When you live in the most expensive city in America, it can be hard to stick to a budget. Luckily, we've got you covered. Whether you're looking for a concert, art exhibit, comedy show or even a date idea, there are plenty of places to good time without paying a dime. Here are the best free parties, cultural events and things to do between now and next Wednesday.
It’s a warm and balmy June night, and all you need is a pair of headphones to get down. The NYC Parks Silent Disco party brings revelers to otherwise quiet areas and keeps the noise confined to DJ-controlled headsets. Lose your mind to chart toppers, house beats and remixes by multiple DJs. And if you’re not down for wild dancing, then just toss off the headset and enjoy a relaxing evening by the pool while the crowd rocks out in silence. McCarren Park Pool Deck, 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn (718-965-8918, nycgovparks.org). Fri 3 6–8pm.
Party Like It’s 1999: I Want the Backstreet Boys Edition
Exactly 17 years since the 1999 release of the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium, the eternal glory of “I Want It That Way” and “Larger than Life” still rings true. Pay tribute to the still-touring boy band, and belt your favorite teen ballads along with hip-hop and pop jams at this epic ’90s hootenanny. Track pants or overalls are essential. The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Sat 4 at 10pm.
Go Green! Greenpoint!
Is water from the Hudson River radioactive? Where is your recycling really going? Are the new high-rises popping up all over Brooklyn being built sustainably? Learn about the environmental challenges your borough faces and how you can get involved at this activity-packed festival, where you can try healthy foods, jam to local bands and even build musical instruments out of recycled materials. Why not start the summer with good intentions? McCarren Park, 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn (347-559-1410, gogreenbk.nyc). Sat 4 noon–9pm, Sun 5 10am–7pm.
American Crafts Festival
Lincoln Center plays host to 380 jury-selected craft vendors from across the country at this nifty fair. Find glasswork and handmade leather pieces you never knew you needed, and indulge in some one-of-a-kind new threads from regional designers with special weekend-only rates. If you’re not looking to spend your rent check redecorating your apartment in one go, then head to demonstrations on weaving, spindling and enjoy live music. Lincoln Center, 65th St at Columbus Ave (973-746-0091, craftsatlincoln.org). Sat 4, Sun 5.
Films on the Green: Breathless
Relive the dangerous thrill of classic city romance-—long before ghosting and Tinder sucked the joy out of it—in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 love story, Breathless. While petty criminal Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and journalist Patricia (Jean Seberg) flirt, fight and fall in love on the streets of Paris, you can stretch out with popcorn and contemplate your chances in the other most romantic city in the world. Central Park, Cedar Hill, enter at Fifth Ave and 79th St (212-439-1425, nycgovparks.org). Tue 7 8:30–11pm.