Best free things to do today in New York City

Looking for a gratis event going down today? We’ve got you covered! Discover the top free things to do right now.

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So you’re pinching pennies and bored. We’ve been there. But that’s no reason to stay in your apartment!  Get outside and check out these cool free things to do.


RECOMMENDED: Full list of free things to do in NYC


1

Feast of San Gennaro

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate the martyred 3rd-century bishop and patron saint of Naples at this 11-day festival that fills the streets of Little Italy every year. Watch the professionals in action at the cannoli-eating competition, and you won't feel so bad about indulging in calorific treats from the food vendors; return daily for live musical performances. Mulberry St between Canal and Houston Sts; Grand St between Baxter and Mott Sts; Hester St between Baxter and Mott Sts.

  1. Little Italy Mulberry St, between Broome and Canal Sts
  2. Thu Sep 11 - Sun Sep 21
More info
2

Flatbush Frolic

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Flatbush Frolic may sound like a hip new dance all the kids are doing (and maybe it will be!), but it’s actually a fun street fair in south Brooklyn featuring music, crafts and kids' activities galore. An eclectic mix of bands and performers, including HEYLADY, Chevy Lopez and the The Lord Calverts, and several others, will be playing all day long on the Frolic’s main stage. There’ll be some spicy dance productions from the Latin Fever Dance Studio, and a smorgasbord of activities for kids: clowns, martial-arts lessons, hands-on science experiments from Kiddie Science and even kid yoga, because Lord knows children need to align their chakras after a long day out having fun in the sun. There’ll be food for everyone from Purple Yam and the Farm on Adderly, and the FDNY will even have an interactive "Smoke House" that will teach you what to (safely) do in a fire using fake fumes. Sounds pretty cool, we have to admit. An entire day of fun awaits!

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Sun Sep 21
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3

Brooklyn Flea

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

The Brooklyn Flea is back outside on Saturdays in Fort Greene and Sundays in Williamsburg . Pick up a couple hand-hammered stack rings by Jessica De Carlo, at a special Flea-only price ($20 each, 2 for $35), or take a walk in Nina Z's eco-conscious clogs and sandals ($95-180). Visit Sharon London for easy-fitting tube dresses ($78) and vintage locket earrings ($12), or Hartford Denim Co. for quality-denim goods, like hoodies ($325) and aprons ($110). While perusing crafts and collectibles by local artisans, munch on some local bites, such as People's Pops' shaved ice ($3) and ice pops ($4) made from local, fresh fruit.

  1. East River State Park 90 Kent Ave, at North 8th St
  2. Sun Sep 21 - Sun Nov 23
More info
4

Photoville

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Kings County exhibition producer United Photo Industries takes over Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 to create a pop-up village honoring the art of picture taking. Dozens of shipping containers, which double as venues for curated gallery installations—from photojournalism of "Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985–2000" to the global nature of social media. And get excited, because the Photoville Beer Garden is returning this year; you'll find more than 100 vendors selling all sorts of food. Wander past "The Fence," a 1,000-foot-long display of 200 large-form prints made out of photographic mesh that correspond to the theme "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby."

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Sun Sep 21 - Sun Sep 28
More info
5

Smorgasburg

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The venerable epicurean extravaganza returns the weekend of April 6, spending Saturdays in Williamsburg's East River State Park (enter at North 7th Street) and Sundays in Brooklyn Bridge Park through November. The 2014 lineup features beloved vendors such as seafood-shack maestro Handsome Hank’s Fish Hut, offering fried-to-order whiting fillets smothered in coleslaw and tartar sauce between two slices of Texas toast ($8). Stake out a spot in front of Milk Truck Grilled Cheese for the three-cheese sandwich—a gooey blend of gruyere, New York cheddar and Wisconsin blue oozing over sweet-and-tart caramelized Granny Smith apple slices ($7.25). Head out to the open-air fair before it gets too cold: The season's final iterations will be November 22 at the Williamsburg waterfront and November 23 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Visit smorgasburg.com for more information.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Sun Sep 21 - Sun Nov 23
More info
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Users say

12 comments

@me

Must do ..

Annette
Annette

Had a great time. You can walk from gallery to gallery and feel welcome.

Regina
Regina

Sucks that you don't have the West Indian parade listed.

me
me

these seem fun! NOT!

AriellacomA
AriellacomA

Limelight is hosting fashion week- with free shows for the next 6 days... The designers are great and it's a nice crowd. Definitely worth it! RSVP@limelightshops.com

Jane C. Nicholson
Jane C. Nicholson

always like new things and I like your taste i almost everything.