Free This Week


by Sara Steinfeld, 08/27/2014

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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 Save the Date section for more free events.

August 27–September 2

Wednesday, August 27
The Annual 2014: Redefining Tradition
Where: National Academy Museum
When: 11am–6pm
The Annual 2014: Redefining Tradition highlights contemporary art by National Academicians, a select group of prominent artists and architects whose work is deemed noteworthy by the National Academy. Artists featured include British architect David Adjaye, abstract painter Harriet Korman and muralist Richard Haas, who completed commissioned work for the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room in the New York Public Library. Through September 14—coinciding with the show's run—admission to the museum is free.

Thursday, August 28
Molissa Fenley: Dance an Impossible Space
Where: David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
When: 7:30pm
Part of the Target Free Thursdays program at Lincoln Center, Dance an Impossible Space was choreographed by Molissa Fenley to meet the requirements of her piece's title (a restriction that's all too familiar to anyone residing in a standard New York City apartment). Fenley's movements serve to show how spatial limits can be overcome—even put to advantage—as she bounds about every inch of performance space to express a wide range of motion. Original vocals by American composer Erin Gee accompany the dance.

Friday, August 29
Ariana Grande
Where: Rockefeller Center
When: 8–9am
Ariana Grande's hit song "Problem", featuring Iggy Azalea, has accrued more than 150 million views on YouTube, proving that Grande is well on her way to being pop's next princess. The pint-size singer will perform songs off of her new album, My Everything, at Rockefeller Center as part of the Today Show summer concert series. These shows always fill up fast, so get there early to snag a good spot up front.

Saturday, August 30
NYC Unicycle Festival
Where: Governors Island
When: noon–5pm
This is the middle day of the three-day festival, which features unicycle races, demonstrations and unusual games. Friday's happenings include a 13-mile ride through Brooklyn and a show at Coney Island, while Saturday and Sunday move things to Governors Island for exhibitions and participatory events. If you bike, it's the perfect opportunity to make a two-for-one (wheel) deal and learn from the most experienced unicyclists around.

Sunday, August 31
Brazilian Day New York
Where: Little Brazil
When: All day
The Brazilian Day festival, a spirited annual celebration of Brazil's Independence Day, marks its 30th anniversary with music, dance, food and a sea of green-and-gold-bedecked expatriates. Big-name Brazilian musicians are booked to play the festival's main stage, which is located on Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, while the street fair takes place on East 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues—the heart of Little Brazil. The million-strong party will spill well beyond the district's cozy confines.

Monday, September 1
West Indian American Day Carnival
Where: Eastern Pkwy and Schenectady Ave
When: 11am
Even in New York City, few events overwhelm the senses more than the West Indian American Day Carnival, the annual celebration of the culture of NYC's Caribbean community. More than a million spectators turn out to hear the sounds of reggae and calypso music, taste freshly cooked delicacies and see revelers in elaborate, colorful costumes. Food, craft, clothing and art vendors line the route, which officially runs along Eastern Parkway from Schenectady Avenue to Washington Avenue (and invariably continues to Grand Army Plaza). 

Tuesday, September 2
Free Tuesdays
Where: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
When: 8am–6pm
Every Tuesday, enjoy free admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a 52-acre oasis that's home to over 10,000 plants from all around the world. Visitors can explore special exhibitions like Native New Yorkers, a trail that spans the garden and highlights local flora (and the fauna that calls it home), and Tree House Installation, a wooden structure for the kid in all of us. Make sure to check out the many wildflowers, orchids and roses in bloom, too.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    61 W. 62nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  2. 2
    Rockefeller Center
    45 Rockefeller Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10111
  3. 3
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  1. 4
    National Academy Museum & School
    1083 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  2. 5
    Brooklyn Botanic Garden
    1000 Washington Ave.
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11225

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