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
Good Riddance Day in Times Square; noon
Rid yourself of 2017’s baggage at the 11th edition of this annual purging event, inspired by the Latin American tradition of burning dolls that represent gripes from the year before. Bring the things you want to forget to Times Square—the Times Square Alliance will provide shredders, dumpsters and sledgehammers.
Tainted Love: ’80s Dance Party with DJ Jane Elizabeth The Bell House
Fans of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and Siouxsie and the Banshees show up in droves to dance to synth-pop, new wave, glam rock, old-school hip-hop and more at this monthly party helmed by DJ Jane Elizabeth. Tease out your hair and let loose on the dance floor to massive hits and lesser-known jams of the era.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Prospect Park Grand Army Plaza; 10:30pm
Bundle up for a free, low-key New Year’s Eve with fireworks sparkling over Park Slope. Live music starts at around 10:30pm at Grand Army Plaza, where you can also snag a cup of hot cocoa. At midnight, fireworks will go off at Long Meadow; the best vantage points are at Grand Army Plaza, inside the park on West Drive and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street.
Coney Island New Year’s Eve Steeplechase Park; 9pm
The only headache you’ll wake up with after this extravaganza will be from taking one too many spins on the Ferris wheel. Once again, the Alliance for Coney Island opens the city’s famous summertime playground at the end of December. In addition to fireworks over the boardwalk and live sideshow performances, chilly seaside revelers have the cool opportunity (if the weather cooperates) to take rides on the B&B Carousell, the Wonder Wheel and the Thunderbolt. The New York Aquarium also joins the action by welcoming visitors until 9pm—the penguins have already donned their tuxedos for the big night.
Arkham Bizarre; 10pm
Ring in a truly dark Black Friday at this divine dungeon rave going down every month at Bizarre. Resident DJ Cyclonus and guest DJ James David spin a lurid mix of ’80s synth, postpunk, death-rock and goth music. While you dance to Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adam and the Ants and Depeche Mode, you can catch glimpses of horror movies projected on the walls and take your night to the next level with absinthe cocktails. Partygoer beware: you’re in for a scare.