As part of amNewYork’s Best of NYC guide, focusing on cheap thrills, we asked readers to share their own free or low-cost favorites (in addition to our picks on 17 cheap eats and drink deals, 17 ways to get cultured and 16 picks for outdoor adventures).
Here’s some of the cheapest fun you can find in the boroughs selected by our readers: Helen Geng of Hell’s Kitchen, Selvin Gootar of Sunnyside Gardens, Ravi Rozdon of the Upper West Side, Tyree Farrell of Sheepshead Bay, Manuel Iglesias of Washington Heights and Rashad Worthy of Hollis.
Paper books are my jam, so I like the $1 and under book carts outside Strand Book Store (Broadway and East 12th Street). The book carts at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St.) are worth a look. Drink in the atmosphere and snack for a good cause. (HG)
When in Manhattan, I like to stop by the Church of Sweden (5 E. 48th St.) for some coffee and Swedish pastry. It’s offered after noon. In my neighborhood, I enjoy the French bistro on Skillman Avenue, Côté Soleil, in Sunnyside. A few blocks away, in Woodside, I love the continental Mexican food on Roosevelt Avenue from La Flor. It has a soft spot in my heart because the space used to be my former Laundromat. Both are reasonably priced. (SG)
Thursday is the opening night at many art galleries in Chelsea/High Line/Hudson Yards section of Manhattan. Dressed properly for the weather, around 5 p.m. I start walking from my apartment. It takes an hour or so. This allows me to see what the artists are creating, drink a couple of glasses of wine (red), sometimes nibble on a carrot or cucumber dipped in sauce and then back I go to my apartment. I take the bus. A nice way to spend an evening, plus the exercise. My cost: one MetroCard fare. (RR)
Brooklyn Bridge go-to
Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is something I do about three times a week. It’s also something I do when my friends who have never been to NYC come for a visit. It’s a must! I tell them to pack sneakers and when they arrive it’s the first thing we do. It’s free and enjoyable. (TF)
Bronx Zoo on Wednesdays
As a senior citizen I’m always looking for money saving deals in New York. My suggestion is that on Wednesdays there is free admission/donation to the Bronx Zoo, which is open year-round. (MI)
Fitness in Cunningham Park
Early Saturday and Sunday mornings I take my daughter to tennis at Cunningham Park where she learns the fundamentals of tennis. Also on Sunday mornings New York Road Runners has open runs at Cunningham Park. There are other locations as well, and they’re all free. (RW)