Planning a trip to New York City can be expensive at the best of times. Especially if you’ve never been, or are travelling with someone who’s never been. It means you’ll do all the touristy stuff, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, the Met, a Broadway show, to name just a few. Twenty-five bucks here, fourteen bucks there, $100+ for show tickets, it all adds up pretty quickly.
The good news is that there is a ton of cool stuff to do and see in New York City that doesn’t cost a dime. Since I was just there last week, I wanted to share some of my personal faves.
Chelsea is home to a mecca of galleries nestled mostly in the 20s Streets between 10th & 11th Aves. Rumour has it that lots of galleries offer wine and cheese openings on Thursdays.
Brooklyn Brewery – any chance I get to go inside a brewery for a free tour and taste, I’m there!Tours run on the hour from 1-5 on Saturdays & 1-4 on Sundays.
New York Earth Room – what’s there, you ask? Dirt. 280,000 pounds of dirt. How often to you get to see a single room filled with that much dirt?
Rockefeller Center was built during the depression in the 1930s and spans an impressive 22-acres of the city. You’ve seen the giant Christmas tree in NYC, right? Well that’s Rockefeller Center, and it’s free to visit!
Bronx Zoo might be of interest if you’re travelling with kids – or even if you’re not! It’s the oldest and largest zoo in the entire US, occupying a whopping 265 acres and housing more than 4000 animals. The Bronx Zoo operates on a donation system on Wednesdays.
If the zoo isn’t your thing, maybe you’d rather peruse innovative art, lights shows and maybe take in a movie. If so, Socrates Sculpture Park offers all of the above on Wednesdays as well.
Everyone loves a botanical garden, and you can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for free on Tuesdays, and from 10am to noon on Saturdays.
When it’s time to escape the chaos of the city streets, you can rent a kayak for free on the weekends and on some evenings from public boathouses along the Hudson River.
Well, back to reality. The best of all free sight to see in NYC is the 9/11 Memorial. Experience the magnificent waterfalls and reflecting pools set within the footprints of the North and South Towers.
While you’re there, look way up to see the new Freedom Towers currently being built! I speak from the heart when I tell you this was truly a magical experience not to be missed.
What are some of you favourite free things to do in New York City? Share them with us below!