free things to do in New York City
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Free Events, Free Things to Do in New York City!  Read More

This page gives you information about best, most interesting, off the beaten path, free and inexpensive acivities in New York City (NYC) starting with Thursday, December 18, 2014 (Thu, 12/18/2014) and on.
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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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Concert |
Performers from the Juilliard School music: Cello and guitar trio Khari Joyner, Cello; Hut Wonwechtwiwat, Cello; Tengyue Zhang, Guitar. Celebrate the season with The Juilliard School as they return to turn up the holiday cheer. Get into the spirit, step out of the cold, and enjoy an afternoon of lively classical music sure to energize and inspire. Heralded by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as “one of the most promising cellists in the country”, Khari Joyner has made numerous achievements nationally and abroad as a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and ambassador for the arts. He has collaborated with artists such as Magnus Lindberg and Hubert Laws, and has had numerous solo engagements with the Atlanta, Buffalo, New World, New Jersey, and Sphinx Symphonies. Other accomplishments include being awarded the William Schuman Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music at Juilliard’s 109th Commencement ceremony, winning first prizes in the Juilliard Concerto Competition and Sphinx Competition, and giving a private performance in the Oval Office for President Obama. This particular program will feature a variety of works, and of different stylistic periods, for both Cello and guitar, as well as two cellos. Some of the pieces, such as the de Falla Suite Populaire are more Spanish influenced, while others are more from a general Classical tradition, but feature a variety of virtuosity and brilliance. The program also includes a nice selection that guitarist TY Zhang composed himself, for cello and guitar. To finish off the program, there are some nice holiday selections that will be popular among many, and very recognizable.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Dec 18
12:30 pm

Free

Concerts, December 18, 2014, 12/18/2014, Holiday Harmony: An Afternoon of Chamber Music for Two Celli and One Guitar
Concert |
This season’s performers were chosen competitively by jury and are among the finest early music artists and ensembles from the New York area and beyond. Today: Nina Stern takes you on a musical voyage from the Middle Ages to the Baroque – from Armenia to Germany, from Flanders to Italy. This program includes a wide range of repertory, including haunting melodies of Medieval Armenia, lively estampies of 14th century Italy, as well as gems of the early and late European Baroque.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Dec 18
1:15 pm

$10 suggested donation

Concerts, December 18, 2014, 12/18/2014, Gotham Early Music Concert: Zephyrus
Concert |
Celebrate this joyful time of the year with traditional and contemporary Christmas hymns and carols. /> Featuring: St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir The Young People's Chorus of New York City New York City Master Chorale Daniel Brondel, Organist New York Symphonic Brass    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Dec 18
7:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 18, 2014, 12/18/2014, 35th Annual A City Singing at Christmas
Staged Reading |
A play reading performed by the renowned actors of the Instant Shakespeare Players. In a time of oppression, on the cusp of rebellion, the allure of glamour and potential rewards of assimilation lead a devout man down a serpentine path to a crisis of faith. Though based on a novel set in the 2nd century CE, this play raises questions, challenges and moral dilemmas that are extremely relevant to modern Jewish society and prove eerily prescient.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Dec 18
7:00 pm

Free

Staged Readings, December 18, 2014, 12/18/2014, The Instant Shakespeare Players present As a Driven Leaf: The Heresy of Rabbi Elisha Ben Abuyah by Barry L. Schwartz

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tour |
The tour will offer a comprehensive exploration of the historic building, led by a senior staff member. Attendees will learn about the history and mission of the hall's builders, The League of Political Education; the finer points of the venue's famous architecture and acoustics; its role in the march towards greater freedom of speech and human rights and anecdotes about the many legendary performers that have graced the stage since its doors opened in 1921.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Dec 19
10:30 am

Free

Tours, December 19, 2014, 12/19/2014, Tour of a Historic Theater District Building
Concert |
This holiday season, the band will give another must-see performance with inspired neo-traditional interpretations and compositions springing from a varied, eclectic Yiddish repertoire.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Dec 19
12:30 pm

Free

Concerts, December 19, 2014, 12/19/2014, Metropolitan Klezmer, One of the Finest American Klezmer Bands
Festival |
The Mistletones are a talented group who have ignited stages and events across New York City, the Tri-State area and Colorado. Their unique look, sound and high energy have gotten endless acclaim since their 2007 debut in the Big Apple. They are an annual favorite.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Dec 19
1:00 pm
to 3:00 pm

