Watch Your Favorite Musical Artists Live
If youve always dreamed of seeing big-name performers, such as Katy Perry, Adriana Grande, the Backstreet Boys, and more then you cant miss this free thing to do in NYC. At the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series, you can see your favorite performers completely for free. The only catch is that you need to wake up very early to do it. The series takes place in Central Park during the summer and each years new schedule is announced in the Spring .
Run Around Central Park Reservoir
No, were not joking! Running is romantic
During our first visit to Central Park we saw hundreds of couples running together and we had to get in on the action.
The entire park is great for runners, but one of the more popular spots is a 1.5 mile lap around the Jacqueline Kenny Onassis Reservoir around two thirds of the way up Central Park.
Heres what you need to know:
- Watch out for cyclists, other runners and dog walkers.
- If you time it right at the start of November, you might catch the famous New York Marathon.
Explore The National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
This Ocean Odyssey is a must-visit for lovers of aquatic life. The venue provides an aquatic adventure using modern technology complemented with animation.
During your stay, you will genuinely feel integrated into this underwater journey. Some of the highlights are sea whales, coral reefs, squids, and a 50-foot humpback whale.
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Visit Beautiful Botanical Gardens For Free
Though NYC is known as a concrete jungle there are still many beautiful botanical gardens here. The two I love the most are the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and New York Botanical Garden . You can get into both for free if you plan your schedule around their free days. I listed the free days here but please double check on their website before visiting because sometimes they change. Read my experience on visiting the NY Botanical Gardens here.
Free And Cheap Things To Do In Town Square
Ladies, gentlemen, and freebie lovers! Ready to know all the things to do in Town Square for Free? Town Square does not have to be expensive. There are many many things for free in Town Square.
Wander around the parks or be fascinated by some of the citys most famous museums additionally, you can visit free churches, view free street art and photograph classic Town Square icons. Whether youre looking for something historic or more contemporary, these are the top places to visit in Town Square for free!
We love extravagant pop-ups as much as the next person but if your bank account is feeling the pinch, Secret Town Square is here to lend a hand. Weve put together an all-singing, all-dancing roundup of free things to do in Town Square , and its a humdinger of a list .
Town Square has so much to offer, but its often difficult to find places that are not only interesting but suitable for budget travellers. However, there is a selection of free things to do in Town Square that you can explore.
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Top Tips For Visiting Nyc
- Book a hotel near a subway station to save time each morning and night.
- Choose a hotel in the right area for your travel style read our NYC hotels and neighborhoods guide.
- When budgeting for NYC, plan to spend more than usual, its easy to get carried away!
- If you are on a tight budget, research which days certain museums have free entry.
- Walk as much as possible across shorter distances to get more of a feel for the city.
- Use our map below to build up a picture of NYC geography.
- But also pin anything you find interesting on this list into your own google maps app.
- Plan as much of your trip as possible before arriving to save time when in NYC.
- Give yourself enough time, NYC is huge. Read our 4 days NYC itinerary.
- Book ahead of time for brunch, lunch and / or dinner if possible to save disappointment.
- Book specific time slots for the big attractions ahead of time so you get the times you want.
- Understand that top attractions are going to be busy.
- Visit New York City at Christmas and Winter for less crowds and hopefully snow!
Bryant Park Free Daily Activities
Another free thing to do in NYC that is actually worth doing would be Bryant Parks many free activities. Bryant Park is located on 42nd street between Times Square and the New York Public Library . Every day Bryant Park offers a variety of free activities, such as juggling lessons, ping pong, yoga classes, fencing, and much more. During the summer they also have free movie nights and even do free Broadway performances occasionally!
During the winter they have an adorable winter village with tons of shops, ice skating, and a winter lodge. Though ice skating is not free, it is a great experience none-the-less! If youre visiting NYC in winter, make sure you dress for it .
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See Standup Comedy At Carolines Comedy Club
From the time I first visited this comedy giant more than ten years ago to this day it has consistently served up the best, most interesting names in comedy and really good food. If you like stand-up comedy this really is the thing to do in Times Square.
The seating is very intimate so try to bring a group if you mind being seated in extremely close proximity to strangers. Food is a bit pricey, but all the items I’ve tried are surprisingly good. The chicken meals and the French fries are a must. As with establishments of this nature, there is a two-drink minimum once you enter the main area.
