Free This Week


by Erin O'Hara, 05/22/2013

« »
  • 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 or more free events.

May 22–28

Wednesday, May 22
Release Party: Dave Roman and Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry
Where: Word Brooklyn
When: 7pm
Dave Roman is the New York–based creator of popular graphic novels Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity and Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery and has co-authored New York Times Best Sellers X-Men: Misfits and The Last Airbender: Prequel: Zuko's Story. Now, Roman has a new book for readers ages 10 and up, the much-anticipated Astronaut Academy sequel. Celebrate the release of Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry with a book signing and some guaranteed laughs. During the "drawing jam," Roman will be putting pen to paper and entertaining the crowd, as well as encouraging attendees to do some sketching of their own—so get ready for a night of creative comic fun. Those planning on attending can RSVP via Facebook.

Thursday, May 23
Celebrate Brooklyn! Old School Funk & Hip-Hop Dance Party
Where: Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park
When: 7pm
Celebrate Brooklyn! returns with another season of diverse outdoor performances in two of the borough's most gorgeous green spaces. Among the first events of this year's edition is the Old School Funk & Hip-Hop Dance Party at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers the perfect chance to get up on the grassy dance floor in the shadow of the vaunted suspension bridge and shake off any remnants of cold-weather lethargy. D-Nice kicks off the party with a fun mix of upbeat tunes. (He knows a thing or two about DJing a good party, having done stints at President Obama's Inaugural Ball earlier this year and at Santos Party House, co-owned by the king of partying himself, Andrew W.K.) Later, Zapp continues the festivities with their retro beats, which take you through the '70s, '80s and '90s with a blend of soul, funk and R&B.

Friday, May 24
Free Music Fridays: Bird Courage, Heidi Sidelinker and Tuelo & Her Cousins 
Where: American Folk Art Museum
When: 5:30pm
Unwind from the stresses of the week at the American Folk Art Museum's Free Music Fridays. Museum admission is always free, but on Friday evenings, the museum turns into a laid-back lounge, with a variety of musicians performing and wine served (for a small price). You might have seen acoustic trio Bird Courage busking in New York City subway stations, but their delicate melodies and emotional lyrics are far more mellow than you might expect in that subterranean setting. Heidi Sidelinker's modern country sounds a bit like Jewel meets Joni Mitchell. And the tunes from Tuelo & Her Cousins can best be described as world music, as the audible influences—including the music of lead singer Tuelo Minah's native South Africa—are too many and various to count.

Saturday, May 25
Yoga Fitness Class and Saturday Sculpture Workshop
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park
When: 9:30–10:30am, 11am–noon (yoga); noon–3pm (workshop)
Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, endures as a popular destination for culture lovers for its incredible sculpture, stunning waterfront views and excellent assortment of events and activities throughout the warmer months. Yogis of all skill levels are invited to hit the mats for one of two Kripalu yoga classes in a serene setting. Kripalu, a Sanskrit word meaning "compassionate" or "merciful," is a type of hatha yoga that helps to foster compassion, self-acceptance and inner peace using traditional yoga poses in combination with meditation and breathing exercises. Later, children ages 5 to 13 can learn all about the art, culture and history of the indigenous peoples who once inhabited this land and make an Ojibwa dream catcher to hang over their bed and protect them from harm, as is the tradition in several Native American nations. The workshop will be led by Heather Hart.

Sunday, May 26
Horseshoe Crabs in Jamaica Bay
Where: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
When: 9am–noon
In New York City you have to work a bit harder to find natural wonders, but the effort is always rewarded—birders in Central Park, for example, can spot approximately 230 different species of birds each year. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is another one of those special parts of the City where nature still reigns. On Sunday experience the miracle of the life cycle as horseshoe crabs make their journey ashore to lay eggs and attempt to hide and protect them from avian predators, including red knots, sanderlings and ruddy turnstones. Meet with naturalists and Jamaica Bay experts Mickey Cohen and Don Riepe at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, from which they'll lead the expedition to witness this awe-inspiring event.

Monday, May 27
Central Park Skate Circle
Where: Central Park
When: 2:45–6:45pm
Whether you regularly strap on your own pair of roller skates or Rollerblades or haven't dared since you were a child, the Central Park Skate Circle is just plain fun for everyone who happens upon it. People of all ages and walks of life skate together while a local DJ spins the soundtrack. Some seriously talented dance skaters and jam skaters regularly make appearances to wow the crowd, but don't be intimidated. Fun and self-expression are paramount, so get out there and do your thing, no matter your skill level. Or just hang out on the sidelines, enjoy the music and maybe bust a move or two, sans wheels.

Tuesday, May 28
The Seventh-Annual Truth Be Told Documentary Film Festival
Where: Tishman Auditorium, The New School
When: 7pm
The Truth Be Told Documentary Film Festival, now in its seventh year, is the culmination of a year of hard work for the students of The New School's graduate certificate program in Documentary Media Studies. Faculty member Deanna Kamiel hosts the first evening of a three-night series, which includes a Q&A with the directors and an opening reception following the screenings. Seating is first-come, first-served, so get there early for a good spot.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    126 Franklin St
    Brooklyn – Greenpoint
    NY 11222
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
    Furman and Old Fulton Sts
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    American Folk Art Museum
    2 Lincoln Square
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 4
    Socrates Sculpture Park
    32-01 Sculpture Park at Broadway
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  2. 5
    Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
    Cross Bay Blvd near Broad Channel
    Queens – Jamaica
    NY 11693
  3. 6
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  1. 7
    Parsons The New School for Design, Tishman Auditorium
    66 W 12th St
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10011

check-in date

check-out date