July 6, 2010

Fancy Free

15 Fun, Free Things To Do In The City This Summer

By Noelia de la Cruz

During select times, many museums offer free admission. The New York Hall of Science is free on Fridays from 2-5 pm and Sundays from 10-11. On the
second weekend of each month, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is free before 11 a.m. And on Thursdays from 4-6 p.m., pay what you wish at the Children’s
Museum of the Arts
. Visit your favorite museum’s website to see if it offers
free or pay-what-you-wish admission on a particular day.

Whether it’s The Never Ending Story at Riverside Park, Cloudy with a Chance of
Meatballs at Hudson River Park
or Monsters v. Aliens at Brooklyn Bridge Park, outdoor films in the city’s
parks will keep your children on the edge of their picnic blankets. Check out
this summer lineup here.

Governors Island is open again for
the summer! A free ferry departs from downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge
Park on Friday to Sunday. Take advantage of Free Bike Fridays, relax on Water Taxi Beach
or embrace your artistic side with the Children’s Museum of the Arts Free
Island Outpost Program—build rocketships, make costumes and more!

This year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden celebrates its 100th
birthday this year! Tour the gardens and learn all about plants in the
Discovery Workshop “Botany for Kids,” running through July 29. Admission is
free on Tuesdays!

The opportunities for free fun are endless at Central Park—kids
can make crafts and learn to play chess at the Chess and Checkers House, listen
to famous fairytales during “Statue Tales,” or explore one the park’s many

From magic shows to enchanting stories to kiddie rock, the
Bryant Park Reading Room series has something for every kid. Check bryantpark.org for a schedule of

Every Saturday, Socrates Sculpture Park
offers free workshops for kids taught by a diverse group of artists. Kids can
create their own soccer ball, design maps and even build a solar cooking

Through August 15, Lincoln Center Out of Doors offers an
array of free programs and performances. Enjoy the energetic sounds of the
Asphalt Orchestra, jam to old-time music and watch puppets reenact popular

Drop by Sony Wonder Technology Lab to immerse your child in
the world of technology. Kids can play with robots, experiment with sound and
learn how to make animated films. Admission is free, with additional free
workshops on select dates.

Head to the Downtown Boathouse to take free kayaking lessons
on the Hudson River. Several locations; visit downtownboathouse.org
for days and times.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newly opened Pier 6 features
a super-fun playground and a spectacular view. For nature lovers, year-round,
park-focused programs encourage kids to learn about the environment.

The Today Show’s Toyota Concert Series is among the most
popular outdoor concerts in New York City.
Upcoming performers include Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Carrie Underwood and more!
Good Morning America hosts a similar series which will feature the Black Eyed
Peas and The Jonas Brothers with Demi Lovato. Arrive early for the best view!

Catch up on summer reading with a visit to The New York
Public Library’s Children’s Center
, which maintains a comprehensive collection
of books and media. Upcoming events include film screenings, story time and
game night! Barnes & Noble also hosts readings and other free children’s events.

Soak up the sun at any of the many free outdoor pools the
city has to offer. Check out Asser Levy Rec Center
in downtown Manhattan, the Astoria
Park Pool
in Queens and the Floating Pool Lady, a barge
converted into a pool, now stationed in the Bronx for
the summer.

Go camping right in the heart of the city—for free! Through
August, families can register with the New York City Parks department for a family camping excursion at a park in one of the five boroughs. Activities include cookouts, hiking and
campfire story time. Registration required.

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