Free This Week


by staff, 08/07/2013

« »
  • 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.

August 7–13

Wednesday, August 7
Radiance: After Hours at El Museo 
Where: El Museo del Barrio
When: 6–9pm
Summer Wednesdays mean free admission to El Museo del Barrio, including their extensive special programming. Starting at 6pm, stop by the Harlem institution for free admission to the gallery where you can check out La Bienal 2013: Here is Where We Jump, which displays the work of 37 NYC-based Latino and Latin-American contemporary artists, and listen to gallery talks from contributors. Museumgoers can also check out performances and dance the evening away to the Caribbean-inspired house beats of Bronx-raised DJ Les Carbonell of 5ifty5ive. 

Thursday, August 8
Broadway in Bryant Park
Where: Bryant Park
When: 12:30–1:30pm
The Great White Way heads to one of Manhattan's most popular parks through the end of the summer. Pack your lunch and head to Bryant Park for an hour-long performance from Broadway’s best shows. Spectators can find a chair on the lawn or bring their own blanket and settle on the grass. Shows set to take the stage on August 8 include Annie, Wicked, Cougar the Musical and The Fantasticks. The cast of each show will perform two to three numbers. 

Friday, August 9
Harlem Dance Caravan/Master Class: Dana McBroom-Manno 
Where: Marcus Garvey Park
When: 7–9:30pm
Spend your Friday night dancing outdoors courtesy of the Faison Firehouse. This SummerStage show in Marcus Garvey Park brings together several dance troupes for an evening of lessons and performances. Among the guests are Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, which combines martial arts, ballet, hip-hop, West African dance styles and more; Camille A. Brown & Dancers, known for their theatricality and bold movements; Illstyle & Peace Productions, bringing a mix of hip-hop, tap and beat boxing; and the uniquely expressive style of OPUS Dance Theatre. A master class (for all levels) from Dana McBroom-Mano begins at 7pm and performances start at 8pm. 

Saturday, August 10
Summer Streets 
Where: Park Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park
When: 7am–1pm
It's hard to imagine New York City's streets without the sight of traffic and sounds of honking horns. But for three Saturdays in August, New Yorkers get a respite from the busy blocks, along with an open invitation to play, dance, ride a bike and participate in a slew of summertime activities. The route spans Lafayette Street and Park Avenue, from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park at 72nd Street. A series of rest stops along the car-free path will feature games, snacks and even a rock-climbing wall and zip line. New this year is an interactive installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, where sounds and lights inside the Park Avenue Tunnel are triggered by participants. 

Sunday, August 11
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 
Where: Flushing Meadows–Corona Park 
When: 9am–5pm
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park's colorful multicultural tradition paddles back into town for a weekend in celebration of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. The fest gets its name from the 170-plus dragon-boat teams from around the world who come to race through the Queens park's lake. The day includes performances from Broadway musicians, tap dancing, West African dances, martial arts, Chinese crafts and children's activities. Races take place throughout the day and an entertainment schedule is available online

Monday, August 12
Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series Presents Toni Braxton
Where: Wingate Park
When: 7:30pm
Now in its 31st year, this summertime series in Wingate Park brings soul, gospel and R&B sounds to the Brooklyn green space. Tonight, hear the smooth sounds of Toni Braxton; the multiple-award winner will be belting out her hits beginning at 7:30pm. Guests are welcome to stand during the show, but those who'd rather sing along to the lyrics of "Unbreak My Heart" while sitting down are encouraged to bring their own chairs, as seating is limited.  

Tuesday, August 13
Lightness of Being
Where: City Hall Park
When: ongoing
You may have already seen the Public Art Fund's projects throughout New York City, popping up in places like Rockefeller Plaza and Brooklyn's MetroTech Commons. The nonprofit's latest installment takes form inside City Hall Park, bringing a punch of color and a dose of whimsy to the Lower Manhattan space. Through December 13, the sculptures of 11 innovative artists—among them Cristian Andersen, Sarah Lucas, Ugo Rondinone and Gary Webb—are on display throughout the park. The projects, both new and new-to-NYC, play around with art history and challenge notions of traditional forms. They include a pile of objects towering over the park, a bent and reshaped bicycle, a reimagined John Deere tractor and a steel pair of flip flops.  

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  2. 2
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  3. 3
    Marcus Garvey Park
    Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10035
  1. 4
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    111th St to Van Wyck Expy
    Queens – multiple locations
    NY 11375
  2. 5
    Wingate Park
    Brooklyn Ave and Rutland Rd
    Brooklyn – Flatbush
    NY 11225
  3. 6
    City Hall Park
    Broadway and Chambers St
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10007

check-in date

check-out date