Free Things to do in New York City


Whether you’re visiting the Big Apple for the first time, or you’ve lived in NYC for years, there are tons of FREE things to do in New York City that you probably didn’t know about!

Be a tourist! Even if you are an NYC resident, you can play tourist for the weekend! Visit a few of the popular places:

Federal Reserve Bank – They offer free tours to the general public Monday to Friday.
City Hall – The country’s oldest city hall that is still used for its original purpose.
Central Park – A stunning 843 acres park in the heart of the city. Bring your camera!
Prospect Park – A 585 acre oasis in Brooklyn. Perfect place for a picnic.
Grand Central Terminal – A historic NYC landmark.

… and don’t forget to stop by the Hello Deli from the David Letterman show!

Have a picnic. There are so many parks in New York City, and all of them provide the perfect set up for a picnic. Whether you’re on a romantic stroll with your honey, enjoying some quiet time alone or wanting to see the pretty trees and animals with the kids, any of the parks will do. Some, like Prospect Park, even have playgrounds, basketball courts, and paddle boats. Central Park, one of my favourite parks, has a zoo and beautiful areas to have a picnic.


Walk around Times Square. A section of NYC that truly never sleeps. More than 300,000 people walk through the heart of Times Square every day. Walking around Times Square after dark is an adventure and lots of fun. The billboards are a sight to see and the store rent is among the highest in the country. The most visited store in Times Square is the M&M store! 24,000 square feet of chocolate and gifts.

Times square sign

Take some photos. I love taking pictures of anything and everything, but photos are especially awesome in New York City! Visit the places above and take some “selfies” or have your travel companion take pictures of you, then you take pictures of them. When you get home, print the images and put them in a scrapbook and treasure your trip forever.

old camera and photos on wooden table

Plan a scavenger hunt! This is so fun – in groups or as a family. Take a map and highlight just a few city blocks. Do some research to find out what’s inside those city blocks. Break into teams and race to see who can find each thing on the list first. Take a photo of each, so you have proof of your win!

Take the ferry. The Staten Island Ferry is free and it gives a bunch of photo opportunities! You’ll have the chance to snag a perfect picture of the Statue of Liberty, and New York Harbor. It can get a little crazy during rush hour, so take it another time if possible. Over 22 million people a year take the ferry!

Good morning New York.

Visit the 9/11 Memorial. Visiting the 9/11 Memorial Plaza has been life-changing for many people. It’s just one of those things that you must do while visiting New York. I went this summer and it was an emotional experience. The museum has tours which are available for a fee. I highly recommend going to the museum. It is a life-changing and unforgetable experience as well.

NEW YORK CITY. Memorial at World Trade Center Ground Zero. The memorial was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks

Be in the audience. While you need to plan ahead for this one, many shows (The View, Live with Kelly) give out free tickets for audience members. I got free tickets to attend a taping of The View and it was a lot of fun and very interesting to see behind the scenes of the show. Next time, I would like to go see a taping of Live with Kelly.

A nice trip to NYC requires a little planning, but don’t stress about it. At the end of the day, be sure to have fun while visiting New York City!

Have you ever been to New York City? What are your favorite things to do in NYC?


  1. Lisa Bristol says

    I have always wanted to go to NYC. My Sister has been and she loves it. I would start with exploring Central Park. Then I would check out some of the famous restaurants.

  2. Kathy says

    That is a great list. I love doing things when they’re free! It’s always surprising to see how much is actually free around the area. Now I’ll know where to go if I ever visit New York City!

  3. Rebecca Swenor says

    New York is a place we have wanted to visit for years but never got the chance to go there. I would love to see the 911 memorial and the statue of liberty along with visiting time square. Thanks for sharing the free things to do in New York City.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge