Top 10 Free Things To Do in New York City

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New York City is a gorgeous city with practically limitless things to do and see. With so much to explore, costs can add up pretty quickly. If you’re looking ... read more...

  1. Central Park is an urban park in New York City, between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the fifth largest park in the city. It is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 42 million visitors anually, and is the most filmed location in the world. Its size and cultural position make it a model for the world's urban parks. Therefore, exploring Central Park is a free thing to do in New York City.

    While some of the attractions within Central Park do charge a fee, exploring the park itself is totally free! This iconic city park consists of over 800-acres that are perfect for activities such as picnicking, jogging, and taking memorable photos. While you’re exploring the park, check out Gapstow Bridge – you might recognize it from movies such as Home Alone 2. Bethesda Fountain as well as The Lake are also a few other notable spots. You can look forward to watching rowboats at the latter. If you want to try a boat out yourself, they are available for rent and are surprisingly cheap at $15/hr

  2. The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design. This city park has a unique draw – it’s a 1.45-mile long greenway that winds above sections of the city.

    The High Line is bordered by lush foliage and offers great views of the surrounding city. It’s also home to several public art installations along its route. Sections of the High Line can close due to inclement weather, so be sure to double-check what’s open close to your excursion. The High Line is open daily, with select measures in place to ensure the safety and comfort of our visitors and park staff. Free docent-led public tours are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from May to October, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from November to April.
  3. Times Square is a major commercial intersection, a tourist destination, entertainment center, and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, it is sometimes referred to as "the Crossroads of the World", "the Center of the Universe", "the heart of the Great White Way", and "the heart of the world".One of the world's busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world's entertainment industry.

    Times Square is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.Visiting Times Square is an iconic thing and a free thing to do in New York City, and also entirely free to explore the area itself! While you will have to spend money to shop at the surrounding stores, you can also just take in the sights, or take some Instagram-worthy photos.
  4. The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry route operated by the New York City Department of Transportation. The ferry's single route runs 5.2 miles (8.4 km) through New York Harbor between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island. Historically, the Staten Island Ferry has charged a relatively low fare compared to other modes of transit in the area; and the route has been fare-free. The Staten Island Ferry is one of several ferry systems in the New York City area and is operated separately from systems such as NYC Ferry and NY Waterway.

    The Staten Island Ferry is actually entirely free to ride, and not only offers a fun way to get from Manhatten to Staten Island but also great views of the statue of liberty. If you’re looking to make a roundtrip, however, you will have to disembark on one end and wait to board again. The ferry runs 7 days a week, and advance tickets are not required to board it. This activity is a free thing to do in New York City that you should experience.
  5. The Queens County Farm Museum, also known as Queens Farm, is a historic farm located on 47 acres (190,000 m2) of the neighborhoods of Floral Park and Glen Oaks in Queens, New York City. If you’re willing to head a little outside of the city, the Queens County Farm Museum is well worth the trip. This working museum and farm are located about 30 minutes from downtown Manhattan.

    The farm occupies the city's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland, and is still a working farm today. The site features restored farm buildings from three different centuries, a greenhouse, planting fields, livestock, and various examples of vintage farm equipment. Queens Farm practices sustainable agriculture and has a four-season growing program. You’ll be able to see up-close how this historic farm works, and you can also get some hands-on experience via feeding some of the animals, going on a hay bale ride, or checking out one of several classes on topics such as animal keeping.
  6. The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City, spanning the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Opened on May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first fixed crossing of the East River. The span was originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge or the East River Bridge but was officially renamed the Brooklyn Bridge in 1915. And walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a free thing to do in New York City that you should experience.

    The Brooklyn Bridge is the southernmost of the four toll-free vehicular bridges connecting Manhattan Island and Long Island, with the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the Queensboro Bridge to the north. Only passenger vehicles and pedestrian and bicycle traffic are permitted. A major tourist attraction since its opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has become an icon of New York City. If it’s your first time in the city, or you haven’t been to see it yet, check out the iconic Brooklyn bridge. This is an excellent spot for photos as well as get a bit of exercise – the pedestrian walking both along the bridge spans a little over a mile.
  7. The Polonsky Exhibit is the first-ever permanent exhibit from the New York Public Library and highlights various items from the library’s research collections. Some such items include handwritten letters, manuscripts, and historical documents – if you’re a history or literary lover, this is the exhibit for you. Admission to the exhibit is free, though timed-entry reservations are required.

    The treasures in this exhibition tell the stories of people, places, and moments spanning 4,000 years—from the emergence of the written word through to the present day. Visitors will encounter manuscripts, artworks, letters, still and moving images, recordings, and more that bring vividly to life voices of the past. While the Library’s collections have always been available for public use, the Polonsky Exhibition builds on our 125-year legacy by offering a unique opportunity to make new connections and expand our understanding of the world and each other—so that together we can shape a better future.
  8. The Morgan Library & Museum, formerly the Pierpont Morgan Library, is a museum and research library in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. Formerly known as the Pierpont Morgan Library, Morgan Library and Museum consists of several buildings. The site was formerly occupied by residences of the Phelps family, one of which banker J. P. Morgan had purchased in 1880. The Morgan Library was founded in 1906 to house Morgan's private library, which included manuscripts and printed books, as well as his collection of prints and drawings.

    Morgan Library and Museum is a great option for those looking to learn more about history, or who enjoy museums in general. Even the casual visitor will be amazed by the gorgeous architecture and murals that adorn the main building. The library also hosts special events and shows, such as their upcoming.
  9. Brooklyn Brewery is a brewery in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. It was started in 1988 by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Here’s a fun option for a free tour in the city! Brooklyn Brewery offers free tours of the brewery, highlighting the process as well as history. Touring Brooklyn Brewery is a free thing to do in New York City that you should experience.

    The brewery does also offer beer tastings, though these do cost a small free. The Tasting Room is open for indoor and limited outdoor service, and to-go and delivery beer and gear each Monday-Wednesday from 4-9 PM, Thursday from 4-10 PM, Friday from 2-10 PM, Saturday from 12-11 PM, and Sunday from 12-8 PM. Drinkers from down the block and around the globe come together in the Williamsburg home to celebrate their beverage of choice. It’s getting back to packed weekends and laid-back weeknights, with parties, fundraisers, live music, bar trivia, and more filling the room.
  10. The Bronx Zoo (also historically the Bronx Zoological Park and the Bronx Zoological Gardens) is a zoo within Bronx Park in the Bronx, New York. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States by area and is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States by area, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats separated by the Bronx River. Today, the Bronx Zoo is a world-renowned for its large and diverse animal collection, and its award-winning exhibitions.

    The Bronx Zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). While the Bronx Zoo does usually charge an entry fee, they also offer free admission every Wednesday. If you are going to be in the city midweek, this is a great way to see the iconic zoo without spending a dime on entry. Reservations ahead of time are required and open each Monday at 5 p.m. for the following Wednesday. Visiting The Bronx Zoo is a free thing to do in New York City that you should experience.

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