The Best FREE Things To Do This Summer In NYC

Allow us to introduce you to New York's seasonal economics. This discipline's theorems dictate that, come summertime, you should be having more fun by spending less money. Warmer weather lends itself to an increased number of spots — namely, public spaces — to hang out in. More places to chill means less exclusivity. Goodbye, impossible-to-enter basement clubs. Sayonara, swanky fitness packages. Instead, June, July, and August are jam-packed with world-class cultural events that are — most importantly — FREE.

As students of thriftiness, we’ve pored over the thousands of no-charge offerings coming up to select those definitely worth partaking in. Some of these are one-time happenings and some are recurring, so pay close attention to dates. (You might get to double dip.) Let’s raise our rosé to free time — and free fun.
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Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Hordle/REX Shutterstock.
June - Music Events

Charli XCX
When: June 5, 8 – 9 a.m.
Where: Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza (between West 50th and 51st streets).

Chaka Khan
When: June 3, 8 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West (at Union Street), Brooklyn.

New York Philharmonic All-American Program
When: June 17, 8 p.m.
Where: Great Lawn, Central Park (enter from 81st or 86th Street and Central Park West; 79th or 85th Street and Fifth Avenue).

Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World Festival
When: June 20, 12 – 8 p.m.
Where: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Grand Central Parkway or Whitestone Expressway (between 111th Street and College Point Boulevard), Queens.

Janelle Monae
When: June 23, 8 – 9 a.m.
Where: Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza (between West 50th and 51st streets).
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Photo: Courtesy of Everett/REX Shutterstock/ResUSA.
June - Cultural Events

The Mermaid Parade
When: June 20, 1 p.m.
Where: Coney Island

Taste Of Times Square
When:
June 1, 5 – 9 p.m.
Where: Times Square

Renegade Craft Fair
When: June 6, 13, 20, and 27, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: East River State Park, 90 Kent Avenue (between North 7th and 10th streets), Brooklyn.

World's Fair Anniversary Festival
When: June 7, 1 – 6 p.m.
Where: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Grand Central Parkway or Whitestone Expressway (between 111th Street and College Point Boulevard), Queens.

The Tempest, Shakespeare In The Park
When: May 27 – July 5, 8 p.m.
Where: The Delacorte Theater, Central Park (at 80th Street on the southwest corner of the Great Lawn).
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Photo: Courtesy of Bryant Park.
June - Health & Fitness Events

Bryant Park Yoga
When: Every Tuesday and Thursday, May 19 – September 24; Tuesdays: 10 – 11 a.m., Thursdays: 6 – 7 p.m.
Where: Bryant Park

Harlem Dances With Harlem Dance Club

When: June 19, 6 – 7 p.m.
Where: West Harlem Piers Park, Henry Hudson Parkway (between St. Clair Place and West 135th Street).

Pilates In The Park
When: Every Tuesday, June 2 – August 25; 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Plaza at 66th Street, Riverside Park South, Riverside Drive (between 65th and 72nd streets).
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Photo: Courtesy of John D. Shearer/BEImages/RexUSA.
July - Music Events

The New Pornographers
When: July 11, 7:30 – 11 p.m.
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West (at Union Street), Brooklyn.

Carly Rae Jepsen
When: July 10, 8 – 9 a.m.
Where: Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza (between West 50th and 51st streets).

Elephant Revival
When: July 21, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: City Winery, 155 Varick Street (at Vandam Street); 212-608-0555.

Bombino/Young Fathers/Fantastic Negrito
When: July 25, 2 – 5 p.m.
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park East (at 71st Street).

Sylvan Esso/Porches
When: July 25, 7:30 – 11 p.m.
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West (at Union Street), Brooklyn.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Rubin Museum.
July - Cultural Events

Rubin Museum Block Party
When: July 19, 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: The Rubin Museum, 150 West 17th Street (between Sixth and Seventh avenues); 212-620-5000.

Macy's Fourth Of July Fireworks
When: July 4, 9 p.m.
Where: The East River

Bastille Day
When: June 12, 12 – 5 p.m.
Where: 60th Street (from Fifth to Lexington avenues).

Time Is Illmatic Screening
When: July 19, 7 – 9 p.m.
Where: Queensbridge Park, 21st Street, Long Island City.

Classical Theatre Of Harlem Performs The Tempest
When: Tuesdays through Sundays in July, 7 – 10 p.m.
Where: Marcus Garvey Park, Madison Avenue (from East 120th to East 124th streets).
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Photo: Courtesy of City of Water Day.
July - Health & Fitness Events

City Of Water Day
When: July 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Multiple locations.

Sunset Summer Salsa
When: July 18, 4 – 7 p.m.
Where: Four Freedoms Park, 1 FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island; 212-204-8831.

Zumba
When: Every Sunday, July 5 – August 16, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Pier 2 Play Turf (Brooklyn Bridge Park), Brooklyn.
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Photo: Courtesy of Citi Parks Foundation.
August - Music Events

Caribou
When: August 6, 7 – 9 p.m.
Where: East River Park Amphitheater, East River Park (off the East River Promenade).

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical: Songs In Concert
When:
August 3, 7 – 10 p.m.
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (at 71st Street).

Luke Bryan
When: August 7, 7 – 9 a.m.
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (at 71st Street).

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
When: August 21 – 23, showtimes vary.
Where: Locations vary.

5 Seconds Of Summer On Good Morning America
When: August 21, 7 – 9 a.m.
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (at 71st Street).
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Photo: Courtesy of Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.
August - Cultural Events

La Casita
When: August 1, 12 p.m.
Where: Hearst Plaza, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues).

JAMS (Jamaican Art & Music Summer) Festival

When: August 7 – 8, times vary.
Where: Rufus King Park, Jamaica Avenue (between 150th and 153rd streets), Queens.

Cymbeline, Shakespeare In The Park
When: July 23 – August 23, 8 p.m.
Where: The Delacorte Theater, Central Park (at 80th Street on the southwest corner of the Great Lawn).

Fringe Arts Festival

When: August 14 – 30, showtimes vary.
Where: Locations vary.

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
When: August 25 – 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Central Park (between Sheep Meadow and the 72nd Street Cross Drive).
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Photo: Courtesy of Bryant Park.
August - Health & Fitness Events

U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament
When: August 19 – 22, 10 a.m.
Where: Arthur Ashe Stadium, 124-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens; 718-760-6200.

Bryant Park August Ping-Pong Tournament
When: August 5, 6 – 9 p.m.; pre-registration required.
Where: The Tables in the 42nd Street Allee, Bryant Park.

Golden Hoops At Rucker Park
When: August 22, 1 – 7 p.m.
Where: Holcombe Rucker Park, 155th Street (at Frederick Douglass Boulevard).
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