There are not many destinations in the world that offer a wider variety of things to do than New York City. The city has catered to millions of visitors annually for many years and offers attractions and experiences that cater to a cross section of society and people with a number of different interests. The one problem that can arise with choosing New York City as a vacation destination is that the city can tend to be somewhat expensive. Many of the best attractions in the city come with a steep price tag, there are options though for the budget minded traveler when visiting New York City.
Choosing to visit a number of free attractions or locations is a great way for a traveler to get their vacation dollar to stretch a little further. Being on the lookout for free things to do doesn’t mean that a vacation will suffer from lack of quality outings, in fact it could mean that a vacation will be improved because the traveler will get to see some things that they normally wouldn’t have and also will have allowed their money to be more focused on the important attractions they really want to experience. Here is a look at ten free things to do in New York City.
Walking through the front doors of the world’s best toy store does not mean that it is a requirement to spend money. Just taking the opportunity to see some of the fabulous, fantastic, and truly zany toys on the market can be very entertaining. FAO Schwartz has earned a reputation over the years as the place to go for something unusual and out of the ordinary and that reputation is well deserved. A visit to FAO Schwartz can be fun for children and adults alike.
American Folk Art Museum
Viewing the incredible artwork created by the many talented contemporary artists on display does require paying an admission. This is true except for Friday nights. This museum houses some of the more interesting pieces of art being created in the world today. Attending and viewing what is on display here can give the traveler a little bit of insight into future trends in both the art world as well as pop culture. Many other museums also offer free admission nights too including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Steuben Gallery, and more.
Television Show Tapings and Broadcasts
One of the best experiences that those from outside the media centers of Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York is attending the broadcast or taping of a national television show. Many times the tickets to view these shows are free, though for the more popular ones it may mean obtaining them far in advance. Some of the many television shows performed in New York City that offer free tickets include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Good Morning America, Maury Povich, Rachael Ray, The Today Show, The View, The Colbert Report, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, People’s Court, Regis and Kelly Live, Saturday Night Live, Tyra Banks Show, and more.
Central Park covers more than 840 acres and the bulk of the activities there cost nothing. Walking through the park is a great way to spend all or part of a day and there are a number of great attractions located there including the Lake, Strawberry Fields, the many historical buildings, and more. Central Park is a great destination in New York City and though there are a number of things to do there tat require payment, there are also a great many free things to do there too.
Grand Central Station
Riding the trains and subways that lead into and out of Grand Central Station do have a small cost associated with them, but going there and enjoying the historic building does not. There are a number of things to do there including viewing some of the posted information available, taking photographs of the iconic building itself, and being entertained by the phenomenally talented street performers that perform there for the many passersby. Grand Central Station is also a wonderful place to go and people watch.
One of the most famous Art Deco buildings in the world is Rockefeller Center, and much of it is free for the traveler to explore. There are a number of things to view at the center including the main lobby, ice skating rink, and wonderful gardens there. The Top of the Rock is a popular attraction to that does require payment but offers a great chance to experience the New York City skyline in a way that no other place can.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a commuter ferry that runs back and forth between Battery Park and Staten Island. This isn’t the most luxurious mode of transportation out there, but it is free. It is also a great way for tourists to experience some of the most amazing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the surrounding skyline of Manhattan, and indeed all of New York Harbor. A ride on the Staten Island Ferry is more than just a way to cross a body of water, it is a way to enjoy New York City and see life there as New Yorkers do.
Coney Island Boardwalk
While the many attractions that line the Coney Island Boardwalk, from the amusement park rides to the New York City Aquarium, may cost money to see, the boardwalk and beach located there are free. The Coney Island Boardwalk stretches almost three miles in length and walking down it is a great way to not only see the waterfront and popular beach areas, but to also experience what was once one of the most popular vacation destinations during the early part of the 1900s.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Built in 1924, and one of the most recognizable buildings in the entire city, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a great free attraction that can be visited by both locals and tourists alike. There is a tour available which details a great many things related to both the manufacturing process of as well as the management and dispersal process of the nation’s currency. Advanced reservations are needed for these guided tours, but they are extremely interesting and a great way to spend part of a day. Among other things, visitors to the bank will get to see the gold vault and a real trading desk.
Periodically, various music groups and organizations put on free concerts in a variety of locations in New York City. Central Park is often a site of free concerts as are many other areas including Battery Park. These free concerts can include performances by internationally known rock bands, local up and coming musicians, area rap groups, and street performers. There are even free concerts performed regularly by such world famous groups as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York City Opera. If you want to opt for paid tickets instead, you can use a service like stubhub. If you use a stubhub promo code you may even lower your ticket prices even more.
New York City can be an expensive place to vacation to. In fact, in this day and age vacations are getting more and more expensive every year. A great way to combat against the high price of admission tickets, transportation costs, and expensive meals is to also take advantage of the wide selection of free attractions also offered in the city. These free attractions still offer some of the best experiences that can be had in the city and also save money that can better be spent on the necessities or most important must-see attractions that a traveler has their heart set on attending or seeing. A visit to New York City doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a great many free attractions in the city that are more than worth taking an opportunity to check out.