Free

Festivals, December 19, 2014, 12/19/2014, The Mistletones, Contemporary Carolers
Theater |
Actors playing medieval village idiots have been invited to take over cathedrals, churches, and other places of worship in New York City this December to enact their own Christmas Mass. Theatre Group Dzieci presents its signature creation, Fools Mass, returning for its 15th year. This absolutely unique theatrical experience has been embraced by theatre lovers and an array of spiritual communities (spanning a multitude of paths and practices) across the nation. The piece celebrates the sacred, the miracle of life and the enigma of death, with lovely choral singing, riotous comic buffoonery, and extraordinary dramatic invention. Fools Mass, like no other event, captures the heart of the holidays this winter season.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Dec 19
7:00 pm

$10 suggested donation

Theaters, December 19, 2014, 12/19/2014, Theatre Group Dzieci presents Fools Mass
Opera |
Thomas Muraco, Conductor
   New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Dec 19
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, December 19, 2014, 12/19/2014, MSM Opera Repertoire Ensemble: La Bohème by Puccini

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reading |
Join dozens of terrific writers and performers for a reading of Charles Dickens’s holiday classic. Drop in early and often to catch a few surprise performers or linger through the afternoon for the whole, spirited tale. Festivities will kick off at noon with Christmas caroling from members of the New York City Master Chorale. The reading will begin at 1 PM.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Dec 20
12:00 pm
to 4:30 pm

Free

Readings, December 20, 2014, 12/20/2014, What the Dickens?: The Fifth Annual A Christmas Carol Marathon Reading
Concert |
Need a little music? Need a little laughter? Need a little singing, ringing through the rafter? Great! Let's take that road before us and sing a chorus or two at this toe-tapping celebration of mistletoe and holiday madness from the producer of The Philhallmonics. After all, there's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy, so join us for a kiss of Christmas magic featuring Phil Hall at the piano along with a bevy of beauties.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Dec 20
1:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 20, 2014, 12/20/2014, Under the Mistletoe Concert
Talk |
You might be aware that the film classic The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old this August. But do you know why Dorothy wears the iconic Ruby Slippers instead of the silver pair L. Frank Baum gave her in the book? Or that F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to write the screenplay as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers? Michael Patrick Hearn, the leading authority on The Wizard of Oz, explores these and other little-known facts about the creation of the most beloved Hollywood movie ever made.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Dec 20
2:00 pm

Free

Talks, December 20, 2014, 12/20/2014, 75 Years on the Yellow Brick Road: Things You Likely Never Knew About The Wizard of Oz
Concert |
The concert is at the coolest classical music concerts location in New York City. Program and musicians TBA.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Dec 20
4:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 20, 2014, 12/20/2014, Concert on Water
Concert |
"Witty and outrageously lampooning...full of catchy melodies, clever arrangements, and lyrics that yield satiric gems.” —The Washington Post Former Rockapella co-founder and lead singer Sean Altman affectionately skewers Jewish identity in his hilarious hit show. Featuring tuneful, bitingly satirical songs with titles like “Just Too Jew for You,” “Be My Little Shabbos Goy,” and the Passover sing-along “They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat),” Altman’s delightfully warped tunes are irreverent fun for Jews and gentiles alike.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Dec 20
9:00 pm

No cover, no

Concerts, December 20, 2014, 12/20/2014, Jewmongous: Unkosher Comedy Songs

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Talk |
Young and old gather together to celebrate the Winter Solstice with music and readings and the traditional candle lighting ceremony to chase away the darkness. Join Curt Collier, families from the Ethics for Children program and teens in the Ethical Leadership program for an intergenerational program that will bring you good cheer.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 21
11:00 am

Free

Talks, December 21, 2014, 12/21/2014, Winter Festival
Concert |
Celebrate the coming of lighter days and enjoy the Garden decorated for the season and a joyous performance by volunteer Kim Kalesti.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 21
1:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 21, 2014, 12/21/2014, Winter Solstice Celebration
Theater |
Actors playing medieval village idiots have been invited to take over cathedrals, churches, and other places of worship in New York City this December to enact their own Christmas Mass. Theatre Group Dzieci presents its signature creation, Fools Mass, returning for its 15th year. This absolutely unique theatrical experience has been embraced by theatre lovers and an array of spiritual communities (spanning a multitude of paths and practices) across the nation. The piece celebrates the sacred, the miracle of life and the enigma of death, with lovely choral singing, riotous comic buffoonery, and extraordinary dramatic invention. Fools Mass, like no other event, captures the heart of the holidays this winter season.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 21
5:15 pm

$10 suggested donation

Theaters, December 21, 2014, 12/21/2014, Theatre Group Dzieci presents Fools Mass
Tour |
It's time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year as Midtown Manhattan lights up like no other place in the world. Mechanical window displays, synchronized light and sound shows, not to mention Santa Claus and toy soldiers surely await you in this winter wonderland. Check them all our on the New York Holiday Lights Tour.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 21
7:30 pm

