free things to do in New York City
Free events for Thursday, 10/28/21
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Free Events, Free Things to Do in New York City!  Read More

Thu, October 28, 2021. New York is full of wonderful things to do beyond the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum, Ellis Island, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, etc. Go off the beaten path and find hidden treasures which cost you nothing, but are extremelly enjoyable and much less crowded then famous tourist spots.

Experience New York with no lines and no hassle.  Our site tells yiou all about free tours, free concerts, free movies, free theater performances, free dsicussions, etc. you can take advantage of whether you live in the city or spend just a couple of days here.

DOWNTOWN

First, go Downtown and see where New York began: visit City Hall, view the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, walk by the fortification that was intended to prevent a British invasion in 1812, bike (or just walk) along Hudson River passing all those beautiful Battery Park City Parks with their impressive open space design and public sculptures, sit down for a pleasant meal at one of small Financial Center eateries, go inside the Palm Atrium and take a look at the 9/11 memorial from there.

Then tour New York's beautiful City Hall free of charge. New York City Hall is one of the oldest continuously used City Halls in the nation that still houses its original governmental functions. New York's City Hall is considered one of the finest architectural achievements of its period. Constructed from 1803 to 1812, the building was an early expression of the City's cosmopolitanism. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark, and its rotunda is a designated interior landmark as well. The tours that do not require reservations, but do require a signup, are run on Wednesdays at noon. The registration takes place on the day of the tour between 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM. You will need an advanced reservation for Thursday tours. They take place at 10 am for groups and at 10:30 am for individuals.

Your next adventure is to see the Statue of Liberty, but we do not reccomend to take the Statue of Liberty Ferry.
The best way to see the Statue of Liberty is to take a 25-minute water trip from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island by free-of-charge Staten Island Ferry. On a way there the Statue of Liberty will attract your undivided attention. On the way back (another 25 min) you will not be able to take your eyes off the stunning vistas of New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. The ferry runs every 30 min most part of the day. It runs more often during rush hours: 7 am - 8:45 am and between 5 pm and 6:45 pm; but the ferries are packed during rush hour trips; this is not a good time to take a leisurely ride.

Go West young woman (or man) once you are back on Manhattan Island: pass Battery Park (you may want to stop at the Castle Clinton - no connection with the President's family).

UPTOWN
Your Uptown trip should include a walk around Columbia University Campus, visit to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and mostly overlooked gem that the Riverside Church is.

Walk around Columbia University Campus
The University founded as King’s College in 1754. It's historic main campus consists of 71 buildings on 36 acres and was originally designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. Low Memorial Library is our favorite building there. If you are not sure you want to go all the way uptown to see it, you may take a virtual tour at http://www.columbia.edu/acis/tour/start.html

And if you decide that Uptown does worth your time, then there are two other sites you do have to pay a visit to: Riverside Church and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
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Go!
The quality and quantity of
free events,
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 events to go to,
free things to do in NYC
today!

Best Free Events, Best Free Things to Do in New York City, NYC

We all know that best things in life are free, but nowhere it's true more than in New York (NYC).  Take a look at those free events that our editors think are the best things to do to in New York City at this point -- October 28, 2021 and on...
Please keep in mind that all those best things to do are free unless otherwise noted. 

ONLINE EVENTS ARE MARKED AS SUCH.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Discussion | Harvey Milk: Gay Jewish Icon (online)
Harvey Milk—eloquent, charismatic, and a smart-aleck—was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, but he had not even served a full year in office when he was shot by a homophobic fellow supervisor. Milk’s assassination at the age of 48 made him the most famous gay man in modern history.  Before finding his calling as a politician, Milk variously tried being a schoolteacher, a securities analyst on Wall Street, a supporter of Barry Goldwater, a Broadway theater assistant, a bead-wearing hippie, the operator of a camera store, and organizer of the local business community in San Francisco. He rejected Judaism as a religion, but he was deeply influenced by the cultural values of his Jewish upbringing and his understanding of antisemitism and the Holocaust.  This program explores Milk’s life, death, and legacy with Lillian Faderman, a distinguished scholar of LGBTQ history and the author of Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death. Faderman will be joined by Eric Marcus, creator of the podcasts Making Gay History and Those Who Were There: Voices From the Holocaust.       New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Oct 28
2:00 pm

