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
The Garment District Arts Festival
If you appreciate art but know nothing about it, consider this outdoor/Open Studios art festival a crash course. Discover creations from local talents, starting with an afternoon of live and interactive art performances at the Public Plazas (Broadway, between 38th and 40th Sts) on Thursday 20 at noon. Then, at night, more than 90 artists will usher you into their studios to show off their paintings, sculptures and various works. Various locations (garmentdistrictnyc.com). Thu 20–Sat 22 at various times; free.
Fall Foliage Walk: Trees of Prospect Park
Is there anything more picturesque than the beautiful autumnal colors on display at Brooklyn’s prettiest park? Take a moment to enjoy the great outdoors, and peep at all the multicolored leaves while learning about the trees that grew them with an urban park ranger as your tour guide. You better make space in your phone for all the photos you’re about to Snap. Prospect Park Picnic House, enter at Prospect Park West and 5th St, Brooklyn (718-421-2021, nycgovparks.org). Sat 22 11am–12:30pm.
Witches’ Night Out Fall Market
’Tis the season for a little hocus pocus, so check out the magic happening at Babe Coven’s night market. Fret not, there are no evil spells or broomsticks here. Instead, you’ll find mystical-loving jewelry makers and crafters hawking their macabre merchandise. There are also refreshments like mulled cider and sinister sweets, plus a tarot-card reader, if you dare to know what your future holds. Our crystal ball tells us it will be charmed. Bat Haus Coworking Space, 279 Starr St, Brooklyn (facebook.com). Sat 22 7–11pm; free admission.
Hard Cider Happy Hour
The cider is not the only thing that will be hard at this workshop, where you’ll learn how to make things extra steamy in the bedroom. Terrible sex puns aside, Babeland’s knowledgeable staff invites you to a fall-themed workshop, during which you can sip gratis spiked apple juice while learning how to spice up your love life. Arrive early, because the first five guests win swag bags. And who knows—there could be pumpkin-spice–flavored lubein there. (Yes, it actually exists, you guys.) Babeland, 94 Rivington St (212-375-1701, babeland.com). Sat 22 at 4pm.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Trivia
Start reciting the lyrics to “This Is Halloween” now because the quizmasters from Trivia AD are going to try to stump you on Tim Burton’s Claymation classic. If you think you know Sally and Jack better than anyone, reserve a table for your team for a chance to win free booze and bragging points. Dressing up is encouraged, but unfortunately, it won’t win you bonus points. Essex Restaurant, 120 Essex St (212-533-9616, triviaad.com). Sun 23 8–9:30pm.