Best Free Things to Do This Summer in NYC

Alyson Penn

With colorful festivals, concerts by big-name artists and Shakespeare performances, there are fun, free things to do every day in NYC this summer. And, of course, outdoor activities like relaxing in Central Park and strolling the Brooklyn Heights Promenade also cost nothing. Here’s a roundup of some great events that’ll leave you with extra cash in your wallet.

Free Summer Events

Jul
23

Arts & Culture
Shakespeare in the Park

Each summer the Public Theater produces work by Shakespeare in Central Park's Delacorte Theater, with free tickets distributed by lottery.

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Jul
23

Concerts
SummerStage

New York City's biggest summer concert series takes place in Central Park and other green spaces all around the five boroughs.

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Jul
31

Concerts
Celebrate Brooklyn!

Brooklyn’s favorite summertime concert series is set at the beautiful Prospect Park Bandshell. Tons of seating and tree-shaded areas make the venue a lovely spot for a picnic, a plastic cup of wine and a free show.

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Aug
7

Arts & Culture
Dragon Boat Festival

Roughly 180 dragon-boat teams from around the world come to race on the lake at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Back on shore, expect plenty of traditional food, live entertainment, martial arts demonstrations and children's activities.

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Aug
8

Festivals & Parades
Harlem Week

Experience the neighborhood’s annual celebration virtually.

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Aug
28

Music
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival

Bird has been gone a long time now, but NYC celebrates the jazz legend with this annual festival taking place in Tompkins Square Park and several other venues throughout the City.

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