Free NYC events, festivals and activities

Living in New York City is beyond expensive. From rent to MetroCards to a cup of coffee, everything adds up quickly.

Luckily, there are tons of free events to check out in the city that never sleeps.

Here's our freebie guide to NYC.

LitFilm festival about writers (Feb. 20-25)

The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a film festival featuring stories about the private lives and artistic processes of James Baldwin, pictured, William S. Burroughs, Mahmoud Darwish, Joan Didion, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, Alice Walker and more. Their stories will be told through a series of documentaries and experimental films from the 1960s to present. Rebecca Miller, daughter of Arthur Miller, will deliver the keynote speech on Feb. 20. All screenings are free, but require reservations. (Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza,

Bowie: a photograph exhibit (Feb. 23-March 23)

The Morrison Hotel Gallery is bringing a slew of candid, behind-the-scenes and on stage photographs taken of David Bowie throughout his career, taken by legendary photographers like Brian Duffy, Bob Gruen, Terry O'Neill, Neal Preston, Mick Rock and more. (Free, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday,116 Prince St.,

Shape Up NYC fitness classes

The city offers free workouts and fitness classes across five boroughs, including yoga, pilates, Zumba, dance, aerobics, sculpting, boot camps and more. Why pay for a class you can get for free? Check on to find the nearest courses.


Free day at the Whitney Museum (Fridays)

Pay what you want to get into the Whitney on Friday evenings. The museum has 63,000 square feet of exhibition space and has about 15,000 pieces of work by artists like Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe and others. (7 to 10 p.m., 99 Gansevoort St.,

NYC Urban Park Rangers

Acting as your ambassador to nature, urban park rangers can help you get in touch with your wild side here in the concrete jungle. From hikes to survival skills, to wildlife viewing and animal tracking, they'll teach you whatever you want to know for free. There's a schedule nearly every day, so check out the NYC Parks website.

'You Say You Want a Revolution' exhibit (through Sept. 1)

Get up close to some of the most revolutionary pieces of history at the library in its new exhibit, "You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the 60s." You'll see Timothy Leary's first-hand account of an LSD trip; Tom Wolfe's notes about Haight-Ashbury for his book "The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test"; Gloria Steinem's letter to the New York Times' Abe Rosenthal; Bob Dylan's typescript of "Changing of the Guard" with handwritten notes and Suck, the first European sex magazine. Events will be held alongside the exhibition, including a talk with athlete John Carlos with Dave Zirin on March 13 to revisit the Black Power salute from the 1968 Olympics; Film critic Amy Taubin will present her selection of experimental films from the Library's Reserve Film & Video collection on March 20; Marcia Gallo will present a lecture on radical feminism and its impact on LGBTQ history on April 25; and on June 16 the Library will host a one-day event featuring music, readings, conversations, and lectures that will search for fingerprints of '60s counterculture in today's art, literature, and politics. (Free, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays; Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Ave.,

'A Celebration of the Blues' exhibition (Feb. 1-24)

Dispel those wintertime blues with a celebration of the Blues at this collection of 25 black-line illustrated portraits depicting Blues legends, including Muddy Waters, B. B. King and more. This exhibit at the Poe Park Visitor Center showcases the works of illustrator Ron Bucalo in honor of Black History Month. (Free, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx,

50 New York Covers (through October)

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of New York magazine, 50 renowned artists, including Yoko Ono, Kerry James Marshall, Alex Katz, Marilyn Minter, art pictured, Will Cotton and more, have created their own New York covers that will be plastered in 25 locations across the city through this fall. Look for them at Smorgasburg and the High Line. Other locations will be announced on Twitter. There will also be a year-long celebration of special events in music, comedy, film, and food that will be announced throughout the year.

Hear some local talent at QED's open mic (Wednesday-Sunday)

Head to QED Astoria for free open mic nights featuring comedy, poetry, storytelling, music and more. Whether you want to sit in the audience and relax or practice your performing chops in front of a small audience, this is the space to do it. (27-16 23rd Ave.,

Get literary at this reading series (second Monday of each month)

This Crown Heights beer garden brings all the nerds to the yard the second Monday of every month. Both established and new writers will read at this acclaimed and completely free event. Enter a free lottery to win some literary swag or take advantage of $5 drafts during the event. (8 p.m., 618 St. Johns Place, Crown Heights,

Show off your singing chops at Arlene's Grocery (Mondays)

This downtown music venue hosts a rock 'n' roll karaoke night weekly, where attendees can choose from a selection of hits to perform with a live band. Bring your friends and have a moment in the spotlight while performing your favorite rock song. (95 Stanton St., Manhattan, 10 p.m.,

Tour the Brooklyn Brewery

OK, so the beer isn't free (unless you're super nice to the ticket takers), but wait in line for a timed, 30-minute tour of the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg -- it's totally free. The scent of beer is complimentary, too. (79 N. 11th St.,