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 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: Free things to do in NYC guide
Ailey Spirit Week
To launch the new wing of its studio, iconic dance institution Alvin Ailey opens its doors for special free editions of its classes. Get a killer workout and learn new skills and styles like hip-hop (Wed 18 6–7pm), Whine Up: Afrobeat/Caribbean (Fri 20, 7:30–8:30pm) New York–style mambo (Sat 21 4:30–6:30pm) and contemporary dance (Sun 22 2:30–4:30pm), all led by master instructors. The Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 W 55th St (212-405-9000, alvinailey.com). Wed 18–Sun 22 at various times.
“Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme”
View ensembles—parkas, neoprene and Mylar dresses, and more—inspired by the demands of life in the Arctic, desert, underwater and in outer space at this cutting-edge fashion exhibition. The Museum at FIT, 227 W 27th St (fitnyc.edu). Thu 19 at noon.
Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the thousands of dollars’ worth in prizes up for grabs for Best in Show. Tompkins Square Park 7th to 10th Sts between Avenues A and B (tompkinssquaredogrun.com/Halloween); Sat 21 at noon.
Tour de Bronx
New York City’s biggest free cycling event takes over the Bronx with two rides: a 25-mile circuit through the borough’s parks, including Pelham Bay, St. Mary’s and Crotona; or a 40-mile intensive that will take you through City Island, Woodlawn Cemetery, Riverdale and beyond. Post-tour, treat yourself to pizza and live music at a New York Botanical Garden after-party. Check-in at 164th St between Walton Ave and the Grand Concourse (718-590-3518, ilovethebronx.com). Sun 22 at 9am.
Hill and Bay Trivia
On Monday nights at this Murray Hill bar, get quizzed on categories like “must-see TV” and “all-time favorite movies.” Assemble a table of four and wear your thinking cap if you want to win $50 toward your bar tab. 581 Second Ave (212-245-5554, hillandbay.com). Mon 23 at 7:30am.