Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 04/30/2013

« »
  • 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.

May 1–7

Wednesday, May 1
CityParks PuppetMobile Presents "Little Red's Hood"
Where: Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
When: 10am
What if Little Red Riding Hood was a young New Yorker? The CityParks PuppetMobile reimagines the storybook character for urban audiences in this modern take on the traditional tale, featuring puppets designed by the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Armed with cupcakes and headed to her grandmother's house, the unsuspecting protagonist is so enraptured by her cell phone that she fails to notice a wolf eager to get his paws on her baked goods. Throughout the spring and fall, the PuppetMobile will bring performances to parks throughout New York City. On May 1, the open-air show will take place at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. 

Thursday, May 2
Animal Encounter
Where: Prospect Park Audubon Center
When: 2–2:30pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center is home to interactive exhibits, a theater room and even a human-size bird's nest, but one of the space's biggest draws is its live critters. On Thursdays and Fridays through May 31, stop by the center and get acquainted with the animals that call this urban oasis home. Kids will get the chance to meet Snappy the turtle, see a snake eat a mouse for lunch and discover what it takes to keep the center's animals happy and healthy. And when you're ready to explore the wildlife and activities outside the Audubon Center, check out our must-see guide to Prospect Park

Friday, May 3
Karaoke Killed the Cat
Where: Union Hall
When: midnight
Catering to the karaoke-averse, this late-night Brooklyn series takes a lighthearted (and often louder) approach to the nightlife staple. Set in the downstairs performance space of Park Slope bar Union Hall, the once-a-week show invites performers to the stage to belt out their favorite tracks. Expect dancing, jumping and audience members full of enthusiasm as often off-key sounds echo from the microphone. It's the perfect way to unabashedly hone your vocal skills in front of one of the most accepting crowds in town. 

Saturday, May 4
Bronx Heroes Comic Con 5
Where: Bronx Library Center
When: noon–6pm
The Bronx Library Center hosts the fifth edition of its two-day, comic-centric celebration. Guests are invited to mingle with an all-star cast of industry professionals from DC, Marvel, Archie Comics, Topps and more—among them comic book authors, illustrators, character creators, creative directors and editors—throughout the event. Also on the docket are workshops and panels, including a special "Women in Comics" session, cosplay outfit-making sessions and a flamenco dance performance. On Sunday, head back to the library for portfolio reviews by artists, drawing lessons and a comic book episode screening. 

Sunday, May 5
Irish Arts Center NYC Dance Festival
Where: Riverside Park South
When: 1–7pm
Put on your dancing shoes and head to the waterfront. Riverside Park's Summer on the Hudson presents the 12th-annual Irish Arts Center NYC Dance Festival, a full day of family-friendly Irish entertainment. From 1 to 7pm, at Pier I, take in performances from local and national troupes, drop in on a dance class to learn basic—or, if you're particularly skilled on your feet, more advanced—steps during workshops, peruse offerings from Irish craft vendors and join a singing circle, music sessions and Irish language classes. Kids can visit the children's area for face painting and crafts.

Monday, May 6
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music
Where: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
When: noon–8pm
The Smithsonian's roving exhibition comes to Manhattan, giving New Yorkers a taste of Latino musical and dance influences on American culture, spanning from the 1940s to the current day. American Sabor surveys historical data and creative contributions by iconic Latino performers, placing an emphasis on five hotbeds for the culture's sounds and styles: New York, San Antonio, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles. Highlights include short films steeped in history and filled with interviews and footage from performances. The music continues with listening stations for different types of music, including salsa and R&B, each post outfitted with supplemental details about the style and its origins. Library-goers can also select a track from the jukebox and travel back through the ages of Latin music and dance, popularized by the likes of Tito Puente, Selena, Carlos Santana and others.

Tuesday, May 7
Stargazing on the High Line
Where: The High Line
When: 7:30–9:30pm
On Tuesday nights, when dusk rolls around, members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York head to the High Line with their high-powered telescopes, made available to the public. This is a great time for stargazing newbies to learn a thing or two about studying the sky, since the group is always willing to lend a helping hand to participants of all ages. The event takes place from 7:30 to 9:30pm between West 13th and West 14th Street. Stargazing is weather permitting, so make sure to call 212-206-9922 or follow @highlinenyc on Twitter for updates. The Association also sets up in Carl Schurz Park, Floyd Bennett Field and Van Cortlandt Park, so check for other opportunities to stargaze. 

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    111th St to Van Wyck Expy
    Queens – multiple locations
    NY 11375
  2. 2
    Prospect Park Audubon Center
    Prospect Park
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11225
  3. 3
    Union Hall
    702 Union St.
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11215
  1. 4
    Bronx Library Center
    310 E. Kingsbridge Rd.
    Bronx – Fordham
    NY 10458
  2. 5
    Riverside Park South
    Henry Hudson Parkway at W. 70th St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 6
    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    111 Amsterdam Ave
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  1. 7
    The High Line
    Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10011

check-in date

check-out date