Friday, March 31, 2023

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Fun Things To Do In Nyc For Free

Free Kayak Rental At Manhattan Boathouse

Time Out shares fun things to do in NYC for free

This is a super fun way to get a unique experience on your New York trip. The Manhattan Boathouse offers free kayaking to anyone every day of the week, weather permitting.

The kayaks are distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis, so you may want to get there on the early side. However, to minimize wait times, each kayaker is given a 20-minute time limit to paddle the cove, if theres a line.

Not only is the service completely free of charge, but its also all-inclusive. Youll get a single or two-person kayak rental plus paddle, as well as a locker and lifejacket.

Its also a great activity for all ages and you dont need to be particularly athletic to enjoy paddling your kayak. Its just important that anyone participating knows how to swim in case the kayak tips over.

If youre looking to get a little exercise in while on your vacation, enjoy nature, or just do something off the beaten path, then taking advantage of the free kayaks at Pier 96 is a great option.

How To Get To New York

Now that you know the best things to do at night in NYC, lets cover some of the logistics of getting to the Big Apple! Since New York is a huge travel hub, there are quite a few ways to get to the city.

New York has 3 major airports to fly into. Newark Liberty Airport which is in New Jersey, Laguardia International Airport in Queens, and John F Kennedy International Airport .

My favorite airport to fly into would be JFK. However, many times you can find a cheaper flight coming in from Newark . You can check flights on Skyscanner.

All airports offer trains/shuttles that make it easy to get into the city. However, I think the most efficient way is to get an Uber/Lyft especially if you have a lot of bags.

If you live in the USA, there are also possibilities for you to take a bus or train into Manhattan.

Day 4 In New York Itinerary: Washington Square Park Soho Special Exhibits And Alternative New York Day Trips

We have made it to our 4th day in New York and at this point, you probably can see why this is the city that never sleeps. For day 4 on this itinerary, we will be exploring neighborhoods and possible day trips. Since this is your last day in New York City, I wanted to give you a lot of different options, so lets go!

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Explore The Chelsea Art Galleries

As you might have already guessed, New Yorkers love their art. So much that there is a whole area in the Chelsea Neighborhood dedicated to art galleries. Between 10th and 11th Ave from 19th to 26th street, you can find dozens of art galleries.

As a broken college student, one of our favorite things to do on Thursday nights in NYC was to visit the Chelsea art galleries that often offered drinks and small bites! So if youve been to New York countless times and looking for something new to do, consider this!

Hang Out In Washington Square Park

11 Fun Things to Do in New York for FREE

Washington Square Park, located in Greenwich Village , has always held a special place in my heart. As a college kid, hanging out by the fountain at night was one of our favorite things to do.

There is always something going on at this NYC landmark. Besides the famous arch . You will find free events, people playing chess, and people just hanging out by the fountain .

You can also see the views of both the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower in the background depending on your angle which makes for a pretty cool photograph.

Washington Square Park is also right by the NYU campus.

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Experience Chelseas Art Galleries

There are several different art galleries located in Chelsea, which are all free to attend. They host art nights in the Chelsea neighborhood, which allows visitors to walk and enjoy the different galleries while exploring the local art community. These events usually have food and drinks, and are extremely welcoming to those who would like to expand their art knowledge.

While you are in Chelsea be sure to stop by the Chelsea Market for a bite to eat or just to stroll through the market!

If Youre Feeling Adventurous

Just a short drive and a scenic ferry ride away, Catalina Island feels worlds away from LA. Its famously known as the island of romance and also as the destination of the infamous Catalina Wine Mixer in Step Brothers. Though the town of Avalon holds over 16 bars in one square mile, there are much more interesting and memorable ways to experience the island, without the alcohol.

Take a morning ferry from Long Beach to Avalon. The ferry ride is just about an hour long, and you can expect to see dolphins, whales, and other marine life on your ride over. Once on the island you can rent a golf cart for a couple of hours and take the scenic route through town. Stop by the Wrigley Botanical Gardens for a leisurely stroll through their grounds.

If youre feeling more active, you can hike the Hermits Gulch Trail, a gorgeous 3.5-mile out-and-back trail with stunning views of the ocean and the town of Avalon. Or, if youre a water enthusiast, you can rent a kayak at Descanso Beach Club and enjoy the views from the harbor. For lunch, I recommend popping into Cafe Metropole, and if youre around for dinner, check out the Blue Water Grill for seasonal seafood and beautiful seaside views.