Free

Tours, December 21, 2014, 12/21/2014, New York Holiday Lights Tour

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tour |
Join a Museum Ambassador for an in-depth look at the unique architecture and exquisite beauty of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, home of the museum. Designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1907, the Custom House is a National Historic Landmark. The building’s interior splendor includes an elliptical rotunda with a 140-ton dome skylight designed by Valencia-born engineer Raphael Gustavino and murals by New York painter Reginald Marsh, as well as monumental marble arches and columns. Tours include a visit to the Collectors Office, not normally accessible to the public. The Collectors Office features woodwork by Tiffany Studios and can be seen on Boardwalk Empire and in films like Spike Lee’s Inside Man.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Dec 22
1:00 pm

Free

Tours, December 22, 2014, 12/22/2014, U.S. Custom House Tour
Tour |
Greenwich Village is among Manhattan's most desirable and expensive residential neighborhoods. It's history, however, betrays it's monied status. The Village, with it's quiet, shaded streets, lined with lovely brick and brownstone townhouses, was once the incubating ground of artistic, social and political movements that have helped shape US history. From the Beats to the Folk Movement, from workers rights to gay rights, the Village has often been the center of it all.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Dec 22
2:00 pm

Free

Tours, December 22, 2014, 12/22/2014, Greenwich Village Neighborhood Tour
Tour |
It's time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year as Midtown Manhattan lights up like no other place in the world. Mechanical window displays, synchronized light and sound shows, not to mention Santa Claus and toy soldiers surely await you in this winter wonderland. Check them all our on the New York Holiday Lights Tour.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Dec 22
7:00 pm

Free

Tours, December 22, 2014, 12/22/2014, New York Holiday Lights Tour

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Concert |
The keyboard works of Bach offered in 30-minute meditations by Patrick Allen, organist and master of choristers, and Phillip Lamb, organ scholar.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 23
12:20 pm

Free

Concerts, December 23, 2014, 12/23/2014, Bach at Noon
Film |
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright. A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. 122 min.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 23
4:00 pm

Free

Films, December 23, 2014, 12/23/2014, Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man (2014): Immigrant or Terrorist?
Jazz |
This all-ages jazz concert will ring in the holidays with a swinging collection of the best loved songs of the season, featuring: Jazzmeia Horn (vocals), Alphonso Horne (trumpet), Travis Calvert (tenor), Noah Garabedian (bass), Jake Goldbas (drums), and Justin Poindexter (guitar).    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 23
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, December 23, 2014, 12/23/2014, Jazz for Young People presents Swingin’ in the Holiday

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Concert |
The keyboard works of Bach offered in 30-minute meditations by Patrick Allen, organist and master of choristers, and Phillip Lamb, organ scholar.    New York City, NY; NYC

Wed, Dec 24
12:20 pm

Free

Concerts, December 24, 2014, 12/24/2014, Bach at Noon
Jazz |
A jazz concert for the midtown community. These popular midday concerts feature well-regarded artists. The programming is overseen by jazz pianist Ronny Whyte.    New York City, NY; NYC

Wed, Dec 24
1:00 pm

$10 suggested donation

Concerts, December 24, 2014, 12/24/2014, Midday Jazz
Tour |
It's time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year as Midtown Manhattan lights up like no other place in the world. Mechanical window displays, synchronized light and sound shows, not to mention Santa Claus and toy soldiers surely await you in this winter wonderland. Check them all our on the New York Holiday Lights Tour.    New York City, NY; NYC

Wed, Dec 24
7:00 pm

Free

Tours, December 24, 2014, 12/24/2014, New York Holiday Lights Tour

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Festival |
Start fresh in 2015! Have a picture of a significant other who’s proven less significant, a mortgage document that’s now history, or a medical bill that signifies a triumphant defeat? Shred it and forget it! Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire. There will be no bonfire, but you're invited to shed and shred your forgettable memories from 2014 for a fresh start in 2015.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 28
12:00 pm

Free

Festivals, December 28, 2014, 12/28/2014, Good Riddance Day: Shred It and Forget It
Festival |
The Mistletones are a talented group who have ignited stages and events across New York City, the Tri-State area and Colorado. Their unique look, sound and high energy have gotten endless acclaim since their 2007 debut in the Big Apple. They are an annual favorite.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 28
2:00 pm
to 4:00 pm

Free

Festivals, December 28, 2014, 12/28/2014, The Mistletones, Contemporary Carolers
Concert |
The program features the great repertoire of the Organ on the 101 rank Pipe Organ built by Herman Schlicker and the 5 stop chamber organ built by Taylor &amp; Boody Organ Builders.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 28
4:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 28, 2014, 12/28/2014, Sunday Afternoon Organ Meditation
Concert |
Program: "Christmas in Dresden" Music of Heinrich Schütz during the Thirty Years War.
   New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Dec 28
5:00 pm

