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
Karaoke Grand Prix
Before the days of the teleprompter, true karaoke aficionados had to belt their hearts out to “Careless Whisper” or “One Way or Another” with a piece of paper and a lot of liquid courage. Take up the classic style at this wasted night of singing. You have more than 1,000 songs on paper to choose from and will get plenty of encouragement from hosts H-Bomb and Emma C. Hammer. And if your jam isn’t on the list, they’ll add it to next month’s catalog. Freddy’s Bar, 627 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn (718-768-0131, freddysbar.com). Wed 4 9–11:30pm.
First Fridays: 2016 & Beyond
For the first edition of this monthly night of drinking, dancing and networking, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture plays the songs that defined 2016, from Drake to Beyoncé. Host Dhalimu gets the main space going with the year’s mainstream hits, while DJ OB1 keeps the Langston Hughes Lobby jamming. If you need a break from the dance floor, grab a custom cocktail and check out the center’s current exhibition “Black Power at 50.” 515 Malcolm X Blvd (917–275–6975, nypl.org). Fri 6 6–10pm.
Start the New Year by learning an art form you can do anywhere—even on the subway. Origami artist and 3-D printing pro Alicia Lo shows you how to construct animals, buildings and other tiny creations out of paper at this informative class. Materials are provided, so you won’t have to wonder where to find paper anymore in New York City. While you get crafty, you can grab a drink or snacks and get to know your fellow classmates. Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Ave, Queens (347-451-3873, qedastoria.com). Fri 6 9–11pm.
House of Yes Turns One
Has it really been only one year since Bushwick party warehouse House of Yes became an NYC nightlife staple? R.S.V.P. for free admission to this debauched birthday party, which is guaranteed to feature creative drink specials, mesmerizing aerial and pole dancers, deep house and disco beats, and plenty of cake to go around. Whether you’re a costume-clad regular or it’s your first time, just show up looking fabulous and you’re guaranteed a wildly unforgettable evening. 2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn (houseofyes.org). Fri 6 10pm–4am
Party like it’s 1999
Twenty years ago, the Spice Girls dropped “Wannabe,” and the world was never the same. Slip on your leopard-print leotard or little black Gucci dress and celebrate girl power at this throwback rager, with reliable kitsch pop beats courtesy of DJ Steve Reynolds. If you meet a lover on the dance floor, just make sure they can get with your friends. The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Sat 7 at 10pm.