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Danielle Dorsey is the West Coast Editor for Thrillist

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Latina Business Owner Brianda Gonzalez Shares Date Ideas For Sober Singles In La Including What To Grab From The New Bar Her Alcohol

Dating in LA is an experience. And even if you are lucky enough to swipe right on a hottie, coming up with a fun date idea to actually impress said cutie is a whole other ball game. Sure, you can grab a drink at a hip bar or on a dazzling rooftop, but that gets monotonous pretty quickly. And what to do if you or your new match are cutting back on booze, sober, or just prefer not to imbibe?

Thankfully, Brianda Gonzalez, who recently opened the non-alcoholic bottle shop The New Bar on Venices Lincoln Blvd, is here to make alcohol-free lifestyles that much easier by carrying a bespoke selection of wines, beers, spirits, aperitifs, bitters, and mixers that contain all of the flavors, but none of the booze from your favorite adult beverages. The Catalina Island native grew up having large family celebrations where drinking was often at the center, but was inspired to look into alcohol-free alternatives when searching for a way to bond with her father after he was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease. The New Bar arose out of that discovery, with Gonzalez hoping to empower others who want to explore the sober lifestyle without sacrificing their connection to drinking culture altogether.

So whether you need a first date idea, are hoping to spice it up with your regular flame, or plan on partaking in alcohol-free activities solo or with platonic friends, here are some fun things to do in LA during Sober October , courtesy of The New Bars Brianda Gonzalez.

/11 Memorial & Museum

Fun things to do in NYC on Labor Day weekend

Although the 9/11 museum and memorial is an extremely sobering reminder of the tragic events of September 2001, it is one we cant recommend highly enough.

Two square shaped holes in the ground mark the exact positions of the old twin towers. But dont miss the superb museum explaining the event in great detail.

You will find memorabilia, intriguing timelines, endless amounts of information and a touching tribute to those who sadly lost their lives.

Plan to spend at least 2 hours inside, but we can guarantee you will need longer. Be warned this can be a harrowing experience and expect to leave feeling emotionally drained.

Heres what you need to know:

  • There is a lot to see and read in the museum so allow plenty of time.
  • The second half of the tour is fascinating so be sure to leave enough emotional energy to appreciate the latter parts.
  • Tickets are US$ 26 adult.
  • OR entry is free with a New York CityPASS.

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Museum At Fashion Institute Of Technology

Fashion has played a critical role in society since the beginning of civilization.

If you are in New York and are looking to experience fashion from a broader perspective, there is no better place than The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

When the museum opens again you will get a chance to walk through the fashion memory lane and visualize its future.

As fashion is ever-evolving, this is a place that you can visit repeatedly and see the various exhibits with no admission fee.

Take A Walk Through Times Square

Im pretty sure every first-time tourist comes to New York dreaming of seeing the lights of Times Square, while every local or seasoned tourist does everything they can to avoid this chaotic tourist trap.

If you fall into the first category, you should absolutely take some time to stroll around Times Square at night.

Youll be treated to some world-class people watching, not to mention the excitement of seeing a ton of flashing billboards.

If you fall into the second category, or happen to be claustrophobic, head to Times Square around midnight. Its always less packed, plus youll get to have a bit of a special treat, known as the Midnight Moment.

The Midnight Moment is a cool lesser known daily event in the city, when from 11:57 until midnight, youll see all the billboards flashing digital artwork from around the world.

If youre visiting during the summer, head down to Coney Islands boardwalk for a day of people watching and beach time.

I try to visit this area at least once a summer with a big group of friends.

We normally all meet on the boardwalk, then head down to the beach to claim our spot for the afternoon.

Everyone brings drinks and snacks to keep it affordable, since the convenience stores around here are more expensive than most.

Once evening is rolling around, we head up to the amusement park to ride some rides and snack on all their delicious junk food.

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Take A Tour Of Brooklyn Brewery

Located in the uber-cool Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg is the Brooklyn Brewery. A magical place where all of your alcohol-related dreams can come true. as you enjoy beer, beer, and, oh yeah, more beer.

However, if youre broke like a joke and still want to savor all the alcohol flavor, then take a free tour of the brewery and learn interesting things like the fact that the brands iconic logo was designed by Milton Glaser in exchange for part of the profits and free beer for life.

They typically depart every hour, on the hour from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturdays and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays. They also last about 45 minutes and sadly, do not include any tastings. Yeah, youll need to head to the on-site bar to actually savor the flavor.

