Here are the best of both: FREE and cheap things to see and do in New York City this week, July 30 to Aug. 3,including the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival, outdoor movies and more.
Our motto is get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates with all the outdoor events scheduled.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors, another three week festival of FREE outdoor music and dance performances, film screenings and spoken word events through mid-August.
Most events are at the Damrosch Park Bandshell or on the plaza near the famous fountain, but there also are “off-campus” events in Central Park and at Teatro Pregones in the Bronx.
NYC Restaurant Week – Okay, it’s not FREE, but it’s a real deal. Dine at nearly 400 top NYC restaurants offering specially priced three-course meals $26 at lunch and $42 at dinner, July 23rd to August 17th. Participating locally owned restaurants include 21 Club, Smith & Wolensky, Boulud Sud, and David Burke Kitchen.
- Our advice is to book a lunch reservation – easier to get and cheaper than dinner.
- Make your reservations through Open Table, which lets you search for a participating Restaurant Week restaurant by location or type of food, and reserve a specific time to dine.
SummerStage – Music and dance performances in all five boroughs, through Labor Day
A Moon for All Mankind – Take a virtual reality walk on the moon, as real NASA astronauts did 50 years ago this month, at a FREE kiosk at New York City’s Samsung retail store in Meapo. You’ll probably have to wait your turn, but there are plenty of TVs and other electronics to watch or test drive while you wait. There also are a limited number of reserved spots available daily, via online reservation. You’ll have to suit up with a jumpsuit, helmet and VR goggles which can take as long as the actual 15-minute VR experience.
- 837 Washington St., open daily 11am or Noon to 7pm or 8pm, depending on the day.
- Photo of NASA astronaut on moon courtesy NASA
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.
- Tonight is When Harry Met Sally, and that famous scene in Katz’s Delicatessen.
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 to hear such top authors as Martin Amis, Patti Smith, Colson Whitehead, and Paul Auster read their words first-hand.
- The program is sponsored by six of Brooklyn’s independent bookstores, because reading real books, with real pages you can really turn, will never go out of style. #ShopLocal
- Sponsored by Freebird Bookstore in Red Hook, Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Powerhouse Arena in Dumbo, Community Bookstore Park Slope, Word in Greenpoint, and 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
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.
Film Forum Re-Opens – It’s not free, but it is newly re-opened after a six-month, $5 million renovation to the beloved Village movie theater that specializes in vintage films from around the world.
- Film Forum has been an integral part of NYC for decades, and NYCOTC welcomes you back.
NYC Free Thursday
Native Sounds Downtown – A FREE concert featuring award-winning singer-songwriter Irka Mateo, of Taíno and Dominican descent, whose music is inspired by popular music and diverse folkloric rhythms of her heritage.
- The concert is 5pm, the front of NMAI, the National Museum of the American Indian, adjacent to Bowling Green Park. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will move inside of the museum.
- The concert is in conjunction with Taíno: Native Heritage and Identity in the Caribbean, on view through Oct. 2019, a collaboration of the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.
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 Thursdaythrough August 10th, with songs and dances from several shows featured each week.