Cheap is good, free is better, and there’s plenty of both Monday to Friday this week, Dec. 5-9. Nothing on our list is over $20, so you can save your budget for holiday gifts, travel and hanging out with friends. Actually, this week, everything on our list is FREE.
Let’s start with the best freebies to enjoy any day this week:
Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Starting today, enjoy FREE admission weekdays from 10am until 4:30pm. The free “winter weekdays” are through through February 28,2017. Check the BBG website for the full slate of winter programming including Conservatory Seasonal Highlights Tours, concerts and exhibits to enjoy with FREE admission.
NY Waterways – Kids age 12 and under ride FREE for the holidays, through Jan. 2, 2017. The free ride is limited two free kids per paying adult, no tickets for the kids required, any time of day, but please avoid rush hour weekdays. The deal is from Edgewater, Port Imperial, Lincoln Harbor, Hoboken/14th St. and Belford.
Lower Manhattan bus – Look for the red busses for FREE transportation around Lower Manhattan, for shopping, restaurants and museums.
Photo with Santa at Macy’s – Download your FREE Santaland pass to make an appointment and avoid the longest lines.
Monday, Dec. 5
The Brooklyn Experience – a FREE lecture guiding you to the best Brooklyn neighborhoods for foodies, from traditional noshes to cutting edge culinary. Your guide is Brooklynite Ellen Freudenheim, who – literally – wrote the book. 6:30pm at the Mid Manhattan Library, Fifth Ave. at 40th St., across from the main branch with the lions out front.
Tuesday, Dec. 6
Madison Sqare Holiday – FREE tree lighting celebration with activities for the kids, live entertainment, and eats and treats from local restaurants, 3:30pm to 5:30pm.. Fabulous factoid: Madison Square Park is home to the country’s first community tree lighting ceremony, which took place more than 100 years ago, in 1912. It’s a tradition older than that more famous tree in Rockefeller Center
Inside the Orchestra: Living History – Join members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, past and present, for an up-close and personal reflection spanning decades. FREE at 7:30pm at The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
Wednesday, Dec 7:
Washington Square Park – This FREE 91-year-old tradition features holiday sing-a-longs with the Rob Susman Brass Quartet and a visit from Santa. 1 Washington Sq E; 6–7pm.
Midnight Moment Gathering – Join video artist Tai Yarden, creator of the Times Square Midnight Moment video show, Counting Sheep, in Duffy Square. Arrive by 11:30pm for the 11:57pm viewing. Hot cider will be provided. FREE
Thursday, Dec. 8
Words and Music of Stephen Sondheim – This illustrated FREE lecture features videos of Stephen Sondheim and traces his career starting from the early days when he wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” to his work as the writer of both words and music for such shows as “Company,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and “Sweeney Todd.” Among the many memorable songs highlighted are “Send in the Clowns,” “Not While I’m Around,” “Not a Day Goes By,” and “Being Alive;” Artists spotlighted singing his songs include Bernadette Peters. Your guide is musicologist Mel Haber. At the Mid-Manhattan Library, Fifth Avenue at 40th St., at 6:30pm.
- Note that Haber’s music and video lectures are extremely popular. Get there by 6pm to be sure you get a seat.
Friday, Dec. 9
Freebie Friday – FREE admission today to top NYC museums.