Here are the best of both: FREE and cheap things to see and do in New York City this week, July 9 to Friday the 13, including concerts and dancing, films, yoga classes, and the phenomena known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun sets directly between Manhattan’s cross streets.
Our motto is get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap.
Ending this Week
Midsummer Night Swing – Outdoor dancing to live bands in Lincoln Center’s Damrosh Park, through Saturday. This week includes traditional swing, Cuban salsa, and a special Saturday afternoon program for kids, including a lesson. Actually, there’s a lesson each night, so you have no excuses about two left feet.
- Friday night – After the reular dance (The James Hunter Six, playing Soul, Blues, R&B and Rock ‘n’ Roll), there’s an after hours Silent Disco. A wireless headset is free with your $5 ticket, to dance to music only you can hear.
- Save the date for Lincoln Center Out of Doors, another three week festival of FREE outdoor music and dance performances, that begins on July 24th.
SummerStage – Music and dance performances in all five boroughs, through Labor Day
- Wednesday, July 11 at SummeeStage in Central Park for the start of the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) featuring artists that blur the lines between R&B, funk, and cumbia, including Gabriel Garzón-Montano and Tomasa del Real.
- Thursday, July 12, the SummerStage mobile stage moves to Queensbridge Park in Long Island City, when LAMC continues with an incredible double bill of cumbia from Systema Solar and Very Be Careful.
- On Friday, July 13, SummerStage presents a dance workshop to learn steps from Alvin Ailey’s iconic “Revelations” before the performance by Queens-based dance troupe Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, celebrating their Mexican-American cultural heritage.
- Also on Friday the 13th, SummerStage is back in Coney Island on Friday with two of Puerto Rico’s biggest salseros Tito Rojas and Andy Montañez.
NYC Free Monday
Bryant Park Summer Film Series – The annual and popular film series is underway, with a different family-friendly film each Monday for ten Mondays, through the end of August.
- This week it’s Little Miss Sunshine.
Books Beneath the Bridge – Each Monday through mid-August, gather round for readings, discussions, signings and entertainment inspired by books. More than 5,000 people have attended this series since 2012 and gathered around such top authors as Martin Amis, Patti Smith, Colson Whitehead, and Paul Auster, to hear them read their words first-hand. The program is sponsored by six of Brooklyn’s independent bookstores, because real books, with real pages you can really turn, and reading them, will never go out of style.
- FREEBIRD BOOKSTORE in Red Hook
- GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORE in Fort Greene
- POWERHOUSE ARENA in DUMBO
- COMMUNITY BOOKSTORE PARK SLOPE
- WORD in Greenpoint
- BOOKS ARE MAGIC in Cobble Hill
NYC Free Tuesday and Thursday
Bryant Park’s yoga classes, believed to be the largest regularly scheduled FREE outdoor series of its kind in the world, are now underway. The twice-weekly classes are Tuesday mornings on the Upper Terrace 10 AM-11 AM, and Thursday evenings on the Lawn 6 PM-7PM. Bring your own mat.
NYC Free Wednesday
Overnight Camping in NYC Parks – Registration opens today for the chance to camp out under the stars in a NYC park, assisted by NYC Urban Park Rangers.
- There are four more FREE programs in July, in Manhattan’s Central Park, Brooklyn’s Marine Park.
Madison Sq. Music Summer Nights – FREE concerts each Wednesday evening through mid-August, with a different local band each week. This week, it’s the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, playing a mix of indie rock and Latin favs.
- Concerts are at 6pm on the South end of the park, next to Shake Shack.
NYC Free Thursday and Friday
Manhattanhenge – Grab your camera. This is your last chance for this year to see the spectacular moment when the sun sets directly through the center of Manhattan cross streets. There’s also a special program at the American Museum of Natural History with top physicists and astronomers.
NYC Free Thursday
Broadway in Bryant Park – Enjoy Broadway and Off-Broadway stars performing their show-stopping numbers FREE in Bryant Park. The singers and dancers perform every Thursday, starting this week, July 12, through August 10th, with songs and dances from several shows featured each week. This week’s opening day of Broadway in Bryant Park showcases performers from Chicago, Stomp, Waitress.
NYC Free Friday
Friday the 13th – It’s the day, and the name of the movie screened FREE on the top deck of the Intrepid. You know the plot – A group of camp counselors are stalked by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp.