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: Free things to do in NYC guide
Oktoberfest under the Manhattan Bridge
The Dumbo Business Improvement District is throwing down under the Manhattan Bridge with crafts, food and music for this epic Oktoberfest celebration. Enter a pop-up beer hall replete with lederhosen-clad servers delivering brews, pretzels, sausages and more from the Lighthouse. Get ready to gorge on classic German fare, and jam out to polka music by Melina and the Oompahs and Bavarian pop by DJ Holzmeister. Prost! 50 Adams St, Brooklyn (dumbo.is/thearchway). Thu 6, Fri 7 6–10pm; Sat 8 3–10pm.
First Fridays: Afrobeat Edition
Every month, the Schomburg Center becomes a party hub for black Harlem professionals looking to form community ties with other members of the African diaspora. This month’s edition celebrates the high-octane vibes of Afrobeat music, which originated in Nigeria and Ghana in the ’70s. Guests can get down to dope beats by DJ OB1, check out the pop-up historical exhibit “Black Power 50,” and see some spectacular dance shows. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd (212-491-2200, nypl.org). Fri 7 6–10pm.
Hocus Pocus Trivia
“Come, little children...” and play several wicked rounds of trivia based on the beloved 1993 camp classic. Grab a drink and show off your knowledge of Thackery Binx, virgin candle spells and Salem superstitions with a team of up to four immortal witches. And with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker making their stage and screen comebacks, there’s no better time to salute the original NYC sorceresses. Dost thou comprehend? Stone Creek Bar and Lounge, 140 E 27th St (212-532-1037, triviaad.com). Sat 8 5–6:30pm.
Queens Night Market
After a brief hiatus, this beloved festival of food trucks, craft and clothes returns for a spirited Halloween season. Enjoy $6 meals from a new wave of stellar vendors, including gourmet Twinkies from Jae NYC Eats, pork buns and duck buns from C Bao, and fried temptations from Seoul Pancake. After digging into your cheap bites and getting tipsy in the beer garden, check out clothes, health goods and crafts from Raw Earth Apothecary, Las Queens Clothing and more. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St, Queens (718-699-0005, queensnightmarket.com). Sat 8–Oct 29 6pm–midnight.
Indigenous Peoples Celebration
Join Redhawk, the Native American Arts Council of NYC, for a community reclamation of Columbus Day. Local chiefs —like Harry Wallace of the Unkechaug Indian Nation on Long Island— join musicians, spoken-word performers and artists on the grass. Look out for multimedia pieces from Bronx-based Intikana, percussion from Caribbean-originated Kasibahagua Taino Cultural Society and more.Wards Meadow Fields at Randalls Island (718-686-9297, redhawkcouncil.org). Mon 10 7am–4pm.