By Marlene Garzona
We get it. COVID has made it a lot harder to venture out. Gone are the expensive Broadway shows and live concerts, but there are still plenty of free things to do around the City that are even more fun.
New York City has a wealth of entertaining things to do and you don’t always need to be flushed with cash. Here is a Top-10 List to keep you entertained and keep the change in your pocket. In some cases, you can even get free food, drink and entertained for free. All of these places are open during COVID with safe social distancing.
On weekends from late May through the end of September you can take a free ferry to visit Governors Island. This 172 acre island which opened to the public only in 2003 hosts a variety of fun activities. There’s a 2.2-mile bike path, festivals, mini golf, a picnic area and even historical military sites. The best part is that the island is inaccessible by car so it makes for a lovely escape away from all the noise.
Visiting a museum with any sort of group can quickly add up, but most places offer free and pay what you wish days. The same thing goes for Children’s Museums. My personal favorite is the Museum of Modern Art which opens to the public free weekly on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. (Click here to read what MOMA Free Fridays is actually like). The opportunity to see international artists, stick around for a film screening, or visit one of the special exhibits is well worth waiting the long lines
Walking is one of preferred methods of travel in the city so when are you doing it don’t miss the timeless sites. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are classic examples of art deco architecture. The rush of standing in the middle of Grand Central is worth experiencing while the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center can be captivating when the season’s right. There is also a fair share of impressive churches including St. Patrick’s Cathedral known for its gothic details; the list goes on and on.
One of the world’s largest metropolitan zoos with over 4,000 animals is free every Wednesday. Watch lions in their habitat or go down under with some kangaroos: finding your spirit animal is easy here! Click here for more details on that.
Ellis Island National Monument
You can see the Statue of Liberty up close or stare off into the distance at the New York Harbor at the Ellis Island National Monument. Also located on the island is the American Family Immigration History Center where you trace back your own roots with the click of a mouse.
Staten Island Ferry
Get a tour of the working waterfront of NYC on this famously free boat “tour”. The views might not be good as you’d get on a real sightseeing cruise but the price cannot be beat.
Culture Life in New York City is unique there’s no better way to experience it than to immerse yourself in it. You can explore neighborhoods with a Big Apple Greeter; these informed locals offer free tours for visitors. While the New York Public Library offers regular events, music, and dance performances, which along with book rentals, are always free. There’s even the Hispanic Society of America that displays viewable art and artifacts from all over the Spanish world.
Food/ Drink – Free food is hard to come by anywhere but there are two particular spots that they can be obtained in New York. Brooklyn’s own Mark Bar serves customers complimentary pizza every day of the week after six. While the Big Nose Full Body offers free wine tastings on Saturdays for those of legal age.
Outdoors and Parks
In the midst of all the skyscrapers and busy streets they are several parks that can be enjoyed. Central Park offers the perfect place to job, bike, sunbathe, rock climb, and even fish. While Bryant Park is known as a cultural outdoor location where some sort of event is always going on. You can even enjoy some sandy fun just outside the city at Jonas Beach State Park. Finding the green grass might be hard sometimes, but it never disappoints when do.
Free Outdoor Theater
Shows on Broadway are expensive but there are more cost effective options. Shakespeare in the Park will be back on this summer and it’s free. Click here to read how to get those tickets. Free movies, plays
And if you’re thinking about doing any of these for a first date, just think first of the impression it gives. Here’s more on that.