Free in NYC


by Alyssa Grossman, 09/04/2012

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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.

September 5–11

Wednesday, September 5
Brooklyn Bridge Park History Tour: Trade Roots in the Harbor 
On September 5, join Richard Melnick of the Greater Astoria Historical Society and Forgotten New York for an exploration of the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront's industrial and trade-based past. The coauthor of The East River will explain how nearby New York City trade routes made a mark on the nation and helped shape the City we know today. The tour, which starts at 6:30pm at the entrance to Pier 1, is interactive and lasts approximately 90 minutes. An RSVP is required; email

Thursday, September 6
Maybelline New York Mobile Color Studio
Fashion's Night Out officially begins at 6pm on September 6, but Maybelline New York is kicking things off a bit early this year, from 10:30am to 1:30pm in Times Square and from 3 to 6pm in Union Square. During the all-about-beauty celebration, indulge in free makeup touch-ups and mini manicures featuring the brand's new Color Show line of nail lacquers. When 6pm rolls around, get ready for five hours of parties across all five boroughs with giveaways, special guests, promotions, style tips and more. To start planning, check out our roundup of the night's top events

Friday, September 7
Target Free First Friday Night at the Children's Museum of Manhattan
Thanks to Target, kids have an excuse to play a little later on September 7. Admission to the Children's Museum of Manhattan is free from 5 to 8pm. Explore kid-centric exhibitions like EatSleepPlay: Building Health Every Day, part playground, part healthy-lifestyle education. Young museumgoers can also check out Monkey King: A Story From China, an interactive ode to the classic Chinese tale, or help rescue animals and journey to a fiesta in Adventures with Dora and Diego. Bonus: head outside for a sweet treat, courtesy of the Time Warner Cable ice cream truck, and commemorate the end of summer with a cone (a $1 donation is suggested, but not required). 

Saturday, September 8
Honey Weekend
On September 8 and 9, Wave Hill goes to the bees. Admission is gratis until noon on Saturdays (also courtesy of Target), which means you can check out some of the sweet activities on September 8 on the house. Outfit yourself in beekeeping garb and examine a (bee-free) hive up close at the Hives & Honey Information Station, taste various flavors of honey, and drop into an extraction demonstration to help bottle up the sugary stuff from Wave Hill's own honeybees and try honey directly from the hive. Little garden-goers can grab a kazoo and craft accessories to play bee dress-up, march in a bee parade and play inside a cardboard hive. 

Sunday, September 9
Summer on the Hudson 10th-Annual West Side County Fair
Riverside Park is bringing the country to the big city. Families can check out carnival rides and try their luck at games, and kids can head to the petting zoo or get hands-on at the environmental corner. Music, square-dancing and sideshow performers add to an afternoon packed with festivities. The fair runs from 1 to 6pm, inside the park between West 66th and West 72nd Streets. 

Monday, September 10
Ner Beck: A New Photographic Exhibition of Lost & Found New York City Street Art
Ner Beck's photographic counter to the "New York minute" aims to encourage City residents to slow down and observe their surroundings. The graphic artist and designer's photo exhibition at the New York Public Library's St. Agnes branch is an ode to the overlooked, captured during the artist's most recent neighborhood wanderings, and includes images of glass window reflections. Beck's works have been shown at other City library locations, each time engaging audiences with his ability to capture the surprising sites (and sights) that often go unnoticed in the fast-paced lives of New Yorkers. The show will be up through September 22. 

Tuesday, September 11 
The September Concert 
While visiting the 9/11 Memorial is an experience worthy of any New Yorker's or visitor's time, on September 11, the general public will not have access to the site. But you can still commemorate the day throughout the City thanks to The September Concert, a foundation dedicated to bringing free music to public spaces throughout the world on and around September 11. Highlights of this year's event include The Heart of Jazz, a gathering of more than 30 musicians, from 6 to 11pm at Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, and a silent and musical dance tribute by choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi, from 8:20 to 8:46am in Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 2
    Times Square
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10036
  3. 3
    Union Square
    14th St to 17th St
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  1. 4
    Children's Museum of Manhattan
    The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024
  2. 5
    Wave Hill
    675 W. 252nd St.
    Bronx – Riverdale
    NY 10471
  3. 6
    Riverside Park
    Riverside Drive to Hudson River
    72nd St. to St Clair Pl.
    New York – Upper West Side
    NY 10115

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