Best free things to do in NYC today
Whether you're visiting town and looking for laughs or a jaded New Yorker who needs a break, you can count on Jeffrey Emerson and Jill Weiner to deliver excellent comedy at this free weekly East Village stand-up night. Look out for some of our favorite all-star performers to hit up the low-key show.
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 you’ll have to shell out $15–$19 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your time on the ice, warm up at spacious rinkside foodhall the Lodge. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours. RECOMMENDED: More rinks for ice skating in NYC
He’s worked with Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue and just about every downtown act in NYC. Now composer, pianist and performer Lance Horne hosts his own wild night of singing, drinking and dancing, strip-teasing and bad behavior at the East Village nightlife hub Club Cumming. Expect advanced show-tune geekery and appearances by Broadway stars looking to get down by the piano. Plan on sleeping in on Tuesday.
The Bushwick Starr, one of the city's most exciting Off-Off venues, presents its semiannual series of free readings. The December edition features work by Raquel Almazan (Dec 10), Georgina Escobar (Dec 11), Seonjae Kim (Dec 17) and Diane Exavier (Dec 18).
The very funny Andy Sandford invites comics to road test new material at this free weekly show. The lineup is kept secret, but count on catching some of the scene's brightest (previous guests include Judah Friedlander and Josh Gondelman). Trust us, this is the most fun you'll ever have as a test subject.
At this long-running stand-up show, host Calvin S. Cato and guests hailing from BET, Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 serve up free laughs and candy, so you can save your money for more important things, like drinking.
Nataly Aukar and Thiago Macklin shut down Pianos bar every month for a charming night of free stand-up. At the September edition, they're joined by Ian Fidance, Eman Morgan, Peter Wong, Blair Dawson, Deno Demartino and Nick Alex.