Free Events, Free Things to Do in New York City! Read More
This page gives you information about the best and most interesting, off the beaten path, free and inexpensive acivities in New York City (NYC) starting with Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (Wed, 4/1/2015) and on.
Join the Club!
The quality and quantity of
free things to do
that happen in New York City every day of the year is truly amazing.
So don't miss the opportunities that only New York provides: stop wondering what to do; start taking advantage of free things to do, free events to go to in NYC today!
Top Free Activities and Entertainment in New York City, NYC
All events, things to do are free unless otherwise noted.
Check out our hand picked list of the best free things to do in NYC today, this weekend and in the coming weeks.
Come discover the history of Great White Way! Explore Times Square, the Broadway Theater District, and 42nd Street, an area synonymous with American entertainment from stage to screen. These are the stories of dreams fulfilled and hopes dashed; a neighborhood that has seen everything from huge celebrations to desolation and neglect. Where everyone from Mary Pickford and Helen Hayes to Bradley Cooper and Denzel Washington have plied their craft on the boards; you will hear stories of the men and women who have made made this the center of the world of theater.New York City, NY; NYC
Join ITNY as they bring together world-class professional performers in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their City Skate Concert Series. The concert will include programming from our 30 years of repertory.New York City, NY; NYC
Glenn Dicterow's extraordinary musical gifts became apparent when, at age 11, he made his solo debut in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (where is father, Harold Dicterow, served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years). In the following years, Mr. Dicterow became one of the most sought-after young artists, appearing as soloist from coast to coast. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Ivan Galamian. In 1967, at age 18, he performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Andre Kostelanetz in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. He joined the orchestra as Concertmaster and has since performed as soloist every year. He concluded his Philharmonic tenure this past June with a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, with Pianist Yefim Bronfman and cellist Carter Brey. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, he served as Associate Concertmaster and Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.New York City, NY; NYC
The first modern italian singer and songwriter is told through his songs and his words - from the beginning until his tragic end at the 1967 Sanremo Festival. The show will include performances of famous songs such as Mi sono innamorato di te, Lontano lontano, Vedrai vedrai and the final masterpiece Ciao amore, ciao.
Elena Buttiero, piano
Ferdinando Molteni, voice, guitar, narrationNew York City, NY; NYC
This illustrated lecture frames the new research on narcissism, explains the complex, and oftentimes exasperating personality disorder and reveals how narcissism and narcissists affect our lives at work and at home, on the road and in the halls of government, what to do when we encounter it, and how to neutralize its effects.New York City, NY; NYC
Maria Schneider is an American composer and big-band leader. Her 2004 album Concert in the Garden won a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album,. Her 2007 composition "Cerulean Skies" won a Grammy for 'Best Instrumental Composition." In 2013, Schneider released an album Winter Morning Walks featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, the Saint Paul and Australian Chamber Orchestras, bassist Jay Anderson, pianist Frank Kimbrough and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. In 2014 it won three Grammy Awards.New York City, NY; NYC
This interdisciplinary symposium, organized by professors Gregory Erickson and Scott Korb, brings together scholars, authors, students, and actors to explore the ethical and moral side of writing through the work of David Foster Wallace.
Schedule of Events
3:00 - 3:45 Student reading of Wallace passages
4:00 - 4:45 Wallace and Religion | a round table
With Paul Elie, Gregory Erickson, and Kevin Timpe. Matthew Sitman moderates
5:00 - 5:45 Two short talks
Maria Bustillos presents “Since Man First Crept From The Primeval Slurry”
Samuel Cohen presents “The Whiteness of David Foster Wallace”
6:00 - 6:45 The Ethics of Biography | a panel discussion
With David Lipsky and D.T. Max. Scott Korb moderates
7:00 - 7:45 An excerpt from A (radically condensed and expanded) SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’ll NEVER DO AGAINNew York City, NY; NYC
In the film version of his harrowing memoir, director Rithy Panh uses ceramic figures to represent the Cambodians murdered by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. This screening is intended to mark 40 years since the Khmer Rouge took power in April 1975.
92 min. In French with English subtitles.New York City, NY; NYC
Valerie Coleman's Tzigane
Paul Hindemith's Kleine Kammermusik, op. 24
Pavel Haas's Wind Quintette, op. 10
Claude Debussy's Bruyeres (arr. Kowalewski)
Igor Stravinksy's Rite of Spring (arr. Russell)
Traditional Klezmer (arr. Kavadlo)
Imani Winds is a new ensemble-in-residence.New York City, NY; NYC
We often wish to exercise more and eat better, yet fail to follow through on our intentions. Can we promote healthier behaviors by offering people to tie their hands? The present project studies this question in the context of a weight loss challenge where participants were offered to commit to exercise, lose weight or eat better. In a comprehensive framework, this study finds strong evidence of a demand for commitment and discusses the potential of commitment devices for promoting healthy behaviors.
