Things to do in New York today

The day's best things to do in New York—including free and cheap activities, concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more. It's your social emergency savior.

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Free things to do today

Books at Noon

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The NYPL's latest series invites bibliophiles and casual librarygoers alike to hear from local names and distinguished out-of-towners about their new titles.

  1. New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Fifth Ave, at 42nd St, 10036
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Wed May 7
More info

Europhoria

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Check out some eye-popping videos and dance to over-the-top pop anthems at this homage to that international acid trip known as the Eurovision Song Contest.

  1. Hardware Bar 697 Tenth Ave , between 47th and 48th Sts
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info

Rachel Kushner: The Flamethrowers

  • Critics choice

The stunning sophomore effort from National Book Award finalist Kushner (Telex from Cuba) is the story of a young woman in the mid-'70s who gets embroiled with men, the New York City art scene and revolution overseas.

  1. New York University, Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House 58 W 10th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Thu Apr 24
More info
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Today's best food and drink events

Gluten-free Baking with Ovenly

  • Price band: 2/4

Debunk the myth of bad gluten-free desserts at this sweets session with Ovenly’s Agatha Kulaga. The baker will share recipes for pistachio-cardamom muffins and hazelnut-maple cookies. Guests will receive bags of Ovenly's hand-blended gluten-free flour to make celiac-friendly treats at home.

  1. The Brooklyn Kitchen 100 Frost St, at Meeker Ave
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info

Today's free and cheap concerts

"Grand Central Centennial Quilts"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Last spring, American Patchwork & Quilting magazine teamed up with local store the City Quilter to host a national contest for blankets inspired by the 100-year-old terminal. The grand prize, first- and second- place winners, and 27 finalists in this display draw from the building’s design elements—clocks, chandeliers and the iconic celestial ceiling—as well as each artist's connection to the historic New York landmark.

  1. New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex Grand Central Terminal, E 42nd St, between Lexington and Vanderbilt Aves
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Jul 6
More info

Jonathan Kreisberg Trio

  • Price band: 1/4

Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, an ace straight-ahead player who also wades into swirly psychedelic territory in his sideman appearances with soul-jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith, continues his long-running Bar Next Door residency.

  1. The Bar Next Door (downstairs at La Lanterna di Vittorio) 129 MacDougal St, between 3rd and 4th Sts
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Wed Apr 30
More info

The Mandingo Ambassadors

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist Mamady Kouyaté formed the Mandingo Ambassadors in Guinea in the late ’60s. Now living in New York, Kouyaté leads a new version of the outfit through funky, festive West African tunes each Wednesday night at Barbès.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info
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Today's best arts and culture

Hayden Planetarium Space Show: Dark Universe

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The newest addition to AMNH's Hayden Planetarium launches you on an astronomical adventure—from Jupiter's atmosphere to the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, where Edwin Hubble first discovered other galaxies. Learn how dark matter (a.k.a. invisible matter) and dark energy (the force that accelerates the universe's expansion) shape outer space, and follow scientists on their journey to unearth cosmological mysteries. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Jun 1
More info

"Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

On the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four arriving stateside, the Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Grammy Museum showcase memorabilia, recordings, videos and photos of the mop-topped musicians—and the Beatlemania that followed them.

  1. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 65th St
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Sat May 10
More info

"Grand Central Centennial Quilts"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Last spring, American Patchwork & Quilting magazine teamed up with local store the City Quilter to host a national contest for blankets inspired by the 100-year-old terminal. The grand prize, first- and second- place winners, and 27 finalists in this display draw from the building’s design elements—clocks, chandeliers and the iconic celestial ceiling—as well as each artist's connection to the historic New York landmark.

  1. New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex Grand Central Terminal, E 42nd St, between Lexington and Vanderbilt Aves
  2. Wed Apr 23 - Sun Jul 6
More info
See more of today's best arts and culture

Tonight's best comedy show

The Stand

  • Critics choice

Sons of Essex’s Seth Levine turns out comfort-food spins—like cheeseburger pot stickers and duck-topped pizzas—at this comedy club–restaurant hybrid. After dinner, head downstairs to the club, where you can sip cocktails designed by Minetta Tavern vets, while acts like Judah Friedlander and Artie Lange supply the belly laughs. Test your stand-up knowledge and try to name all the comedians on the wallpaper in the bathrooms.

  1. 239 Third Ave, between 19th and 20th Sts, 10003
  2. Average main course: $12. AmEx, MC, V
Make reservation
See more of tonight's best comedy

Tonight's best nightlife

Europhoria

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Check out some eye-popping videos and dance to over-the-top pop anthems at this homage to that international acid trip known as the Eurovision Song Contest.

  1. Hardware Bar 697 Tenth Ave , between 47th and 48th Sts
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info

Roots Ten-Year Anniversary

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Masters at Work’s Louie Vega and Blaze’s Kevin Hedge—two guys who have long fought to keep the soul in NYC’s club scene—dig through their collections and spin the sounds that got us here. Congratulations are in order, as their party marks a full decade of dance-music fun tonight; there's the potential for surprises, but no matter what, the music will be great.

  1. Cielo 18 Little W 12th St, between Ninth Ave and Washington St
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info

After Dark

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Michael Formika Jones and the DL bring you this sprawling, tri-level shindig populated by nightlife stars and party people who are unafraid of Thursday mornings. DJs, hosts and performers are ever-changing, so check the Facebook page for the latest scoop.

  1. The DL 95 Delancey St, between Ludlow and Orchard Sts, 10002
  2. Wed Apr 23
More info
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Users say

2 comments
Melodie D
Melodie D

Calle 13 is doing a signing today at 6pm at El Barrio Music Center in Harlem!

Arlene
Arlene

So many different kinds of events. Not your usual touristy stuff , and free. Love this site.

Make a restaurant reservation

Aldea

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 31 W 17th St , between Fifth and Sixth Aves
Make reservation

Union Square Cafe

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 21 E 16th St, between Fifth Ave and Union Sq West, 10003
Make reservation

wd~50

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 50 Clinton St, between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 10002-24
Make reservation

Kajitsu

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 414 E 9th St, between First Ave and Ave A
Make reservation