Free

Concerts, December 28, 2014, 12/28/2014, Bach Vespers

Monday, December 29, 2014

Tour |
A multi-neighborhood tour of the Lower Manhattan area. The tour begins on Wall Street, where you will see the New York Stock Exchange and Trinity Church before moving on the the World Trade Center and City Hall. Then move on by subway to visit the largest Chinatown in the United States. Following Chinatown, the tour will continue on through Little Italy and on to SoHo.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Dec 29
10:00 am

Free

Tours, December 29, 2014, 12/29/2014, Lower Manhattan, Little Italy, Chinatown and SoHo Tour
Tour |
Greenwich Village is among Manhattan's most desirable and expensive residential neighborhoods. It's history, however, betrays it's monied status. The Village, with it's quiet, shaded streets, lined with lovely brick and brownstone townhouses, was once the incubating ground of artistic, social and political movements that have helped shape US history. From the Beats to the Folk Movement, from workers rights to gay rights, the Village has often been the center of it all.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Dec 29
2:00 pm

Free

Tours, December 29, 2014, 12/29/2014, Greenwich Village Neighborhood Tour

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Concert |
The keyboard works of Bach offered in 30-minute meditations by Patrick Allen, organist and master of choristers, and Phillip Lamb, organ scholar.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 30
12:20 pm

Free

Concerts, December 30, 2014, 12/30/2014, Bach at Noon
Slide Lecture |
With Michael T. Luongo, a New York City-based freelance writer, editor, photographer and a lecturer of travel writing at New York University. This photo lecture showcases Rome as the city pulses with holiday energy from December to early January’s Epiphany. Few places in the world match the sheer joy, beauty and religious fervor of Christmas in Rome, the Eternal City.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 30
6:30 pm

Free

Slide Lectures, December 30, 2014, 12/30/2014, Christmas in Rome, The Eternal City, with a Focus on the Vatican and Pope Francis
Jazz |
Get a jump on New Year’s Eve with a night celebrating the music of three of the most royal figures in jazz; Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. JC Hopkins and his Biggish Band bring their exuberant, swingin’ sound and their own royalty, Queen Esther, Charles Turner, Jazzmeia Horn, and King Solomon Hicks to interpret the music of these pivotal figures. Don’t miss what promises to be a night to remember for dancers and listeners alike.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Dec 30
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, December 30, 2014, 12/30/2014, Basie Ellington Holiday: A Tribute to Count, Duke, and Lady Day with the Grammy-Nominated JC Hopkins Biggish Band

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Parade |
The Midnight Run starts with DJ Music and Dancing at 10 pm. Continues with Costume Parade and Contest at 11:00 p.m. Fireworks and 4M Race start at midnight!    New York City, NY; NYC

Wed, Dec 31
11:00 pm

Free

Parades, December 31, 2014, 12/31/2014, Midnight New Year Run in Central Park: - with Costume Parade and Contest

Friday, January 2, 2015

Tour |
Experience the Lower East Side - SoHo, NoHo, Nolita and Little Italy. The Lower East Side of Manhattan is a playground for street artists, Soho is known to be one of NYC first permit Joint Live-Work Quarters for artists and the area received landmark designation in 1973. Noho and Nolita’s street art is either hidden in courtyards or on the more prominent street art facades. Learn about the history of the art of many famous and unknown artist.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Jan 2
2:00 pm

Free

Tours, January 02, 2015, 01/02/2015, Manhattan Street Art Tour

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Reading |
In The Age of the Crisis of Man, n+1 co-founder Mark Greif charts how a fundamental question of how to determine both the face and the fate of humanity framed, and was ultimately unraveled by, the creative output, critical and ethical debate, and profound shifts in public policy that took place after the Second World War.    New York City, NY; NYC

Wed, Jan 21
7:00 pm

Free

Book Readings, January 21, 2015, 01/21/2015, Mark Greif discusses his book The Age of the Crisis of Man with Times film critic A.O. Scott

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Festival |
Winter Jam is a free winter sports festival for New Yorkers of all ages. The folks at Gore Mountain will blow lots of fresh snow in the heart of Manhattan, so there will be plenty for all to enjoy at the city's largest snow day. Featured Venues: · Lake Placid Snow Field · Cross-Country Skiing · Snowshoeing · Sledding · Learn to Ride: Skiing and Snowboarding · Taste NY Winter Market Equipment provided at no cost, or bring your own snow sports gear and enjoy the terrain. Participants in cross–country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding/skiing lessons must sign a waiver and provide photo identification before participating in any of these activities. The waivers will be provided at the event. Participants under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian present with photo identification to sign the waiver. Waiting lines for the activities are subject to close early.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Jan 24
11:00 am
to 3:00 pm

Free

Festivals, January 24, 2015, 01/24/2015, Winter Jam: NYC's Ultimate Snow Day
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