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.

'Grace-ful Ice: Endangered Animals Live Ice Carvings' (Dec. 10-11)

Watch large ice blocks get carved into a menagerie of endangered animals by NYC-based artist collective Okamoto Studio. Sculptures will stay on view through Tuesday at 5 p.m. (Free, 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday and noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday; Grace Building, 1114 Sixth Ave., between 42nd and 43rd streets)

'Wreath Interpretations' (Dec. 10-Jan. 3)

Peruse through unique and unconventional wreaths from nearly 40 fine artists and designers who formed their works with piano keys, pasta, plastic bottles, various tools ("Domestic Artifacts" by Liz York, pictured), foam ears, tree tags and art supplies among other unusual objects. The exhibit opens with a reception Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. (Free, 9 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 830 Fifth Ave.,

'Christmas in America' (through Dec. 24)

Industry City is celebrating the holidays with visits from Santa, a giant mural of the Grinch inside an elevator and a photography exhibit called "Christmas in America" by artist Jesse Rieser. The exhibit, which includes photos across eight years, depicts the different traditions and ways Americans celebrate the holiday season around the country. For those who go, Santa Claus will arrive on a forklift and take photos from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. And don't miss the Grinch elevator. (Free, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 241 37th St., Brooklyn,


Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum (Nov. 23-Dec. 31)

The Brooklyn Museum's grounds will transform into a winter wonderland for six weeks with fun activities, holiday shopping, cultural programs and more. Check out a Vinopolis wine tasting experience, sit in a beer garden, get lost in an enchanted tree maze, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, ride the Snowzilla and stand inside a giant snowglobe. There will be live music nightly, a chocolate dome with free tastings and a menorah lighting, too. (Free, Monday through Wednesdays, one to 10 p.m. on Thursdays, 1 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, 200 Eastern Parkway,

DoublePlusGood Comedy show (Dec. 12)

This free monthly comedy show by Ben Asher, pictured, brings together comedians from a range of backgrounds for 20-minute sets on an intimate stage. This month's lineup includes Ryan Beck, Chloe Radcliffe, Dan Wilbur, Brian Jian and more. (Free, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., Pacific Standard, 82 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn,

Flatiron Cheer Dec. 1-23

Join in on a whole month of free activities and holiday-themed walking tours from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership each Sunday in December. Catch free live performances and activities, including Winter Wellness Wednesdays and chances to win giveaways.

FAD Market Holiday Edition (Dec. 15-16)

FAD Market's "Holiday Edition" can be found at three different Brooklyn locales each weekend in December from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and promises to show off "one-of-a-kind" items from more than 150 independent designers of art, jewelry, clothing, bath and body care, and more. (Free, the Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont St.,

Go window shopping

Soak in the holiday spirit by spending time in front of the city's many holiday window displays, from Bloomingdale's "Grinch"-themed windows (pictured) to Bergdorf Goodman's candy land. Check out what is up this year in our holiday windows roundup.

Holiday Train Show (Nov. 15-Feb.3)

The New York Transit Museum is hosting its Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal, which will feature model Lionel trains departing through a miniature Grand Central Terminal as they go to the North Pole. The display is two levels and 34 feet long -- all designed by Ebony Bolt. (Free, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 89 E. 42nd St.,

Nowadays Winter Refuge

Starting Nov. 2, Brooklyn's Nowadays is transforming its outdoor beer garden into a refuge with a 20-person heated yurt with ottomans, cushions, blankets, hot cider and milled wine. There will also be a Hotbox Mobile Sauna for those who need to get warm from the inside out. (Fridays from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 4 a.m., reserve your sauna time ahead, 56-06 Cooper Ave.,

Alain Nu magic show (Thursdays)

Mentalist Alain Nu is putting on a free parlor show with new tricks using hypnosis, eastern mysticism and illusions on Halloween. (Free, 5 to 8 p.m., The Lexington Hotel, 511 Lexington Ave.,

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.,