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Madison Square Park Christmas tree
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The five best free things to do in NYC over the next seven days

By David Goldberg
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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 concertart exhibitcomedy 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 this week. 

RECOMMENDED: Free things to do in NYC guide

POP! A Bingo Party
Not all bingo players are created equal. For those of us with a particular predilection for pop culture, this delicious night of catty geek revelry provides clips, trivia and drunken debates on sacred topics from the media vault. This edition honors emo and pop punk, so draw on that eyeliner and join host Bobby Hankinson for a night of feathered bangs and lip rings—oh so many lip rings. Parklife, 636 DeGraw St, Brooklyn (parklifebk.com). Wed 29 at 7pm.

“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 30 at noon.

Party Like It’s 1999: All I Want for Christmas Is Mariah Edition
Celebrate Mariah Carey’s holiday tour de force, Merry Christmas, at this popular monthly soiree in Gowanus, where resident selector DJ Steve serves the best in ’90s rock, pop, dance and hip-hop to an enthusiastic dance floor. Look out for other classic hits from Mariah, along with jams from Madonna, TLC and beyond. If you intend to hit those high notes, consider a saltwater gargle (and follow it with a mint in case you find yourself under the mistletoe). The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Sat 2 at 10pm.

Romy and Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance
What better way to take advantage of your postbrunch buzz than by letting loose on the dance floor to a steady stream of Scissor Sisters, Bette Midler and TLC? At this joyous celebration of the still-untouchable heroines of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, shimmy among other devotees and revel in the fact that you look totally cutting-edge. Club Cumming, 505 E 6th St (917-265-8006, clubcummingnyc.com). Sat 2 3–8pm.

Miss Manhattan Non-Fiction Reading Series
Elyssa Goodman welcomes a stellar assembly of writers to share their latest essays and nonfiction work at this monthly reading series in the East Village. This month, she welcomes Vivian Gornick, Tara Clancy, Abeer Hoque and Jessica Ciencin Henriquez to read pieces. Niagra, 112 Ave A (miss-manhattan-nyc.blogspot.com). Mon 4 at 7:45pm.

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