Free

Discussions, October 28, 2021, 10/28/2021, Harvey Milk: Gay Jewish Icon (online)
Tour | Prague: Mystery and Magic in Castle District (online, livestream)
This tour will take you to some of the most picturesque and off-the-beaten-paths parts of the Prague Castle district, but will make you travel back in time, 450 years ago. The little streets of Prague's New World, the beauty of the Loretta church and of the Strahov monastery will immerse you in a time when magic was everywhere, when Prague, under the impulse of the mystical Emperor Rudolph II, was the place to be for all the most important alchemists, artists, scientists as well as con artists and charlatans.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Oct 28
2:30 pm

Free

Tours, October 28, 2021, 10/28/2021, Prague: Mystery and Magic in Castle District (online, livestream)
Author Reading | American Hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria and the Making of a Century (online)
Historian David Freeland recounts the history of not just an American hotel, but, arguably, the American hotel. From the opening as the Waldorf at its first location at Fifth Avenue at 33rd Street in 1893, then more than doubling in size in 1897 into the Waldorf-Astoria, the hostelry rose to prominence on the local, national, and international stage. Opening for business on October 1, 1931, the new uptown Waldorf-Astoria struggled through the Depression, but rose to unparalleled prominence in the postwar years. Functioning like an American palace, the Waldorf served as a favored venue for United Nations diplomats and the hotel of choice for American Presidents until its shuttering in 2017. Freeland is also the author of Automats, Taxi Dances and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan's Lost Places of Leisure and Ladies of Soul.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Oct 28
6:00 pm

Free

Author Readings, October 28, 2021, 10/28/2021, American Hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria and the Making of a Century (online)
Dancing | The Final of the Season: Salsa Dancing as the Sun Sets
Enjoy socially distant, in-person dancing led by a world-renowned performer and instructor. Dancers of all experience levels get to move to the music! As the DJs spin, you can dance along--bring your dancing shoes.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Oct 28
6:30 pm

Free

Dancings, October 28, 2021, 10/28/2021, The Final of the Season: Salsa Dancing as the Sun Sets

Friday, October 29, 2021

Film | Kate and Leopold (2001): Romantic Comedy with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman (online)
Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman come together as star-crossed lovers who discover that passion and chivalry never go out of style. When a rip in time brings together a charming 19th-century bachelor and a 21st-century woman, the potential for an old-fashioned modern romance ignites. Directed by James Mangold    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Oct 29
12:00 am

to 11:59 pm

Free

Films, October 29, 2021, 10/29/2021, Kate and Leopold (2001): Romantic Comedy with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman (online)
Tour | Norway: The Legends, Ghosts and Witches of Bergen (online, livestream)
While Bergen today is a modern, progressive and safe city, in the 1500s and 1600s it was regarded as one of the most dangerous places in Scandinavia, with a murder rate comparable to that of New York City during prohibition. As various merchants were coming into Bergen after months alone at sea, they would drink lots of alcohol, fight over women, and often get into trouble. Also, during this time there were some of the largest witch trials in Scandinavia. This was all in an area that's now regarded as one of the nicest places to live! Join Emma on a tour to the dark side of Bergen: prostitution, witchcraft, murder and more. Not suitable for children.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Oct 29
2:30 pm

Free

Tours, October 29, 2021, 10/29/2021, Norway: The Legends, Ghosts and Witches of Bergen (online, livestream)
Gallery Talk | Imperial Splendor: The Art of the Book in the Holy Roman Empire, ca. 800-1500: Curator Walkthrough (online)
A sweeping overview of manuscript production in the Holy Roman Empire, one of the most impressive chapters in the history of medieval art. While little known and rarely seen by the general public, these illuminated manuscripts count among the most luxurious works of art from the Middle Ages. Designed to edify, to entertain, and above all to embody the sacred, these manuscripts and their spectacular illuminations retain the ability to dazzle and inspire modern audiences just as they did those of the Middle Ages.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Oct 29
3:00 pm

