19 free Things to do in NYC By Summer’s end

*Updated 8/19 One thing we all agree on is it seems impossible that August is almost over. Then again we also know the season of slack goes fast. Summer feels like an easier season to get away with doing more and spending less. Later bedtimes, lighter nights, and more concerts. Outdoor movies will wane as cooler nights begin. All the free outdoor concerts are almost complete. So before the summer ends, get through this list of nineteen free things to do in NYC now. 

Because soon, pumpkin spice will take over our entire lives. So until the lattes, leaves, and skulls are thrust upon us, let’s bask in the final days of August fun. 

Here are nineteen free things to do in NYC by Summer’s end: 

1. Go to an outdoor movie. One of the best free things to do in NYC during summer is also a popular tradition. The Bryant park HBO movie festival has been happening since I was a kid watching Breakfast at Tiffanys on a blanket with my mom. Now, I can relive that as a grownup. Because though so much has changed here, this NYC tradition never will. In fact, it’s bigger than ever with more movies on the summer into fall roster every year. 


2. Chill by the Washington Square park fountain. You never know what you may find, like a rainbow….


3. Hit the Public library on 42nd street. 


4. Explore outdoor art. You don’t need to spend money at a museum to see terrific art in NYC. Just go outside. There’s more free art on the island than ever. From installations on the High Line, to interactive exhibits, and street art everywhere you look. 

5. Climb to the top of the Vessel. The newest New York neighborhood of Hudson Yards boasts a lot of luxury. But the famous fixture within it, the Vessel is an interactive art exhibit that’s totally free to enjoy. 

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6. Spend time at the Strand book store. One of my favorite places in the city, and a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon. You don’t even have to go inside. We’ve spent hours sifting through treasures outside in the many shelves, looking for a diamond in the rough. 


7. Have a picnic.

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8. Go kayaking in the Hudson

9. People watch at the Elizabeth Street Garden in Soho.


10. Go exploring outside of your neighborhood.



11. Wander around the WTC oculus. 

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12. Walk the High Line. 

13. See a comedy show at Beauty Bar on 14th street. One of my favorite hidden gems of NYC. The Beauty bar itself, a nail salon/bar is already a hot spot among cool New Yorkers. But they also host a small and totally free comedy hour in the back. 

14. Slow down with free star gazing. Every Tuesday at dusk, head to the High Line for some star gazing complete with telescopes. It’s free, and runs through October. It may not be a hot spot, but it does sound pretty romantic. 

15. Ride the Staten Island Ferry back and forth once. 

16. Take an outdoor yoga class. Bryant Park yoga is every Thursday, open to the public until September. You can find plenty of other free workout classes around the city too. 

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17. Hit a street fair. The streets are chock full of them in the summer.

18. Check out the free talks film series at Lincoln Center. 

19. Stay inside and watch Netflix instead. 


How many of these free things in NYC have you done already? Or which ones do you want to do? Tell me below! 


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