When you think of New York City, you probably imagine a global capital of media, culture, art, food, fashion, and business…a bigger-than-life experience! Visitors can do anything from educate themselves at an English School in New York, to spending all day in museums and all night on Broadway, eating world class cuisine all the while! Indeed, there is much to see and plenty of places to spend your cash, but are you subscribing to the notion that nothing’s free in New York? Think again! Think outside the box and start with these 5 awesome free things to do in the Big Apple- hopefully they will inspire even more of your own!
Governor’s Island You can take a free, 7-minute ferry over to Governor’s Island- a 172-acre island that just opened up to the public in 2003. For outdoor activities, you can explore the 2.2 mile bike path, go mini golfing or enjoy a picnic in the picnic area. There’s plenty of military-era architecture, forts, and a “ghost town” at Nolan Park. The island also periodically hosts events such as concerts and art exhibitions.
Central Park Yes, it goes without saying that most parks are free- but Central Park is the most visited urban park in the U.S.- filled with tons of things to do! Check out Strawberry Fields, an area commemorating John Lennon, and take a walk through the Conservatory Garden, a 6-acre gorgeous garden in European style. Take a free tour starting from Belvedere Castle, where you can get great views of the whole park. Share a romantic moment on the 60-foot Bow Bridge, and take some silly photos with the Alice in Wonderland statue.
New York Public Library 101 years old, the Public Library is an icon in itself located just east of Times Square. Walking through the entrance you’ll pass two gigantic marble lions named “Patience” and “Fortitude” before entering the jaw-dropping reading room with soaring ceilings and old-fashioned lamps. You can grab a free tour at 11 am or 2 pm, or explore some of the exhibits on your own: a copy of the original Declaration of Independence, a Gutenberg Bible, and over 400,000 old maps.
Socrates Sculpture Park It used to be a dump site, but the Socrates Sculpture Park, on the East River overlooking Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, is now a great place to see some interesting rotating art installations and shows. They also have tons of public programs such as healthy living workshops, outdoor cinema, solstice celebrations and plenty more!
Tour the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Learn about the New York Fed and the Reserve System while ogling the high-security vault containing more than 10,000 tons of gold, 80 feet underground! They have exhibits on counterfeit currency and coin collecting, too. You need to book a tour weeks in advance to get in, though!