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.
RECOMMENDED: Guide to free things to do in NYC
Dirty Thursday: Throwback Thursday
House of Yes is cracking open three decades of kitschy nostalgia for this ’80s, ’90s and 2000s dance party, so you better be ready to lose your mind to the Human League, Spice Girls, Black Eyed Peas and beyond. While joyous pop music radiates, you can enjoy Nickelodeon clips and old-school fitness video moments, play Sega and Nintendo games and indulge in the artificial flavors of Gushers and Dunkaroos. We’re praying for that rare chocolate frosting. House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn (646-838-4937, houseofyes.org). Thu 22 10pm–2am.
Washington Square Park Folk Festival
This annual end-of-summer throwdown brings together several outstanding folk and bluegrass acts to make a breezy weekend in the park even better. On Saturday, check out sets from Colombian dance and percussion group Bulla en el Barrio, country and jazz act Feral Foster and more. Sunday performances include a rowdy square dance led by banjo master Alex Kramer and flamenco vocals from Spanish jazz singer Julia Patinella. W 4th St to Waverly Pl between MacDougal St and University Pl (washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org). Sat 24, Sun 25 1–5pm.
Arkham: A Nightmare on Manhattan Avenue
Every month, the gloriously divey bar Don Pedro hosts Arkham, a bash for Brooklyn goths who want to party. This month’s A Nightmare on Elm Street edition invites you to toss a Freddy Krueger glove into your ensemble of platform shoes and black lipstick. Whether you show up to watch Wes Craven movies on screen or dance hard to Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure and Nine Inch Nails, you’re certain to have a frighteningly good time. Don Pedro, 90 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn (718-218-6914, donpedrobrooklyn.com). Sat 24 11:30pm–4am.
Now in its 30th year, the performance venue Dixon Place is looking to expand into a literary space. Novelist Dia Felix curates this reading series, which welcomes authors, critics, poets and artists to share new pieces and discuss their processes. For this month’s edition, head to Dixon’s lounge to hear confessional and intimate readings from Incidents of Scattering author and poet Karen Lepri and Boy Island author and rock musician Camden Joy. The Lounge at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St (212-219-0736, dixonplace.org). Tue 27 at 7:30pm.
Mean Girls Trivia
Register a team of up to four plastics for this cutthroat trivia showdown based on the definitive teen movie of the millennial generation. You have to tackle questions about sweatpants on Mondays, whether butter is a carb and what Janis Ian’s wig is made of. Wear your most expensive hoop earrings or your Mathletes letterman jacket. Joshua Tree, 513 Third Ave (212-689-0058, nycmeangirls.eventbrite.com). Tue 27 at 8pm.