Free

Gallery Talks, October 29, 2021, 10/29/2021, Imperial Splendor: The Art of the Book in the Holy Roman Empire, ca. 800-1500: Curator Walkthrough (online)
Concert | Authentic Hungarian Folk Music Concert
Istvan Berecz won the soloist folk dance category of the first internationally televised "Folszallott a Pava" Hungarian Talent competition in 2012 and went on to become one of the judges, which is where he started working closely with the Sarju Band. Additionally, he received the Eternal Golden Spur National Folk Dance Soloist Award, and is the Folk Music Director of the Fono Music House. The 2021 US tour of Istvan Berecz is supported by the Liszt Institute New York. The Sarju Band s young musicians from Budapest won the band of the year in 2016 as part of the "Folszallott a Pava" National Hungarian Television Talent competition. Their mission is to study and preserve authentic Hungarian village folk music while striving to keep the legacies of the old masters from the villages alive on stage and in dance houses for generations to come.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Oct 29
7:00 pm

Free

Concerts, October 29, 2021, 10/29/2021, Authentic Hungarian Folk Music Concert
Concert | Accordion, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Horns, Vocals: International Tones Anchored in Classics
UnCommon Sound ensemble: an eclectic, innovative musical experience that will take you on a journey throughout the globe, reflecting the melting pot city that gave it birth. Cordeone, vocals and the accordion, performs original music and compositions in 4 languages. He is joined by monster drum beats, the bass, horns, and blazing guitar. Doors open at 7 pm. Proof of vaccination, masks required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Oct 29
8:00 pm

to 10:00 pm

Free

Concerts, October 29, 2021, 10/29/2021, Accordion, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Horns, Vocals: International Tones Anchored in Classics

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Festival | Halloween Harvest Festival
The annual Halloween Harvest Festival, featuring a doggie costume contest; pumpkin carving and catapulting competition; artist-led workshops, and the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Oct 30
12:00 pm

to 5:00 pm

Free

Festivals, October 30, 2021, 10/30/2021, Halloween Harvest Festival
Dance Performance | Vividly Colored Dance Performance
This the result of a multi-year collaboration between a choreographer and a composer as wells an examination of the body in space.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Oct 30
5:00 pm

Free

Dance Performances, October 30, 2021, 10/30/2021, Vividly Colored Dance Performance
Classical Music | Grammy-Winning Cellist and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer/Singer
A performance by Grammy winners: a cellist and a composer/singer, who is also a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Proof of vaccination and masks are required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Oct 30
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, October 30, 2021, 10/30/2021, Grammy-Winning Cellist and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer/Singer
Classical Music | Mozart and Haydn: Symphonic Works
Program Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Sinfonia No. 1 in B-Flat, K. 16 Michael Haydn (1737-1806) Sinfonia No. 25 in G Leopold Mozart (1719-1787) Sinfonia in E-Flat Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Sinfonia No. 74 in E-Flat The Bachs weren't the only clan to make their mark on music history. Maestro Frederick Renz leads his classical orchestra in symphonic works from two illustrious 18th-century musical dynasties: the Haydns--Joseph and his well-respected but overshadowed younger brother Michael; and the Mozarts--Leopold and his prodigious son Wolfgang Amadeus. Alongside their better-known kinsmen, Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn bear favorable comparison and offer familial perspective. Proof of vaccination and masks are required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Oct 30
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, October 30, 2021, 10/30/2021, Mozart and Haydn: Symphonic Works
Movie in a Park | The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) with a Live Score
Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses somnambulist Cesare to commit murders in this silent horror classic. Director: Robert Wiene Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher 67 min. Live score provided by the Flushing Remonstrance. Preceded by live music and DJs. See link for COVID protocols.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sat, Oct 30
9:00 pm

Free

Movie in a Parks, October 30, 2021, 10/30/2021, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) with a Live Score

Sunday, October 31, 2021

City Walk | Haunted Flatiron Tour: Chasing Ghosts, Monsters and Superheroes
A special Halloween-themed walking tour will feature spooky stories and scary events that happened in the neighborhood. Participants will learn about the Eden Musee which opened on March 28, 1884 in an impressive stone building at 55 West 23rd Street. The amusement center housed a large collection of waxworks and the infamous Chamber of Horrors. After the Eden Musee closed in 1915, the Chamber of Horrors was purchased at an auction and exhibited at the Coney Island Eden Musee until a fire destroyed the collection of wax figures in 1928. The tour will also feature stories about the filming of the hit movies Godzilla and Spider-Man in the neighborhood. See link for COVID protocols.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Oct 31
11:00 am

