit to this building is not cheap by anyway, but it’s one of the top most thrilling things to do in Manhattan, and it is one of the top attractions of NYC. From top of the building you can see a most of the city. Visiting the top of building at daytime gives an amazing view of the endless number of attractions too but the perfect view of one of the world’s most developed cities, completely lit up at night makes night visit at the building into one of the best adrenaline rushing top things to do in NYC at night.

Empire State Building at Dusk

That’s all for today’s list which will cover your whole trip with ease. Have a fun time travelling and exploring!

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