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: Free things to do in NYC guide
Make Music Winter
Now in its seventh year, this music-making march invites New Yorkers to join processions of joyful noise through parks and other public places in all five boroughs. Gatherings include Bell by Bell, at which 96 bells will be distributed to ring through the East Village (Tompkins Square Park, 6pm); the fiddling and dancing frenzy Flatfoot Flatbush (354 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn; 4pm); and many more. Various locations (makemusicny.org). Thu 21 noon–8pm.
Seinfeld Trivia Extravaganza & Airing of Grievances
Think you know “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld better than anyone? Assemble a group of antiholiday people (a total of four) to test your Festivus knowledge during Trivia AD’s head-scratching quiz night. After many beers and some tough trivia rounds, you may have to host your own Festivus dinner where you gather your friends and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you this year. Slattery’s Midtown Pub, 8 E 36th Stg (212-683-6444, triviaad.com). Sat 23 at 5:30pm; free.
The Nutcracker Ball
You may be hungover through Christmas Day after hitting this joyous bash, courtesy of Lower East Side joint Arlene’s Grocery. Show up to the beloved rock and karaoke spot in your most glorious ugly sweater or North Pole couture, and dance on the decked-out Nutcracker stage while DJs You Love Poon and Church spin killer beats late into the night. Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St (212-358-1633, thenutcrackerballnyc.splashthat.com). Sat 23 at 11pm.
Young Adult Friction:An Indie & Alt Dance Party
Lose yourself to the sounds of the Cure, Grimes, Mazzy Star, the Walkmen and other alternative icons at this monthly jam. For the holiday edition, DJs Doug Dealer and Deseos add some unexpected merriment—like Julian Casablancas’s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” and Blink 182’s “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas”—to the indie proceedings. Brooklyn Bazaar, 150 Greenpoint Ave (bkbazaar.com). Sat 23 at 10pm.
Home Alone Trivia
“KEVIN!” There’s no better way to toast Christmas Eve in NYC than by celebrating this tale of familial holiday separation. Bring as many as four buddies to Stone Creek to test your knowledge of Catherine O’Hara monologues, the Polka King of the Midwest and the horrific abuses an eight-year-old can inflict upon the Wet Bandits. Stone Creek Bar and Lounge, 140 E 27th St (212-532-1037, triviaad.com). Sun 24 1–2:30pm.