Free in NYC


by staff, 08/29/2012

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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.

August 29–September 4

Wednesday, August 29
Vans House Parties: Turbonegro, Baroness, Doomriders and Night Birds
Norwegian group Turbonegro, which formed in 1989, headlines this free show of hard-charging mayhem, supported by the like-minded metalheads and punk rockers in Baroness, Doomriders and Night Birds. If you're brave enough to see what "deathpunk" (the name Turbonegro has given its signature style) is all about, head to Brooklyn's House of Vans. Note: face paint isn't required, but wearing some might not be a bad idea—if you want to blend in. The party begins at 7pm; concertgoers must RSVP at

Thursday, August 30
Syfy Movies with a View
The television channel's free outdoor summer film series in Brooklyn Bridge Park concludes on August 30 with a DJ set at 6pm and, at sundown, a special short film and a movie screening, the latter to be chosen by public vote. The options are: Splendor in the Grass, Across the Universe, Sunset Boulevard and Clueless (which was supposed to be shown last month but was rained out). Choose your favorite at; the winner will be announced at noon on August 29.

Friday, August 31
Richard III
Hudson Warehouse, which bills itself as "The Other Free Shakespeare in the Park," closes its ninth season with this Riverside Park production of the Bard's tale of royal intrigue. Richard III concerns the political machinations of the titular character, who loathes his brother Edward and will stop at nothing to succeed him on England's throne. The show starts at 6:30pm and no tickets are required to attend; take a seat on the steps or benches around the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (around Riverside Drive and West 89th Street) and watch the action unfold. If you can't make it on August 31, catch the production Thursday through Sunday through September 2.

Saturday, September 1
Kayaking on the Hudson
Thanks to volunteers at the Downtown Boathouse, you can get out on the water at no cost whatsoever. Walk-up kayak "rentals" at Pier 40, Pier 96, 72nd Street and Governors Island (Pier 101) offer the perfect chance to experience the sport of kayaking. Rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Saturday hours for each location are as follows: Pier 40, 9am–6pm; Pier 96, 9am–6pm; 72nd Street, 10am–5pm; and Governors Island, 10am–3pm. Downtown Boathouse also offers complimentary beginner lessons and three-hour morning trips for more experienced paddlers (see the organization's calendar for details). The kayak trip on September 1, from 8am to noon, leaves from Pier 96. Be sure to eat a good breakfast beforehand; wear a bathing suit or shorts and a T-shirt; and bring water, a hat, sunscreen and a lock (to keep your possessions safe in the on-site lockers).

Sunday, September 2
Brazilian Day
The Brazilian Day festival is a spirited annual celebration of Brazil's Independence Day and the country's culture in New York City and around the world. Now in its 28th year, the festivities include Brazilian music, dance, food and more (though the food isn't free, so don't forget to bring some cash if you want a literal taste of Brazil). The all-day event, which starts at 10am, features legendary instrumentalist Armandinho Macedo, as well as many other celebrity musicians from Brazil. The main stage is located on East 46th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, but the festival extends throughout the area known as "Little Brazil."

Monday, September 3
West Indian American Day Carnival
Even in New York, few events overwhelm the senses more than the West Indian American Day Carnival, which celebrates the roots of NYC's Caribbean residents. Hear the sounds of reggae and calypso music. Taste freshly cooked delicacies. See revelers in elaborate, colorful costumes. It's a great chance to experience firsthand the City's trademark diversity—and, of course, to purchase the foods, crafts, books, clothing, art, jewelry and more offered by vendors along the parade route, Eastern Parkway between Utica and Flatbush Avenues. The crowd starts gathering at 11am.

Tuesday, September 4
Dwyane Wade: A Father First
Miami Heat co-captain Dwyane Wade has enjoyed a career marked by success: the basketball great is an eight-time NBA All-Star, led the Heat to win the NBA Finals in 2006 and 2012, and helped the US men's basketball team win gold in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008. This event, however, is less about professional achievements than those he considers personal—winning sole custody of his sons. In this inspirational new biography, Wade candidly discusses the courtroom battle with his ex-wife and details aspects of his own childhood on Chicago's South Side. Meet Wade at noon at the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue.

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 2
    Riverside Park
    Riverside Drive to Hudson River
    72nd St. to St Clair Pl.
    New York – Upper West Side
    NY 10115
  3. 3
    Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave
    555 Fifth Ave
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10017

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