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Things to Do

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.

Indie-rock singalong (Aug. 19)

The bands All Time Low and Dashboard Confessional
Photo Credit: Getty Images for iHeartMedia/Gerardo Mora

The bands All Time Low and Dashboard Confessional are turning the South Street Seaport into a giant indie-rock singalong as they make some summer memories. All Time Low, pictured, has rolled out the new singles "Everything Is Fine" and "Birthday" for the summer, and Dashboard is still promoting the underappreciated "Crooked Shadows" album, including the anthemic "We Fight." ($45, 6 p.m., The Rooftop at Pier 17, 89 South St., ticketmaster.com)

India Day Parade (Aug. 19)

Organized by the Federation of Indian Associations of
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Organized by the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the 2018 edition of this annual procession will once again pay homage to the Asian-Indian community as performers and others march down Madison Avenue with actor/politician Kamal Haasan serving as grand marshal. (Free, noon to 6 p.m., along Madison Avenue, from 25th to 38th streets, fianynjct.org)

YogaNoir (Aug. 15)

New York City's health department and Sisters and
Photo Credit: Getty Images / krblokhin

New York City's health department and Sisters and Brothers Thrive are hosting a free yoga session for the African-American community on Wednesday. According to the department, African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health challenges than the general population and yoga has been effective in increasing happiness, wellness and health. Participants will get a free yoga mat and water bottle. (Free, two sessions, 6 and 7 p.m., The Great Hill on 106th Street in Central Park, eventbrite.com)

'Bronx Now' exhibition (through Sept. 8)

Bronx-based artists have the spotlight in this exhibition
Photo Credit: Roy Baizan courtesy The Bronx River Arts Center

Bronx-based artists have the spotlight in this exhibition by BXNYCreative. Sculpture, paper, photography, painting, graffiti and live performance are on display by artists like John Ahearn, Roy Baizan (photo pictured), Julius "Terrible Tkid170" Cavero, Ivan Gaete, Devon Rodriguez, Rhynna M. Santos and Natalie C. Wood. (Free, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 1087 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx, bronxriverart.org)

'Uptown Bounce: A Space Odyssey' (Wednesdays)

Bounce on up to Museum Mile this Wednesday
Photo Credit: Filip Wolak / Museum of the City of New York

Bounce on up to Museum Mile this Wednesday for an evening of live music, art-making workshops, food trucks and more celebrating East Harlem. Get ready to party at Night Two of the fifth annual Uptown Bounce summer block party, presented by El Museo del Barrio and Museum of the City of New York, which also will offer FREE admission and extended hours. This final Bounce will feature space-age pop from David Bowie, Janelle Monae, Grace Jones, Elton John and Prince among others. Manchildblack and Monstah Black of the Illustrious Blacks will show off their intergalactic Afro-futuristic skills. (Free, 6 to 9 p.m., Museum of the City of New York & El Museo del Barrio, 104th Street and Fifth Avenue, mcny.org/bounce)

Summer Streets (Saturdays)

Enjoy 7 miles of car-free roadways from 7
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunand

Enjoy 7 miles of car-free roadways from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first three Saturdays in August. The route winds from the Brooklyn Bridge to the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, spanning Centre Street, Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue and Park Avenue. There will be five "rest stops" with free activities, including a 165-feet-long zip line at Foley Square and an 8-feet-tall bouldering wall at Astor Place. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the open road with rented bicycles, roller skates or handcycles. The programming also includes cultural activities such as live music, kid-friendly art workshops and walking tours of Park Avenue architecture. There will also be water fountains and concession stands providing sustenance along the way.

Brooklyn's Smorgasburg (Saturdays and Sundays)

The Smorgasburg NYC Outdoor Food Market calls itself
Photo Credit: Smorgasburg / John von Pamer

The Smorgasburg NYC Outdoor Food Market calls itself the largest weekly open-air market in the nation, and it takes place in Brooklyn -- in Williamsburg on Saturdays, Prospect Park on Sundays. More than 100 area vendors will be selling all sorts of food and drink; bring Fido on Sundays when the event goes pet-friendly. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave.; Sunday at Prospect Park, Breeze Hill East Drive and Lincoln Road (until October), smorgasburg.com)

Free outdoor movies

Head to the movies outside this summer. Here's
Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard

Head to the movies outside this summer. Here's what's playing:

Aug. 13: "The Fifth Element" at Parklife in Brooklyn, 8:30 p.m.; "Thelma and Louise" at Bryant Park, sunset; "Pulp Fiction" at Azul on the Rooftop in Manhattan, sunset;

Aug. 14: "Hair" at Central Park, 6:30 p.m.; "Silence of the Lambs" at Valentino Pier in Red Hook, 8:30 p.m.; "Gremlins" at Jackson Playground in Manhattan, 8 p.m.

