Travel activities from multi-cuisine culture to wine tastings or brewery tours, you have a long list of cheap things to do in New York City A.K.A NYC. You can attend events or watch a show for less than $10. You can satisfy your hunger for $1 and kayak for free. What more could you ask for? So, don’t think too much about money and just check out our sampling before you head to NYC.
Below slides can help you find out the best cheap things to do in NYC, in a jiffy! So, have a quick look at them now!
- 1 Events Experience: Fun & Cheap Things to Do In New York City
- 2 Foodie’s Paradise: New York City’s One Dollar Eats
- 3 Nature or Art Tours: New York City’s Fun Activities
- 4 Wrapping Up The Fun, Free & Cheap Things To Do In NYC
Events Experience: Fun & Cheap Things to Do In New York City
You can have a wonderful as well as an entertaining evening without spending a whole lot of your travel budget. Catch shows, movies, and stand-ups all for under $10 or even free. So, explore these cheap things to do in New York City.
Laugh your heart out
Every Tuesday, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., you can enjoy some free comedy at the Shanty on Richardson street in Brooklyn. The show is called Bright Horizons and I am sure you won’t have a dull moment there.
If your budget is slightly higher, then you can check out the comedy shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB Theatre). They have tickets varying from $2 to $12 depending upon the show and the artist. So, check their calendar when you plan your vacation to NYC.
Have a wholesome evening: Music, Movies & Food
If you want a complete experience, check out SyndicatedBK. It is a restaurant and movie theatre. The featured highlight is their outdoor seating arrangement so you can do a little star gazing while you are there. I am sure it would be a romantic evening with your better half.
The food is very reasonably priced. There is a 60-seat theatre and a 30-seat bar with a wide variety of liquor. They play 2-3 movies per night so you can choose your pick according to your mood and choice.
Broadway but cheap – we tell you how?
Enter a digital lottery offered by TKTS booths or Today Tix app and get deeply discounted Broadway tickets if you are among the 46 lucky winners. Although, the showtime will be for the matinee, you still get to see the newest shows for almost half the price. The app also provides off-Broadway options too.
Dance to the old tunes
If you love to dance, then check out ‘The Rub’ at the Bell House. It is a monthly dance party themed around the 90s music. You will get the retro feel for just $10 if you go before midnight or $15 if you prefer to arrive late. And if you get hungry, grab a bite from the food truck parked outside and enjoy some exotic street food.
Julliard or Carnegie hall, take your pick
Check out any of the 700 performances held all-round the year ranging from music to dance to drama and more. Hunt some Julliard tickets!
If you love orchestra then Carnegie Hall is the place for you. There are many discounted programs that you can check out on their websites and there are rush tickets for only $10 a piece for Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage concerts. Even if the show is sold out, you can still get rush tickets and get a chance to enjoy.
Foodie’s Paradise: New York City’s One Dollar Eats
NYC has so many cuisines to offer that you can find the foods from the entire world in the city. The best part is that you can catch a bite at a very low cost too so you don’t hurt your travel budget. If you are hungry, then check out some cheap things to eat in New York City.
Who doesn’t love a slice of Pizza?
You’ll be surprised to know that there are a lot of areas in NYC where you can get a $1 pizza slice. I know it sounds too good to be true! (Trust me-Go ahead and Google it) In addition to the cheap slice, these places also have really exotic menus and options to choose from. Some are even open 24×7.
You can get vegan options, coal-oven pizza, exotic toppings such as caramelized onions or sesame seeds, calzones and whatever you heart’s desire! There are several BYOB options too. Whatever pizza you crave, you can find it here!
Wine or Brew- NYC has everything for you
Wine connoisseurs can also choose free wine-tasting sprees. There are many options which offer free tastings such as Union Square Wine and Spirits which tops the list. Just explore your area and you will likely find one tasting option nearby.
Innumerable brewery tours are also available and will offer you varied experiences. For example, a walking tour in Williamsburg or a beer sailing cruise tour at the New York Harbour. Some even include beer-themed village visits. These tours typically cost $30-$100. Although not highly inexpensive, each typically include food and alcohol, so it is not just a tour but rather a total culinary treat that will build memories that you’ll cherish.
