There’s so much happening FREE every night of the week of the summer season. These are the best NYC freebies today through Friday, including outdoor film screenings, concerts, and dances and more, to enjoy NYC on the cheap. We’ll have the weekend round-up for you on Friday.
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, and get there early for a good seat, and bring water to keep hydrated in this terrible heat.
This is the final week of NYC Restaurant Week with discounted three-course meals at more than 300 top NYC restaurants.
Discount brunch, lunch and dinner continues through the weekend at Dine In Brooklyn, with prix fixe meals starting at $12.
Celebrate all forms of dance from around the world at the Battery Dance Festival, with outdoor performances through Sunday.
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Best of Central Park
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, August 15
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival – The Big Chill. Still poignant after 30 years, with the sound track of our lives.
Finding Nemo (Movies Under the Stars): Buddy Monument, Park Lane South and Myrtle Avenue, Forest Park
- Tuesday, August 16
Shake Shack – FREE burgers at all NYC locations and nationwide, today only, celebrating the opening of the 100th Shake Shack today in Boston.
World Trade Center Shopping Mall – Opens officially today, with FREE music performances by the Harlem Gospel Choir and the cast of the Broadway show School of Rock, giveaways and more. Among the stores opening officially today are another Apple Store and the downtown version of Eataly
Sunset Salsa – This is the final night of the 2016 summer season of outdoor dancing to the uptempo sounds of a popular Latin D,J at Pier 45 at Christopher St. There’s a free beginner lesson at 6:30, and the dancing starts at 7:15.
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
BEN-HUR – Free preview screening of the new blockbuster epic starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebell and Morgan Freeman. Congratulations to the winners of the NYCOTC ticket giveaway!
- Wednesday, August 17
Uptown Bounce – The final street party of the summer is tonight, with the Museum of the City of New York and Museo del Barrio offering music and more with an 80s theme.
@ The Museum of the City of New York | El Museo de la Ciudad de Nueva York
- A Tribute to Prince | Un Tributo a Prince
- Joey Carvello of Mobile Mondays! and DJ Woof spinning the Purple One’s grooves | Joey Carvello y DJ Woof pinchan a ritmo de el Purple One
- Q Pittman teaching street jazz dance moves | Aprende a bailar street jazz con Q Pittman
@ El Museo del Barrio features Bling it On | Blingéalo
- DJ Oscar Nñ spins a blend of urban and virtual club sounds with latinx undertones | DJ Oscar Nñ mezclará los sonidos urbanos y discotequeros con un trasfondo Latin
- Design your own fashion accessories | Diseña tu propio accesorio de moda
- Curator led tour of ANTONIO LOPEZ: Future Funk Fashion | Visita guiada de ANTONIO LOPEZ: Future Funk Fashion por parte de la curadora
Auntie Mame (Summer on the Hudson): Pier I, Riverside Park South, Upper West Side
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (International Film Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park), Astoria
- Thursday, August 18
Jurassic Park – (28 Liberty Summer Film Series) at 28 Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan. The season wraps up next week with The Wizard of Oz.
A League of Their Own (Movies with a View): Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO
Jurassic World (Movies Under the Stars): George U. Harvey Park Hockey Rink, 20th Avenue and Whitestone Expressway, Queens
- Friday, August 19
Sunset on the Hudson – Dance to the rythms of the Chuck Braman Jazz Band, at the water’s edge at Pier 45, at Christopher St. at 7pm.
Family Fridays at Hudson Riverflicks – The Princess Bride
The Little Mermaid (Movies Under the Stars) Astoria Heights Playground (JHS 10), Astoria Heights Park, Astoria
Good Morning America free summer concerts in Central Park.
Today Show free summer concerts in Rockefeller Plaza.
Coming up this weekend is the annual Blues & BBBQ Festival in Hudson River Park. We’ll have more information about this, and other free and cheap weekend events, on Friday morning.