Best Free Things to Do This Summer in NYC

Alyson Penn

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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

Shakespeare in the Park
May
24

Arts & Culture Shakespeare in the Park

These free productions at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park are a beloved summer tradition.

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SummerStage
Jun
3

Arts & Culture SummerStage

Jam out to one of the biggest summer concert series in New York City.

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Celebrate Brooklyn!
Jun
7

Concerts Celebrate Brooklyn!

A favorite among Brooklyn’s summertime concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn! is set at the beautiful Prospect Park Bandshell.

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The Met Opera Summer Recital Series
Jun
12

Performing Arts The Met Opera Summer Recital Series

Enjoy free opera performances in City parks.

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Bryant Park Film Festival
Jun
19

Film & TV Bryant Park Film Festival

The summer movies series that started it all, in Midtown’s Bryant Park.

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Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks
Jul
4

Festivals & Parades Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

The iconic display, now located on the East River, will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

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Movies with a View
Jul
6

Film & TV Movies with a View

Movies compete with the Manhattan skyline at these screenings in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Harlem Week
Jul
30

Outdoors & Recreation Harlem Week

A multi-week series of cultural events in Harlem celebrating the famed neighborhood.

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Summer Streets
Aug
5

Outdoors & Recreation Summer Streets

For three Saturdays in August the streets become car-free.

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Dragon Boat Festival
Aug
12

Arts & Culture Dragon Boat Festival

A colorful multicultural tradition, this festival paddles back to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park for a weekend-long celebration.

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