Free This Week


by Sara Steinfeld, 07/29/2014

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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 deals section for more free events.

July 30–August 5

Wednesday, July 30
High Line Honey Day
Where: The High Line, 14th Street Passage
When: 2–7pm
Head to the High Line for a day full of sweets and educational activities. Beekeepers from all five boroughs will swarm the park to treat visitors to live demonstrations, tastings and talks. The event features honey and honey-based treats from local vendors, as well as a demonstration hive where guests can watch the bees do a "waggle dance" and maybe even spot the queen bee. Don't worry about getting stung—the hive is behind glass panes.  

Thursday, July 31
Three Broomsticks Thursday
Where: The Scholastic Store
When: 1–4pm
Celebrate the end of Harry Potter Month (and what would be Mr. Potter's 34th birthday) at the Scholastic Store in SoHo. Muggles, Squibs, wizards and witches can all sample beverages like pumpkin juice and butterbeer from fictional brewery Three Broomsticks. Books from the Harry Potter series will be on sale; for each book purchased, a copy will be donated to the Pajama Program, which provides books and pajamas to children in need. 

Friday, August 1
Shakespeare in the Park: King Lear 
Where: Delacorte Theater
When: 8pm
Public Theater's popular Shakespeare in the Park series will conclude with a four-week run of King Lear, the Bard's play about a king who loses his reign, his wealth and even his mind after disowning his favorite daughter, only to find himself betrayed by the rest of his family in return. The production, directed by Daniel Sullivan, stars John Lithgow as the titular royal and Annette Bening as Goneril. Get tickets through a virtual lottery system available on, or get to the park early and wait in line. 

Saturday, August 2
Meet the Artist Saturdays: Drop Me Off in Harlem 
Where: David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
When: 11am
Enjoy a day of performances by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars, as they pay tribute to music greats Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald and dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Visitors of all ages will be able to explore the history of jazz with historian and saxophonist Loren Schoenberg, learn to hit the floor with tap dancer Andrew Nemr and even craft a pair of tap shoes at a preshow workshop. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Sunday, August 3
Hester Street Fair 
Where: Corner of Hester and Essex Streets, Lower East Side
When: 11am–6pm
Open every Saturday and Sunday until mid-October, the Hester Street Fair features scores of vendors hawking their wares. The outdoor market not only makes for a perfect day of sightseeing but has everything you could possibly want, from artisanal beef jerky and Thai street food to handcrafted jewelry and vintage clothing. Prep for the excursion by perusing the wares at

Monday, August 4
The Karate Kid
Where: Bryant Park
When: 5pm
Part of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, the 1984 fists-of-fury classic The Karate Kid tells the story of a boy named Daniel (Ralph Macchio) who, after moving to California and being bullied at school, is taken under the wing of martial arts master Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). Under Miyagi's rather unconventional training, Daniel learns the art of self-defense, building up to an epic final battle between Daniel and his chief tormentor, Johnny (William Zabka). Cinephiles and picnickers should arrive at 5pm for the best seats; the film starts at sunset. 

Tuesday, August 5
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts: Christina and Michelle Naughton 
Where: Central Park Bandshell
When: 7:30–9:30pm
Award-winning pianists and sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton will perform dual-piano pieces by Darius Milhaud, John Adams, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky. This concert series has been going for more than 100 years; all 1,000 seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    The High Line
    Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10011
  2. 2
    The Scholastic Store
    557 Broadway
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  3. 3
    Delacorte Theater
    Mid-park at 80th St
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  1. 4
    David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    61 W. 62nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  2. 5
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  3. 6
    Hester Street Fair
    Intersection of Hester and Essex Streets
    Manhattan – Lower East Side
    NY 10009
  1. 7
    Central Park Bandshell
    Mid-park, 66th to 72nd Sts
    Manhattan – Central Park

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