Aug. 15: "Crooklyn" at Central Park, 6:30 p.m.; "Lady Bird" at Pier 63 Lawn in Hudson River Park, 8:30 p.m.; "Desperately Seeking Susan" at Nowadays in Bushwick/Ridgewood, sundown; "WALL-E" at Riverside Park South's Pier 1, 8:30 p.m.; "Die Hard" at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, sunset; "Tampopo" at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, 7 p.m.; "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" at Weldon Johnson Playground in Manhattan, 8 p.m.; "The Incredibles" in Juniper Valley Park in Queens, 8 p.m.; "Black Panther" at Osborn Playground in Brooklyn, 8:15 p.m.; "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" at Greenbelt Rec Center on Staten Island, 8:30 p.m.; "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" at Barretto Point Park in the Bronx, 8:30 p.m.

Aug. 16: "Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" at Central Park, 6:30 p.m.; "The Sandlot" at 28 Liberty in Manhattan, 8 p.m.; "Love & Basketball" with DJ Reborn at Brooklyn Bridge Park, 6 p.m.; "Hook" at Rooftop Reds in Brooklyn, $30, 7 p.m.; "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" at Seabury Playground in Manhattan, 8 p.m.; "The Goonies" at Beach 108th Street Roller Rink in Rockaway Beach, 8 p.m.; "Toy Story 3" at Col. David Marcus Playground in Brooklyn, 8 p.m.; "Little Giants" at Father Macris Park on Staten Island, 8:15 p.m.; "A Dog's Purpose" at Frank Frisch Field in the Bronx, 8:30 p.m.

Aug. 17: "The Muppets Take Manhattan" at Central Park, 6:30 p.m.; "The Karate Kid" (1984) at Pier 46 at Hudson River Park, 8:30 p.m.; "A Wrinkle in Time" (rain date Aug. 24) on Roosevelt Island, 7 p.m.; "This One's For The Ladies" at Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, $16; "Selma" at Hansborough Rec Center in Manhattan, 8 p.m.; "A Wrinkle in Time" at Jacob Schiff Playground in Manhattan, 8 p.m.; "Black Panther" at Hancock Playground in Brooklyn, 8 p.m.; "Ferdinand" at the Playground for All Children in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 8 p.m.; "The Lion King" in Von Briesen Park on Staten Island, 8:15 p.m.; "Avengers: Infinity War" in Bloomingdale Park on Staten Island, 8:15 p.m.; "The Karate Kid" (1984) at Hudson River Park's Pier 46, 8:30 p.m.; "Black Panther" at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, 8:30 p.m. Here's a full lineup of movies this summer.

Photoville (Sept. 13-23)

The free, pop-up photography village by United Photo
Photo Credit: Sarah Blesener / The Alexia Foundation / Catchlight Fellowship, in partnership with CIR / Reveal / Sarah Blesener

The free, pop-up photography village by United Photo Industries is opening its tents up to the public for photography-centric activities, from panel discussions to presentations by huge photography and media companies and fun, hands-on workshops, tours and more. It will kick off on Sept. 12 with an inaugural benefit picnic, too. photoville.com

'Project DASH' mural selfie benefit

Enter to win $2,000 in DoorDash credit and
Photo Credit: @diannnnneee

Enter to win $2,000 in DoorDash credit and $2,000 toward Feeding America when you visit its "Feed Change" mural (designed by Colossal) Brooklyn through Aug. 26. Snap an Instagram selfie to be entered. On Saturday, meet "The Bachelor" star Becca Tilley from 1 to 3 p.m. at the mural.

Free concerts in Times Square (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

Broadway Buskers, Broadway actors and composers doing original
Photo Credit: Times Square Alliance

Broadway Buskers, Broadway actors and composers doing original work perform hits and musical theater favorites each Tuesday, from 5 to 7 p.m., including Daniel Quadrino ("Wicked," "Newsies," and "Bye Bye Birdie") Joey Contreras and Albert Guerzon ("Mamma Mia," "Ghost," "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Escape to Margaritaville"). There are also free concerts on Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring artists from around the world. timessquarenyc.org

Vinyl Nights (Thursdays)

A big dance party by Mobile Mondays! takes
Photo Credit: Mobile Mondays!

A big dance party by Mobile Mondays! takes place every Thursday in front of Madison Square Garden, where dancers, hula hoopers, hustle dancers and more gather together. DJs Operator Emz, Joey Carvello, Natasha Diggs, Just Blaze, Misbehaviour and DJ Woof spin tunes during this weekly event. (Free, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Plaza 33/33rd Street and Seventh Avenue, mobilemondaysnyc.com)

Outdoor Lunchtime Summer Concert Series (Wednesdays)

Hear live funk, classic rock and opera at
Photo Credit: Lincoln Square Business Improvement District

Hear live funk, classic rock and opera at this free series every Wednesday beginning through August 29. Musicians include The Drew Anderson Trio, The Meetles, Sheriff & The Deputy, Yaz Band, Calliope Brass, Receta Secreta and the Opera Collective. If you're not dancing, you can take part in a free yoga class by the West Side Y or eat your lunch. (Free, noon to 2 p.m., Richard Tucker Park at Broadway and 66th Street, lincolnsquarebid.org)

