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 have a good time without paying a dime. Here are the best free parties, cultural events and things to do between now and next Wednesday.
RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to free things to do in NYC
Finally, you can prove to your non-city friends that New Yorkers can handle the outdoors (for an hour or two). Head to the Bandshell for a free sweat-soaked escapade of your choosing, whether it’s sublime yoga on the grass, a stand-up paddleboard ride, mountain biking, kayaking or some old-school rock climbing. By the time you triumphantly finish up for the day, you’ll have Instagram proof that you’ve got what it takes to survive a few hours without air-conditioning. Naumberg Bandshell, Central Park, enter park at 72nd St and Fifth Ave (212-310-6600, nycparks.gov). Sat 18 11am–4pm.
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival
Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side at this block party. While Peking Opera performers and klezmer bands take the outdoor stage, you can catch free language lessons, master your mah-jongg game and, best of all, learn how to prepare empanadas, Chinese dumplings, kreplachandchallah bread. Endless samples will be available for taste tests. Museum at Eldridge St, 12 Eldridge St (212-219-0888, eldridgestreet.org). Sun 19 noon–4pm.
30 Rock Trivia
You’ll need every Mickey Rourke reference you learned at the Royal Tampa Academy of Dramatic Tricks to climb to the top of this cutthroat 30 Rock fan competition. Assemble a team of up to four nerds, and prove that you have the drive, intelligence, humility and chaos (DIHC) to survive five rounds of obscure trivia, including tests on clips, pictures, general knowledge and a surprise quiz in the screening room. Afterward, go home and work on your night cheese. Videology, 308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn (718-782-3468, videologybarandcinema.com). Sun 19 at 7:30pm.
Summer Movie Mondays: The Goonies
If the phrases “Hey, you guys!” or “Truffle Shuffle” mean anything to you, then you’ll want to be at Haven Rooftop for this edition of its weekly screening series. While the Goonies are descending into caves to find treasure, you’ll be relaxing under the open sky with cocktails. Haven Rooftop, 132 W 47th St (212-466-9000, havenrooftop.com). Mon 20 at 7:30pm.
The Gauntlet: The High Line
The High Line may be noisier now than it was in its early days, but it’s never sounded quite like this. While you walk across the Eleventh Avenue bridge, choir performers and singers on both sides of you sing hocketing (or rhythmically stacked) verse inspired by interactions on the beloved walkway, creating a sonic tunnel effect. This musical journey under the stars is a perfect way to celebrate summer solstice in the city. The High Line, Eleventh Ave and W 30th St (212-206-9922, thehighline.org). Tue 21 8:15–9pm.