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100 things to do in NYC for under $100

On a budget? Check out our insider's guide to 100 things to do for under $100 in New York City.

By Annalise Mantz and Time Out contributors |
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NYBG
Photograph: Virginia Rollison Photograph: Virginia Rollison

New York consistently ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it doesn't always have to be so tough on your wallet. That’s why we’ve rounded up 100 of the best things to do in NYC for under $100. Tour one of the most famous New York attractions, taste the local cuisine on a food tour or wander through one of the many fascinating museums in NYC. You can even score tickets to some of the best Broadway shows, concerts and sports games without breaking the bank. No matter how tight your budget is, there’s something for you on this list.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to cheap things to do in NYC

100 things to do in NYC for less than $100

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Photograph: Courtesy the Museum Of Modern Art, New York
Museums, Art and design

Visit the Museum of Modern Art

Midtown West

Considering the MoMA’s reputation for having one of the world’s finest collections of art from the 18th century through today, it’s no surprise that around nearly every corner of the venerated museum is a seminal piece by an artist trumpeted in art history or coveted by contemporary collectors. If you really want to experience the museum and all it has to offer, go on a weekday and buy your all-inclusive ticket online. You’ll skip the line and find yourself unencumbered as you stop to contemplate the meaning of time in front of Salvador Dali’s melted-clock painting The Persistance of Memory$25 per person

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Brooklyn Charm
Shopping, Jewelry

Learn to bead at Brooklyn Charm

Williamsburg

Pinterest lovers, this one’s for you. Unleash your creativity in a class at Brooklyn Charm, a jewelry design shop and veritable haven for the DIY-obsessed. Choose from workshops on wire-wrapped pendants, basic earrings, stamping and engraving. The price includes all the materials you need—plus, you get to take your creations home. $40 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy Colin Miller
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Skate around the rink at Bryant Park

Midtown West

Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late. Don’t get too excited—the admission may be gratis, but during the holidays, you’ll have to shell out $20 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Public Fare, or browse the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours. Free

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Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Museums, Art and design

Spend an afternoon at the Cloisters

Washington Heights

Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived from the Middle Ages. (It was built less than 100 years ago, using material from five medieval French cloisters.) Be sure to check out the famous Unicorn Tapestries, the 12th-century Fuentidueña Chapel and the Annunciation Triptych by Robert Campin. $25 per person

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101spring306momi
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels
Museums, Movies and TV

Geek out at the Museum of the Moving Image

Astoria

Only 15 minutes from midtown, the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the city’s most dynamic institutions and an essential activity for film buffs. Rubbing elbows with Kaufman Astoria Studios, it includes a three-story extension that features a state-of-the-art 267-seat cinema and expanded gallery spaces. Meanwhile, the museum’s “Behind the Screen” exhibit examines every step of the filmmaking process, with artifacts from more than 1,000 different productions, and 14 classic (playable!) video games, including Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders$15 per person

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Brooklen Heights promenade and views of Manhattan
Photograph: Michael Kirby
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Stroll around Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade

Brooklyn Heights

It’s easy to forget that you’re standing atop the hectic Brooklyn-Queens Expressway while walking along this esplanade, which opened in 1950. But the thoroughfare is inextricably linked to the Promenade’s existence: Community opposition to the BQE—which was originally intended to cut through Brooklyn Heights—led city planner Robert Moses to reroute the highway along the waterfront. He also proposed building a park atop the road to block noise. Stroll down its length, pausing to appreciate postcard-ready views of lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty; then meet up with a tour to view some of the 19th-century row houses down Brooklyn Heights’ tree-lined side streets. $28 per person 

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Crack pie from Momofuku Milk Bar
Photograph: Jessica Lin
Restaurants, Bakeries

Bake some of Milk Bar's signature treats

Williamsburg

The only thing better than indulging in Momofuku Milk Bar’s crack pie or birthday truffles? Learning to make them yourself, so you can satisfy a craving anytime you want. Now that really takes the cake. $95 per person

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Met Breuer
Photograph: Ed Lederman
Art

Wander the galleries of the Met Breuer

Lenox Hill

Breuer’s name graces what’s basically an entirely new institution intended to make the Met a major player in the current art scene: In addition to housing the Met’s collection of modern and contemporary art, the museum mounts major exhibitions of recent artists. $25 per person

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Prospect Park, 101 TTD
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Forage for edible plants in Prospect Park

Prospect Park

Get back in touch with nature with a guided walk through Prospect Park. Self-proclaimed “wildman” Steve Brill will teach you how to forage for wild carrots, mushrooms, persimmons, and herbs. If you’re lucky, you might not have to hit the grocery store this week. $20 per person

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Museums, Art and design

Check out the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Upper East Side

While the Guggenheim’s collection of modern art is certainly impressive, it is impossible to separate the museum’s contents from its form with architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s brilliant and controversial design. Opened just months after Wright’s death in 1959, the concrete inverted ziggernaut (a Babylonian step pyramid), stomped on the expectations and tradition of clean square galleries exemplified and cherished by the neighboring Upper East Side museums. Best experienced as Wright intended by taking the elevator to the top of the museum and following the gentle slope down, the art is revealed at different angles along the descent and across the open circular rotunda in a way that even the most well known Monet landscape might seem like a revelation. $25 per person

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