Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 05/29/2013

« »
  • 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 29–June 4

Wednesday, May 29
Piano in Bryant Park: Larry Ham
Where: Bryant Park, Upper Terrace
When: 12:30–2:30pm
Enjoy a musical midday in Midtown as jazz pianist and composer Larry Ham steps up to the ivory keys for an alfresco afternoon performance. Ham's musical résumé includes collaborations with industry greats like Junior Cook and Dakota Staton, appearances on the festival circuit, shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and a guest appearance on The Today Show. Now the man who's performed for presidents Reagan and Clinton brings his talents to Bryant Park for those looking to be serenaded on a spring afternoon. Ham will also perform on May 30 and 31. 

Thursday, May 30
Target Free Thursdays: Downtown Comes Uptown
Where: David Rubenstein Atrium
When: 7:30pm
Each NYC neighborhood has its own one-of-a-kind flair, but what happens when denizens of the Lower East Side's music halls hit the stage at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side? WFUV radio host Rita Houston presents this showcase, featuring four artists performing outside of their natural habitats. On the bill are indie singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata; pop- and jazz-infused quartet Lake Street Dive; sensitive balladeer Matt Sucich; and piano and vocal duo Akie Bermiss & Lynette Williams. On May 31, the artists will head back to their usual stomping ground for a show at Rockwood Music Hall (which is co-presenting this Target Free Thursdays event at Lincoln Center). 

Friday, May 31
Today Show Summer Concert Series: New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men
Where: Rockefeller Plaza
When: 8am
Proving that the '80s and '90s have—quite literally—withstood the test of time, three of those decades' top boy bands are joining forces for an epically pop-infused morning performance. First on the bill is New Kids on the Block, who wrapped up a tour with the Backstreet Boys last year. Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie and Danny catapulted to fame with hits like "Step by Step," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and "Hangin' Tough." They're joined by the smooth voices of 98 Degrees members Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons who filled our mixed tapes with such heart-melting songs as "I Do (Cherish You)," "My Everything" and "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)." Finally, topping off the list of reasons to wake up early on a Friday is R&B trio Boyz II Men, who bring their iconic harmonies to tracks like "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" and "On Bended Knee." 

Saturday, June 1
From the Earth to the Sky: World Science Festival
Where: Brooklyn Bridge Park
When: 8pm
The annual World Science Festival brings lectures, screenings and family-friendly activities to the City from May 29 to June 2. On June 1, the fest heads to Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park for an evening under the stars. You'll get the chance to see the "Dance of the Planets," when Jupiter, Venus and Mercury align to become visible within a single telescope view. Throughout the evening, chat with area astronomers and listen to live music, all before a backdrop of the New York skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Also on tap for this celestial celebration are activities for young stargazers and afternoon and evening sails aboard the Mystic Whaler schooner from Pier 6.  

Sunday, June 2
NY Heritage Weekend
Where: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
When: noon–4pm
For two weekends in June, museums and historic sites throughout New York State will host tours and special events in celebration of the state's rich heritage. Called Path Through History Weekends, the collective cultural event will span from Plattsburgh, New York, all the way to the Brooklyn waterfront. One of the highlights in NYC takes place at the Bronx's Bartow-Pell Mansion, constructed in 1842. The mansion, designed with striking architecture and surrounded by lush greenery, will host complimentary tours on June 1, 2, 8 and 9. Visitors will be taken throughout the Greek Revival structure and its three-story carriage house, which served as storage space for coaches and sleighs and housed the Pell family's stable boy. Tours begin at a quarter past every hour. 

Monday, June 3
Mad. Sq. Art: Orly Genger: Red, Yellow and Blue
Where: Madison Square Park
When: 6am–11pm daily
Madison Square Park has gained quite the reputation for its striking art displays. The latest project to grace the green space is local artist Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue. The colorful creation, a vibrant display of knotted, painted and sculpted rope collected from locations along the East Coast—1.4 million feet in all—is meant to give park-goers a new perspective on the park and its surroundings. A few fun facts to remember when exploring her ambitious undertaking: if unraveled, Red, Yellow and Blue would stretch more than 20 times the distance from the north end of Manhattan to its southernmost tip; collectively, the rope used weighs 100,000 pounds; and more than 3,000 gallons of paint were used to coat the rope. Genger's project is viewable during park hours. 

Tuesday, June 4
MoCCA Arts Festival Award Winners Exhibit
Where: Society of Illustrators
When: 10am–8pm
In early April, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art held its 2013 arts festival at the Society of Illustrators. For the first time in the festival's history, six participating artists were chosen by a panel of comic world professionals to receive an award of excellence for their projects and a spot in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. The winning comic book creators—Kim Ku (Ghost Hotel), Andrea Tsurumi (Andrew Jackson Throws a Punch), Jane Mai (Sunday in the Park with Boys), Gregory Benton (B+F), Kenan Rubenstein (Last Train to Old Town) and Nick Offerman (the comic artist, not the grizzled Parks & Recreation actor)—will first have their work displayed at the Society of Illustrators from May 21 to July 6. Visitors can see their work in the Society's MoCCA gallery during operating hours.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  2. 2
    David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    Broadway at 62nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 3
    Rockefeller Center
    45 Rockefeller Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10111
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 5
    Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
    895 Shore Rd.
    Bronx – Pelham Bay
    NY 10464
  3. 6
    Museum of American Illustration
    Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10065

check-in date

check-out date