Visit The Times Square Church Or St Patricks Cathedral
If you are interested in religion, or you just enjoy the majesty of Gothic architecture then you should take the time to visit one of the well-known churches in Times Square. Times Square Church has regular services which are posted on their website and are free to attend to anyone who wishes to see a sermon, choir, or join a community prayer.
St. Patricks Cathedral is another unique feature of New York City, and it is less than a mile from Times Square, so if you would like to see this architectural masterpiece then you can visit for free! This classical Catholic church also hosts mass and other religious services for its attendees and members. These are wonderful options to visit for free if you want to experience the local religious communities and beautiful structures.
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Check Out The Line Friends Store
A series of animated characters whove rocketed to international fame in recent years, Line Friends is a South Korean-based company thats become one of the biggest names in modern pop culture.
At their recently-opened Times Square locale, you can get all your favorite characters in plush toy form, explore character-themed spaces, get to know the shows four founding characters: Cony, Brown, Moon, and James, and attend occasional events and promotions.
A must-visit for anyone traveling with kids in tow.
The New York Public Library
One of the main reading rooms inside the New York Public Library.
Believe it or not, the New York Public Library is one of those awesome free things to do in NYC that is supremely well located.
I mean, it sits adjacent to Bryant Park and is a convenient stop when visiting either Grand Central Terminal or Times Square.
And guarding the gorgeous entrance out front? Well, youll find two exceptionally tall and proud marble lions known as Patience and Fortitude.
However, the real magic happens once you step inside and discover an enormous reading room on the second floor that was built to accommodate more than 500 patrons.
Plus, the library contains a wealth of stunning and historically significant artifacts like the Declaration of Independence, the Gutenberg Bible, and the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals.
Heck, free tours of the building are even on offer at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday through Saturday and at 2:00 pm on Sundays, except in the summer.
So, what are you waiting for? See the best of what NYC has to offer. And all for free I might add, you money-saving rockstar you.
***PSSTnearby Bryant Park is another one of the many free things to do in NYC and has a ton of free activities for you to enjoy throughout the summer. They include things like juggling, ping pong, yoga classes, fencing, movie nights, and occasional Broadway performances.***
Address: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018
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Immerse Yourself In The Midnight Moment
A little-known feature of Times Square that continually impresses anyone who finds themselves in the right place at the right time, the Midnight Moment is a synchronized billboard art show that takes over Times Square every night in the three minutes leading up to midnight.
Having been active since 2012, surprisingly, Midnight Moment wields the coveted title of being both the worlds largest and longest-running digital art exhibition so why not check it out?
Eat Famous Cheesecake At Junior’s Restaurant
It needs not be said that this restaurant serves lots more than cheesecake, but to New Yorkers the name Juniors is synonymous with cheesecake. There was a time when both locals and visitors to the city had to head to Brooklyn for a slice of the rich cheesecake that has induced many to break diets and new years resolutions.
Now, with the opening of the Broadway District branch in the middle of Times Square, the worlds best cheesecake is closer to those in Manhattan and has proven to be one of the few things in Times Square that New Yorkers would even brave the tourist crowds for.
Cheesecake lovers get to choose from more than 15 varieties of cheesecake that includes red velvet and carrot cake cheesecake. There is even a sugar-free version for diabetics and happy birthday versions.
For those who need to eat a meal before dessert there are American classics like burgers and steaks, and a bar. Juniors is located at the corner of Broadway and 45th Streets in the middle of some of Times Square’s best shopping.
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Learn To Dance At Swing 46
Where jazz meets cocktails, Swing 46 is an awesome option for those looking to combine a bit of culture and movement with a hand-crafted drink.
Located on W 46th Street near 9th Avenue, just around the corner from Times Square proper, this speakeasy-style bar is inspired by old-school New York and brings you back in time through live music, rustic decor, a chic atmosphere, and free dancing lessons to boot!
If cocktails arent your thing, theres still a sizeable menu full of modern takes on traditional American fare, prepared using only the freshest ingredients.
Free Things To Do In Times Square
One could spend hours in Times Square shopping, people watching and being amazed by the billboards.
The ”crossroads of the world” as it is known, is jam-packed with free entertainers as well. See for yourself via their real-time webcam!
In 2016, the city decided to make things a little less chaotic in Times Square by designating certain areas for specific activities.
See their cheat sheet to see the zones.
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Take A Broadway For Beginners Walking Tour
If youre new to the city and all of the shows that it offers, youll want to sign up for the Broadway for Beginners walking tour with Broadway Up Close. On the tour, youll get to explore the history of Broadway and all the theaters that hold these spectacular shows.
