Free This Week


by Erin O'Hara, 10/23/2013

« »
  • 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.

October 23–29

Wednesday, October 23
Secret Science Club
Where: The Bell House
When: 8pm  
Anyone who thinks science isn't hip has never been to this monthly gathering at The Bell House. The club offers a blend of stimulating scientific discussion and tasty cocktails, making for an evening that's both intellectual and intoxicating. This month, biologist Jeffrey Friedman chats about his groundbreaking discovery of the hormone leptin—thought to regulate appetite and food intake—and what it means for our health.

Thursday, October 24
Timber in the City
Where: Parsons The New School for Design
When: 6–8pm
The 2012–2013 Timber In The City: Urban Habitats Competition challenged architects to design a building in Red Hook using "new wood" technology. Plans for the edifice were required to include space for affordable housing and educational facilities, among other elements. On Thursday, visit The New School's Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries for the opening reception to see the winning designs.

Friday, October 25
Ray Davies, Americana: The Kinks, The Riff, The Road: The Story
Where: Barnes & Noble Union Square
When: 7pm
The famed singer and guitarist of The Kinks reads from his new memoir, Americana: The Kinks, The Riff, The Road: The Story. In the book, Davies tells tales of the band's life on the road, including how The Kinks were banned from performing in the US from 1965 to 1969. (There was never a specific reason given for the embargo, but it likely had to do with the band members' wild onstage antics.) The volume also explores Davies' complex and intimate relationship with America, a country he fantasized about as a young boy growing up in England.

Saturday, October 26
Halloween Festivities
Where: Various locations
When: Various times
Get into the spooky spirit of the season with today's Halloween festivities, taking place across the City. Central Park's annual Pumpkin Fest features a zombie haunted house, pumpkin decorating and carving, live Quidditch matches, puppet shows, crafts and even activities for pets. Four-legged friends can participate in a costume contest, play in an off-leash area, test their skills in an agility course and freshen up at a free dog spa. At the Haunted High Line Halloween, the elevated park's past comes to life with haunted train tunnels and ghostly railroad workers. Kids can go trick-or-treating, enjoy live music, build train cars out of recycled materials and meet spooky characters along the way. For throwback-style entertainment, King Manor Museum's Fall Festival is the place to be. Kids can make their own apple cider, watch open-hearth cooking, taste old-fashioned foods, churn butter and make cornhusk dolls. Crocheron Park's Halloween Festival offers rides, a costume contest and plenty more. And in the Rockaways, every dog has its day at the Canine Costume Carnival. Expect an abundance of pulchritudinous pooches, a photo booth for their human companions, carnival games and other activities.

Sunday, October 27
Lower East Side Pickle Day
Where: Orchard Street, between Houston and Delancey Streets
When: noon–5pm
The Lower East Side's pickle history goes back nearly a century. At one time, more than 80 different picklers vied for business in the area. (Essex Street was once known as "Pickle Alley" for that reason.) The neighborhood honors that competitive spirit at this annual event, where dozens of vendors set up shop to wow foodies with briny treats. Amateurs can enter the home pickling contest, with celebrity judges crowning their favorite canner. There will also be live music and entertainment, including a duo of rapping grandmas, a Halloween costume contest, food and fashion vendors and more. Plus, Uber is offering free rides to and from the festivities with the code "PickleDay2013."

Monday, October 28
Movie Screening: The Shining
Where: The New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Branch
When: 6pm
With just a few days left until Halloween, The New York Public Library celebrates the witching season on screen. This week, enjoy Stanley Kubrick's terrifying version of Stephen King's classic novel The Shining. For those who haven't seen it—surely there's one or two of you out there?—the 1980 thriller is about a couple charged with looking after an empty hotel in Colorado, which, as it turns out, may or may not be haunted. Then again, the problems might have to do with Jack Torrance's (played by Jack Nicholson) fearsome alcohol addiction. Regardless, Kubrick didn't skimp on the blood.

Tuesday, October 29
Book Signing: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop
Where: Greenlight Bookstore
When: 7:30pm
Melissa and Emily Elsen, the sisters behind celebrated Brooklyn pie shop Four & Twenty Blackbirds, present their new cookbook, featuring more than 60 mind-blowing recipes (green chili chocolate, anyone?). The duo will talk to Edible Brooklyn editor Gabrielle Langholtz about their rise to foodie fame and signature approach to baking. They're also bringing pie for everyone. You read that correctly: there will be free pie—at least while supplies last.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    The Bell House
    149 7th St
    Brooklyn – Gowanus
    NY 11215
  2. 2
    Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons the New School for Design
    66 Fifth Ave
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
  3. 3
    Barnes & Noble Union Square
    33 E. 17th St.
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  1. 4
    New York Public Library, Jefferson Market Library
    425 Sixth Ave between 9th and 10th Sts
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
  2. 5
    Greenlight Bookstore
    686 Fulton St
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217

check-in date

check-out date