Free

City Walks, October 31, 2021, 10/31/2021, Haunted Flatiron Tour: Chasing Ghosts, Monsters and Superheroes
Festival | Outdoor Village Halloween Costume Ball -- with Oscar-Winning Actor F. Murray Abraham
Theater for the New City is taking its annual Village Halloween Costume Ball, a tradition for nearly 50 years, on the road this year with big bands, dancing in the street, singers, dancers and more, holding the party outdoors. Performers are slated to include F. Murray Abraham and a diverse roster of artists ranging from Cobu, an all-female Japanese dance and drum group, to performance artists.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Oct 31
2:00 pm

to 11:00 pm

Free

Festivals, October 31, 2021, 10/31/2021, Outdoor Village Halloween Costume Ball -- with Oscar-Winning Actor F. Murray Abraham
Parade | 48th Annual Halloween Parade!
Witness or participate in the nation's largest public Halloween celebration!
   New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Oct 31
7:00 pm

Free

Parades, October 31, 2021, 10/31/2021, 48th Annual Halloween Parade!
Screening | Destiny (1921): Thriller With Live Organ Music
As a young couple stops and rests in a small village inn, the man is abducted by Death and is sequestered behind a huge doorless, windowless wall. The woman finds a mystic entrance and is met by Death, who tells her three separate stories set in exotic locales, all involving circumstances similar to hers. In each story, a woman, trying to save her lover from his ultimate tragic fate, fails. The young lady realizes the meaning of the tales and takes the only step she can to reunite herself with her lover. Directed by Fritz Lang. Live music accompaniment by Parker Ramsay, organ. Proof of full vaccination required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Oct 31
8:30 pm

Free

Screenings, October 31, 2021, 10/31/2021, Destiny (1921): Thriller With Live Organ Music

Monday, November 1, 2021

Classical Music | String Orchestra and Piano: J.S. Bach amd More
The highly-acclaimed string orchestra ECCO (East Coast Chamber Orchestra) and pianist Shai Wosner. Program J. S. Bach Piano Concerto in F Minor, BWV 1056 Brett Dean Prelude to a Canon - Approach J. S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.6, BWV 1051 Andrew Norman Gran Turismo for 8 violins Michi Wiancko Blue Bouree arr. for string orchestra J. S. Bach Piano Concerto in D major, BWV 1054 About the Performers Pianist Shai Wosner has worked with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Alan Gilbert, Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, and has performed with all the major orchestras in the US as well as with BBC orchestras, Barcelona Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and the Vienna Philharmonic. ECCO is comprised of some of today's most vibrant and gifted young string players -- soloists, chamber musicians, and members of major American orchestras. ECCO members play with the symphony orchestras of Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Boston among others. Proof of vaccination, masks are required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Nov 1
7:30 pm

Free

Concerts, November 01, 2021, 11/01/2021, String Orchestra and Piano: J.S. Bach amd More

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Book Discussion | The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free (online)
Completed in 1928, the height of the Roaring Twenties, the Barbizon Hotel was designed as a luxurious safe haven for the "Modern Woman" hoping for a career in the arts. Over time, it became the place to stay for any ambitious young woman hoping for fame and fortune. In her new book, Paulina Bren "unpacks" the luggage of several generations of women, mostly young and new to the city, who found a home in the hotel that became a legend. She will be joined in conversation with Andrea Barnet, writer and author of Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World. Paulina Bren is an award-winning historian and a professor at Vassar College. She received a BA from Wesleyan University, an MA in international studies from the University of Washington, and a PhD in history from New York University.    New York City, NY; NYC

Tue, Nov 2
6:00 pm

Free

Book Discussions, November 02, 2021, 11/02/2021, The Barbizon: The Hotel that Set Women Free (online)

