There’s so much happening FREE in NYC every week of the summer season. Add these FREE outdoor film screenings, concerts, dances and lectures and more to your “to do” list to enjoy NYC on the cheap. Outdoor movies generally begin at dusk (8PM or 8:30PM), and doors generally open at 7PM or 7:30PM, but check the links for specific times.
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- Through Thursday, July 7th
The Swings, an Exercise in Musical Cooperation – These high-tech swings make music as you move, and each one is different. Call it exercise, call it interactive art, call it fun. At the outdoor plaza of Brookfield Place, which used to be called the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan. For kids and grown-ups, noon to 8PM daily.
- Starting This Week
Hallett Sanctuary in Central Park – This rustic, bucolic hideaway steps from the Central Park Pond has extended visiting hours for the summer from one day a week to three. Through August 31, pedestrians only (no bikes or strollers) can explore this best of New York secret spot.
- July 1 – August 31
Monday & Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Monday, July 4th
Bryant Park Summer Film Series – Every Monday this summer, see a top film at this popular event. Tonight, it’s Top Gun, with the need for speed and the memorable music score that takes your breath away.
- Tuesday, July 5th
Sunset Swing – Outdoor dancing to the uptempo sounds of the Baby Soda Jazz band, at Pier 45 at Christopher St. There’s a free beginner lesson at 6:30, and the dancing starts at 7:15. Starting next week, it will be Sunset Salsa on Tuesdays, through August 16th.
Midsummer Night Swing begins its third and final week of dancing in Lincoln Center to live bands playing swing, rock, Latin and funk. It’s free to listen and dance on the plaza outside the dance floor, but $17 to dance on the smooth wooden dance floor close to the music.
- Support the Orlando LGBT community by downloading Broadway for Orlando, featuring more than 60 top Broadway performers singing a special version of “What the World Needs Now is Love”. 100% of the $1.99 download price is being donated to the victims and their families.
Stargazing at the High Line – Every Tuesday until October 25th, take a closer look at the stars. Peer through high-powered telescopes provided by the knowledgeable members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York to see rare celestial sights. At the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck, on the High Line at West 14th Street
“Minions” (Movies Under the Stars) at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona
“10 Things I Hate About You” (Movies Under the Stars) at Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, West Village
- Wednesday, July 6th
“Scream” (SummerScreen) at McCarren Park, Williamsburg
“The Walk” (Summer on the Hudson) is a documentary about the headline-making tightrope walk between the World Trade Center Twin Towers by acrobat Phillippe Petite, at Pier I, Riverside Park South, Upper West Side
Big Hit Wednesdays Hudson Riverflicks Tonight it’s “Mad Max: Fury Road”, at Pier 63 at Chelsea Piers, Chelsea
“The African Queen” the Acadamy Award-winning classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, at International Film Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria. This special evening begins at 7PM with pre-screening performances by local musicians.
“The Sound of Music: Sing-A-Long” (HY/HK Alliance Series) at Hudson Park, between 33rd and 36th Streets, between and 10th and 11th Avenues, in the new Hudson Yards complex (if you haven’t been, take the 7 train to the last stop, Hudson Yards).
- Thursday, July 7th
“Dark Toons” (Rooftop Films) at Industry City, Sunset Park
“Star Trek ” (The Intrepid Summer Movie Series). Scotty, beam me up to the Intrepid’s flight deck, Pier 86 at 46th Street and 12th Avenue. Bring your own chairs, snacks and beverages. Doors open at 7PM
- Friday, July 8th
Sunset on the Hudson – Dance to Shanti Star & the Afro-Reggae All-Stars at the water’s edge at Pier 45, at Christopher St. at 7pm.
Family Fridays at Hudson Riverflicks – Tonight, it’s the super-cute Minions creating mayhem. At Pier 46, at Charles Street.
“April and the Extraordinary World” (Films on the Green) at Riverside Park, Pier I at 70th Street, Upper West Side
“New York Non-Fiction” (Rooftop Films): Industry City, Sunset Park
Good Morning America free summer concerts in Central Park. Today, it’s country music superstar Kenny Chesney
Today Show free summer concerts in Rockefeller Plaza. Today, it’s Shawn Mendes