I thought I’d add some links to free and cheap activities I’ve found in the NYC metro, for those who live here and those who want to visit. Updated as I find more.
- NYC.gov’s compilation of institutions with free or suggested admission. This is essential and includes venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, the Bronx Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Chinese in America, and many, many more.
- Free Kayaking, a list of places that let you kayak. For free.
- Bike Sundays. The Westchester County government shuts down a portion of the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays in May, June and September so you can bike, run, and rollerblade on it. It’s fun!
- NYC Parks maintains all of the vast parkland and beaches in NYC (think Coney Island, Central Park, and so on), most of which are free or cheap, and hosts regular free and low cost activities in your local park. Some have pools and gyms for monumentally tiny fees. Find them here.
- Outdoorsy? Have a car or a Zipcar? Dying to get out of the city, if only for a day? Check out the New York State Parks Dept. for ideas for a sweet day trip. Hike up Bear Mountain! Have a beach day out on Long Island! Go camping (damn, that’s a frugal vacation)!
- Pacific College Clinic. I couldn’t help plugging my school here. This teaching clinic is the largest on the east coast, and as anyone who has pursued acupuncture treatment in NYC knows, $45 for a one-hour treatment by a student intern is ridiculously cheap (plus, they’ve completed two years of an intensive year-round master’s program and are seeing patients on 3 shifts a week, so they know what they’re doing despite the “student” tag). The clinic regularly runs specials and offers extras like facial acupuncture for an added fee.