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
Groundhog Day Trivia
If you spend every February 2 contemplating the existential message of this classic starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, then bring your Punxsutawney-loving crew to Fáilte Irish Whiskey Bar to prove your knowledge of time loops, Ned Ryerson’s whistling belly button trick and Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” Assemble a group of no more than four people for a chance to win cool prizes, like free food and booze! There’s a good chance that déjà vu is on the menu. 531 Second Ave (212-725-9440, triviaad.com). Thu 2 8–9:30pm.
First Fridays: Black Power Poetry Slam / Open Mic Edition
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents a special edition of its monthly event series in light of its ongoing program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Black Power Movement. Show up for an evening of poetry readings and signature cocktails, plus tunes courtesy of DJ IRS. Performers include Ras Heru, Brian Pineapple, Joy F. Brown and many more. 515 Malcolm X Blvd (917-275-6975, nypl.org). Fri 3 6–9:30pm.
Party Like It’s 1999: 25 Years of “I’m Too Sexy” and Other One-hit Wonders
Boogie to the best pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance hits of the ’90s at this recurring throwback soiree helmed by DJ Steve. This edition focuses on one-hit wonders, so count on singing your heart out to tunes like the Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping.” Make sure to rest those vocal cords if you want to make it through Semisonic’s “Closing Time.” The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn (718-643-6510, thebellhouseny.com). Sat 4 at 10pm.
Winter Carnival at Bryant Park
Burned through your snow-day Netflix list already? Head to Bryant Park for loads of cold-weather activities that make you appreciate the season. Take a curling lesson, tease out your bangs, and hit the ice rink for SK80s Night (Friday 3); show off your taste in canine couture at the Cozy Sweater Pup Meet-up (Saturday 4); or mount an act of quiet rebellion, and sneak in a couple sun salutations at a Frozen Toes Yoga session. (Don’t worry: The sessions are held indoors.) 40th St to 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-768-4242, wintervillage.org). Noon–10pm. Through Sat 4.
Lunar New Year Parade
Bundle up and head to Chinatown to welcome the Year of the Rooster at the neighborhood’s 18th annual Lunar New Year fete. The temperature might be low, but spirits are always high at this lively event, which draws thousands of revelers and features elaborate costumes, traditional music and dance performances. Arrive by noon to ensure a good view of the action. Parade begins at Mott and Hester Sts and ends at Sara D. Roosevelt Park (212-639-9675, betterchinatown.com). Sun 5 noon–4:30pm.