Free in NYC


by Erin O'Hara, 06/15/2011

« »
  • print

There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for more free events.

June 15–21

Wednesday, June 15
RiseUp: Reggae Underground
Visit the New York Public Library's 115th Street branch, in Harlem, for this week's free film screening. RiseUp is a documentary about three talented artists in Jamaica's reggae scene trying to make a name for themselves beyond Kingston's underground clubs and dance halls. Hear the up-and-comers' stories as they reach for stardom. The film also features appearances by legends Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

Thursday, June 16
Crafting in the Park
The gang at Etsy takes its weekly craft night outside. To participate, meet between 4 and 8pm on Thursday at Pier 1, in Brooklyn Bridge Park, near the organization's DUMBO headquarters. Bring along any craft project, so long as it can easily be worked on outdoors. Don't have one? Not a problem: the Etsy folks can supply you with plenty to do. Those who are feeling less industrious can also just bring a friend, hang out, and admire all the handmade, crafty goodness. 

Friday, June 17
The Books, Junip and Doveman at Celebrate Brooklyn!, plus Jose Gonzalez DJ Set at The Bell House
Enjoy an eclectic Celebrate Brooklyn! bill on Friday night with the Books, whose electronic music melds samples and traditional melodies; Junip, the band led by indie darling José González; and Doveman, a band from Vermont that plays soft, delicate tunes and is fronted by pianist and composer Thomas Bartlett, who has worked with David Byrne and Yoko Ono. Then make your way to The Bell House for the official after-party, where González will DJ a set. 

Saturday, June 18
Mermaid Parade
It's time again for Coney Island's iconic annual Mermaid Parade, always guaranteed to make a splash in more ways than one. The teensy-bit risqué march down Surf Avenue includes some bare flesh, but the weird and wild floats, antique cars and an astounding array of mer-folk (who blow Ariel out of the water) shouldn't be missed. The parade gets rolling at 2pm; all ages are welcome.

Sunday, June 19
NBA Nation with Walt Frazier and Darryl Dawkins
This year, give dad something he'll actually treasure for Father's Day: quality time with the kids—and a few NBA legends. NBA Nation, a mobile basketball playground that's making its way across the country, will be in NYC on Sunday. Adults and kids can compete for prizes in contests, including a slam-dunk competition, take basketball clinics taught by real NBA players and much more. Best of all, meet three of the most charismatic figures in the history of the game, the Knicks championship back court duo of Earl "the Pearl" Monroe and Walt “Clyde” Frazier and rim-bending, backboard-shattering Philadelphia 76er Darryl Dawkins (aka "Chocolate Thunder").

Monday, June 20
Desperately Seeking Susan
The River to River festival is back, and with it comes outdoor movies on the Elevated Acre. This Monday, watch Desperately Seeking Susan, the 1985 classic starring Rosanna Arquette as a New Jersey housewife who suffers amnesia and is mistaken for an NYC party girl (played with perfectly charming insouciance by Madonna). Bring a blanket, some friends and head to 55 Water Street, where tickets will be handed out at the stairs on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6pm. The show starts around sunset. 

Tuesday, June 21 
Mind over Madness Yoga
Celebrate the solstice in Times Square by harmonizing mind and body. Three instructors from local yoga studios (Nicole Nichols of Yoga Studies Institute, Patrick Lynch of Bikram Yoga NYC and Douglass Stewart of Yoga Works and ISHTA Yoga Center) will lead the assembled crowd through poses in an attempt to find inner peace—in the middle of one of the busiest intersections on Earth. It's a challenge, no doubt, but, as they say, if you can relax there, you can relax anywhere. (If you're thinking that this sounds like it's supposed to be the very opposite of New Year's Eve in Times Square, you're absolutely correct.)

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    115th Street Library
    203 W 115th St
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10026
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
    Furman and Old Fulton Sts
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    Prospect Park
    95 Prospect Park West
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11215
  1. 4
    The Bell House
    149 7th St
    Brooklyn – Gowanus
    NY 11215
  2. 5
    Coney Island
    Surf Avenue
    Brooklyn – Coney Island
    NY 11224
  3. 6
    South Street Seaport
    Pier 17, Fulton and Front Streets
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038
  1. 7
    Elevated Acre
    55 Water St
    Manhattan – Financial District

check-in date

check-out date