• Fancy Free

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



    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
    playgrounds.

    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
    events.

    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
    station!

    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
    stories.

    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.