Free in NYC


by Christina Parrella, 06/13/2012

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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.

June 13–19

Wednesday, June 13 
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future
From its shipbuilding and manufacturing roots to its current role as home base for many of the City's green businesses, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been serving Brooklyn's waterfront since the beginning of the 19th century. The inaugural exhibition at BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future, recounts this lengthy history. Explore the three-floor show, featuring rare documents and objects as well as photos, images and videos. Learn about the many ships and battleships the yard sent to sea duty, including the first US steam warship, the Fulton II. The exhibition also introduces visitors to the generations of people who worked or were stationed at the yard, which hit its peak of 70,000 employees during World War II and included some of the nation's first "Rosie the Riveter" workers. The show is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6pm. 

Thursday, June 14
What If We Re-Made US Housing Policy?
 The  Queens Art Express 2012 festival celebrates the vibrant culture of the borough with four days of events, exhibitions and festivities, but it also delves into pressing social issues surrounding health care, housing and the economy. In What If We Re-Made US Housing Policy?, four artists explore public policy and the nation's housing crisis in collaborative works aimed to foster sustainable housing for all. Smaller, intricate works and large-scale installations, as well as photographs, mixed media and performances, set the stage at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning during this June 14 kickoff event, from 6 to 9pm. 

Friday, June 15 
High Line Live!: Step to the High Line Festival
The High Line plays host to a dance-off as step teams from across the City with names like Beacon's Finest, Lady Dragons, Organized Chaos and Bombay Steppers show off their best moves, claps and shouts in an energetic four-day battle for the title of top group. On June 15, watch Beacon's Finest, made up of middle school girls from Queens, take on the Lady Dragons, composed of high school girls from Brooklyn, in an interborough showdown. The event starts at 6:30pm. On the final day, June 16, spectators are invited to an all-levels workshop with Stomp the Yard star Seye Charles before all of the teams come together for a final showcase. 

Saturday, June 16
NYC LGBT Pride Rally
A month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, 500 peaceful protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to express solidarity and gay pride. Forty-three years later, the New York City LGBT Pride Rally continues to be the official kickoff for Pride Week. Taking place at the East River Bandshell in East River Park, the rally features dozens of well-known performers and speakers and attracts thousands of attendees. This year, comedian Fortune Feimster from the Chelsea Lately Show and Jai Rodriguez of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy will be emceeing the event. The rally goes from 3 to 6pm.

Sunday, June 17
Bang on a Can Marathon 
Beginning at noon at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden, this 12-hour-long concert is back for its 25th year. Acts include David Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, plus a long lineup of experimental sound masters, among them the Bang on a Can All-Stars performing works by Conlon Nancarrow.

Monday, June 18 
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: Psycho
Watch Psycho, one of Alfred Hitchcock's most suspenseful films, as it kicks off the 20th anniversary of the HBO film series in Bryant Park. In case you need a refresher, the thriller stars Anthony Perkins as taxidermist Norman Bates, an affable motel owner dealing with some serious mommy issues. The shower scene remains one of movie history's most renowned sequences. Get to the showing early to secure a spot on the lawn, which opens at 5pm for blankets and picnicking. The film will begin at sunset, usually between 8 and 9pm. 

Tuesday, June 19
Imagination Playground
Watch your little ones tackle foam blocks, climb ropes, splash in the waterworks, dig in the sandpit and listen to the sounds of New York Harbor at Imagination Playground. Located at the Burling Slip in South Street Seaport, the playground is inspired by the historic commercial activity of the area. Burlap bags, buckets, shovels, brooms and fabric are on hand for some fun, creative playtime.

Additional Free Events and Attractions
Fill your entire calendar with free events, museum visits or family outings. We've got even more Free in NYC for you.

Free NYC Museums

free nyc museums & attractions

These New York City museums are always free or free on specific days of the week. Find one near you.

Free Summer Concerts

free summer concerts

Guided by Voices, OK Go, Kurt Vile and the New York Philharmonic are just a few of the acts set to play gratis shows in NYC.

Free Summer Movies

free summer movies

With free screenings all summer long, NYC is paradise for the stingy cinephile.

Central Park Guide

must-see central park

Central Park is among the world's most famous green spaces, and it's always free to visit during park hours. Check out our guide to this NYC icon.

Street Hoops

free street hoops in nyc

The Knicks' season may be over, but the basketball action is just heating up on NYC's asphalt.


related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92
    63 Flushing Ave., Unit 300, Bldg. 92
    Brooklyn – Navy Yard
    NY 11205
  2. 2
    Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
    161-04 Jamaica Ave
    NY 11432
  3. 3
    The High Line
    Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10011
  1. 4
    East River Park
    Houston Street at FDR Drive
    New York – Lower East Side
  2. 5
    Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281
  3. 6
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  1. 7
    South Street Seaport
    Pier 17, Fulton and Front Streets
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038

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