When you live in NYC, 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: Full guide to free things to do in NYC
Top Gun on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; Fri 25 at 7pm
Before America was great again and Tom Cruise was super weird, there was this gem of pop Americana featuring hot pilots high-fiving on the beach (we're sure that some other stuff happens too). And now you can watch it from the flight deck of an actual aircraft carrier? GTFO.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit; Sat 26 through Mon 28, starts at noon
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft. The show takes place on University Place starting at E 13th St.
Passport to Taiwan Union Square; Sun 27 at noon
Celebrate Taiwanese American Heritage Week in Union Square Park with live performances by Taiwanese-Americans and food traditionally found in Taiwan's “night markets.” Learn the traditional arts of lion-head painting, paper umbrella making and sugar blowing with craft masters, and take notes on the soy sauce–making exhibition.
Mamapalooza Riverside Park South, Pier 1; Sun 27 at noon
This celebration on the Hudson is all about motherhood: Mamas are honored with music and burlesque performances, live stand-up routines and lots of activities for little ones. Don't miss a performance from local preschooler-regaling punk rockers the Anna Banana Band, or a chance to jump around in the Gymboree play tent. All ages.
Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade at various locations; Mon 28
Catholic war veterans lead Brooklyn service organizations in honor of fallen soldiers and their families in one of the oldest parades in Brooklyn—in fact, it's now in its 151st year. Sponsored by the United Military Veterans of Kings County, the ceremony kicks off at 11am on Third Avenue and 78th Street in Bay Ridge, then proceeds along Fourth Avenue and ends with a 21-gun salute by the U.S. Army at Fort Hamilton. The NYPD and FDNY will also march, Brooklyn high-school bands will perform, and antique fire trucks and autos will be on display.