Speaker Severine Toussaert is a 5th-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. Her areas of research are behavioral economics, experimental economics and decision theory. She has worked on several topics including goal setting, preference for commitment versus flexibility, and trust.
Lunch will be served.New York City, NY; NYC
Cady Finlayson offers a spirited fiddle show with a global twist, blending traditional Irish tunes with world rhythms and American folk music. She has performed in 33 states at venues including Carnegie Hall, Cleveland's State Theatre, Town Hall, and the Great Irish Fair. Her latest CD, "Irish Coffee" received a nomination for "Best Celtic CD of 2007" by the NAR lifestyle Awards. Cady performs both with her full band and as a duo with French guitarist Vita Tanga.New York City, NY; NYC
Hosted by bassist/vocalist Mimi Jones, exploring genres from traditional and contemporary jazz, eclectic soul, funk, rock, and neo soul. Great music, great vibes, and a great time.New York City, NY; NYC
Slovenian-American bassist, conguera, and singer-songwriter Dawn Drake leads this all-female, worldbeat-meets-funk ensemble, which breaks down cultural barriers by incorporating everything from Afro-Cuban jazz to hip-hop to samba into a soul-shaking mix. Deep bass grooves and swinging horn lines provide a danceable backdrop for Drake’s socially conscious lyrics, which impart messages of universal consciousness, empowerment, and compassion.New York City, NY; NYC
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth.
Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.
123 min.New York City, NY; NYC
Focusing on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax, this collaborative brings together some of North America’s most distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle and re-imagine traditional music. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea chanties, African-American a cappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fishermen, prisoners and homemakers. Collaborators include Grammy-winning songwriter Tim O’Brien, Bruce Molsky, Margaret Glaspy, Moira Smiley, Eli West, Brittany Haas, Julian Lage, Greg Garrison, and more.New York City, NY; NYC
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy each worked separately on "the Lot of Fun" before their teaming in 1927. This program is selected and hosted by Rob Stone, Curator of the Moving Image at the Library of Congress and author of Laurel or Hardy: The Solo Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver "Babe" Hardy.
Live piano accompaniment by Ben Model.New York City, NY; NYC
On Easter Sunday, you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets to the New York City extreme as "paraders" wander along the avenue. The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is the ideal place to see the parade. Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade is a far less organized event.New York City, NY; NYC
How do critics transform the experience of watching dance? What role do they play in the perception of women dancers and choreographers and in the discourse about gender? Do they make a difference in how people think? Join chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay and freelancers Gia Kourlas, Brian Seibert, and alumna Siobhan Burke for a searching discussion of dance criticism at The New York Times and beyond.New York City, NY; NYC
Stars: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Mona McKinnon.
Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb).
90 Mins.New York City, NY; NYC
The adventurous chamber ensemble Canta Libre presents a concert of music for harp and strings, pulled from the library’s collection of manuscripts by harp master Marcel Grandjany.New York City, NY; NYC
STEVE REICH Music for Pieces of Wood
CAGE Child of Tree
CAGE Third Construction
BRYCE DESSNER Music for Wood and Strings
Not many ensembles make great music on flower pots, but the four dexterous, polyrhythmic masters of Sō Percussion do just that and more. Using drums, marimbas, woodblocks, gongs, and pretty much anything else that can be hit, scraped, or shaken, the group plays some of the most eclectic and consistently excellent music today. Whether performing a new work by The National’s Bryce Dessner or a classic by Steve Reich, Sō Percussion’s “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam” (The New Yorker) is always a great show.New York City, NY; NYC
Twyla Tharp brings her year as Distinguished Guest Artist to a close with an informal presentation. Tharp has created more than 160 works ranging from concert, television, and Broadway dances to best-selling books. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, 19 honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President’s Award, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor.New York City, NY; NYC
In magazines, newspapers, and throughout social media, there is seemingly endless discussion about women’s response to aging. Often this response is categorized as a battle over cosmetics, diets, and surgery, but how do ideas of beauty and aging intersect and coexist?
To explore the connections and disconnects, this event will bring together a distinguished panel, including Joanna Coles, award-winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan; Dayle Haddon, former top model and founder and CEO of WomenOne; Dr. Rhoda Narins ’62, cosmetic dermatologist and clinical professor at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Naomi Wolf, bestselling author of The Beauty Myth. They'll discuss how our ideas and ideals change over time and how feminism and gender are linked to our feelings about how we look and how we age.New York City, NY; NYC
The artist David Wojnarowicz, who died in 1992, left behind an amazing body of art. But after his death, one unknown work was discovered under his bed: the "Magic Box." It's a collection of unexplained objects that make up a private world we still don't fully understand. Hugh Ryan and Matthew Leifheit will present their fascinating study on noted artist David Wojnarowicz and his "Magic Box."
