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20 Top Free Events in NYC This Summer

Summer fun doesn’t always have to come with a price tag. Save your hard-earned bucks for music festivals, frozen drinks, and beach trips, and have a blast for nada all season long thanks to these freebies.

By / May 10, 2018

Free Kayaking at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Welcome warmer weather with a free kayaking session on the East River and explore your wet and wild side.

party club

Party Like It’s 1999: The Summer #1s of the 90s Edition

The Bell House

Get down to the hottest songs of the 1990s, with “Waterfalls,” “Baby Got Back,” “Genie in a Bottle,” “California Love,” and more keeping the good times going all night long.

Free / RSVP

Discovery Day at Freshkills Park

Freshkills Park

Staten Island's Freshkills Park is still being developed, but you can check out its progress with a full day of activities that include photography, bicycling, kite-flying, tours, and more.

Free / RSVP

Museum Mile Festival

Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th streets

For three hours, seven of the city’s museums along Fifth Avenue will open their doors for New Yorkers to get cultured without spending a dime.


Pitbull at GMA’s Summer Concert Series

Rumsey Playfield

See Mr. Worldwide in the heart of NYC before you even go to work and prepare to shake what your mama gave you.


The 36th Annual Mermaid Parade

Coney Island

Mermaids will take over the streets of Coney Island for the 35th year of the country’s largest art parade. Start planning your under-the-sea outfits now

Free / RSVP

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival

Museum at Eldridge Street

Head to this free multicultural fest that celebrates Jewish, Chinese, and Puerto Rican culture with a day of food and street performances.

Free / RSVP

Bryant Park Yoga with Dan Nevins

The Lawn

Get your zen on in the heart of Midtown at an hour-long yoga class presented by KeVita.



Colonels Row

Take your imagination and hop aboard the ferry to Governor’s Island for a weekend of collaborative art projects that are all free.



University Place between 13th Street & Waverly Place

Help celebrate the 25th anniversary of this epic LGBT street festival that features performances, vendors, and tons of activities all in honor of love and equality.


Titanic: Free Screening at Brooklyn Bazaar

Brooklyn Bazaar

Fall in love with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet all over again as you watch this 1997 classic in Brooklyn Bazaar's Main Ballroom. Seating is first come, first served, so arrive early!

Free / RSVP

Nathan’s Famous 2018 Hot Dog Eating Contest

Nathan's Famous, Coney Island

Why watch the meaty action on TV when you can see it in real life? Make the trip to Coney Island to see if defending champ Joey Chestnut can eat enough dogs to win yet another Mustard Belt.


Backstreet Boys at GMA’s Summer Concert Series

Rumsey Playfield

Backstreet's Back, alright! And this time, they're in the heart of Central Park as the guys start your Friday off with a free show that will rock your body right.

   FAD Market

FAD Market: Summer Pop-up

The Invisible Dog Art Center

Browse the offerings from a rotation of 50 independent makers who will be showcasing their art, jewelry, apparel, bath and body care, tableware, and home furnishings.

Free / RSVP

Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park

The popular Shakespeare in the Park series at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater continues with a production of Twelfth Night. Enter the lottery for your chance to score free tix!

counter culture coffee

NYC Tasting at Ten

Counter Culture Coffee New York Training Center

Get your morning caffeine boost for free when you swing by this tasting that features a different coffee and brewing method each week.


Karaoke Happy Hour at Offside Tavern

Offside Tavern

Sing your heart out and snag a free shot if you're brave enough to sing with the DJ!

Free / RSVP

Meditation on the High Line

On the High Line at 22nd St.

Kick off the day by focusing on your breath, high above the city's streets.


Bar None Comedy Show

Bar None

Some of the city’s best talent will showcase their latest routines at this free comedy show—and drinks will be priced two-for-one during the performance.

Free / RSVP

NYRR Open Run

Astoria Park

You could spend your Saturday sleeping in. Or, you could get up and join this fun run like a total baller. We encourage you to choose the latter!



Melanie is a Jersey girl who now calls Brooklyn home. She’s written for Fuse TV, MTV News, Interview Magazine and more, and enjoys creating content that informs, inspires and entertains people. She’s passionate about music, running, cheese and dachshunds, and her husband fully accepts her love affair with NYC.

More articles by Melanie Gardiner



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