Free This Week


by staff, 11/26/2014

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There's always something exciting to do or see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. Read our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and Save the Date section for more free events.

Wednesday, November 26

Louise Bourgeois: Suspension
Where: Cheim & Read
When: 10am–6pm
Chelsea gallery Cheim & Read mounts this retrospective of works by Louise Bourgeois, the French-American artist whose uncompromising point of view and dark aesthetics catapulted her to fame during the latter part of the 20th century. Accompanying the artist's sculptures hanging from the ceiling are drawings dating back to the 1940s that demonstrate her interest in exploring the concept of suspension as a state of mind. As always with Bourgeois, it's an intriguing—and unnerving—display.

Thursday, November 27
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Where: Central Park West at 77th Street (start); Macy's Herald Square (end)
When: 9am–noon
A Thanksgiving institution for 88 years, this parade is one of the most famous holiday events in the world. Millions line the streets of Manhattan to watch celebrities, Broadway performers, clowns, marching bands, floats (notably one with Santa himself, riding his reindeer-powered sleigh) and the true headliners of the day: the all-star roster of floating balloons—Snoopy, Spidey and friends—flying high above the route. The procession heads south down Central Park West from 77th Street, east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue and then south along Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street, ending in front of Macy's in Herald Square. The prime viewing spots are typically along Central Park West, though you'll need to stake out a place early (read: 6am, give or take a half hour); you can also watch from along Sixth Avenue, though best to stay away from the last few blocks where the parade nears Macy's. The day before, spectators circle the perimeter of the American Museum of Natural History to view the inflation of the balloons—it's become an annual Thanksgiving eve tradition.

Friday, November 28
Free Fridays at Historic Richmond Town
Where: Historic Richmond Town
When: 1–5pm
Watch history come alive at Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island's living history village that lets you experience colonial life firsthand. Walk through real restored homes and other buildings including a general store and a courthouse. The village includes a museum with exhibitions that portray many aspects of American life from the 1700s through today; the courthouse, which functions as a visitor's center, also has some displays. Fridays are always free, and a guided tour takes place at 2:30pm; note that on the Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, regular admission ($8) gets you a kitchen tour that celebrates Turkey Day recipes of years gone by.

Saturday, November 29

Spank Rock
Where: Brooklyn Night Bazaar
When: 7pm
Spank Rock takes the stage at this free Brooklyn Night Bazaar gig, showcasing his talents for getting an audience to move by cleverly combining rap and dance music. (Familiarize yourself at, but note that some videos are NSFW.) For more information, visit

Sunday, November 30
Modern Survival Skills
Where: Pelham Bay Ranger Station in Pelham Bay Park
When: 1pm
The largest park in the five boroughs is an ideal setting to pick up a few natural-world survival skills (even if the City is more frequently associated with a wilderness of steel and glass). Organized by Urban Park Rangers, this event is family friendly and good for kids (ages 8 and up); expect hands-on activities, and remember to bundle up before you go.

Monday, December 1
Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square
Where: Broadway, from Columbus Circle to 68th Street
When: 5:30–9pm
Once again this season, the neighborhood around Lincoln Square serves as the setting for the City's largest holiday festival (for one night only). Legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie will be on hand as the fest begins with a tree lighting in Dante Park, at Broadway and 63rd Street; the Winter's Eve celebration continues along Broadway with performers—among them the street-marching collective Hungry March Band and the ice-sculpting studio Okamoto Studio—a dance party, food from some of the area's best restaurants (the tastings do cost money) and plenty of activities, indoors and out.

Tuesday, December 2
Where: UCB East Village
When: 11pm

From the looks of recent lineups, which have included Michael Che (The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live), Sam Morril (Conan) and Liza Treyger (Adam DeVine's House Party), this weekly free show is one to keep an eye on. Comedian Phil Hanley hosts. To make reservations, visit

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Cheim & Read
    547 W 25th St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  2. 2
    Macy's Herald Square
    151 W. 34th St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Historic Richmond Town
    441 Clarke Ave.
    Staten Island – Richmond Town
    NY 10306
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Night Bazaar
    165 Banker St.
    Brooklyn – Greenpoint
    NY 11222
  2. 5
    Pelham Bay Park
    Bruckner Blvd and Westchester Ave
    NY 10461
  3. 6
    Lincoln Square Business Improvement District
    1841 Broadway, ste. 1112
    New York – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 7
    Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
    307 W. 26th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10011

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