Free Things to do in New York!

Going to New York always leads to a great adventure. To the ill-prepared, it may end up being a very expensive one at that. There are some fabulous attractions that cost a pretty penny and if we’re being honest, they are often worth it, but if you are a poor, starving student or running a little low on family vacation funds, there are plenty of fun, FREE things to do throughout New York that will ensure a memorable and unique experience.

Staten Island Ferry

If you go to New York City and don’t see the Statue of Liberty at least sort of up close, there is something seriously wrong with you. It’s like an unwritten law that you must see it when visiting NYC. Luckily, there is a free solution that should not be passed up. The Staten Island Ferry is completely free, and it takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. Since 1905, the ferry has been a go-to form of transportation for people commuting between Staten Island and Manhattan. And if tourists hop on to check out the sites and enjoy the ride, so be it.

Central Park

Like unto the mandate that every visitor to NYC must see the Statue of Liberty, so they must visit Central Park. Parks are generally free and Central Park is no exception. What is exceptional, however, is the park itself. It is a huge, beautiful, and vibrant park filled with both calm relaxation and energetic life. There are often free concerts and street performances to attend, or you can simply watch people canoeing on the lake or take a buggy ride, and if you’ve the extra cash, there are other paid attractions too. You could spend all day in the park and never get bored!

Times Square

If you’re looking for some exciting big-city street life and a classic New York experience, hanging out around Times Square is a must-do. Again, you’re sure to see street performers, artists, special events, and feel that New York atmosphere at its finest! Just think of all the classic movie scenes that were shot there and admire the timeless landmarks that are recognized world-wide!

New York Public Library

The library is a classic and beautiful landmark that is gorgeous both inside and out. There are free tours twice a day at 11AM and 2PM Monday through Saturday and one Sunday morning at 11, except during the summer when they are closed on Sunday. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to learn more about the library, see the exhibits, and explore this beautiful, historic building.


There are many other free and exciting attractions in New York including free public boathouse kayaking, the Rockefeller Center, the old wooden escalators in Macy’s, and more. Also be aware that several attractions that usually cost a fee have either a “suggested fee,” meaning pay what you want or nothing if you are stingy, or selected blocks of time that are “free entrance.” These places include the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo, both the Brooklyn and New York Botanical Gardens, etc.

Check out these awesome New York attractions and create your own, free New York City Tour!

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