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The five best free things to do in NYC this week

By David Goldberg

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

Female Empowerment Thematic Tour
The Rubin Museum of Art welcomes you to explore the goddesses and heroines of art from India, Nepal, China, Bhutan and Mongolia, all on view in the museum’s current exhibitions. Docent and Asian-art historian Antoinette Maclachlan introduces you to tantric goddesses and female yoga masters based in history and mythology. Learn how the divine feminine is honored through ritual items like prayer wheels and painted scrolls. 150 W 17th St (212-620-5000, Wed 16 7–8pm.

Lunch Break made extraordinary with Perrier
Throw a wrench into your nine-to-five with a totally insane one-to-two at Lavo, where the Roots frontman and Jimmy Fallon’s best bro DJ Questlove spins cheerful afternoon jams. Don’t worry about crashing your blood sugar to get down in the daytime; revelers walk away with a free bagged lunch and a Perrier cocktail. Lavo, 39 E 58th St (212-750-5588, Thu 17 at 1pm.

The Plug: A Pop-Up Experience
Black community activism group Let Us Live hosts this day of shopping, dancing and vibing at the massive Stuyvesant Mansion. The “pop-off” features kitschy jewelry, mod clothes and stellar kicks from Brooklyn vendors, along with home-cooked goodies and drinks. DJ C. Devone keeps you in a good mood with hip-hop jams and dope track beats. If you’re going to spend a mint on Christmas gifts, you might as well shop locally. 375 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn (917-947-8933, Sun 20 1–7pm.

Lord of the Rings Trivia
It takes one ring—and five rounds of trivia—to rule them all at this showdown for fans of the seminal fantasy series. Show up with a fellowship of up to four buddies, and prove how much you know about witch kings, eleventy-first birthdays, and beards both white and gray. Winning earns you a free beer, which you may refer to as “my precious.” Videology, 308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn (718-782-3468, Sun 20 at 8pm.

Super Sábado: Música Madness
Every month, El Museo del Barrio shakes up its programming with a free day of art and partying. At this music-based edition, check out exhibitions like the fashion illustration retrospective “Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion;” learn how to move and grind to Colombian cumbia beats; hear folktales from the Antilles region; and build your own güiro percussion gourd. The day ends with a bangin’ concert from Colombian Afrobeat and funk band, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem. 1230 Fifth Ave (212-831-7272, Sat 19 noon–5pm.


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