Hugh Ryan is a freelance writer and the founding director of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, through which he has organized exhibitions in queer communities around the country. Matthew Leifheit is Photo Editor of VICE Magazine, where some of the original images of the "Magic Box" appeared.New York City, NY; NYC
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the end of the war and the publication of Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps.
Music, the Civil War, and American Memory will feature five speakers: Richard Leppert (University of Minnesota) will talk about period sheet music and its musical and visual impact; Elizabeth Morgan (St. Joseph's University) will discuss and perform some newly discovered battle pieces of the period for piano; Robynn Stilwell (Georgetown University) will discuss cinematic and televisual soundtracks on Civil War themes; the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang will discuss his piece for large chorus and dance, Battle Hymns;
the Poets Out Loud publication prize winner Daneen Wardrop (University of Michigan) will discuss the role of music in her prizewinning volume, Cyclorama, about the Civil War; and there will be readings of poems from Walt Whitman's collection of Civil War poems, Drum-Taps, including a poem composed by the other Poets Out Loud prizewinner, Terrence Chiusano, collaged from the titles of the poems in Whitman's volume.
The 5pm concert, for tenor and piano, will feature a setting of four Wardrop poems by Lawrence Kramer; settings of Whitman by student composers and also by Kurt Weill; and a group of Stephen Foster songs connected to both Wardrop's and Lang's work. The tenor is the internationally renowned Rufus Muller, accompanied by distinguished pianist Julia Hsu.New York City, NY; NYC
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine.
A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.New York City, NY; NYC
Discover the birds that call the park home, as well as those that may stop by during migration. A surprising diversity of avian visitors drop in, even in the heart of midtown. Sightings could include warblers, tanagers, vireos, thrushes, even an American Woodcock.New York City, NY; NYC
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman.
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.
131 min.New York City, NY; NYC
Join the conversation about the ethics of genetic interventions, including “designer babies” and “savior siblings,” at a one-night-only presentation of the new rock opera Playing God, created by Finnish bioethicists and musicians Matti Häyry and Tuija Takala and legendary drummer Corky Laing (of the celebrated rock band Mountain).
Playing God tells the story of a fictional small town whose inhabitants have enjoyed the benefits of gene technology for decades. As the paths of the young characters—whose lives, loves and futures have been shaped by genetic intervention—collide, the secrets, sacrifices and ethical compromises of the community are exposed. Through the story, music and characters, Playing God challenges the audience to study their own ethical convictions, raising open-ended questions about parental choices, perfection, identity and what it means to be human in a world when our fundamental genes are open to manipulation.
Following the performance, there will be an ethics panel discussion moderated by Joseph J. Fins, MD, The E. William Davis, Jr. MD, Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Director of the Research Ethics Consultation Service, Weill Cornell CTSC.New York City, NY; NYC
How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world, and what can we do about it? In The Great Divide, Joseph E. Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his best-selling book The Price of Inequality and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem.New York City, NY; NYC
One of the first women to act as a lead shite performer in a traditional Noh lineage, Hisa Uzawa is a prominent member of the Tessenkai branch of the Kanze School of Noh theater. She has been designated as a “cultural treasure” by the Japanese government. In their New York debut, she and her daughter Hikaru will introduce the dynamics and techniques of the six-hundred-fifty year tradition of dance that lies at the heart of the Noh theater. The Uzawas will perform climactic dance sequences from four major plays and present behind-the-scenes details of costume and choreography. An intimate glimpse of one of the world’s major dance traditions.New York City, NY; NYC
Under the direction of Charles Neidich, this film screening will feature contemporary music performed by ensembles to the silent films Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton) and The Immigrant (Charlie Chaplin); the composer Craig Marks will give a pre-concert talk.New York City, NY; NYC
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Paz Vega.
A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.
112 minutesNew York City, NY; NYC
The very first retrospective of Richard Foreman’s work for film, including films about Richard Foreman, and an evening panel. The legendary New York auteur-du-theatre stopped working for the theatre and now considers himself a filmmaker.
Screenings to include excerpts of an untitled new work, as well as:
Out of the Body Travel, video play (1975)
City Archives, video play (1977)
Strong Medicine, feature film (1978)
Radio Rick in Heaven and Radio Richard in Hell, film (1987)
Total Rain, video play (1990)
A Film about Richard Foreman (MINDFLUX, 2010)
Collateral – Richard Foreman’s Bridge Project (2010)
Once Every Day, feature film (2012)
Untitled (2015)New York City, NY; NYC
Beethoven’s Egmont Overture
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10
Music Director Alan Gilbert will lead the 24th Annual Free Memorial Day Concert, a tradition begun in 1992 as a gift to the people of New York City.New York City, NY; NYC