Free in NYC


by Erin O'Hara, 06/20/2012

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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 20–26

Wednesday, June 20
Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga
Celebrate the start of summer in Times Square by harmonizing mind and body. The middle of one of the busiest intersections on Earth might not sound like the ideal spot to spread out your mat for some asanas, but if you can relax there, you can relax anywhere. Four instructors, each based in New York City or on the West Coast, will lead sessions throughout the day, beginning at 7:30am, 12:30pm (Bikram style), 3:30pm and 7pm. Challenge yourself to relax before work, unwind after a busy day or find your center (in the "center of the universe") on your lunch break. The classes are open to yogis of all skill levels. If you can't be there in person, follow along at home with the live webcasts (on and and post pics of your poses on Instagram with the tag #SolsticeTSq for the chance to win a prize pack worth up to $350.

Thursday, June 21
Designers in Discussion: Made in New York 
Over the years, manufacturing has tended to leave the United States and move overseas, but it still thrives in NYC in the form of local designers and craftsmen. Join several of the City's resident artisans at the South Street Seaport Museum at 6:30pm as they talk about their crafts. The discussion is part of the River to River Festival and is in conjunction with an exhibition at the museum that features NYC-made products—everything from furniture to fashion. Exhibition curator Donald Albrecht hosts the conversation.

Friday, June 22
The East Coast Art of Rock Show
This group exhibition at Gowanus Print Lab features promotional posters for some rockin' concerts in New York City and beyond—all handmade by local artists. The task of creating gig posters involves communicating relevant information in an interesting way, as well as visually capturing a band's aesthetic and enticing viewers to attend the event. The posters on display here are of the kind that are produced in limited runs and become prized collector's items for fans of both music and design. See works advertising Joan Jett, Primus and Furthur, among others. RSVP for the opening reception, on June 22 from 6 to 8pm, on Facebook.

Saturday, June 23
Celebrate Brooklyn!: Ghostface Killah
Summer has officially started, and Celebrate Brooklyn! wants you to ring in the season with the Lyricist Lounge—a music series that started as an open-mic night in a Lower East Side apartment 20 years ago. Since then, the ongoing event has hosted some of the biggest names in hip-hop, and the show on June 23 will be no different, showcasing the lyrical stylings of Staten Island native and Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. Lauded as one of the best storytellers in hip-hop history, Ghostface is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Bet on a big crowd at the Prospect Park Bandshell—doors open at 6:30pm; the show starts an hour later. (Note: there is a $3 suggested donation, but payment is not mandatory.)

Sunday, June 24
LGBT Pride March 
The gay pride movement started in New York City more than 40 years ago after the Stonewall Riots, which marked the first uprising of LGBT people against widespread oppression in the United States. Though the struggle for equality is far from over, the reasons to celebrate are piling up, with gay marriage finally legal in New York and the official repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" last year. The annual NYC Pride celebration is the largest in the world, with a week of festivities leading up to the extravagant march through Manhattan, attended by more than 1 million revelers each year. The march begins at noon, heads down Fifth Avenue from 36th Street and ends at the intersection of Christopher and Greenwich Streets. For more information on the week's activities, see our guide to NYC Pride 2012.

Monday, June 25
Astoria Park Independence Celebration 
Commemorate America's independence a week early at central Astoria's annual Independence Day bonanza in Astoria Park. The evening kicks off at 7:30pm with music by Joe Battaglia and The New York Big Band, as well as a special performance by United We Sing, a trio of former USO girls who have a distinctly American sound. After nightfall, take in the festive fireworks display over the East River.

Tuesday, June 26
Twelfth Night 
Shakespeare in the Park isn't the only outdoor theatrical game in town: New York Classical Theatre puts a new spin on the classic Bard comedy Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, a humorous tale of love and mistaken identity, by changing its setting to New York City in 1900. Relax outside and let the talented cast entertain you against the charming backdrop of Battery Park's historic Castle Clinton. The show starts at 7pm.

related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    Times Square
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10036
  2. 2
    South Street Seaport Museum
    Pier 16, South Street Seaport, South St. at the foot of John St.; office: 12 Fulton St.
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10038
  3. 3
    Astoria Park
    Enter at 21st Ave and 23rd St
    Queens – Astoria
    NY 11102
  1. 4
    Castle Clinton National Monument
    Castle Clinton National Monument, 17 Battery Pl.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10005-1996

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