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
“Do Not Destroy”
Multimedia artist Sadie Barnette looks back on the structures of oppression that her father, Black Panther Rodney Barnette, faced in ’60s Compton, California. Featuring a 500-page FBI surveillance file on her father-—embellished here with rhinestones—this radical exhibition feels vital for Black History Month. Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York, 126 Baxter St (212-260-9927, baxterst.org). Wed–Sat, Tue noon–6pm. Through Feb 18.
The Prose Bowl
Ready to read your writing to someone other than your roommate? Bring some flash fiction—up to 1,000 words—to this writer’s arena, where you get less than five minutes to share your work with a panel of local comedians and writers. You get a critique, and the final two writers face off in a tweet-length lightning round. The night’s winner receives a free drink and bragging rights. Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St (718-302-3770, petescandystore.com). Tue 17 at 6:30pm; free.
The baddest gals in town (and a sprinkling of dudes) gather on Wednesdays for pop and hip-hop crowd-pleasers, cheap drinks and wild dancing. Past themes include "Missy Elliot Appreciation Night" and "Britney Spears' Birthday." The Woods, 48 S 4th St (718-782-4955, thewoodsbk.com). Wed 18 at 10pm; free.
Halyard's brings you jokes from a bunch of very funny ladies at this free weekly show with hosts Naomi Karavani, Melissa Stokoski, Shelby Taylor and Erica Spera and live music. Plenty of brews, bar snacks and a pool table await you. Halyards, 406 Third Ave (718-532-8787, barhalyards.com). Fri 20 at 8:30pm; free.
Art School Acid Dropout
Artist Grand Lindahl invites you to laugh, drink and draw at his monthly show. While comedians tell stories, audience members draw what they hear with paper and crayon. Plus, a guest artist graces each show (like New Yorker cartoonist Erik Bergstrom) to talk about their work and play a game, like an impromptu caption contest. That dreamer creative locked deep inside can live again for one sweet night. The Creek and the Cave, 10-93 Jackson Ave (718-706-8783, creeklic.com. Fri 18 at 8pm; free.