Free in NYC


by Erin O'Hara, 04/11/2012

« »
  • 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.

April 11–17

Wednesday, April 11
Jesse Owens
In the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in track-and-field events. His achievement was particularly meaningful since the Games that summer were held in Berlin, an environment that, under Nazi rule, strongly supported racism and considered the Nordic people to be the "master race." Despite his tremendous accomplishment, Owens returned home to a country still fraught with racial tension and discrimination. He and 17 other black Olympians were not invited to the official White House celebration that the white athletes attended. Jesse Owens, Laurens Grant and Stanley Nelson's new documentary, depicts the odd circumstance Owens found himself in, as an uncelebrated Olympic hero. See the stunning film at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse at 7:30pm on April 11, before it premieres on PBS on May 1. To RSVP, email or call 212-281-9240, ext. 19 or 20.

Thursday, April 12
Macaulay Culkin's iPod
(Le) Poisson Rouge brings you the most bizarrely good time you'll have in April, along the lines of "events you might mistake for that weird dream you had." Once a month, the venue hosts Macaulay Culkin, star of flicks like Home Alone and Party Monster, who plugs in his own iPod and DJs a dance party. The music is rumored to consist of lots of dance-y pop, with a little indie and hip-hop thrown in the mix. The free event, which starts at 10pm, takes place in The Gallery; admission is exclusive to partygoers ages 21 and older.

Friday, April 13
Grandfather at BAMcafé Live
Steve Albini—the well-known musician from indie legends Big Black and the production mastermind behind Nirvana's In Utero, among many other greats—has done it again with the first album from Grandfather. The foursome will perform their signature "grungy art-rock" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of the BAMcafé Live music series. Promoting the BAM performance on their website, the band promised, "We're going to tear that place down!"  See how far they get, starting at 10pm.

Saturday, April 14
Bagel Bark
Head to the East Pinetum in Central Park for Bagel Bark, held by Central Park Paws from 7:30 to 9am one Saturday a month between February and November. You and your pooch can hang out with other pet parents and their pups. The event includes free coffee, bagels and pastries for the two-legged and off-leash playtime and treats for the dogs.

Sunday, April 15
Yoga Journal Conference Events
The Yoga Journal Conference returns to the Hilton New York, this year from April 12 to 16. There are lots of events during the convention, and some are even open to the public, but Sunday is the most jam-packed. Start early at 4am with kundalini sadhana, a daily spiritual practice consisting of exercise, meditation and prayer designed to ready oneself for the day ahead. At 7am, Pamela Bliss will lead the morning meditation to awaken your consciousness. Later on, attend a community yoga class, a panel discussion titled "Yoga Shouldn't Hurt," a lecture about the use of ayurveda practices for optimal health, a session to help you create a life you love and an inspirational vinyasa sequence to lovingly end the conference.

Monday, April 16
Nature's Return
This stunning exhibition, curated by Omo Misha, explores the fragile relationship and increasing dissonance between humanity and the natural world. Sixteen contemporary artists present their take on specific landscapes, industrial conflicts, urbanization and environmental concerns. Catch the show at Central Park's Arsenal Gallery before it closes on April 19.

Tuesday, April 17
WILD @ The Library
Andrew Simmons is a veteran wildlife expert who has appeared on the Today show and Good Morning America and frequently lectures at the American Museum of Natural History. On April 17, he brings some wild animals to the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library and shares his wealth of knowledge. Don't miss the rare opportunity for an up-close look at the beautiful creatures, including a golden eagle, a Eurasian eagle owl, a Burmese python, a black throat monitor, an alligator and a black bear cub. Learn about endangered predators and how we can best preserve their habitats and ensure their future survival. The event starts at 5pm.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Harlem Stage - The Gatehouse
    150 Convent Ave.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10031
  2. 2
    (Le) Poisson Rouge
    158 Bleecker St.
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10012
  3. 3
    BAM - Brooklyn Academy of Music
    30 Lafayette Ave.
    Brooklyn – Downtown Brooklyn
    NY 11217
  1. 4
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  2. 5
    New York Hilton Midtown
    1335 Sixth Avenue
    Manhattan – Times Square
    NY 10019
  3. 6
    Arsenal Gallery in Central Park
    830 Fifth Ave
    New York – Central Park
    NY 10021

check-in date

check-out date