By Samantha Chapnick
You can find cheap flights to New York. New York hotels don’t have to be pricey. And you don’t even have to blow your budget on activities and entertainment. This summer, book your New York vacation and take advantage of all the free things to see and do in the Big Apple!
For a brief shining moment before it gets turned into condos or a theme park or any of the other developement-cetric ideas being bandied about, see Governor’s Island it as it has been for the past 400 years. And have fun too! There is a free ferry leaving from downtown Manhattan that only takes a few minutes. Events take place all summer, including the fun opening festival, folk and jazz music concerts, military heritage weekends, and dance events.
I like to take one of the free ranger-led tours and then have a picnic in one of the elm-tree shaded quads. NOTE: There are NO commercial facilities on the island so bring plenty of water! There is one bathroom near the ferry.
River to River Festival: Downtown’s biggest summer festival. All 500+ music, dance, food and film events are entirely free.
Lincoln Center out of Doors: New York’s pre-eminent cultural institutions answer to the August festival season. This year’s theme is a tribute to Soul-meister James Brown. There’s dancing, dining, and music all August long — and it’s all free.
Shakespeare in the Park: Free shows in a fabulous setting! Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. "Hamlet" runs May 27 – June 29, and "Hair" runs July 22 – August 17. Even though it’s free, you do need to pick up tickets. You can get them the day of the show at the Delacorte Theatre, or, a limited number will be available online.
Ok, so it’s your rear and not your REO you park at these outdoor movie spots. Get there early and bring a picnic, and you’re in for a fun way to share your favorite films with thousands of other New Yorkers.
Bryant Park movies:
Enjoy a flick al fresco Monday nights from June 16 to August 18. The
park opens for picnickers at 5 p.m.; movies start between 8 and 9.
River Flicks: Pier 54 at 14th Street. "La Bamba," "Almost Famous," "Purple Rain" and more. Wednesdays starting (July 9th to August 20) around dusk (generally 8:30 p.m.).
For Kids: Pier 45 at Christopher Street. Movies include "Bee Movie," "The Wizard of Oz," "E.T." and "Shrek"; Fridays (July 11th to August 22nd) starting around dusk.
Central Park Summerstage:
Rumsey Playfield in Central Park becomes a world music stage from June
13 through August 17. Free concerts range from gospel music to dramatic
readings. The closest entrance is at 69th Street and Fifth Avenue.