If you are a nightlife person, check out our dedicated sampling of Best Nightlife in the USA.
Sea Delicacies – New York Oysters
Love oysters? You will love them more if you get them for just $1. NYC offers a lot of Oyster happy hour options in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Some of the top places to check out are The Flower shop on weekdays between 5 and 7 in the evening. Good Night Sonny every day at 4 p.m. and Flex Mussels the same time as the Flower shop along with Sat & Sun afternoons. Some of these places offer cocktails too. Call ahead or check Google before heading out.
Don’t dump the Dumplings
Not just Oysters but you can also get Asian food for $1, mainly the dumplings. Great NY Noodle Town is the top pick while other places closely follow. Some are vegetarian-friendly too. So, don’t be hesitant, just check them out and you will be amazed at how much you can eat for just one buck!
No matter which part of the city you visit, you won’t go hungry if you have $10 in your pocket. So, explore and find more food stops and cheap things to do in New York City.
Nature or Art Tours: New York City’s Fun Activities
How can any trip be complete if you haven’t checked out museums, a few parks, some adventure, or a little art? There are many cheap things to do in New York City if you are a nature-lover and have an eye for the art.
Nature walks at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
What would be more rejuvenating than walking amid natural beauty? Well, how about doing that for free? Visit Brooklyn Botanical Garden any time and enjoy the sereneness of your surroundings.
There is so much flora to choose from: Cherry blossoms, Hibiscus, Natchez Crape Myrtle and even Heirloom Tomato. You will be mesmerized at the beauty while sitting at the pond and gazing at the bounty. I guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face. Admission is free of charge!
Kayaking at Downtown Boathouse
Love water sports and a little bit of adventure? Head to the boathouse and kayak for free. The boathouse is located at Pier 26. You get to take the boat for 20 minutes and if there is no rush, then you can take it for a longer period.
You may even try the Inwood canoe club; they only charge $4 per day for your insurance or $15 for the entire summer season. It is for your safety, not for the boat charge. Brooklyn also offers a many canoeing and kayaking options.
Time square – Need I say more?
If you love lights, visit the most famous advertising spot in the world at night. It will be a lovely experience to see the lively atmosphere giving genuine vibes. It looks like a fireworks show and obviously, there is no charge for walking in a free country!
There are many activities that you can do here: Gulliver’s Gate Museum or Ripley’s; Believe It or Not and even the National Geographic Encounter can bring out the artist, the historian, or the naturalist in you.
If not cruise, the ferry is the best alternative
You love the sea; you want to have a closer look at the Statue of Liberty, but you can’t pay for a cruise or the ticket? Well, this is your lucky day! The Staten Island Ferry will do the trick and the ferry ride is absolutely free! Don’t get tricked into buying a ticket. The service is provided on all days, at all hours, so check out their schedule online.
If you get off at the island, check out some Tibetan art or the Snug Harbour Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. You can even check out the museum at the historic town of Richmond. Nature and history amalgamate here. Islands are always exciting so don’t miss this free getaway!
Visit a museum and tinker with your curiosity
Visiting NYC and not checking out a museum is a sin! The world’s finest museums are located here. However, their tickets might range from $25 per person to much higher. How will you visit with a limited budget? Well, some museums have the so-called ‘happy hour’ too. Sometimes you can visit them for free and others allow you to pay whatever you wish.
For example, the MET used to be a pay as you wish museum but now it charges $12 to $25 for different age groups but is free for teenagers. So, check out various museum’s weekly calendars and plan your visit.
Wrapping Up The Fun, Free & Cheap Things To Do In NYC
These are some of our top suggestions for cheap things to do in New York City. There are many places to explore and more free activities, so if you have more time, put on your explorer hat and head out!
I hope you enjoyed our sampling for the most unique and cheap things to do in New York City. Do check out RentalTrader.com to book your best vacation rental.