We are so lucky that New York City is filled with FREE and cheap things to do every month.
Whether you are a resident or a visitor, put these events on your calendar to save money on enjoying NYC the last two weeks of February.
Already underway are FREE events celebrating Black History Month, plus FREE events exploring the challenges of white nationalist violence and domestic terrorism, and FREE family events to prevent cabin fever this Mid-Winter Break week.
Some FREE events require registration to ensure space, so do that now for guaranteed admission and avoid standing in the cold for standby admission.
You always get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap, because we are the only NYC website which specializes in FREE and $25 or less.
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Take a tour of the Oval Office, and more presidential intel at the new Meet the Presidents exhibit at the New York Historical Society.
The exhibit explores the power of the presidency and how it has evolved over the years. There’s also a gallery of photos of each US president since the first, George Washington.
In addition to the re-recreation of the Oval Office, among the highlights on view is a rare 1787 printing of the US Constitution.
Also see Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, another new exhibit.
It traces the influence the legendary concert promoter – who grew up in the Bronx – had on American culture, by discovering, mentoring or promoting performers and bands including the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan, and others.
A stereo headset audio guide is an integral part of the Rock & Roll exhibit, with a fabulous playlist of music.
- New York Historical Society is at 76th St. and Central Park West.
Black History Month
There are dozens of events throughout NYC in February.
There is a full schedule of FREE Black History Month programs presented in NYC Parks, including movie screenings. Here are just two of them:
Brooklyn and the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was a network of sanctuaries for enslaved women and men escaping slavery in the South to seek freedom in the North.
Join the Urban Park Rangers for a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park highlighting the borough’s link to freedom.
Please note: Registration is required to attend. Participants are selected by lottery.
- To register, please visit the Urban Park Ranger registration page.
- Registration opens on Wednesday, February 12.
- 11am to 12:30pm, Sat., Feb. 2
This photo exhibit pays tribute to some of the African Americans who have shaped the landscape of our culture.
Monuments and green spaces of all sizes, from Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan to Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn, pay tribute to the contributions and lives of notable African Americans from the 18th century to the 21st century.
- FREE, through Feb. 27
- The Arsenal Galley, Central Park
- Located at 25 West 52nd St.
This new show at the Hayden Planetarium is the first to use a new planetarium projection system that is the most advanced in the world, plus it’s narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, .
While humans have to yet to walk on another world beyond the Moon, Worlds Beyond Earth celebrates the extraordinary Age of Exploration carried out by our closest proxies, robotic explorers, over the past 50 years.
Featuring immersive visualizations of distant worlds, groundbreaking space missions, and breathtaking scenes depicting the evolution of our solar system, the show is part of the 150th anniversary celebration year of events at the American Museum of Natural History.
This is the first space show that will “land” audience members on other worlds in our solar neighborhood, reconstructing actual events at specific locations. That includes-
- a landing on the gray, cratered surface of the Moon, which viewers will reach by following an Apollo launch out of Cape Canaveral,
- the subsequent landing of the Lunar Module “Falcon,” carrying the first Lunar Roving Vehicle;
- and the liquid methane lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan, an almost Earthlike but extremely cold world 1.4 billion kilometers away, illuminated by ESA’s Huygens probe, launched from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Worlds Beyond Earth, narrated by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, takes viewers on an exhilarating journey that reveals the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that orbit our Sun and the unique conditions that make life on our planet possible.
Simply, the show is out of this world!
- Hayden Planetarium is at AMNH, Central Park West between 77th and 81st Streets.
- Get tickets online and save time.
Waves of white nationalist violence, including anti-Semitic violence, has been spreading across the nation, from Brooklyn to Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, El Paso and beyond.
Now, a landmark lawsuit against the organizers of the 2017 Charlottesville march is taking on the leadership of this movement — asserting that they intentionally coordinated the violence that erupted, thus breaking the law.
This FREE discussion explores the lawsuit, and what we can do to stop the spread of ugly white nationalist violence
Led by Roberta Kaplan (lead counsel on the Supreme Court case that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage) and Karen Dunn (a former federal prosecutor in Virginia), the legal action — filed against a broad range of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and affiliated hate groups — exposes the individuals and organizations driving the wave of white supremacist hate and dismantles the infrastructure at the center of their movement. The suit is supported by the civil rights nonprofit Integrity First for America.
- FREE, 6:30pm, Wednesday, Feb. 19
- Temple Emanu-el Streocler Cemter. 67th St. at Fifth Ave.
- REGISTER here for free to ensure admission
Prosecuting Domestic Terrorists
Despite the public perception that attacks like El Paso and Gilroy are acts of domestic terrorism, “domestic terrorism” is not a formal federal crime.
Mary McCord of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and Seamus Hughes of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism discuss what constitutes “domestic terrorism” and the challenges in prosecuting it.
- FREE, 7pm, Thursday, Feb. 20
- 9/11 Museum, Auditorium
- REGISTER HERE for free to ensure admission
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Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.