Free Things To Do in NYC

Published by at under New York

Statue of LibertyWhoever said you can’t get anything for free anymore hasn’t been to New York City! New York City offers some of the best museums, zoos, galleries and attractions in the world and you can visit dozens of them for free. Though most of the following attractions typically have an admission fee, they open their doors free of charge during certain days of the week (and certain hours). Please note however, donations or “pay as you wish” policies are usually in effect during these free times. Though you are not obligated to pay, a donation will help insure that future generations can enjoy these establishments. It’s recommended that you contact the attraction before going to ensure free admission will be offered during your trip.

Castle Clinton
The jumping off point for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Castle Island explores early New York City military defense. Since it is part of the National Park System, admission is always free.
Battery Park
Phone: 212-344-7220

Federal Hall
This museum is located on the site where George Washington took his Oath of Office and is dedicated to our first president and to the beginnings of the United States.
Wall Street
Phone: 212-825-6888

The Forbes Galleries
Permanent exhibits include toy boats, Monopoly, toys soldiers and trophies. There are additional exhibits that rotate throughout the year.
62 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street)
Phone: 212-206-5548

Grant’s Tomb
This tomb and memorial of General and President Ulysses S. Grant offers plenty to be explored.
Phone: 212-666-1640

Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology
Explore the history of textile and the art of fashion. A sort of memorial to shopping’s roots.
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
Phone: 212-217-5970

National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of Native Americans.
1 Bowling GreenGeorge
Gustave Heye Center
Phone: 212-668-6624

Gabarron Foundation Carriage House Center for the Arts
This center features Spanish and American cultural arts and activities.
149 East 38th Street
Phone: 212-573-6968

Goethe Institut
On weekdays, you can experience German language and culture exhibits for free at the Goethe Institut, which is located across from the Met. Don’t forget to bring your German to English dictionary!
30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-439-8700

Harbor Defense Museum
New York’s only US Army museum located at Fort Hamilton.
Fort Hamilton Military Community
230 Sheridan Loop
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: 718-630-4349

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Learn the history of the Walkman at this entertainment and technology museum.
Sony Plaza Public Arcade
56th Street and Madison Avenue

Statue of Liberty and Museum
See Lady Liberty up close and personal. Admission is free, but there is a fee for the ferry service to and from the island.
Liberty Island
Phone: 212-363-3200

Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Explore how immigrants entered the United States, and more specifically through Ellis Island and New York City. Admission is free, however there is a fee for the ferry to and from the museum.
Ellis Island
Phone: 212-561-4588

Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Discover the beauty of this Brooklyn garden. Admission is free on Tuesdays and every weekday from mid-November through February. Admission is free on Fridays for senior citizens.
1000 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: 718-623-7200

Bronx Zoo
This is a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages. Admission is by donation all day on Wednesdays.
1040 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY
Phone: 718-367-1010

Bronx Museum of the Arts
Visitors can explore the exhibits of this contemporary art museum. Admission is free on Wednesday and the museum stays open late from 12 to 9 p.m.
Fordham Road and the Bronx River Parkway
Bronx, NY
Phone: 718-681-6000

New York Botanical Garden
Enjoy the beautiful wildlife at this garden. Admission to the grounds is free admission on Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
Bronx River Parkway and Fordham Road
Bronx, NY
Phone: 718-817-8700

New York Transit Museum
Explore the wonders of how 8 million people get around the Big Apple. Admission is free on Wednesdays for senior citizens.
Located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn Heights
Phone: (718) 694-1600

Dahesh Museum of Art
Explore 18th and 19th century European artists at this New York museum. Admission is free the first Thursday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m.
601 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
Phone: 212-759-0606

American Craft Museum
This museum is dedicated to the art of decorative and functional pieces and items. Admission is “pay what you wish” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
40 W 53rd St
Phone: 212-956-3535

Children’s Museum of the Arts
Whether your a kid or just a kid at heart, everyone will enjoy this fun and interactive museum. Admission is free for children on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission for adults is by donation.
182 Lafayette Street
Phone: 212-274-0986

El Museo del Barrio
This museum features the cultures and art of the Caribbean and Latin America. Admission is free all day on Thursdays and Saturdays.
1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street)
Phone: 212.831.7272

American Folk Art Museum
Explore the art that makes our country such a wonderful place. Admission is free on Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
45 West 53rd Street
Phone: 212-265-1040

Asia Society and Museum
Explore the history and culture of Asian societies. Admission is free on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.
725 Park Ave. at 70th St.
Phone: 212-288-6400

Guggenheim Museum
Admission is by donation on Fridays from 5:45 to 8 p.m.
1071 5th Avenue at 89th Street
Phone: 212-423-3500

International Center for Photography
This attraction features a fine collection of continuously changing exhibits dedicated to the photographic arts. Admission is free on Fridays, but donations are requested.
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St.
Phone: 212-857-0000

The Morgan Library
Exhibits include collection of 12,000 travel, art, archaeology and human interest photographs. Admission is free on Fridays from from 7 to 9 p.m.
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
Phone: 212-685-0008

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Explore the world of modern art at this museum. Free Admission on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.
11 West 53 Street
Phone: 212-708-9400

Museum of the Moving Image
Explore the history of the motion pictures. Admission, excluding film screenings, is free on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.
35 Avenue at 36 Street
Astoria, NY
Phone: 718-784-0077

New York Historical Society
Exhibits include artifacts, pictures, and art from New York City’s rich history. Admission is free on Friday’s from 6 to 8 p.m.
170 Central Park West between 76th & 77th Street
Phone: 212-873-3400

Whitney Museum of American Art
Admission is by donation on Fridays’ from 6 – 9 p.m.
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
Phone: 212-570-3676

Noguchi Museum
This museum features the stone, metal, wood and clay works by Isamu Noguchi. Admission is free on the first Friday of each month.
9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, NY
Phone: 718-204-7088

Museum of Chinese in the Americas
Admission is free all day on Fridays.
70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor
Phone: 212-619-4785

Brooklyn Museum of Art
Admission is free on the first Saturday of each month from 5 to 11 p.m.
200 Eastern Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052
Phone: 718-638-5000

The Jewish Museum
Explore the history of the Jewish culture with a focus on the Holocaust. Admission is free on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street (between Fifth and Madison)
Phone: 212-423-3200

Studio Museum in Harlem
Dedicated to exploring black artists’ work from the United States and internationally. Admission is free on the first Saturday of each month.
144 West 125th Street
Phone: 212-864-4500

The Frick Collection
A large collection of a variety of art forms from throughout the ages with a focus on paintings, sculpture, furniture, oriental rugs, porcelains, and Limoges enamels. Admission is by donation from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on Sundays.
1 East 70th Street
Phone: 212-288-0700

Museum of the City of New York
Admission is free from 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Sundays.
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St
Phone: 212-534-1672

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