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
Tired of the tourists snatching the best retro threads at well-known fleas before you even have a chance to dig? Bushwick Flea joined the area’s market scene last year, and a few vendors from the original Brooklyn Flea sell their goods, so sift through their prime loot and avoid the masses. Other sellers run the gamut from Alpha & Omega jewelry to Zingara Vintage. Bonus: live music every Sunday!Read more
This open-air bazaar is Queens’ answer to the Brooklyn Flea, as both markets offer a wide array of retro wares and antiques, finger-licking–delicious eats and gorgeous skyline views that could bring a tear to the eye of the most jaded New Yorker. But it certainly pays to take a train or ferry to enjoy the Flea’s all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden, which serves eight beers from spots like SingleCut Beersmiths and Queens Brewery; the suds come in handy when you need to wash down Butcher Bar’s wood-smoked BBQ and red velvet funnel cake from A Lil’ Bit of Fun. More like a Lil’ Bit of yum, right?Read more
This flea reopens in March, and though the list of sellers at this under-the-radar market is small, the variety of budget-friendly finds is massive. Expect to see loot like dainty pendant necklaces ($30) from Cameo Sisters and graphic tees ($34) from Dangerous Breed. But you’ll want to revisit the flea each month to scope out new additions from interchangable vendors.Read more
Oktoberfest technically ends on October 16, but there are two extra weeks of suds-soaked festivities at this midtown beer hall, including keg tapping with special guests and its annual bratwurst-eating championship. In addition to the wieners, find slow-roasted pork shank, sauerkraut and soft pretzels imported from Germany. The salty snacks will complement five Hofbräu drafts, like Dunkel and Hefe Weizen all of which can be ordered two liters at a time in “Das Boot.”Read more
Start reciting the lyrics to “This Is Halloween” now because the quizmasters from Trivia AD are going to try to stump you on Tim Burton’s Claymation classic. If you think you know Sally and Jack better than anyone, reserve a table for your team for a chance to win free booze and bragging points. Dressing up is encouraged, but unfortunately, it won’t win you bonus points.Read more
In an ambitious exhibit that's as sexy as it is educational, Jonathan Katz traces queer art from antiquity and the Renaissance (think sculptures of Sappho and muscleman drawings by Michelangelo) to the modern era (including work by boundary-pushing artists like Del LaGrace Volcano and Robert Mapplethorpe).Read more