Free in NYC


by Joanna Weinstein, 08/03/2011

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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.

August 3–9

Wednesday, August 3
Sunrise Tai Chi
De-stress midweek with an early-morning tai chi class at Fort Tryon Park. The mental and physical exercise regimen improves focus and stretches the body, as participants work through a series of composed, graceful movements and positions. (If you can be composed and graceful at 6:30am, we salute you.) The hour-long session takes place every Wednesday through August 24 and is fit for all levels of experience.

Thursday, August 4
Sandbox Music and Sandbox Stories
Musically inclined kids get their chance to shine—or create a racket—with Central Park's long-running Sandbox series, which encompasses dance, music and storytelling programs. At Heckscher Playground from 11am to noon, children ages 3 to 8 can play percussion, accompanying musicians from the Central Park Brass quintet. Later, at 2pm, bring the kids to Billy Johnson Playground to listen to fairy tales filled with goblins, witches, princesses and the like, courtesy of some of the City's best yarn-spinners. 

Friday, August 5
Salsa Night
File under Creative Date Night: head to Queens for salsa in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park from 6 to 9pm. Get your weekend off to a spicy start and spend the early evening dancing just north of Meadow Lake; later, visit one of the borough's excellent eateries for some sustenance. For dining ideas, see our roundup of Queens restaurants along the 7 train line

Saturday, August 6
Bryant Park Moves with Limón Dance
Join Limón Dance Company on the Bryant Park lawn from 11am to noon for instructional dancing for all levels. The company, led now by Carla Maxwell, was founded in 1946 by renowned dancer-choreographer José Limón. Skip the gym and take full advantage of this event, held every Saturday morning through September 10.

Sunday, August 7
Beach Party Featuring Mission of Burma
This Boston post-punk quartet lasted just four years the first time around, breaking up in 1983. They re-formed in 2002, however, and are now bringing their rebellious, avant-garde sound to the Beekman Beer Garden's free summer concert series. Listen to guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley, drummer Peter Prescott and sound manipulator Bob Weston play songs that inspired a few bands you might have heard of, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and R.E.M. Doors open at 11:30am; the show starts at 3pm.

Monday, August 8
Join HBO at Bryant Park for its weekly after-work cinema fest. The feature on August 8 is Airplane!, the classic comedy starring both Roberts Hays and Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Hagerty and Leslie Nielsen (in what was surely his finest role—just don't call him Shirley). In case you don't remember, the movie's about disgraced former Air Force pilot Ted Striker (Hays), who's called back into action to fly a commercial airliner when the plane's crew becomes ill. The results are, of course, the most fun you're ever going to have with food poisoning. The movie doesn't begin until sunset (between 8 and 9pm), but the park's lawn opens at 5pm for picnicking and for people to set up their blankets for the show. Note: since the lawn tends to fill up quickly, it's best to arrive on the early side to secure a good spot. 

Tuesday, August 9
Bierkraft Brewery Beer Tasting
Hit up this local treasure on Park Slope's Fifth Avenue on August 9 (and every Tuesday) for a free beer tasting at 7pm. Yes, free beer—you read that right—as well as complimentary nibbles. This week, the brewery will feature a selection of Belgian strong golden ales, which are characterized by their very high alcohol by volume—about 9% (drink slowly!). Often made with pilsner malt, these beers rank among the most popular worldwide. Stay for dinner and enjoy some more beer while washing down Bierkraft's fresh gourmet sandwiches after the event (unfortunately, not for free). The pastrami-spiced brisket is especially tasty.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Fort Tryon Park
    Fort Tryon Park
    Manhattan – Washington Heights
    NY 10040
  2. 2
    Heckscher Playground
    Central Park, Mid-Park
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  3. 3
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  1. 4
    Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club
    89 South St.
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038
  2. 5
    191 Fifth Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11217

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