Mindful Mondays at Bocce

Each Monday you can relax at Bocce USQ
Photo Credit: @victoriaxstyle

Each Monday you can relax at Bocce USQ with this weekly workshop focused on wellness and self-care with refreshments. Classes will include yoga, barre and more. (Free, 8 to 10 a.m., 20 Union Square West, eventbrite.com)

Yayoi Kusama's 'Narcissus Garden' (through Sept. 3)

Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

"Narcissus Garden," Yayoi Kusama's 1500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, lives inside a former train garage at Gateway National Recreation Area at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways. You can walk through the spheres from July 1 through Sept. 3 as part of "Rockaway!," a public art festival and celebration of the Rockaway Peninsula's recovery from Sandy. (Free, Fridays through Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., 169 State Rd., Fort Tilden, moma.org)

First Fridays at the Frick (July 6)

This free access Friday at the Frick Collection
Photo Credit: Fabio Zonta via The Frick Collection

This free access Friday at the Frick Collection gives you freedom to roam its galleries and check out its exhibitions, including "Canova's George Washington" (pictured) and "Fired by Passion: Masterpieces of Du Paquier Porcelain from the Sullivan Collection." There's also gallery talks, live music and open sketching in the Garden Court. (Free, 6 to 9 p.m., 1 E. 70th St., Upper East Side, frick.org)

Open Mic Mondays at HGU (every Monday)

Open Mic Mondays at HGU New York Hotel's
Photo Credit: HGU New York

Open Mic Mondays at HGU New York Hotel's Rose Hill Lounge gives participants a full band accompaniment while the audience can sip on cocktails as they sit on leather couches. Celebrity drop-ins occur from time to time and the lounge also has a rotating collection of modern art, courtesy of Chelsea's Gallery 151. (Free, 9 p.m. to late, 34 E. 32nd St., hgunyc.com)

Citi Summer in the Square (Thursdays)

Every Thursday, get access to free fitness classes,
Photo Credit: Liz Ligon

Every Thursday, get access to free fitness classes, movie nights, shows, live music and dueling performances through August 9 at Union Square. At lunch time, the New School of Jazz performs and in the evening, a dueling performance show will entertain you. You can also take a fitness class (dance, cardio and sunset yoga) hosted by New York Health & Racquet Club or run with the Paragon Run Club. In August, you can also catch an outdoor movie screening of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" on the 2nd and "Hairspray" on the 9th. (Free, summerinthesquare.nyc)

Daily Events on the Waterfront

Brookfield Place has games and daily events each
Photo Credit: Brookfield Place via Facebook

Brookfield Place has games and daily events each evening on the Waterfront through the summer, including pingpong, fitness classes, music and film screenings. The Tartinery Shack also has drinks and bites for those coming after work.

Mondays: Pingpong, 5-8 p.m.

Tuesdays: Trivia, 5-8 p.m.

Wednesdays: Fitness, 6-7 p.m.

Thursdays: Music and film, 6-8 p.m.

Saturdays: Fitness, 11 a.m.-noon

Sundays: Lazy Sundays with DJ sets, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Island Fridays

Sit back for some Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Sit back for some Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney tunes at Opry City Stage at this free, weekly concert series. Teaming up with Broadway's "Escape to Margaritaville," Opry City Stage is opening its doors to the public for free for these concerts. Attendees will get special drink deals on margaritas, as well as participate in live giveaways for tickets to the new Broadway hit. (Free entry, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., 1604 Broadway, oprycitystage.com)

Queens International Night Market (Saturdays)

Now in its fourth year, this food and
Photo Credit: Sharon Medina-Chavez

Now in its fourth year, this food and art market in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park features live performances, too. New bites for 2018 include Thai roasted crickets, Moldovan waffle rolls and Wenzhou-style fried chicken feet. Shop for trinkets like vintage brooches, stationery and Mexican handicrafts, too. (6 p.m. to midnight, near 47-01 111th St., Queens, queensnightmarket.com)

Shape Up NYC fitness classes

The city offers free workouts and fitness classes
Photo Credit: iStock

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 nycgovparks.org to find the nearest courses.

Free day at the Whitney Museum (Fridays)

Pay what you want to get into the
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

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., facebook.com)

NYC Urban Park Rangers

Acting as your ambassador to nature, urban park
Photo Credit: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

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.

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

Head to QED Astoria for free open mic
Photo Credit: QED via Facebook

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., qedastoria.com)

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

This Crown Heights beer garden brings all the
Photo Credit: Franklin Park via Facebook

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,franklinparkbrooklyn.com)

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

This downtown music venue hosts a rock 'n'
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Roger Kisby

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., arlenesgrocery.net)

Tour the Brooklyn Brewery

OK, so the beer isn't free (unless you're
Photo Credit: 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., brooklynbrewery.com)

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