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
Tribeca Drive-In Dinner and a Movie on Oculus Plaza Westfield World Trade Center; Thu 14; free
Westfield World Trade Center returns with another edition of its summer series of alfresco movie nights in the Oculus Plaza. All of the flicks are chosen by the programmers of the Tribeca Film Fest (so you know they're good), plus there's live music and tasty food for purchase from Eataly, Choza Taqueria, Grom and more. The season kicks off with La La Land (Thu 14).
Str8 West Coastin’ Project Parlor; Sat 16 at 2pm; free
It's summertime in the LBC—er, Brooklyn, whatever. Get loose in Project Parlor’s backyard like you’re at a Southern California house party with this summer rager featuring DJs Still Life, Tara and Dopeshoes. Jam to Tupac, E-40, Salt-N-Pepa, Dr. Dre and more while partaking of eats from Bowie's BBQ and, if you show up early enough, free beer (cans of Old Blue Last are gratis from 2pm–4pm, or until supplies last).
Coney Island Mermaid Parade; Sat 16 at 1pm; free
Now in its 36th year, Coney Island’s epic procession of wild floats and barely clad revelers is as kitschy, campy and fabulous as ever. Those who are serious about their scales can register to win coveted titles like Best Sea Creature, Best Motorized Float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, while the rest of us bask in the glow of a blinding array of sequins and engage in some much-needed beachside celebrating.
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival Museum at Eldridge Street; Sun 17 at noon; free
Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side at this block party. While Peking Opera performers and klezmer bands take the outdoor stage, you can catch free language lessons, master your mah-jongg game and, best of all, learn how to prepare empanadas, Chinese dumplings and kreplach and challah bread. Endless grub will be available for sale.
Rubin Museum of Art Block Party The Rubin Museum of Art; Sun 17 at 1pm; free
The Rubin looks ahead with this "We Are the Future" edition of its annual free outdoor get down. Relax in a mobile garden, construct an imaginary future city, attend a drone demo, watch dance and sand mandala performances and more at this three-hour event. Van Leeuwen ice cream and Brooklyn Popcorn Truck will be on hand to keep you fueled.