Save money. Enjoy NYC on the cheap with one or more of these FREE and frugal events this week, including outdoor film screenings, jazz concerts, and celebrating our national parks. See our free and cheep weekend events round-up 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.
As of this week, we’re also adding $10 or less events, because the busy summer schedule of free outdoor events is ending, and also because there are are some great events for $10 or less you would miss if we don’t tell you about them.
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Best of Central Park
Hallett Sanctuary in Central Park – These ares the last few days of the extended summer schedule to enjoy this rustic, bucolic hideaway steps from the Central Park Pond. After August 31, Hallet returns to its regular schedule of one day a week, instead of three, to protect the fragile nature of the sanctuary. Pedestrians only (no bikes or strollers) can explore this best of New York secret spot.
- Through 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 22
National Park System 100th Birthday celebration – FREE ice cream, the chance to decide what colors the World Trade Center spire wears tonight, and more. All-day events in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Also, FREE admission today to more than 400 national parks, monuments and historic sites nationwide, including NYC sites including the Statue of Liberty, Grant’s Tomb and Gateway National Seashore.
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival – The final FREE film of the 2016 summer series is Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, considered by many to be the best movie of the cult sci-fi series. Playing the villainous Khan is Ricardo Montalban who originated the role on TV in 1967. Live long and prosper, my friends.
Central Park Film Festival – This FREE annual outdoor festival always features films with New York City in a major role. Tonight, School of Rock, starring Jack Black.
- Tuesday, August 23
Central Park Film Festival – Free outdoor screening of The Last Dragon.
Stargazing at the High Line – Every Tuesday until October 25th, take a closer look at the stars, FREE. 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
- Wednesday, August 24
Central Park Film Festival – Another favorite film set in New York City, I Am Legend, a sci-fi flick starring Will Smith as the last man on earth battling zombies. FREE, of course.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – A week of FREE outdoor concerts by top jazz musicians, and FREE indoor movie screenings about jazz, at in NYC parks. Tonight, a film about Frank Morgan.
Summer Send-Off at Grand Central Terminal – FREE Face-painting and crafts for the kids, performances, raffles, and more. 11:30AM to 2:30PM in Vanderbilt Hall. Again Thursday and Friday.
Battle of Brooklyn Tour – Join Brooklyn historian Robert Furman on a walking tour around Brooklyn Bridge Park to learn how the East River played an important part in the American Revolution. One hour tour starts at 6:30pm at Pier 1. $10 ticket supports Brooklyn Bridge Park programs.
- Thursday, August 25
Central Park Film Festival – Tootsie, starring Dustin Hoffman in one of his signature roles.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – Concerts and films featuring jazz greats, at various NYC locations. Tonight, The Frank Morgan Story film.
Summer Send-Off at Grand Central Terminal – Face-painting and crafts for the kids, performances, raffles, and more. 11:30AM to 2:30PM in Vanderbilt Hall. Again Friday.
- Friday, August 26
Summer of Hamilton Family Fridays – See the musical 1776, which shows the Founding Fathers as you’ve never seen them. This is the film version of the Broadway show, and one of the films which inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write his blockbuster musical Hamilton. FREE with pay-as-you-wish Friday museum admission.
- See our list of other NYC museums with FREE Friday admission.
Central Park Film Festival – Desperately Seeking Susan, a lovely romantic comedy starring Rosanna Arquette, with an appearance by Madonna.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – Jason Lindner and others more perform live in Marcus Garvey Park
Summer Send-Off at Grand Central Terminal – Face-painting and crafts for the kids, performances, raffles, and more. 11:30AM to 2:30PM in Vanderbilt Hall.
Good Morning America free summer concerts in Central Park.
Today Show free summer concerts in Rockefeller Plaza.
Know about an event you’d like to see included on NYC on the Cheap? email us at [email protected]
We’ll have information about free and cheap events in NYC on our regular Friday morning posting.