New York for free, is it possible? Although I can’t help you with free accommodations, I can help you in the attractions department. You see, there are plenty of free things to do in New York City that won’t cost you a single cent. Museums, activities, attractions, churches and parks are numerous in this city and although many cost a pretty penny, many do not.
Take a trip to the Hispanic Society of America Museum and Library, visit Governors Island, take a boat ride to check out the Statue of Liberty and visit the most fashionable museum in the world – all for free!
Believe it or not, this list of free things to do in New York was not a hard one to put together. There are many, many free things to do in the city, you just have to look for them. Bookmark this page for the next time you visit, or print out a list of the attractions mentioned here before your next trip to the Big Apple. You’ll save money and discover new and exciting places at the same time.
25 Museums & Attractions In New York That Won’t Cost a Dime
Yes, that's right! All of the attractions featured here are free. Click through for information and details on museums, churches, parks and TV show tapings that you can visit without opening your wallet.
Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library
New York Public Library
This is one of my favorite places to visit in New York City. The famed New York City Library
is one of my favorite places to visit in the city. The adventure begins outside the library as the sidewalks leading up to the building feature quotes about literature.
The library is the largest marble structure ever built in the USA and the Rose Main Reading Room is a highlight that must be seen, thanks to its incredible coffered ceiling.
Photo credit: vagueonthehow
You can take a ferry to Governors Island
for free and roam the 172-acre island to your heart's content. Nolan Park and Admiral's House are a couple of military sights that are worth a visit, or you can take a ride along the island's bike path, enjoy a picnic, and play a round of mini golf.
Photo credit: Dougtone
Rockefeller Center Public Art
Famously known for their giant Christmas tree in December, the 22-acre Rockefeller Center
is also home to many pieces of art, beautiful gardens, and ever -hanging exhibits. Admission is free.
Photo credit: Bosc d'Anjou
Socrates Sculpture Park
The Socrates Sculpture Park
is the only site in the New York Metropolitan area where opportunities are provided to artists to both create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multimedia installations in an outdoor environment. The site used to be an abandoned landfill until 1986, when the community got together and transformed it into an open studio and exhibition place.
Photo credit: AlexJamesFitz
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Take a guided tour through the Federal Reserve System
and learn about the central banking system through an interactive, multimedia exhibit. You can also visit the gold vault and view other interesting aspects of the bank. Keep in mind, this tour books up very, very fast and is usually scheduled up to 4 months in advance. Self-guided tours are also free, but do not include the gold vault.
Photo credit: gonsee
Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum
The most fashionable museum in the world! Learn about fashions from the 18th century to the present day and check out designers such as Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga and more. The FIT museum
FIT museum consists of three galleries consisting of various exhibits and miniature galleries. They change them completely every six months, but regardless of when you do visit, you're always sure to find over 250 years of fashion history.
Photo credit: Robert Sheie
Located in the center of Manhattan is the famed Central Park
. It originally opened in 1857, was named a National Historic Landmark in 1962 and covers over 840 acres in the city. It is one of the most famous spots in New York and offers beautiful natural landscapes, trails, and playgrounds. Numerous festivals and events are held here year-round and there are a few indoor attractions located in the park including the Belvedere Castle, Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and the famed Carousel.
Photo credit: epicxero
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Over 5 million people visit St. Patrick's Cathedral
each and every year. It's neo-gothic architecture and stunning interior wows and inspires all who visit.
Photo credit: eviltomthai
Brooklyn Brewery Tours
Founded in 1988, the Brooklyn Brewery
has been concocting the most delicious beers in the state. Take a tour through the brewery for free from:
1:00 p.m-5:00 p.m Saturday and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m Sunday.
Photo credit: Bernt Rostad
National Museum of the American Indian
You'll find some of the best collections of Native American art at the National Museum of the American Indian
. The museum is focused on culture as opposed to history, so you'll find all sorts of beautiful pieces and extraordinary artifacts.
Photo credit: Dave Newman
Museum of Biblical Art
is dedicated to showcasing Biblically-inspired art both ancient and contemporary. Rare bibles, stained glass windows, paintings, drawings. and other pieces are just some of the art you'll find exhibited.
Photo credit: MOBIA
Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
Walk through Scandinavian art galleries, watch classic movies, listen to lectures, enjoy live concerts, or sign up for language classes in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish at the Scandinavia House
Photo credit: photomagnon
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Experience this amazing technology and entertainment museum for free! Suitable for kids and adults of all ages, this building is located in mid-town Manhattan and offers amazing technology and creativity in a state-of-the-art facility. The Sony Wonder Technology Lab
offers 21 exhibit areas and 69 interactive exhibit stations to check out while visiting this 14,000 square foot museum. And yes, admission to the lab is always free!
Photo credit: angelaortizmusic
TV Show Tapings
Have you ever wondered how the audience gets chosen for shows like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon or Late Show with David Letterman? Turns out, they don't. You can stand in line or register online before these (and many other) talk shows to get your free tickets. Visit NYC Official Guide
for a list of all the shows and contact information.
Photo credit: goodrob13
Free Juilliard Performances
Some of the very best students in drama, music and dance from across the globe are taught at the coveted Juilliard School
. You can get free theater tickets to performances by calling the box office or checking in on the day of the performance for standby tickets. You can find a list of events by visiting the Juilliard Calendar.
Photo credit: JasonParis
Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
Gardens, plazas, and playgrounds make up Battery Park City and play host to hundreds of events and activities throughout the year. You can enjoy a free tour of the area if you're so inclined. Visit bpcparks.org
for hours and times.
Photo credit: Anthony Quintano
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Brooklyn Bridge Park
is huge and you'll find hundreds of free activities and events here each and every year, however Pier 6
is a great spot for kids thanks to its many attractions. Slide Mountain, several jungle gyms, Swing Valley featuring Tarzan ropes, a Sandbox Village, sand volleyball courts and even a full Water Lab are all available for free.
Photo credit: @mikepick
The Japan Society
holds many cultural exhibits, an art gallery, language center, 262 seat theatre and more. Admission is always free.
Photo credit: Japan Society
You can go kayaking for free at the Downtown Boathouse
. They offer free 20-minute kayaking tours in the Hudson river during the weekend.
Photo credit: calamity_sal
Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours
More Great Things on Travel
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.