Don’t scoff, jaded New Yorker—there are a lot of free things to do in NYC today. We understand: When you live in one of the most expensive cities in America, it’s hard to imagine how anything in this town could be gratis. But guess what? Every event on this list is free, and actually awesome! That’s right, we found the best concerts, free art exhibitions, comedy shows, cultural celebrations and events happening in NYC parks, so you can have the time of your life without paying a dime. Whether you’re looking for free date ideas or something to do with visiting relatives, we got you.
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Best free things to do in NYC today
Tictail and Absolut Art team up for this rad Lower East Side tour, which displays the work of female artists on local businesses. Though self-led tours of the pieces are available for visitors of Tictail, you can head to guided tours on May 20–21 to learn more about the creators.
Jeffrey Emerson, Jill Weiner and Brian Moran host this weekly night of stellar stand-up featuring a diverse range of comedians, including known names like Matteo Lane and Farah Brook and newcomers like Menuhin Hart and Melissa Diaz. The May 15 edition features Sally Ann Hall, Chanel Ali, Ryan Mulholland, Ethan Hall, Cres Hernandez and Sonja Savanovic.
This exhibition collects sculpture, vase paintings, ritual items, coins and artifacts from the Ancient Greece of the Iliad through the beginning of Pagan Antiquity to question how the society of Heraclitus and Homer viewed and expressed feelings. View pieces from the Acropolis, the Louvre and beyond to see how reason, wrath and revenge were reconciled in one of civilization's great epochs.
More than 50 years since its inception, the Black Power movement's influence can still be felt around the world. It's impact on modern activism, as well as hip hop, fashion, visual art and spoken word performance, is difficult to overstate. This insightful exhibition offers New Yorkers the chance to learn more about the movement's roots, achievements and failures, as well as its enduring legacy.
LeGrande inside The Time New York Hotel has all the makings to host the perfect '90's throwback bash. Relieve the glory days of your youth by playing classic board games like Don't Wake Daddy, Kerplunk, Guess Who? and Clue while sipping themed cocktails ($10) reminiscent of your childhood sugar cravings. After sinking your friend's battle ship, unwind by watching old-school cartoons and shows from TGIF projected on the lounge’s TV screens and down a few cereal shots. (One tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!)
Comedy darling Dave Mizzoni welcomes a lineup of passionate comedians to present their favorite music videos at this Pop-Up Video-style stand-up night. Cast your vote on the picks of Mo Fry Pasic, Rachel Joravsky, J.W. Crump and Remy Germinario to decide which vids make it into the Hall of Fame, and which are "banished." And do not dare disrespect Madonna's "Hung Up," lest you face the consequences.