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 have a good time without paying a dime. Here are the best free parties, cultural events and things to do between now and next Wednesday.
RECOMMENDED: Guide to free things to do in NYC
Every year, some of the city’s most inventive artists create stunning works entirely out of full cans of food, which are then donated to City Harvest. Witness the spectacle of larger-than-life re-creations of SpongeBob SquarePants, the Brooklyn Bridge and Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog in their nonperishable glory at this astonishing exhibition. Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St (newyork.canstruction.org). Thu 3–Nov 16 10am–9pm.
Ferrante Night Fever
If you spent your subway rides this year with your nose in one of Elena Ferrante’s heartbreaking Neapolitan novels, you’re not alone. Join other fans at launch parties for her collection of essays, Frantumaglia, and children’s book, The Beach at Night. Head to Community Bookstore on Thursday 3, the Astoria Bookshop on Friday 4 and BookCourt on Saturday 5 for panels about the author, which include John Turturro, translator Ann Goldstein and other guests. Various locations (europaeditions.com/ferrantenightfever). Thu 3–Sat 5 at various times.
Mutton! Toxic envelopes! Black-and-white cookies! Rejoice with fans at this trivia showdown, at which you and a team of four buddies (or bizarros) can prove how many times you’ve watched the 180-episode show about nothing. Between wings, guacamole and burgers from Stone Creek Bar and Lounge’s solid menu, you must dominate five rounds of trivia to prove you’re the master of your domain. Better consult your Svengali or start watching reruns now (as if you ever stopped). 140 E 27th St (212-532-1037, triviaad.com). Thu 3 8–9:30pm.
Quit gawking at what dishes your friends are posting, and outdo them all at this celebration of photogenic and totally delicious food. You can expect live music, comedy and other amusements to keep you entertained while you peruse the goodies. Check out custom-made Push Pops from Seven 1 Cake, gooey mac and cheese from House of Mac, fried chicken sandwiches from Heros & Villains and plenty of other treats at this endless feast. You’re about to win Instagram for the weekend.395 Johnson Ave, Brooklyn (foodpornfestbk.com). Sat 5, Sun 6 11am–7pm.
Target First Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum
For this month’s edition of its free Saturday series, the Brooklyn Museum invites artists, comedians and musicians to comment on the election. Learn about the history of political pins dating back to Abraham Lincoln’s bid for presidency; get down to protest anthems mashed up with DJ Chela and Chiquita Brujita; enjoy a political striptease from Brown Girls Burlesque; and laugh about politics with Christian Finnegan and Sherrod Small. 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn (718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org). Sat 5 10am–9:30pm.