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Author Reading | Solid Ivory: Oscar-Winning Director James Ivory Discusses His Memoir (online)
A carefully crafted mosaic of memories, portraits, and reflections, the Academy Award–winning filmmaker James Ivory, a partner in the legendary Merchant Ivory Productions and the director of A Room with a View, Howards End, Maurice, and The Remains of the Day, tells stories from his remarkable life and career as one of the most influential directors of his time. At times, he touches on his love affairs, looking back coolly and with unexpected frankness. From first meeting his collaborator and life partner, Ismail Merchant, at the Indian Consulate in New York to winning an Academy Award at age eighty-nine for Call Me by Your Name; from seeing his first film at age five in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to memories of Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir, The New Yorker magazine’s film critic Pauline Kael (his longtime enemy), Vanessa Redgrave, J. D. Salinger, George Cukor, Kenneth Clark, Bruce Chatwin, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, and Merchant—Ivory writes with invariable fluency, wit, and perception about what made him who he is and how he made the movies for which he is known and loved.    New York City, NY; NYC

Thu, Nov 4
7:00 pm

Free

Author Readings, November 04, 2021, 11/04/2021, Solid Ivory: Oscar-Winning Director James Ivory Discusses His Memoir (online)

Monday, November 8, 2021

Classical Music | Acclaimed Woodwind Quintet: Klezmer Fantasy and More
Quintet of the Americas performs woodwind music they have commissioned over the years, including Klezmer Fantasy (2019) by James Cohn, Rockaway Baby by Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, Echoes From a Distant Land (1983) by Jose Raul Bernardo. Founded in 1976, the quintet has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress and more. Musicians: Kimberly O'Hare Bonacorsa, flute and piccolo; Matt Sullivan, oboe and English horn; David Valbuena, clarinet and bass clarinet; Alexander Davis, bassoon; Barbara Oldham, horn Proof of vaccination, ID, masks are required.    New York City, NY; NYC

Mon, Nov 8
7:00 pm

Free

Concerts, November 08, 2021, 11/08/2021, Acclaimed Woodwind Quintet: Klezmer Fantasy and More

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Concert | Emmy-Winning Soprano and Others: Uplifting Songs and Operatic Arias (livestream)
Emmy Award-winning soprano Adrienne Danrich and many guest performers usher in the season of renewal, reopening and reflection, celebrating the greatest four letter word ever created -- LOVE! Enjoy an immersive program of multi-genre, family friendly songs, operatic arias and spoken word. Performers: Marsha Thompson, soprano; Blythe Gaissert, mezzo soprano; Andrew Garland, baritone; MaM Ensemble (Victoria Davis, soprano; Patrice P. Eaton, mezzo soprano; Cameo Humes, tenor; Scott Tomlinson, bass); Brian Shankar Adler, percussion; Dwight Howard, arranger; James Moore, guitar; Peter Seidenberg, cello; Violetta Zabbi, piano    New York City, NY; NYC

Sun, Nov 14
4:00 pm

Free

Concerts, November 14, 2021, 11/14/2021, Emmy-Winning Soprano and Others: Uplifting Songs and Operatic Arias (livestream)

Friday, November 19, 2021

Gallery Talk | Imperial Splendor: The Art of the Book in the Holy Roman Empire, ca. 800-1500: Exhibition Walkthrough (online)
A sweeping overview of manuscript production in the Holy Roman Empire, one of the most impressive chapters in the history of medieval art. While little known and rarely seen by the general public, these illuminated manuscripts count among the most luxurious works of art from the Middle Ages. Designed to edify, to entertain, and above all to embody the sacred, these manuscripts and their spectacular illuminations retain the ability to dazzle and inspire modern audiences just as they did those of the Middle Ages.    New York City, NY; NYC

Fri, Nov 19
12:30 pm

Free

Gallery Talks, November 19, 2021, 11/19/2021, Imperial Splendor: The Art of the Book in the Holy Roman Empire, ca. 800-1500: Exhibition Walkthrough (online)
Complimentary Tickets

to shows, concerts ... (CFT Deals!)

Dance Performance | Passionate Modern Dance

Regular Price: $79.50
CFT Member Price: $0.00

Performance | Political Intrigues, Scandal and More

Regular Price: $73.75
CFT Member Price: $0.00
Join the Club!

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