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The five best free things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

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 concertart exhibitcomedy 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

Citi Summer in the Square Union Square; Thu 21 at various times
Every Thursday during the summer, Union Square Park hosts a full day of free activities, including yoga, cardio and bootcamp classes, lunchtime jazz, screenings of classic flicks like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Hairspray, and a series of dueling performances, wherein pianists, beatboxers, dancers and guitarists square off to see who can put on the best show. Visit to see the full lineup of events and drop in for some gratis outdoor fun.

Socrates Sculpture Park Summer Solstice Celebration; Thu 21at 5pm
Celebrate the longest (and hopefully sunniest) day of the year at this art-focused outdoor party, which includes workshops from the Noguchi Museum; a communal art-making project using the park's trees; and performances by vocalist STEFA* and all-women drum crew Batalá New York. The day ends with a sunset shamanic circle by the water. Not a bad way to get some good weekend vibes.

Court Yard Fridays Staten Island Borough Hall; Fri 22 at 5pm
This weekly concert series goes down just across the street from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, so residents of other boroughs have to do little more than take a quick boat ride to catch a free show. The lineup includes live techno outfit Worldtown Soundsystem, Latin-jazz vet Papo Vázquez, funky bhangra fusion band Red Baraat and acoustic jazz ensemble UTA All Stars.

Punk Island Randalls Island Park; Sat 23 at various times
The summer months are never short on music festivals, but sometimes bank accounts are short on cash, so thankfully there's this free annual event on Randalls Island, which invites more than 70 punk bands to rage. With subgenres including pop-punk, grindcore and Gypsy punk, you’re sure to find an act that plays your preferred brand of rebellion.

Rooftop Cinema at Azul at Hotel Hugo; Mon 25 at 7:30pm
Hit Hotel Hugo's open-air Cuban cantina to catch a free flick set against a picturesque city backdrop at this free weekly outdoor movie series. Films begin at sundown, but we recommend getting there a little early to grab a mojito and settle in for a prime view. Mon 18 features that most classic of underdog tales, Rocky.

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