Your guide will tell you how Broadway shows first come about and what it takes to put them on in the Big Apple. Youll even get to hear about some of the alleged ghosts that continue to haunt theaters today!
The great thing about this tour is the experienced guide. They are usually a local actor and have plenty of personal stories to share as well, giving you a rare inside look into the theater world like never before.
Still planning your trip to NYC? Use our guides for how to explore Central Park, where to stay in Manhattan, and the most famous art at the Met youll want to see.
See The City From The 86th Floor At The Empire State Building
If you really want to see the city, you have to see it from the Empire State Building. Head up to the 86th floor where there is an open-air observation deck that boasts 360-degree views of New York and more. Some days, if the weather permits, you can also see the surrounding areas, including getting peeks of Jersey and Delaware.
You wont be able to visit without purchasing a ticket first which can start at $44 per adult. So be sure to plan ahead before making your way over and get that ticket well in advance.
Address: 20 W 34th St, New York
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Visit The Bronx Museum Of Art
Another great family activity is to visit the Bronx Museum of Art, which is free to all visitors, any time. This museum is home to many different mediums of art such as painting, drawing, performance, and sculpture. This museum focuses on social constructs and contains many pieces that tell a story about injustices and the effects they have on certain populations. This is an eye-opening experience that the whole family can include themselves in to learn about the local culture and social issues overall in an artistic form. This museum also hosts live performance art, which is free with your registration to the event of your choice.
Walking Is Free In New York City
I never get tired of walking in New York City or, rather, I get tired, but not bored. Theres something new around every corner! Here are some ideas of great places to walk in the city:
Places to stroll: Central Park, of course! Walk around the Battery in Lower Manhattan, or South Street Seaport or the Hudson River Greenway or across the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge .
view of the Manhattan Bridge from underneath in a neighborhood called DUMBO: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
If youre in NYC in November or December, make sure to walk along Fifth Avenue to admire the ornate windows of the high-end shops. When I was a kid, a trip to the city to see the windows was a yearly ritual.
Rockefeller Center: Rockefeller Center was built in the 1930s and is certainly worth a look, especially if youre interested in the art and buildings of that period. Great people-watching too, especially at Christmastime. Between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, around 49th and 50th St, Midtown .
Figure above the entrance to Rockefeller Center
Art Deco: And speaking of Art Deco, even if you cant afford to take the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building , the art deco style of the lobby is definitely worth seeing, if you can talk the guards into letting you in.
the Empire State Building
High Line: Gansevoort Street to West 34th between 10th and 12th Avenues, Chelsea.
The Manhattan skyline as seen from Governors Island.Smallpox Hospital, opened in 1856 on Roosevelt Island.
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See An Iconic Nyc Play At Times Square’s Broadway District
Perhaps the biggest reason to visit Times Square is to see one of the worlds iconic plays. Long recognized as the epicenter of the worlds theater scene, Times Squares Broadway District is the only place to see the original plays that have been celebrated worldwide for decades.
Head to the Majestic Theater at 44th Street and 8th Avenue to see the exciting Phantom of the Opera that has been thrilling audiences for almost 30 years. For family fun, take the kids to see the emotional Lion King at the Minskoff Theater at the corner of Broadway Avenue and 45th Street.
Other Broadway favorites include Chicago and Wicked .
Not only is getting a caricature from a street artisit one of the most unique things to do in Times Square, it also makes for a great souvenir to remember your trip to New York City with!
Join Movie Nights At Bryant Park
A fun summer nightly activity in New York City are the movies at the park, hosted by Bryant Park. These showings begin around sunset anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30pm and movie nights are free with events being posted regularly on the Bryant Park website. Typically occurring on Monday and Tuesday nights, these movie nights are a great way to spend your evening while enjoying the company of the local community. Just remember you cannot bring pets, chairs, tables, or tarps to the Lawn, and it opens at 5pm, so you should definitely arrive early to get a good spot for the films.
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People Watch In Times Square
The Crossroads of the World is a must-see during a trip to the Big Apple. Named for The New York Times, whose One Times Square address was the newspapers headquarters from 1904 to 1913, Times Square is busting with attractions 24/7. Sit on the giant red staircase or pull up a seat in one of the pedestrian zones, the perfect perches for people watching. If you time your visit right 11:57 p.m. nightly to be exact you will be treated to Midnight Moment, an art display in which more than 15 screens simultaneously shut off their advertisements and display a coordinated work of digital art until the clock strikes midnight.
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