But, for a wicked awesome, very much un-free tour/tasting, visit during the week and enjoy samples of four different beers, as well as some pretty interesting history about the facility.

Spots fill up fast though, so definitely reserve a spot online. Also, just as an FYI, youre not allowed to wear sandals or high-heeled shoes on the tour.

Address: 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Hours: The Brewery itself is open Thursday and Friday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

How to Get There: Take the L to Bedford Ave station and walk to the brewery from there.

African Burial Ground National Monument

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Contributed by Allison Green of Eternal Arrival

Theres far more to downtown Manhattan than the One World Observatory , Wall Street, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

While downtown Manhattan is often visited in a blur, you shouldnt skip over the African Burial Ground National Monument located just two blocks from City Hall. Its free to visit, and its an important part of New York history.

It is the site of North Americas oldest and largest burial ground for people of African descent , where an estimated 15,000 African-Americans were buried.

The African Burial Ground is a National Park Service-managed site, and it consists of a memorial with two main components, the Ancestral Chamber and the Circle of the Diaspora. There is also a Visitor Center about the site located at 290 Broadway.

Passing through the triangular, claustrophobic Ancestral Chamber is meant to symbolize the Middle Passage that transported captured Africans to the Americas, where they would be enslaved.

The Ancestral Chamber leads to a few stairs down to a map of the world with West Africa at its center. This part of the monument is the Circle of the Diaspora, where you slowly ascend up a spiraling ramp, passing religious symbols from different West African religions as you ascend and leave the monument.

Its a moving memorial that reminds you of the role that slavery played in building New York through an interactive, educational experience.

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Check Nyc Park Calendars

When it comes to cheap activities in NYC, you cant go wrong with exploring the local greenspaces. Year-long, our many parks offer free things to do in New York City, especially when it comes to events.

For instance, Central Park hosts a slew of free walks, movies, concerts, and performances. Check their calendar here .

For 100% free things to do I love Bryant Park, home to complimentary juggling lessons, open-air films, book club meetings and literary lectures, table games, and more. They try to cover a variety of cultures with their events, from games of petanque to Tai Chi and Maj Jong .

When its warm, youll regularly find me at the Prospect Park Bandshell for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, an annual summer festival with free performances of all kinds. Its one of the top cheap things in NYC as far as memorable experiences are concerned.

For ticketed events, my friends and I often have a picnic outside the fence of the concert so we can still enjoy the sounds and each others company for free.


If you cant find any park events that interest you, theres always a bottle of Prosecco and a picnic blanket with your name on it, especially if you opt for one of the best NYC picnic spots.

Just make sure to bring plastic cups and/or a koozie for any alcoholic beverages, since technically its illegal. If youre not being obnoxious and blatant you likely wont get in trouble, though.

New York Public Library

Submitted by Kim Swanson from Traveling Swansons

When in NYC, one of the best free things to do is visit the New York Public Library Main Branch also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. This library is located next to Bryant Park at 476 Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

New York Public Library is no ordinary library. This Beaux-Arts style library is absolutely stunning, marked by two famous marble lions at the entrance. As you walk in, you will be in awe of the magnificent, ornate architecture throughout.

A big draw to the library is the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Librarys Treasures. You can obtain a free timed ticket from an electronic kiosk at the library or reserve your time online.

At the Polonsky Exhibition, you will find many historical articles including manuscripts, art, letters, recordings and more. Some of these treasures include the Gutenberg Bible, the original copy of the Declaration of Independence handwritten by Thomas Jefferson and original sheet music from Mozart and Beethoven.

If you are in New York City with kids or are a Disney fan, make sure to take a look at the real stuffed animals that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh and friends.

Your might also be interested in knowing that New York Public Library is a designated NYC Cooling Center. This is a free public facility offering cooling relief to all in hot weather. So if your looking for a place to cool down in the heat of the NYC summer, come here.

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Free Fridays At The Intrepid Museum

Looking for something free to do on a Friday night in NYC? Well, if astronomy or movies are of any interest to you, then head over to the Intrepid Museum!

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is displays exhibitions and interpretations of science, history, and service, although, you will likely have to pay to do this. But the astronomy and movies are totally free programs through the museum!

Get more information on Free Friday nights at the Intrepid Museum here.

Address: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Rest In Washington Square Park

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Washington Square Park is often packed with NYU students during the school year but can be a nice place to sit down and take in the city. If you’re feeling lucky, challenge one of the many chess hustlers to a game or, grab a bite from one of the many food trucks that line the park perimeter. When you’re ready to move on, the West Village beckons.

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