3 Cool Free Things to Do in New York City

As everyone knows, the USA‘s “Big Apple” is packed with amazing sights, sites, and experiences. And though New York City isn’t exactly known for being a cheap place to visit, there are in fact lots of great things to see and do that are easy on the wallet – and even free of charge. Here are three excellent ones:

Central Park for Nothing

This enormous expanse straddling Midtown’s east and west sides is New Yorkers’ favourite outdoor playground and living room, where they come to hang out on the lawns; have a picnic; go biking, skating, or rowing; walk their dogs; play sport from volleyball and croquet to football, both American- and European-style; and stroll amid a mix of exuberant greenery and handsome architectural landmarks. Furthermore, in summertime through September 22, the SummerStage programme offers more than a hundred free open-air concerts. Buskers offering more impromptu entertainment can also often be found in places like Bethesda Terrace.

Free Food in Bars

?A few bars and taverns around the city’s five boroughs (districts) do something not unlike some bars in Spain: if you order a drink, on certain days they’ll treat you to a complimentary snack to go along with it. Among our favourites: in downtown Manhattan, the West Village‘s Blind Tiger (281 Bleecker Street) will serve you some bread and cheese with your drink on Wednesday evenings, and across the island in the East Village, Croxley Ales (28 Avenue B) lays on chicken wings for Friday happy hour from 4 to 7 pm. Meanwhile, over the Manhattan Bridge in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn, check out Fourth Avenue Pub (76 4th Ave.).

The Zoo for Zip

Relatively few visitors make it north of Manhattan to the Bronx, but there are a number of cool things up here – top of the list being one of the world’s largest and oldest zoos (est. 1899), and one that as much as possible gives animals the space to roam in environments that match their natural habitats. On Wednesdays, fixed admission is suspended in favour of a voluntary donation of any amount you wish.

Photo | Ralph Hockens