When you live in NYC, 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.
RECOMMENDED: Free things to do in NYC guide
Summer in the Square: Dueling DJs
Fancy yourself the next Simon Cowell? At this weekly showdown, some of the city’s best musical talent—violinists, DJs, dancers, beatboxers and beyond—face off, and you choose the winner. This week features local DJs Tom Macari and B. Mills squaring off with their turntables to prove who’s the best mixer in the game. Union Square Park, 14th St to 17th St between Union Sq West and Union Sq East (summerinthesquare.nyc). Thu 5-6pm.
Get your pup cultured at this pop-up museum for dogs. Curated by Mica Scalin, Jessica Dawson and her pooch, Rocky, the unique weekend exhibit features art works that play to canine perception through the use of sound, smell, touch and color. Contributing artists include Tibi Tibi Neuspiel, Dana Sherwood and more. Arts Brookfield, 250 Vesey St (212-978-1698, brookfieldplaceny.com). Fri 11–Sun 13 8am–1pm, 4–8pm.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
This 27th annual fair features teams of rowers racing dragon-emblazoned boats for. During the multiple heat competition, enjoy performances by Shaolin monks and the CASYM Steel Orchestra, and indulge in bites like dumplings, bao buns, and zongzi-stuffed rice leaves. Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Grand Central Pkwy to Van Wyck Expwy between Roosevelt Ave and Robinson Pkwy, Queens (718-767-1776, hkdbf-ny.org). Sat 12, Sun 13 10:30am-4pm.
The House of Yes Playa Costume Bazaar
Stock up for Burning Man, New York City Comic Con and even Halloween at this market hosted by the wildest performance venue in town. Peruse independent vendors selling fringe, faux fur, spandex, sexy panties and magical jewelry. DJ Dropkat spins jams to get you in the buying mood and drink specials keep you going all day. 2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn (347-469-9882, houseofyes.org). Sat 12 1-7pm.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: North by Northwest
Some spectacles—like Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint fighting for their lives atop Mount Rushmore—need to be seen on the big screen. Enjoy fare from Hester Street Fair as you catch this classic Alfred Hitchcock flick about mistaken identity and a mad cross-country cat-and-mouse game. Bryant Park 40th to 42nd Sts between Fifth and Sixth Aves (nycgovparks.org). Mon 14 5–11pm.